Monday, 26 November 2012

Twilight's Breaking Dawn: The Final Meadow Scene

Breaking Dawn Part 2 stays fairly close to the last third of Breaking Dawn, with most changes being for the purpose of streamlining the story for the viewing audience. Some of the changes are large, but several tweaks appear minor at first – a different character says a particular line than says that line in the book, for example – yet when we examine them more closely, we see that they have a larger impact on the storyline than would first appear.

One such alteration was the setting of the final scene, where Bella is finally able to remove her mind shield and share her memories with Edward, revealing the depth of her love for him fully for the first time. In Breaking Dawn, this scene happens in Bella and Edward’s cottage; in the movie, it occurs in Edward’s meadow.

Let me explain why this scene is important.

Perhaps obviously, this scene is important mostly because it is the end of the book. It’s the scene that the rest of the book and indeed the entire quadrilogy have been leading up to. Meyer explained in her interview with Shannon Hale, “I had to write all four books to get to those last two pages. Just to have Bella and Edward really be able to understand each other – that made it worth writing four books.” (Official Illustrated Guide 40) This moment of mutual understanding and unity is the moment Bella and Edward’s entire romance has been moving towards.

The rest of my first post at Hogwarts Professor can be read over at HogPro, thanks to John Granger for considering my thoughts worthy of his we-blog!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

From chickens to chicks

Early in November we realised that one of our chickens, Snowy, was broody. She stopped laying but constantly wanted to sit in her box. Fortunately, Snowy was gentle with her broodiness, not pecking any of the children as they took the opportunity to pat her beautiful soft feathers while she sat, pointlessly, in an empty box.

There are two things you can do with a broody chicken. The first is to unbroodify (my word!) the hen, by sectioning her off in a cage where she gets cool air underneath her and has no straw to make a nest. The second is to provide her with fertilised eggs from hens who live with a rooster, and allow her to sit on them for three weeks until they hatch. With Joshua's enthusiasm for raising more chickens, encouraged by his reading of Keeping Chickens, we chose this second option.

First, we obtained fertilised eggs from the same generous friend who gave us Snowy and Lily to start with. Then, after convincing Snowy to move out of her laying box temporarily, we carefully filled it with fresh straw, placing it closer to the ground so that baby chicks could climb out. We also provided a second box for Lily to lay in. Then, we even more carefully placed our six eggs into the centre of Snowy's box.

Our friend had told us that eggs take 21 days to incubate, so the last few days have been nervous ones as we have waited to see if any of the eggs hatched. This afternoon after church we went to see if there was any sign of yellow chicks. Joshua was the first to catch a peek:
Admittedly it is a bit of a 'Where's Wally?' effort to see the chick, so I will provide a hint that you can see it just to the left of Snowy's tail, behind her wing. Joshua and I excitedly rang our friend to say "thank you" once again for the eggs and to let her know we had at least one chick.

Then we went back out to spy on Snowy again and realised we have at least two! Here you can see the face of one chick and the backside of another:

Joshua has naming rights for the first chick and has decided that since it's foster mother is named Snowy, it should be called Blizzard - with Anna's help we have noted that she (he?) can be Lizzy for short.

The second chick is yet to be named. Any suggestions, friends and family?

Sunday, 4 November 2012


Jeff has something in common with the great author:

"I had and have a wholly unsatisfied desire to shoot well with a bow."
~ JRR Tolkien, On Fairy-Stories

Jeff's birthday present in for repair at the moment.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

The Thing

Samuel has introduced a word game to our family recently. It is called "The Thing". A good game to practice if you have difficulty pronouncing "th" correctly, as does Samuel, the main rule of this game is that you cannot use the word "it". This is a game of descriptions, and is great as a table talk starter.

The first person thinks of a thing and then describes the thing.
The other people guess what the thing might be.
For example: The thing is red. Sometimes the thing is green. You eat the thing.
(An apple.)

A few nights ago, Anna began her description with these words:
"The thing is nice."

Immediately Samuel thrust his hand in the air and waved it vigourously.
"I know. I know. Mummy!"

This will go down in history as one of my best Mother Moments ever.