Thursday, December 02, 2004

Hands wear ship!

Take a turn round the cleat, you fool! You are close-hauled on the port tack. The wind veers four points and takes you flat aback. You're dismasted. Heave to! Main tops'l braces. Helm-a-lee.

This is what I've been enjoying the last few days. Maritime jargon. I don't understand half of it, but I doubt if I would even if it were in Finnish. I'm reading Horatio Hornblower's adventures in C.S. Forester's novel Mr. Midshipman Hornblower and I'm having a blast. The stories do tend to lose a bit, when the reader (me, that is) doesn't have a clue every now and then, but Forester has a talent in telling adventurous stories. I think I'll have to buy a companion to the books so I'll understand what the characters are doing when the command "Hands wear ship!" is given by Captain Pellew or some lower ranking officer of the crew.

Besides the skill of telling good stories, Forester has truly described a completely & utterly amiable character in Hornblower. Young Horatio is such a sympathetic and honourable person that it's a joy to read about his trials. He's described as completely tone-deaf , a bit clumsy and very shy at times. Not to mention the fact that he stutters a bit, when he's nervous. Isn't that just cute for a character that you would expect to be tough and bold. He is all that, too, but the weaknesses he has make him just a bit more convincing a character.

By the way, the boxed set of all the eight Hornblower movies I ordered from arrived yesterday. Huzzah! (I even had the good fortune that the shipment wasn't caught in customs...) There's a visual companion for the books, if anywhere. Not that I'll be able to recognise the names of the different parts of the ships when I see them, either, but at least I'm going to be able to see them. So what if a piece of wooden knick-knack is called something-rather, at least I'll know what it looks like. After watching the movies a dozen times I may even learn to name the knick-knacks without help. What I've already learned (from the book, though) that on a ship, there is a place called poop. Honestly. I did not know that. Learning is fun. :)

The scripts (so far for three movies) are delightfully well adapted from the books, almost line by line sometimes. Some additions have been made, for sure. For example you can't very well have a young and gorgeous officer completely without a romantic interest, now can you? So there's a French girl in the movie version of The Frogs and the Lobsters and she doesn't exist in the book, but well, who cares. She dies anyway... :) But the point I was going to make was that it's nice to watch the movies and try to learn the jargon from there. There are no subtitles in these movies, so it takes a while to get a hold of the English that's been used. I was proud of myself last night, though, when eventually I did manage to understand even the French lines uttered by Mr. Hornblower. My compliments to Ioan for such nice and clear pronunciation!

What else... Oh, today was the last dance class in Lieto for almost a month and a half! Hooray! Now I only have twelve more weeks to go from January on, before I can finally forget about planning dance classes for at least a few years. I'll have to try to find some motivation for the classes during this Christmas break, otherwise it'll be a loooong spring. Maybe the dance recital we're going to have on the 16th will do the trick. I'll be dancing in two dances in the show, a traditional khaleegy dance and an balady number with a veil. No solos, though. Lucky me. I can now mess up a whole group's whereabouts on the stage by doing something like, say, forgetting the choreography... :)

I'm going Christmas shopping with Satu tomorrow, yay! I haven't got any ideas what I could buy for people. For my brother, to be exact. He didn't even give me any hints when I asked about it a few days ago. He says he doesn't need anything. Yeah, right. I'll have to see if something inspires me tomorrow. If nothing else gets done, at least we'll have had a wonderful day at the mall. Lunch, coffee breaks and so on. Whee!

It's going to be a busy and fun weekend. (Note to self: don't forget the thesis!) Tomorrow, shopping and dance practice, on Saturday it's time for the Turku Science Fiction Society's pre-Christmas party (with lots of good food, I'm told) and on Sunday I'm going to go to see the new Bridget Jones movie with the girls. I'm so looking forward to having lots and lots of fun with my friends. This is exactly what preparing for Christmas should be like. Spending time with your friends and relaxing. Well, I suppose I'll relax this weekend, stress the next three weeks and finally on Christmas Eve, I'm going to be as happy as ever. And not stressed out, at all. :) I'm so looking forward to a very nice and traditional family Christmas, too.

A lot to look forward to, isn't there? Oh, almost forgot. I'm so excited about the upcoming LotR - RotK extended edition, too! I'm going to get the collector's edition with a Minas Tirith miniature! Expensive as heck, but I don't care. One more Christmas present for me, from me. :) Those are the best. :)

Ok, I'm nearing a delirious state now with all of these upcoming excitements, so I'd better go and relax. Watch a Hornblower movie...

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