Sunday, 15 May 2016

Pondering Life...

With some birthday pennies, I bought this...

I saw it on the BBC last year when it aired, and have to confess I was disappointed - only three measly episodes to portray 40 years of the remarkable lives of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell??!!

But with a tenner burning a hole in my pocket, I decided it may be worth buying to enjoy in a 3-hour viewing binge...

And I wasn't wrong :D

Seeing it a second time enabled me to really watch it - to give full appreciation to the fine acting (instead of trying to work out who's playing whom - there's lots of flash-forwards and backwards); to sigh at the gorgeous cinematography; to listen to the perfect music and the tight, economic dialogue (much of the drama is shown rather than spoken).

I was a tad disappointed there were no Behind-the-Scenes snippets (I do enjoy seeing how a drama is crafted, and listening to interviews with the cast and crew). But those 3 hours of viewing have stayed with me... the images, the words, the gutsy lives of these incredible women!

I especially like that the story focuses mainly on Vanessa - she is often overshadowed by the incomparable Mrs Woolf. While Virginia wrote about a woman's need for independence, Vanessa actually lived it. She created a vision of loveliness at Charleston - painting, creating, raising children - living her life, on her terms! 

It wasn't perfect, by any means, the farmhouse was cold and damp with limited amenities, her choices were often debatable (not telling her daughter Angelica who her father was till she was 18 is a biggie!). But Life in Squares captures many of the messy, as well as the wondrous, bits... It put me in mind of one of my favourite quotes:

Some of Life's pieces we create, others are simply dealt to us... But ultimately it's what we DO with those pieces that counts, how we arrange them, how we spend our days...

I know I am something of a Bloomsbury Bore, but what those sisters did with their lives is a constant inspiration to me... They would both be on my all-time list of folk I want to spend quality-time with.

PS I'm selling some treasures on ebay, to help me create the Life I want, i.e. less stuff, more experiences :)


  1. James Norton is tasty... even though he plays an absolute horrible person in "Happy Valley"! Would like to see this series!

  2. oooh must look into getting this, its never been advertised or available here, but now I will go do research!! Thanks for sharing claire.

  3. Hi Claire, there you are! Wonderful post...


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