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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Daffodils, Books and DVDs




Day by day Spring is just around the corner. Daffodils are I think my favourite Spring flower. Where I grew up in New England it was pretty rare to see them much before April or even May. As I type away here at my desk the delicate fragrance is wafting past and it's all just heavenly.

A few weeks ago thanks to a friend of mine I heard about a book that absolutely intrigued me and I immediately ordered it.  It is so entrancing that I have to tell you all about it.

Griffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock begins with Griffin receiving a very mysterious post card:
"Griffin:
It's good to get in touch with you at last. Could I have one of your fish postcards? I think you were right -- the wine glass has more impact that the cup? "

As you turn the pages a mystery unfolds because Griffin has no idea who has sent him the postcard let alone how she knew so much about his artwork. An extraordinary correspondence follows. And as you turn the pages the story proceeds through illustrations and a bit more than that as well... There on the top is the original postcard. Back and forth between England and Australia the postcards fly and the mystery deepens.

Finally Sabine sends him a letter... let me show you the first one: Within each envelope in the book there is a letter to pull out and read -- four in all!


And so you participate as the story unfolds -- literally! The illustrations are beautiful and the story a bit like a fairy tale. It it is a joy. There are two more books in the series, which I have yet to get my hands on, but I am looking forward to complete the series in the near future.

(I am quite annoyed at the moment as the pictures have not uploaded in the correction direction -- somehow, except for the first one, they have all been uploaded on their side. Silly old blogger strikes again!)

I have quite a substantial pile now of books to read and DVD's to watch -- I love having books and films in waiting! And others are on the way -- thanks to Dee Ready's recommendation I have today ordered The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. And then in a couple of weeks Jo Nesbo's new detective thriller, The Phantom will arrive! Holy Book Review, Batman!

Next week the saga of my  journey towards British citizenship will continue. As one memory follows another word the story is longer and longer. I thought I would just gloss over events, but once started down memory lane the details expand and my reflections exceed all expectations. I had originally thought the whole story would be complete in two posts! In fact, after two posts, I was just getting started!
A Little Pile of Heaven!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Everyday Treasures


The early morning sky can put me in a very reflective mood -- and so it was yesterday with this sky from my kitchen window.

As I sat at the table my eyes fell on the rose in the vase on the tile and I realized that all three reminded me of wonderful people who have blessed my life. The tile was a souvenir from my parents when we were all in Canterbury together many years ago. It was a wonderful visit with many surprises and many wishes fulfilled. In addition to Canterbury my mother was thrilled to visit Sissinghurst gardens and Knowle House. The gardens were at their peak and the white garden there turned out to be my favourite all time garden experience! In London we all went to the Royal Albert Hall and saw the ballet Romeo and Juliet -- it was fabulous... My favourite memory of the trip was insuring that they had their passports on them at all times without letting on that on the pretext of going to Canterbury, we were actually heading for the Channel Tunnel and a quick day trip to Lille to visit with my sister-in-law. They were thrilled to be the first of their friends to cross the channel this way! 

The vase is sterling silver and was given to The Man and me from one of my dearest friends. She is originally from Germany and was a neighbour of my parents when they lived in their last  house. Besides the fact that she has more energy in her 70's than any person I know she is also one of the most talented and interesting. She also saved my son from a very dangerous disease.

In August 1997 our family was visiting my parents in Connecticut. The Man always liked to help my Dad in their garden and there was a lot of work to do clearing up overgrown bushes and brambles and carting them to the woods at the edge of the garden. A few weeks later my youngest son, Robert, came down with a terrible flu and very high temperatures. A week or so later one side of his face was frozen and he was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy. The prognosis was that it could last a few weeks to a few months, but was not usually permanent. In the meantime there was a big wedding in the family at the end of the month just before we were due to return to the States and we all headed up to Vermont for the celebrations. Other than the palsy, Robert was OK and we all went, enjoyed ourselves and hurried back to pack up and leave the next day.

While The Man was putting our suitcases in the car, my friend drove by, realized we were leaving momentarily, and came in to say goodbye. As soon as she saw Robert she realized that in all probability he was suffering from Lyme Disease!! This disease can usually be taken care of by antibiotics, but it is important to seek treatment immediately! The Man and I left for England very worried. When we got back to England England was a very weird place and even more so for us. The end of August 1997, the day of my brother's wedding was the day Princess Diana died! The first thing we did upon our return was see the GP. 

Not experienced at all with this affliction he thought it unlikely that this was the problem. However, bless him forever, he said that he would be in touch with the experts in the field of this sort of disease for advice -- which he did immediately, because the very next morning we had a phone call from him to get down to a hospital in Liverpool -- the poor boy had to have a spinal tap. The results of his tests showed that there was a problem and for 10 days we were having daily visits for massive  intravenous doses of antibiotics. It was incredible to see him respond to this treatment -- noticeably within 24 hours. His reaction to the disease was neurological and is the most serious -- a lot of things just don't bear thinking about -- so many what if's. 

Amazing the memories a little silver vase can trigger!

A finally we come to the rose -- it's the last one from my Valentine bouquet from The Man himself! Believe me there are a lot of memories there!!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Citizen Me: Whatever Next?



The next few years were one surprise after another. The first surprise was that after more or less settling down in Norfolk -- not exactly happily for me -- The Man was posted to Liverpool! Being a true Londoner, this did not make him happy and he tried hard to get out of it. But the verdict was they liked his smile and knew he'd be great in the job! And in fact he loved it! He was the Area Commander for the Royal Air Force in the Liverpool area.

I was finding Norfolk difficult. The natives were not exactly welcoming -- the friends I did make were from outside the area -- a Canadian Couple and an American, who married a 'native' became friends -- but otherwise I was pretty much left to myself. I don't think it was so much that I was an American as much as that I was an 'outsider'. Also my eldest son was having a difficult time adjusting to his school and to some of the bullying that went on because he was a 'Yank'.

So quite happily we were off to the Northwest of England and a very different area of England. The Man had already made some friends. They ran a small hotel in Southport and had taken him under their wing -- Derek had done his National Service in the RAF and he and his wife had taken an instant interest in their new guest! It was a few months before I was able to join him, but Around January 1982 we were all together again and living in Southport. For several months we lived in rented accommodation  and had a quite enjoyable time meeting new people and at times a very interesting social life. One event, in particular stand out in my memory!

The Tower Ballroom (Photo: Visit Lancashire)One of The Man's responsibilities in his job was to represent the Royal Air Force at special functions. We had been invited to attend an annual dinner for the Royal Air Force Association. This organization serves to support former and retired members of the RAF is various ways. We accepted the invitation and I got busy making an evening gown that would be appropriate for the occasion. As this was my first event of this kind I was quite nervous about it and looking forward at the same time! On our way to the famous Blackpool Winter Gardens, the Man told me that a well-known television presenter and his wife were to be the guests of honour and that there was even to be a beauty contest to select the Northwest's candidate for Miss RAFA of the United Kingdom, after that there would be a dance in the famous Empress Ballroom.

We arrived to be enthusiastically greeted by the President of the organization and were subsequently introduced to Pebble Mill at One presenter Bob Langley and his wife, Pat, who were to be the guests of honour. What The Man had not realized until then was that we were the other two 'guests of honour'! We were to sit at the head table and we were also to be judges in the Miss RAFA Nortwest competition! In shock, but with no time to panic we were led away to prepare our entrance ...

Fortunately, I did not have time to be anxious -- I was 'on'. The Man looked over at me nervously. I told him to remember I might need guidance knife, fork and spoon-wise! My only concern was to not trip over my feet. The Langley's were introduced first and took their seats. Our names were called and we walked from behind the scenes onto what turned out to be a stage-like platform -- there was fanfare and applause -- from those before and beneath us -- all 400 of them!!! The man did his job well; I was able to decipher his signals as to the appropriate cutlery and I did not spill the wine. As I remember the food was good and all were merry. The Langleys were absolutely charming and friendly. He was quite dishy and very tall... That was the first time I heard the traditional Lancashire toast to the Queen, "The Queen, the Duke of Lancaster"!

After dinner we were taken to a rather small room with a table and a few other officials. This was where the interviews of the 10 or so girls in the competition were to be. The four of us would ask questions of Miss Blackpool, Miss Preston, Miss St. Anne's and the rest and then confer and make an initial selection before the candidates were each presented to the crowd on the Ballroom floor for our final decision. We were pretty sure which girl would win by the end of the the private interviews. When we got to the ballroom, it was in darkness except for a spotlight shining on the judges table with our four chairs. Once again we were introduced! Once again I did not trip over my shoes! And surprise surprise the girl we thought the winner was out-shone by another and we were all surprised. Miss RAFA duly found and crowned, the dancing could begin and we were no longer 'on show'. And dance we did -- all around the room!!

Unfortunately, we had to turn down the Langley's invitation to their hotel room when the dancing was over, we had to get back to our babysitter and it was 4 a.m. by the time we did that! But it was a wonderful initiation into a Lancashire evening's entertainment and one I shall always remember.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Citizen Me: A New Life

September 1, 1980. I arrived in Britain expecting a baby in 6 weeks! The Man had arrived back in England at the end of the previous June. England was a blessed relief from one of the hottest summers on record. From Texas to New England temperatures ranged from 95 to 110 every day for the entire time. I spent the months with my parents while The Man got himself invited back into the Air Force and arranged to re-occupy his house in Norfolk. Then there was finding a doctor and arranging a hospital and a school for my very American son. Everything fell into place with only one or two hiccups, one being the baby boy arrived three weeks early!

The doctor I had had briefly in the States had spoken so vehemently against the  NHS that I was terrified of having anything to do with it and in order to placate me, The Man arranged me to be treated as a private patient. When the obstetrician came to see me he informed me in no uncertain terms that if I wanted my baby to be circumcised he would refuse to be my doctor! I was so shocked at his adamant behaviour that I went along with his suggestion. Which actually turned out several years later to be an unfortunate mistake! I don't know if it is still the case in the States, but at that time it was usual to circumcise baby boys as a matter of course.

 I was soon established in my new home and there was a lot of 'getting used to' to go through! In the  States there was almost universal use of disposal 'nappies' (a new word to remember instead of 'diapers'). The word 'nappies' I was to discover was short for 'napkins' -- and one did not use that word for 'serviettes', which are what, in Britain, one puts on the table next to the forks!!!

The baby had been delivered by a mid-wife, which I had heard about but never experienced. When I got home I had been assigned a 'health visitor', who was also a mid-wife. All women in Britain who have a baby are assigned a  'health visitor'. When you first arrive home she comes several times a month to check that you are coping the little one and that the baby's weight is on target and so on. They also are on the lookout for post natal stress. My health visitor was a lovely woman, but ... Well she definitely did not approve of disposable 'nappies'. Also they are made of terry cloth -- square pieces, so completely unlike the more gauze like diapers I had used in the States.   Somehow she implied that having terry nappies and soaking them in whatever that solution is called in buckets is more meaningful!! This was the process as I remember it:

  • Fill bucket with water and required amount of 'Milton'  sterilizing liquid
  • If nappy is just wet dump it in, if not rinse out and get rid of unpleasant stuff and dump it in.
  • Soak nappies for however long it says (as little as 15 minutes, apparently)
  • Take nappies out and rinse and ring and wash in washing machine
  • Hang up to dry.
Well, due to the cost of disposables and being nagged to death, I used these terry things -- very unhappily -- but any excuse at all to use disposables and I did!!! To top everything off, for the first three weeks or so we had a colicky baby on our hands -- thank goodness that lasted for such a short time -- seemed like forever though!

In addition to the trials and tribulations of 'babyville' I was cold all the time. The house was fairly new and had a furnace that heats up at night on cheap rate electricity and then heats the house during the day. By two in the afternoon the heat was running out! No more warm warm house in the cooler months. The thermostat was much lower than what I was used to. I was used to rarely having to wear a sweater inside -- excuse me, a cardigan or jumper -- and when I did I felt quite uncomfortable with the bulk. This sounds minor -- but there were a lot of changes going on here!

There was the shock of not having a clothes dryer -- I was expected to 'peg' them out on the line or use the airing cupboard. The first time I 'hung' the clothes on the line, The Man started laughing at me -- I wanted to cry -- in fact I think my eyes did fill with tears. Oh Woe, Woe, Woe was Me!

But there was someone who got me through it, someone who always made me smile and whom I am grateful to this day. Whatever would I have done without my early mornings with that Irish charmer, Terry Wogan? 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Citizen Me: Prelude

I remember quite clearly the plane coming in to land at Heathrow in November 1978. It was my first visit to England -- one I had dreamed about ever since I was a small child. It was a grey day and just light enough to see the suburban houses and streets ... those moments were strangely emotional for me and I could feel my eyes welling up. There was absolutely nothing familiar about the houses -- it all looked 'different', 'foreign' and I was enthralled.

I stayed in a Belsize Park Bedsit that belonged to a good friend of mine. London bedsit land was a completely new experience for this American! The room was the width of a bed and about twice as long, with a window along most of the length. At the opposite end of the single bed was a sink and a hot plate. There was no fridge -- there was a box outside the window where you could put a bottle of milk and perhaps some butter. And there were meters: one for gas, one for electricity. Heat was provided by an overhead electric heater that burned 10 pence pieces at a phenomenal rate! The bathroom was down the hall and the toilet was on the half-landing! Home for two weeks! At least the room was small enough to heat up fast and believe me I didn't spend a lot of time lounging around -- I was up and out every morning taking in as much as I could in two short weeks.

I saw plays, including 'Night and Day' with Diana Rigg (I adored her) and John Thaw and 'Coriolanus' with Alan Howard. Six months later I saw Vanessa Redgrave and Terence Stamp in Ibsen's 'The Lady from the Sea'. Harrods became my favourite store -- I think I made my way there almost every day -- I was after all a typical American tourist! My friend, Freya, who did a lot of work with the BBC World Service took me to Broadcasting House and I was able to witness a program being taped. They even used the 'click' of my instamatic camera as a sound effect  -- for what, I cannot remember!

That November, Jim Callaghan was still Prime Minister and during my stay there were many one day strikes -- from one day to the next I was never sure what might affect me. By the time I returned the following June there would be a new Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

England in the Summer is very beautiful. I paid my first visit to Wales and found it to be a wonderful beautiful place -- the sides of the hills were covered in Rhododendron, there were gardens like I'd never seen -- everywhere -- North Wales was my first foray outside of London and I was enchanted. Soon though it was back to London and the end of the beginning of a romance that was to end with my returning to England and The Man!

So, with one thing leading to another, I can heartily recommend row boats on the Serpentine, strolling along the Embankment and long warm evenings in the glow of England at mid-Summer!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day by Way of Mr. Nash!

The Strange Case of Mr. Ballantine's Valentine*

Once upon a time there was an attorney named Mr. Ballantine.
~~~
He lived in the spacious gracious days of the nineteenth century.
~~~
Mr. Ballantine didn't know they were spacious and gracious.
~~~
He thought they were terrible.
~~~
The reason he thought they were terrible was that love had passed him by.
~~~
Mr. Ballantine had never received a valentine.
~~~
He said to his partner, My name is Mr. Ballantine and I have never received a valentine.
~~~
His partner said, Well my name is Mr. Bogardus and I have received plenty of valentines and I just as soon wouldn't.
~~~
He said Mr. Ballantine didn't know when he was well off.
~~~
Mr. Ballantine said, I know my heart, I know my mind, I know I long for a valentine.
~~~
He said here it was St. Valentine's day and when he sat down at his desk what did he find?
~~~
Valentines?
~~~
No.
~~~
I find affidavits, said Mr. Ballantine.
~~~
That's the kind of valentine I get, said Mr. Ballantine.
~~~
Mr. Bogardus said that affidavit was better than no bread.
~~~
Mr. Ballantine said that affidavit, affidavit, affidavit onward, into the valley of death rode the six hundred.
~~~
Mr. Bogardus said that any many who would rhyme "onward" with "six hundred" didn't deserve any affidavits at all.
~~~
Mr. Ballantine said coldly that he was an attorney, not a poet, and Mr. Bogardus had better take the matter up directly with Lord Tennyson.
~~~
Mr. Bogardus said Oh all right, and speaking of lords, he couldn't remember who was the king before David, but Solomon was the king affidavit.
~~~
Mr. Ballantine buried Mr. Bogardus in the cellar and went out in search of love.
~~~
Towards evening he encountered a maiden named Herculena, the Strongest Woman in the World.
~~~
He said, Madam my name is Mr. Ballantine and I have never received a valentine.
~~~
Herculena was delighted.
~~~
She said, My name is Herculena the Strongest Woman in the World, and I have never received a valentine either.
~~~
Mr. Ballantine and Herculena decided to be each other's valentine.
All was merry as a marriage bell.
~~~
Mr. Ballantine nearly burst with joy.
~~~
Herculena nearly burst with pride.
~~~
She flexed her biceps.
~~~
She asked Mr. Ballantine to pinch her muscle.
~~~
Mr. Ballantine recovered consciousness just in time to observe the vernal equinox.
~~~
He thought she said bustle.

*Nash, Ogden; I'm a Stranger Here Myself; Little Brown and Company; Boston; 1939

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Citizen Me: Now We Are Seven

1953 was the first year I would really understand that the world was larger than mine! The first event was in January of that year and was the inauguration of Dwight David Eisenhower as President of the United States. I had just returned home from school and my mother had been listening to the radio. We did not have a television. She told me that there was a new President and that there was a big parade in Washington, D.C. I was not only at an age that loved parades, I was in an age where everybody loved a parade -- they were a big deal. Anyway, what she couldn't wait to tell me was that there was a baton-twirling majorette who had thrown her baton three-stories high and caught it! I loved majorettes -- big time!!! That is my memory of the President's inauguration. I was 7 and one half years old!

The second event  was two weeks before my eighth birthday -- The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, June 2 1953! It was a big deal -- even in the Colonies! I had heard all about the two sisters, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret who lived far away in England where it rained a lot. My mother explained all about the coronation and that she would be crowned with a crown she would only wear once, that the crown was  very heavy and most importantly that the it would be broadcast on the radio. That was when I learned that England was five hours later than where we lived so that meant that it would be on the radio very early in the morning-- four or five o'clock. Mom promised to wake me up in time so that I could listen to it all on my radio -- I was so excited!!!

My mother had explained to me that in England the people spoke with an accent, an English accent. For example, they didn't say 'been' to rhyme with 'gin' like we did,  but English people said 'been' to rhyme with 'queen'. I was so interested in this! There I sat at that hour of the morning listening to every single word to see if she would say 'been' to rhyme with 'queen' ... and she DID! I was so happy -- even then I waited to hear if she said it again ... nope ... just the once. But I was not disappointed! Now I couldn't wait to see the movie when it came. Then I would see her say 'been' to rhyme with 'queen'!

Before that, however, came Life Magazine and it did not let me down. Never, never, never in the history of magazines has one been so perused as that issue was by me. I wish I still had it -- I would look at it right now...

And so it all began ...

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Citizen Me

I have one project that I am determined to complete this year. That project is to become a British citizen. For many years I had assumed that in order to obtain British nationality I would be required to renounce my American citizenship. But then after I had been here for several years and after I had returned from 5  years living in Germany I discovered that this was not so, that I could in fact have dual nationality: British and American.

The timing of this discovery was unfortunate. The Man, who was in the Royal Air Force at the time and was, therefore, on duty when we went to Germany discovered that if I had applied for citizenship before leaving for Germany the process would have been accelerated. But as the saying goes there is no use crying over spilt milk...

Much to my surprise, several of our British friends have, with great incredulity, asked me Why do you want to become British? The question rather took me aback and to be honest I wasn't completely honest, because I didn't want to sound 'corny'. The thing is I really like it here and I have developed a real love for this country and it's traditions and quirkiness and people. I like that it's not perfect and love that it wants always to not only do better but be better. I love its politics and want to be able to vote; I want to commit!

My wish to become a British citizen is not because I no longer feel like an American or because I do not love my native land. I had not realized it until I thought about it recently, but while people talk about being proud to be an American, most people do in fact identify most of all with one state or region in particular. I feel very strongly about being a New Englander -- I identify with that culture and life and it is intrinsic to my being. My personal history is very much a product of the great American melting pot. I'm a mixture of old New England families and Irish, German and Swiss immigrants -- lots of Connecticut Yankees and Alabama politicians and even a cigar manufacturer from Baltimore named Gallagher!

But I haven't always loved Britain. There was a time when I felt well and truly alienated -- when I never wanted to return. But there is more to tell before that...

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Blogger is Having 'Interesting' Times

I have been having an interesting time with Blogger! Yesterday I realized that one of my favourite blogs to follow had suddenly 50 posts running down my Blog Roll! When I clicked on the first one it I was 'hijacked' and taken to a pornographic site. When I tried to go to the site by typing in the URL in my browser, the same thing happened! I have e-mailed the blogger whose site it is and warned him, but as of now the problem persists. I have also informed Blogger. Apparently, there is a problem with some sites being hijacked in just this way. I wish they would explain how to avoid this happening -- but I suspect they haven't figured that out yet.

Anyway, in order to get rid of the 50 posts clogging up my Blog Roll I have had to stop following this blog -- it took me a while to figure out how -- as initially I could not find his blog listed on my Blog List nor when I went to 'Manage Your Blogs'! Persistence paid off, however and it finally showed up and I was able to proceed. One thing I am pleased about is that Google picked up what was happening and warned me. In fairness to the blogger, I will be checking back regularly to make sure when I can follow him again as it is one of my favourites...

Then this morning I noticed that my profile picture had disappeared from all the blogs I follow! It used to be that if you wanted to 'follow' you just clicked 'follow this blog' and then agreed that's what you wanted. Now a new button has popped up saying, 'Join this Site' and you have to choose an account to sign into -- such as
Google. Sign in, then it says you have joined and then you must  click on the box that says  'Done'. I must thank Perpetua for the heads up on this, by the way...


  • Now in order to have your profile picture come up you have to Join This Site all over again.
  • When you've gone through the necessary steps you will see a blanked out picture at the top of the followers and next to it the word 'Options'. Click on 'Options' and then choose 'Site settings'.
  •  Another box comes up and you will see a box with a blank picture space and a choice of what to do, for example you can upload a photo from your computer. Immediately underneath the box is a choice to use a picture from a profile you already have on the web. Click on it!
  •  And a whole bunch of choices are there for you, including 'Blogger'. Click on your choice, yet another box comes up -- I think an 'OK' is required.
  • Then when that box goes look at the bottom of the remaining box and click the 'Done'. When you have 'done' that  magically your picture appears!
I still have not figured out how to avoid having to go to each blog that I follow and go through this process. Does anyone out there know the answer?

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Frankie and Bingo ... and Garbo

A few nights ago I was having a reverie about films and in particular scenes from films that I can watch over and over again and never fail to enjoy. It occurred to me to come up with my 10 most favourite of these scenes and then see if I could find clips of them on You Tube. And so I did -- for the most part...

Now from time to time, I will be writing a series of posts which will include a couple of favourites  and a few words about them. Some everybody will know -- or practically everybody -- others are perhaps a bit obscure.

High Society was a musical re-make of The Philadelphia Story and to be honest I prefer the older movie that stars Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant . High Society, however, is the last film Grace Kelly made before her marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco -- it came out in 1956. I remember my mother laughing when she saw the marquee of the local theatre advertising its stars as "Gracie, Frankie and Bingo". (Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, for any who might possible not know!) And finally, High Society is a musical with fantastic songs and an appearance by Louis Armstrong. It also has the out-of-this-world location of wealthy Newport, Rhode Island.

My favourite scene from this movie is the only recorded duet of Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby -- and it never fails to lift my spirits and bring a smile:



Now for something completely different! Queen Christina with Greta Garbo and John Gilbert was made in 1934 and has for me many exquisite moments despite the film being rather dated. Garbo is at her most beautiful and most mysterious. As an actress she could be the most feminine creature you ever saw on screen ... but she could also portray a surprisingly masculine side to her nature and this movie gives her ample room to showcase both aspects of her personality. The Queen has left the castle disguised as a man and comes to a local inn looking for a room for the night -- a blizzard is raging! The Inn is full, however there is a gentleman who is willing to share his room with 'him' and what follows is a scene relished by all Garbo fans. Of course, once discovered to be a beautiful woman the two instantly fall in love and spend a passionate 3 days together as they are completely snowbound!! All this leads up to my favourite scene -- that I love to watch again and again. Needless to say, her lover has no idea who this woman is. She, being a queen, and being obliged to marry someone else for the sake of her kingdom, knows that she cannot continue this relationship once she leaves and so she proceeds to 'memorize the room' -- moving around and touching things so that she will never forget these three days of complete happiness. She says, " I have been memorizing this room. In the future, in my memory, I shall live a great deal in this room."

Unfortunately, I cannot embed the one clip I found of this scene -- which is unfortunately dubbed into Spanish at the very end, so you won't hear her wonderful voice... But here is a link to the clip.

Now, what scenes to you find irresistible?