almaviva90: (Wellington2)
A very happy birthday to my favourite historical figure ever...yes, you know this already...Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington who would be 242 this year.

almaviva90: (Wellington)
Hmm...isn't it strange that despite the fact that my intention last night was to buy the sheet music for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 online that I ended up saying, 'Heck, it's bloody expensive for a book from which I only like one piece of music, ie. 'Snape to Malfoy Manor' and then randomly went off to Abebooks.com to buy two books on Wellington instead? *facepalm* My obsession with Wellington never subsides really even with my love for history, TA, opera and Poirot. 

But in my defence, these are actually books I've never read and aren't available in HK. The first is Lawrence James' The Iron Duke: A Military Biography of Wellington which I've seen cited numerous times in other books on Wellington while the other is a rather interesting book named Wellington's War: His Peninsular Dispatches where the author has actually pieced together a lot of Wellington's actual dispatches, letters, correspondence, etc with his own descriptions to make a sort of narrative account of the war through Wellington's eyes. Although I sort of have ALL of Wellington's dispatches in PDF format, I could never actually read them all without having some sense of direction first as to what I'm looking for so the second book is going to be of great help, I hope.
almaviva90: (Wellington2)
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LONDON...ooh, and probably the rest of the UK, e.g. Durham, Oxford, Cambridge, Bath, perhaps also Scotland too. I'd go mental going round all the museums (I simply have to go to Apsley House and the Royal Opera House), theatres, sites, cathedrals, second hand bookshops (people are probably going to go 'WTF?' at the last place) etc. Then a massive book/souvenir shopping spree will ensue methinks. XDDD

I'd probably take my mum but she's technically more like family though I would really consider her my friend too. I'd go with [livejournal.com profile] enserric but I'm not sure how that will work seeing that she's already in the UK!
almaviva90: (Wellington2)
Further proof of me being a complete Wellington nerd? Only to happy to oblige...see that painting behind Colin Firth's King George VI in this scene from The King's Speech? Instantly recognised it as none other than a portrait of Wellington in what appears to be his Field Marshal's uniform. Another interesting thing is that on the opposite end of the same room is a portrait of Nelson which doesn't surprise me at all.

almaviva90: (Wellington)
Hurrah...I've finally found a good sized copy of this portrait in all its glory. Not as fantastic and richly coloured as the one I saw in the book, Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power and Brilliance but it will do for now. =) Next to the 1814 portrait which I bet almost everyone has seen, this one from 1820 is probably my favourite portrait of Wellington in his mid-forties, early fifties.

almaviva90: (Default)
My book on Wellington finally arrived this afternoon...just a week after the other book arrived last Wednesday. It's not a hardcover as I thought it would be (the booksellers seem to be all wretchedly unclear as to whether the copies they have are paperback or hardback since both of them weirdly seem to have the ISBN number) but alas, what can one do? At least it's readable, that's the most important thing. Perhaps I'll try to get a hardback version next time.

Watched a couple of Poirot episodes last night...and goodness me, it was extremely entertaining to have refreshed my mind about these episodes. I nearly forgot how hilariously funny they were; with Hugh Fraser's Hastings as always stealing the show with his adorableness although really Hastings wouldn't be half as funny if David Suchet's Poirot wasn't there to complement him. There was one extremely amusing moment in the last episode of the first series (The Dream) where Poirot laments that his little grey cells might be deserting him:

Poirot: ...a sign that they are weakened by old age and the fast living.

Hastings: I wouldn't call your life exactly fast.

Poirot: Oh, not perhaps now, Hastings but in my youth?

Hastings stares at him in amazement.

Hastings [astounded]: Really? [Pause] Really?

Poirot shrugs.

Poirot: You see one pays to settle one's account.

Hastings [utterly disconcerted]: I say.

What else can I say? I love these two. =P
almaviva90: (Wellington)
The Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel, 1844 by Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Interesting piece of Wellington-related info I learned today: though Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850) is rightly credited as the person who was responsible for the creation of the modern police force, he was supported by the Duke of Wellington who was Prime Minister at the time and helped get the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829 passed in Parliament. Also for those who find these random bits of trivia interesting: the British slang bobbies and peelers for police were derived naturally from Sir Robert Peel's name.
almaviva90: (TA 1980s)
Hurrah...finally got the 2nd edition of TA's book, Foreign Parts: A Singer's Journal yesterday afternoon when it arrived by post. It's a rather worn secondhand paperback copy and the cover's a bit damaged but at least the inside is fine and since it's secondhand, I'm not expecting much. But I was surprised when I realised that the previous owner of the book actually had it signed by TA himself. It also has the guy's name on it written in TA's handwriting! My God, I would never ever sell a book when my name has been personally written by the author, esp. when the author in question is Thomas Allen! But alas, different minds think, of course, differently. There has been indeed more content added since the first version of the book which I got nearly two years ago and it's great to see what he says about his first Beckmesser and Don Alfonso at Covent Garden. I also found out that Guglielmo isn't one of this favourite Mozart baritone roles...which is something interesting to know. (I personally love Guglielmo because he's so immature [esp. when he boasts to Ferrando of successfully getting the affections of Dorabella and then his irritation at getting the same treatment with regard to Fiordiligi] and sometimes erratic XD).

Just waiting for my other book (which is a biography of Wellington) I ordered to arrive by post...it should arrive this afternoon or tomorrow since I ordered it at the same time as this one.
almaviva90: (Wellington)
Finally got a hold of the historical RTS game, Napoleon: Total War and it's very embarrassingly obvious to me that my fangirling over the Duke of Wellington hasn't blown over quite yet (if ever) since I simply squeed with delight upon seeing this pop up in the game whenever I right-clicked Wellington's portrait:



*sighs exasperatedly*

But overall, it's quite an interesting game so far (an improvement over Empire: Total War since that game wasn't exclusively focused on the Napoleonic Wars though both sort of cover the same period) though I confess to playing on the easiest level since I'm still very much of beginner with these things...
almaviva90: (Captain Hastings)
I'm noticing more and more recently that though actors can play characters who are great friends in one book/series/film, they can also play each other's enemies in another...take the example of David Suchet and Hugh Fraser who play the fantastic duo of Poirot and Hastings in the television series...



...but play both Napoleon and Wellington respectively (though in two totally different films, I have to say!) who as we all know were historically enemies:




[They also look eerily similar to the real life historical people they were portraying...O_O]

As Hercule Poirot would say: 'Interesting. Very interesting.'
almaviva90: (Wellington)
Though it's just past the 18th now over here, just a post to commemorate the 195th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo which started in the late morning of Sunday, 18th June 1815.

almaviva90: (Wellington)
MY BOOK HAS FINALLY ARRIVED!!!

Exactly two months after I effing ordered it but HURRAH!!!

And it looks pretty new too...=) [Yes, I think this seriously needs a picture post because I've been ranting about this book so often...]
Wellington's Doctors )
almaviva90: (Wellington)
Just remembered it's May 1st (at least it is over here now...just) and that means a very happy birthday to Sir Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington who was born exactly 241 years ago in 1769. Yes, me and my curious history-related ways...


almaviva90: (Default)
First of all, it's 2nd April so happy birthday to the great Sir Alec Guinness who would have been 96 this year if he were still alive. It's hard to believe that he passed away nearly ten years ago now. Scary how time flies.

Anyways...finally was able to watch a film at the cinema today after weeks of desperately wanting to but being unable to find the time. I personally wanted to watch The Young Victoria since I have wanted to see it since I first realised there was a film about Victoria and Albert but then my mother was so adamant in seeing Colin Firth in A Single Man so guess who won? My mum, of course. Colin Firth galore for the one and a half hour duration of the film...XDD I can see why he was nominated for the Oscar this time and it was damn well earned, I say. A totally non-Darcy role this time but even though Pride and Prejudice was made 15 years ago, Firth has definitely maintained his good looks even now.

Oh, and what a surprise I got when I found the 1988 ENO Billy Budd with TA in the shops today. (I, of course, bought it straightaway since it was a reasonable $138). Totally wasn't expecting that since I thought it was now out-of-print. Other two great surprises today was that I found two books I've been looking for quite a while (a volume of Agatha Christie novels which have four of the novels that Captain Hastings was in while the second was Christopher Plummer's memoirs). Alas, both of them were nearly or were actually $300 so obviously, I couldn't afford them this time. I might try my luck in getting Plummer's book later on while I'll just wait and go to the UK to buy the Christie novels XDDD Yes, the books in the UK are DEFINITELY cheaper than in Hong Kong, darn it. *imagines that she will go on a mass book/CD/DVD spending spree when she finally gets to the UK*

Ah and yeah, finally decided to order the book about Wellington's doctors online today. Hopefully it'll arrive in a week or so. *crosses fingers*

almaviva90: (Hastings)
It's April 1st...so it means April Fool's Day. Therefore, happy April Fool's (though I don't celebrate it, lol)!

I've also remembered that April 1st is also Fred and George Weasley's birthday (according to JKR) so yeah...(I know I'm too waaay into HP for my own good)

Oh, and I also need to change the monthly poem thing in my sidebar. *sigh* So many things to do.

I think I know what I want to write about for my undergrad dissertation next year: medical services in Wellington's Army during the Napoleonic Wars and maybe do a comparison of the medical services in Napoleon's armies. Or investigate whether the experience during the Napoleonic Wars had any effect on domestic medicine/politics/society. Did the British govt actually care about the services/health of its men, etc. Hmm...must think about that.

But OMG, I just found out that only ONE book has been written on Wellington's medical services.

And I have to order it online. -___-

If only I could go to the UK myself and get it. *sigh* It'd be MUCH easier that way.

Oh yes, and it's now the Easter holidays here...no lectures/classes till Wednesday, thank goodness. It will give me time to prepare for my two essays which are due in the third week of April and probably will induce me to write nearly 6000 words in total (each needs about 3000 words)...ah, who says a being a student is easy? I certainly don't think so.
almaviva90: (brian may 1981)
Been seeing a lot of macros these days and finally found out how people created them...started out with some random picture on the site and funnily enough it came up with Washington crossing the Delaware and so here are some history-related macros and some not so history-related ones. Sorry couldn't resist...XD


Utter randomness... )
almaviva90: (posa)
It's funny but when I was writing the date down during yesterday's lecture, I noticed it was already the 1st of February. ALREADY. Goodness me, how time flies. It seems only yesterday that it was the start of 2010. Reminds one rather scarily of how life is continually slipping us by, second by second, minute by minute. I better stop here; I'm creeping myself out.

I have no idea why but I got out Roald Dahl's Matilda from my bookshelf the other day and reread the book after what seems like over 7 years. Surprisingly I really enjoyed it despite knowing it was really intended for older children. I knew beforehand that he had a rather wicked sense of humour in his Tales of the Unexpected but I hadn't realised it was also so prominent in his children's books. I doubt a child of ten for example would understand the evil wit in this: 'Your daughter Fiona has the glacial beauty of an iceberg. However, unlike the iceberg she has absolutely nothing beneath the surface.' So you can imagine the laughter which ensued within that very enjoyable three quarters of an hour in rereading the book. Dahl was a fantastic writer; no doubt about it.

I've been buying a lot of books lately. I think I've realised that I really have to get back to reading again after basically a year of messing about since the start of my time at HKU. I've noticed too that Page One is getting more British history books (finally!) and therefore I'm very happy about this turn of events. The other day I bought a book about the famous 95th Rifles of Wellington's army (it's the same regiment that one of my favourite fictional characters is in, Richard Sharpe) and am so far enjoying it as well. I think I also need to reread some Austen since I need to remember how she wrote in trying to get more chapters of my Sense and Sensibility fic up. Oh, fanfictions...how you are the joy and bane of my life at times. *sigh* Sometimes I hate the fact that one has to really be in the mood to write something worth reading by other people. The bane of all writers, I think.

I still can't believe it but I've actually set up another blog (a Wordpress one) specifically revolving about opera...I am awed at times at how my interest in opera has spiraled during the past year and a half or so. Two years ago, I would have scorned the notion of liking the artform. Now I can't get enough of it. The joke's on me as usual XD

Better toddle off to bed...quite tired after a rather long day. =)
almaviva90: (TA evening dress)
Yes, I'm bored and posting a couple of icons which I made in my spare time over the past few weeks...

[01-03] AR as Severus Snape
[04-07] King George V (my favourite British king)
[08-09] The Duke of Wellington
[10-12] TA in various roles in the 70s

If anyone decides to use any of these, please credit and also please do not use any of these as icon bases.

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almaviva90: (Default)
I've downloaded yet another big-arse pdf file of Wellingtonia...now the condensed and yet still huge volume (502 pages) or the General Orders of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington from 1809-1815. OTZ

But browsing through the various orders issued by Wellington during the Peninsular Campaign gives you some interesting and sometimes amusing finds...there was even one official order about the problem of bee-hives:

"16th August 1809

G.O. 1

The soldiers are again positively prohibited to plunder bee-hives. Any man found with a bee-hive in his possession will be punished."

HAHAHAHAHA...can you imagine stuffing this huge bee-hive into your rucksack or even trying to move it around the camp in front of your fellow soldiers and officers? The imagery of this is simply amusing.
almaviva90: (Default)
Today's 18th June...(yep, this is going to be yet another random historical event-related post and yes, it's nearly the end of the 18th now)

It's the 194th anniversary of the famous Battle of Waterloo fought on the plains of Waterloo in Belgium between the Duke of Wellington, Prussia's Prince Blucher and Napoleon on 18th June 1815. Basically, this WAS the battle which decided the fate of Europe for the coming 100 years until 1914 and the advent of World War I.

*clears throat* Well, anyways...enough about that. Let's carry on, shall we? XD

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January 2012

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