a blog birthday and upcoming fall folderol

8 Paddingtons for 8 years of blogging

Hey, Boo. We’re baaaaaack!

Another August, another blog birthday. Alphabet Soup is now 8 years old!

Recently, my 16-year-old niece Julia, (crazy-good YA book reviewer at Peach Print and A Perfection Called Books) asked me why I started blogging. Isn’t it obvious? Because I’m nuts.

What other possible reason to spend hours days cranking out posts for invisible, sometimes imaginary readers licking their lollipops out in the ether?

Well, come to think of it, there are several good reasons:

  1. A lifelong love of books
  2. Creative expression
  3. A habit of eating
  4. A hungry mind
  5. Colin Firth, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, et. al.
  6. Curiosity and self discipline
  7. Good excuse to set the table and play with teacups and teddies
  8. Cultivate positivity in a harsh world

Oh, and one other thing (best reason of all). I’m nuts about YOU.

That’s right. You — that enigmatic, elusive, literary, whip-smart, caring, fun-loving child at heart a writer like me dreams of reaching.

Thank You So Much for continuing to read, follow, and comment on this blog — proof positive that you’re not imaginary or invisible after all.🙂

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So, how was your summer?

Mine can be summed up like this:

  1. Poldark
  2. Aidan Turner
  3. Cornwall
  4. Windswept locks
  5. Demelza
  6. Topless scything
  7. Mining for copper
  8. “I belong here.”

cornwall

One could say I’m enamored of mildly obsessed with stark-raving nuts about Poldark. This shiny new PBS Masterpiece series materialized just in time, since Downton Abbey will be bowing out with Season 6 early next year (sob).

Set in the late 18th century, Poldark is chock full of just the kind of ingredients I love in British period dramas: interesting main characters who are not afraid to push the boundaries, beautiful setting and costumes, compelling rivalries, sweeping romance, riveting depiction of class struggles, comic relief, and a roller coaster of emotions.

Poldark-Long-Lead-Slideshow_combo
Steamy love triangle: Elizabeth, Ross Poldark, Demelza

Oh, and there’s this little matter of lead actor Aidan Turner. Suffice to say, he’s blown wet shirt Mr. Darcy out of the water when it comes to sizzling and sultry heartthrobs. Oh, those unruly brown locks, dark penetrating eyes, brooding demeanor, ripped torso, deep sonorous voice, disarming smile! Dear Reader, I swoon at every turn. There are no smelling salts in all the world potent enough to restore my composure. Mr. Turner can scythe my tall grass anytime.🙂

rosspoldark
Ross Poldark is Aidan Turner’s breakout role as a romantic lead. In real life, he has a lovely Dublin accent. Do you remember him as Kili in The Hobbit?

If you somehow missed this fabulous 8-episode eye candy feast, do something about it IMMEDIATELY. I’ve started reading Winston Graham’s 12-novel Poldark saga and researching Cornish recipes in anticipation of Season 2, which airs in the U.S. next summer. SIGH. They’ve promised 10 new episodes instead of 8, since Season 1 was such a huge hit. “It is 20 years till then.”

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that I am way hotter than that upstart Ross Poldark.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that I am infinitely hotter than that cheeky upstart Ross Poldark. At least I comb my hair.”

Meanwhile,

8 Things to Look Forward to This Fall:

  1. Colin Firth’s Birthday September 10
  2. More Indie Artist Spotlights
  3. Hosting Poetry Friday October 23
  4. New Maira Kalman book (Beloved Dog, October 27)
  5. Eloise’s 60th Anniversary in November
  6. “Jacques Pépin, Heart & Soul” (new PBS cooking series) + Jacques’s 80th Birthday in December
  7. Book Giveaways
  8. More Hot Hot HotTEAs

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FotorCreated

cupcakecover

Can’t wait to feature these books:

  1. The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations, compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (Pomelo Books, 2015)
  2. Fab Four Friends by Susanna Reich and Adam Gustavson (Henry Holt BYR, 2015)
  3. Double Happiness by Nancy Tupper Ling and Alina Chau (Chronicle Books, 2015)
  4. Eat Your U.S. History Homework: Recipes for Revolutionary Minds by Ann McCallum and Leeza Hernandez (Charlesbridge, 2015)
  5. Jumping Off Library Shelves by Lee Bennett Hopkins and Jane Manning (Wordsong, 2015)
  6. Flutter and Hum: Animal Poems by Julie Paschkis (Henry Holt BYR, 2015)
  7. Sharing the Bread: An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving Story by Pat Zietlow Miller and Jill McElmurry (Schwartz & Wade, 2015)
  8. Happy Birthday, Cupcake! by Terry Border (Philomel, 2015)

FotorCreated

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As I look forward to the cool, crisp, color-drenched days of Autumn, I’ll be keeping these 8-word quotes in mind.

Can you guess who said them?

  1. Once upon a time you dressed so fine . . .
  2. A person’s a person, no matter how small.
  3. Whose woods these are I think I know . . .
  4. Tomorrow may rain so I’ll follow the sun.
  5. The book. Calming object. Held in the hand.
  6. Do not go gentle into that good night.
  7. Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s passing.
  8. Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

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Hope you’ll join us at the Alphabet Soup table often. For now, I leave you with

8 Things to Love:

  1. British accents
  2. Pie
  3. The “Notting Hill” soundtrack
  4. Jingle jangle mornings
  5. Warm cookies
  6. Tiny music boxes
  7. An Irish actor from Dublin
  8. Dan Santat’s eyebrows

Have a good week, and Happy Birthday, Alphabet Soup!🙂

P.S. Did I mention how much I love Poldark? Here’s a favorite food scene featuring Ross and Demelza. How many gentlemen would sit at table with his kitchen maid?

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This post is brought to you by the number 8 and the letters A (Aidan), B (books), C (Cornelius), D (Darcy), E (Eloise), F (Fall), G (Graham), and H (HotTEA). Regular programming to resume shortly.

Quotes by: Bob Dylan, Dr. Seuss, Robert Frost, Lennon-McCartney, Maira Kalman, Dylan Thomas, Harper Lee (TKAM), Confucius.

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Copyright © 2015 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

75 thoughts on “a blog birthday and upcoming fall folderol

  1. Happy blogiversary! 8, Wow! Poldark does sounds fabulous. I’ve been watching Lilies, a BBC mini-drama. It’s great. Glad you had a great summer. I had to admit that topless scything gave me pause until you explained about Kili. LOL

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    1. I haven’t heard of Lilies. WIll have to look for it.

      Actually, there is a famous scene where Ross Poldark is scything without his shirt on — a picture which has gone viral, causing women of all ages to swoon all over the world. This earthy display is quite a change from the prim and proper Downton Abbeyites, and makes Mr. Darcy look very tame indeed.

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      1. Yes, the scything scene is one for the ages (there’s also a skinny dipping scene) . . .

        Darcy’s wet shirt scene was not without its controversies. I think he was supposed to be shirtless, but Colin Firth preferred to leave his shirt on — or maybe it was the other way around (he wanted to go shirtless, but the producers decided against it). Firth’s wife agrees with you — she’s said that she never understood what the fuss was all about — didn’t think the shirt scene was sexy at all.

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    1. Replacing? Colin the Magnificent can never be replaced! Mr. Turner is a nice diversion. After all, variety is the spice of life🙂.

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    1. I’m fixated on Dan’s eyebrows. I’m convinced they are the secret to his boundless creativity.🙂 Thanks for the good wishes, Kate!

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  2. “Mr. Turner can scythe my tall grass anytime.” HAHAHAHA!!

    Happy birthday to your blog, and I’m glad to see you back. I just reread and then rewatched P&P, and am therefore still in love with Colin Firth, as per usual.

    Hope you had a great summer!

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  3. Seven was super.
    Nine will be neat.
    But eight is just great!
    Cause your blog’s such a treat!

    Obviously the heat has fried my noggin, or perhaps I bumped my head when I swooned at the sight of your lovely post. Happy 8th birthday! So much goodness waiting in the wings.

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  4. Happy Blog Birthday! I am so glad you are back. Sunday night PBS programing this summer was just the best with Last Tango in Halifax, our beloved Poldark and The Crimson Field. Loved your Poldark post. I shared it with my daughters who forgot to set it up on the DVR-Horrors!🙂

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    1. I forgot about Crimson Field and Last Tango in Halifax! I have to admit Last Tango in Halifax is a little different, but I don’t have any problems compared to them. (I also remember the father acting in I Claudius!)

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    2. Thanks for the nice welcome back, Sharon. Glad to hear you also enjoyed Sunday night PBS. I liked the Crimson Field too but only saw Last Tango once. i need to try to watch it from the very beginning. I think you can catch a few Poldark episodes on youtube and at PBS.org. Also Netflix.🙂

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    1. Happy Birthday!! Hope you have a delicious day. Have you finished a coloring page yet?

      Francis likes you.

      Remember: DO NOT DOGEAR. I REPEAT. DO NOT DOGEAR.🙂

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  5. Welcome back and happy blog birthday, Jama! You’ve been missed out here in the ether. I haven’t seen Poldark, but I think I need to remedy that soon. You may have hinted somewhere in this post that it is worth seeing. =)

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    1. Glad to hear you’re going to watch the series. Aidan gets better and better with each episode. By the time you hit episodes 3 and 4, you’ll be a goner.🙂

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    1. No worries. You have until next summer to catch Season 1. It’s out on DVD and available via Netflix. Thanks for the nice welcome back, Linda. Hope you had a fun summer.

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  6. “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” That sums you up, Jama, and I love that about you! Happy 8th Blog Birthday! So much to look forward to this fall (Maira Kalman’s new book!). Please don’t run away with Adam Turner. We need you here!

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    1. Thanks, Deborah. Such a nice thing to say. A new Maira book is always cause for celebration!
      I promise not to run away with Aidan — Colin would never forgive me!

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  7. Yes, I did recognize him as one of the dwarves from Hobbit!😀 He’s definitely more handsome as a human, however. I’d never heard of Poldark before. Is it just coming out on PBS or is it on dvd?

    Happy birthday to you and your blog! It seems like I stumbled upon you very early on, sometime in your first year. Hard to believe it’s been that long.

    #2 is Horton the Who. Alas, I am at a loss for the others, although “Do not go gently…” sounds familiar.

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    1. Poldark just aired for the first time on PBS this summer and Season 1 is on DVD. It’s been hugely popular on both sides of the pond. They’re currently filming Season 2. Can’t wait!

      Yes, it’s hard to believe it’s been 8 years! Isn’t it great that we found each other on LJ and are still in touch now?🙂

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  8. Happy Blog Birthday, Jama, lovely to ‘hear’ from you again. You’ve made my day a happy one! I have not heard of Poldark, so will look for it when I get home. I’m on vacation now, and catching up on blog reading for a while. It looks as if you’re going to have, and share with us, a fabulous autumn! Can’t wait!

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    1. Poldark will be a lovely treat to come home too. Enjoy the rest of your vacation, and thanks for stopping by to welcome me back :)!

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  9. Happy Birthday! And thanks for blogging for those of us who have no writing talent! And yes, Poldark was sooooo good!

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  10. Happy, Happy 8th Blog Birthday Jama! Thank you for spreading good cheer, with lots of interesting and lively composition, cuddly friends, and handsome diversions. To many more years of blog happiness! 😃

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  11. A very happy blog birthday celebration, Jama!!! I really love your blog and hope you continue doing it! I am also a Poldark fan!!! I was a fan of the original series, but this one is soooo much better!!! Keep up the great work! I enjoy your blog so very much!!! Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Wow, love all your enthusiasm and !!!!!!🙂
      Happy to hear you love Poldark too. I haven’t seen the original series, only a few photos. Did you recognize Robin Ellis (original Ross Poldark) in the courtroom scene?

      Thanks for the blog birthday wishes and kind words. It’s good knowing you’re out there reading.

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  12. Oh, Happy Happy Bloggie Birthday! To you and Mr. C. and all the sweet young things over here.

    Somehow I missed Poldark, but your tease and links have already reeled me in… We MUST have something after Season 6 of Downtown, so I’m happy to make the acquaintance.

    Can’t wait for all the other delights you have up your hard-working sleeves…
    XO and raising my teacup!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Robyn! You have such a treat in store with Poldark. Get the smelling salts ready😀.
      Mr. C sends his regards. We’re looking forward to serving up tea and goodies to all our beautiful readers!

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  13. Poldark (books, earlier pbs series from teen years) is the reason I went to Cornwall on my honeymoon – crashing waves, rugged landscapes, hot Cornish pasties !
    A Big Thanks to Nancy Ling for recommending your blog – I love tiny teddies !!

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    1. OMG! Cornwall on your honeymoon??!!!! So jealous!!
      Welcome to the blog, Claire. We have a place set at our table just for you. The AS kitchen helper teddies are very excited to make your acquaintance.🙂

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  14. Happy, happy blogaversary. I got lost looking at the Poldark photos (we LOVED that too) and then, you know, Colin. Sigh. Be still my heart.

    So glad to see you back and looking forward to ALL the goodies.

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    1. It’s nice to be back! While watching Poldark, I thought I heard a very enthusiastic woman sighing and swooning in the background — it must have been YOU :D!

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  15. Happy Blog Birthday. Wow, eight years, good for you! I am very much looking forward to watching Poldark. I’ve heard so much about it and know I’ll love it. (The only reason I’m holding off is that my daughter will love it, too, and she has her last actuarial exam at the end of Oct. After she’s finally done studying we can dig into Poldark together).🙂

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  16. Yes, Happy Birthday, Jama’s Alphabet Soup! You bring joy and inspiration every time. Yes, Poldark. I don’t have to say more. Well replacing Sean Connery. Aidan is such a fine character in every way.

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    1. Thanks, Tam. I used to have a crush on Sean Connery way back from those first James Bond movies. It’s nice to have a new person to crush on now.🙂

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