Another tough episode. Inexorable rhythm from beginning to end in episode 2 of series 10. The last season... The more I watch it, the more I feel sad that it is going to end ... for good.
I really don't want to give away much to avoid spoiling the pleasure of personally watching, discovering and enjoying  the epilogue of this brilliant spy drama for you. But it is quite an impossible task. Hence, if you don't want to discover anything beforehand, neither the very little I'm going to tell you, just stop  reading here. If you don't mind, instead, or are watching the series ...



It's been some time since I posted my last  RA comic cards (HERE). Did you think I've been neglecting Richard? I haven't, in fact. Maybe you haven't had  any sign of my RA - related activity here on my blog, that's true. It is only that I'm trying to avoid writing about him on FLY HIGH when I actually haven't anything special, new or important to say. You and I can find daily - or almost daily - posts on so many other blogs and in so many other sites online that we haven't been experiencing much the inevitable withdrawal due to the NZ confinement.  Well, I can't say I'm not longing for something new with him before December 2012 (can't write this without a fit of anxiety, is it really still that far?) 
Now,  I decided  to play with Harry, Geraldine and Rosy "the pretty one" today, as usual with the help of my husband and his iphone. But, before you have a look at these new cards and get the wrong impression, I must  state some indispensable remarks beforehand so that it is perfectly clear : I LOVE GERALDINE GRANGER .  I'm sure she and Harry will have great fun together as a couple and that they live happily ever after in Dibley. Amen. 

Here we go. I hope you'll enjoy them. MG 


THE WHITE QUEEN BY PHILIPPA GREGORY - "We have killed certainty in these cousins' wars and all that is left is mistrust"

Elizabeth Woodville, a young Lancastrian widow, armed only with her beauty and her steely determination, seduces and marries the charismatic warrior king, Edward IV of York.
Crowned Queen of England, surrounded by conflict, betrayal and murder, Elizabeth rises to the demands of her position, fighting tenaciously for her family's survival. Most of all she must defend her two sons, who become the central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing Princes in the Tower.

Set in the tumult and intrigue of the Wars of the Roses, The White Queen is the first novel in a  series about the Plantagenets. In the same series, The Red Queen (Margaret Beaufort, Henry VII's mother) and the latest one, The Lady of the Rivers (Elizabeth's Woodville's mother) .



"From his mother he drew the life warmth, the strength to produce; Miriam urged this warmth into intensity like a white light" (from chapt. 7)

I've finally watched this two-part series I have had on my TBW list for a while. To remind me of it,  my watching "A Dangerous Method" in Rome last week.  It is 2003 ITV adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers, an autobiographical novel based on his own early life, in particular his close relationship with his middle-class  mother in comparison with his father, a mineworker. At the time of writing the book, Lawrence was probably reading/studying Freud though he always denied the influence. Indeed the book is often regarded as a meditation on the workings of the Oedipus complex, but it is in its own right an accomplished novel which goes beyond its specific biographical and theoretical references. Lawrence himself defined it as a tragedy, "the tragedy of thousands of young men in England".



Monday Sept. 19  4.55 p.m. 

(Spoilers? Mmmm...maybe)
Just finished watching ep. 1 . How was it? But very good, of course. It’s Spooks!
I forced myself to avoid thinking it was the end of it. The last series ever. I forced myself not to be expecting a certain TDH presence to materialize  before my hopeful eyes sooner or later. No athletic , blue-eyed  spy  in tight jeans and dark shirts to admire this time.  
Now, new series, episode 1. Let’s start from … THE END!  Gosh , they’ll never finish with their shocks  and surprises! 
 Apart from the game  "Old enemies , new friends. Old friends,  new enemies",  Harry’s past . I suspected it, honestly. Before the final revelation. Harry and that young man in the same room, the young man  aiming a gun at him. More than suspected it, I got it immediately. Good! These ghosts haunting Harry from his past sound quite intriguing.


Great event in October! You are all invited. 
Katherine of Gaskell Blog requests the pleasure of your company as we join Miss Matty and her friends in “The Picnic at Cranford” throughout the month of October. 
The main goal of the tour is to keep it fun and informative, so fellow bloggers are request to join in by writing a post. Your post can be anything related to or inspired by Cranford; a character study, a ‘Cranfordian’ experience or story you would like to share or create, your thoughts on the adaptations, a letter to one of the characters, etc.
If you would like to sign up for the tour please contact Katherine with your name, a link to your blog, and what your post will be about (she'll be happy to offer suggestions). You can also leave a comment HERE  saying you’d like to join in.
Follow the link, feel free to ask Katherine questions and please spread the word.
Fly High will take part in the tour. I'll  post my musings after reading Mrs Gaskell's CRANFORD for the first time! I've read Mary Barton, Ruth, North and South and Wives and Daughters, but not yet Cranford. It was rather time! I can't wait. The Picnic at Cranford will be here on Fly High on 29th October



What will you be watching on Sunday night, 9 p.m., in the UK? British audience is asked to choose between  the last series ever of BBC spy drama Spooks and the new episodes of hugely successful ITV period drama, Downton Abbey. A real duel between two popular shows, one at its epilogue, the other at its second season . I would be facing a serious dilemma if I had to choose. So, for once, I'm happy not to live in the UK and to be releaved from the burden. What will you do, instead? BBC1 or ITV1? 

I'm very sad for the end of Spooks. I've seen every single episode in all the series, some of them on Italian satellite pay-tv and the rest on DVD.
Due to my fondness for Brit actor Richard Armitage, you can imagine how incredibly happy I was when, in 2007,  he joined the cast as Lucas North. The last three series (7/8/9)  have been my favourite so far, with the unforgettable first one starring Matthew MacFadyen as Tom Quinn.
Now after a decade of killing off its cast members one by one,  Spooks is being killed off itself.


BBAW Day #4 & #5: Reading and Blogging

Book bloggers blog because they love reading. Our Day #4 task is to reflect, write and share about our love.

Has book blogging changed the way you read?

Yes, I've already told you in my previous BBAW posts but I'll say it again:  I've read much more,  sharing and comparing has made reading more stimulating and  I've got in touch with new authors/genres/publishing realities I'd never even heard about before starting blogging. I'm really satisfied with my new reading habits. I mean, I only used to read stuff connected to my job (teaching English literature and English as a Foreign Language) before, now I often read also just and simply for pleasure. And that is really good!

Have you discovered books you never would have apart from book blogging? 



I was really interested in this movie, do you remember? (My previous post) Fortunately, many of the movies shown at Venice Film Festival 2011 have got to Rome and are being shown these days in a few of the central theatres. My friend K/V and I were lucky enough to get two tickets for "A Dangerous Method". Actually,  she queued up under the sun in a hot summer afternoon to get them. I simply took  a bus, an underground train and joined her. So kudos to her for discovering it was on and bravely facing the hot and the queue. Was it worth every single drop of sweat? Well, I'm glad I was there in Rome last night, in that crowded movie theatre in Via delle Quattro Fontane: I'm also proud I saw this film and I can tell you about it. Did I like it? Go on reading and judge yourself.  I can tell you what I was not. Disappointed.


BBAW - Day #3 - COMMUNITY PART II : A tip? Yes, please!

OUR TASK FOR TODAY - The world of book blogging has grown enormously and sometimes it can be hard to find a place. Share your tips for finding and keeping community in book blogging despite the hectic demands made on your time and the overwhelming number of blogs out there. If you’re struggling with finding a community, share your concerns and explain what you’re looking for–this is the week to connect.

Actually,  I didn't expect my blogging acivity  to spread and widen so much as to become terribly engaging, really rewarding,  and so ... time consuming!
I started with LEARN ON LINE to provide my students with audiovisual materials as well as notes, useful links, power point presentations and so on. But, soon after,  I felt like I wanted something more personal and I started writing FLY HIGH , with my book reviews, favourite period dramas, films and series, art, trips and journeys, theatrical shows, school and ... my one weakness, British actor Richard Armitage.


I loved reading this book as you can clearly guess from my review. I'm totally charmed by its protagonists and I'm sure everybody fond of good reads would be totally caught in this fantastic tale. It's so well written! Now, I'm glad to give the chance to enjoy Prue Batten's skillful writing to one of you who commented my interview with Finnian, the hero of "A Thousand Glass Flowers".

Congratulations to Sharry @xalwaysdreamsx!!!

And thank you very much to Prue Batten for granting readers of FLY HIGH a free copy of her new novel!


BBAW Day #2: Shining the Light on Your Fellow Book Bloggers - Fly High meets Eclectic/Eccentric

Trisha lives south of Chicago, Illinois in the U.S. with her husband, Brian, and her still-in-utero first child, currently named The Floppy Alien, (name probably to change upon birth). Obsessed with books and movies, her job feeds her passions as she teaches composition, literature, and film at a local college. eclectic / eccentric has been her outlet for creative expression amongst like-minded peeps for over four years now, and she has no intention of calling it quits anytime soon, despite her rather sporadic presence in the last four months.



As you know Fly High is not a place to discuss  books only , but books and literature have always been an important presence in my life, both real and virtual. This great celebration ,  Book Blogger Appreciation Week, which is meant to give awards to best ones in the huge community of Book Bloggers, is a great occasion to celebrate books and blogging all together, meeting old and new friends, discovering new blogs and sites.
Day 1, which is today, is meant to highlight a couple of bloggers that have made book blogging a unique experience for us. They can be our mentors, a blogger that encouraged us to try a different kind of book, opened our eyes to a new issue, made us laugh when we needed it, or left the first comment we ever got on our blog.
In the first steps of my blogging experience, two bloggers have been very inspirational and also very supportive of my first attempts. Both have wonderful book blogs with thousands of  visitors everyday and hundreds of regular followers. 


 "For fifteen-year-old Daphne, the glass is always half full, a dab of lip-gloss can ward off a bad day, and the boy of her dreams—the one she's read about in all of her beloved romance novels—is waiting for her just around the corner.
 But Daphne's older sister Gabby wishes Daphne would get real. In Gabby's world, everyone's out for themselves, wearing makeup is a waste of time, and boys only distract you from studying before hey break your heart. The only boy Gabby trusts is her best friend, Mule, who has always been there for her.Both Gabby and Daphne are still reeling from their parents' divorce, though in very different ways. While Gabby will never forgive her unreliable father for failing her mother, Daphne idolizes her daddy and is sure that everything would work out fine if her cranky mom would just let him back into their lives.When a crisis leaves the girls and their mom homeless, help comes from an unexpected source, and both girls are courted by surprise suitors who shake up their views of the world. Suddenly the glass isn't so clearly half empty or half full… and love seems a lot more complicated than they ever could have imagined".
 Kismet and Kisses is the lovely guestpost Jennifer Ziegler wrote for FLY HIGH! Among the commenters , one lucky new reader for  Sass & Serendipity, her modern tale inspired to Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility.




Lara Parmiani
I have wished to see this series since I interviewed Lara Parmiani for Fly High (HERE). Lara is an Italian actress living in London who had a small part in it.  It took me some time but I did it, at last. I liked its really Victorian atmosphere and its quite original plot. Honestly, I preferred the subplots to the main one but , on the whole, I   found this mini-series very well done and acted. 
He Knew He Was Right is one of Trollope's best but least-known novels. Trollope based his 1869 novel on Shakespeare's Othello, but expanded the Bard's tale of sexual jealousy into 1,000 pages of enthralling Victorian plot twists, featuring child abduction, a private detective (one of the first in literature) and a cast of remarkably liberated women. This 2004 mini-series   was first broadcast on BBC  then , after a couple of years also on PBS Masterpiece Classics. My DVD has also got an interesting one hour's dramatized bio of Trollope. 



Welcome to the closing of the Period Drama Week! From September 4 - 10, Elegance of Fashion has celebrated period dramas. For each day of the week, there was a special post related to Period Dramas. There were games to participate in and interesting posts for you to read! 
I decided to take part in the fun and answer the questions in the Period Drama Week Tag. Have you read  Part I of my answers? (HERE)  Are you ready  for Part II now? 



Love comes in the most unexpected, mysterious ways. The more you plan, the least you obtain (Have you read Jennifer Ziegler's guestpost "Kismet and Kisses"?) When Richard Slater MP receives a series of letters of complaint from one of his female constituents, he's sure she is an insane old biddy who must be avoided at all costs. He really doesn't fancy meeting her face to face. But Margaret Hayton, twenty-something,  is not easily fobbed off, she's brave and stubborn,  and above all she's not afraid to stand up for her beliefs.
How does she figure Richard Slater out in her mind while insisting writing to him? Of course, as a stiff and stern, prim and proper, middle-aged politician who tends to snob ordinary people's little and big troubles. Do you sniff out love in the air? The game of first impressions? Yes, totally right. 
Against all reason, Richard invites Margaret to attend his next constituencey surgery and when he sets eyes on her dark ringlets and huge eyes, he risks losing his heart, his head and quite possibly his political career.



I'm still trembling at the memory of his piercing blue eyes. It's been one of the most exciting meetings in my life. But it was not easy. Not easy at all. I met and interviewed Finnian, the protagonist of "A Thousand Glass Flowers" (my review) who accepted to answer some of them. Read what he told me, leave your comment + your e-mail address, and you'll get a chance to win the e-book version of this incredible tale! Open worldwide, this giveaway ends on September 14th

Sir Finnian, first of all I must thank you for the courtesy you grant me by accepting the invitation to answer a few questions. I know your story, it touched my heart. I read every word Prue wrote and while reading I wished I could meet you.
I know it mustn’t be easy for you to re-live some events in your past. But could we start by explaining what it is like to be a Færan living in Eirie?
Firstly Maria, let me say it is a pleasure to meet you. I like your voice. I have a predilection for voices, you see. But to answer your question, to be Færan and living in Eirie is normal for one such as me. I have the freedom to pass between my world and what you perceive as your world as quickly as it takes to breathe one soft breath. Better to be Færan living in Eirie I think, than a mortal trying to cope with the Others that move back and forth. You have seen it for yourself after all, haven’t you?
Tell me Maria, have I developed some sort of tic on my face? You seem to be…
     Why do I stare at you? Ehm … *blushing*… it’s just that you remind me of someone I truly admire. You resemble him as if you were his twin. Stunning resemblance! But, please, let’s go on Sir Finnian, I know we have little time. Now… what does being Isolde’s Finnian mean?



Welcome to Period Drama Week! From September 4 - 10, Elegance of Fashion will be celebrating period dramas. For each day of the week, there will be a special post related to Period Dramas. There will be games to participate in and interesting posts for you to read! Follow the link and check the schedule. 
I've decided to take part in the fun and answer the questions in the Period Drama Week Tag. Today is only Part I , questions 1/10. Are you ready? Do you want to answer the questions too on your blog? Just do it and let us know!



Happy Sunday, everyone! Greetings from the seaside. Don't envy me, it's not the case. Cloudy today and I'll be back to work tomorrow morning. Just a couple of days, a very short break. Anyway, since I'm here, I thought to send you some postcards with my greetings ...  No, no sea at sunset nor white sand beaches but RA as Dr Alec Track.

I hope you'll like them all the same!



Jennifer Ziegler  is the acclaimed author of Alpha Dog and How Not to Be Popular. She lives in Austin, Texas with her family. Her latest release is Sass and Serendipity, the story of two teenage sisters, Daphne and Gabby, which is meant to be a homage to one of her favourite novels, Sense and Sensibility.  Jenny is my guest today with a lovely guestpost: "Kismet and Kisses".

 Leave your comment + e-mail address and you'll get the chance to win a copy of her new novel Sass and Serendipity. Open worldwide, this giveaway ends on September 12 when the winner is announced.

Kismet and Kisses

I remember as a young girl planning to fall in love.  That’s right – planning it.  When boy craziness hit me (and it hit me hard), I felt I should be ready.  I made a list of the qualities I wanted in a romantic partner.  Then I made a list of boys I found appealing and rated them according to the traits on the first list.  The higher their “score,” the more effort I put into winning them over.



“The island existed in a watery palette of colours, washed as if there was a veil of organza between the scene and the eye of the beholder. Often there were mists and at night it became hoary as a frost, in shimmering greys and silvers. But a profound harmony existed, with no care or trouble or very little that would disturb souls that had come.” (p 150)

I know it may  sound exaggerated,  but words can make fantasy true to our mind eye. Finely-chiselled, preciously embroidered words can materialize what we only dare fancy about. Prue Batten is very good with words, her talent to create characters and places and  to make them true to her readers is undeniable.
Imagine the magic,  exotic world of  “A Thousand and One Nights”.  Add a dark, damaged, doomed hero whose  attractiveness is magnified by his power to mesmer. Make him engaged in an adventurous quest to save not only his dear but the whole world from his wicked antagonist. Let him meet an extraordinarily beautiful,  brave young woman and join forces with her in his fight. Accept that they discover and face their fate,  united against their evil opponent. Enjoy their magic company of djinns, afrits, siofras. Prepare to a thrilling ride through bittersweet, romantic, gothic, tragic, funny, frightening, moving moments.  Do you think you can make all that?
A visual clue?


After thanking Jennifer Becton for her being my guest here on FLY HIGH last week, here I am ready to reveal the names of the two winners of the e-book edition of ABSOLUTE LIABILITY.

1. Luthien84

2. LizW