It’s a beautiful winter’s day here. The sun is shining through the windows and warming up the very clean floors. While I was having a lovely Sunday lie-in this morning, my wonderful husband got up and vacuumed and steam-mopped all the living, dining and kitchen area. He moved all the furniture and cleaned under them as well. So I made pancakes, because they all love them and we haven’t had them for a while. The reason the floor really needed a good clean is due to our newest family member. Adding to our menagerie of two elderly beagles (Boo and Obi), our 2yo Siberian cat Milly, our Eastern Bearded Dragon Norbert, Samurai Fighting Fish Bilbo and our two nesting lovebirds Peach and Mango, we have recently welcomed Audrey, the Miniature Dachshund puppy. Audrey, who has recently completed puppy training and can sit, stay, drop, roll over and shake hands, is alas not toilet trained because her Mummy, my 19yo daughter, has no idea where to start with it. Therefore we are on the constant lookout for puddles and poops and sometimes the house smells like a puppy toilet. Nevertheless, she is quite adorable and she also has a purpose. She will be trained as a therapy dog to help her Mummy with her anxiety, depression and OCD. In the meantime, she has brought her a lot of love and joy, and for that we are quite thankful.
I’m also at a loss tonight because no more Outlander on Sunday nights, after that amazing Finale last week! So now we are officially in Droughtlander! It has been a long week for me, sick on the couch and bored. So bored, in fact, that I actually broke up the next book in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series – Voyager – into possible episodes for Season 3, just for fun. I learned something important from that exercise. I re-read these books regularly and I do not skip a single word. They are a luxurious read full of lushly drawn characters, incredible world-building and tangled plots. Pages upon pages are spent on descriptions of the scenery, the weather, the sights, smells and feel of a place, taking the blank canvas of the reader’s imagination and painting a detailed picture. More pages are expended on the thoughts of the character in whose POV she is writing at that time, until you feel that you are inside their head, that you know that person intimately. Conversations are peppered with descriptions of the tone of voice, the facial expression, the actions of the character. It creates a visual in the reader’s head, unique to each of us. But when predicting what might be included in each episode I realized that the scenic descriptions that take pages upon pages can be achieved by the sets and locations where the scene is filmed and they are absorbed in a simple glance (thanks to the Emmy Nominated Jon Gary Steele and team). Those thoughts that are so wordy in the book, are dealt with using voiceover, facial expression and added diaglogue. The dialogue itself can take page upon page but takes little time at all when performed by the talented cast. And so, the perception that there is too much in the books to include in a show is too simple a concept, and the end result is that I not only deeply appreciate the incredible storytelling of my favourite author, but also the phenomenal talent it has taken to bring it to life on the screen. What an enormous job! And they have done it so well.