Sunday, April 29, 2012

There's Always A Rainbow After Rain!

It was a wet and dreary Saturday afternoon. Juliette had just gotten back from her morning ballet class, and we had nothing to do. 

I should amend that statement. We had nothing FUN to do. Being enrolled in a boarding school means a pile of homework every weekend, and like every good student, Juliette and I are exceptional at procrastination. Which means that we'd put off lots of projects until the very last moment. 

"Oggi non voglio fare i miei compiti," I sighed aloud, closing my Italian textbook, "I want to go outside, not be stuck in here doing homework. Why does it have to rain on Saturdays?"

 "Aides-moi, Sophie. J'ai besoin de pratiquer l'anglais," Juliette looked up from her English homework, "Pourquoi est-ce que la grammaire de l'anglais est très difficile à comprendre?"

I stood up and walked over to my sister's side. Juliette was having difficulty understanding her English grammar homework. I could empathize with her, having been in her place several years ago. Of course, I'd had no one to help me, and I wasn't even great at French grammar. Science has always been my strongest subject, after all, not grammar. 

"Du moins l'alphabet est le même! L'anglais est plus facile que le russe," I mused. I tried to make her feel better by reasoning out that English had the same alphabet as French and that it was easier than a language like Russian, if you took that into consideration. 

"Je suppose..." Juliette nodded in agreement, before turning back to her English assignment. 

"Il pleut comme vache qui pisse aujourd'hui!" someone exclaimed, making me jump. Looking up, I was just about to reprimand whomever had decided to barge in without knocking, when I let out a small gasp instead. The girl standing before me laughed. Whether it was at her own statement or the act of taking me by surprise, I wasn't sure. "Eh bien, je pense que tu pourrais prendre la peine de dire bonjour," the girl said, when I didn't say anything. 

 "Bien sûr! J'ai pensé que j'ai vu un fantôme..." I trailed off, feeling my face redden slightly. 

"Un fantôme! Comme si je suis morte! J'ai dit que je serais voilà!" The girl said, winking at me.

I couldn't avoid her. She was my best friend, for crying out loud! At least, she had been my best friend, and I knew we could easily pick up from where we'd left off in 2009, when I'd last seen her. I rushed over to her side and gave her a big hug, then switched to English, "Oh Nathalie, it is SO good to see you again! I just about DIED when I came back to Fair Hollow only to discover that you'd left without saying goodbye! I missed you SO much!"

Nathalie Caroline Thibodeau, my best friend, was from Montréal, Québec. We'd met in 2008 when we were both visiting Prince Edward Island. I'd convinced her to join me at Fair Hollow School for Girls, and the rest was history. We became inseparable very quickly. I was the Diana to her Anne, to use a metaphor from Anne of Green Gables, her favorite book. She taught me to ice skate, encouraged me to listen to Céline Dion's music, and was just there as a shoulder to cry on. She was pretty much devastated when I set out  to travel the country in 2009, and according to Chiara (our mutual friend), she wasn't the same while I was gone. She'd packed up and left for home last summer without so much of a goodbye. Of course, I felt like I'd deserved that, not having been such a great friend myself. I figured she'd never want to see me again, which made me feel worse. But here she was!

She smiled apologetically, "Oh Sally (her pet name for me), I'm so sorry! It's just that I had NO idea when you'd be back, and I missed my family SO much! I'm sure you can relate to THAT," she said, glancing at Juliette, "I NEVER intended to be gone forever. In fact, I told Chiara to tell you I'd be back. I'm sorry if I upset you. I hope we can pick up where we left off and still be bosom friends. I need my Sally, my Diana ... my Sophie!"

"Jillybean (my pet name for her), how could you think that I could stay upset with you?! Of course we can pick up where we left off. I'm just glad you came back! I honestly think I deserved losing you for a few months. You had to do without me for two years. With the way I treated you, it would've served me right had you never come back," I said a little guiltily.


"But, now that you're here again, I'd like to introduce you to someone, " I said, gesturing to Juliette. Now, finally, the two most important people in my life (save my parents, of course) will get to meet. "Nathalie, je vais vous présenter ma soeur jumelle, Juliette. Et Juliette, voici ma meilleure amie, Nathalie."

Nathalie turned to Juliette, "Je suis enchantée de faire votre connaissance, Juliette. C'est bonne que tu es ici. Je suis sûre que nous serons les amies rapidement." Juliette nodded in affirmation, and I knew that the two of them would be friends in no time at all. 

The obligatory introductions out of the way, I turned to Nathalie, with more important things to discuss. "By the way, Nathalie, whatever happened to your lovely long hair?!" I asked, reaching over to touch her shorter, reddish locks.

"Oh, I knew this would come up! THAT is a long story," Nathalie said, reddening slightly, "But I suppose I could retell it. It really is quite amusing, when you think about it. Shortly before I left Fair Hollow, I was suffering from low self esteem. I really didn't like how I looked. I wasn't even sure I wanted to be a redhead anymore. In fact, I wanted your dark hair! So, when I got back to Montréal, I bought some hair dye. Only I must've purchased the wrong color by mistake because my hair turned out GREEN!" At this point, Nathalie paused long enough to pull a photo out of her bag, proving the hair dye mistake. When she handed it to me, I stifled back laughter:

Nathalie shrugged, then continued on with her story, "It's alright, go ahead and laugh. Anne-Marie and Cécile, my sisters, wouldn't quit laughing for an entire week! Luckily, I'd done a horrid job trying to dye my hair, so most of it was salvageable. I could continue life as a redhead without walking around as a green-haired punk kid. Somehow I'd decided that life as a redhead was ten times better than life as a 'green-head,' and maybe that was because I watched Anne of Green Gables again, I don't know. Actually, I like my shorter hair. It is so much easier to take care of and suits my on-the-go lifestyle. I was really getting tired of that long, layered hair. And, maybe it's just me, but my shorter hair makes my eyes look greener, which I love."

She paused, then glanced my way, "Speaking of hair disasters, I see that I wasn't the only one having second thoughts about my hair color."

It took me a few seconds to figure out what she was talking about, but then I remembered the orange streak. "Oh, that! It's not real. It's just an extension that I put in because, frankly, I was missing you so much - as if wearing an orange hair extension would make you come back. Silly, I know, but apparently it worked," I laughed.

Nathalie walked around behind me, fumbled a bit with my hair, removing the hair extension. "Sophie, trust me on this, okay? You do not look good with red, or orange, hair. You look no better than I did with green hair. Well, maybe a little better, but your hair is way too gorgeous as is to modify."

"Yes, ma'am!" I laughed, pretending to salute her. Nathalie always did know how to keep me in line. I knew I would be much saner with her around. "To tell you the truth, I wasn't digging the orange hair anyway. Besides, with an orange hair extension, I can't be your Diana or your Sally! You're right, as usual. I like my hair as is. Dark hair suits me, like red hair suits you."

I paused for a moment, then turned around to face her, "Nathalie, I am SO glad you're back! Don't ever leave again, okay?

"Oh, Sophie, I won't. You have my word! Best friends forever?"

"Best friends forever," I said, really emphasizing the last word, "or, rather, bosom friends forever!" At that point, Juliette brought her camera over and took a photo of Nathalie and me together. If I'd have been in her place, I probably would've been jealous, but Juliette isn't exactly like me. She has her friends, I have mine, and sometimes we have mutual friends. I'm sure, as I said before, that Nathalie and Juliette will get along great in time.

(a very happy) Sophie

P.S.  I'd like to give a huge THANK YOU to The Doll Wardrobe for purchasing Nathalie's airfare! As Nathalie said, it was inevitable that she would've come back to Fair Hollow, but the amazing person behind The Doll Wardrobe really made it possible to expedite her return. :D

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Girls' Day Out with Chiara!

Ciao a tutte!

My Italian friend, Chiara, and I spent some time together yesterday. It has been a long time since we've gotten to hang out, so we figured a Girls' Day Out was in order. We started off browsing at a local boutique and then got a snack at The Copper Horse Pub & Eatery, the small restaurant run by Lindsey and Anya.

You can see the video coverage of our day here:


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Making an Egg Carrier!

Salut, tout le monde!

Recently, my good friend Inky decided to hold an egg carrier design contest for Easter. Juliette and I decided to work on an entry together, just for fun. Although we aren't the best artists in the world, we decided to decorate our egg carrier with red panda faces and paw prints. After all, we both know how much Inky loves her red pandas!

This is how our egg carrier looked after we were finished decorating it:

Juliette had the job of assembling the egg carrier. She also added several eggs that we'd colored earlier in the week:
We decided to give our completed egg carrier to Juliette's new friend, Maura. From a small beach town in Virginia, Maura is a new student at Fair Hollow. She is quite the artist, from what Juliette tells me. I was a little worried that she'd laugh at our silly little drawings, but she smiled and appeared quite thrilled to be the recipient of our egg carrier:

Here is Maura with her Easter egg carrier:

Did everyone have a good Easter? Juliette and I attended an early church service and then walked around the city for awhile, looking at pretty Easter flowers and lots of dogs dressed up in their Easter finery.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Movie Love Tag!

Hey everyone,

My friend Marsali from Bolton Girls Travel Journal tagged me to do the Movie Love Tag. I have to list my three favorite movies and explain why I like them. Okay, if you know me, you know I love my movies. This tag is perfect for me! I just don't know how I can narrow my favorite movies list down to just three, but I'll do my best.

In no specific order, here are my top three favorites.

1. Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain
[The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain]
If you only watch one French movie in your entire lifetime, please make sure this one is the one you watch! It's truly a classic. Obviously, this is the film that inspired the name of my blog, I love it so much. It's about a shy young woman, Amélie, who wants to perform good deeds in a secretive manner. She loves knowing that she's making their lives just a bit better, just a bit happier, through her acts of generosity. Yet, even as a permanent do-gooder, she doesn't know how to make herself happy, at least not until the end of the film. This is a romantic comedy, but definitely not your typical one. There are lots of sub-plots with truly beautiful film work that will make this film literally pleasing to your eyes! You will have a smile on your face by the time you finish this film. I do every time. Why do I love it? Well, for one, it takes place in my native surroundings, my beautiful Montmartre!

2. Jeux d'Enfants
[Child's Play / Love Me If You Dare]
I had to put this one alongside Amélie because I found the trailer minutes after I was watching the Amélie trailer on YouTube. The trailer for this movie was linked in the YouTube sidebar, and me - curious as I am - decided to click on it. I fell in love with it from the very first time I watched the trailer all the way through, I'm not even kidding. The trailer is done in the same artsy style as the Amélie trailer, and I literally watched the trailer dozens of times before I finally saw the whole film. It's about two kids, Julien and Sophie, who befriend each other over a mutual love of a tin box. They quickly decide to share the box, daring each other to perform practical jokes in order to win possession of the box. The dares continue into Julien and Sophie's adulthood, even after both settle into relationships with other people, and the dares - once innocent - become even more dangerous. It's definitely worth watching. The ending is very sweet, and it reminds me of the ending of another movie - which I won't tell you because I don't want to give it away! Once again, this is a romantic comedy, but definitely not your typical one. French romantic comedies are not as cheesy as American romantic comedies, let me tell you. (In fact, many American movies are based on French movies because Hollywood lacks creativity. The French versions are always better!). Anyway, I love this film mainly because, as I said in my last post, I love watching movies where the main character is named Sophie, but ultimately the trailer sucked me in. The characters in the movie are also reminiscent of the characters in Pushing Daisies, an American TV show from a few years back, which I completely loved (and miss like crazy!).

3. The Da Vinci Code
Well, how can I not put this one on the list? The Da Vinci Code is my all-time favorite book, and I love the movie just as much. The female lead, Sophie Neveu, is played by my all-time favorite actress from Amélie, Audrey Tautou. The name "Sophie Neveu" was even my alias when I first came to the United States, wanting to separate myself from my twin. I love the historical mystery aspect to this movie. Of course, the book ends better, I will admit. After I watch the movie, I ALWAYS have to reread the ending of the book afterwards, but the movie is a good adaptation. I don't want to give too much away, in case any of you haven't read or seen it, but if you like historical mysteries (and movies along the lines of the National Treasure movies, also some of my favorites), please check this one out, too. I haven't actually seen its sequel Angels & Demons, though, because Sophie Neveu is not a character in it!

Now, I will tag these bloggers to do the same:



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