聲色犬馬 Strictly Come Dancing!

I love libraries. Therefore, when the librarian lady first informed us of the application for the library card which can be used at all the libraries in Suffolk as long as we produce the  proof of address, I was ecstatic! How generous! We are neither British nor from an EU country. I recalled, years ago, when I was working for the City Library in my hometown, it always puzzled me as to why we limited the membership to the local“citizens” only. Why can’t we just share the resources?! It is a concept I will never understand.

我們在 Leiston 最主要的娛樂之一,就是拜訪圖書館。初初抵達本地,尚未搞定網路時,我們隔幾天就往圖書館鑽,使用免費的網路服務。友善親切的圖書館員,熱心地主動告知, 只要有居住地證明(例如寫明地址的水電費帳單;但對我們來說,是請赫伯開書面證明我們住在 Field End),就能夠免費申請圖書館的卡,在整個 Suffolk 地區都通用。我非常滿意這項服務!想起多年前在市立圖書館工作時,因為有規定限戶籍在本市的市民才能夠申請借書證,使得不少戶籍在外縣市但卻工作並居住於 本市的市民無法受惠。當時,我就覺得這項不知哪來的規定很不合理,說到底明明就是自己同胞,資源共享不是很好嗎?也因此,當 Leiston 這位可能已是祖母級的館員如此告知時,我幾乎不敢相信自己的耳朵,我們既非英國公民也不是來自歐盟國家,竟然還如此不藏私?!

This is one thing I love about Leiston. In addition to the stunning scenery and beautiful tranquility, the friendly people are really welcoming. Their response to our intention of moving here is all the way very encouraging. “That’s great! Indeed, this is a lovely place!”The tone and facial expression made it very clear to you how happy they feel about their own hometown being greatly appreciated. To tell the truth, I was quite surprised at first. I was expecting some not-so-positive attitude or words because this is a very small town and you rarely get to see any yellow people like us after all! In fact, we are always being treated as the locals.

這,是我鍾愛 Leiston 的原因之一,我們似乎總是順理成章被視為本地人,即使這是個如此迷你的小鎮,而我們的口音和長相又是如此的“異國”。六月份來到此地時,其實已經有了初體 驗:每當與路人閒聊我們很喜愛本地,會考慮移居本地,他們的反應都是十分正面 –“是嗎?太好了!Leiston 的確是很棒的地方!”— 很喜悅的語氣與神情,覺得自己的美麗家園被如此欣賞是很光榮的。想到芳芳告訴我的趣事,她和中比混血的老公去日本玩,拜訪當地朋友,結果,絕少見到外國人 的村民們見到了他們,竟然有點慌張,拚命詢問是誰是誰,要搬來這裡住嗎?不要不要我們不要外國鄰居喔!。。。還真是兩極化的遭遇,呵呵。

But then, I think our being open-minded plays a major part as well. We are not crazy about the usual touristy things. We are more into learning about the real way of living from the locals which truly makes the journey worthwhile (in our point of view). Intriguingly, almost everywhere we go, we experience some encounters with other tourists trying to ask  us for directions though our Asian looks are so definite. More often than not, we are able to give an answer, due to the fact that we mainly travel by public transport and our (poor!) legs, as the locals do.

這兩年回台灣娘家,在報上讀到有市民抱怨有外籍勞工搭市民免費公車,認為他們根本就不是市民,這樣是浪費公帑;我覺得好荒謬也好小氣。這些外籍勞工 明明就是在本市工作居住的呀,政府課稅也沒少過呀,難道就因為膚色長相的不同而該有差別待遇嗎?如果要這樣計較,我就非常沒臉面陪媽媽搭市民免費公車去看 病了,因為依這些人心胸狹隘的理論,我早就是拿外國護照的外國人了,憑什麼呢?在英國的經驗,真讓我覺得這些老外似乎心思還是單純多了,也比較有世界大同 的概念。

不過,話說回來,我想我們的開放心態也是關鍵之一,遊客式的走馬看花不是我們的風格,實際體驗當地生活才是我們所感興趣的。或許因 為如此,無論到哪個國家,竟然常有別的遊客誤認我們是本地人前來問路,而我們多數時候也幾乎都能夠回答,因為我們的交通工具就是一雙腳以及公共運輸系統, 還真和本地人沒什麼兩樣。

I digress.

進入正題。

Two weeks ago, I rented “Valiant” from the library. It tells the story of Valiant, a misfit pegion, joined the RAF in the hope of making a contribution to his country in WWII. He and his other misfit teammates in the end accomplished the mission, through thick and thin.

上週六,從圖書館租了動畫片 “Valiant”。背景是二次世界大戰的歐洲戰場;Valiant 是一隻毫不起眼的弱小鴿子,卻有著雄心壯志要加入英國皇家空軍,報效國家;最終,他和他那群一樣完全不被看好的隊友們,衝破難關完成任務。

I simply love the humorous way the Westerners look at history, culture and politics which seem have to be treated with a very serious and solemn attitude by we Asians.

In addition to conveying the inspiring message — “It’s the size of your spirit that matters”, the  film highlighted the widely neglected historic fact – During WWII, Animals saves thousands of life. The highest medal for animal bravery is the Dickin Medal. Of the 54 Dickin Medals awarded for the war, 18 went to dogs, 3 to horses, 1 to a cat, and 32 to pigeons.

Humans ARE the worst animal in history ever! Not only do we try to kill each other, but we manipulate other animals into working for our crime. How low!!

我特別喜歡洋人在面對歷史、文化以及政治 — 這些我們亞洲人似乎總要正襟危坐以對的話題 — 的幽默感。教訓要記取,仇恨要遺忘。

本 片除了傳達"因夢想而偉大"的訊息,還有就是這個始終被忽略的史實 — 二戰期間,動物們對於拯救(愚蠢的!)人類有著不可抹滅的功勞,而牠們所能獲頒的最高榮譽是 Dickin 勳章。五十四枚 Dickin 勳章的得主,有十八隻狗狗,三隻馬,一隻貓咪,還有卅二隻鴿子。

我的感想是,人類很糟糕!要自相殘殺也罷,還把動物們給拖進來。。。

Before I rented “Valiant”, I didn’t know Ewan McGregor is the voice of Valiant. He is new on my favourite list. Though I love the “steamy” kiss he shared with Renee Zellweger in “Miss Potter”, that moustache simply reminds me of Dr Sun Yat-Sen which literally killed the possibility for any kind of fantasy. But his acting in “Moulin Rouge” truly caught my eyes. When he sobbed, “Thank you for curing my ridiculous obsession with love…” It left me heartbroken. Other than that, the songs, and the dances are just not my cup of tea. I prefer the old-time Hollywood musicals, such as Gene Kelly’s “Singing in The Rain”. Beautifully, professionally presented.

Moulin Rouge

主角 Valiant 是由英國演員 Ewan McGregor 配音。第一次在 “Train Spotting” (台灣片名:猜火車) 見到他,沒什麼特別感覺,大概因為我不喜歡那部片,感覺很灰暗。四年前,因為喜歡 Renee Zellweger,特地到電影院看了 “Miss Potter” ,片中他和 Renee 在火車蒸氣瀰漫時的道別之吻,是我見過最唯美、情感細膩的畫面,印象十分深刻!只是,他在 “Miss Potter” 裡的鬍髭造型頗似 國父,所以很難有任何綺想的空間~

一直到三周前挖了赫伯的 “Moulin Rouge” 來 看,才開始對他 “非常有好感”,原來是個挺有魅力的傢伙,特別是他哽咽著對 Nicole Kidman 說出:謝謝妳治好了我對於愛情的荒謬癡迷。。。天哪~我的心要碎了!!不過單就劇情內容本身而言,並不是我的菜,或許跟這些主要演員並非舞蹈科班出身有 關;我偏愛好萊塢老一代真正專業的歌舞片,例如 Gene Kelly 的“Singing In The Rain”,不僅旋律動聽,歌聲與舞蹈都充滿了情感與戲劇張力,真正讓人目不轉睛,就怕錯過了下一秒的精彩。

Speaking of dancing, time to bring up my guilty pleasure here — BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing”. Every season, celebrities from different fields are invited to take part in, then each of them  is paired with a professional dancer. They learn and present a different dance every week. There is one to be eliminated every week, too. The result is decided not only by the professional judges but also the viewers’ votes. Frankly speaking, I didn’t know any of the celebrities, but this brilliant show has really revived my passion for dancing.

說到舞蹈,自從來到本地,迷上了 BBC 的每周六傍晚播出的王牌節目 Strictly Come Dancing;每一季邀請來自不同領域的名人,分別與一位指定的專業舞者搭檔,每周表演一項不同的舞蹈,倫巴、恰恰、華爾滋等等,除了現場的專業評審給 分,還要結合觀眾的投票,在周日宣布一名淘汰者。說實話,名人們我一個都不認識,但是看他們每周如此努力認真地練習,真的也把我內心深處對於舞蹈的熱愛再 度 “勾引”了出來。而除了瑰麗的視覺享受,另一個特點就是:不用罐頭音樂!你聽到的,都是樂隊現場伴奏加歌手現場獻唱,全然的聽覺饗宴。。。說來說去,我還 真是聲色犬馬之徒,嘻嘻~

Ann & Anton are the most interesting pair. Ann was in politics. Obviously, her age and figure don’t really help, and they always get the lowest scores. Nevertheless, their dance  is very entertaining. Suppose that’s why viewers have been voting to keep them. I laughed so hard while watching this “Titanic” Rumba.

Ann 和 Anton 是很令人跌破眼鏡的一對,曾經涉足政壇的 Ann,除了年紀比較大,身形也確實比較臃腫,所以看得出對於那些舞步的心有餘卻力未足。不過,顯然觀眾們很喜歡這娛樂效果十足的一對,我是覺得多少也有 點出於對老人家的體諒吧,雖然評審給分總是墊底,竟然還能夠靠著觀眾的投票一路過關斬將進入決賽,呵呵。 這個 Titanic 倫巴真是讓我從頭笑到尾,眼淚都跑出來了~

I’m very fond of their Charleston as well. You have to give Anton the credit for the great choreography combining the very limited steps and movements in the story. Love it!

這個 Charleston 也很有意思,令人佩服 Anton 的編舞能力,明明 Ann 的動作沒辦法有太多變化,還能合情合理放入劇情中。最後那張照片裡的人是以嚴格苛刻聞名的評審 Craig。

Gavin, the sportsman, is Beam Beam’s favourite. Yup, a good-looking chap indeed. To be frank, he is not a natural mover. Even a non-professional like me can tell that. But, his courage is worth a big round of applause. I particularly enjoy his hip rolls in this dance. His American partner Katya is just as gorgeous.

梅小獸說她最喜歡 Gavin,我也覺得這男孩長得不錯(看不出是兩個孩子的爸了!),好像是職業橄欖球運動員。不過說實話,看得出他的確缺乏舞蹈細胞;但,他的挑戰自我態 度令人激賞。(好好笑喔,我也不是專業,竟然敢坐在電腦前夸夸其言~)這一段我最欣賞就是他的 hip roll,想不到平日步法生硬的他,竟然能轉得這麼好看,來自美國的舞伴Katya 也好性感喔!

Patsy has been eliminated last week, unfortunately. I like her samba in Blackpool – The lovely song, the cute styling… I can imagine myself mincing and gliding, ecstatically, all over the dance floor with my fluffily flirtatious squirrel tail swaying behind me.

上週被淘汰的 Patsy 是女演員,我特別喜歡她在 Blackpool 表演的森巴,舞步本身沒有太特別,但那首歌是我的菜,還有她的服裝造型也是我會想要嘗試的,感覺像隻冶豔的松鼠,膨膨的尾巴隨著曼妙舞姿拖曳。

Rumour has it that Kara and Artem are an item ever since this season began. Yesterday, Artem finally admitted that he’s going to ask Kara out, but it won’t happen until the competition’s over. He doesn’t want to mix up work and private life. I do think they are a good match, appearance-and-dance-wise. The first time I saw them, I seriously couldn’t tell which one was the professional. Kara is simply a born dancer!

本季開始不久後,就有傳言女演員Kara 和舞伴 Artem 是一對,昨天 Artem 終於鬆口承認對她有好感,不過絕對會等到節目結束後才正式開始約會,因為公私要分明。我第一次看他們表演 Charleston 的時候,根本分不清誰是專業,Kara 大概就是那種天生有舞蹈細胞的人,表演得好精彩!雖然干卿底事,還是忍不住八卦一下:覺得他們的外型實在登對 ^_^

Judging from Pamela’s performance, it’s hard to believe that she’s just turned 61! She scored the full marks for herViennese Waltz. However, I like her  Charleston better ^_^ I really look up to her. I want to be like her when I turn (if lucky enough) 61!

看得出 Pamela 剛滿六十一歲嗎?她是本屆黑馬,上週的維也納華爾滋奪得了滿分!不過,我最喜歡的還是這個同樣的了高分的 Charleston~她是我的榜樣,希望我如果有幸活到六十一歲時,也能有如此的狀態。

Aww… Scott is at his brilliant best in this Jive with Natalie! This dance is definitely my MOST favourite, so full of energy, power and emotions.

Scott & Natalie 的 Jive 戲劇力十足,讓人看得大呼過癮,是目前為止我個人給予最高分的表演!

Matt and Aliona are, like Scott and Natalie, another popular pair. I particularly like the Semba they did in balckpool. Well, you can tell by now that I’m obsessed with this kind of “happy” dance. Can’t help it. My character ~ It is said that Matt made a small mistake at the beginning, but to be honest, for a non-professional like me, it’s almost impossible to tell. I especially love Aliona’s colourful, sparkling outfit. In fact, she’s my favourite professional dancer. Perhaps, it, too, has something to do with the fact that she bears some sort of resemblance to my cousin Amanda in Taiwan. They are both beautiful girls.

Matt & Aliona 跟 Scott & Natalie 一樣是很受歡迎的一對,這場 Blackpool 的森巴,也是我的最愛之一,這類充滿了陽光與活力的快舞始終很吸引我。據說 Matt 開頭出了小小失誤,不過我這種湊熱鬧的外行人看不出來,依舊心醉神迷;而 Aliona 亮晶晶的鮮艷服飾更是深得我心!她是我最喜歡的專業舞者,不知道是不是因為總覺得有點像台灣的表妹豆豆,特別有好感。

The final will be held next Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So thrilled to know I will be able to catch it! (I thought I was gonna miss it as we’re heading for Taiwan in one week’s time!). May the best wins! *woohoo*~

據說下周連續五六日要播出決賽,好開心哪,原本還以為會錯過呢!不曉得本屆冠軍究竟花落誰家呢?

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