Tag Archives: imagination

From PBS Masterpiece Theater – Mr. Selfridge


This Masterpiece Theater Mini-Series of “Mr. Selfridge” produced by ITV is a tour de force of excellent performances of the actors, the finesse of drama scripts, gorgeous costumes, and classically elegant settings coordinated as truthfully as possible. It chronicles Harry Gordon Selfridge’s business adventures from the onset of establishing Selfridges & Co in 1908 until his farewell to his labor of love twenty years afterwards.

 From Episode I of Series 1 to Episode 10 of Series 4 (Final Season), we get to see a man named Harry Gordon Selfridge (1958-1947) who was something of a Napoleon Bonaparte knowing no word in his dictionary for “Impossible.” We see the man build a one-of-a-kind department store in London’s Oxford Street as an adventurous American tradesman against the British aristocratic chauvinism. Selfridge was a man who set a standard of modern department store; by placing the cosmetic/perfume counters on the lobby, Selfridge intended to sweeten the atmosphere of the floor in attempt to use it as a magnet for passers-by, especially women. In effect, Selfridge broke down the class-stratified fashion wall guarded by the rich/privileged by democratizing the luxurious items and making them accessible to common people as well.

Moreover, the ace portrayal of Selfridge would/could not be possible were it not for the fine acting of Jeremy Piven whose quintessential American accent doubled with inescapable American can-do attitudes triumphs over the transatlantic cultural differences in working with the British peers. The viewer will be left with a feeling of heartfulness of the characters upon finishing all of the episodes in this series and cannot help but applaud to Mr. Selfridge for his entrepreneurial effervescence and Mr. Piven for portraying the man in a stellar performance that evokes both pathos and respect.

Light As Larks


“Hurry up, Matilda. We don’t want to miss our tram to the city that will come in 10 minutes.” Seraphina Lapine, a journalist at The Echo Times who is originally from Brussels, Belgium, hurries Mathilda Bear, a nursery teacher and part time piano teacher who still can’t decide what to wear for her beautiful afternoon repose after a hard day’s week. “Oki Doki, Seraphina. I am almost done. How do I look? Does this new blue dress I ordered from the last month’s catalogue of Fancy Penny become me? I got it at $50.00 on sale!” Mathilda asks of her picky roommate in hope of her sharing the excitement for the new dress and hearing words of compliment about her pretty new self from the mouth of Seraphina, the ever elegant journalist with style always effortlessly coordinated because anything she throws on her figure – no matter how haggard or aged or nondescript –  is transformed into a fashion itself.

IMG_3985“You look fine,” Seraphina continues in the mixed feeling of both sympathy for Mathilda’s effort to fish out compliments from her peer and irritability to responding to such calculated intention when time is of essence in catching the tram that runs every one hour, “the color of the dress happens to be one of my favorite colors – “Azure” –  the Italians are said to love the color because it reminds them of the Mediterranean Sea.  In fact, the Italians have developed to perfect the color in likeness of the color of the sea throughout their history. So during the Renaissance period,  the painters in Europe preferred the color made in Italy to other similar blue hues made in elsewhere.” It is always like this to add any further information on what is generally required of; Seraphina has a tendency to elaborate her statement with additional information acquired from her a wide range of books she has read and illuminates it like shining stars in the Milky Way across the nightly sky that bright the minds of others who are intellectually benighted.

“Oh, is it so? I only chose this color because there were only two options: a red one and IMG_3984this one of the same style, and I don’t like the color red – it’s two fiery and passionate for me-. I rather like the cool blue because it gives me a sense of serenity,” Mathilda says as she picks up her handbag she got from a thrift store a year ago. “How’s this bag? I got…” “Alright, Mathilda!” Seraphina finally snaps her eager friend. ” We’d better get going. Now we have only 5 minutes or so to catch the tram. Otherwise, we have to wait another one hour, and that will mess up our Saturday  outing plan. I am supposed to come back by 5:00 PM to finish my assignment that is to be submitted to the editor of Echo at 8:30 AM tomorrow.  We can’t waste time thinking and  mumbling about your dress and handbag.” Upon hearing from another request for opinion on her one year-old bag, Seraphina’s gracefully subdued patience bursts out, although her demeanor still maintains a perfect elegance that belongs to a woman of noble birth and education, which corresponds to the exaltation of such woman exampled by John Milton In Paradise :

Those thousand graceful act, those thousand decencies that flow from all her actions and deeds.

photo“Sorry. I forgot about your schedule. I was too thrilled to be reminded of the tram schedule. And the weather seems to behave like Spring should. And I hardly go out on weekends because I usually rather stay home to compensate for a week’s wrestling with little kids at the nursery.. Let’s hurry!” Listening to Mathilda’s heartfelt apology and looking at her cute face half-drawn with sadness of loneliness, Seraphina’s heart feels inundated with rivers of pathos for her new friend. After all, Mathilda was only seeking for assurance of her timid self that has hardly been affirmed due to a deprivation of parental love and understanding for her being orphaned at the age of five. “Yes, let’s hurry down to the tram stop, Mathilda, for we will have a lovely Saturday today! How about going to the new French restaurant that has recently opened? I forgot the name, but we can check it out later!” So off they are to the tram stop chatting away about what to possibly buy at the department store like happy larks.




Foolish Heart

Don’t know why
I’m thinking of you everyday,
When there’s got to be,
No chance for me
To make you love me.

Don’t know why
My eyes see you everyday,
And it doesn’t matter if you can’t see me,
If you don’t know how much I cry
‘Cause I see no other way.

I know it’s a waste of time
This fantasy of mine.
But if I turn away,
If I walk away,
You will be gone away.

If I can’t see you,
I don’t want anybody, no way.
If I lose you,
I don’t want anybody, nobody,
I don’t want anybody, baby…