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.

At the cafe on a New Year’s Day

NEws Article about the upgraded cafe   (Click here for the cafe scenes)


Benjamin Franklin in his Autobiography advises his reader for the New Year to resolve to perform what he ought and perform without fail what he resolves. Mrs. Lompstrompf’s bakery whose official business name is “Rilakuma Cafe” is accordingly decorated anew with a variety of new snacks at affordable prices to accommodate the little ones’ pocket money. How thoughtful and generous the proprietor is! There is seldom anyone like Mrs. Lompstrompf in these days.

So after wishing Happy New Year to their families and friends, the little ones gather in their elbow room in Avonlea. What is better than uplifting your spirits with sweets and refreshments in a wintry afternoon?

The little ones are busy talking about their new year’s resolutions and plans among themselves, and listening to them makes anyone smile at their innocent wishes and simple hopes for the future, which is a prerogative of the young at heart.



Episode VI – Ramen soup for the soul

Ramen night   (Click here for the ramen dinner)


It’s a frightfully cold night tonight; so cold that it will freeze your toes out if you forget to wear your socks or have holes in your shoes. Boreas. god of the North wind in collaboration with the White Witch are at their zenith to in this time of the year and orchestrate the symphony of arctic winter in Avonlea, where the little residents gather together at home to warm their bodies and jettison their sprites from frigid cold.

Of all kinds of soup that can provide both delicacy and warm to the body and the soul of the Avonlea residents, they have chosen Ramen unanimously because (1) you can cook it in 10 minutes by putting the ramen noodle in the boiling water with ready-made seasonings in it; (2) there is a variety of flavors you can choose, such as vegetable, beef, chicken, and shrimp; (3) you can mix it with lots of creative additions, such as dumplings, battered eggs, cheese, minced scallops, tempura, fried shrimps, or tofu to your liking; and (4) a package of instant ramen noodle is pleasingly inexpensive. Hence, it is nicknamed – somewhat endearingly- “a poor soul’s victual” in some Far Eastern countries, such as Korea and Japan.

So here the repast of ramen noodle soup for the family. Tom is especially good at cooking a delicious bowl of the noodle soup for his friend Fred and himself.  The night is still young and  cold, but their home is warm and cozy. It seems that “God is in his heaven, and all’s well with this world.”