Monthly Archives: March 2012

Happiness is….friends and a lot of icing sugar

I’ve just read the title I wrote and while I’m going to let it stand, it really could be misinterpreted; so, please, let me explain. A friend asked me when last I was happy once and at the time, I couldn’t really remember. But today, I did recognize it. It’s like your favourite old, soft blanket that you curl up in – that feeling of “ah!”.

There once was four friends who decided that taking a cake decorating course would be fun. So, I arranged for my aunt, cake decorator extrordinaire! to come and teach a private class for us. The first class was a success!  We all did well, and had fun – everything was edible (due to rule #1).

The second class though was serious business. No more practicing on plastic boards we were making flowers coming out of our ears and fancy-schmancy basketweaving work in neon colours (mine was just chocolate, mind you)


But we all laughed together when my rose looked more like it was a dying rose, wide open with its petals about to fall off or when my pansy’s top half wasn’t exactly lined up to the bottom half. And we all “oooo”ed and “aaahhhh”ed when K’s daffy trumpet was pretty or when W’s daisy was all cute and tiny.  And it didn’t matter when J’s basketweave was missing a weave (that was the back of the cake anyway) or when W’s cake sort of sloped gently downwards (that was the front of the cake anyway).

And that was all before we gave K her wedding present and she wouldn’t stop hopping up and down.

Good day.

Film Review: The Island President

A lot of people may know of this documentary by now since it debuted in 2011 at TIFF. However, this was the first time I saw it and was very happy I did. First off, documentaries today aren’t what they used to be. They are definitely from a certain angle and “objectivity” is not really the main goal. So, don’t go into this hoping to get information to use in your high school paper. Go into this to hear a story; a journey of a man who was driven to act. And by acting, he changed his world, even for a little while, and tried to change ours.

If you’ve never heard of it, this is a story of how democracy came to the Maldives. How the new president thought the fight was won when he came into power only to find out that there is no point in leading a country that is disappearing and what he was going to do about it.

Some of the things the film did very well that I can personally confirm is the portrayal of the international negotiations of climate change. The long, long, frustrating hours of negotiations were captured with tired politicians continuing to discuss and discuss. The amount of work that goes into the 2 week meeting that the heads of state have every year is staggering and the film hints at that as ex-President Nasheed must talk with, convince, entreat and meet with so many other countries. And, finally, the scraps of progress that we all must be satisfied with at the end.

The film’s director spoke after the film and he said that while the film by necessity is short (less than 2 hours), he believed it was a true portrayal of ex-President Nasheed. There were no major pieces that had been edited out. So, based on that, the film portrays ex-President Nasheed as a driven, flawed human being who burns with clear vision. Tempering this is his sense of irony and humour. I wish I could quote some of the things he said, but rather than trusting my faulty memory, I will say that he had the ability to grasp the humour, even if it was black, of a situation and sum it up neatly with a bow on top.

I encourage you to see the film (comes out in the US sometime in March) if only to be entertained by the story and a terrific film, but hopefully to move your horizon so that it includes the Maldives.