Holiday is Just Around the Corner

“As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.”     - Donald E. Westlake via Forbes

Woohooo..we will be away for two weeks. Enjoy your holiday everybody!!!!

Business As Unusual

Title: Business As Unusual
Author: Anita Roddick
Translator: Lily Yulianti Farid
Publisher: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Publication date: October 2013
Pages: 343

Hidup tanpa memperjuangkan sesuatu, sama saja dengan hidup tanpa kehidupan.
(page 12)

Saya tidak pernah tertarik menjadi perusahaan ritel yang terbesar atau yang menghasilkan paling banyak keuntungan. Saya hanya ingin agar The Body Shop menjadi perusahaan terbaik, perusahaan yang paling menarik, perusahaan yang bisa menjalankan cara berbisnis yang berbeda. Inilah yang menjadi visi saya.
(page 334)

Kami percaya bahwa kekayaan bukanlah untuk ditumpuk, tapi harus disalurkan secara produktif dan bertanggungjawab. Makanya kami memutuskan untuk menyalurkan semua kekayaan kami melalui The Body Shop Foundation.
(page 340).

My feeling towards The Body Shop totally changed after I finished reading this autobiography. Never realize that Anita Roddick is such a true activist. Her story in establishing, managing, and developing The Body Shop is very much inspiring.

Tenggelamnya Kapal Van der Wijck (2013)

Director: Sunil Soraya
Producer: Ram Soraya, Sunil Soraya
Screen Writers: Donny Dhirgantoro, Imam Tantowi
Based on novel: Tenggelamnya Kapal Van der Wijck by HAMKA
Casts: Herjunot Ali, Pevita Pearce, Reza Rahadian

Romance is one of all time exciting topics, either in book or movie even in real life. Haji Abdul Malik Karim Amrullah or known better as HAMKA had his own way in telling his love story just like in Tenggelamnya Kapal Van der Wijck (1938). As one of the best Indonesian writer for literature, Hamka not only wrote about ordinary romance, it's far more complex. His works were  always full of critiques to his own culture, Minang. 

After five years of preparation finally the movie Tenggelamnya Kapal Van der Wijck that was adapted from the novel is ready to be released. This classical theme of a tragic love story between Zainuddin (Herjunot Ali), an orphan who has a Minang father and a Bugis mother falls in love with Hayati (Pevita Pearce), a pure Minang girl. This love story of course will have many obstacles. Simple story actually but the execution of the movie is epic.
This quite long movie (2.45 mins) is beyond my expectation. Almost all aspects are amazing, look at the beautiful views of Makassar and Minangkabau, the extravagant suits, scarves and hats designed by Samuel Wattimena, the beautiful dialogs (many of them quoted exactly from the novel) and a stunning performance of Herjunot Ali who maintains his Makassar accent  as his dramatic posture throughout the movie showing his deep love, despair and hatred to Hayati, all of these are definitely touching.

All in all it's not a perfect movie though (the scene of the sinking ship reminds me of Titanic movie) nevertheless it's worth to watch.  We might not only learn about Indonesian literature but also show our appreciation to the movie maker team for their great hard work as well.          

A Week Wrap up

Exam is over, yayyyy...
It's the last week before we welcome the long holiday. Najla and Zea had a three-day-exams-only (I know their school is quite friendly in giving the exam, so far they don't even have a mid test). As usual my girls have their own style in preparing themselves for the exam. As a diligent student and also the big sister, Najla, reviewed her lesson religiously even without mama's supervision.On the other hand Zea was always ready with tons of excuses in avoiding this review session, it started from 'I am tired, mom' or 'I feel so sleepy' or 'I don't understand the topic' and many more while the real reason would be (my strong prediction) 'I am lazy, mom'. 

The next day after they finished their exam, Najla would came home and said 'I can do some of the questions while not sure about the others' whereas Zea would simply say 'It's ssoooooooo easy. Gampang banget'... okay let's wait for the result then babe. Their reports will be distributed this coming Tuesday, hope everything as good as Zea's positive response :)

Zea's new hair cut
On the last day of the exam I took the girls to eat out and enjoyed some milkshakes. Having a full tummy made me easier to persuade them to cut their hair. Usually they insist to have a long hair. I promise them that they can have a longer hair when they are able to take care themselves.

In commemorating mother's day, Najla's class held a special program called Super Camp with Daddy. The students collaborated with their daddy in making some accessories from beads, cooking fried noodle and some cakes, preparing the tents, presenting some performances and wrapping them up with a yummy lunch for the mothers. What a touching present for mothers. Thank you, dear!!! 

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Author: Rachel Joyce
Publisher: Black Swan
Published: March 01, 2013
paperback, 384 pages

Harold Fry is a 65-year-old man that having a sad and lonely life. After married for 47 years, Harold and his wife, Maureen feel that the relationship is getting bitter. They still live together but deep down inside they have never felt closed to each other anymore.  Moreover after their only son, David, committed suicide.

One day Harold received a letter from his old friend, Queenie Hennessy, who told him that she is dying of cancer and now at a hospital 627 miles away from Harold's home. Harold decides to reply the letter only but after having a short chat with an unnamed girl at the filling station who says, "if you have faith, you can do anything,"  he at last decides to have a walk the entire length of England in hope of keeping Queenie alive.  

This unprepared journey shakes Harold from his monotonous life. As he travels, he finds out all about the wonderful everyday things, such as there is fresh air and open sky outside his unhappy home and there is even lots of nice people along the way who voluntarily help him by giving a shelter or just a full support.

As he walks alone, he has lots of time to ponder. he begins to realize about his dead son and their bad relationship, his own mother who abandoned him, the sweetness of dying Queenie and also his cold marriage with his wife. The walk takes 87 days and covers 627 miles. Started as a private journey but later on it attracts the press and  several followers who consider themselves as  fellow pilgrims.

A simple story with a great effect. As the author, Rachel Joyce, said that this story was dedicated to her father who had spent years fighting a battle with cancer and finally could not make it. Some parts of Harold Fry character was after her father. That's the reason why she wrote a simple story about an ordinary man who keeps going. As she said in the acknowledgements of the book, " I wanted to write something life-affirming at the point when I was losing the person I most wanted to keep. I wanted to write something with my heart in it -- that would also makes him laugh."  


Director: Hanung Bramantyo
Writer: Ben Sihombing
Producer: Ram Punjabi
Casts: Ario Bayu, Lukman Sardi, Maudy Kusnaedy, Tika Bravari

If you think history is your cup of tea, or if you just want to know  about Indonesia's history, or if you would like to see how the condition during the Dutch and Japanese colonization, or if you are curious about how Republic of Indonesia established, or if you are eager to learn more about the story of Indonesia's founding fathers, or if you just need to watch a different genre of movie, I recommend you to go and watch this SOEKARNO's movie.

In spite of some protests from Soekarno's family about the movie but still it's worth to watch. I believed that the director and the writer have done such a detailed research before they screened this movie. I appreciate their works. I love the setting. And one special thing about this movie is all audiences will be asked to rise and sing Indonesia's anthem Indonesia Raya before the move start, we haven't done such thing for a very long time, have we? In fact I think this is the first time for me being so nationalist before watching a movie :))

To know more about this movie, check the link here 

A Sunday Breakfast

A cute sunny-side-up pudding, perfect for Sunday breakfast

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.”
A.A. Milne 

The First Phone Call from Heaven

Author: Mitch Albom
Publisher: Sphere (1st ed. November 2013)
Pages: 312

You have to start over. That's what they say. But life is not a board game, and losing a loved one is never really "starting over." More like "continuing without."

Started with Tuesday with Morrie, Mitch Albom successfully captured my heart. I read all his books over and over and he always leaves me speechless with excellent ending. The First Phone Call from Heaven is Mitch's 6th book. This is  a kind of mystery/thriller book with unexpected twists and turns that keep things moving and make the readers too curious to stop the reading.

One morning in a small town of Coldwater, Michigan, the phones start ringing. The voices say they are calling from heaven. Does the greatest miracle happen? Or is it only some cruel hoax? As the news spreads, outsiders flock to Coldwater to be a part of it. Some are for it, others are against it. A quiet and peaceful small city turns into a crowded one, full of strangers.

As usual the author is very good in telling the details. Each character receiving a phone call and how they react are portrayed sympathetically. Moreover the description on how the town handling the effect, emotional and spiritual of these phone calls delivered vividly. Even the history of Alexander Graham Bell,  the inventor of the telephone is incorporated here. This Bell's story turns out to be very touching. A story about faith and love.

One of the best book to end 2013. It will keep the readers see life differently and appreciate those you love even more. Besides It might leave us thinking, feeling and even wondering, if only we have the chance to receive the phone call from heaven, who might it be?