The Clever North Wind

Dearest readers. How can I apologise enough for my extended absence? What an absolute git. There was I, luring you into a false sense of security – “oh she posts regularly, no chance she’ll hold out on us” – when, lo and behold, I go and take a few months off. What’s that, you say? You’ve not noticed? Right, well. Fair enough.

I rewatched Chocolat tonight, with my little sister. Do you remember my last post (was it my last post? I’ve lost track) where it was decided that When Harry Met Sally had claimed the top spot in my movie favourites? Well, forget that. Chocolat has been there before and it is there now. A truly beautiful film, in every sense of the word, Chocolat is porn for those of us addicted to the brown stuff ~ and it explores themes that resonate with each and every one of us. For those of you who have read the book, I’m going to focus purely on the film. I hope that is quite all right? I have read the novel and liked it; although personally I prefer the film utterly. Also, Joanne Harris always seemed like a bit of a grump on twitter and I don’t like to reward that type of behaviour.

Vianne Rocher (Juliette Binoche ~ she’s lovely, isn’t she? If I could look like one famous person I think it would be her. Although she was terrible in that Wuthering Heights adaptation. Nobody believes you’re from Yorkshire, Juliette.) and her daughter Anouk travel from town to town in 1950’s Europe. They find themselves in a small French village, freshly arrived from Andalucia. Every time the North Wind blows, Vianne and Anouk spirit away to another place, ready to spread the word of Mayan Cacoa; a gift from Vianne’s heritage. Little Anouk is clearly ready to settle down; Vianne less so. Her itchy feet never allow her to stay in a place for very long. In this particular town, the Comte de Reynaud rules with an iron fist. The unmarried Vianne and her newly opened chocolaterie goes against everything he believes in. Particularly during Lent. A war is raged between the conventional and the unusual, inflamed by the arrival of the gyspies, led by Roux (Johnny Depp) (sounding a little like an Irish Jack Sparrow).

First of all, the soundtrack to this is totally beautiful. I urge you to listen to it immediately, if you haven’t already:

And now, to the crux of this post. What has made her pick up her pen (computer) again, I hear you cry? Tis this. I have a strong interest in people who are a little ‘different.’ Those who feel they don’t utterly belong. When I was sixteen, I wrote a play called The Mountain Man, about a giant who was feared in his small town because he listened to Grieg and read banned literature. It was a bit rubbish, but that’s not the point. Perhaps I always felt a little isolated myself, who knows? I was always a little odd compared to everyone else, but as I get older I don’t see that as a bad thing. But truthfully, I think everyone feels that from time to time. Convention can become exhausting. I say, fight it with every fibre of your being.

But no, actually. That isn’t the point of this post. I don’t think I was entirely certain until now. I, Emily, am a strange dichotomy. I am a real homebird, who cannot go for a day without phoning my mum, cannot breathe properly without the Wiltshire air, cannot relax unless I can see the stars outside my window. But I also have extreme itchy feet. As soon as I arrive in a place, I want to see somewhere else. This is far from unhappiness or dissatisfaction – it’s because I’ve always been longing for a new adventure. New friends to make, new places to see, new beds to sleep in. The life of a touring actress has offered endless opportunities to move on.

But now? Now I feel quite different.

I have started to want to settle down. Yes, it’s happening. I rather like my life at the moment. Everything has fallen nicely into place, and it feels like the work and the worry of the past 29 years has been leading to this ~ I’m finally on the right path. My itchy feet have abated, and I find myself with a need to live in a little home, to see the same person night after night and to wake up in the same bed every morning. I want to decorate a kitchen. I want to put indian wall hangings above a sofa, and to have friends over for dinner. I want to have a dog. Yes, it’s happened. I think – I’ve become a grown up. Is this what it’s like? I still want to have adventures, but it’s no longer with the intention of searching for something that’s missing. I think I have everything I need now.

We all yearn for something. We travel around, looking for what it is. Some people never settle down ~ their home is dictated by the clever North Wind, or the tide of the sea. But I don’t think that’s me anymore. I was once a Vianne. I’m now an Anouk.

Oh! And on this note of chocolate shops and adventures ~ I announce my little plan. I don’t know how long it’s going to take, but it’s going to happen eventually. I’m going to open my own little shop. It’s going to be called ‘Puddings and Books.’ Where/when this will be? Who knows. But I promise you it’s going to happen. Watch this space.


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