Showing posts with label Jane Austen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jane Austen. Show all posts

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Sabrina's London Diaries- The End of an Era ~ The End of Part 1

Dear Reader of Sabrina's London Diaries:

I went to London in September 2008 just for a 3 week vacation. I was in my third semester of Graduate school, getting my MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College and writing a Musical.  On the first night I arrived, the man I went to visit,  told me, " I'm sorry your not the one !"  I decided to not go home with my tail between my legs and decided to make the best of a bad situation and live there. Being what I laughingly, call, " dumped upon arrival", was the best thing that ever happened to me, I took my feelings of rejection and remorse and turned things around for the better. I realized this man was not my enemy, but my manivater ( a man that motivates) and catalyst for making me do my Human Revolution I ended up living in London  for two years and it was the best two years of my life ! 

 This blog is part travel journal, part personal memoir, sometimes private and sometimes not. I write about my initial culture shock of living in London, in articles, such as: My Initial Impressions of the Drinking Habits of the English and Some Language Differences I find Funny.

I also write about my Dating conundrums and mishaps in a self-deprecating blog (blog series within this blog),called, "Finding Mr. Darcy"---- a serious Austenite my dating blogs look at the romantic life of a single girl through a 18th century lens looking backwards, but then racing towards the future with exuberant optimism.   Having the opportunity to date and experience men from all over the globe, I write as a Romantic Anthropoligist, in blogs such as: Are Italian Men Really Great Lovers ? Israeli Soldier vs. English Gentleman, The Rugged vs. The Refined, and Dating in London: American Cowboy vs. English Bloke

Being absolutely nutty about History and it's great people, I also write about some of History's greatest people: Shakespeare, Winston Churchill, Jane Austen, and of course, Harry Potter

This blog evolved from someone telling me that I should write about my experience in London. One year and a half later, I am still writing about my experience in London. I came back to Los Angeles in 2010, after a 2 years sojourn in London, and I found that it has changed so much. But, it's like in the movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Benjamin Button, says in the movie as he narrates his story, after he comes home for being gone so long and traveling all over the world, " It's not that Tenessee has changed it's that I have changed."  And, so, it's not that Los Angeles has changed so much, or even America, it's that I had changed. My views and perceptions of life and the world have changed along with that and I will never be the same. Living in London has changed the way I see the world, and now the way I see myself in the world and that is why I must share what I learned !

Living in London for me, was an absolute dream come true. In my blog, I live to tell the tale and I am still telling it after all these years, and plan to publish my memoirs.


Sabrina Grace~

p.s. This is the End of the First Part of Sabrina's London Diaries. In the future, I will be publishing more blogs on Jane Austen, Book Reviews, Dating in Los Angeles, Culture in Los Angeles, Food,  and Green Living.  As well as, anecdotal commentary on society in English society and my new perspective on the world, living and thriving again in Los Angeles, California as a Language InstructorChef and Writer.

All blogs are written by Sabrina Rongstad-Bravo More Tales and Adventures in Sabrina's London Diaries

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Monday, 25 June 2012

Jane Austen- Mansfield Park

Mansfield ParkMansfield Park by Jane Austen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have read all of Jane Austen novels and am in the middle of reading Northanger Abbey, Austen's last novel written and published posthumously.

I love Mansfield Park, I love the character of Fanny Price. She starts out a very humble girl, but has guts to stand up to her wealthy uncle in many ways. First, she opposes his profession as a Slave Trader in the West Indies and then when she refuses to marry the family friend, even though he’s wealthy, she infuriates her uncle. This is what I love about Fanny Price is that she’s completely independent and strong willed has a mind of her own, and refuses to be bought. She wants love like all women and wants to marry for love on top of it. She is in love with her life time cousin, who wants nothing more than to live a quiet life. But, he’s been her loyal friend and has loved her whole life, what more can one woman ask for. Secondly, she refuses to marry the man that she doesn’t love who is a bit of a philanderer. In the end, she ends up marrying and with the man she really loves who has always loved her.

Fanny Price is my hero and my favorite heroine of all the Jane Austen novels.

View all my reviews
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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Wordless Wednesdays - Jane Austen's Home

                                       A photo of me in Jane Austen's Home in Winchester

                                                For More Wordless Wednesday Participants

All blogs are written by Sabrina Rongstad-Bravo More Tales and Adventures in Sabrina's London Diaries

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Part 5: Dating in London: Finding Mr. Darcy: Do yourself a favor and learn How to Use a Phone

In this day and age, where we rely so much on technology, we are actually forgetting how to talk to one another, wheter in person or on the phone. We rely so much on texting,messenger chat,emailing each other, that we isolate one another,avoid intimacy and connection with another human being.

I had dated a guy one time and of course, had a nice connection.Subsequently,he continued to text me for 5 months. So, by this time I just kind of lose interest and get very frustrated. We had planned on seeing each other and had it all organized and he cancelled on me, of course, via text. That's annoying. Finally, I texted him and said he really wanted to see me, but that his business made him travel alot and that he was a really busy CEO, blah blah blah.He mentioned that we could get together once he was back in town. Fine, that's no problem it's not like I am waiting and holding my breath for him. Like they said,"lots of fish in the sea." Anyway, He didn't text me back until 3 weeks later, by then I was on to the new flavor of the week. He texted me finally after 3 weeks to invite me to his home gym to work out.(Working out and getting all sweaty in front of a man who will possibly be your boyfriend in the future, I am sorry to say doesn't not strike me as sexy or not romantic.)First of all, I am not going to visit a man, ever. Especially those first three or four dates.Of course, once we are an established couple.But, in the beggining, I won't budge an inch from my home to visit a man I am potentially seing. I don't care if he looks like George Clooney(I actually met him once in the Warner Brothers Parking lot, anyway, that's neither here nor there, and I'll save my name dropping for another time). Maybe, I'll compromise and meet someone half way. But, that's a big MAYBE!) You see, where I come from, and (I am sure it's here in the UK too, but maybe not with my generation of men), but the men go out of their way to come look for you. My Great Grand-father Cady drove three days in a horse and carriage to visit my Great Grandmother across rocky mountains,weathered all kinds of capricious weather and possibly rattle snakes.So, why should courting rituals change 100 years later? I haven't changed and I suppose they we are raised is sometimes very engrained in the fabric of our being.

Anyway, after 5 months of him texting me, I finally I was so fed up after 5 months of his texting me I just texted him and said why doesn't he be a man and just call me and ask me out on a proper date.He texted me back to tell me that I was an arrogant princess. Whatevaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!He doesn't know the clues about dating or common courtesy.He obviously was interested in me, or he would not have texted me so persistently. I just boil it down to him being super shy, which he actually admitted.

If a man is shy, it's not my problem.One thing women like about men is there confidence. Confidence is the single most attractive thing about the opposite sex. You could be bald but if you have confidence, you could be very sexy. Or, you could have a bit of a tummy, but if you have confidence you could be sexy. You could be in between jobs, but if you got confidence. Women like the fact that men are confident and sometimes ballsy(supposed to have more testosterone then us ladies whereby making them more ballsy). That's why opposites attract: women want to be with their opposite. If women are supposed to be passive and demure, well they want to be with their opposite of that, which is someone with some masculine drive and a take charge attitude.They want to be with man, not a scared shy little boy.If you aren't man enough to call a woman then you are going to loose out.Because by the time you've mustered the courage to do so she'll probably have lost interest in you. And, no woman is going to want to be with you if you don't have any courage.

I have always liked the quote by the Mexican actress Salma Hayek and I feel the same when she says,"I am looking for a man with more balls than me!"

So,Just pick up the phone and call the poor girl. Swear up and down, drink a half a pint, take some speech classes, hold on to your balls(sorry, I don't mean to be so unlady like, but I haven't said a curse word since I was in high school and so I deserve this one),whatever, just call the girl.It's really not that hard. Most importantly, it will save a lot of time, both yours and hers.

For an interesting book about the courting rituals of the Regency period, read,"Jane Austen's Guide to Dating". I am waiting for the day,when an admirer writes me a clandestine hand written note or invites me to a mask ball on the finest linen paper with old fashion sealing wax, which will be deliverd by the butler. Sometimes, I ask myself, do I fit in this time period? Are my standards too high? Well, whatever it is, I think there is someone out there that thinks just like me and I have faith that one day our paths will meet and when it does it will be magical!

More Tales and Adventures in Sabrina's London Diaries

Friday, 18 September 2009


Ten wonderful, splendorous days of celebrating Jane Austen in the Georgian city Bath. Jane Austen knew Bath as a thriving spa resort, popular with fashionable society. A selection of events taking place to celebrate the life and work of Jane Austen including Europe's largest Regency costumed Promenade where a multitude of people will be parading along the grand Georgian terraces of 18th century Bath in costume of the period.

Some of the attractions at The Jane Austen Festival include Small soirees, theatre, concerts, walking tours, food, talks and of course dancing plus the opportunity to dress throughout the week, if you wish, in 18th century costume.The 9th Jane Austen Festival in Bath which is the biggest yet, with 44 events over ten days. During the Grand Regency Promenade there will be an attempt to breathe Guinness World RecordsTM record for the ‘Largest gathering of people dressed in Regency costumes’ plus a real wedding Regency style, Dandy Chargers at the Country Fair, world premiere of Lady Susan and that is just the first day.

If you have ever wanted to know how to dance, eat, drink or bathe or court like Jane Austen you will have an opportunity to find out. If you have ever wanaining ways to find out. Chawton Cottage in Hampshire is celebrating the 200th anniversary of Jane’s arrival n the village and we pay them a visit on Tuesday. I want to go the undressing Mr. Darcy class. Sounds nice !

Friday 18th September
12noon - 1.15pm Jane’s Fame: Claire Harman – book signing 4
6.15pm - 7.45pm Festival Get Together 4
Saturday 19th September
11am - 12.30 pm Grand Regency Promenade 5
12noon - 12.45pm Guinness World RecordsTM attempt 5
11am - 5pm Queen Square Traditional Country Fair 5
12noon - 1.30pm Jane Austen’s Bath - walking tour 5
4pm - 5pm Regency Wedding 5
8pm - 10pm Lady Susan – Theatrical 5
Sunday 20th September
9.45am - 11am Dance Extravaganza Workshop 1 – Youngsters 6
10am - 11.30am A Very Private Public Breakfast – food 6
11am - 12.30pm Jane Austen’s Bath – walking tour 6
11.30am - 1pm Dance Extravaganza Workshop 2 – Beginners 6
2pm - 4pm Dance Extravaganza Workshop 3 – Improvers 7
4pm - 5.30pm From China to Chintz – food 7
7pm - 9pm Baroque Dance Display – Bath Minuet 7
Monday 21st September
10am - 12noon Jane Austen’s men – walking tour 8
2pm - 3.30pm Knowing your Muslin – Regency talk 8
7pm - 9.15pm Entertaining at St Swithin’s - Performance 8
Tuesday 22nd September
8am - 6.30pm Visit to Chawton in Hampshire – coach trip 9
10am - 12.30pm ‘Our grand walk to Weston’ – walking tour 9
7.30pm - 9.30pm Guest Event – Jane Austen Fan Club from Canada 9
Wednesday 23rd September
10am - 12noon The streets of Jane Austen’s Bath – walking tour 12
2pm - 4pm Writing Jane – Creative writing workshop 12
4pm - 6pm Adapting Austen – talk 13
7.30pm - 9pm A dip in the sea with Jane Austen! – Performance 13
Thursday 24th September
8am - 8pm From Fans to Foghorns – day trip 14
10am - 11.45am ‘To be near Sydney Gardens’ – walking tour 14
11am - 1pm Costume Research – Festival Friends Event 14
2pm - 4.30pm Learn to Dance like Jane Austen – workshop 15
7pm - 10pm James Jolly’s invitation to Dine Regency style 15
Friday 25th September
10am - 12noon ‘I was at the play on Tuesday’ – walking tour 16
12noon - 1.15pm Undressing Mr Darcy – Theatre 16
2pm - 3.30pm Draw Back the Curtain – private tour and talk 16
7pm - 10pm A Country Dance 16
Saturday 26th September
10am - 11.30am A Very Private Public Breakfast – food 17
11am - 12.30pm Jane Austen’s Bath – walking tour 17
11.45am - 2pm Picnic on Crescent Fields - lunch 17
3pm - 4pm ‘My dear Cassandra’ – reading 17
4pm - 5.30pm From China to Chintz – food 17
7pm - 9.30pm At Home with the Austens – Soiree 17
Sunday 27th September
10am - 11.30am A Very Private Public Breakfast – food 18
11am - 12.30pm Jane Austen’s Bath – walking tour 18
2pm - 4pm Finale - ‘a Capital on the harp’ and ‘Pictures of Perfection’

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Jane Austen's Bath

Jane Austen set two of her six published novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, in Bath and made the city her home from 1801 to 1806. In Northanger Abbey Jane writes;'They arrived in Bath. Catherine was all eager delight; - her eyes were here, there, everywhere, as they approached its fine and striking environs, and afterwards drove through those streets which conducted them to the hotel. She was come to be happy, and she felt happy already'.

With extracts from her letters and two of her novels (Northanger Abbey and Persuasion which are both set in Bath), the tour called 'In the Footsteps of Jane Austen', guides you around the main tourist sights and some more unusual ones, giving an interesting insight into the city as Jane Austen would have known it during the six years she spent here. Much of the Georgian architecture still remains the same as it was then, and the tour also describes how Bath has developed into the visitor-friendly, cosmopolitan destination it is today.

The main highlights of the tour include the Pump Room - the social heart of the city during Austen's time where people registered on arrival in the city and took the water; the Assembly Rooms - where people would gather to play cards, dance and take tea; the Royal Crescent - the most impressive address, where people enjoyed promenading and generally being seen; Queen Square - where Austen stayed for a period; Gravel Walk - the location of a touching love scne in the novel 'Persuasion'; and the Jane Austen Centre - the 'must see' exhibition celebrating the life and works of the great novelist.

The tour even guides visitors to the newly developed Thermae Bath Spa, explaining how the stunning, brand new complex that stands today was used in Georgian times to cure the sick, and telling the tale of Jane Austen's brother who took the water there to help ease his Gout. Today, the spa offers a different kind of well-being - the chance relax and bathe in the naturally warm water, alongside a range of complementary therapies and treatments.

The tour is completely free and can be easily downloaded from the new Jane Austen section of the destination website: onto any MP3 player - which is an essential piece of equipment these days for any independent traveller! The tour is the ideal tool for researching the city prior to visiting, or for finding your bearings when you first arrive in the city. It is very easy listening and very entertaining while being suitably informative - so it is suitable for anyone interested in the city, not just die-hard Austen fans.

Some Interesting Websites:

Jane Austen's Bath
To find out more about the connections between Jane Austen and the stunning city of Bath, see:
To find out about some classes that will take place at the Jane Austen Festival
The Pump Room
The Assembly Rooms
The Jane Austen Centre
Thermae Bath Spa

Jane Austen Grand Regency Ball and Supper

Jane Austen grand Regency Ball and Supper and Georgian dancing workshop
September 26, 2009

The 5th Jane Austen grand Regency Ball, and, after the great success of the 2008 ball, we are pleased to bring this marvelous event to you again. It will be held for the second year running at the Assembly Rooms, Bath, starting at 8pm and carriages at 12 midnight.

As usual dress code is Regency so everyone will need appropriate costume. You will enjoy a delicious Regency supper, dancing of the era, card games and generally have lots of Regency fun! As anyone who has attended this ball in previous years will, I think, vo uch, there is nothing quite like seeing everyone in the glorious clothes of this era in such a beautiful setting and venue.

Please remember to contact us if you would like costume to either hire or buy; we are trying to set a deadline of the end of August 2009 for costumes for the Ball (if this is possible for everyone of course) so as to have plenty of time to ensure everyone has exactly what they want to wear for this major event for your yearly diary.

If you have any questions regarding the Ball ,etc., then please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to supply you with the information you require.

This was taken verbatim from the Jane Austen Society-

I can't wait until I get to go to this ball. Tickets are a mere measly £75.
Does anyone want to take me? A costume might set me back another £50. On the other hand, I might not ever get this chance again. I am so excited!!

To see a video of a Regency Ball


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