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Those of you who have read my blog before may recall my odd fascination with Gwyneth Paltrow, perhaps somewhat related to the fact that she gets to live in London whenever she wants, and I’ll also admit a (possibly less odd) fascination with her husband.

But my admiration of Emma Thompson is the real thing. I am a fan. Years ago in a movie theater just off Lakeshore Drive in Chicago, I watched her in Henry V and found her delightful as a French princess (she stole the scene from Kenneth Branagh, which he may have intended). I still laugh when I recall her expression in Impromptu as her character realizes that the other characters are making fun of her. I’ve seen her in a number of other movies and she has always been excellent.

Yet my fandom was sealed when she both wrote the screenplay for, and starred in, Sense and Sensibility. A consummate actress and a writer too. And JANE AUSTEN.

I’ve come across interviews with Emma at interesting times of my life. I read one after the breakup of her marriage, when she had found happiness with someone else, while I was experiencing something similar at the time. I remember her speaking poignantly about her challenges in trying to have more children when I was coming to terms with the possibility that I wouldn’t be able to have another child. And now, just a couple of weeks ago, there she was again, no doubt because of her new film Saving Mr. Banks (another moving performance), being her lovely Emma self in a new interview. At one point she said she felt, approaching the age of 55, that she was coming into a new era of creativity in her life. And there it was, BAM. She did it again. Since I’m hitting what some people call a significant birthday in 2014, I was wondering what this year would bring.

And now I know. It means forgetting my age and doing what I want to do. It means trying new things. It means having fun. It means being brave enough to dream.

So those are my goals for 2014. I may check in with Emma to see if she has anything new for me at some point this year. But I’m good. Thanks Emma. And if you ever feel like inviting me over for a chat. . . .

(Oh, and did I mention that she’s also LEFT-HANDED?!)