APTCH – yes and nooooo!

So the “YES!” part is that A Place To Call Home has been renewed for a season 6! I am stoked for this as I have been enjoying season 5 so much. Filming starts in a few months and at the end of next year there will be even more APTCH to watch. Yay!

But now comes the “NOOOO” part, and let me warn you about spoilers ahead for season 5, after this following picture of George (Brett Climo) and Sarah (Marta Dusseldorp)! So, read on at your own peril!

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I just watched the 10th episode of season 5 last night. I was very glad Sir Richard got an arse-whooping but not before that prick completely humiliated our lovely doctor, Jack Duncan (Craig Hall), much to the worry of his wife Carolyn (Sara Wiseman), and us viewers, who saw Jack go off the deep end… Will Jack recover from this?

APTCH Jack CarolynBesides that, what was at least as unsettling was the final shot of Regina in that episode (which is not this picture)!

APTCH Regina

Up until the end of season 4 she was one of the best villains I have ever known. The actress Jenni Baird portrays mad and evil Regina so very brilliantly! Regina was finally stopped and sent to an asylum at the end of season 4 and then this season she came back different… reformed… And believe it or not, for such an anti-semitic murderer, I came to feel sympathy for her! Of course, throughout season 5 I was doubting whether she really had reformed, whether she still was evil-plotting. You never can be quite sure with Regina, and Sarah shows us this doubt, but the doubts left with the last disconcerting conversation between these two women in this past episode:

Regina:  Do you know why I so hate Richard? He’s a mirror. I see in him what I was to you. I see what can’t be forgiven, why I can’t hope for a future with the family.
Sarah: Which you can’t.
Regina: Without it, what do I have?
Sarah: You must have some idea of what’s ahead.
Regina: A void.
Sarah: Then you need to fill it.
Regina: With? I spent 3 years regaining my sanity, a year establishing it, months earning your trust – all to make reparation and once that’s done…. there’s nothing but guilt for my crimes… Millie Davis… Brian Taylor, yes, I did shoot him… I’m sure you never doubted…. That’s what will fill the void: guilt for their death.
Sarah: Which means?
Regina: Punishment. Whichever one I deem fit.

And now, at the end of that epsiode, the final shot is of Regina… lying dead (drowned?) on a beach! Noooo! What will A Place To Call Home be without the evil, scheming and possibly/probably reformed Regina? I was truly shocked and wasn’t ready to let her go but apparently it was time. I will miss Regina on this show and believe me, that surprises me too! More spoilers: here’s an interview with actress Jenni Baird about it.

Now we need to find out how she died! Suicide seemed suggested in that conversation she had with Sarah but in the end, I think it was Sir Richard who did this to her…  So much drama! And two more episodes to go…

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‘Tis the season!

This past weekend Mr Esther and I and two friends of ours, whom we had gone to college with, went on our yearly Christmas market trip to Germany. This time we travelled to Trier and stayed overnight in a hotel in a village about 20 minutes away from the city center. We haven’t been feeling very Christmassy yet but that changed as we got closer to Trier and there was a dusting of snow all around! Of course, ‘doing’ the Christmas market helped get us into a festive spirit as well!

We spent the second half of Saturday afternoon and the evening going around the market. It really was crowded but still fun nonetheless!

The next morning, after breakfast, we walked through Trier again, this time in daylight and in the snow which was coming down much harder on Sunday.

We also noticed extra security measures on different streets that lead to the Christmas market: these huge candles are concrete blocks with a police van in the middle to prevent anyone from doing harm with a rented van or stolen truck… the times we live in…

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After some Käsekuchen and hot drinks we headed back for home again at around 1 pm on Sunday, on roads that were passable but also snowy…

Today (this gets posted after midnight, so on Tuesday, but I mean Monday) was an even more snowy day, we got lots where we live! Mr Esther and I worked from home today (as we had planned to do anyhow even before we knew this much snow was coming). The kids went to school but were sent home early. So, we took the time to decorate the Christmas tree. That is, Mr Esther and my daughter did (in her new Cookie Monster onesie she got from my mother that she absolutely adores!).

Our 3 year old black cat was fascinated by the snow, it’s the first time she’s experienced this…

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Our 12 year old red cat was more interested in finding a warm spot to sleep…

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My son admired the newly decorated tree but was soon more interested in his NBA basketball game on the Playstation…

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And meanwhile, outside it snowed and snowed! Our backyard looked magical…

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… as did the view from our front dining room window with newly placed Christmas lights…

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Yep, I’m feeling it… ’tis truly the season now!

Richard has been busy!

I gather that at the end of Berlin Station season 2, Daniel (Richard Armitage) and Esther (Mina Tander) basically walk off into the sunset together…

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I have had no inclination to watch season 2 of Berlin Station yet, but Richard walking hand-in-hand with an Esther is a lovely image now in my head. 🙂

This finale coincided with a storm of Richard selfies on his instagram account on Sunday, which were a joy to see…

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It felt a bit like Richard was saying goodbye to Berlin Station. Forever, I wonder? The latest news is that Berlin Station has been renewed for a 3rd season but this hasn’t been a fave show for me, so Richard in a 3rd season of Berlin Station is not essential in my book. I never really loved the first series but maybe I’ll think differently after I actually watch season 2? Not sure when I’ll brave watching it…

Also on Sunday, Michelle Forbes posted a lovely selfie of Richard and her on her Twitter:

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Then on Monday yet another selfie on Richard’s Twitter account, hinting at a new narration project…

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… which on Tuesday turned out to be the character of Wolverine that Richard is voicing in a Marvel podcast series! This made me chuckle, as the man has been mistaken for Hugh Jackman before and now the connection is even closer.  Yep, I can picture it…

… even though we’ll probably never see Richard actually looking like Wolverine. I have always liked Wolverine, I’ve seen all the movies except for the last one, Logan, which I hear is the best Wolverine yet and I still want to watch it. I think it’s really cool he’ll be voicing Wolverine but, as it’s again an audio-only performance, I doubt whether I’ll ever have the patience of sitting through a whole podcast series of this. I can sit through part of it, though, if it becomes widely available. We’ll see…

Then yesterday, on Wednesday, came the news that Richard is doing another audiobook called The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

This has me very curious even though it is, yet again, audio work only. I don’t do audiobooks and I am even less likely to listen to an audiobook with such a subject matter. I can internalize what I read in a book better when I actually read it as opposed to listening to it and with such a subject matter I’m not sure I can bear hearing it in another voice than the one I have in my head. Yet, this subject matter is one close to my heart and I’m very curious to know what Richard will be doing with the material. So, this is one I may actually try out…

The man has been busy, so much Richard news in just a few days! The last news-high before a Christmas-lull? For now, I am enjoying seeing Richard in Christmassy red. I just love this image, the warm colours and the warm little smile on his face.

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I look forward to more new Richard Armitage projects in 2018, with him filming Julie Delpy’s My Zoe movie next, I think!

Oh, Jerusalem…

… what will happen now after Trump’s latest narrow-minded, selfish move? My heart goes out to you!

I love Jerusalem. I was born there, have lived there, have gone to school there, have visited many times after living there. It has always been a problematic city, home to the holiest sites of the 3 large monotheistic religions. The picture on the left was taken from behind/on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (where Jesus is said to have been crucified). The picture on the right is of the Dome of the Rock (where Mohammed is said to have ascended to heaven) with the holy Western Wall in front of it (part of the Jewish Second Temple which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD).

And a few more pictures: my dad with my son at the Western Wall, my kids with cousins inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the closest we could get to the Dome during our 2008 visit, which was closed to non-Muslim visitors due to the whole conflict (I had visited there before, however, when there was more hope for peace).

These sites are very close to each other; the Holy Sepulchre is only about a 10 minute walk away from the Western Wall and the Western Wall is literally part of the outer wall of the piece of land on which the Al Aqsa Mosque & Dome of the Rock are situated. The sites and the feelings they evoke are so closely tied together, there is a real reason why the question of the status of Jerusalem is a very difficult one in the whole peace process… I just hope that what Donald Trump has done now won’t endanger a process that is already extremely delicate and fragile as is… I just hope that it will remain possible to walk peacefully through the Old City…

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… and that this bumbling fool of an American president hasn’t destroyed too much with his short-sighted foreign ‘policy’. If I were a religious person I’d be praying harder than ever for peace in Jerusalem now.

Sinterklaas & sleeping on Mr Darcy!

Today is the feast of Saint Nicholas, as I was reminded of on my Twitter timeline…British Museum Saint Nicholas

But I didn’t need to be reminded because the Sinterklaas festival is a huge thing here in The Netherlands and is celebrated on the eve before December 6th, so on December 5th! It’s mainly a festival for children and now that my kids are 16 and almost 14, the celebration has become very low key. They don’t put out their shoes near the fireplace anymore for the 3 weeks leading up to Sinterklaas, there are no more huge gifts and they don’t sing any of the dozens of Sinterklaas songs anymore. They do, however, like to eat the traditional food that goes with the season, like gingerbread ‘nuts’ and chocolate initials, and heck, why pass up a good opportunity to receive at least a few small gifts, right?

So, yesterday evening at dinner, I organized a little family Sinterklaas celebration. A few Sinterklaas songs were mandatory (they have to earn their gifts, after all), we had a nice little fire going in the fireplace…

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… a few small gifts were exchanged, including a few items of clothing…

… we had the mandatory chocolate initials (they didn’t have the letter E available for me or S for my daughter, so I just got replacement letters M – for mama-  and Z instead)…

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… and yeah, if you look closely you can spot the bottle of vodka (mama and papa need something too!) and the empty cups still on the table were for the hot chocolate with whipped cream we had for dessert…

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There was also a special little gift for me: a pillow case! And not just any pillow case… it’s a pillow case with Mr Darcy (as portrayed by my lovely Colin Firth) on it…

So yeah, I get to sleep on top of (and drool on) Mr Darcy now, if I like! It was a lovely, cosy family dinner and I got some fangirling in there as well. Not bad… not bad at all. 🙂