Stirring news (good and bad)

My son is over the moon excited that his favourite basketball player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, won the NBA championships with his fave team, the Milwaukee Bucks. His instagram stories are filled with pictures celebrating that (I took screenshots)…

And also a little video of Giannis celebrating…

Junior has been walking around the house in his Giannis jersey, basking in the win even now, two days later. This is good excitement!

Less good is the news from a day or two ago that the Norwegian women’s beach handball team was fined for playing in shorts instead of bikini bottoms.

I hope other teams will join them in their protest and that the (misogynistic) rules will indeed change!

And then today I read some Eric Clapton news…

I had no idea he was in the covidiot category and I now find that he is a racist too. Apparently there was even a Rock Against Racism movement in the 1970s formed directly in opposition to what Clapton had said. I had somehow never heard of this before. Bowie in the seventies also made some controversial statements (I did know that) which also led to this anti racism movement but he retracted them vehemently later, something Clapton does not seem to have done. Not that I have ever been a huge Clapton fan but I do like some of the songs he made and reading this caught me by surprise (not in a good way) and made me cringe. I have never given Eric Clapton that much thought or have known that much about him but somehow I had never pictured him being someone with views such as these. Is it a coincidence that there seems to be a big overlap between covidiots and racists? Another example for me that these views aren’t only held by a few fringe lunatics but are more mainstream than many wish to believe. That is scary. So, yes, go ahead, cancel his concerts if he doesn’t want to abide by common sense Covid rules, I’d be fine with that.

Let me end on something more positive: a librarian from Northampshire got a Richard Armitage life-size cut out for her retirement! Lucky woman.

And ooh, I am just reading some more Armitage excitement: Guylty has received a package from the man himself that will go into the upcoming birthday auction that she is organizing! Pop over to her blog to see. The excitement builds! It looks like it may be an item related to this role… or not…

Isn’t it great that there is always some good news to balance the not so good?

Curious!

On Thursday Guylty announced the yearly auction that is coming up in a month for Richard Armitage’s (50th) birthday and then a few hours ago Richard tweeted this!

(Note: glad I took a screenshot of this tweet as it has now been deleted again)

Richard lurks and reads more than we may think, I conclude not for the first time, and I am excited that he even has something to offer for this year’s auction! It looks like he has been in touch with Guylty (are you still breathing, S?) and a surprise item is making its way to her. What will it be? I am so curious!

I really enjoy the yearly auction time and the excitement surrounding that. This year, however, I probably won’t be able to follow as closely as usual because I’ll be away on holiday in France by the time the auction starts. I was already curious to find out how the few items I donated will be doing and what other items are on offer, but now, with an actual item sent in by the man himself, I will try even harder (inbetween holiday daytrips) to follow the auction as best as I can from France. I also hope our holiday cottage wifi will be good enough. This is promising to become the most spectacular RA birthday auction yet. 🙂

Tragedy

Heavy rainfall and flash floods are wreaking havoc in Germany, Belgium and also here in The Netherlands right now. So far no deaths here and no floods where I live (very close to the lowest part in The Netherlands) but there are many fatalities in Belgium and especially in Germany. It’s heartbreaking and scary.

We had flooding disasters here in the mid 1990s and since then billions of Euros have been invested in measures to prevent future disasters but even the flood plains that were invested in aren’t enough to stave off all danger. The flood plains are filled with water now but as more rain falls in Western Europe and more water comes down the rivers from Switzerland and Germany, the situation here in The Netherlands will remain precarious. We had virtually no rain where I live and most of the rain seems to be easing now in other parts, but the situation still remains dangerous due to the very high water levels (still rising here), mudslides and structures becoming unsafe.

The Netherlands is quite famous for its water management and flood control and we have all sorts of safeguards in place but even that does not seem to be enough. How even more dangerous will it all get if the climate continues to worsen?

Besides the flooding there has been more tragic news here: the Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries who was gunned down last week has died yesterday. It’s front page news in all the papers here…

Source

As I said before, I’ve never been a big fan of the man but he was very prominent here in The Netherlands, I think he was pretty much known to everyone, and he really did fight courageous battles for justice. This shooting has truly shocked me as an attack on our rule of law and free speech in this democracy and it’s tragic that the sustained injuries were so bad that he couldn’t pull through in the end. I almost had these visions of De Vries crime reporting on his own attackers and the organized crime that is probably behind it all, but alas that is never to be…

The fling list

The German blogger Die Singende Lehrerin has called for another blog challenge. I already participated in her Marry Me challenge a few months ago and figured this one would be fun as well. This time the challenge is to name 6 sexy fictional characters you wouldn’t mind diving into bed with. They aren’t supposed to be serious relationship material, just a bit o’ fun. This whole challenge is a little ‘thought expermiment’ as she calls it. So, it’s all about the character, not the actor, but for me the actor also very much helps with this thought experiment which means my thoughts mostly turn to characters portrayed by some of my favourite actors.

Before I get to my list, let me tell you that this is at the edge of my comfort zone as I am not a one-night-stand fling kinda girl in real life and so I never really think in those terms. In real life, if I’d want to dive into bed with someone, I’d want some longer-term potential attached to it and that transfers to my fangirl life as well. This doesn’t take away from the fact that there are some very sexy, fling-material characters out there that can also get into my head. So, here goes:

1- The first (and initially only) character that immediately sprang to mind was John Porter (Richard Armitage) in Strike Back series one, because well, someone so desperate for a lay to release some tension may be fun for a night and look at those arms – strong but not too much.

2- I really like but somehow don’t particularly fancy the actor Tom Ellis. However, his character Lucifer Morningstar in the TV series Lucifer might be a lot of fun to have a fling with, wings and all. He’s the king of flings and shows countless women a good time in bed, I suspect I could really learn something from him and have fun too…

3- Speaking of Lucifer, Mazikeen (Lesley-Ann Brandt) might be educational and fun as well for a little fling! I find her very beautiful, intense and sexy.

4- Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) in Suits before he finally came to his senses and chose Donna, just because he oozes sexy, and self-assuredness and knows how to show a woman a good time.

5- Jareth the Goblin King (David Bowie) from Labyrinth, because of reasons I once posted about before. It’s the gaze and the…erm…long legs that would make me curious.

6- Last but not least: I watched this older series called Single Ladies a while back because D.B. Woodside was in it. It’s a bit like Sex and the City, which was OK but not a fave of mine and neither was this series. However, D.B. Woodside as Malcolm Franks, a rich playboy business guy with some shady deals but a good heart underneath, was very sexy. So, yeah, I’d pick him as well for a little fling-fun…

That’s it, that’s my (not really surprising if you read here regularly) list. If you, dear reader, have any suggestions/additions of your own, feel free to let me know in the comments or on your own blogs.

On an end note: the Marry Me challenge was far easier for me than coming up with this list of flings without longer-term potential. Maybe if I considered it more, I could come up with more, but for now, I’m quite happy and comfortable with my six flings.

Victories, tennis discoveries, and holidays

Last week’s victories

One: On Sunday I got my second Covid vaccination and it feels like such a relief!

Two: My sister in law (well, not officially, but she is my younger sister’s awesome partner) has an autoimmune disease and it was uncertain whether she could even develop Covid-19 antibodies. She’s had two vaccinations and was tested earlier this week and it turns out the vaccination has indeed worked for her and she does have the antibodies now. Yay!

Three: after broad consideration and lengthy discussions my son has decided on a gap year once he receives his diploma in September and we fully support it. He is proactive about it too, has made an initial plan, and we are proud of his ability to follow his gut and do what’s right for him. It was a really hard sell for my mother and aunt, who had all sorts of opinions on it, and then it also became a whole big thing with my mother on other fronts not to do with my son. This has cost me an inordinate amount of energy last week, on top of being ill with the flu, but after a lot of reassurance and explaining, all is right with the world again and I am feeling better (flu-wise and mother-wise). Most importantly, though, my son’s choices have been accepted, which I hope will counteract any possible negative family gossip.


Tennis discoveries

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been following what I could of Wimbledon these past few weeks and there is some really exciting new young tennis talent coming up! I was especially struck by the 18 year old English player Emma Raducanu, who made an impressive Wimbledon debut but had to pull out.

I also loved the 17 year old American quarter finalist Coco Gauff, who had aleady impressed at age 15 two years ago (so, technically not a new discovery for me) and who is only two days younger than my niece in London…

The 25 year old Australian Ashleigh Barty, who won the women’s singles title this year, has also wormed herself into my heart. I probably should know her as she’s the number 1 female tennis player, but I’ve been out of it with the tennis for a long time and didn’t know her before Wimbledon. Now I do and I hope she’ll win more as well.

With the men, the new ones (to me) were the 25 year old Italian Wimbledon runner up Matteo Berrettini who was impressive…

… as was 20 year old Canadian Felix Auger Aliassime (who lost to Berrettini in the quarter final).

And 24 year old Polish player Hubert Hurkacz impressed by beating Roger Federer in the quarter final in three sets, winning the last set 6-0!

I think it’s time to dip back into following tennis more again (a long time ago I used to do so avidly). Now that these awesome young players are coming in, I feel a sense of excitement coming back into the sport for me and it will hopefully not only be the same ones winning all the matches anymore (although, don’t get me wrong, I love Roger Federer and I always root for him). They could all theoretically be my children, especially the younger players (Raducanu, Gauff and Auger Aliassime) who are the age of my own kids. Yikes, I’m really old.


Holidays

As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, we have plans to go to France for our summer holidays in a month. We were doing really well here with our Covid numbers and then our government let go of many restrictions, and WHAM! Covid infections are on a steep rise again!

Source

65% of the Dutch population has received one dose of vaccination and about 39% is fully vaccinated but by far not enough people are protected yet. So, the infection numbers are sky-rocketing, especially amongst younger people who have been going out en-masse to discos and nightclubs where most of the infections have been happening. Last Friday during an emergency press conference some restrictions have been put back into place. This sky-rocketing of cases means that our country may become ‘red’ in Europe, which in turn means that travel restrictions for the Dutch may be tightened and this whole France holiday we have planned may have to be canceled. I really hope not, I really hope infections will drastically fall again, and I really hope we can still go on our socially distanced holiday as planned… I love my house, am comfortable in it, but I so need that break abroad. Fingers crossed.