A cat, childhood & Jane Eyre

Just as I wanted to start typing this post, this happened…

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My black cat decided to stretch out between me and my laptop. I was distracted by a 30 minute portrait of Orson Welles on BBC TV (after watching another one on Joan Fontaine) and before I knew it there she was. I was able to shift her…

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… but she didn’t stay long and has now found a spot on my daughter’s lap…

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No work today, which is nice for a change. I was tired yesterday after a busy week and a busy working morning. In the afternoon I met up with a neighbour for a walk while we kept our 1,5 meter distance. It’s quite weird taking a walk with someone while maintaining a distance but it is doable and was actually quite nice getting away and chatting like that. Mr Esther, the kids and I had dinner infront of the TV last night with a lovely glass of red wine.

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I was talking to my mother on the phone yesterday, she was asking me for the 2011 Jane Eyre movie that isn’t available on Netflix and wanted to watch Pride and Prejudice as well. So, after two weeks at home and being extremely careful with no sign of sickness, we all decided we felt safe enough to venture out carefully and drop some DVD’s off at my mother’s house. It turned out that she had no DVD player anymore so my older brother found a spare one and offered it to her. To minimize outside contact between my mom and others I arranged to pick up the DVD player at my brother’s and then drive on to my mother’s to loan her the DVDs she and I had selected over the phone (picture taken so I know which DVDs to ask back)…

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Mini-Esther joined me and while on the road we saw signs saying, “Just stepping outside? Keep a distance of 1,5 meters!” and “Together against Corona. Avoid busy spaces.”

At my brother’s house we kept our distance, which is pretty weird when it’s family. No hugs hello or goodbye, no touching. Surreal. My brother, his partner and their kids (15 and 13) are doing well so far and my brother remarked how we were the first people outside their little family to enter their house in two weeks. First time we’ve been inside another house in two weeks as well. We stayed for only 10 minutes or so and then drove on to my mother’s to give her the DVD player and the DVDs. There too we kept our distance to my mother and my younger brother who is staying with her for now. Again, that felt surreal.

We visited longer with my mother and brother, catching up. My brother has been sorting through all the family photos and I took a few pictures of some of the old ones, like this one of me (little girl in the pink dress) taking a walk next to my grandfather (my father’s father) when I was 3 years old and he visited us in Israel…

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He died a year later and it must have been the last time I saw him. I have two vague (and warm) memories of my grandfather. One memory is of him reading me a book before bedtime and the other is of me holding his hand while we were out walking somewhere. It could very well have been on this exact walk!

There were pictures of us visiting the zoo in Jerusalem with my grandmother (my mother’s mother), it must have been around a similar time…

I also enjoyed this picture of us visiting the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, even though you can’t see that much. We are right infront of the altar built over the spot where Jesus is said to have been born. My dad is on the left, I am on the right, closest to the wall.

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There’s a fun picture of me meeting Sinterklaas at the Dutch embassy that used to be in Jerusalem (later moved to Tel Aviv). I think I was 7 or 8 there and I still remember that dress and that necklace! I looked at the picture and exclaimed to my mother, “Isn’t the man playing Sinterklaas Mr. M?”. She said it was indeed. Mr. M. held a high position at the embassy and was a family friend of ours at the time. We used to play with his kids (who were the ages of my eldest brothers and sisters). He had kind eyes and I’ve got to say that after all this time (some 40 years!),  I surprised myself that I still recognized him underneath that outfit.

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There was a picture with my other grandmother (my father’s mother) enjoying a falafel with us, I think I’m about 9 years old here. Not the most flattering picture of me but it made me grin.

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The final picture was taken not long before we left Israel to live in Germany. It think this picture was taken while we were loading the van we had for our journey north. We had bought the van a year or two before in The Netherlands while visiting there on summer holiday and had driven it to Israel (via land and ship). Our final trek away from Israel was also the ship and land route and this was taken just before we embarked on that adventure.

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How our lives would change after this moment in time! Ah, the memories…

Mini Esther and I left my mother’s after about an hour and it’s back into full on isolation again here at home. My mom was going to enjoy The Nun’s Story as we left and it’s taken ages to type this up because (after that Orson Welles portrait on the BBC) they aired 1943’s Jane Eyre with Fontaine and Welles. It’s just finished (it’s a pretty good adaptation!)…

… so I can now proof read this post again for corrections and finally hit “publish”. And so we arrive at dinner time during another day in isolation.

18 thoughts on “A cat, childhood & Jane Eyre

    1. Yep, 77 years old. It still holds up pretty well, I think, despite the over-dramatic lighting on Orson Welles’s Rochester and some overly dramatic close-ups!

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  1. I love the 2005 P and P that is a go to comfort movie for me! This post had me smiling and tearing up because we grew up in Germany and I remember the VW bus around where we lived!! Thank you for these wonderful pictures
    I miss my Oma and Opa very much!
    This post is soo welcome now I’m going bonkers inside 😂😘❤️👏👏

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    1. I have some gripes with P&P 2005. I like it well enough to have watched it several times and especially that dawn scene at the end is striking but I really did not like MacFadyen as Darcy and can’t get over that and Knightley isn’t a fave either. But… it’s P&P… so yeah, I can never quite resist that. 🙂
      I was never very close to my opas and omas. although I always did love my father’s parents. I have very warm and very vague memories of his dad but he died when I was 4. I also have fond memories om my oma but we never lived close enough to see each other a lot. My mother’s father died before my parents even married so I never knew him and her mother, my oma, always had a bit of a problematic relationship with us. I love seeing these pictures, though!

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      1. Esther see I liked the tension between MacFayden and KK especially the rain scene ahhh. I liked how fiery KK made Lizzie and the sisters were all good except Jenna Malone
        We were fortunate to live in Germany for much of our childhood and got to visit out Oma and Opa a lot. I barely knew my dads mum very dysfunctional relationship so I think that he as an American got welcomed into the Schreiweis home so openly was a true testament to their love of my mum.

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        1. That rain scene makes me cringe… Maybe I was comparing it too much with Colin Firth’s 1995 Darcy. Nothing can top that for me.
          How lovely that your opa and oma were so welcoming.

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          1. Esther oh no it made you cringe!
            I thought it was great how he declares his love for her and she rejects him because of her pride and prejudice of him broke my heart
            I’ll have to do s rewatch now!!

            We were very fortunate to live in Germany for a few spells growing up I miss Germany a lot!!

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            1. The whole scene feels too rushed to me. Also MacFadyen seems more like a Bronte hero in this than Mr Darcy, but, hey, that’s just me. I know how much this adaptation is loved, so please don’t mind me.

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    1. Oh yes, loved the Vicar of Dibley, loved all of those quirky characters and Alice was such a special flake. I was already watching VOD so when Richard Armitage was attached for the finale – well, that was just the cherry on top!

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        1. She has Netflix and my older brother just gave her his DisneyPlus login but these films aren’t to be found on those platforms, so she was happy. It’s also good my younger brother is staying with her, that keeps her entertained. And in addition we also have a little family drama going on, so never a dull moment. 🙂 🙂

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  2. Pingback: Home office during Corona | The Book of Esther

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