Sunday

After going through depressing news and some Twitter this morning, and enjoying Linnet’s little song lyrics adaptation…

… I decided that today was needed to lift some spirits. Going out for a walk is always good as a mood lifter except that today I really didn’t feel like it and let Mr Esther go off alone on the long walk he had planned. I decided on a lazy Sunday at home instead.

I leafed through some more Letters From Hollywood, a lovely book that I had bought a few weeks ago while browsing through a book store.

There was also Sunday cuddling and playing on the couch with my black cat (I love those tiny vampire teeth) which was fun…

Folding laundry became a bit of a challenge when my ginger cat decided that lying in the middle of the bed, which also doubles as my folded laundry sorting station, was a good way of keeping me company…

And I also had some time for my latest Lucas Bryant fix, he had a new Hallmark movie out called The Angel Tree.

It was of course pretty standard Hallmark Christmas fare but really not too bad, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It’s been kinda quiet on the Lucas Bryant front. He did a Chrismas movie last year called Time For You To Come Home for Christmas which was alright but missed some spark for me (more due to the story than the leads). This fall he had another Hallmark movie called Country at Heart which was alright as well, but he wasn’t the lead guy, so that was a pity. This recent Hallmark movie he did that I saw today I liked best, so I took this screenshot for my screensaver (I love those flecks of grey in his beard)…

It’s dark now, Mr Esther’s cooking dinner and I’m looking forward to a nice glass of red wine to round off this lounging-around-the-house Sunday. Hope you are all having a good one as well.

Back to Vanya and Harry too?

I just now finished watching a press conference on Dutch TV about new Covid 19 measures. Two weeks ago we went into a stricter lockdown and today, because the trends are carefully improving, a few things are opening again. We remain in a partial lockdown which, for instance, means that hotels and restaurants will remain closed, but cinemas are allowed to open again for now, with distancing measures in place. I was lucky enough to see Uncle Vanya twice on stage in London at the beginning of this year (here and here) but I’ve also been really curious to see the filmed version, which has been getting rave reviews. And so I immediately checked the only place I know in The Netherlands that had planned to show the filmed version of Uncle Vanya. Sure enough, tickets are available now, even though there aren’t too many. I immediately booked two tickets for Mr Esther and myself on November 29th…

It’s something to really look forward to! I hope the flattening of the Corona curve continues and the cinema will still be open in 12 days time.

In other Richard Armitage related news, Dawn French will be doing a little more of The Vicar of Dibley for Christmas. I doesn’t look like Richard will be there as Geraldine’s husband Harry…

… but I live in hope.

A little paranoid?!

I’m working at home, trying to take a screenshot of the Microsoft Teams feature that makes automatic closed captions during a video meeting. Closed captions only works for English. I tested what the captioning does when I speak Dutch and it translates my Dutch sentences to the most outlandish English sentences, which does give me some amusement as I test it a little longer than I need to. Gotta do something to make this all more fun, after all.

So, I’m testing this functionality while my daughter is baking cupcakes at the table and my son just got home and they’re chatting with me. With some hilarity, of course, because what they say in Dutch gets translated to some weird stuff in English and they come and check it out. I then get serious as I need to take a screenshot of the menu option where you can switch captions on or off. Also, as I’m having a bad hair day, I need to hide myself a bit behind that menu bar. The kids are doing their own thing again while I am speaking some English sentences that make sense, like: “Good morning. Welcome to the meeting” which will end up in my screen. Then, just as I take the shot, the captioning apparently catches something in the background that my kids are saying in Dutch and this is the caption I get…

I only notice it right after the shot is made and can’t stop laughing. This is the perfect, serendipitous picture, isn’t it? The kids love it too, I don’t think my work has ever caused this much hilarity for them before. I did get the correct screenshot later…

… but I’m still wondering whether I should include the first shot in the little manual / news item I will be using this for… πŸ™‚

At work today

Fascinating stuff…

Time for lunch, I think…

… and hope the afternoon can inspire me more (even though it doesn’t look like it).

Bad news, good news

I remember four years ago, when the whole world mourned the loss of Barack Obama and feared US fascism under Donald Trump, Democrats were told to suck it up and accept “the will of the people” in the 2016 US election. I even remember having a discussion on blog back then with a Republican who went on about the “will of the people” when Hillary Clinton held 3 million more popular votes. The electoral college system is what it is, however, and defeat was graciously accepted by Clinton, and Obama invited Trump to the White House for the beginning of the transition, as he should.

Yet now, with Biden leading the popular vote by 5 million and after having won the electoral college, the will of the people does not seem that important anymore to Republicans. Trump announced months ago that if he loses there’s fraud and if he wins there isn’t, which is ridiculous. And yep, he’s yelling ‘fraud’ now without any evidence and supported by his Republicans as well. Goodness, if the Democrats had been fraudulent, would they really have let all those Republican senators be re-elected? I know I shouldn’t be surprised with such an aggressive, un-democratic president, but I truly can’t believe what I am seeing. The world is watching the erosion of democracy in what used to be a beacon of democracy and that is sad and frightening at the same time. Inauguration day for Joe Biden in January can’t come soon enough.

Luckily, it isn’t all terrible news, in my real life some nice things are happening. For one, Uncle Vanya will be coming to the Netherlands after all!

It’s scheduled for November 29th but ticket sales haven’t started yet as cinemas and theatres are closed here again due to the Corona measures. It’s not certain yet whether this really will happen or not on that date. The movie theatre is an hour away from where we live but Mr Esther and I do plan on going, if we can.

Also, today I had a video interview with someone at the Dutch Council for Refugees on doing some volunteer work there. Next week I go in, with social distancing measures in place, to take a look at what I could be doing and that makes me happy. So, with all the bad things, I also keep on trying to do this…

… and try not to get overwhelmed by news and midlife crisis stuff, and hope things will get better.