Another Easter in quarantine

The second Easter spent in quarantine and this Corona crisis thing really isn’t over yet. Yesterday we heard that someone in my daughter’s soccer team and someone in my son’s class have been tested positive for Covid 19. Both are asymptomatic and both haven’t been in close contact with my kids but with quickly spreading variant Covid strains you never know. Today we heard that someone else in my son’s handball team was also tested positive. So, we are stuck inside and around the house a little more now (especially difficult for the kids who had been happy to do their sports and go to school again from time to time) until somewhere in the coming week the kids can get tested.

We did enjoy a lovely Easter brunch this morning, prepared (as every year) by the wonderful Mr. Esther…

… and this evening the four of us will have a nice table grill dinner, making the best of having a little time off over Easter. I wish those who celebrate a…

… and may the new hope of spring also bring new hope for better days without Covid.

April 3rd

On this day in the year…

33: Christ was crucified (according to astronomer Humphreys & Waddington)

1043: Edward the Confessor crowned King of England

1312: 2nd council of Vienna, Knights Templars suppressed

1367: Henry IV of England, King of England and Lord of Ireland (1399-1413), born in Bolingbroke Castle, Lincolnshire, England (d. 1413)

1657: English Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell refuses crown

1783: Washington Irving, American writer (Legend of Sleepy Hollow), born in NYC, New York (d. 1859)

1860: The Pony Express mail delivery system, which used continuous horse-and-rider relays along a 1,800-mile (2,900-km) route between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California, was launched in the United States.

1882: American outlaw Jesse James is killed by Robert Ford at home in St Joseph

1886: Dooley Wilson [Arthur Wilson], American musician and actor (Beulah, Casablanca), born in Tyler, Texas (d. 1953)

1893: Leslie Howard [Stainer], British actor (Gone With the Wind, Of Human Bondage), born in London, (d. 1943)

1897: Johannes Brahms, German composer and conductor (Hungarian Dances; A German Requiem), dies at 63

1913: British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst sentenced to 3 years in jail

1919: Austria expels all Habsburgers and according to Mr Esther the use of coats of arms by families is banned

1920: Novelist and short story writer F. Scott Fitzgerald (23) weds novelist Zelda Sayre (19) at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York

1922: Doris Day [Kappelhoff] , American singer, animal welfare activist and actress (Pillow Talk, The Man Who Knew Too Much), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 2019)

1924: Marlon Brando, American actor (The Godfather, A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront), born in Omaha, Nebraska (d. 2004)

1930: Helmut Kohl, German chancellor (West Germany, 1982-90, unified Germany, 1990-98), born in Ludwigshafen, Weimar Republic (d. 2017)

1930: 2nd Academy Awards: “The Broadway Melody”, Warner Baxter & Mary Pickford win. First time Academy Awards are broadcast on the radio.

1933: 1st airplane flight over Mt Everest

1934: Jane Goodall, British ethologist (studied African chimps), born in London, England

1948: US President Harry Truman signs Marshall Plan ($5B aid to 16 European countries)

1952: Dutch Queen Juliana speaks to US Congress

1958: Fidel Castro’s rebels attacked Havana

1958: Alec Baldwin, American actor (Joshua-Knots Landing, Beetlejuice), born in Amityville, New York

1961: Eddie Murphy, American actor (SNL, 48 Hours, Beverly Hills Cop, Raw), born in Brooklyn, New York

1968: Martin Luther King gave his last speech (“I’ve been to the mountaintop”) at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee. The next day, King was assassinated.

1973: The first handheld mobile telephone call was made by an employee of Motorola, who called AT&T’s Bell Laboratories

1976: 21st Eurovision Song Contest: Brotherhood of Man for United Kingdom wins singing “Save Your Kisses for Me” in The Hague, The Netherlands

1977: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s 1st meeting with US President Jimmy Carter. I still remember the excitement at home (we lived just outside Jerusalem) when the Camp David Accords were signed two years later.

1978: Matthew Goode, English actor (Leap Year, A Single Man, A Discovery of Witches), born in Exeter, Devon, England

1982: Cobie Smulders, Canadian actress (How I Met Your Mother), born in Vancouver, British Columbia

1991: UN Security Council adopts Gulf War truce resolution

1996: Federal agents in Montana apprehend Ted Kaczynski, an American terrorist known as the “Unabomber,” who had killed 3 persons and injured more than 20 with explosives sent through the U.S. postal system.

2012: US President Barack Obama officially secures Democratic presidential nomination

2016: Panama Papers published – 11.5 million confidential documents from offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca expose widespread illegal activities including fraud, kleptocracy, tax evasion and the violation of international sanctions by the world’s elite in the world’s largest ever data leak

2021: Esther turns 51, celebrating her second birthday in Covid 19 quarantine…

The text on the cake translates to “It’s Esther’s birthday. Happy birthday old cake (i.e. meaning ‘old bat’)!” and yes, there is a spelling mistake on the photo gift my son got me which I love (it is so him!). Unlike last year, this year my already vaccinated mother and aunt were able to visit. It’s been a nice, low-key day.


(MTA: most of the info above is sourced from https://www.onthisday.com/day/april/3)

Another beautiful bike ride

We’re having gorgeous spring weather for a few days before it gets chilly and wet again over the weekend (if the forecast is to be believed). Mr. Esther and I went for another bike ride this evening after work. Our clocks changed to summer time last weekend, which means it’s light longer in the evening and this past evening was very beautiful!

Also made a few gifs from a few short videos I made (you can see our shadows as we bike)…

I have a day off tomorrow, if the weather stays this good I might do a longer ride on my own.

More Richard favourites

Michele added a second part to her Richard Armitage favourites challenge (and Armidreamer also participated). When I start a challenge I usually mean to finish it (see my answers to the first part) and so here it is. I needed to think on my answers for a bit and they may still sound rambling but that’s because these are not questions I necessarily think about a lot and so I don’t have any clear cut answers either. Anyway, for what it’s worth, my two cents (or two hundred cents, given the longish answers to some of the questions)…

1 You get one day with Richard what would your itinerary consist of?

Where would this day be? In London? So much to do in London! Like go for a walk somewhere (Hampstead Heath, the South Bank, Banksy walking tour, etc.), stop somewhere for scones and tea, maybe check out a (flea) market or an awesome museum like the Portrait Gallery. Dinner in Chinatown and spend the evening at the theatre or in the cinema, followed by a nightcap somewhere in a pub.

If he came here to The Netherlands, I’d take him on a little bike tour, walk through Utrecht (or really any of the old towns with canals, like Leiden, Delft, Gouda), make sure he ate some raw herring, take in an art museum (Amsterdam has some really famous ones with Rembrandts and Van Goghs), have dinner somewhere nice, preferably outside, in the evening go to the improv English language comedy club Boom Chicago in Amsterdam (gosh, I should go there again anyhow, haven’t been in 25 years or so! For American readers, Seth Meyers spent some time doing stand up there).

Either any of that or we just spend the day reading and puttering around the house or in the garden, before an evening out to dinner, theatre, comedy club, whatever. I’m not really particular, I’d give him options and let him pick or maybe he’d have ideas that I’d never think of.

2 What book adaptation would you pitch to Richard to star in and why?

Nope, nothing I could think of at first. Another romantic (preferably offbeat) hero would be nice after all the action and murder stuff he’s done, but I have no specific book heroes in mind. But then something did suddenly spring to mind! Speaking of an offbeat romantic hero, and a comedy to boot: he might be lovely as Don Tillman, the genetics professor with Asperger’s syndrome in The Rosie Effect. Don is sometimes compared to Gregory Peck in looks, I think Richard could pull that off too.

3 Richard has a charitable heart what cause is near and dear to you that you would ask Richard to support?

Human rights / the plight of refugees are usually closest to my heart, so organisations like UNHCR or UNICEF, SOS Children’s Villages or War Child. Those are big names and big organisations. Supporting something smaller and more local for children’s rights or refugees or the homeless or food banks would be fine too.

4 What flaw of Richards would you like to see him work on?

The need to please everyone.

5 Which of these ill fated characters did you relate to and why: Lucas North / Raymond DeMerville / Daniel Miller / Thorin Oakenshield

I can relate to Daniel Miller in that he grew up caught between two cultures but that never was explored deeply, just mentioned, so no real journey to follow him on there. Of these characters, I liked (and therefore related to) Thorin Oakenshield best, the fierce, honourable protecter of his people, trying to find a home again.

6 In a scavenger hunt where the end destination is your home what three clues would you give Richard to find you?

I’d need only one clue to guide him to the town I live in: Dutch cheese.

7 What three words would you describe your interest in a fandom?

Information and enthusiasm in my own quiet niche.

8 John Thornton embodies______________

Honesty, fairness and love.

9 What’s your favorite item of clothing that Richard wears?

Costume or private life? Again, I’m not very particular about his clothes, I’d be more particular about how his hair looked or whether he has a beard/stubble or is clean-shaven. As the question is about clothes, I will say that I really liked his look in The Crucible, especially that black coat turned up at the collar…

I like him a bit ruffled in a simple dark shirt…

…he cleans up nicely in a suit too…

… and I’m very partial to a turtleneck as well…

10 Complete this sentence: “I’m a Richard Armitage fan because he________________”

…. feels like a kindred spirit, more so than any other actor I know.

That’s all, folks! 🙂

Snowdrops

The ‘Mach’ Was’ theme this time around is to do something with snowdrops (in German “Schneeglöckchen” – such a sweet word!). “Easy!” I thought as I had seen one in our front garden. That snowdrop had been trampled but I figured I’d find others around everywhere. Alas, I did not! For the past few weeks, during every walk, I kept my eyes peeled to the ground in the hope of finding some snowdrops. Last week I finally found a remnant of the last few snowdrops…

… but mostly I found daffodils and hyacinths and even the first tiny daisies…

… but no more snowdrops! Spring has started here, leaving the snowdrops of the end of winter behind.

I figured I should find something more constructive to contribute to this challenge than not finding any snowdrops so I did a little online search and found this video…

For once my ‘Mach’ was’ contribution has something to do with actually making something. However, I’m not a crafter myself, I never have been and I have no patience for it, but this does look like something that is quite easy for someone else to make. So, happy snowdrops crafting, should you be so inclined!