20 blogging prompts in 1 post

When you have a WordPress account, you also have a ‘My Home’ page in the admin section of your blog or website. Occasionally when I check in there, I see a writing prompt question and some of them can be interesting but I never answer them. While checking my spam filter today I saw a prompt asking “What is your career plan?” As I’ve been working today and yes, I was by chance also briefly considering my career, that question felt quite timely. So, I figured I could jump in on that blogging prompt and answer that question. I then scrolled through a few more prompts but there were only 5 or 6 prompts left. I did a little extra search and found a few more prompts here. “Why not compile a list?”, I thought. And so I cherry picked some questions that don’t need very long answers and have decided to answer them here:

1- What is your career plan?
I don’t really have one, never did! I do have some requirements, though:

  • My job needs to be in a social or educational setting, something where I can feel that my work is useful to others. I love that I’m working in a library again, and one in education to boot.
  • I want to be challenged, do something I enjoy and can use my brain for.
  • I can’t only sit behind the computer all day, I also need the aspect of socially connecting at work.
  • I want to make enough money so that I can live in relative comfort.
  • The older I get, the less patience I have for management bullshit, so if it gets too hairy, I’m out.

2- What public figure do you disagree with the most?
Donald Trump. And many more but he’s got to be the worst.

3- List your top 5 favorite fruits.
Israeli Sharon fruit (Persimmon), Avocadoes, Red apples, Bananas, Grapes

4- What’s the oldest thing you’re wearing today?
A black Franz Kafka Prague t-shirt.

5- Reincarnation: do you believe in it?
Lovely thought but nope.

6- Tell me something you know you should do . . . but don’t.

7- Beach, mountain, forest, or somewhere else entirely?

8- Early bird, or night owl?
Night-owl. It is almost impossible for me to go to bed before midnight. Ideally I’d go to bed at 2 am and get up again between 9 and 10 am.

9- Is the glass half-full, or half-empty?
Half-full, mostly.

10- The last book you read?
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. Fun book.

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend.

11- Is there a painting or sculpture you’re drawn to?
The Kiss by Gustav Klimt. We have a huge, thin fabic wall hanging of the painting in our living room. This summer we’re going to Vienna where I finally hope to see it for real.

12- Tell me something most people probably don’t know about you.
In my real life, practically no one I know knows that I have this blog.

13- Tell me about the last time you had a real, deep, crying-from-laughing belly laugh.
I laugh and smile regularly but one that really had me in stitches must be from a few weeks ago about something (and I can’t remember exactly what) my daughter said at the dinner table.

14- Describe the last time you were moved to tears by something beautiful.
Yesterday, actually, watching this clip on YouTube. I adore the inclusivity of this group of young dancers and singers.

15- Finish this sentence: “When I look in the mirror, I . . .”
“… should tell myself to be kinder to myself.”

16- Finish this sentence: “My closest friend is…”
“… my husband and I love him so dearly.”

17- Cast the movie of your life.
Childhood and youth: Richard Armitage as my dad. Amy Adams as my mom. Maybe have Millie Bobby Brown play me?

Current self: As I have a bit of an Oedipus complex, it would be Richard Armitage again as Mr Esther (this time with beard), and Kate Winslet as me.

18- Do you know the meaning of your name, and why your parents chose it?
Esther, from the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament, means “star”. My parents chose all Old Testament names for all my siblings and so they did for me as well. My dad was a doctor in Theology, specializing in Judaism and Jewish-Christian relations and my parents both liked having that theme for all our names. My middle name is for my paternal grandmother, albeit in a different version.

19- Tell me about your favorite pair of shoes, and where they’ve taken you.
Well, not the same pair because every now and again I buy new ones, but for the past 14 or 15 years I’ve been wearing Birkenstock slippers as soon as the weather allows. I have been on summer holidays all over Europe, Israel and even in the US on my Birkenstocks. Picture on the left is from 2009 in Canterbury, picture on the right is from last summer near Naples. Yeah, my feet got filthy, but I don’t care, I just love my Birkenstocks and I have several pairs.

20- Dog person, cat person or both and why?
I grew up with dogs and love them but I always wanted cats and have now had them for many years, so I’d say cats. I love their independence, their laissez-faire attitudes and the way they can curl into you and purr so endearingly. But really, the love for one species does not exclude the other and I love both. Here’s a picture from 1980, a few months before we moved from Israel to Germany. The little black dog on the left and the black and white dog were ours, the German shepherd dog belonged to our neighbour.

When I was 27 (in 1997) I got my first two cats and have not looked back since. Here are the four great cat loves in my life…

There you have it: twenty blogging prompts efficiently crammed into one post. If anyone else who reads this is inclined to play, I’d love to know what your answers would be (in the comments here or on your own blog).


David Bowie and Iman were together for 26 years and they were the loves of each other’s lives…

Iman has now released a perfume called Love Memoir, which is a tribute to her and David’s love and for the first time ever, I feel very tempted to buy a celebrity fragrance.

There has always been something about these two and how they felt about each other that felt very real and warm. In interviews David did he always spoke so lovingly of Iman and I have seen a few Iman interviews where she spoke the same way about him. Yesterday evening I came across this interview Iman did for the Today Show and it brought me to tears. I also read this little article in Vogue where Iman talks about only really confronting her grief recently while staying in their beautiful upstate New York home during Corona lockdown and that too resonated with me.

My grief for Bowie is somehow also always tied to my grief for my father. I still haven’t listened to Bowie’s final album more than two or three times because of it. My dad and David Bowie were both very important figures during a very low point in my life and they both passed not so very far apart, my dad 10 months before Bowie. These emotional ties between my father in real life and what being a Bowie fan meant to me in my late teens/early twenties, and their passing not so very far apart, is I think why I feel that connection to Iman now so strongly too. Missing a husband is different in many ways from missing a dad who lived to a decent enough age of 81. Yet, the loss of both is very real and can still feel like a stomp in the stomach at times.

So, now Iman has developed a fragrance to commemorate that love and that too is a part of the process of grieving but also of celebrating the life of someone you continue to love even after they are gone. I can so imagine her wanting to bottle David’s scent in a bottle. I don’t have a very strong sense of smell but I do sometimes say to Mr. Esther that if his scent was a perfume, I would want to wear it all the time. I guess it’s a pheromone thing. The description of this new scent sounds intriguing…

“Called Love Memoir, the eau de parfum—which is exclusively available on HSN—blends notes that read like a chapter in Iman and Bowie’s life together. Vetiver, the zesty scent that he wore the day they met and every day after, is balanced with hints of bergamot and blackberry, which bring to mind the Italian countryside where they were married.”

I never want to pay that much for perfume ($85 and I don’t know how much for shipping) but, because of the story of that scent, the ingredients sounding good and the emotional attachment I feel to the David and Iman story, I find that for the first time ever I am interested in actually buying a designer fragrance. Maybe for Christmas?

A hole in the stomach

I came across this image of a statue a little while ago. It’s called Melancholy by Albert György and is apparently situated in Geneva. The moment I saw it, before I knew or read anything about it, it really hit home for me because instantly to me this showed what grief feels like…

It’s been six years today and that sounds way longer than it feels. I miss you, papa.

The Richard mask

We are going to the most southern point of The Netherlands next week to a rented self-contained cottage for our holiday and we plan on going for outings into Belgium and Germany as well, maybe even drive to Luxemburg for a day. We know the mask rules are stricter in those countries than they are here, so Mr Esther wanted to order a few extra face masks to take with us on holiday. He is a heraldry geek and ordered masks with the coat of arms he had once designed for himself and had registered as his own…

(Yeah, his ‘Corona beard’ is getting long!) He ordered them in three designs but as they came in a set of four, he had a special mask made for me as well. Ever supportive of me and my fangirling, he ordered a mask with the painting my mother had once made for me of The Crucible

Here is the mask in more detail..

Pretty cool, right?

Masks here in The Netherlands so far are only mandatory in public transport, not in other public spaces. Restrictions here aren’t as tight anymore and this week the news came that Covid 19 cases are on the rise again. It won’t surprise me if masks become mandatory here in public indoor spaces like shops and restaurants as well, which means I may be using this mask far more than just our holiday. So, Richard Armitage on my mouth and nose – not a bad way to walk around this summer.

Spot the difference


My cats…

Uncanny, right? 😉 Almost good enough for the “Tussen Kunst & Quarantaine” (“Between Art & Quarantine”) project over on Instagram. The project started during quarantine as a lark where this lady invited people to share images of art works re-created at home. Click on the above link, if you’re so inclined, it’s so very entertaining to look through all the fun entries.