In recent months I find I have not been blogging much. Mostly it’s meet cute Mondays and not that much else. I constantly think of things to blog about, I have a big one sitting in the back of my head right now as I type this, but somehow I can not find the motivation to deep dive and make the time and effort to type it all out. I’m sure it’s got to do with some private family worries that I’ve had but now that everything seems to be settling down again, the blogging bug still hasn’t returned. I find that I miss it on the one hand, but can’t make myself do much on my blog on the other hand. Well, today I’m making myself do something by typing this post. Not that much to type about, but I’ll give it a go.
The weather today has been glorious and we decided to watch mini me play a football match as the end of the season is nearing. Alas, they lost by 3-2 but it was fun to see her in action and also really nice to catch up with another couple (parents of mini me’s team mate) who we’ve known for a long time before mini me even joined the team.
Mr E and I then biked to one of the lakes near where we live for a bite to eat and a glass of wine/beer outside in the sun. When we got home late in the afternoon, our cat was all too eager to find a spot on my lap! She misses her people when they are gone during the day…
Mini me hung out at the football club all afternoon. When she popped in this evening before heading out again she showed us a trophy she had been given: her team mates had chosen her as MVP of the team for this past year! We’re very proud.
As Junior is out all day as well (at a music festival), Mr E and I had a nice takeaway Thai dinner together and our neighbour’s cat also came by for a visit. He used to be the best friend of our old cat who died last winter and it’s always nice to see him around.
His colour even reminds us of our old cat, so occasionally, for a moment, our hearts will skip a beat when we see neighbour cat in our garden. Alas, it never is our old Effoh but neighbour cat has a special place in our hearts because he and Effoh used to be good friends…
Now the evening is here and Mr E and I are still in our garden (it’s after 9 pm). It’s gotten a little chillier so we are wearing sweaters now, but it’s still light out and nice and peaceful…
The house is still a friggin’ mess (we had initially planned a cleaning day today) but we can’t be too bothered by that after the lovely day we had today. We must make the most of good days while we can, mustn’t we?
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. Exercise.
7- Beach, mountain, forest, or somewhere else entirely? Forest
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 thelast 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).
It was our big national holiday today – King’s Day, where we celebrate our king’s birthday (and this year his being on the throne for 10 years) with street markets and games and music and such.
King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima visited Rotterdam today, together with two of their daughters, Amalia (the crown princess, dressed in pink) and Ariane (the youngest daughter). We watched the beginning of that on TV this morning, I thought it was pretty cool of Maxima to wear green in honour of Rotterdam’s official colour (their flag is green – white – green).
We didn’t watch long as we all had our own plans. Junior wore an orange t-shirt and was off to a King’s Day party in Amsterdam with some friends. Mini-me was dressed in red, white and blue, with orange glasses, and off to party in Rotterdam with some of her friends. Mr E and I wore the same thing we wear every year – Mr E an orange cap and me an orange scarf (something is wonky in that picture of us, I look like a chipmunk!) – and we made our way to Leiden, after we ate a traditional King’s Day orange ‘Tompouce‘.
In Leiden we walked the street markets and enjoyed some music along the way and even had drinks and something to eat outside. The temps were quite chilly but the sun was out and that made it bearable to even sit without our coats on for a bit! Leiden is always a lovely town to visit (I lived there for 8 years, many moons ago, before Mr E and I moved in together).
We left in the early evening as it got chillier. It’s been a lovely day…
Sometimes I think that it is mostly because of this day that the monarchy is still relatively popular here. It’s so very nice to have street parties and good cheer and celebrations all over the country like that once every year.
About two weeks ago I drafted a whole “worry list” post because there was so much to worry about and I was just too busy with too much going on. I ended up not posting it as I didn’t have time to properly edit it, it also just felt too whiny and open to discussion and I didn’t have the energy for discussion.
Now I’m two weeks on, it’s the weekend and things are looking up again. The worry about my son has resolved itself into a new strategy which I hope will make him happier, my mother in law was in hospital but is fine and at home, the market I organized for refugees has been done and dusted and gave me a real boost of positive energy. There was some big tension at work and on Thursday morning (the most difficult day) I happened across this little ad for a shirt that completely summed up my mood that day…
However, things turned out alright in the end. I have for now been able to calm things down somewhat and while it was difficult, I do feel a real sense of accomplishment there. I’m also glad that the worry about my husband is lessening a bit as he is slowly doing better. Other worries do remain (my mother, wanting to move but there are so many ‘buts’ connected to that, work-volunteer work balance, a small health issue of my own that I still have to make an appointment for, etc.) but I guess I can’t do more than take it all one step at a time.
In the midst of all the unrest and turmoil, we try to do and plan some fun things to balance it all out. Mr E and I went to the cinema together last week (Dungeons and Dragons which was quite fun even though we don’t know the game at all) and last weekend, Mr E and I were treated by family (for our birthdays, which were in March and early April) to a trip on a ‘Dinner Train’. It is exactly what it says in the name: you eat a nice dinner while the train you’re on drives around for a little over two hours. I look terribly pale and tired in the one picture but it was a really lovely thing to do.
We have also pre-booked our summer holiday. We will be going to Vienna for 5 days in July (I’ve never been there before). The kids will come with us there and after that Mr E and I will continue on our own to Slovakia for two weeks. We’re doing it all by car, which gives us a lot of flexibility.
Next week will be a short working week (only Monday and Tuesday) as we head into several holidays here. This means I also have time for a little London getaway! Next weekend (Friday evening – Monday afternoon) I will travel to London on my own to visit my brother and to see To Kill a Mockingbird at the theatre with him. No other plans yet for London, it’s all open, but there’s always something nice to do there.
I feel more peace settling over me now than I have in many weeks and that’s a good thing. It also helps that on some days the sun comes out and we can actually sit outside for a bit. Our cat enjoys that too…
Here’s hoping for more calm waters for a while yet.
In August there is an IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) conference in Rotterdam, here in The Netherlands. My manager has given me permission to go, so I have just registered. The last time IFLA was in The Netherlands was in 1998 in Amsterdam (had to look that up) and, at that time as a new fledgling librarian, I helped man a promotional stand on Dutch libraries. I may still even have the dark blue polo shirt tucked away somewhere in my cupboard. I didn’t attend the actual conference then, I just did the market floor thing.
Now that I’m back to working in a library again, I thought it would be nice to try the actual conference out because this year it is practically being held in my own backyard! The program isn’t set yet, I have no idea what the speeches and workshops will be about and it may even be boring at times, but heck, I won’t know if I don’t go. I also love an international community.
I know there are quite a few librarians in the Richard Armitage fan world and, although IFLA can be expensive, especially with travel and hotels and such involved, I did find myself wondering: do any of the librarians reading this have plans to go as well? If so, maybe a little Armitage Army, the Library Division meet up could be arranged? I could even do a little private tour of the library I work at. If anyone of you does have such plans, you can let me know in the comments or through my blog contact page or by email (email@example.com). I’d be really interested to exchange professional experiences with you, with the added bonus of meeting in person and doing a little fangirling on the side. 🙂