Victories, tennis discoveries, and holidays

Last week’s victories

One: On Sunday I got my second Covid vaccination and it feels like such a relief!

Two: My sister in law (well, not officially, but she is my younger sister’s awesome partner) has an autoimmune disease and it was uncertain whether she could even develop Covid-19 antibodies. She’s had two vaccinations and was tested earlier this week and it turns out the vaccination has indeed worked for her and she does have the antibodies now. Yay!

Three: after broad consideration and lengthy discussions my son has decided on a gap year once he receives his diploma in September and we fully support it. He is proactive about it too, has made an initial plan, and we are proud of his ability to follow his gut and do what’s right for him. It was a really hard sell for my mother and aunt, who had all sorts of opinions on it, and then it also became a whole big thing with my mother on other fronts not to do with my son. This has cost me an inordinate amount of energy last week, on top of being ill with the flu, but after a lot of reassurance and explaining, all is right with the world again and I am feeling better (flu-wise and mother-wise). Most importantly, though, my son’s choices have been accepted, which I hope will counteract any possible negative family gossip.

Tennis discoveries

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been following what I could of Wimbledon these past few weeks and there is some really exciting new young tennis talent coming up! I was especially struck by the 18 year old English player Emma Raducanu, who made an impressive Wimbledon debut but had to pull out.

I also loved the 17 year old American quarter finalist Coco Gauff, who had aleady impressed at age 15 two years ago (so, technically not a new discovery for me) and who is only two days younger than my niece in London…

The 25 year old Australian Ashleigh Barty, who won the women’s singles title this year, has also wormed herself into my heart. I probably should know her as she’s the number 1 female tennis player, but I’ve been out of it with the tennis for a long time and didn’t know her before Wimbledon. Now I do and I hope she’ll win more as well.

With the men, the new ones (to me) were the 25 year old Italian Wimbledon runner up Matteo Berrettini who was impressive…

… as was 20 year old Canadian Felix Auger Aliassime (who lost to Berrettini in the quarter final).

And 24 year old Polish player Hubert Hurkacz impressed by beating Roger Federer in the quarter final in three sets, winning the last set 6-0!

I think it’s time to dip back into following tennis more again (a long time ago I used to do so avidly). Now that these awesome young players are coming in, I feel a sense of excitement coming back into the sport for me and it will hopefully not only be the same ones winning all the matches anymore (although, don’t get me wrong, I love Roger Federer and I always root for him). They could all theoretically be my children, especially the younger players (Raducanu, Gauff and Auger Aliassime) who are the age of my own kids. Yikes, I’m really old.


As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, we have plans to go to France for our summer holidays in a month. We were doing really well here with our Covid numbers and then our government let go of many restrictions, and WHAM! Covid infections are on a steep rise again!


65% of the Dutch population has received one dose of vaccination and about 39% is fully vaccinated but by far not enough people are protected yet. So, the infection numbers are sky-rocketing, especially amongst younger people who have been going out en-masse to discos and nightclubs where most of the infections have been happening. Last Friday during an emergency press conference some restrictions have been put back into place. This sky-rocketing of cases means that our country may become ‘red’ in Europe, which in turn means that travel restrictions for the Dutch may be tightened and this whole France holiday we have planned may have to be canceled. I really hope not, I really hope infections will drastically fall again, and I really hope we can still go on our socially distanced holiday as planned… I love my house, am comfortable in it, but I so need that break abroad. Fingers crossed.


Today this baby boy…

… has left his teenage years and is turning 20 (while watching football last night, rooting for the Danish who sadly lost to the English)…

He is a social, fun, charming and warm young man and he’s smart with a good head on his shoulders. He’s looking to the future, still a little uncertain about what’s next but I know he’ll get there. Today is not only for looking to the future but also for looking to the past and trying to wrap my head around the fact that this tiny being has now grown into this young man, heading into an adult life. I know he’ll do good but I think he’ll also always remain my baby boy in a way.


For the first time since at least the beginning of the pandemic I have a horrible cold (clogged nose, throat ache, headache, low grade fever). My son and daughter have the same thing. Did my first ever Covid test today and it thankfully came back negative. Kids are OK too. Mr Esther has asthma and so is the only one in our house who gets the flu shot. He isn’t sick so I’m thinking this is the belated flu streak rearing it’s ugly head, now the mask mandate here is over?

I am relatively susceptible to colds, I have one 3 or 4 times a year normally (not always heavy, though), but I haven’t had one for so long due to this whole quarantine business, I almost forgot what it feels like. This one I’m having now is quite miserable. Starting to shiver again, I’d best cover myself in my red blanket in this large comfy armchair, block out Wimbledon that’s on TV now (women’s quarter finals) and maybe take a little nap.

Hope it passes quickly but I have a feeling it will take a little while to shake. At least it isn’t the corona virus.


My daughter is at the zoo today with a friend and this is what she sent me this morning. How adorable is this?!?

She knows I adore elephants, they may be my fave animals ever. I used to have an elephant collection that grew too large to maintain but I do still have a few small pieces left in my downstairs and upstairs hallways. That one piece in the left picture has a baby elephant inside the elephant, it’s one of my fave leftover elephant pieces along with that big-eared little black elephant in the third picture (click to enlarge and please ignore the dust in these pics)…

I wish I could be there with my daughter to see the elephants, but alas, I have to work and my lunch break isn’t long enough to join her… 😏

Cats versus Noo-Noo

When we tried out our new vacuum cleaning robot the other night, our old red cat was present and not amused. Sorry about the grainy picture but it says more than enough about the level of comfort he felt. He quickly left the room. This morning our black cat witnessed our Noo-Noo in action and she was mesmerized…

… and made sure she was watching from a safe distance…

Noo-Noo hasn’t vacuumed the house at night yet, I wonder if our cat will decide to attack then, under cover of darkness. She’s a real night hunter, yesterday morning we found a dead dove in our dining room, so maybe she’ll try to overpower the Noo-Noo as well? Time will tell, but so far Noo-Noo seems to have the upper hand.