H(e)arts for Valentine’s Day

Still in Hart to Hart mode in my spare time and what better day to share something Hart to Hart related than on Valentine’s Day!

For those who don’t know or don’t remember, Hart to Hart was a TV show at the beginning of the 1980s about Jonathan Hart (played by Robert Wagner), a self-made millionaire, and his wife Jennifer Hart (played by Stefanie Powers), who in every episode stumble upon murder and solve those mysteries, whether near home in Los Angeles or somewhere else in the world during their travels.

hart-to-hartThey are filthy rich (but do remain relatable!), the stories are of course unlikely, almost every episode has some sort of (car) chase and sees Jonathan beating up the bad guy and the Harts always win. And yet, I used to be fascinated when I watched this series back in the 1980s on German TV (where it was called Hart aber Herzlich). It was fairytale, crime-solving fun, I guess, with at the heart the close relationship between Jonathan and Jennifer. Now, as I re-watch it, I find it a little dated but also find the relationship between Jennifer and Jonathan still has a very irresistible quality. They are truly happily married, very much in love, they have fun together and the way they look at each other… ah, the magic between these two still jumps at you, right off the screen! What I love is that nothing ever threatens their marriage, all challenges come from the outside, they trust each other completely and are completely committed to each other. Who says steady relationships on TV are doomed to be boring?  This one totally isn’t. Their joy in being together is infectious and they are very happy together, as this fan video beautifully shows…

… and they make each other smile…

… and they totally fancy each other…

They are best friends to boot and I find that, in hindsight, they made me dream of having such a relationship myself one day. I know now, all these years after I first saw Hart to Hart, that I have been lucky in that regard. OK, so we’re no millionaires, and we have never solved murders or handled guns or been in a car chase, but Mr Esther and I are best friends, we have fun together and we very much fancy each other. We kiss each other every day, we are always pleased to see each other again after we’ve been apart and, like Jennifer and Jonathan, we trust each other implicitly and we have complete confidence in each other. It’s been like this with us for 27 years now (picture below taken on our 27th first kiss-iversary a few weeks ago).

We never ‘do’ Valentine’s Day at our house, it’s of no importance to me or Mr Esther as we just don’t find it necessary to remind each other to appreciate each other. Yet, somehow, I find myself doing yet another V-Day post due to two things: firstly, because of the Harts, who have been ghosting around in my head for a little while now, and secondly, because as I was on my way home from work this afternoon, I passed by this Donut place and couldn’t resist buying these…


My daughter decided that Mr Esther and I should have the two white donuts, while she and my son had the red and green donuts. It was yummy, accompanied by a nice evening cup of tea and now, at the end of the day, I find myself musing on how nice it can be for two h(e)arts to be so in synch, whether on the TV screen or in real life. ❤️ ❤️


The future just brightened up!

It’s in the bag: I have a new job! Had a final interview this morning, we discussed salary and working hours and they want to have me and I want to have them. 🙂 It’ll be a little while before I can start (May 1st), but already I am feeling so much lighter!

RA slithering gif

On Monday I’ll be handing in my resignation at my current job and suddenly the world looks a lot brighter to me now that I can give micro-manager the finger. 🙂

Space is being cleared in my mind now, so hopefully I’ll be back to Richarding again soon. I had considered dropping by the Red Dragon Con last weekend when I was in London, but in the end my weekend was filled with other fun stuff with my brothers and niece, there was little time left to travel to the convention center and back, and as I wasn’t going to pay the entrance fee anyhow for Hannibal, there wasn’t much point in going. I did think of my fellow fans enjoying Richard over last weekend, though, and hope everyone had fun. I got an especially big kick out of this Twitter exchange, referencing the vicar of Dibley!


Thank you, Kate and Richard and Dawn French! And thank whatever good kharma there is out there for giving me a really good way out of my current job. 🙂

… and it was white, snow white.

There was snow in Amsterdam this morning very early (taken through the airplane window)…

… which meant wings had to be de-iced and our flight was delayed. We arrived in London and all was white here as well, like my brother’s garden…

It was all quite pretty! Alas, snow turned to rain and by the time we got into town and walked by Buckingham Palace, the snow was gone…

Nearby there was a remnant of ice on water, but that was pretty much it.

The white magic has disappeared here in London but at least the squirrels are cute!

It’s cold and wet, so time for a warm indoor break now with tea and chocolate…

… and a little time to figure out what to do this evening.

Busy, busy, busy but good!

So many beautiful Richard Armitage pictures during the Sundance Film Festival and also new project news. Yay! While I can just about follow what’s happening on Twitter, I have no time whatsoever to collect pictures and squee on blog. I’ll just post the latest (and best) squee-picture that I saw appear on my Twitter feed this morning (he’s so drop dead gorgeous in this one!)…


… and look forward to when I have a little more time to indulge in Armitage news. Just busy, busy, busy with work, stuff going on at home and also binge-watching old episodes of Hart to Hart.

Used to love that show in my teens and happened across it again. While it is a little dated, gotta say I still enjoy it now (despite mixed feelings about Robert Wagner). It’s so nice to see a prolonged happy marriage on TV! More about that maybe another time.

Some good personal news to share in the meantime: it looks like I may have a new job in the spring! I applied for a job at a college, they are interested in hiring me and have invited me back for a third interview, which will be held some time next week. That interview should be a formality and once I have certainty there, I can give notice at my current job. I need to give two months’ notice but the end here is in sight! I’m going to miss some of my co-workers but will be sooooo happy to be rid of micro-manager! And I won’t be the only one who’s leaving. One colleague leaves mid-February and another colleague is also in advanced talks for a new job, which she intends to accept. Can’t tell you how happy I will be to start a new job and how good it will feel to give the manager the finger, probably at the same time my colleague will. Oh, the triumph of it all!

Tomorrow I fly to London for the weekend. Unexpected trip.  I was at my mom’s yesterday, my younger brother was there too and said he was going to London for a weekend to visit my older brother and would I like to come too? Considered it, then found cheap tickets, so the answer was yes. 🙂

On top of all this good news, also the feel-good feeling that:

  • My daughter is doing really well right now! She has found a way to give her friend T some attention but also just be herself and do her own thing and be with her other friends. School is going well for her and she is enthusiastically talking about her future dreams. Her depression seems to be lifting, therapy seems to be helping, and she’s really social, communicative and cheerful right now. After all the stuff she’s been through, that just lifts my heart to the high heavens.
  • As we speak, my son is having fun on a ski trip in Austria with school and he actually has been texting us pictures! He’s a social soul but out of sight is out of mind when he’s away from us, so the pictures he’s been sending really make me happy.
  • My husband’s blood tests came back well and he has started working half days again. Monday another appointment to discuss results of MRI scan of his stomach, fingers crossed all is well. He still tires easily but is at least feeling better and slowly getting back to his old self again. This looks promising.

Bottom line is that I’m feeling tired, but with so many good things happening, my spirits are certainly being lifted. A few new leaves have been turned over at the beginning of this new year and that feels good.

To all the Catholic priests I’ve known before…

News this morning (yesterday morning by the time I publish this) is that Richard Armitage has a new role coming up…

… and I really like the sound of this. Finally an Armitage project for me to get excited about! He’s going to be playing a Catholic priest, “handsome Father Quart”, who solves mysteries. I know nothing of this story or this character but I am curious and I am quite partial to priests. In fact, priests have been on my mind recently, ever since Herba blogged about “The Thorn Birds syndrome” on her blog last week. It’s as if she felt some priest-announcement in the air. 😉

Due to my father’s work, we were friends with a lot of religious people. We grew up around nuns, we were friends with rabbis and priests. One of our favourite people was a Dutch Melkite (Greek Catholic order) priest who lived on top of a mountain in the Lower Galilee in Israel. Father Jacob, but we called him Uncle Jacob, was like a granddad to us and we visited him and his tiny community regularly. He had this beautiful little chapel hewn into the rock which I think still may be my favourite chapel ever…

Until we saw The Thorn Birds in the early 1980s I had never thought of priests as sexy, but then Richard Chamberlain was on the screen as Father Ralph de Bricassart and we loved it. I think my mum even had a bit of a crush on Father Ralph, I had the same crush. Can you blame us? Just look!

Now that’s a handsome and sexy priest. Will Richard be anything like that as Father Quart? I wouldn’t mind! By the way, not only Richard Chamberlain was sexy in this, I quite liked Christopher Plummer as a cardinal as well.

And my fave actor during my teens, Gregory Peck, has also played priests. It’s been ages since I’ve seen him in Keys of the Kingdom from 1944, one of his first starring roles, where he plays a priest that starts a mission in China. Even though he ages to an old man in the movie, he really is baby-Gregory as a priest. Very cute. 🙂

In the 1980s I also saw him in The Scarlet and the Black, a TV miniseries where he plays a Monsignor at the Vatican who hides POW’s during WWII. That too I haven’t seen in ages… In that one Christopher Plummer was a Nazi Commander, by the way.

Another priest I remember seeing in a movie was Bing Crosby in The Bells of St. Mary’s. I never was much of a Bing Crosby fan, I saw this movie for Ingrid Bergman, whom I do love. In the last picture of this group, they’re petting a kitten. Awww!

There was some comedy in St Mary’s and another movie about a priest (and a rabbi) that had some light-heartedness to it was a faith and romantic comedy called Keeping the Faith, starring Edward Norton, Ben Stiller and Jenna Elfman. I actually saw Keeping the Faith again recently and yeah, I still like it. Edward Norton looks very nice in a collar.

From comedy to darkness and Max von Sydow as a priest in The Exorcist. I have only ever seen that movie once (not my genre) and also barely remember it, but I do remember thinking that Von Sydow was good.

Another priest I liked was Jeremy Irons in The Mission, which I saw in the cinema in the 1980s, but also haven’t seen since, I don’t think. In class, in high school, we had to write a poem about a picture and I even wrote a poem about this one from that movie…

mission irons flute

I wonder if I still have that poem somewhere, I remember writing it before I had even seen the movie, I just liked the image so much. That movie also starred Robert DeNiro and Liam Neeson as priests…

… and Liam Neeson as priest reminded me of a movie called Silence that I saw two years ago, which impressed me. Besides Neeson, it mostly starred Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield and also briefly Ciaran Hinds. Ciaran looks very dashing as a priest, I have to say.

That movie was a little grimy and gritty, just like Pilgrimage was, in which Richard killed priests instead of being one…

At least he could already practice with taking Communion…

pilgrimage communion

These are all the Catholic priests that sprung to my mind (I’m sure there must be more but they didn’t pop-up in my head) when I read about Richard’s new role. He’ll be joining this nice line-up of actors before him and  I can hardly wait to see him dressed and act as a priest. He already looks good in a collar (of sorts) after all…


… he’ll be a knock-out in a priest’s robes.

I think I’m going to see if I can track down the book somewhere, my curiosity has been awakened! It feels good to be excited about an Armitage project again. 🙂