And a graduation as well…

Not only was it our son’s 19th birthday today…

This evening we also had my daughter’s secondary school graduation ceremony. Socially distanced, so only two people from the same household were allowed to come. That meant sadly that our son couldn’t attend and the grandparents couldn’t either, but at least Mr Esther and I could go.

The director of mini-me’s school section gave a speech, the school principal had taped a video speech and then after that every graduating kid got their own little speech from the class mentor. Our daughter’s speech was about her being very lively with her ADHD and how that didn’t keep her from getting very good grades. Mini-me is going on to higher level secondary education and the teacher commented on how that should be no problem whatsoever for her. She also added that mini-me is easy and fun to talk to.

After all the speeches for each kid, the diplomas were signed and we had to leave again; mini-me was guided onto the red carpet, of course.

We of course had to celebrate such a day, so we went out for dinner afterwards at an Argentinian restaurant my son had picked out for us to eat at. We sat in a nicely secluded, socially-distanced corner and had lovely food.

It was a good end to a festive day.

Work at home pictures

After no-motivation Monday, work from home has been going better. Mr Esther was working like this, this morning, during a very long video conference call…

And this is me working at the dinner table. Wasn’t going to share this image at first because of the double chin, but then figured if I share Mr Esther so openly, I can’t really justify not honestly sharing myself…

Used my lunch break and an hour after work to finish watching season 3 of the really enjoyable The Syndicate (from 2015) with Anthony Andrews (I’m reliving my youth in a renewed full on Anthony Andrews crush) and there’s a working at home image of him as well in The Syndicate!

I feel in good company here, sandwiched in this post between Mr Esther and Anthony. Only one more working day and then the weekend is here. Dinner is served now, I’m off!

Corona ‘work’ at home day

Bad night due to mosquitoes buzzing over our heads and our electric fly swatters are all broken.

8.45 am – alarm goes off, need to get up and throw on some clothes so I can start work at nine.

9.10 am – F**k, still in bed, need to get up now.

9.15 am – OK, now I’m getting up. Just quickly check WordPress notifications and very cursory scroll through Twitter.

9.35 am – Teeth brushed, hair brushed (thank goodness I washed my hair yesterday!), t-shirt and jeans thrown on. Run upstairs to empty dryer, fill washing machine again.

9.40 am – Finally at laptop. Thank goodness, not missing much. Mr Esther is making work calls in the living room while I sit in the dining room (he did manage to get up at 8.45 am!)

9.45 am – Weetabix breakfast while reading about corona measures at work from September 1st onwards. I work at an applied sciences university. Only absolutely necessary student activities (practical classes, exams and such) will be held in the university buildings. Work from home as much as possible will still be applicable in September.

11 am – Video meeting cancelled, thank goodness. I wasn’t in the mood for that one in the first place.

11.05 am – Can’t focus, scroll through news, Twitter and WordPress blogs quickly

11.30 am – Back to work. Ugh.

11.45 am – Kids crawl out of the woodwork. Mr Esther jr decides on some downstairs computer game time. No sounds emanating from him but mini -Esther puts on a music video channel. Actually, it’s not that bad, for once the music is good.

12.30 pm – Should I do lunch? Nah, not really hungry. Mini-Esther offers a brownie we still had lying around, I do accept that gratefully. Mr. Esther does eat lunch while I take another Twitter surfing break. I can identify with this statement…

And am laughing at these… There’s a whole thread of puns, totally worth it! Of course, Mini-Esther knows these already.

12.55 pm – Read through document for upcoming video conference call. Mr Esther goes upstairs for his afternoon of video conference calls.

1 pm – Video conference call. At the beginning mini-Esther sneezes loudly in the background, which gets the one participant already present in the call laughing.

2 pm – That was a good conference call, I always love it when I can help people and they leave happy. Get up for a little walk and look over Mr Esther junior’s shoulder at the ‘Civilization’ video game he’s playing (you build worlds in that game) and chat with him a bit.

2.15 – Back to work but I’m losing focus by the minute. Mini-Esther has very quietly started baking cupcakes at the dinner table opposite me, making sure not to disturb me. Normally not a problem at all (I’m pretty good at blocking stuff out) but today I’m asking her, “Why are you cutting open the chocolate chips packet with your left hand?” and she answers, “Mama, I’m using my right hand!”

2.45 pm – Mr Esther comes downstairs, makes coffee for himself and tea for all of us. We talk about both being tired after the mosquitoes last night.

We quickly look at a few electric fly swatters online. The usual site where we order the ones we like sells them for 14 euros a piece now! Look elsewhere, and they sell the same one for 3,50 a piece.

2.50 pm – I tell Mr. Esther that I think I’ll just quit early today. Nothing pressing going on that can’t wait till tomorrow. Mr Esther goes back upstairs. Mini-Esther comes downstairs has found one working fly swatter in her room (one she stole from our room a few weeks ago). We need more than one swatter in the house, so everyone can have one in their bedrooms.

2.53 pm – I need to actually order those swatters before 3 pm, so they can be delivered tomorrow. I get to the check out section and can’t remember my pin number for digital banking! I try it twice, but no luck. Can’t try it a third time, or my account will be blocked. What the eff is that about? I use it so much, but I really can’t remember it. Mini-Esther steps in to pay with her account, I’ll pay her back later. My mind is fried.

2.59 pm – Ordered just in time. Back to work.

3.15 pm – I can not focus. Start this post.

3.45 pm – I give up. Check news. Only 2 deaths (and yes, every death is one too many) and 3 new hospital admissions for Covid in the past 24 hours. Still going alright here in The Netherlands despite loosening of measures.

4.05 pm – Mr Esther comes down, his video conference colleagues haven’t ‘arrived’ yet. “Still working?” he asks, “I thought you wanted to quit early.” Tell him I’m blogging. After a quick kiss he’s back to work and I’m signing off here. Taking my daughter to a shop in town now.

4.20 pm – Just re-read this post, think I got most of the typos and if I didn’t, then that’s another testament to how fried my brain feels today.

Over and out! Hope for a more productive working day tomorrow (and a better night’s sleep tonight).

Sunrise, sunset

The new Mach was challenge is to do something with sunshine. As usual, I at first didn’t know what to do but then I remembered that Mr Esther, mini-Esther and I drove to the beach one evening a week ago to watch the sunset. So, I decided to use the pretty pictures I took then for this challenge. It was still pretty quiet on the beach and that evening was also a little chilly…

… but it was beautiful, with some kite surfers surfing the waves…

Mini-me walked to the water, while Mr Esther and I snuggled into our chairs to watch the sun go down…

… and then mini-me walked back to us, with the sun setting behind her…

… and we watched the sun slowly slide away beyond the horizon.

Mini-me made a timelapse film of the last part of the sunset on her phone. That thing that looks like a bird at the beginning is actually a kite surfer…

When we’re on the beach and I see the sun setting like that, I usually think two things. First of all I think of this little Dutch tongue twister that says: “Ik heb de zon in de zee zien zinken en zij zei zisss” which translates to: “I saw the sun sink into the sea and she said sisss.” Secondly, I think of this song from Fiddler on the Roof

Bittersweet and beautiful and oh my goodness, when my kids leave home one day, I’ll be a mess… But I won’t think of that now! I’ll just stare at beautiful sunsets instead.