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…

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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. ❤️ ❤️

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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…

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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…

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… 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. 🙂

Fangirling again

I have a little more time again to fangirl now. Yay! 🙂

Saw this yesterday on my Instagram feed and it made me smile very widely.

Pierce Brosnan (whom I once briefly met) and Hugh Jackman (whom I will see live on stage in Amsterdam in May) bumping into each other in an airport lounge! Kinda funny too, as Amanda Seyfried (in the middle) played Pierce’s (probably) daughter in Mamma Mia and played Hugh’s adopted daughter in Les Miserables. Hugh says “Our daughter” underneath the same picture he posted to his Instagram. Awww. 🙂

Another picture I’ve been taking some extra time now to fangirl over, is Richard’s picture on top of another mountain from a few days ago…

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Dare I say, with even only a little bit of his face visible, he looks happy and relaxed? I wonder which mountain this is? Does he always go back to the same spots or does he pick something new every time? I hope he’s had/is having fun and I am still wondering what that exciting role he talked about a little while back will be… I’m done with Berlin Station, I quit watching after season 3 episode 2, so I’m really hoping for something new from him. By the way, Hugh was also on top of a mountain a few days ago. Spot the differences…

Moving on to fangirling over True Love in TV Series. The second half of Suits season 8 will air from next week. Will Donna and Harvey ever get together? Doesn’t look like it in season 8b, as Donna gets a new boyfriend…

I’m so done with this will they/won’t they situation, the Donna and Harvey (im)possibility has already been milked for what it’s worth, it’s obvious to me they finally SHOULD! On a side note, Louis looks on fine and funny form for season 8b…

And finally, Silent Witness is apparently still going strong on the BBC. I used to love watching the show, not only for the cases but also for the team dynamic of pathologists Nikki, Harry and Leo. Harry disappeared at the end of season 15 but when they killed off Leo at the end of season 16, I officially couldn’t watch anymore. They are up to season 22 now, I have caught bits of episodes here and there in recent years but it just doesn’t have the same magic for me anymore. And now, in a glimpse I saw last night (or was it the night before?) on the BBC, it looks like Nikki could be pregnant? How can she be pregnant and Harry not be the father? Yes, I still mourn the demise of that almost relationship. It seems she did have a love interest last season…

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Now I guess I need to watch those episodes and the next episode to see what’s what, because I am curious. I hope I can bear it… 😊

Arise, Sir Michael!

I have a real soft spot for Michael Palin. I went to a Hemingway book festival event here in The Netherlands once, specifically to hear him speak. One of my fave pictures I took that evening was this one:

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And one of my treasured possessions is a book he autographed to me personally (a gift arranged for me a few years ago by Mr Esther). The man has lovely penmanship! I also have several of his travel diaries, all very much worth reading.

Last night I read that Michael Palin is named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List! He is going to be a Sir and will be honoured for his “services to travel, culture and geography following his career as a writer and presenter of documentaries that have taken him all over the world”. I have yet to see his recent North Korea documentary, but it’s already on my to-watch list. I’m feeling very happy at this news!

Who could have predicted that a comedic knight in the 1970s with Monty Python…

would become a real knight one day! Arise, Sir Michael Palin and congratulations!

For auld lang syne, Sarah & George

Beware of A Place to Call Home final season spoilers in this post!

One of my favourite TV series, A Place to Call Home, ended in October after 6 seasons. I have loved this show and will miss it! I wouldn’t have minded a few more seasons…

Things worked out for the much troubled Sarah (Marta Dusseldorp) and George (Brett Climo)…

vlcsnap-2018-12-29-11h32m19s059vlcsnap-2018-12-29-11h32m35s801vlcsnap-2018-12-29-11h34m08s909… and for the rest of the characters on the show. A special mention for season 6 goes out to Carolyn (Sara Wiseman), Jack (Craig Hall), Elizabeth (Noni Hazlehurst) and Roy (Frankie J. Holden) who really tugged at my heartstrings this final season..

The show ends with the message that there are always challenges ahead (some are briefly shown), but all challenges are faced together and can therefore be borne. Beautiful.

Right after the final episode aired in October, I started making a Sarah & George centric farewell fan video but then I got stuck fairly early into making it. It was a challenge trying to keep it short and even now there are more clips I wish I could have included, but then the video would have been endless. Also, real life events interfered and so I never got around to finishing it… until now! Be aware that if you watch the video it will contain spoilers for the show.  YouTube has alas blocked the video in Australia and New Zealand, so here are links to the video on Vimeo…

… as well as on YouTube…

The video ends with “For Auld Lang Syne” – it feels fitting for the end of the show but also for this time of year, at the end of the year. It feels like the video was meant to be finished now and not earlier.

Thank you cast and crew of A Place to Call Home for 6 great seasons of a wonderful show! I’m already missing you…