More fangirling in London!

Well, not only fangirling, we mostly did touristy stuff… As I already blogged about in my previous post, my 15 year old son and I were in London this past weekend and what a lovely time we had!

We went inside Tower Bridge and walked on the glass floor there, looking down!

My son was fearless about that and while I did do it briefly, I found it scary. But I did it – yay me! We also saw the engine room…

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… and when we finished our tour, we were greeted by a cannon salute across the river!

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OK, so the salute wasn’t for us but for the Queen’s 91st birthday. Still, we felt honoured. 🙂

We passed through Westminster…

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… and went on to Portobello Road in Notting Hill…

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… which was also a bit of fangirling for me as it reminded me of the lovely movie Notting Hill. The Notthing Hill thing was a spontaneous idea; if I had thought of it sooner, I would have researched it better and would have fangirled my way to Hugh Grant’s front door from that movie.

That evening my son and I went to see The Lion King musical, which we both very much enjoyed (we had a good view from the front row of the Grand Circle)…

While we were walking to the theatre, we passed by Covent Garden and walked by a street artist/comedian getting ready to do his thing. The street artist looked straight at my son and in his microphone announced “Ah, there we have Justin Bieber”! I had to laugh and the whole crowd turned to look at my son as we scurried along and my son turned beet-red! He has been compared to a younger Justin Bieber before and he hates it… I know I’m probably an awful mother but I have ribbed him about this incident regularly and in hindsight he now also has started seeing some of the humour in it.  He still insists he looks nothing like Bieber, though. 🙂

We shopped a bit in Oxford Street and also met up with fellow Richard Armitage fan Hariclea from the Opera is Magic blog on Saturday afternoon! We met at “Fortnum and Mason” and had ice cream ‘coupes’ at the ice cream parlour on the first floor! Beautiful, delicious, filled our stomachs right up! So much so, that my son felt a little sick there for a moment! Luckily he recovered quickly. It’s always a delight to see Hari and it was so much fun that I forgot to take pictures of our beautiful ice cream creations! The only picture I took was of two teacups priced at £145,- while waiting for Hari…

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Hari and I may have mentioned Richard Armitage a few times in passing but didn’t get too carried away in the presence of my son. That evening, as Hari went off to the theatre, my son and I went to see the Scarlett Johannson scifi movie Ghost in the Shell in a Leicester Square theatre with a truly huge screen. The movie was not the greatest scifi movie I’d ever seen, but it was quite fun and had nice visual effects.

We spent our Sunday on Hampstead Heath. We walked there for a bit, my son even climbed a tree…

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… we got up to Kenwood House (also a Notting Hill film location, by the way!)…

… and treated ourselves to some delicious scones (this had been something my son had particularly wished for).

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Later that afternoon we made our way back to the airport and flew home again. But I didn’t leave London without some specific fangirl items!

I’ve bought a DVD of a Gregory Peck movie I came across that I have always wanted to see but have never been able to…

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I’m not that much into Westerns but, come on, it’s Gregory Peck, my first real teenage fangirl crush!

At Kenwood House I bought the book Belle that accompanies the excellent movie of the same name, about a black young lady who lived as a lady and not as a servant in Kenwood House in the 18th century. She was also featured in a painting that was painted at the time but alas that painting is not at Kenwood anymore and is now somewhere in Scotland. I had seen the film, I now saw the book and grabbed it for myself…

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And, I did some more Jane Eyre fangirling when, in a bookstore, I happend upon a book with this title…

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I immediately recognized it as the first sentence from the last chapter of Jane Eyre and just had to have it, especially considering we will be visiting writer Charlotte Brontë’s house this coming summer.

Last but not least, there was Audrey Hepburn fangirling as well! I came across this POP doll of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s  and just couldn’t let it go…

So, yes, London is a great place to fangirl; it makes me feel greedy when I see all these goodies together even though they all didn’t cost that much. London is also a great place to spend time with my son! He picked out pretty much all our activities (Portobello Road and meeing Hari were my picks, the rest were his) and I loved that one-on-one time with him. I think that, except for my snoring at night, he enjoyed his time with me as well. We’ll definitely be back!

The funny thing…

… about my birthday (which is today) is that my real life friends and family never remember the name of Richard Armitage but they do remember that I love Colin Firth.  I received these two images today for my birthday, which made me happy. 🙂

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It is YOUR birthday!

This second image ties in nicely with my previous “I love glasses” post as well. 🙂

And my little sister took me down memory lane with this little collage she sent me…

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So sweet, it made smile! And then I realized: I’m really old now…

#BlueMonday?

We were having dinner this evening and my daughter made a few jokes at the dinner table adding #BlueMonday to everything she said. Someone just finished the guacamole before I could heap on a second helping? Awww, Blue Monday! My son has trouble swallowing because his throat aches (poor boy has the flu)? Awww, Blue Monday! The cats are hungry? Awww, Blue Monday! You get the drift…

So, Blue Monday is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year, usually the 3rd Monday in January, which it is today. It got me thinking: is today really extra depressing?

Well, I won’t mention politics because that really is very depressing. Any time Donald Trump opens his mouth or posts a tweet my political depression and fear for the future deepens. And the populist far right threatens to get more control here too…

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Our local music and arts school did have this ad poster that made me laugh…

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The first time I drove by this I was wondering who on earth was advertising for Donald Trump’s hair piece! As Jane Austen so fittingly said in Pride and Prejudice: “For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?”. Little things like this do lighten my political depression a teeny bit.

What is also depressing is that this past week I was reminded that it was a year ago that both my hero David Bowie and Alan Rickman passed away… I was able to pick myself up by listening to Bowie songs and here at our house we have started re-watching the Harry Potter movies. My goodness, Alan Rickman really was such a brilliant Professor Snape!

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These two men have left a great legacy.

On the personal #BlueMonday front – while I have had several job interviews I haven’t actually landed a steady new job yet. I have done a little bit of freelance work that has paid me very little and I do enjoy volunteer-teaching my small Dutch class every Monday morning (I teach 3 Polish ladies and an Italian man), but I wish for something more permanent with the job situation. Keep at it and keep trying, I guess. Something will turn up… I’m just so sick of applying for jobs… Just hire me already, I’m worth it! (I hope).

Also, today (after the Dutch class I taught) I spent the day helping my sick son get through writing an economics paper that was due today at the end of the day. I really do not enjoy economics, even though I realize that it basically rules the world. In fact, in today’s increasingly populist world, economics seem more important than human rights… and that depresses me too. #BlueMonday.

And Richard Armitage seems to have fallen off (or has possibly skied off) the edge of the earth. All mention of the Miles movie is gone, there are no announcements of new projects, no tweets. After a year of lots of news it feels so quiet all of a sudden. #BlueMonday. Luckily there are photos like this one to look back at (me)…

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And yet, this #BlueMonday I also have very happy things to think of! In 10 days my husband and I will be celebrating 25 years together. We’ll go out for dinner on the date itself and then early March we have booked 3 days away in Brussels for just the two of us. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to that! And speaking of trips – the only positive thing about Brexit for me personally is that, because the pound has dropped in England, it is cheaper for us to go there. So, making use of that, we have just booked a holiday ferry to the UK for this summer! We’ll be going to Yorkshire and surroundings for 3 weeks with our caravan and I will finally finally get to visit Haworth Parsonage where the Brontë sisters lived!

So, with these things to look forward to, this #BlueMonday is not quite as blue as it could have been! And for the optimistic #BlueMonday reader out there I’d like to give you the chance to dance along to the ‘Blue Monday’ song by New Order (here in the 1988 remix version). Or it could cheer you up if you are feeling extra blue after all…

And as it’s apparently also Martin Luther King Day, let me leave you with this quote:

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Feeling sick & being fearless

After a few days spent in a cocoon with happy family celebrations I emerge again to the world and I feel sick at what I see. Last week there was the horrible news coming out of Aleppo in Syria of the already horrible situation becoming worse than ever! With winter approaching, the need for help only becomes larger. UNHCR accepts donations for help, if you are so inclined (click on image for link):

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I have been supporting SOS Children’s Villages for over 20 years now and I received a request for help for Syria in my e-mail in Dutch (again, click on the image for more info in Dutch):

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Or go to the following SOS Children’s Village emergency relief pages, should you feel the urge to learn more and maybe donate:

This morning the news is filled with even more horror. There was a terror attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, with so far 12 reported dead and 48 injured. Awful, awful! I know what happens next too, the far right stands up and proclaims whole groups of people responsible who have nothing to do with this and the mistrust of everything that is ‘different’ grows. Meanwhile in Zürich reports this morning that 3 were hurt in a gun attack near a Muslim prayer center; apparently shots were fired at people who were praying. Of course, this last bit of news is just a footnote because attacks on Muslims are deemed less shocking, I presume. There is the sickening news of a Russian ambassador shot dead at close range in Turkey and horrifically Donald Trump has been confirmed by the Electoral College to be the next US president… Of course, that last bit of news was completely expected. I understand the Electoral College was also founded to stop demagogues from gaining power, but I guess Donald Trump is not viewed as a demagogue…

Yes, I am feeling sick about the news yet again. I have never been as terrified at what is happening in the world as I am now, in 2016. David Bowie died in January and it all went downhill from there… I still very much agree with Paul Bettany’s tweet in June:

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Richard Armitage posted his yearly Christmas message yesterday morning on Facebook, addressing the news and fears of this past year. Screenshots here, just in case:

I don’t want to go into a lengthy analysis of this message. The one thing I really can not agree with is the congratulating part in this bit: “there were “Wins” (and I respect and congratulate those who made those choices)”. Doesn’t quite gel with the being fearless part of the message for me. If you are fearless you also need to be able to speak out against choices that go against everything you feel is right and congratulating such choices doesn’t fit. Other than that I totally agree with Richard that “there is a literal and symbolic shift happening in our world” and I like the sentiment of trying to be fearless. He says there is “a narrative of fear out there, which we must resist, or accept isolation and division.”  and I couldn’t agree more.

As much as I want to crawl back under a stone, especially after the heartwarming weekend I have just had, I guess sticking my head in the sand is not helpful. I can subscribe to trying to be fearless, lending a helping hand and I add a personal hope that the humanity Richard mentions will show itself from it’s best side and not from the horrific side we are witnessing now. I so very fervently hope 2017 will be a better year!

Blog FAQ… sorta…

As those of you blogging on WordPress may know, you can see what search terms were used by people who have found your site. Most terms are not recorded due to privacy issues, but some searches do make it ‘on record’. The latest one I saw on my stats list today is “audrey hepburn showing middle finger” in Russian (I had to google-translate it)! Oh, that made me laugh!

Many of the search terms used are general ones about Richard Armitage or Colin Firth or Simon Baker and The Mentalist but some search terms are just downright intriguing, interesting or funny! I find myself reacting to some of these searches as if they were frequently asked questions posed to me. It’s a nice little game to play.

So, here goes, the “FAQ’s” that lead to my blog! Well, not really… sorta… (most of these questions are only mentioned once on my list). 🙂

audrey hepburn showing middle finger – Hahaha! Now that I’d like to see… When googling it I find this manipulated photo/gif, apparently it’s a thing!

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images eddie redmayne socks – What is special about Eddie Redmayne’s socks? I can’t seem to figure it out but I’d love to know. So, if anyone can elaborate, please feel free to do so. Maybe his socks are very colourful, just like Richard Armitage’s seem to be?

 

richard armitage beautiful man – Well, yeah, can’t argue against that! If you read this blog, you will know that that is a fact of life for me.

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james cromwell in a fairy film – Apparently when you type that into google, my site is the first one to come up! I guess the search must have been for the movie Babe. Yeah, I blogged about that once. Lovely film!

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i absolutely love colin firth – Me too! He features regularly on my blog!

 

is alistair appleton married? – I confess that I don’t know. He occasionally presents Escape to the Country on the BBC, he’s a Buddhist, he’s a psychotherapist and gives workshops, it says on wikipedia that he’s ‘openly gay’, he has his own site and blog! Every time I look at him I am filled with warm feelings. It’s something in his eyes and a kindness in his face.

 

richard spandex – Ah, yes! Looks like that could become a thing maybe? Sadly it looks like we will never get to see Richard Armitage in spandex now that he won’t be in the Mid Life Crisis movie anymore (not that spandex was guaranteed in that movie by any means). The closest thing to an image of Richard in spandex (that I know of) is the picture of him in that dragon suit for Hannibal.

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Of course, this question may have nothing to do with Armitage at all but could be about any Richard out there… This is what my ‘richard spandex’ search came up with in the first few images displayed (be warned when clicking on them, there’s at least one quite graphic image amongst these 😉 ):

 

richard armitage bare chest AND richard armitage crucible naked – He wasn’t actually naked in The Crucible but yes, he definitely was bare chested in it for a little bit! Wish I had been sitting on the front row in the theatre for that, but luckily it can all be viewed beautifully again and again on Digital Theatre.

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wet mr darcy – Yes, please.

In fact, the post I once did on wet shirts and bare chests is still quite well read… 😉

andy serkis shirtless – I see a search theme emerging here… I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Andy Serkis shirtless! I have seen him in spandex, or whatever that tight stuff is that he has to wear for his CGI work.

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michael palin the hobbit – Alas, no, Michael Palin wasn’t in The Hobbit. More’s the pity…

daughter is in jail – Well, she’s only 12. I suppose juvenile detention could be an option but no, I have not seen real criminal tendencies in my daughter yet.

how do you say, “happy belated birthday”, in czech? – Even though I have been to the Czech Republic (and the next visit is coming right up, this time to the East right near Poland), I have not learned to speak Czech yet. Google Translate says that “belated happy birthday” translates as”opožděné přání k narozeninám“. Not at all sure how you pronounce that and of course I can not vouch for the correctness of the translation.

is the book of esther a comedy – No, can’t say that it is. Not this one and not the Bible one either. Although maybe some parts could be funny-ish.

was the book of esther about love – This Book of Esther blog is about things that I love and care about, so in that sense, yes. The Book of Esther in the Bible (incidentally, I was named after that Esther) is about love too. The Persian king loves Esther, Esther loves her people and saves them from persecution. I can’t quite remember whether Esther actually falls in love with King Ahasverus herself, but yeah, lots of things are done in the name of love in that Bible book.

 

boys sexy 3 piece suits – Oh, yes please! I’ve blogged about that too.

esther rose thomas lovely deaf signer – For a moment I thought it said ‘singer’ but it says ‘signer’. I’ve never heard of her, but she sounds and looks lovely!

jisbon fun photo – Which one? I hope you found it! (For those not in the know: Jisbon is the ‘shipper’ name for Patrick Jane and Theresa Lisbon from The Mentalist). I get quite a lot of searches about The Mentalist, Simon Baker and about his wife Rebecca Rigg. They truly are a gorgeous couple worth searching for.

 

call the midwife mark strong – Nope, Mark Strong was never in Call the Midwife. I do get quite a lot of Mark Strong searches, but alas, I haven’t blogged about him that much. I do like him, though!

marta dusseldorp nose – Ah, the lead actress in A Place to Call Home! Yes, her nose does have quite a distinctive shape (click on images to enlarge). I love distinctive noses. In fact, her co-star Brett Climo has a distinctive one as well! Just like some other people I know.

 

chris armitage brother of richard armitage – This is the most used search term in my list, which surprises me because I don’t think I have ever blogged about Richard’s family! I know nothing about them except for their names (except for Richard’s sister-in-law’s name) and that they come from Leicester.

have a beautiful day my love – Thank you!! You too!