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!

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To Audrey with love

Today, in the Netherlands, is Sinterklaas, the feast of St. Nicholas. It’s quite a big deal here if your kids are under a certain age (I described the festival last year here on my blog, in case you’re interested in knowing more). My kids are now almost 13 and 15 and the need for an elaborate Sinterklaas celebration has evaporated. However, we do have a few very small gifts that we’ll exchange later and I already know what one of them is for me: a little booklet about Audrey Hepburn, obtained at an exhibition I went to last Friday!

I have a bit of a thing for Audrey Hepburn… I fell in love with her the first time I saw her in Roman Holiday as a teenager. That movie provided me with my favourite actor (Gregory Peck) for many years, before I knew of Colin Firth or Richard Armitage and it ‘gave me’ Audrey. I think I have seen pretty much every movie she has made and, although I wouldn’t call myself an Audrey Hepburn collector, I have collected or received some special Audrey items over the years. I am known in my family for loving her, after all. 🙂

I have several books about her and I visited her grave site to the north east of Geneva in Switzerland many years ago (see the picture below on top of my small book collection).

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Every evening I have dinner with my family and with Richard and Audrey as well (see my one dining room wall):

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I even have a tea set with images from my favourite movie Roman Holiday on it and a Roman Holiday mints tin, sitting proudly in my living room (and a Roman Holiday poster in my bedroom but no pics of that available right now)

Roman Holiday tea set

So, when my mother recently told me there would be an exhibition featuring Audrey Hepburn, I was so there! We went last week… The exhibition in Den Haag is dedicated to the fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy, who was Audrey’s go-to fashion designer. His clothes were also worn by other famous women like Jackie Kennedy, Wallis Simpson or Grace Kelly. The exhibition was about all of his work, but a large portion was dedicated to Audrey. I’m not a ‘fashion-person’, so for me the main attraction was Audrey and not Hubert. Also, the exhibition is titled ‘To Audrey with Love’, so I just really had to go!

My favourite room was this one room where they had big screens showing a few scenes from Audrey’s movies next to the displays of the actual dresses she had worn in those movies! The most dresses shown were from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (excuse the graininess, pics were taken with my phone)…

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There was a dress on display from How To Steal a Million

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Or the first collaboration between Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn for Sabrina

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Apparently De Givenchy also designed both of Audrey’s wedding dresses. The first was from her marriage to Mel Ferrer…

… and the second dress from her marriage to Andrea Dotti…

There were also single dresses from Wallis Simpson, Jackie Kennedy and Grace Kelly on display and lots of other dresses, but I didn’t take pictures of those. There was a room dedicated to Audrey Hepburn’s work for Unicef, which really touched me. Part of the proceeds from this exhibition will also be going to Unicef. Even after her passing, she is still raising money for a good cause… yes, she was a special woman!

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At the very end of the exhibition I could pretend to be Audrey Hepburn’s character Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The outfit was on display…

… and I was able to try on a replica hat myself! I don’t look nearly as charming as Audrey did, but it was fun!

Yes, going to this exhibiton was time well spent. 🙂

Happy world smile day!

Apparently it’s world smile day today honouring the inventor of the smiley, Harvey Ball. Lovely idea, so I thought I’d contribute!

There are many daily situations to smile about, like when it comes to office politics…

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Or teaching the young about ‘old’ media…

There’s humour in education…

… and signs…

… and advertising, branding and displays…

(For non German readers here – “Kinder Überraschung” means “Children’s surprise” and is normally a chocolate egg with a little gift inside – for kids).

Cats are funny…

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Election time can be funny…

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Trying to ride your bike on a bike path can be funny (very relevant for someone like me living in the Netherlands, where 4 of the 5 pictures below were taken)…

Wisdom can be funny…

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Superheroes can be funny (in this case Thor and Loki)…

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And speaking of actors… my favourite actors’ faces lighting up, that makes me smile and laugh too! Like these…

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So, happy world smile day everyone!

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!

JC fairy film search

 

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.

armitage proctor @washbasin

 

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!

Sickened… & finding a happy place

The news these days is awful and I find myself dreading to switch on the news every morning, dreading what awful thing has happened now… awful awful bombing in Baghdad, hostage situation and killings in Dhaka, another bomb in Medina… and here in the West people keep on blaming ‘those muslims’ for it all and reporting on these tragedies is nothing compared the reporting we had on Orlando or Brussels or Paris a year ago. Why? Has the West really become so bigoted against Muslims they can’t even report on tragedies that befall them? Not only the bombings make me sick, rampant Western xenophobia makes me sick too… People like Geert Wilders and Trump and Farage make me sick… I came across a Banksy graffiti picture the other day which expresses it perfectly!

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I’m so depressed over the news, I find myself trying to hide away from it… not that that helps and changes anything, of course… All I have been able to blog about this past week or two is politics, even though this blog is not intended to be political – at all! It just feels like the world is turning upside down and I feel totally powerless! For instance, I see in a poll today that Trump is only 3 points behind Hillary for winning the US presidential election – will he catch up and will something inconceivable happen in the US (like Brexit was to me in the UK)? Ugh, here I go, feeling sick again…I fear for the future so very much!

I need to get back to some happy places in my blog-life, to counterbalance the political worries in real-life. So, I need to stop blogging about politics for a while. I hope I can. Let me start here… See this Audrey Hepburn picture? It makes me smile, was on my Twitter timeline today:

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And this tweet also makes me happy, from a few days ago:

Richard’s hair is growing longer, I love it! Here let me crop him out for closer study…

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Oh, and there is a new Bridget Jones trailer! I really don’t like the “who’s the baby’s daddy” premise for this movie and I do wonder whether it was smart to make another Bridget movie, but I do admit that I had to chuckle quite a few times when I first saw this. I think I loved Colin Firth’s sour face most and I loved Emma Thompson too. She’s in it and seems to be stealing the show for all the scenes she’s in…

If Bridget doesn’t end up with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) forever at the end of this movie, then the ‘world has turned upside down’ feeling will be complete. But for now, I will try to keep on smiling.