‘Tis the season!

This past weekend Mr Esther and I and two friends of ours, whom we had gone to college with, went on our yearly Christmas market trip to Germany. This time we travelled to Trier and stayed overnight in a hotel in a village about 20 minutes away from the city center. We haven’t been feeling very Christmassy yet but that changed as we got closer to Trier and there was a dusting of snow all around! Of course, ‘doing’ the Christmas market helped get us into a festive spirit as well!

We spent the second half of Saturday afternoon and the evening going around the market. It really was crowded but still fun nonetheless!

The next morning, after breakfast, we walked through Trier again, this time in daylight and in the snow which was coming down much harder on Sunday.

We also noticed extra security measures on different streets that lead to the Christmas market: these huge candles are concrete blocks with a police van in the middle to prevent anyone from doing harm with a rented van or stolen truck… the times we live in…

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After some Käsekuchen and hot drinks we headed back for home again at around 1 pm on Sunday, on roads that were passable but also snowy…

Today (this gets posted after midnight, so on Tuesday, but I mean Monday) was an even more snowy day, we got lots where we live! Mr Esther and I worked from home today (as we had planned to do anyhow even before we knew this much snow was coming). The kids went to school but were sent home early. So, we took the time to decorate the Christmas tree. That is, Mr Esther and my daughter did (in her new Cookie Monster onesie she got from my mother that she absolutely adores!).

Our 3 year old black cat was fascinated by the snow, it’s the first time she’s experienced this…

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Our 12 year old red cat was more interested in finding a warm spot to sleep…

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My son admired the newly decorated tree but was soon more interested in his NBA basketball game on the Playstation…

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And meanwhile, outside it snowed and snowed! Our backyard looked magical…

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… as did the view from our front dining room window with newly placed Christmas lights…

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Yep, I’m feeling it… ’tis truly the season now!

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I’m still here!

It’s been very quiet on the blogging front for me, I know. And I miss it! It’s just been sooooo busy in my real life, I either haven’t gotten around to blogging or I haven’t been in the mindset.

My son got his school diploma earlier this week! There was a central celebration for all those graduating and after that the 4 graduating classes split up and went upstairs to smaller rooms. That is where  personal speeches were given to each kid and where they actually received their diplomas.  My son’s class mentor awarded him a “Pun Master Award” in the personal speech she gave about him, referencing his humour. My in-laws were there as well, as was my mother and my aunt. I really missed my dad, though. He would have loved to have been there as well. Schools, learning and diplomas really were his ‘thing’…

Here are a few pictures of my son signing his diploma, the speech my son received, and the congrats afterwards (the girl with the long ponytail is my daughter).

We were very proud! Now it’s on to hotel management school for him… and this coming weekend his birthday with lots of celebrating. So much to do before then!

My daughter has been having some troubles that we’ve been dealing with and recently some things came to a head, so our energy has been focussed there (as it should be). Luckily things are a little better now. We have a plan of action and we’ve decided, together with her, to enrol our daughter at another school where we hope there will be a little more care for her than she received in her old school. We’ll see… we’re very hopeful, though!

All the ups and downs in my children’s lives that my husband and I have been dealing with, combined with work being very busy right now, means that, yes, blogging hasn’t been a priority recently. I’m really enjoying my new job, by the way, and they are happy with me too as I have just been given an extension on my contract till mid september next year and a pay rise! However, there is so much to do and I need to watch out that I don’t get sucked into unnecessary details. I need to keep on top of doing what I should be doing and not getting side-tracked by other things that people are starting to ask me about as well…

There has alas been little time for fangirling but I do try to keep up a little bit; I need to, for my own sanity. This means that I do have Pilgrimage ready to view but with all sorts of drama happening around me, I haven’t been able to stomach looking at violence like that yet. Maybe next week, when things look to be calming down a little. In the meantime, I did enjoy these Richard Armitage in Pilgrimage gifs from UltraVeloce on Twitter!

I also really liked this picture of comedian/actress Miranda Hart with her dog Peggy over on Instagram from two days ago:

Favourite photo. #dontsharefood #PeggyandMe

A post shared by Miranda Hart (@realmirandahart) on

From somewhere, and I can’t remember where, I was alerted to a Turkish cat-lover’s site a little while back. He plays keyboards and when he does, one of his many cats loves to keep him company. It is so darned cute and this week he posted another cute one, which gives me real joy! He has more videos like that on his Instagram, including one where another cat comes in as well and the video-cat gets a little jealous. Perfect little pick-me-up on a busy day.

These quick little glimpses of fun things help me relax a bit and make me smile!

Hopefully, starting next week, most of the busy stuff and private life stress will be over for a bit and I can get back to blogging more again. That is, until we leave for our summer holiday in England in two weeks time…

Anyway, this post was just a little sign of life… I’m still here! 🙂

Cats preparing for a ball

Now, I know there are enough people out there who aren’t necessarily fond of cats…

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… but I have two and I adore them. It’s almost summer now and my two cats were enjoying our back garden this past weekend while the sun was shining. Our 12-year-old reddish-beige cat likes to sunbathe…

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… and our 3-year-old black cat later joined us, sitting pretty in the shade (she is tanned enough, after all)…

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… and then both cats progressed to some necessary grooming…

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Maybe they were preparing for a Jellicle cat ball?

As a Cats-alumnus, you should be able to appreciate that, Richard Armitage… 😉

Esther under cover

I haven’t seen Berlin Station episode 7 yet, but I did see this tweet from Richard Armitage about that episode…

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… and it made me think of this picture taken 4 years ago when I was sick. I was on our couch and literally under cover and my cat at the time (still very sadly missed!) was keeping fearless watch over me, despite my cough…

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I wonder whether Richard was spying through our living room window at the time (would not be his first spy-gig!) and is secretly also referencing this… 😉

Lazing on a Sunday afternoon

We had a lazy Sunday today. Our black cat lazed on this huge beanbag that we have, pretty much all day…

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Our red cat (actually, he’s more beige than red) decided to disturb my husband who was reading on his iPad…

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… but not finding a suitable position, decided to find a spot on our living room rug in his preferred ‘don’t I look like a seal?’ pose…

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The nicest lazy Sunday moment of all, however, was seeing this hedgehog in our backyard! He’s been living around here for a few years, but I hadn’t seen him in a long long time, I thought he might have moved on. Apparently not! He wasn’t afraid of us either, he let us watch him to our hearts content.

We have this little hidden corner in our backyard that he used to prefer, I’ll see if I can get it ready for him with a little shelter / hedgehog hut for the winter… 🙂