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! 🙂

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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…

Cat in the sun

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

Cat on a stone chair

… and then both cats progressed to some necessary grooming…

Cats a-grooming

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…

esther-under-cover-tweet

… 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…

SAMSUNG

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…

sunday-cat3

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… 🙂

Say my name, say my name…

Who knew that being out of work could be so time consuming? I was just about able to catch up a bit with my own blogging but have had virtually no time to read other blogs!

Applying for jobs takes a lot of time (but is already starting to pay off, I have my first job interview in a week!), as does the admin surrounding the whole joblessness situation. Also catching up with people, going to a funeral (wife of a friend of my dad’s), getting in gear to help my aunt with organizing her 80th birthday at the end of the year and then there’s the health stuff…

dizzy-hypnoI’ve had trouble with dizziness and constant tinnitus (although no hearing loss with that as yet) and was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease a few months back, which is nothing life-threatening but it is annoying. Things had been going so well on that front, I thought I’d just drastically lower my med dosage, so low that I even stopped taking any pills on some days. That was not a good idea. I always have tinnitus, so that didn’t change (you get used to that) but the dizziness returned. Not as bad as before but enough to be annoying and inhibiting… So, I’m upping my meds again but it takes some time for the meds to take real effect again.

Anyway, suffice it to say, that all this wasn’t conductive to finding time to watch the first two Berlin Station episodes, that were made available online for FREE two days ago! But, finally I made it, I just watched them. Even though my house is in a dire state right now and I really need to do something about that, I have chosen to blog about Berlin Station first! Blogging is far more fun than household chores any day…

So, Berlin Station went off to a great start! Truly exciting stuff, with all sorts of inter-mingled plotlines that will hopefully unfold and give us answers in time! I loved the acting too, very good and intense. For me especially Richard Jenkins, Rhys Ifans and Leland Orser stood out next to Richard Armitage. But I’m not going to give an in depth analysis or spoil anthing big here. I just want to point out the shallow things in Berlin Station that gave me HUGE pleasure!

David Bowie! The moment the title music started playing I gave a little shriek! Bowie’s song I’m Afraid of Americans is the title song! I love that song, even blogged about it earlier in the year after Bowie passed away. bowie-americansThen later on in the first episode, when Daniel flirts with Claudia in the bar, in the background another Bowie song is playing: Soul Love from my fave Bowie album Ziggy Stardust. Now this is quality TV. 😉

Richard and cats! So, the man once said he preferred dogs to cats and he probably still does, but Daniel-Richard apparently likes cats! He strokes the cat, smiles and picks it up and even takes it home. Aw! It makes this cat lover’s heart beat faster.

Richard as Daniel Miller goodies – the long stride and the way he moves when he walks fast, the little shake of the head he always does (he tilts his head to the side and then moves it back; for me it’s one of his signature moves),

Richard looking good in nothing but his underwear, daniel-underwearwhite-shirt-Richard, white-shirt-danielRichard’s American accent sounding alright to me (what a relief! I remember feeling his accent was off in Into the Storm), Richard speaking German (once or twice I found it a bit difficult to understand him, but overall he doesn’t sound half bad), Richard with a kid eating ice-cream and the little smiles he gives throughout that encounter,

and of course romantic and flirty Richard who kisses delightfully.

Falafel making was even featured briefly in the second episode. The guy making it sure knew what he was doing. I love falafel! bs-falafel

Love is love. Gay love, black & white love – no issues there, it’s portrayed as normal, which it should be! No convoluted explanations, justifications, it just is what it is.

And best of all: Richard Armitage said my name! He really did, he said ‘Esther’! At the end of the second episode he meets this German agent in a bar and as she leaves he says, “lovely to meet you Esther Krug”. Maybe I can isolate that soundbite (without the ‘Krug’) for a ringtone on my phone? Hmmm, there’s a thought. Here, this is a still of him saying the “s” in Esther. 🙂 daniel-esther

So, yeah, I’ve really got to see more of Berlin Station! It’ll be a while before there’s more, which might be a good thing. It gives me time to start on my household chores – no more excuses to hold me back.