Back to Vanya and Harry too?

I just now finished watching a press conference on Dutch TV about new Covid 19 measures. Two weeks ago we went into a stricter lockdown and today, because the trends are carefully improving, a few things are opening again. We remain in a partial lockdown which, for instance, means that hotels and restaurants will remain closed, but cinemas are allowed to open again for now, with distancing measures in place. I was lucky enough to see Uncle Vanya twice on stage in London at the beginning of this year (here and here) but I’ve also been really curious to see the filmed version, which has been getting rave reviews. And so I immediately checked the only place I know in The Netherlands that had planned to show the filmed version of Uncle Vanya. Sure enough, tickets are available now, even though there aren’t too many. I immediately booked two tickets for Mr Esther and myself on November 29th…

It’s something to really look forward to! I hope the flattening of the Corona curve continues and the cinema will still be open in 12 days time.

In other Richard Armitage related news, Dawn French will be doing a little more of The Vicar of Dibley for Christmas. I doesn’t look like Richard will be there as Geraldine’s husband Harry…

… but I live in hope.

The second wave

This is what Iman (David Bowie’s widow) said today and I’m so with her…

Corona is really on the rise again. We are well and truly into the second wave here and I think we may have one of the highest infection rates at the moment.

(Source)

At 7 pm there will be another Covid-19 press conference here and stricter measures are expected to be announced. And so quarantine life trudges on and even I, as an introvert, wouldn’t mind more social interactions by now, rather than less. It is what it is, however, and I guess until there is a reliable vaccine this will continue to be our lives and we will have to continue social distancing and making do virtually.

It is not an option for us to ignore the virus and pretend it isn’t so bad like my nephew does, who I’m told that even though he has contracted Covid-19, still thinks it’s all a hoax, as does his boss who continued to let him work (in a barber shop!) even though he had a fever. I wonder if this second wave also has to do with a growing number of people seeing it all as a hoax. It doesn’t help that some very public figures (like that US president everyone looks to) continue to downplay it all. A few weeks ago there were some Dutch young social media influencers who said they would be opting out of following Corona rules, they all thought it was nonsense. The most well known of them (I didn’t know her but my kids assure me she is very popular amongst youngsters) went on a talk show and she also talked to one of the most famous intensive care doctors here right now. He apparently later also toured an intensive care unit with her and since then she has taken down her opposition and is now working with him to highlight the importance of following Corona rules. Doesn’t sound like her change of heart (and the change of heart of many others in that protest group) influenced my nephew, however.

To counteract such depressing times, at least virtually I can still sometimes keep my spirits up, for instance with these new Colin Firth pictures taken at the premiere of the Supernova film the other day. He’s turning into a lovely grey fox.

I really want to see this movie but I know it will break my heart as well (see trailer here), so it may take me a while to get around to it. On to the very many more quarantine weeks and months to come…

Da blues

The days are getting shorter, which I hate (I always get some of those winter blues), it is grey and rainy and two days ago I slipped in the mud during an afternoon walk and twisted my ankle again (luckily not too bad, but still limping now), despite the lovely view…

The state of world affairs is utterly scary and depressing and getting me very low…

…Covid-19 is on the rise again here and some people are so stupid about it (including one of my nephews who, I heard yesterday, apparently does not “believe in” Corona and said he was getting tested but didn’t get tested and continued going to work, because his boss also doesn’t “believe”, and says he is getting tested now but who knows if it’s true?) and quarantine is going to last a looong time and my work is alright (I’m so grateful I have a job and income!) but does not give me much satisfaction. I’m in a meeting right now as I type this (just need to listen) which is quite numbing.

In short, my mood is just generally in the dumps today and yes, I decided to share that with the world. My blog is my outlet, after all. This is going to be one long ass fall and winter.

Stricter measures

Covid-19 cases are on the rise again here in The Netherlands and the numbers are starting to go steep. There are more tests than ever, so more known Corona cases than ever…

The death toll isn’t that high yet but the curve there is slowly rising again as well…

So, yesterday there was another press conference given by our prime minister announcing some stricter measures for at least the coming 3 weeks. Bars will close sooner, people are asked to work at home more again, group sizes are reduced and no more than 3 guests over the age of 13 are to visit your household. Wearing of masks is advised inside stores in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague (even though the effect of masks is still debated here by health professionals – distancing is far preferred). Masks within transportation are still mandatory, though. This past weekend my daughter’s football (soccer) team went on a team outing and I was one of the drivers and wore a mask in the car (oh my goodness, my hands so look like my father’s hands here!).

As there was no game for them this weekend, the girls went climbing and pictures were sent to us via the two supervisors who stayed…

For any future games (like this upcoming weekend) no more watching from the sidelines is allowed, like we did a few weeks ago for my son’s handball game…

His middle finger is still in a splint now, by the way.

So, we continue to social distance. Mr. Esther and I were at the beach again last weekend (after dropping my son off at work) for a nice walk in the wind. I like the beach when it’s grey out, it’s far quieter. It’s junior’s last week working there for his internship and we have on occasion driven him there or picked him up, which meant we’ve been at the beach far more often than usual. I’m thinking we’ll be at the beach far less from now on.

We also visited a small town near Utrecht last weekend while distancing. It was nice and quiet there too…

And today and yesterday we have been stuck inside again, working from home (and blogging now during breaks). We really need to make sure we go outside for more walks during the week as well, even if the weather isn’t so great (we didn’t yesterday, for instance; I was in t-shirt and pj bottoms all day!). This is going to be a long fall and winter…

And now, the end is near…

… and the summer will really start winding down here. We’ve been having a few nice, sunny and not too hot days here this past week. My favourite weather, really, which is 20-25 degrees Celsius (in the 70s Fahrenheit) with sunshine. On Sunday mini-me and I picked up my brother (who has just returned from a stint in Malta) and my mother and we headed to the beach. My mother isn’t that great of a walker anymore, so my brother and I took turns sitting with her in a cafe and walking with mini-me on the beach. It was lovely out there. Quite a lot of people there, but luckily it was easy to socially distance…

In the meantime, Mr. Esther went for a bike ride and Mr. Esther junior played handball outdoors in an away game and badly injured the middle finger of his left hand. The top of his finger is just hanging there loosely, looking very odd. I took him to the hospital yesterday for x-rays.

Luckily he has very little pain and it turns out that nothing was broken but he does have a torn tendon. Tomorrow his finger will be put into a splint for 6-8 weeks so that it can heal properly and doesn’t have to be taped to his ring finger anymore.

This afternoon, after some work meetings online, I took a few hours to work outside. Our old cat is curled up right near me, which is always lovely…

… and I am fully aware that this may be the last time this year that working outside like this will be possible. Chillier weather is predicted from tomorrow, so I guess that is when autumn will really start for us.

Corona cases are on the rise here in The Netherlands. Measures were tightened slightly last week but I suspect stricter restrictions may be coming. Add that to the weather getting cooler and we may be stuck inside for the foreseeable future more than ever these coming weeks/months. Mr. Esther and I will really have to make more of an effort to actually stick our noses outside our front door every day (mini-me and Mr Esther junior have school/internships and their sports activities to drag them out of the house… for now, in any case). Such strange times we live in and I’m not only talking disease; I almost fear reading the news, especially US news, every day. I so hope for some light at the end of the tunnel soon…