Counting my blessings

Recently I’ve not been in the best of places and to counteract that I’ve decided that today is for counting my blessings of this past week.

First off, it’s been a short working week as we had a holiday yesterday (Ascension Day) and at my work place the day after that (today) is also free. So, yay, very long weekend for me! It feels like a Saturday for me today but it’s only Friday and what a pleasant thing it is to have this extra free time.

The best news this past week has been that Mr Esther got his first Covid vaccination! He has asthma and is in a higher (though not highest) risk group, so was able to get it yesterday (in a town 20 minutes from here). Mini me and I waited in the car (Junior had decided on a lazy day at home) and afterwards we drove on and just made a nice day of it. It’s so nice that terraces outside restaurants are open again during the day.

Last Tuesday was my final Stephen Macht masterclass on dramatic movie analysis. I couldn’t make the final class but was sent a recording which I will watch this weekend. Those classes have been giving me joy these past 5 weeks and have set me thinking, which I love. In fact, I have requested and have been sent recordings of all 5 of the classes so I can re-watch it all if I feel the need to.

These past few weeks, on Wednesday afternoons, I’ve been doing some volunteer work for the Council of Refugees. Socially distanced with screens and masks and very few people present and by appointment only but I am really enjoying it. It also puts into perspective yet again how very privileged I am that I have not had to flee my country, leave family and other loved ones behind and start life over in a totally different country with a weird language and a huge amount of confusing bureaucracy. On Wednesday I was trying to comfort a woman my age from Eritrea, who doesn’t speak any Dutch or English or German, with a cup of tea. It’s so tough to be a refugee and I am just happy that I can try to make a little bit of a difference.

Another blessing is that I came across these pictures taken of my small family during our holiday to Israel eight years ago last February. All four of us in a picture is quite rare and these were taken by two close friends of ours who came with us on that trip. I really should frame some of these. (Pictures were taken at the Jordan river, Old City of Jerusalem, Ein Kerem overlooking the valley, at the Dead Sea and in the desert near Eilat).

Back to the present day and it’s still on the chilly side here in The Netherlands. It is getting a bit warmer, though, and in the sun it is possible to sit in our garden for a bit again and look adoringly at my two favourite garden statues.

While enjoying the sun in our back garden I decided to listen to some David Bowie again (despite me repeatedly mentioning him on blog I don’t listen to him that often). As my David Bowie song of the day I would pick this one, a duet with Queen…

Insanity laughs under pressure we’re cracking –
Can’t we give ourselves one more chance?
Why can’t we give love one more chance
?
Why can’t we give love?
Cause love’s such an old fashioned word,
And love dares you to care for the people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way of caring about ourselves.
This is our last dance, this is our last dance.
This is ourselves, under pressure

Funniest movie moment of this week was from the animated movie Zootopia. I had never seen it before but mini me watched it and we watched along. The scene with the sloth just made me laugh so much, it was a much needed relief.

I recall seeing this gif often online, now I know where it’s from and I love it…

This evening we had a cosy dinner with just Junior, eating cheese fondue. Yumm!

Despite continued lockdown and getting sad seeing images from India and the Covid tragedy happening there and worrying about Israel & Palestine and worrying about work and not really feeling like myself of late, there are still blessings to be found and that is a good thing.

Blogging memories January 8th

Herba is looking back at her posts on January 8th over the past years and that’s fun! So, I decided to join in as well with my own trip down memory lane on this blog, starting six years ago.

2015: On January 8th I briefly wrote about the terrorist attack on a satirical French newspaper called Charlie Hebdo in Paris and the feared retaliation on all Muslims after that.

2016: No post on January 8th, but I did post on the 7th, trying to convince Richard Armitage that cats aren’t so bad. The tweet he had tweeted then is gone and I don’t remember what it said anymore and the video I had shared then is apparently also gone. I still stand by the love for cats, though!

Three days after that post, David Bowie died just two days after his 69th birthday. I went into full on mourning and writing Bowie tributes on blog. Today, January 8th 2021, would have been David Bowie’s 74th birthday, so I’m adding a little tribute here now as well, as shared by Ricky Gervais today. Totally worth a watch for a great David Bowie laugh!

Happy Birthday, David!

2017: I didn’t post on January 8th but did post on the 7th and on the 9th. The post on January 7th was about winning something in Guylty’s Christmas raffle, receiving an Armitage puzzle, and speculation about a new Richard project.
The post on January 9th had me dreading the Donald Trump inauguration and mourning the loss of the Obamas. Sadly, all my fears and worse were confirmed by the Trump presidency of the past four years.

2018: No post on January 8th, but closest date I posted on was January 7th when I was very ill with the flu and my cat comforted me.

2019: Again, no post on January 8th, but I did do one on January 7th, writing about the trip we had taken over New Year’s to Hamburg.

2020: January 8th had me discussing Richard Armitage goodies, i.e. interviews because Uncle Vanya was premiering in the theatre and something on the small role he did in the South Korean film Space Sweepers (coming out soon now on February 5th 2021 on Netflix, by the way!)

Thanks for the inspiration to do this, Herba. It also makes me realize how quickly time is flying by. I pretty much remember writing all those posts and some don’t feel like that long ago…

Merry Christmas

From me to all of you a little Richard Armitage and a Christmas wish…

Yes, I wish you all wonderful days for Christmas this year, despite celebrating it differently and probably more alone due to the corona virus that is still raging around us. I hope everyone who reads this is well and I hope you can all find some happiness and peace this holiday season, despite the difficult year we’ve just had. May the memories of the loved ones who can’t be with us be a comfort and may those of us who are going through difficult times right now find the strength to go on, may we all find some light in the darkness. May those of us living in freedom and peace, with food on the table and a roof over our heads, be thankful for all the privilege we do have and may we all have empathy for the less privileged and pay it forward, each in our own way and not just at Christmas.

Allow me to share some David Bowie and Bing Crosby from 1977 with you all, wishing for peace on earth. I was in an online group chat earlier this week with a refugee from Eritrea and it made me wish even more fervently than ever for there to be peace, near or far, within this world we live and love in.

Take care of yourselves and each other. Merry Christmas. 🎄

Pictures of the day

I was getting dressed in the morning and looked at my David Bowie 2020 calendar and figured that the December image is my fave image of the calendar. I had my phone with me and just had to take a picture.

Later in the day Mini-me had a nice 17th birthday celebration…

… while the cat was less amused…

… and Junior was in party animal mode during dinner, despite being tired from work….

December 19th, 2020 was a good day.

David Bowie in space again

What else is new, you might think? Ever since 1969’s Space Oddity

… space and Bowie have always gone together. His early 1970s alter ego Ziggy Stardust was a Starman

Bowie has wondered about Life on Mars

And Major Tom’s journey (from Space Oddity) was continued in Ashes to Ashes

1995’s Hallo Spaceboy continued the theme, here in the more famous Pet Shop Boys remix…

… but also electric as a rock version with the Foo Fighters…

Anyway, getting carried away here and that is all due to the little news blurb I read this morning about the Royal Mint in the UK making a David Bowie coin…

… and that coin has been sent on a little trip into space! The article (HERE) even features a little video of that. After all the disasters happening since Bowie passed away, almost 5 years ago now (what, that long already?!?), I always keep thinking of this Paul Bettany tweet from mid 2016 after the Brexit referendum…

Maybe a Bowie coin in space will bring equilibrium into the world? Superstition, I know, but with a no deal Brexit looming, a crazy man in the White House destroying what he can before he leaves office and a raging pandemic, maybe Bowie can help make things better from space.