To all the Catholic priests I’ve known before…

News this morning (yesterday morning by the time I publish this) is that Richard Armitage has a new role coming up…

… and I really like the sound of this. Finally an Armitage project for me to get excited about! He’s going to be playing a Catholic priest, “handsome Father Quart”, who solves mysteries. I know nothing of this story or this character but I am curious and I am quite partial to priests. In fact, priests have been on my mind recently, ever since Herba blogged about “The Thorn Birds syndrome” on her blog last week. It’s as if she felt some priest-announcement in the air. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Due to my father’s work, we were friends with a lot of religious people. We grew up around nuns, we were friends with rabbis and priests. One of our favourite people was a Dutch Melkite (Greek Catholic order) priest who lived on top of a mountain in the Lower Galilee in Israel. Father Jacob, but we called him Uncle Jacob, was like a granddad to us and we visited him and his tiny community regularly. He had this beautiful little chapel hewn into the rock which I think still may be my favourite chapel ever…

Until we saw The Thorn Birds in the early 1980s I had never thought of priests as sexy, but then Richard Chamberlain was on the screen as Father Ralph de Bricassart and we loved it. I think my mum even had a bit of a crush on Father Ralph, I had the same crush. Can you blame us? Just look!

Now that’s a handsome and sexy priest. Will Richard be anything like that as Father Quart? I wouldn’t mind! By the way, not only Richard Chamberlain was sexy in this, I quite liked Christopher Plummer as a cardinal as well.

And my fave actor during my teens, Gregory Peck, has also played priests. It’s been ages since I’ve seen him in Keys of the Kingdom from 1944, one of his first starring roles, where he plays a priest that starts a mission in China. Even though he ages to an old man in the movie, he really is baby-Gregory as a priest. Very cute. ๐Ÿ™‚

In the 1980s I also saw him in The Scarlet and the Black, a TV miniseries where he plays a Monsignor at the Vatican who hides POW’s during WWII. That too I haven’t seen in ages… In that one Christopher Plummer was a Nazi Commander, by the way.

Another priest I remember seeing in a movie was Bing Crosby in The Bells of St. Mary’s. I never was much of a Bing Crosby fan, I saw this movie for Ingrid Bergman, whom I do love. In the last picture of this group, they’re petting a kitten. Awww!

There was some comedy in St Mary’s and another movie about a priest (and a rabbi) that had some light-heartedness to it was a faith and romantic comedy called Keeping the Faith, starring Edward Norton, Ben Stiller and Jenna Elfman. I actually saw Keeping the Faith again recently and yeah, I still like it. Edward Norton looks very nice in a collar.

From comedy to darkness and Max von Sydow as a priest in The Exorcist. I have only ever seen that movie once (not my genre) and also barely remember it, but I do remember thinking that Von Sydow was good.

Another priest I liked was Jeremy Irons in The Mission, which I saw in the cinema in the 1980s, but also haven’t seen since, I don’t think. In class, in high school, we had to write a poem about a picture and I even wrote a poem about this one from that movie…

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I wonder if I still have that poem somewhere, I remember writing it before I had even seen the movie, I just liked the image so much. That movie also starred Robert DeNiro and Liam Neeson as priests…

… and Liam Neeson as priest reminded me of a movie called Silence that I saw two years ago, which impressed me. Besides Neeson, it mostly starred Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield and also briefly Ciaran Hinds. Ciaran looks very dashing as a priest, I have to say.

That movie was a little grimy and gritty, just like Pilgrimage was, in which Richard killed priests instead of being one…

At least he could already practice with taking Communion…

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These are all the Catholic priests that sprung to my mind (I’m sure there must be more but they didn’t pop-up in my head) when I read about Richard’s new role. He’ll be joining this nice line-up of actors before him andย  I can hardly wait to see him dressed and act as a priest. He already looks good in a collar (of sorts) after all…

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… he’ll be a knock-out in a priest’s robes.

I think I’m going to see if I can track down the book somewhere, my curiosity has been awakened! It feels good to be excited about an Armitage project again. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sparkle & fireworks in Disneyland

So, at the end of December we were in Disneyland Paris for a few days and while we were there I saw (on my phone) Herba’s ‘Mach Was’ challenge reminder. This time the theme is fireworks and her call to the challenge even features some Disneyland fireworks!ย  Even though I am pretty incapacitated right now on the couch with the flu, I couldn’t let that challenge pass me by…

This was my first time in Disneyland and yes, everything is about happiness and sparkle and fireworks. We arrived at Disneyland in the afternoon and not long after our arrival were treated to the Disney parade with all sorts of Disney characters…

The first fireworks (of sorts) came from a dragon!

As it got dark, everything truly came to sparkle, with the most sparkling of all the Disney Castle!
IMG_8109There was a nice angle of Tinkerbell in front of the castle, which had a magical quality…

There were Christmas lights and a sparkling Christmas tree…

Mr Esther and I don’t do rollercoasters (the kids did) but there was enough spectacle and fire to be had even without rollercoasters. We saw a car stunt show, which featured Lightning McQueen (from Cars) at the beginning, much to de delight of my 16 year old son who used to love Cars when he was little.

There were stunts with motorbikes…

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… and stunts with cars with a grand finale of a car jumping through fire with some fireworks in the background!

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There was some inner sparkle seeing the Walt Disney with Mickey statue…

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… and spotting Disney characters throughout the park, like Goofy in a Christmas outfit…

IMG_2940We also did a Studio Tour where the fireworks were all pyrotechnics, showing a truck and an oil dril site on fire…

Extra inner sparkle for me was when I saw none other than Jeremy Irons narrating the action on the studio tour bus… I think the film was at least 10 years old (probably older) but that didn’t matter, Jeremy Irons is always a joy to look at!

We also went to the Frozen singalong which had it’s fair amount of sparkle and on film fireworks…

The most spectacular fireworks or all, however, were shown during the fireworks show at the end of each evening, at 10 pm right before closing time. There was a light show projected on the castle with lots of fireworks to go with that. We tried taking pictures but most of them didn’t quite come out well…

… so Mr Esther filmed some of the fireworks. I won’t bore you with uploading everything he filmed but here is the grand finale…

Apparently it was the 25th birthday of Disneyland Paris in 2017, so after the fireworks this was shown, projected on the castle…

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Yes, it was all quite spectacular and, despite the kitsch, we had a great time! Perfect way to end the old year and look forward with new hope to 2018. Happy New Year everyone!