Popping up with Richard

I’m a bad Armitage fan right now. Still haven’t gotten up the courage to see My Zoe yet and I admit to not minding so much that Richard is relatively quiet on social media. So much happening on social media these days that it gets exhausting to follow and him not being around so much is almost bliss – one less thing to occupy my mind with. Now Richard has popped up again and this time it’s not someting I want to ignore, so here I am, popping up as well with a blog post.

So, Richard Armitage is now promoting again, this time the audiobook of selected Chekhov tales he is reading. Yeah, really not interested in another audio book, but I do like seeing a new picture of our Richie again…

The image was used in a recent NME interview called “The Soundtrack of my Life” which was published yesterday. Not too revealing an article but a fun enough read.

He really is of my generation with his Abba and Eurythmics and Queen memories/choices. Imogen Heap I have heard of by name, listening to that song he shared I don’t think I need to hear more, it’s not for me. His Tina Turner story intrigued me as I remember wanting to go and see her as well during that tour but although I liked Tina Turner I was never a real fan and in the end felt it was too expensive. I thought I’d check the tour dates to see when Armitage would have been in Amsterdam to see her but according to Wikipedia she did her Dutch concerts in Arnhem not Amsterdam! Memory is a tricky thing, even for Richards. Maybe he stayed in Amsterdam, which is about an hour and a half away (or a little less) from Arnhem. That last video he shared of that Icelandic band’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest was awesome. I had seen part of it before, never the whole thing, and it just cracked me up.

Then yesterday evening another item appeared about Richard being in an Empire podcast. My brother had come by unexpectedly, so I chose him and a nice cheese evening instead of the podcast…

Richard still wasn’t a priority during the day today when I decided to spend it finally finishing my Audrey Hepburn in World War II book (post on that will be forthcoming). This evening after dinner I finally did make some time and listened to the podcast. I skipped ahead till I got to the Richard bit at 1 hour and 10 minutes.

So, the man is in New York. Lots of audiobook and Chekhov talk that were mildly interesting to me (I’m sorry, I just can not get hyped up about audiobooks!). I liked the latter part of the interview better when chat turned to other things. I really liked that little stage door story of when he realized that Toby Jones had played Dobby the house elf. Until this evening I too hadn’t realized that Toby had played Dobby.

I could identify with the getting fat and grey at 50 comment, because that’s what’s going on with me, but I somehow don’t think that will happen with him just yet. He commented on being semi-introverted and slightly anti-social, so that going into lockdown was alright for him (alone I wonder?) and with that too I can identify. He mentioned about staying off social media (yeah, noticed that) but that it was maybe time to come out of hiding now. The tombstone epitaph that he thinks would be fitting for him saying, “He was fully committed” – yeah, I can see that too. There wasn’t that much new in this interview but it was nice hearing him speak again.

A nice little Armitage distraction, but now it’s back to other things again for the rest of the evening, here in our garden with a little outside fire burning and a glass of white wine. The son is out, the daughter is watching a movie in her room, the husband is reading and I am tryping this…

… while I listen to the two little hedgehogs that live in our garden waking up and moving around in the undergrowth. Mr Esther was able to take a picture of them 3 days ago…

I think I may go back to Anthony Andrews land again when I sign off here. Been in that land for a little while now, ever since I posted about him in that fictional crush challenge I did…

… or I may pick up another book again. Needs to be a good one because I had quite some frustration with the Audrey Hepburn one and I don’t want to be frustrated again. Enough chat for now. Over and out

#StayAtHome music

It’s just after midnight here, so this qualifies as a Sunday post now.

Mr Esther and I were catching some of the news on German TV and at the end they showed this wonderful clip of the Serbian National Theatre Orchestra playing together via conference call.

More artists have been singing songs or giving stay-at-home concerts on social media, from Pink to Coldplay to John Legend and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Vulture has a a whole list you can scroll through and pick up whatever you fancy:
https://www.vulture.com/2020/03/all-musicians-streaming-live-concerts.html

This is when the internet and social media are totally cool, I just love this. Happy Sunday listening everyone!


Modified to add that the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra here in The Netherlands has also made a video together playing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”.

This could be a new orchestra trend in the making. 🙂

A star amongst the stars

Herba’s and Pö’s monthly blogging project ‘Mach was’ is back again from a summer hiatus and the newest theme is “Mach was mit Sternen” (“do something with stars”). Basically that means I could make this post all about me, as my name, Esther, means ‘star’!

Meaning of Esther
Source

But I’d rather not make this about me, I’ve already self-indulged enough by making an Esther-video. I’m going to make this about David Bowie instead! Space and stars always make me think of him and he made a lot of songs featuring space. His first hit was Space Oddity and he made many more ‘space songs’, like Life on Mars, Moonage Daydream, Ashes to Ashes (which was a sequel to Space Oddity) or my favourite latter day spacesong of his called Spaceboy.

However, this ‘Mach Was’ is not about space but about stars, so for this post I’m showcasing some David Bowie star-songs. His most famous, breakthough alter-ego had “star” in his name and was called Ziggy Stardust. Ziggy is an alien rockstar who has come to earth to warn of the end in 5 years time (Five Years is a brilliant storytelling song, by the way, which has nothing to do with stars or space, but is worth a mention). I love so very many of Bowie’s songs, but the Ziggy Stardust album is my favourite.

Ziggy Stardust album

Without further ado, here are some cool David Bowie ‘star’ songs:

David Bowie (and Ziggy Stardust) shot to fame after performing Starman on ‘Top of the Pops’ in 1972…

From the Ziggy Stardust album we also have the Ziggy Stardust titular song…

And Lady Stardust

And Star about being a rock’n’roll star…

There were star-songs on other albums like the sweet song The Prettiest Star from the 1973 Aladdin Sane album…

In 2003 there was New Killer Star…

And in 2013 there was the brilliant The Stars are Out Tonight with the awesome Tilda Swinton co-starring in an awesome video…

And of course, right when he died so unexpectedly, he released his final Blackstar album with a 10 minute song also called Blackstar on it. It’s very depressing and I still find it difficult to watch, but also somehow fascinating and very artistic…

The man even fittingly had an own star constellation dedicated to him after his death…

David Bowie star constellation
Source

If I believed in an afterlife, I’d like to think that that is where he’s hanging out right now… a star amongst the stars.

A song for every occasion

I have said it for years (and the BBC show Homes Under the Hammer also proves it, see this blurb about that show): every situation can remind you of a song!

I was watching current affairs on TV and came across a programme on a Belgian channel that had a far-right young Dutch politician I really dislike on their panel. I took a peek (shouldn’t have) and they were discussing something he had said a while back. They played a clip of him saying that women are often left-leaning until they meet a right-wing man who tells her how it really is and she always comes around to his way of thinking in the end… Yes, basically saying women can’t think for themselves! There was a woman on the panel who rightfully accused him of using arguments by men who were opposed to suffragettes a hundred years ago… The pit of my stomach exploded in anger at this politician yet again! I quickly changed the channel, really don’t have to listen to that garbage, and looked up a David Bowie song on YouTube that I thought of as soon as the word “suffragette” was uttered…

This came after I was reading about the latest travel ban news coming from the US, about people being banned from crossing borders after all. It made me think of this Chris de Burgh song, where he sings, “Don’t let go, I want to know, that you will wait for me until the day, there’s no borderline, no borderline…”

Before that I was reading about Richard Armitage and Michelle Forbes going to the ballet together…

Ballet tweet

… and a song from A Chorus Line came to mind…

Yes, it was quite an associative half hour!

Colin, Richard and a nun’s blessing

In the midst of a diplomatic row between Turkey and The Netherlands (elections here in two days, this is apparently the best time for rows) I like to focus attention on more positive things. So, here are a few pictures I’d like to share from the past weeks…

Captivating Colin Firth graciously and with big smiles received roses (it looks like he’s hugging them too!) and a kiss from a fan, all nicely caught on camera a few weeks ago:

He was also seen in a turtleneck sweater (I love turlenecks!), filming scenes for the Love Actually revival for comic relief, which will be shown on the BBC at the end of next week, I believe!

I am already looking forward to that!

In addition there are also Richard Armitage pics to share. First off a quick sighting this past weekend at JFK, with Richard striding by in a flash (thanks for the find, Servetus!)

Richard JFK march 2017 crop

Whereas there are regular Colin sightings at airports, there are only a few Richard ones, so I really lap these up! There were also some riveting Richard pictures, shared last week, of him with Michelle Forbes and Tamlyn Tomita and dogs…

RA march 2017RA2 march 2017

Apparently shared on Michelle’s instagram account, I first came across it via Moose Turd’s twitter. Especially that first picture with the three of them laughing with the dog has me riveted… A very nice and handsome man laughing with women and a dog – it hardly gets better than that!

And there’s more feelgood stuff! Last night was the season 6 finale of the BBC’s Call the Midwife. One of the main characters, Shelagh Turner (played by Laura Main) gave birth to a baby. After the baby was delivered by Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter), she smiled and said the following blessing (I have put the words on my screencaps):

Call the Midwife Aaron's Blessing

I am not religious but this blessing (called Aaron’s blessing, from Numbers 6:24-26 in the bible) is very special to me. It’s a little longer than the part Sr Julienne says…

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

… and it was my dad’s favourite blessing to say to his loved ones. He said it at my wedding, at my oldest brother’s grave and every Christmas to all his grandkids.

In all the turbulence of the news out there right now, it is comforting to know there is still (memories of) happiness and warmth to go around. 🙂