Busy, busy, busy but good!

So many beautiful Richard Armitage pictures during the Sundance Film Festival and also new project news. Yay! While I can just about follow what’s happening on Twitter, I have no time whatsoever to collect pictures and squee on blog. I’ll just post the latest (and best) squee-picture that I saw appear on my Twitter feed this morning (he’s so drop dead gorgeous in this one!)…

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… and look forward to when I have a little more time to indulge in Armitage news. Just busy, busy, busy with work, stuff going on at home and also binge-watching old episodes of Hart to Hart.

Used to love that show in my teens and happened across it again. While it is a little dated, gotta say I still enjoy it now (despite mixed feelings about Robert Wagner). It’s so nice to see a prolonged happy marriage on TV! More about that maybe another time.

Some good personal news to share in the meantime: it looks like I may have a new job in the spring! I applied for a job at a college, they are interested in hiring me and have invited me back for a third interview, which will be held some time next week. That interview should be a formality and once I have certainty there, I can give notice at my current job. I need to give two months’ notice but the end here is in sight! I’m going to miss some of my co-workers but will be sooooo happy to be rid of micro-manager! And I won’t be the only one who’s leaving. One colleague leaves mid-February and another colleague is also in advanced talks for a new job, which she intends to accept. Can’t tell you how happy I will be to start a new job and how good it will feel to give the manager the finger, probably at the same time my colleague will. Oh, the triumph of it all!

Tomorrow I fly to London for the weekend. Unexpected trip.  I was at my mom’s yesterday, my younger brother was there too and said he was going to London for a weekend to visit my older brother and would I like to come too? Considered it, then found cheap tickets, so the answer was yes. 🙂

On top of all this good news, also the feel-good feeling that:

  • My daughter is doing really well right now! She has found a way to give her friend T some attention but also just be herself and do her own thing and be with her other friends. School is going well for her and she is enthusiastically talking about her future dreams. Her depression seems to be lifting, therapy seems to be helping, and she’s really social, communicative and cheerful right now. After all the stuff she’s been through, that just lifts my heart to the high heavens.
  • As we speak, my son is having fun on a ski trip in Austria with school and he actually has been texting us pictures! He’s a social soul but out of sight is out of mind when he’s away from us, so the pictures he’s been sending really make me happy.
  • My husband’s blood tests came back well and he has started working half days again. Monday another appointment to discuss results of MRI scan of his stomach, fingers crossed all is well. He still tires easily but is at least feeling better and slowly getting back to his old self again. This looks promising.

Bottom line is that I’m feeling tired, but with so many good things happening, my spirits are certainly being lifted. A few new leaves have been turned over at the beginning of this new year and that feels good.

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A smile back on my face

First off, news on the Mr E front is very promising as his health is improving! They want to keep him in hospital for a little longer to see if his improvement continues. If blood levels are good on Monday morning (which looks likely going by how much better they were today), then he can come home again on Monday afternoon. 🙂 This is a great relief and now leaves a little room in my brain and heart for other, more fun, stuff again.

One such fun thing is what my younger brother shared with the family today. He is staying with my mother for a few days and came across these two pictures from my childhood. Going by how small my younger brother and sister were (they are 7 months apart in age, two babies that had joined our family from Nazareth in 1973), and the sweaters we were wearing (this is just outside Jerusalem, which got a little chilly in winter but was warm in summer), these pictures must have been taken in the winter of 1973/1974. I know the pictures but haven’t seen them for ages! I was close to 4 when these were taken, I’m the little blonde girl on the right. I have a fleeting memory of these pictures being taken as I distinctly remember sitting on that wall for these pictures, something I wasn’t normally allowed to do on my own.

20181231_092535img-20190111-wa0011The brother who shared these pictures is the little baby in the front in this second picture. The guy in the back with the curls is not a sibling of mine but is a violinist who stayed in our small back garden guesthouse for a while. I have no idea how he came to stay there or how my parents knew him. He gave my older sister (in front with the babies) and brother (beside me) violin lessons. His name is Volker Biesenbender, I just looked him up and he is quite prolific. He was a student of Yehudi Menuhin and I even found clips of him on YouTube, like this one:

I remember Volker’s face and his name, but I don’t recall what he was like or how long he stayed. It’s so sweet to see the little black dog in Volker’s arms. He was our family dog, Lalo, and we absolutely adored him until he died when I was 10.

I can now walk around with a smile on my face: Mr Esther is getting better, I had to finish off some work today which I at first totally botched but then managed to fix again and then got the task done as well, and I have sweet childhood memories flooding back. Real life duties call now, but that’s not so bad if you can smile. 🙂

Christmas part two

So, Christmas is always two days here in The Netherlands. Christmas Day on the 25th and what is Boxing Day in the UK is called “Second Christmas Day” over here.

Traditionally, we celebrate Christmas Day with my in-laws. Mr Esther is an only child, so it’s only the 6 of us. The in-laws came over in the afternoon of the 25th and stayed for a nice low-key but festive dinner that Mr Esther prepared (he enjoys doing that way more than I do)…

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Yesterday, the 26th and Second Christmas Day, we always celebrate with my family at my mother’s apartment. I have loads of brothers and sisters and only one of them and his kids couldn’t be there, they’re in Israel. The rest were able to come, even my brother and niece who live in London. So it was pretty busy with my mom, my aunt, 6 siblings with 2 partners and a friend, and 7 nephews and nieces. My mom always starts with reading a passage from the bible and a little speech, this year it was about having compassion for others.

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My dad is still very much missed and was also commemorated…

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We then celebrated Christmas with a few gifts and everyone had brought something to eat for a buffet dinner. There was music and dancing and a lot of jolliness…

… and within no time my younger brother J spawned an idea: he wants to take my two kids (17 and 15) and my other brother’s daughter (14) to London to stay with my third brother D and his daughter (also 14) over New Year’s! D and his daughter were totally up for it, and after checking flight info it became clear that this idea was very affordable. So, within an hour of the idea being born, a flight for four was booked to London and the four of them will be staying at D’s around New Year’s! This means that for the first time in 17 years Mr Esther and I won’t have a New Year’s Eve with our kids… that makes me sad but at the same time I am also thrilled that they are going on this mini adventure with my brothers! Great cousins and uncles bonding time.

The upside is that Mr Esther and I can go off and do something on our own. So, we booked a hotel in Hamburg and will spend a few days there around the New Year, just the two of us! I’ve only once ever very briefly passed through Hamburg before, know little about the place but am told it’s a fun city. Now we’ll get to see for ourselves. If it’s going to look anything like this, it’ll be cool!

This Christmas break keeps on giving. Perfect respite after the shit time I’ve been having at work. I hope to be so filled up with joy and happiness that by the time I return to work, I will be energized again and maybe things will feel a little lighter.

My family knows me well…

My Christmas gifts this year…

Chocolate, Baileys whiskey cream, a bell-shaped umbrella that I have wanted for eons but never got around to searching for, breakfast cereal bowls I have coveted, a 2019 Monet calendar to replace a current art calendar in my bedroom, and Mr Esther surprised me with this…

I don’t think I knew such a thing existed! 🤣 Not sure how to colour these…

Maybe I can experiment with Richard Armitage make-up looks? In any case, I love that Mr. Esther likes to feed my inner fangirl. 😍

My Christmas is very merry so far, starting out with a lovely Christmas Eve dinner yesterday with two friends of ours who came over (we table grilled).

Hope your holiday is good too! 🥂

Unexpected

I know we just got back from Rhodos but, after having worked this week, I am yet again away from home! This time for a weekend. The plan was to treat my daughter S and her friend T for a nice girls weekend away, just the three of us. Last year T’s mum had done that for the girls and I wanted to return the favour (I had long promised to do so). T has had to deal with a lot of troubles and this was an opportunity for something fun. Alas, it turns out that T isn’t well and was no longer able to come! The cottage I had rented at a reasonable last-minute price was non-refundable. So, quite unexpectedly, we decided to go there as a family instead. We arrived this afternoon and leave again on Monday morning.

The cottage is in the north of The Netherlands, about a two hour drive away from where I live…

It looks like this…

… with this as my view right now as I blog on my phone…

…and I hope that when T is better we can do that weekend away together sometime, here or elsewhere…