Cuddle cats

Every working day my black cat tries to get on my lap while I work at the dining table. The space between lap and table is not high enough that she can fit underneath the table while my chair is pulled up. This means that if she does make it onto my lap, I have to sit back and then I can’t type properly. So, nowadays I pull up the chair next to me and place it against mine and she finally settles down curled up against me.

Occasionally she will seize a moment, when I have moved or walked away and sat back down again, and she will claim my lap after all…

The cuddling cat struggle is real! It’s always great when my daughter comes home from school, she can then take over cat-sitting duties for a while (and loves it).

All cats we’ve had have always liked being on us or near us but I don’t think we’ve ever had a cat who insists this much on lying on us, any of us, all day long.

Our other cat, in his old age (he’s 15), also likes getting in the way to best position himself for cuddles, especially with my son whom he sleeps with most nights. Mr Esther jr was trying to get new sheets onto his bed yesterday, he walked out of the room for just a few seconds and returned to this…

As our red cat is old and sometimes takes a while to settle down, we tend to not want to move him when he finally does find a spot. Tough luck for him this time around when Mr Esther jr wanted to finish making up the bed, cuddles would have to wait for a later time.

Speaking of cuddle cats… I recently came across this absolutely adorable picture of Tom Ellis with one of his cats…

He never wanted cats until his wife wore him down, the love is real now…

Richard Armitage in his latest interview (thanks Servetus for the screenshots) says he may want to attempt starting a family by getting a dog first. I know he’s more of a dog than cat person…

…. but he sure looks nice with a cat and may I suggest that a cat might also do very nicely in his New York apartment?

Mr Esther, like Tom Ellis originally and Richard Armitage, never wanted cats either until I was able to convince him otherwise. He has now become a cat person too, despite them getting in the way of reading the newspaper, and they can be useful as iPad stands too.

I can attest that, with all that is going on in this world, the best battles you can have are cuddle battles with your cats!

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…

Perfect day

Last night I went to bed with a big smile on my face, it had been a perfect day and made me think of this song as I fell asleep…

Mr Esther and I slept in quite long yesterday morning after having a late night, meaning we had a nice relaxed start to the day. Mr Esther junior had to go to work from 3pm (internship at a hotel) and mini-me had a party to go to in the evening but our day was wide open and we didn’t want to do anything useful around the house. It was quickly decided that the four of us would go out for a lunch outside on the beach, close to where junior works. We had missed junior on our holiday and doing lunch with him like that, as a family, felt like a holiday in itself. That was a perfect day moment and lunch was good too!

After lunch, junior went to work. Mr Esther and I wanted to walk on the beach and mini-me wanted to walk into town on her own. So, we split up, arranged a time to meet up again and off we went. When it was hot these past two weeks or so, the beach here had been extremely crowded according to the news, but yesterday it was about 20 Celsius (high 60s Fahrenheit), with some rain in the morning and early afternoon and very windy.

There were quite a few people around but it wasn’t crowded, which made the distance keeping easy. Mr Esther is growing his beard and hair in quarantine and it felt weird to him to feel his beard and hair flapping around in the wind, which was funny to see.

We walked on the beach for about an hour, reminiscing on when we had first walked and kissed on that same beach as a new couple. It turned the afternoon into an unexpected romantic beach walk, which was another perfect day moment.

We met up with mini-me again for drinks and then walked to where junior works to say hi. Another perfect day moment, to see him being professional and an awesome employee at the health center part of the hotel.

We drove home where mini-me got ready for her party. She had arranged that I drop her and her friend off and that her friend’s mother would pick the girls up again at midnight. That meant that Mr Esther and I also had an evening to ourselves! We reserved a spot in a restaurant we hadn’t been to before in our home town and biked there so that we could also partake of some wine. Parking our bikes against a bridge made for a typical Dutch image…

The restaurant turned out to be great. Very few people present, good distancing of tables and ample ventilation. We took our time with a 3 course meal, I only took a picture of the dessert…

… but all of it had been delicious. We were stuffed by the end but it had been worth it. Yes, a romantic dinner at a restaurant was another perfect day moment.

Then last night just before I finally went to sleep I also caught the LOROS and Richard Armitage thank you messages for the auction fund raising…

That was another little moment right there.

So yes, yesterday was pretty perfect! Today on the other hand, I need to do a huge load of laundry folding… I guess not all days can be perfect.

Finally off and away

On Wednesday Mr Esther put down artificial grass in our elevated and renewed front garden. Getting a lawnmower in there would be a chore, so fake grass it is…

The end result is quite pretty!

Yesterday mini-me and I took my mother and aunt to a small art museum (Singer Laren Museum, to the south east of Amsterdam) and saw some lovely pieces of art…

… and work by a sculptor called Pépé Grégoire was displayed in the garden…

And this afternoon we finally packed up and left for the southern tip of The Netherlands right outside Maastricht. It’s our first summer holiday without my son (he has to work for his internship) which makes me feel a little heavy hearted. It was bound to happen sometime, I know. It’s also the first time in years we don’t have to ask our neighbour to look after our cats, now my son can do it.

Of course we’ll be texting with Mr Esther jr to stay in touch but it still feels a little off to me that he’s not with us. He, on the other hand, is already relishing having the house all to himself. Little baby boys really do grow up, I guess.

Anyway, at just after 5 pm we arrived at the holiday park where we’ve rented a cottage, we unpacked our stuff and went and got some groceries. We then headed into Maastricht for a dinner outside, keeping safely distant from others…

We didn’t stay very long and are now sitting outside our cottage. It’s pretty nice, the cottage has a fireplace that you can see from within as well as from outside. We had it on for a little while…

… but it’s quite warm and today was the hottest day of the year so far, so we switched it off again.

We have decided it may not be a good idea to head into the city tomorrow, on a Saturday, as Saturdays tend to be the busiest days, so we’ll probably head somewhere into nature for a little hike. It feels good to be away for a bit. Time for bed now, good night!

And a graduation as well…

Not only was it our son’s 19th birthday today…

This evening we also had my daughter’s secondary school graduation ceremony. Socially distanced, so only two people from the same household were allowed to come. That meant sadly that our son couldn’t attend and the grandparents couldn’t either, but at least Mr Esther and I could go.

The director of mini-me’s school section gave a speech, the school principal had taped a video speech and then after that every graduating kid got their own little speech from the class mentor. Our daughter’s speech was about her being very lively with her ADHD and how that didn’t keep her from getting very good grades. Mini-me is going on to higher level secondary education and the teacher commented on how that should be no problem whatsoever for her. She also added that mini-me is easy and fun to talk to.

After all the speeches for each kid, the diplomas were signed and we had to leave again; mini-me was guided onto the red carpet, of course.

We of course had to celebrate such a day, so we went out for dinner afterwards at an Argentinian restaurant my son had picked out for us to eat at. We sat in a nicely secluded, socially-distanced corner and had lovely food.

It was a good end to a festive day.