The best part…

… of Father’s Day today are the hugs.

It’s been a low key, normal day with my son’s handball match, some care for my daughter who’s feeling a little off, and a visit to my father-in-law but best of all are these little moments. I’m so happy my kids have a dad they love and who loves them back.

The week that was

  • Doing more and more for my new job and am still really glad that I took the step to switch jobs! The work is more fun and the people are great. There are some real challenges but I know I’ll be fine even with those as I feel a real community spirit in trying to get things done and solving problems. I go in to work at the university twice a week now and it feels a little weird to be away from home so much, I’m not used to that anymore!
  • The four of us went out for a lovely dinner for Mr Esther’s birthday last Tuesday, I love little family moments like that. Got a bellyache from laughing too, which is always a good release in these trying times.
  • Helped my son a lot, whenever I could, to change his room, which included a lot of clearing out of old things and help him build up some of the new (Ikea) furniture. He finally got the double bed he wanted so badly for so many years and also a new desk. It was a combined birthday and graduation gift and conditional on him getting his diploma which he did last December. By the time he got his diploma, the shops were closed again due to Covid lockdowns here, so we only got around to doing this now. The young man is very happy.
  • I accidentally broke the handle to our back sliding door yesterday. The whole mechanism inside the door broke, so the door is completely stuck and we can’t get into the garden anymore (unless we walk around our little block of four houses and get into our garden via the back gate). Mr E has had contact with some guy who can fix it, hopefully this weekend. There go another €500,- or so…
  • The war in Ukraine remains so depressing that I found myself working on fan videos again this week. My mind needed the occupation and it was fun to do. This time the videos are for Random Harvest with Ronald Colman and Greer Garson. I set up a page for them on my blog in my fan video section, so you can watch them there if you are so inclined.
  • The weekend is here and it’s good to relax with a glass of wine. Time for another Colman movie perhaps? Have a good one, dear readers!

The Tree of Life

So, today I finally did something I have been wanting to do for many years.

Yes, I got a tattoo! I normally hate strangers touching me (that includes spa treatments, massages, hairdressers, doctors) but for today I overcame that and made an exception. My son getting a tattoo close to three weeks ago inspired me to finally get mine done as well, after saying for years that I want one.

When Mr E and I got married in 1999, my mother painted a beautiful tree of life for us as a wedding gift and when my father passed away in 2015, two very good friends of mine in the USA sent me a tree of life to hang in my window. Ever since then I was sure that I wanted to get a tree of life tattoo.

I had specific wishes. For one, I was adamant about it being on my foot and not on the side of my leg as was suggested to me a few times at the tattoo shop. I just like the idea of it being in a non-standard spot. It can also easily be hidden when I wear shoes (not popping out of low socks as it would be if it were placed above my ankle) and it is easily visible to me when I am barefoot around the house or when I wear my Birkenstocks in summer when I don’t have to work. In addition, I wanted a couple hidden in the tree trunk, similar to what my mother had painted, and I wanted the initials E M A S (the first letters of the names of the four of us) somehow incorporated.

This is the end result. In the picture on the left my foot is somewhat reddish just after it was done; in the picture on the right taken this evening the image is a little shiny from the tattoo balm I put on it.

I am extremely pleased with my brand-new tattoo! The tattoo guy called it an upside down tattoo, he had expected the roots to go near the toes. I wanted it this way around, however, as it’s a tattoo for me personally and not really for the world. I didn’t want it to look upside down when I look at it. Junior was with me, even got a little nervous for me when the tattooing started and gave me sweet encouraging smiles when it got a little uncomfortable here and there. It was very heartwarming to see how pleased he was with the end result and how happy he was for me. Now he, my daughter and my husband are literally etched into my skin for the rest of my life.

I’m really glad that it turned out how I like it, especially as getting a tattoo is a once in a lifetime thing for me. As interesting as the experience was, I don’t need any more tattoos than this one. Here’s to it staying pretty for a long time yet!


Dutch speed skater Ireen Wüst has set a stunning record today: for the first time ever an athlete has won gold medals in five consecutive Olympics!

I was in an online meeting when it happened and I half heard it on TV. As soon as the meeting ended I was able to rewind the programme (yay for digital TV!) and watch her race and the following three races where she had to wait to see if she would actually take the victory. And she did!

Ireen Wüst has been winning Olympic gold medals from when she was 19 to now, at age 35. And we have seen them pretty much all in the past 16 years. We watched the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin in Italy when she won her first gold there on the 3000 metres. It’s the first Olympics my son was aware of and he was completely into it. He even re-enacted the speed skating start over and over again, wearing oven gloves and swimming goggles. He was four years old.

My kids don’t know a world without Ireen Wüst winning Olympic gold medals. In 2016 we even saw Ireen Wüst and our other legendary skater, Sven Kramer, live during the Dutch speed skating championships (he has also been winning Olympic medals for that long, though is yet to gain a medal at the Olympics this time around). She has two more races to go in these Olympics and who knows if she’ll win more medals. No matter what happens next, she’s a legend already!

The Dutch TV commentator said just after she won, “The world has Wonder Woman, we have Wonder Wüst!” and he was right.

The week that was

Mr E has been feeling off since mid last week with throat aches, head aches and very tired. The Corona Omicron variant is around us everywhere, or rather, around mini me. Some of her football team mates and some class mates have tested positive. She’s been testing herself almost daily through all of last week but so far nothing. We thought maybe Mr E might somehow have contracted it too (even though both he and I still work from home and don’t mingle that much with others). He’s been doing at home tests as well and so far everything remains negative. Fingers crossed!

Also this past week, Junior finally got an eagle tattoo after saying for ages that he wanted one. Early in the week he went in to the tattoo shop he had picked to talk about what he wanted and he got a quote. On Friday he was inked. The eagle has a special meaning for him and he’s stoked with the end result. He wanted it on the inside of his arm so that it’s easy to cover under t-shirts and shirts if necessary.

I like it and he has inspired me to finally go for the tattoo that I have been wanting to get for years but never dared to. I think I may drop by the shop next week and speak with them about the design I want (on my foot).

After our latest Covid lockdown, the cinemas have been open again for a week or so now. Entry is only allowed with a valid vaccination pass. You have to wear masks until you get to your seat and you are seated at a distance from others, which I love. Secretly I hope this seating at a distance in the cinema will become the norm forever. I know, not happening, but I like to dream. Anyway, Junior and I went to see the new Spider Man movie (mini me had already gone to see it with friends a few days before).

I really liked it! I also really like Tom Holland and I love Zendaya. They are apparently a couple in real life too. So cute!

Today my siblings, aunt and mini me & I (without Mr E and Junior had other commitments) met at my mother’s house to belatedly celebrate my father’s life on the occasion of his birthday a little over a week ago. I had a celebratory cake made. We were also going to visit his grave but as there was to be stormy weather today, my mom and a few of us went there yesterday instead (Junior did join me for that). My mother did a reading and we placed small stones with our names on them that my mom had inscribed.

It was nice to commemorate and celebrate without breaking down in tears for a change. My mother shared a story of when she and my father had been invited to a synagogue in Jerusalem in the late 1970s. The rabbi had called on my father (a Dutch Protestant pastor) during the service and had called him a ‘Tzaddik’, which means one of the few righteous ones. It was nice to remember that. It was also fun to remember my dad’s driving ‘skills’ which even had us in fits of laughter for a bit. I like when my family can get together like that and just have some fun chatting away and sharing stories.

And last but not least, for the first time in months I went to the hairdressers again this past week. The hair was quite long and I was getting annoyed with it, so I had it cropped to shoulder length and I feel much better. It’s amazing what a good haircut can do to enhance the mood.

Right, off to find something easy to watch now, maybe a Hallmark movie, and clear the head before my work week starts again tomorrow with a Teams meeting at 9 am.