Fictional crush challenge – day 6

10 days, 10 fictional crushes
Post an image of a fictional character who has been or still is your crush. No names or explanations needed. TV, movie, book, comic, cartoon characters are valid.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) from Star Trek – The Next Generation. I thought I didn’t like science fiction but then I met Mr Esther and he loved watching Star Trek so I gave in and watched with him. Yes, he’s responsible for getting me hooked on Captain Picard. The captain was badass, yet fair and noble, and his baldness was inexplicably sexy, as was Patrick Stewart’s voice – oh, how I still love that! Every time the intro came on I asked Mr Esther to stay quiet and turn up the volume so that I could savour Picard’s delectable voice saying: “Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before!

Yes, I admit to having watched the above clip at least a dozen times before this post went live, with the sound turned way up on my headphones and my eyes closed when the captain speaks, so that I could savour Captain Picard speaking in my ear over and over again. I don’t do audiobooks, not even Richard Armitage ones, but for Captain Picard I might be able to make an exception. Maybe it’s the combo of the voice and that awesome music but to this day my insides crumble when I listen to Jean-Luc in that intro.

We have yet to watch the new Picard series that has been made…

… and we will do so pretty soon, I think and hope.

The arts can lift your spirits

I’m just realizing that right now I am blogging daily, I am on a seven-day-streak today! I am surprised at myself but don’t get used to it, I fully expect that any day now I’ll be going down some rabbit hole again and will be disappearing off the face of the blogging-earth again for days on end… Oh, and a little fun fact: yesterday’s post was number 666 on this blog. 😈666Anyway, those were just little points of order, now on to what I actually came on here to blog about.

All this Corona news can be overwhelming: the rapid rise in cases, the people dying, hospitals that can’t cope with the amount of sick people needing care and then there’s all the information thrown out there to keep track of. We have limited our news intake to 2-3 times a day instead of 24/7 because we also need to keep our sanity and we don’t believe any “tips” on Twitter or Instagram – if I want to know something I go to our National Institute for Public Health for information. We stay informed, we do what we can and then we try to keep sane as well by doing nice things.

In addition to the pressures of corona, I have also been working a lot, it has become almost stressful. So, I’m taking a little breather today, just doing the absolutely necessary stuff, blogging in between, and taking the afternoon off. Luckily there are lovely things happening to keep spirits up. Yesterday, for instance, The National Theatre in the UK announced they will be streaming plays on YouTube. It’s free but I will be making a donation because the arts really are so important and I’m so pleased that they’re doing this. I am especially excited that from April 9th they’ll be showing Jane Eyre. I saw that play a few years ago in Leeds and loved it. It will be a different cast from when I saw it but I’m already excited to watch it again!

Jane Eyre (12a)

Patrick Stewart is reading a Shakespeare sonnet a day over on his Twitter account. The one he read on day two was especially heartwarming, maybe because of the twinkling in his eyes. He’s up to 5 or 6 now as I type this, scroll through his account for a look-see.

Sam Neill’s Twitter is heartwarming during the best of times and even more so now. I saw this today and it made me smile from ear to ear. Not just the delivery, I love the gentleness in his face too.

And it looks like my plans for the weekend are taking shape as well. Drunk Austen is doing a Jane Austen con online this weekend. There are some great events scheduled, I think I just may pop in! 🙂

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And to end it all on a smile, here’s Lin-Manuel Miranda doing a David Bowie from Labyrinth bit.

This makes me think that I’d love to see Hamilton on live streaming theatre somewhere, I always hear it’s amazing.

The good things in life

Let me start with the bad things in life. Specifically Boris Johnson as new prime minister of the UK and a Burqa-ban which has come into effect today in The Netherlands are upsetting me and so, for my own sanity, I keep my news intake to a minimum right now. Instead, I try to focus on the good things in life. For instance: my summer holiday started on Wednesday, the technique of using baking powder to clean my two pairs of  Birkenstock slippers sorta worked (I walk on them all day every day in the summer, I kid you not), today Mr Esther, my daughter and I will go on a day trip to a city near the German border, and tomorrow I am going to meet my ex-coworker’s two week old baby girl! When we exchanged chat messages earlier this week, she said she was very low on bibs for the baby, so I got her these (that 5th item is a shirt and not a bib)…

baby gifts

It’s always good to focus on babies over politics. 🙂

What also makes me happy is the new Picard trailer. I think I have watched it 10 times already. I love Jean-Luc Picard (and Patrick Stewart as well) and I so very much wish for leaders like him in the real world!

I can hardly wait for this in 2020!

Next up: as I love Roman Holiday so very much, I had to watch last weekend’s Hallmark movie Rome in Love, which was about an unknown actress getting ready to film a Roman Holiday remake and she herself falls in love with an American journalist in Rome. Kinda meta, I know. I watched the movie, it was OK, but had nowhere near the charm of Roman Holiday, which I just needed to watch again for the zillionth time. That movie is always the best pick-me-up movie! It got me back to zipping through some Audrey Hepburn movies again and boy was she good and gorgeous! The last movie she did was a small role as an angel in the Steven Spielberg movie Always. I re-watched her scenes in that and was struck by this image of her in the movie at one point…

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The humanity and kindness in her face in that sunset light is just breathtaking.

And there are more goodies to be focused on! On Guylty’s blog the other day she was asking about ‘other gods’ we like besides Richard. In the comments section I mentioned the other (male) gods present in folders on my computer…

I have several side attractions: Colin Firth, Gregory Peck, Hugh Jackman, but I also have some David Bowie, Keanu Reeves, Pierce Brosnan, Simon Baker, James Stewart, Lucas Bryant (yeah, not known), Richard Chamberlain and Viggo Mortensen folders. However those folders are tiny compared to my Richard Armitage folder. Just did a check, I think the largest folder after Richard is Colin Firth with some 400 items. Richard’s folder has 3000 items… 🙂

This triggered me to check out what my more recent actor-crush, Lucas Bryant, has been up to. He’s been pretty quiet of late, not many new roles to speak of, but I did find out that he’s been doing a few M.A.R.V.E.L. Agents of Shield episodes recently. I don’t watch that show but have watched (parts of) the 3 episodes he’s in last night and boy, did he look fine! The camera sure does like him in close-up.

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Last but not least, I watched the newest Suits episode this morning (season 9, episode 3) and in it there was a Louis Litt dream sequence which was so funny! Louis is a judge and a lawyer in that dream and the jury turns out to be made up out of 12 Harveys!

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Gabriel Macht, who plays Harvey on Suits, directed this episode and I wonder if this court scene was the funniest thing he has ever directed and how much fun did he have embodying those 12 Harveys? The eye-scratching middle finger and the one where he holds a cat like that (cats are Louis’s obsession, not Harvey’s!) are the highlights for me. All of Louis’s insecurities, especially with regards to Harvey, are on display here and that just cracks me up. Rick Hoffman as Louis remains a highlight of this show. Oh heck, here’s the whole scene…

I’m so glad there are also so many joys in this world. 🙂

Just one more thing! Or two..

I know I said I would stop talking politics, but then I came across this video just now (apparently already made in April) and it is the most brilliant thing ever! It spoofs one of my favourite Monty Python sketches from The Life if Brian called “What have the Romans ever done for us?” In fact, we love that sketch so much, I got my husband a T-shirt of it last spring…

Romans t-shirt

The video stars Patrick Stewart, whom I also love. It’s called “What has the European Convention on Human Rights ever done for us?” and it’s truly brilliant!

Maybe if the Remain campagne had focussed more on what Europe does actually achieve, on the positive things being in the EU brings, the outcome of this referendum could have been different? Who knows… but videos like this going viral may have helped.

Two more reactions I’d like to add…

A blog called “Viceandvirtueblog” posted what I thought was a very good reaction on the Brexit vote. The author challenges the claim that this vote is a ‘class war’ or that it is ‘a victory for the common man against the establishment’. She argues that the outcome of the referendum was based on a campaign of fear and hatred that went largely unchallenged and on people believing the lies they were served. I won’t paraphrase all she has to say. If you’re interested, take a look at her piece “A cry against anti-intellectualism”.

And finally, as a David Bowie fan, this tweet from the actor Paul Bettany struck a chord with me. 🙂

Ok, done with political blogging for now… let’s see how long I can last…

“How do I love thee?”

Let me count the ways… 🙂

I came across these pictures today, taken the other day at the premiere of Ian McKellan’s new film called “Mr. Holmes”:

IMcK & PS kiss  IMcK & PS kiss2

IMcK & PS1 IMcK & PS2

Oh, how I love these pictures! So loving, so joyous, and Mrs. Patrick Stewart also shares in the fun!

FYI, Patrick Stewart has the sexiest voice in the universe (sorry, Richard Armitage, your voice comes a close second). I can safely claim that as I have joined Captain Picard in his travels all over the universe and have never come across a better voice… I only ever started watching Star Trek: The Next Generation because DH liked it and have never regretted it. Every single time the intro started playing he was not allowed to utter a peep or move and the volume of the TV went up just so I could properly hear Patrick Stewart say, “Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly (or baldly?) go where no one has gone before.”

Anyway, I digress. Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart are acting greats and I love them both and I just adore that they are BFFs in real life. Just for the fun of it, some more lovely pictures of the two of them together:

IMcK & PS3

 IMcK & PS6

IMcK & PS4

IMcK & PS5

IMcK & PS7