Smiles of the week

New jobs are exhausting! The amount of information and complexity of issues and getting to know the people and trying to get a feel for the place with its (unspoken) rules can be somewhat overwhelming at times. But I can also safely say it’s been good, the people have been very nice to me, they have waited to start certain projects until I’d be around and I feel welcome. A new manager started the same day I did, had a talk with her yesterday, and she feels worlds removed from being a micro-manager, which is excellent news. Two or three clients (internal colleagues) who were frustrated because no one got back to them on certain issues (due to someone else leaving and there being no back up) were made happy by me because I was either able to solve something for them or at least able to listen to them, promising to look into the problem. I worked on Wednesday because they wanted me along for a work field trip, so I changed my day off to today without any micro-manager giving me shit about it. Heck, even the view from the 10th floor where I work is good! This is the view from the elevator hallway…

View

Yes, first full week at my new job has been exhausting but good, which makes me smile!

But there were more smiles. Richard had a lovely little Twitter exchange promoting his The Lodge movie…

RA Chills1RA Chills2RA Chills3

… which means that for 3 days now this has been singing around in my head…

I’ve never been a big Grease fan (I know, sacrilege!) but I do like this song, not bad having that in my head and making me smile. 🙂

Another smile this week is the new second-hand car we bought and picked up on Wednesday, late in the afternoon. We had a guzzler for a car that could pull our caravan and, strictly speaking, we didn’t need it anymore, as we don’t have the caravan anymore. So, to make things a little cheaper for us (gas, taxes and insurance) and to be a little more environmentally friendly, we bought a hybrid Toyota Auris. My daughter had been with us when we bought the car 10 days ago but she was in Berlin with school for the week, so it was only our son who was with us when we picked it up.

The car has a ‘panorama roof’ (just glass, you can’t open it, but wonderful for gazing at the sky and daydreaming) which my son fell in love with. Yeah, the rain couldn’t take the smiles away.

Of course, the big smiley news is the news of Baby Sussex being born. Yes, Harry and Meghan have a son named Archie, who was born earlier this week. Pictures of the happy couple with baby were shared, which is worth a smile of its own…

… and Harry was in The Netherlands yesterday for the Invictus Games which are apparently coming to The Hague next year. Het got a little onesie from Prinses Margriet (former queen’s sister, our king’s aunt)…

However, the best part was the jacket he was wearing during a short bike ride, which also said “I am daddy”…

Harry daddy

Yeah, big time smiles for that one as well!

Early this morning my daughter came home from Berlin (they drove through the night)…

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She’s been exahusted, napped through most of the day, and she is out now with Mr Esther, giving the new car a little exercise. 🙂

And finally, Simon Baker. After The Mentalist ended I lost touch a bit with what he’s up to and while he does have Instagram, he doesn’t post that much on it. But he did post this today. My first thought was: “oh my, he’s looking so good”! And that smile, he has one of the best smiles I have ever seen on anyone. Then I looked closer and see that his Mentalist co-star and the person he ends up marrying on the show, Robin Tunney, has reacted to his post…

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… and then a short little exchange follows in the comments…

Now, wouldn’t it be lovely if these two meet up and take cute pictures together? A sort of happily ever after, after The Mentalist? Ah, the memories this brings back!

I’m totally up for a reunion with some pictures for the fans. Here’s living in hope!

Evocative images

OK, I admit it, I have the ‘Daily Mail online’ as an app on my phone, just for the entertainment section. Their writing is awful – not just the kind of language they use is ridiculous, but they make a lot of spelling mistakes as well. Being quick (and often repetitive as they add on to a story as time progresses) and judgmental is more important to them than being thorough and accurate. I also hate their emphasis on women’s bodies (not in a good way) and their tone is far too sensational. However, I do go there for the pictures because they really do have a lot of them. Recently, when Mr Esther was in hospital, it was an acceptable way to spend a little time without having to think too much. I scroll past all the TV reality shows items / Kardashian stuff / scantily dressed ‘celebrities’ / Mr living barbie doll Ken bullshit, but I do check out the pictures of actors I like at premieres or other events or out and about. There is, for instance, a regular dose of Hugh Jackman in NYC that flashes by on my screen (I swear, that man is photographed almost daily, if not on the ‘Daily Mail’ app, I see it through other sources on Twitter!)…

 

So, naturally, while looking at the ‘Daily Mail’ (I wouldn’t call it reading), I come across a lot of Meghan and Harry stuff as well. My goodness, they are obsessed with the British royal family and some of the headlines make me skip right along, but they are quick with getting images out. So, it’s not surprising that in recent days they have been posting a lot of Harry and Meghan in Australia pictures and as I was going through some pictures a few days ago, this one caught my eye…

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I think it’s just the most adorable picture! And there were more evocative Harry and Meghan with umbrellas in the rain pictures…

 

The couple is very tactile…

 

… and I’ve gotta say I was also relieved to see Meghan occasionally change out of her scary high heels into flats for a bit…

 

… and then this morning I was greeted by these images. I just adore the look of that maxi dress (and the protective gesture of Meghan on her baby-belly)…

 

They were typically tactile seated on the beach…

 

… and I come to the conclusion that, even after their beautiful wedding, I still seem to have a soft spot for these two. I can’t imagine the pressure they must be under to always seem nice and smile and look loving and deal with all the scrutiny and attention they get. I wouldn’t say I follow everything they do but I do say that when I come across images of them (mostly via that app), I too am charmed by the warmth they exude and these evocative images only add to the charm. I like looking at them and I really, really hope that outside of this public life, they can also hold on to the warmth and love in private, without intrusion.

My fave royal wedding

I am not a royal gusher but when I see things about royal families, I do get a look in when I feel I like them. I therefore am quite aware of who the main Dutch royals are, I know a bit who the main Danish royals are (I quite like their Australian-born crown princess) and I think just about everyone knows who the British royals are. While I do quite like prince William, his wife Kate doesn’t do much for me (never has, even when they got married). In recent years, I thought Harry was turning out quite nicely too. And then he got engaged to Meghan Markle, of tv-show Suits fame. I really like Suits and I really like Meghan too and I admit that I was very much taken by the idea of them as a couple! And today (well, yesterday, as it’s after midnight here), they got married in what I think may be my fave royal wedding to date.

It started special when there was Idris Elba and Oprah Winfrey and George & Amal Clooney walking up to the chapel in Windsor Castle.

I wouldn’t call myself a George Clooney fan, although I do like him, but he sure as hell looked extremely gorgeous in grey (colouring nicely with his hair) in the spring sunshine!clooneys3

I got the greatest kick out of seeing the Suits actors walk to the church. There was gorgeous Gabriel Macht (Harvey Specter on the show) and his lovely wife Jacinda Barrett…

… and Patrick J. Adams (who plays Michael Ross, the man Meghan Markle married on the show!) with his wife Troian Bellisario…

Back in November, when Meghan and Harry had gotten engaged he had tweeted…2017-11-27-Patrick J Adams op Twitter_ _She said she was just going out to get some milk...

… and this morning he followed on from that joke with this Instagram post…

2018-05-19 22_03_22-Patrick Adams on Instagram_ “I_m beginning to think she might not actually be ou

Also Sarah Rafferty (Donna Paulsen on Suits) was there with her husband Santtu Säppäla…

And Gina Torres (who plays Jessica Pearson) and Rick Hoffman (who plays Louis Litt) also came…

There were more illustrious guests (like Serena Williams and Elton John) but I don’t want to go on about guests, I want to show pictures from the wedding!

Harry arrived with his brother William, who was best man…

… and then bride Meghan, driving with her mother Doria Ragland beside her, appeared…

In the church, the two princes were waiting for the bride…wed3 asile0

Doria went into the church alone, and, already fighting the tears, Harry caught her eye…

It must have been quite something special for her to see her daughter get married in such a unique way, she looked very touched throughout the service.

Outside Meghan arrived, accompanied by two page boys who carried her veil…

I kinda loved that she walked down the aisle on her own, as an independent woman of the world.wed3 asile1For the last part of her walk, she was met by Prince Charles (standing in for Meghan’s father who was ill and couldn’t be there), who welcomed her into the family rather than ‘gave her away’. When she got to Harry, you could lip-read Harry saying “Thank you, Pa” to his dad. Awww.

And just after the couple greeted each other at the altar you could also lip-read Harry saying to Meghan “You look amazing”. 🙂

They found each other’s hands and held hands for most to the ceremony, which I found sweet and I don’t think I ever saw other royal couples do so extensively.

Harry uncovered Meghan’s face (another awww!) and they went right on holding hands during the ceremony.

And then maybe the best part of the ceremony came, when Episcopalian bishop Michael Curry delivered his lively sermon about love.Bishop Michael Curry3That man is a good speaker and certainly woke people up, made them sit up and made people smile. Not only the royal couple…

… but many guests looked surprised and bemused…

The best reaction has got to be from Zara Tindall (daughter of Princess Anne, Charles’ sister), who was trying to process what was hitting her…react zara

I think that may have been the moment I said to Mr Esther “best royal wedding ever!” After that wonderful, enlivening sermon came a wonderful gospel choir singing “Stand By Me”, which was stunning…gospel choir2

Harry and Meghan listened from afar…wed7-seated01

And then finally the vows were exchanged (and I wiped away a few tears).

Again, lovely. The way these two look at each other, it’s pretty clear how they feel about each other! After the vows they went out for a few minutes to sign the register. They were followed by Prince Charles who so graciously invited Doria to come with him. One of the highlights for me really was how Charles looked after Doria, who was the only member of Meghan’s family present.doria charles

He was also sweet to Doria after the service, walking with her and talking with her, including her in everything and lending her his arm. I found that very touching.

Back to the wedding service: after the signing, the national anthem was sung and the couple left the church…

They exited the church…

… looked at each other…

… and kissed…

Pictures from another angle…

Ah, the romance! The walked down the steps to an awaiting carriage…

… and then came the carriage ride through Windsor…

Apparently there was also a kiss in the carriage. I didn’t see it on TV, but it was there in the pictures..wed11-carriage (8)

I also found this image somehow very beautiful and endearing…wed11-carriage (13)

The wedding was festive and there was pomp and circumstance, but it also was personal, mixing the traditional more reserved English world of Harry beautifully with the more emotionally demonstrative American world of Meghan. It was about a woman standing on her own, openly embracing a future with a prince, it was about embracing difference and celebrating it. And it didn’t hurt that I found Meghan’s dress absolutely gorgeous and the couple was beautiful to look at.

The rest of the festivities were outside the public eye, except for a moment this evening when the couple left Windsor to go to Prince Charles’s residence at Frogmore house for the evening party. Meghan had changed into another dress, Harry had changed into a tux and they were off in a cute little blue Jaguar sports car…

I don’t often go gaga over royal events. I do usually enjoy them and like looking at the pictures but then easily move on. This wedding, however, somehow touched me more than other weddings have and yes, it even made me actively actually gather all these pictures throughout the day! In a world so hateful and cynical Harry and Meghan today radiated an image of love and inclusion and change. I hope they can continue to do this and wish them all happiness and the best for the future!