I’m still here!

It’s been very quiet on the blogging front for me, I know. And I miss it! It’s just been sooooo busy in my real life, I either haven’t gotten around to blogging or I haven’t been in the mindset.

My son got his school diploma earlier this week! There was a central celebration for all those graduating and after that the 4 graduating classes split up and went upstairs to smaller rooms. That is where  personal speeches were given to each kid and where they actually received their diplomas.  My son’s class mentor awarded him a “Pun Master Award” in the personal speech she gave about him, referencing his humour. My in-laws were there as well, as was my mother and my aunt. I really missed my dad, though. He would have loved to have been there as well. Schools, learning and diplomas really were his ‘thing’…

Here are a few pictures of my son signing his diploma, the speech my son received, and the congrats afterwards (the girl with the long ponytail is my daughter).

We were very proud! Now it’s on to hotel management school for him… and this coming weekend his birthday with lots of celebrating. So much to do before then!

My daughter has been having some troubles that we’ve been dealing with and recently some things came to a head, so our energy has been focussed there (as it should be). Luckily things are a little better now. We have a plan of action and we’ve decided, together with her, to enrol our daughter at another school where we hope there will be a little more care for her than she received in her old school. We’ll see… we’re very hopeful, though!

All the ups and downs in my children’s lives that my husband and I have been dealing with, combined with work being very busy right now, means that, yes, blogging hasn’t been a priority recently. I’m really enjoying my new job, by the way, and they are happy with me too as I have just been given an extension on my contract till mid september next year and a pay rise! However, there is so much to do and I need to watch out that I don’t get sucked into unnecessary details. I need to keep on top of doing what I should be doing and not getting side-tracked by other things that people are starting to ask me about as well…

There has alas been little time for fangirling but I do try to keep up a little bit; I need to, for my own sanity. This means that I do have Pilgrimage ready to view but with all sorts of drama happening around me, I haven’t been able to stomach looking at violence like that yet. Maybe next week, when things look to be calming down a little. In the meantime, I did enjoy these Richard Armitage in Pilgrimage gifs from UltraVeloce on Twitter!

I also really liked this picture of comedian/actress Miranda Hart with her dog Peggy over on Instagram from two days ago:

Favourite photo. #dontsharefood #PeggyandMe

A post shared by Miranda Hart (@realmirandahart) on

From somewhere, and I can’t remember where, I was alerted to a Turkish cat-lover’s site a little while back. He plays keyboards and when he does, one of his many cats loves to keep him company. It is so darned cute and this week he posted another cute one, which gives me real joy! He has more videos like that on his Instagram, including one where another cat comes in as well and the video-cat gets a little jealous. Perfect little pick-me-up on a busy day.

These quick little glimpses of fun things help me relax a bit and make me smile!

Hopefully, starting next week, most of the busy stuff and private life stress will be over for a bit and I can get back to blogging more again. That is, until we leave for our summer holiday in England in two weeks time…

Anyway, this post was just a little sign of life… I’m still here! 🙂

Cats preparing for a ball

Now, I know there are enough people out there who aren’t necessarily fond of cats…

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… but I have two and I adore them. It’s almost summer now and my two cats were enjoying our back garden this past weekend while the sun was shining. Our 12-year-old reddish-beige cat likes to sunbathe…

Cat in the sun

… and our 3-year-old black cat later joined us, sitting pretty in the shade (she is tanned enough, after all)…

Cat on a stone chair

… and then both cats progressed to some necessary grooming…

Cats a-grooming

Maybe they were preparing for a Jellicle cat ball?

As a Cats-alumnus, you should be able to appreciate that, Richard Armitage… 😉

Esther under cover

I haven’t seen Berlin Station episode 7 yet, but I did see this tweet from Richard Armitage about that episode…

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… and it made me think of this picture taken 4 years ago when I was sick. I was on our couch and literally under cover and my cat at the time (still very sadly missed!) was keeping fearless watch over me, despite my cough…

SAMSUNG

I wonder whether Richard was spying through our living room window at the time (would not be his first spy-gig!) and is secretly also referencing this… 😉

Death and destruction

I meant to blog about the Oscars that I had watched live with two friends while away at our family cottage in the north for a night. I was also thinking about possibly blogging about some Richard Armitage fandom stuff. But then some destruction happened: I got sick (somewhat better now) and then I heard my 13 year old nephew was sick and in hospital with possible meningitis! Luckily it turns out it was nothing that serious and he goes home again tomorrow…

And then death happened and I am not in a writing mood…

Francis

Richard Armitage in “Hannibal”

First a friend of my father’s very unexpectedly died in a freak accident at the age of 72. I didn’t know him that well, but my dad did and respected him. He had come to my dad’s funeral last year. Tomorrow my brother, my husband and I will go to his funeral to represent our family (my mother can’t face going quite yet).

Then I hear that this afternoon the mother of one of my best friends has passed away! She had been battling leukemia for some years, was in remission for a while but it returned a few weeks ago. I spent last weekend with my friend (watching the Oscars) and she was worried about her mom, who wasn’t eating and was not well at all, but no one would have guessed that only 4 days later she’d actually die! My friend lost her father 4 years ago, and now her mother… I feel so awful for her! So, another funeral on the books next week…

Yeah, blogging not so much a priority right now… I feel more like chaos and destruction..

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Colin Firth in “The Kingsman”

Esther for nunnery!

I have a special affection for nuns. I grew up in a house in a village just outside of Jerusalem that belonged to the neighbouring convent. We lived in a gorgeous red house that we rented from the convent and there was a path that ran between our house and the convent.

We were good friends with the nuns. The nun working in the kitchen would often bake cookies for us, the nun working with the chickens would give us eggs, one of my brothers even had piano lessons from one of the nuns and apparently loved her because she smelled nice. The nuns would let us camp in the fields they did not have in use and they would let us play soccer there or play war (we lived in Israel after all…) with sticks for guns as my parents refused to get us any toy guns. The nuns were of French origin and I learned my first French words from them (alas, my French has not improved much since).

My oldest brother died at age 7 after an accident, a year before I was born, and he is buried in the convent graveyard. The nuns had offered my parents a place to bury my brother in this most beautiful, peaceful spot. My parents had asked the abbess whether it was a good idea, whether the mother-house in France would allow a child to be buried in what was strictly a convent graveyard. The mother abbess had apparently replied, “We only have to ask permission when we are in doubt. And we are not in doubt!” So, there he is (small white grave with white cross on the right in this picture), the only child that rests there amongst nuns and a few monks.

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There are many more tales to tell of the nuns (for instance, my mom even held bra-fittings for them in our house from charity bras she had received through her charity work!) but that will take too long. Suffice it to say that when I left Israel at the age of 10, it was very difficult to say goodbye to the nuns, we loved them so! This is a picture taken just before we left, with blond little me in front of the nun who always made us cookies. 🙂

Esther&nun

I was so enamoured with nuns, I even had this idea of becoming a nun myself one day, as they are so much fun! It was only later, when I realised what becoming a nun actually meant, that I decided that such a path would really not suit me after all. However, one of my brothers continued to tease me about it for years and even made me an “Esther for nunnery” banner that I had up on the wall in my room for a long time (from my late teens to early twenties)!

Estherfornunnery1

Estherfornunnery2

By the way, that’s a real guinea pig I am holding there!

It was still up on the wall when my now-husband first visited my room… luckily he never felt threatened by it. 🙂

So, nuns always hold a special place in my heart and then two days ago Richard tweeted about watching #golfnuns on German TV while he was on his treadmill!

Oh, how I loved that tweet and for once I even responded directly to @RCArmitage (which I rarely do) about it! I mean, how could I not react when Richard Armitage speaks of nuns? My mum always watches this particular German show (called “Um Himmels Willen” – click on Me+Richard Armitage link above for more info) because they always remind her of the nuns we lived so close to for many years.

To my dismay I found that yesterday this #golfnuns tweet was deleted, along with some other ‘naughty’ tweets Richard Armitage had posted. Apparently it was too offensive for some and a “Cybersmile ambassador” is not allowed a sense of humour for fear of offending, well, anyone on the planet? For me, Richard was very much ‘cybersmiling’ in these tweets. 🙂 Anyway, I do not want to speculate on why they were deleted and without a statement from Mr. A. himself it’s useless anyhow. They could have been deleted for any number of reasons… All I really want to say is: what a huge pity that the nun tweet has gone and that other joke-tweets have disappeared as well!

I love nuns and I love Richard Armitage and I love to see the two connected! Which leads me to Strike Back

… and to a Twitter account called Sister Alex @NunsLuvArmitage. That account, set up two days ago, just has me in stitches!

I hope the fun and ‘naughty’ tweets from @RCArmitage will return… a girl can hope, right?