The fun stuff

Fun item number one: I see Richard has updated his Twitter header…

I have written before about being very partial to nice priests in cassocks and that I’m looking forward to Richard playing one in The Man From Rome. I’ve not read the book yet (don’t know if I ever will) and I understand Father Quart does not wear a cassock but maybe he will at least wear a clerical collar just as in the image above? I’ll be happy with that too. By the way, I don’t think that’s Richard in that picture, do you? In any case, I’m glad the project really seems to be happening now.

Fun item number two: Julie Delpy shared this on her Instagram and I’m totally with her on that!

I’ve been volunteering at a Dutch centre for refugees, doing walk-in consultations where I help refuguees with paperwork and admin stuff (soooo much paperwork! Even confusing to me sometimes and I’m not a refugee, new to this country!). So far, the ones I’ve helped have been lovely. I can only do it for one afternoon a week and only recently have I been given my ”own” client from Eritrea who is a young adult, very independent and speaks Dutch well as he has been here for a few years. He doesn’t need much help, just occasional assistance, and he’s such a doll! I’m in awe of how well he is doing for one so young and how determined he is to make something of himself. I’d take 10.000 of him over any closed-minded, hard-hearted racist.

Fun item number three: I follow Mary Beard on Twitter. I quite like her, she’s a historian specializing on the Romans and makes programmes for the BBC. She shared this…

I love this idea! I know little about Boudica and I’m thinking of getting tickets to this online trial of Boudica event. It looks like a great way of making history more tangible.

Fun item number four: the final season of Lucifer is available on Netflix. Quite beautifully done, even had to wipe away a tear here or there, although I’m not sure I buy the Lucifer and Chloe plot thing that happens. I do love what happens with Amenadiel, though, and Ella is great in episodes 7 and 8 (episode 8 is nicely directed by D.B, Woodside, aka Amenadiel himself). Anyway, my absolute favourite on the show is the aforementioned D.B. Woodside as Amenadiel and he has been calling for fan art that he has been sharing on his Instagram stories and some on Twitter. And boy, are there some great talented artists out there! The ones I share here are some of my faves and all have Amenadiel in them…

Source

And also some screenshots I took off Instagram stories…

It’s a pity Lucifer is over now but it’s good that they ended it where they did. I just wonder what D.B. will be doing next, I want to see more of him!

Been writing this inbetween work today and have now decided that both work for the week and this post are done. Time for the weekend to begin, hope you all will have a good one!

As the summer ends…

… I hope I can continue to hold on to some of the positivity I have come to feel during this summer. Getting away for our summer holiday to France this year has really lifted my spirits. It has also helped put things a little bit in perspective for me. Yes, I hate my job, but I only work 32 hours (i.e. 4 days) a week and work really isn’t everything! Working from home for a year and half during lockdowns and restricted activities has started to make it feel like it is everything, probably due to lack of other distractions, but it really is not everything. Also, work allows me to pay for things I enjoy, like that holiday in France, and I have quite a good amount of days off as well. I have decided that I really shouldn’t let my work frustration colour my general mood so much. I hope I can hold on to that as I continue to search for work that will hopefully bring me more joy in the future.

I have much to be thankful for, I realize again as I sit here in our garden in what may be one of the last days of summer before it gets too chilly and wet to sit outside much…

On weekends this September I have enjoyed watching my kids play their sports. Junior tries to fit in handball whenever he can during his very busy work schedule at his hotel and also trying to finish off the last of school so that he can hopefully receive his diploma in a month or two.

And yes, he scored that goal after a breakout play. Mini me has also been loving getting back into football again after the summer, seen here (in red and black on the left) in a defensive action…

Mr Esther and I look at each other and wonder where our kids’ love of and talent for sports comes from, as neither he nor I have it. We’re both really glad they do enjoy it so much as it’s not only healthy and fun for them, it’s also great for their social lives.

I also love seeing our kids adore our cats…

…. and when I see videos like this one of Mandy Patinkin singing prayers to his dog…

… I just grin and nod in recognition as we too are always singing to our cats (well, not prayers and admittedly, it’s mostly me singing, but you get my point).

I am thankful that socializing is happening a little more now. Not too much, I love my alone time, but a little more than during lockdown is good. I am thankful my family is all still healthy (my older brother in Israel did contract Covid a few weeks ago but due to having been vaccinated he had no symptoms) and my friends are healthy too. I am also happy to be helping some refugees through the volunteer work I am able to do at a Council for Refugees office for one afternoon a week (on my ‘free’ Wednesdays). I always feel so helpless when switching on the news, most recently with all the news coming from Afghanistan, and doing this volunteer work makes me feel like I can contribute to make at least some things a little bit better. Like it says in that famous ‘serenity prayer’: Gant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. So, I try to change the things I can and I hope that at least will keep me positive.

I suffer from the winter blues and I think the last round lasted almost until the summer holidays so I really hope to not sink into that again. Extra vitamin D, making sure I get outside more during the winter months and reminding myself of this mood in this post will hopefully help me stay positive for a while. Fingers crossed.

The volunteering bug

Guylty has announced the amazing result of the Richard Armitage December fundraiser HERE – 1726,08 Euros, or 1552,82 Pounds Sterling, or 2090,27 US Dollars is an amazing result! The amount has already been transferred…

… and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result (!!) and having been able to play a small part in it as well by donating a few items crafted with Armitage photos. I hope everyone will receive their purchased/won items soon.

I guess I’ve been bitten by a volunteering bug where instead of photo-crafting for Armitage fans I’ll soon be donating my time for refugees by helping out at the Council for Refugees here in The Netherlands. In recent weeks I’ve already tagged along to get a taste of the work that I’d be doing (socially distanced with masks and plastic screens between workers and clients) and I’ve gone to a socially distanced introductory admin training morning at the office I’ll be working from. This afternoon there was a general introduction course via Zoom that I participated in…

I’m really looking forward to starting this work and I hope I’ll like it as much as I think I will. It feels good to take action, step out of my own world of family and work and try to help others who aren’t as lucky and privileged as I am. As I once mentioned here before, my day job doesn’t give me the satisfaction and enjoyment I crave, so maybe this can make me happier and maybe in time it can even open a few other doors as well if I like it? We’ll see. For now, volunteering as a social counselor for refugees is a great first step for me.

When will they ever learn?

The “land of the free”, former welcomer of refugees, has reached another low point in its history… I see images of refugee children separated from their parents that absolutely break my heart and I wonder what happened to this quote, that is on the Statue of Liberty?

“Give me your tired, your poor,
your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I know pro-Trump people are blaming this on the Democrats and Obama, let me just debunk that flat out lie here. Demonizing refugees, whether they try to enter illegally or not, dehumanizing them and calling them ‘vermin’  – this is literally Nazi-Germany Adolf Hitler rhetoric! How can 40% of Americans not see this??? This must be stopped as soon as possible! On her blog, Perry has posted a link on how to help.

In his latest tweet, Richard Armitage doesn’t comment outright on this inhumane situation but he does quote The Crucible. I see this tweet as an outrage at the current situation of refugee children being separated from their parents and I am glad he has said something!

RA tweet 20-6-2018

This whole horrible situation makes me scream the line “When will they ever learn?” over and over again in my head, from the song Where Have All The Flowers Gone. Just like The Crucible, the song was written during the McCarthy era in the 1950s by Pete Seeger. It was made famous by Marlene Dietrich during a UNICEF concert in 1962. She sings heartbreakingly in German, with lyrics so poetically translated from English… I found this clip on YouTube, where she speaks in German, French and English about the song before singing it. At the end she says in German, “Thank you for coming. I would like to sing another song, but I believe that after this song, no other song is good enough.”

I so fervently wish that lessons from history could finally be learned… In the meantime, I feel helpless, watch the news with horror and in tears and my heart breaks yet again and I wonder where this policy of hatred and selfishness will end…

Richard and Colin in action

A trailer for Richard Armitage’s Brain on Fire was made available this past week!

No cinema release dates for my end of the woods yet, but it’s a start! There are lovely Richard snippets in the trailer, already immortalized in gifs (source)…

I really hope I can get to see this in a cinema in the not too distant future.

Our Rich has also been tweeting and deleting again. It’s his right, of course, but it gets exhausting to follow… Anyhow, the latest tweet is about the anti-immigration order to the US, which is effectively also an anti-Muslim ban. Yay to Richard for at least leaving this tweet up on his feed (and a pity he deleted the Women’s March one from last week)…

ra-tweet-on-travel-ban

He followed the tweet by two pictures he also shared last year in his tweets about visiting a refugee shelter in Berlin.

Even he can not stay silent in these divisive times filled with hateful rhetoric. He may want to be overly careful with how he utters his opinions (tweeting and deleting), in certain deleted tweets you can sense how passionate he is about the Brexit and Trump policy issues, but I do see that he sides with values I also hold dear. I am very happy to see that. In honesty, if he had been on the other side of this argument, had he been pro Trump and pro this ridiculous immigration ban, it would have been a dealbreaker for me. I can respect differing political views but all these Trump policies are so against my absolute core beliefs! I can agree to disagree on many issues and still love a person but I can not accept when someone is pro discrimination and easily waves away human and civil rights. Thank goodness he is on the right side of the argument for me and I can still love him. 🙂

Colin Firth hasn’t been sitting quietly in a corner either. He was at the Producer’s Guild of America awards where he received an award for the movie Loving that he produced.

I have seen the movie recently and I love the calmness of it and how it is shown that change can come from very normal people in peaceful and patient resistance. It’s the true story of an interracial couple, very fittingly named Richard and Mildred Loving, who challenge their arrest for their marriage in Virginia. This challenge to racial segregation law led to a legal battle that would end at the US Supreme Court.

The movie won a PGA award and Colin, as producer, accepted the award. The awards show started with John Legend slamming Trump’s anti-immigration policy and when Colin was up for the Loving award, he said this:

“I am deeply committed to vacuous entertainment, escapist froth; even a casual glance at my career will tell you that. But I think Stanley Kramer has challenged us, really, to use what we do as an instrument for empathy. I would echo the words we heard at the beginning of this evening — Now more than ever, it is vital to find stories that do that. This is for Mildred and Richard Loving, for the ACLU, for everyone who is fighting for their civil rights, and for everyone who’s families are being separated by the discrimination and violence.”  (source)

If I didn’t already love this man, I’d fall in love with him all over again!