11 things that made me smile

So friggin’ busy of late that ‘real’ blogging is really falling by the wayside. Making time this evening to share a few recent highlights that I meant to share over time but never got around to…

1- The town where I live has been celebrating its 750th anniversary and the old church has opened its rooftop to visitors. We finally went up two weeks ago to take an eagle-eye peek at our town. It was beautiful.

2- Cats. One sleeping on a tray, the other cuddling on top of my daughter’s head.

3- Speaking of my daughter, she has started her applied sciences university and is studying nursing and loving it. She’s bang in the middle of this group picture taken the other day.

4- Honourable mention for my son. Since the fall of 2019 he’s done internships, finished his vocational college online and had a gap year, so he basically hasn’t been in school for three years. He has now started applied sciences university in The Hague, studying sports management. Going back to school again is a bit of an adjustment for him but it looks like he’s off to a very good (albeit exhausting) start. We’re very proud of him for giving this a real and serious shot.

5- Rainbow last week.

6- I thought I’d play the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon thing the other day. I thought I was four degrees removed, then three but now I realize it’s two!

Apparently even Kevin Bacon himself reacted to this one…

7- Nicola Walker is joining Richard Armitage in narrating the audiobook Geneva that he wrote! It can almost tempt me to listen to an audiobook, because I think Nicola Walker is awesome…

…. but just like some other fans already requested, I’d love to see a print version of this book too.

8- While I’m at it, this picture of Richard as Father Quart appeared. Don’t think I’d seen it before but it’s fascinating. I can’t seem to take my eyes off it.

9- So yes, I watched Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral at the beginning of the week. Fascinating and impressive pomp and circumstance with so many impressive and some touching images but I think I liked this image (by artist Eleanor Tomlinson) best, made just after the queen died.

10- I was clearing photos off my phone camera and came across this image that I snapped very quickly back in June or so. I was leaving the metro to go to the office and saw Anne of Green Gables infront of me! That’s who she reminded me of in any case.

11- The situation in Ukraine remains depressing and very scary but I did enjoy this bit from a Dutch comedy programme offering a referendum for all Russians (made by the same people who made the ‘America First, The Netherlands Second’ video after Trump was elected president).

Right, off to bed now. Another busy work day awaits tomorrow.

This and that

Just a few bits and bobs before I disappear into the world of TV or movie fiction. It’s been a very busy week at work and I need to relax the mind somewhat before I head for bed.

It’s just after 10.30 pm here and dusk has set in but it’s still light outside! I love long Dutch summer evenings. Picture below was taken at 10.20 pm (and yeah, the grass desperately needs mowing)…

We had a hot day today, the weather is supposed to break with rain and thunderstorms tonight and cool off somewhat tomorrow.

In other news: my younger sister was feeling very ill with a high fever. She went in to the hospital this evening where she was diagnosed with (a new variant of) Covid. She’s been vaccinated and boostered and still feeling so ill, poor thing. She is thankfully home again and on extra strong meds to bring the fever down. Let’s hope she gets well soon! They say the next Covid wave is on the rise here. This pandemic remains serious business.

In more cheerful news: Mandy Patinkin and his wife Kathy will star in a new comedy pilot called Seasoned based on the fun videos that their son posted of them on Mandy Patinkin’s Twitter account during this pandemic. The show will be written by their son and his partner. I loved their pandemic videos that gave a light-hearted glimpse into the daily lives of a couple that has been married for a long time. So, now it will be made into a show.

I hope the show can hold on to the charm of those videos and won’t be overkill. I’m really curious to see this when it gets made.

Happy Feet

It’s been a long working day. Worked a nine hour+ day today (six and a half hours at two libraries and close to three hours more at home) and now it’s finally what the Germans so wonderfully call “Feierabend”. I blogged about that term before, so won’t go into it here. Suffice it to say, it feels good to have reached my free evening! Despite lots of extra work this week I am still so very much happier with work than I have been these past two years. Changing jobs was a good move.

Feierabend also means putting my feet up. I came home and immediately changed into my Birkenstocks as the weather is just about warm enough to start wearing them again. I love having my toes wiggle free once it starts warming up outside, beyond the restraints of closed shoes. And now, with my tattoo, I can even admire a little artwork when those Birkenstocks go on my feet (ignore the scratch on my right foot that was given to me by our black cat who was showing her enthusiasm for lying on top of my legs last week).

I worked indoors once I got home again but I also sat outdoors for a little bit as my evening started until my toes (and the rest of me) started to get chilly. I’m typing this before dinner (the chicken still needs about half an hour) and I’m quite exhausted, but even so, life feels pretty good. New great job, warmer weather and freedom for my toes are doing the trick. Happy feet and happy me.

New beginnings

As of today I am all done with my old job! Woohoo! On to new beginnings and greener pastures.

Going away from my old job was a little weird. No one mentioned a farewell or anything and I didn’t want to ask. Just in case, I did have these little farewell gifts made for the whole team (20 or so people): a little jar with sweets and a sticker on it that said “It is not goodbye (‘doei’ and ‘dag’ both mean ‘goodbye’) but I’ll see you with a smile”.

I didn’t hear anything until this past Tuesday my manager contacted me and asked if we could meet on my final day, which was yesterday (on Thursday). I said ‘of course’. She asked me to book the meeting and a meeting room myself, it all felt like she really had no time to spare and this was just another little chore to tick off her list. So, I saw her yesterday and we chatted for a bit, which was pleasant but also a bit weird. “We haven’t spoken in a long time,” she said (yeah, duh, you cancelled on me twice when I planned something) and “Shall I remove you from our Microsoft Teams group today?” (um, no, seeing as no one’s here, so I’d like to leave a little goodbye message and tell them they can pick up their little gift with you). She gave me a nice bouquet of flowers and I saw 3 random colleagues whom I could personally give that little gift to. Earlier in the week I had also received a small bouquet of flowers and some ‘Merci’ chocolates at home from the team I had worked with for the most part. And that was that.

It just all felt a little off. Not that I needed or wanted a big farewell (heaven forbid!) and I’m staying within the same organization anyhow, but this just felt more like good riddance with a pasted smile than a friendly goodbye. Goes to show how good it is that I got out from there. Meanwhile, when I arrived home at the end of the afternoon, I found another bouquet of flowers waiting for me. This was from my new team, welcoming me. Very sweet, but so not necessary, as I had already gotten welcome flowers when I first started part time in the job back in February. The vibe in this new team is so different, way more my speed and I am thanking all my stars again that I made this transition.

On a side note, why is Greta Garbo underneath these flowers, you ask? This is an old desk that is quite big and came from my son’s room. We now use it as a work desk in our living room, replacing a tiny computer desk we had there before. The table has a glass plate and you can put pictures underneath it. We needed something quick while setting it up and I still had a drawer of old film posters and pictures that I could unearth. They used to hang in my bedroom before Mr E and I moved in together! I just never had the heart to throw them away and now they are in use again for the first time in 26 years. David Bowie and the two Richard Armitage pictures are more recent additions and I decided against including a Roman Holiday image as I have that around the house already elsewhere.

I still work from our dining room table for the most part, though, as we need a better chair at that desk. The one we have now doesn’t go high enough and my shoulders start aching when I sit there too long. I worked from there for a bit this morning so that I could easily look into our garden at the pretty scenery: it snowed (!!) last night. It really felt like spring with very pleasant temperatures earlier this week and now it feels like winter (for the first time this winter season, by the way, when it’s supposed to be spring now).

Anyway, enough babbling! I have new and much more fun work to get back to today. New beginnings indeed. 🙂

The fall has come

Earlier in the week we took a little walk in the woods where everything still looks quite green but you can see the leaves are starting to turn…

Last night we had stormy weather and it continued to be windy and rainy today. I’ve been busy the past two days with a job interview and volunteer work but today Mr Esther and I decided to make a day of it for ourselves. Well, more of an afternoon, really. We went to the beach of Scheveningen (Den Haag) where the North Sea was restless. It was quite a beautiful sight seeing the waves come in roughly. It looks quite peaceful in that first picture but it really wasn’t. There was a lot of foam coming off the wild waves.

When the rain came we went inside for a drink of nice, warm tea and then after we walked on to the pier, pelted by wind, watching the waves crash below us.

I was just about warm enough in my thinner spring and autumn coat but have now also dug out my winter coat, I’ll be much more comfortable in that now that the weather has turned chilly and fall really seems to be here.