Reflections #9: Hitting the Big 4-0 and Farewell to ‘Game of Thrones’

Reflections May 2019 // Dutch Girl in London

On the final Sunday of the month I always reflect on the last four weeks. May is always an especially festive because it’s both mine and hubby’s birthday month. In between bad colds I got to celebrate my big 40th birthday with my family and closest friends. But of course far more happened in May. Find out what exactly in today’s Reflections on May 2019!

 

Celebrating my 40th with my bestie

This year bestie Suzanne and I decided to celebrate our birthdays together and hire a small venue back in the Netherlands. Suzanne’s waaaaaaay older than me though, about three weeks ha ha! We have known each other for 27 years now so being able to share our special day together with most of our closest friends was pretty awesome.

It was the perfect evening with amazing people, a great venue and of course the best music: only 80s and 90s hits and some hardcore and techno to relive our childhood and the days we would go to the ‘disco’, ha ha.

40th birthday // Dutch Girl in London

Feeling exhausted yet happy by the end of the night as hubby and I got up at 5am to catch the train from Berlin to the Netherlands

Catching ‘Superbugs’ at Superbooth Berlin

Early May hubby and I went on a fantastic trip to Germany by train. Our first stop was the ancient city of Cologne. While hubby was at work in the museum in preparation for the exhibition opening of work by him and Dutch photographer Erik Kessels, I had a brilliant time learning about the city’s fascinating history during a free walking tour. Being a city guide myself, it was also quite interesting to experience how my ‘overseas colleagues’ do this.

Prior to our trip to Germany I had felt a bit run down, but as I was starting to feel better over the week, hubby was starting to feel worse. Unfortunately my recovery didn’t last very long as I seem to have caught an interesting virus at the international music fair Superbooth Berlin, our next stop after Cologne. I guess when you put together hundreds of people from all over the world in a building with a swimming pool that’s frequently visited by kids, viruses thrive and seek pleasure in finding their next victims. So for the last two weeks I’ve been coughing so much my throat feels all raw now and I’ve been working out my abs without having to go to the gym. I’ve heard much worse from friends who also visited the fair so I think I’m fairly lucky!

In May I wrote the following articles:

Blog posts May 2019 // Dutch Girl in London

  • The Dutch Girl Tales #14: Mijn laatste blog als een thirty-somethingMy last Dutch blog post as a thirty-something was very personal as I shared some of my most intimate life events from between 30 till now.
  • On the Party Train from Berlin to AmsterdamI wrote this blog post while hubby and I were on the train from Berlin to the Netherlands en route to my party that night! You can read all about our week in Cologne and Berlin in this article.
  • And the Winner Is: The Netherlands!A rather impromptu topic after the Netherlands won the Eurovision Song Contest after 44 years last week. I had a look in the archives (thank you YouTube) and dug out all the previous Dutch winners from 1957 till 2019. It’s a great way to travel through time and see how songs and also the Eurovision Song Contest has evolved!

After two months (ugh!) of redesigning my travel blog Done That Been There I finally got to publish part 2 of my 3-part city guide London for first-time visitors! (also available in Dutch)

London city guide // Done That Been There

On my watch list: ‘Game of Thrones’

Regarding films and TV series, the highlight of May 2019 was of course the finale of the Game of Thrones saga. Halfway this last season, fans started to protest against the direction the scriptwriters were taking the story of our much beloved characters in their race to claim the Iron Throne. Without giving away any spoilers here, I’d like to share a few of my thoughts on this here. I wonder if you agree with me here or not.

To me episode 3 was the absolute highlight of season 8 of Game of Thrones. I rewatched the ending over and over again, wondering what else the makers had in store for us for the final three episodes. Unfortunately, these didn’t even come close to this third episode.

While I would’ve rather seen a different ending, the tone and events are entirely in line with the series in a whole. The only critique I have is that while in the past certain plot stories and developments were told over a long period of time over several episodes, rather crucial events were considerably rushed in the last three episodes. Because of this, certain decisions and outcomes weren’t convincing and also left me slightly confused. As did some of the life paths chosen by some of the survivors at the very end. But then I learned there are plans for three spin-offs which then explained the possibly not so final farewells.

Want to read more about ‘Game of Thrones’? Then go to my article: The 10 Most Memorable Deaths in ‘Game of Thrones’

Game of Thrones 10 most memorable deaths // Dutch Girl in London

What else was on?

Just by chance I read about the start of season 2 of Barry, supposedly a brilliant dark comedy series about hitman Barry who gets into acting classes (taught by legendary Henry Winkler) during a mission and find his new calling. This sounded intriguing indeed and thus it happened that hubby and I found a new favourite TV series. Especially ‘baddy’ NoHo Hank is absolutely brilliant in it!

Furthermore, we’ve been rewatching some Stanley Kubrick films in preparation for our visit to the Kubrick exhibition at the Design Museum today. From all his films, I was especially struck by his iconic science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The visuals are so crisp and the special effects look even better than most of contemporary sci-fi films. It’s even more impressive if you consider 2001 was released in 1968 already!

In the cinema

  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Greta

Stanley Kubrick

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey 
  • Clockwork Orange, A
  • Full Metal Jacket
  • Lolita
  • Shining, The

TV series (I recommend all of them!)

  • After Life (Netflix)
  • Barry SE01-SE02 (HBO)
  • Game of Thrones SE08 (HBO)
  • Santa Clarita Diet S03 (Netflix)

Entertaining, but not that great

  • Cold Pursuit
  • Festival, The
  • Holmes & Watson
  • Second Act

In other news

In conclusion of this month’s Reflections I’d like to share two remarkable news stories from this week. Starting with the rise of deaths among Mount Everest climbers. Today they announced the death of the 10th person this season who sadly didn’t manage to return alive. It’s thought that ‘traffic jams’ are the reason for these unfortunate deaths. Since it’s especially busy on the mountain this season, climbers need to spend more time in the oxygen-poor air and extreme temperatures. A rather rotten way to go.

And of course there was also the resignation of tearful Theresa May as Prime Minister. I don’t feel any sympathy for her at all, but dread her successor as all obvious candidates are very eager to push for a hard Brexit. And thus the Brexit saga continues. Perhaps we should follow the example of the Game of Thrones fans and demand politicians to rewrite the Brexit narrative.

Let them eat cake

The Dutch Girl Tales #13 // Dutch Girl in London

So far my reflections on the month of May. I am now off for a nice day out with hubby for his birthday today. And it’s going to be a fantastic day as we’ve planned a visit to the Stanley Kubrick exhibition at the Design Museum followed by Sunday lunch in a local pub and of course there will be cake! Have a lovely Sunday whatever you’re up to!

As always I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to this month. Share your stories in a comment below! Thank you, Zarina xx