Have you ever wondered what truly makes you into who you are? I don’t mean your profession, or the numerous degrees you have accumulated throughout the years… No I refer to the core, the thin red line that has followed you all your life. It’s a question I am not totally unfamiliar with, although if queried a few years ago I would have found a great deal harder to answer. But then it became clear (during a lunch discussing dollars and the origin of Brooklyn).

And there was not just one thread, but many that together shaped the answer. My blog being an integral part, but so were the many people I met. The adventures I sought, the obscure books I read (Hypnerotomachia Poliphili springs to mind). At first I simply said I was a story teller. A 21st century troubadour. But it was more than that. Most stories were not even my own. I stole them from people I collected around me. So I became a collector…of people…and stories. And with that I suppose a curator and well…a thief. Because as the wise man says…every sin is a variation of theft. And I am no less guilty. It’s better to ask for forgiveness that for permission, right? Just do it, as C would say.

And I did. Often in the name of survival. It’s another trait deeply ingrained. Becoming an orphan made me a gypsy. A traveller and an outsider. The outsider who slowly worked to reach the inside. You catch my drift….perhaps not. As C so often says, my thoughts skipping from one thing to another. Never sitting still. That’s why I like him. He makes my mind bounce…


revealing, yet conceiling

It’s only Thursday evening as I am writing this and yet it feels like it’s been an endless week. However there is cause for celebration. Not only did things work out well, I met G up for lunch for a catch up and business talk and TT for a quick but lovely oyster dinner. The train ride home saw various discussions ending up with the Swiss and the Belgian. I recalled a brilliant response from good friend way back on the topic of Swiss lovers…. I read it loud to the amusement of a lonely gentleman sharing the first class train coupé. It is in fact so brilliant I have to quote it once more…

“Rather amusing I must say, even though I am not much for stereotyping such particular talent….or am I…?
Overleaf they do not mention the Swatch-making, cheese and chocolate -producing nationality and I must admit that the worst that I have ever come across in the bedstraw was, indeed, Swiss.
Perhaps you can, with a slice of imagination, before your eyes see a redfaced, gasping, sweaty, hyperactive Duracell rabbit that completely and utterly is lacking a sense of tact.

My disappointment was profound and I let him know about it in a rather ruthless way…., i.e. after my rather obvious facial expression and after the swiss Duracell rabbit had expressed his apologies (he was apparently aware that the awful experience was not adding up to my expectations) I replied in a stereotypically crispy and cold Swedish manner: “It’s alright….(long silent pause) ……all is not about sex (another long silent pause)”. I might, at that moment actually have looked like Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) in the movie The Devil wears Prada. I normally do have a heart, but I guess it was on holiday that day.

Shortly after this one time encounter I heard a little stereotypical story that amused me somewhat for the given reason. I would like to add it to the topic of the blog.

“Heaven is where the police are English, the cooks are French, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian and everything is organized by the Swiss. Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are English, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, and everything is organized by the Italians.”


The book that inspired the original post some 7 years ago –

It’s one of the earliest Latin quotes I recall from my history lessons. The quote is what Cato the Elder finished – without exception – all his speeches with, in the Roman Senate. The infamous words left their imprint and not long after Cato had breathed his last breath, Carthage was indeed destroyed (146 BC). Some 1650 years later, Machiavelli wrote a handbook on how to survive in a highly polarized and political universe. The other day, for many a reason, I ordered the book. Unfortunately it was delivered just after I had left home. Carthago delenda est….one name so easily exchangeable for another.


The Prince in transit

Intensive schedule with D-Day approaching! November 10 – Don’t miss SIM-CI’s CI Summit on Disrupting the Disruptors! In the meantime, always a pleasure having meetings at Google 🙂


Whether Monday morning or end of play, how can one NOT have fun working 🙂

After a little over one year my Mac couldn’t take the abuse I’ve put it through lately. It didn’t quite give up the ghost, but knowing it would be a tortuous journey and a slow death, I went in search for an upgrade. Not cheap, but well worth it!


Macbook pro 13 inch 3,1 GHz Intel Core i7 16 GB 1867 MHz DDR3 🙂

The days seem as they are fused with each other. The beginning consuming the end, and so the morning debuts once more. The colours a little more vivid than before. A gentle transition. From crimson red velvet to a faded salmon pink. Your eyes are resting on the fabric. Crushed velvet, shifting tones as you play with it in the light of the setting sun. If it was music it would be Gnossienne No. 3. Lent. Although you feel more like it is a farewell to what has been, now waiting to be broken down into soil and clay. And so days are transitioned into weeks….months, beyond winter solstice… Mileage, my dear, mileage….like the damned Sisyphus….being none the wiser….soldiers on, not ever reaching the peak, nor finding peace. The impoverished farmer tending the paddy fields, the last piece of land still his. Yet tomorrow, the floods will sweep away its ever coarse and infertile soil.

You ponder whether you are the farmer, his tools or the elements he is trying to harness. You still ponder, beyond your bedtime….to the music of Satie.

At 8.45 pm I find myself in bed after a long working-from-home day. I managed to cram in most activities on my action list and then some. With Victoria’s first working day, I found a starving girl on my doorstep this evening. Welcome to my world honey! And yes it a minor achievement serving up a home-made pumpkin and sweet potato before 7 pm.

But with this day behind me, it is now time for a good documentary and then an early night. Lately I’ve been delving into she-wolves….strong, power seeking, and sometimes mere mothers surviving in a mans world. This one is for Isabella of France and Margaret of Anjou. The former most renowned for dispatching of her husband, Edward II with a red-hot poker up his royal behind. Enjoy…

…and finally there is a weekend with enough peace and quiet to work. It’s a very typical working weekend, where I don’t get out of my dressing gown, instead ending up next to the fireplace trawling through emails for most of the day. Victoria is lodging here, watching Sex and the City to kill this mundane Saturday. It brings back memories, and for a moment as I watched a sequence from Carry Bradshaw musing over a trip to Abu Dhabi, I couldn’t help but realising how much has changed since I used to follow the series. The girly antics of these ladies, seem so far-fetched, and what I drew on as inspiration some 10 years ago I couldn’t see myself doing in a million years. The times where I loved cocktails, luxury clothes and accessories, sumptuous dinners are far gone. Instead I find myself constantly preoccupied with clearing up the past and preparing for the future ahead. Still, perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad to emerse myself in a romcom once in a while. Int he meantime, Victoria made a rather funny clip of me impersonating Miss Bradshaw. No offense Carrie, still love you :).


loads of work…



Carrie Bradshaw impersonation with a bit of editing facilitated by Victoria

You are in bed pondering on something suitable to watch. WWII has occupied you for far too long, so has the French Revolution and the rise and the fall of the Romanovs. Yet the are chapters you need to revisit. Especially in this phase of your life. You turn to Catherine the Great. She is after all one of those figures in history that despite countless tales of her rise and subsequent rule (it’s important to remember, she never fell), remains enigmatic. You read her memoirs in times of adversity. You sympathised and even drew on stratagems she successfully applied to her own personal life. And here you are, a different road perhaps, but the outcome was nevertheless for the better.

You fall asleep to the dispatch of her husband, and when you wake up in the 21st century life you are after all leading, Facebook reminds you that 2 years ago you read her memoirs for the second time.

It also reminds you of how the nature of life is rather cyclical.


treasured and well read