Monthly Archives: May 2009

I love running. In all honesty it’s more like jogging, but I love the word running so much that I use it as the one and only description for my sportive activity. Someone told me once that I am a runner, running away from my problems. Although it may seem so from the outset, I believe the opposite to be true. Or perhaps that is what it used to be. But set aside the more metaphoric description of the word, I am indeed a runner – an urban runner. I’ve been running now regularly since I was in my teens, and I probably won’t stop until my knees cave in.

It started around the time I was 15, in a bid to shape up and loose the puppy fat. It soon became an obsession, as all my other objects of desire, and I was out running almost every evening. In the summer I would time it with the sunset running along the beach and a park that was leading towards the harbour. It was in the days before portable CD players, so I would bring my Walkman with full supply of ambient music from the latest recording of the MTV Chill Out zone. It was the closest I felt to being away from Sweden. On the other side of the shore, the lights of Copenhagen were sparkling, and in my mind I would be the girl with the Parisian apartment downtown Copenhagen. I would lead a life of adventure and luxury, and at the same time explore the darker side of life. Perhaps I was influenced by the re-runs of Emanuelle, or the just released Basic Instinct. Whatever may be the truth, in my mind I was nothing short of a femme fatale.

Yes, those were the images I would conjure up in my mind as I went running. I knew one day Sweden would be too small for me. It would hamper my growth, wanting to mould me into something I could never be. So I longed, for Copenhagen, for Amsterdam, for freedom.

Although with numerous illusions crushed, I still believe we can achieve anything we set our minds to. It’s all in your mind, ready to be unlocked. If you don’t believe it will never happen. Sometime, in rare occasions, someone can become a catalyst for change. But even so it’s all down to you. Today, when I was running I felt the same. The same as I felt some 17 years ago. Full of energy and freedom. Nothing could stop me, and I could run and run until my shoes would become thread bare, and the soles of my feet would start to bleed. And even so I would go on, and on until I found what I was looking for. Until I found you. Because you are out there, somewhere, I know. I will never stop looking…



I didn’t wake up with the greatest of feelings.  Woke up around 5 o’clock, and then tried to fall asleep, but couldn’t. I must have though because I few hours later I was woken up by Reinout. I was confused, still in a dreamy state of mind. I had a terrible dream, which had associations to the film Antichrist (mentioned in the previous blog post). Reinout left Sebastian playing in the babygym on the bed, and I went back asleep again. It’s the first time in days I got more than 5 hours of sleep. I woke up from the alarm clock. With a call in 30 minutes I felt less than prepared. I dashed downstairs for a coffee and some blueberries. Time was ticking away and half way through the feeding my call was on. Luckily I could postpone it until later in the evening.

Today I would love to do nothing, just chill with Sebastian, take him for a walk in the park. But on the other side I feel there is so much to do. Hearing myself saying this, I definitely don’t have my priorities straight.  OK, a few hours of work and then the park with Sebastian. He deserves my undivided attention.

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My little elf

There’s a film I’m eager to see – Antichrist by Lars von Trier. Although I love the small independent films, I have seen very little of this enigmatic filmmaker. But I love a well produced thriller or horror flick, and the trailer looks more than promising. What’s even more promising is the response from the audience when opening in Cannes this week. Revolting and shock inducing were some comments. Sounds like my cup of tea!

I wouldn’t describe mine and Reinout’s relationship as a particular normal one. But what is normal? After a while, even the most quaint and outlandish becomes ordinary. I’ll give you an example. We have many endearing words for eachother. I call him Sweetie most of the time. He calls me everything from Petite Jolie and Beauty to Freak, Fuck Face and Dumb Ass. Unfortunately the latter three are the more common ones. On a good day he calls me Stinky and the funny thing is that I completely accept this. I’m so used to it that when I hear “Stinky” I turn around and reply. A conversation can easily go like this:
“Stinky, can you get me a coffee?”
“Sure Honey”

Certain nicknames tend to get stuck in a particular period. Such as Dumb Ass. This is his latest favourite and refers to my frequently stupid comments and remarks. Lately he’s also been calling me Monkey. Often when he does that he grabs hold of me, like I am some kind of toy monkey, which he can swing around.

Our peculiar relationship doesn’t stop at nicknames though.
It also extends to a somewhat more physical past-time. That of mock fighting. In 9 out of 10 cases it’s my husband that starts. It always begins with a few swinging punches in the air. He looks like a fighter from the Street Fighter computer game, slowly but methodically throwing punches in circular movements. There are two courses to take, shrink which I often do, of fight back. Fighting back is more fun, but tends to end up in a lot bruises and tears.

Last night was no different. A mock fight that started with potato throwing, continued well after dinner. I defended myself pretty well, but a misdirected hit which landed on Reinout’s watch, ended it all…. in tears I might add. A red, angry bruise immediately formed, and is now turning into a shade of purple, still with marks of the watch. But it’s not the only one. Apart from a few scattered bruises in various shades and colours depending on their age, I have a penciled tattoo on my chest. To finish off the evening, perhaps in a bid to make amends for the earlier fight, Reinout grabbed a pen, holding me down to brand me. It didn’t matter how hard I was screaming. With a new found purpose, he wasn’t going to let this one go. The results speak for themselves. I think it’s kind of cute!

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Salsa party or K1 @ Amsterdam ArenA? When Renout mentioned a couple of days ago that he was going to see K1 on Saturday I immediately asked if I could join. Ever since I came to Amsterdam I’ve always been fascinated by the posters for these events, plastered on underground tube stations, concrete pillars and power stations. Somehow they always end up in depraved areas, where the sunlight never reaches and it reeks of piss and other unpleasant odours. Perhaps that is the whole marketing strategy. Perhaps the people living here are the ones most likely going to these events. I don’t know, I’ve never been to one, which is perhaps why my fascination remains at an all time high.

But Reinout’s immediate reaction was no. This is a guy’s thing. Male bonding if you like. So to make sure this didn’t become just another lonely night, I decided to look for some entertainment elsewhere. Fortunately my salsa school, Club Fiera, is having a party on Saturday. A sure thing for a bit of Saturday fun.

I had just about made up my mind when I was invited to join the guys for K1 after all. Now here is the dilemma. I haven’t been to a salsa party for over a year, which sounds like great fun. Mind I have no one to go with but on the other hand I will most likely meet a lot of people there. OR it’s K1. Is it as brutal as I’ve imagined? It could be an unforgettable experience. It’s a difficult decision and I have yet to make up my mind. Salsa party or K1…

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It’s funny, I find it more difficult to write about current issues than past ones. The past is the past. There is nothing we can do about it, apart from accepting it, learning from it and learning to live with it. Although there are certain parts that I still find hard to be open about, most of all to myself, there are other parts that I have fully come to terms with. Those are the parts I have written about before.

But here and now is different. Partly because we are living with our immediate past, and it impacts our future. So blogging about it can be quite tricky. Another thing is that there is no benefit of hindsight. There is only a feeling of right and wrong, belief and disbelief, but there is no scientific research, the rationale is rudimentary and the evidence are lacking.

So I find myself this morning, feeling contrary to what you might expect, happy and content. My headache is gone, the sun is shining, and I got 6 hours of sleep last night. I head for the gym, and work the cross-trainer in an even pace. I work my body slowly and methodically. Do as many repetitions as I can. I elongate my body with every exhale, stretching all those tense muscles. It feels good.

Coming home is another matter. My behavior (if one may call it that) is up for discussion. It’s true what is being said, I can’t deny. I am forgetful. To the point that I forget important things that should not ever be forgotten. I have still to forget the baby but with my track record I might be there all too soon. I don’t spend enough time with the kids either. True again. Reinout asks me when was the last time I took Sebastian out for a walk. Weekday he adds. I say last week Friday. He doesn’t appear to buy it, and probe for any other days. Well Tuesday too. But he figures it out. “You mean on your way to your massage appointment.”

“Well, yes.” I find it quite funny and start to laugh. Reinout doesn’t think it’s amusing in the slightest.


He leaves. I hear his steps down the stairs ending with the front door being slammed. All is quiet. I find myself standing at the window looking out over our garden. I am left with a strange feeling. It’s not bad, but not good either. It’s a feeling that things will change, not right now, but in a year or two. A change that we will not have anticipated on. It’s not the first time I have this feeling but it’s the strongest one up to date. I shall have to wait this one out. Sooner or later it will become clear.

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Whenever Reinout and I have a discussion that involves a point he is trying to make, he manages to squeeze in a certain line; “Now that’s something you should blog about.” It’s often revolves around certain character flaws of mine, which he is trying to point out. Or at least that is how I see it.

I’m considering blogging about this one. Not from the perspective of how I feel, but from Reinout’s view point.
Yet it will become rather one-dimensional for several reasons. For one, I will be prone to write down only the painfully honest comments which he has just over-loaded me with, and not the complete version. And secondly, I don’t feel like going into too much details so the description will be somewhat crude. All in all I don’t feel like writing – period. I am still angry. I am not getting enough sleep and it starts to seriously impact my mental state. I’ve had a lingering headache for days now. Reinout tried to cure it by hitting my head with his knuckle. Well I was kind of desperate so I didn’t mind really. But the headache is beyond painkillers and knuckle blows. It just is.

I’m trying to find words but I can’t. Another symptom of my anger.
I can often withdraw when I feel like this. Reinout think it’s a Swedish thing. I disagree. It’s a reaction to being depleted of energy. Yesterday I went upstairs to work instead of watching TV. It made me feel better. In fact, I feel less stressed then. I’ve been thinking about that, boycotting the TV all together. I just don’t like it, and I know I can perfectly live without it. Besides it frees up a lot of time. Time to improve myself and my lack of performance. Oh yes, we are there again. The time when I am angry with myself for not pulling my shit together. I often cure this with beating myself down to the point that I just can’t stand the sight of myself, forcing me to do something about it. I have three priorities for this. Becoming a better mother (because I honestly suck…read previous post); stop fucking around with my hobby projects, and start achieving (right now I am just wasting my time), and lastly go from slobby mum to gorgeous mum. So there it is, warts and all. I am far from perfect. But writing it down, offers a sense of cathartic release. It purifies my warped thoughts and expels the demons. If only for an hour, if only for a day…

I am angry. In fact I just want to be left alone. Not bothered by anyone. I’m sitting downstairs with the intention of doing some work. It’s quiet, with the exception of Sebastian’s snoring. Just moments ago things were not so quiet. Victoria’s special assignment ends up in the pond. She has a presentation next week about Games. Luckily she manages to find another copy which she brings downstairs. I go through it, but there are a lot of details missing to it. So I write down a question and answer structure. Questions for herselves that she should know the answer to. But also for the audience to challenge their knowledge. She gets angry with me. Starts screaming, even though Sebastian is asleep. He stirs in his pram. I get upset too but lower my voice. Victoria dashes upstairs. I come after her. I am angry, for the lack of respect she is showing us. On top of this it’s Mother’s Day, although it is a day that means very little to me. Who has respects for their parents nowadays?

Upstairs Victoria does her utmost to take on a vindictive and almost spiteful look. It makes me furious. I’m holding her assignment in my hands, and I tell her she doesn’t deserve my help. She doesn’t care she says. That’s it, I tear it up. Done, now deal with your homework. In fact I don’t do this out of fury. But to corner her. She has it all saved on her computer, but she will need to ask Reinout to print it for her. I don’t want to make it easy for her. Easy is in the past. What she needs is hard work and discipline.

I leave telling her she doesn’t even know how lucky she is. Yesterday, we she got new Converse and Anne Frank’s diary. As we were at the hairdresser she also got her hair styled and highlighted. Things come too easy to her. I’m convinced. And when it does, complacency sets in. Hopefully a torn up assignment will help her re-assess her priorities. At least for today….

Reinout suggested we’d go out for dinner last night. Albeit the many good restaurants Haarlem has to offer, we have found our favourite – Stempels. For some reason which I’m yet to fully comprehend, the place brings out the best, or perhaps the worst in us. It’s the restaurants were we argue, debate, an in some cases leave to cool off. The wine list is comprehensive, which has resulted in us getting drunk on more than a few occasions. Always with a baby and in some cases an adolescent in tow. They know us by now, and stash us away close to the exit, in case any of us are planning a sortie.

Last night was no different, and withing minutes we were engrossed in a discussion about crime and repercussion. Reinout has very much an eye for an eye mentality in which we greatly differ. We’ve had these discussions before, where he comes up with all kinds of hypothetical situations to prove his point. And yet my opinion remained untouched. After a lengthy debate with no one prepared to give in, we agreed to disagree. Or at least I did. Because Reinout would never do such a thing. It spells compromise, a word utterly redundant and superfluous in his opinion.

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Reinout & Sebastian a couple of days ago

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Last night before dinner

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Sebastian in toga

My body feels limp, shaky. The tingling sensation is back again. I force myself to go through my emails, but it won’t work…no matter how hard I try. In the end I give up and I put Sebastian next to me in bed and close my eyes. I know it’s the only natural position my body craves, horizontal and asleep. It doesn’t take long to go into a sleep. In fact a deep sleep because I dream. I dream of a strange place, something between a circus and and a tropical bath. I’m there with Reinout, and my two camels which I use for transportation. I dream about camels, and Cecile (our dog) and Reinout and scary clowns. It’s one of those dreams that doesn’t make sense, but neverthless gives you a good feeling when you wake up. I wake up intermittently, always checking the alarm clock. But not until 11 do I decide that I had enough. In fact I could go on sleeping for hours, but duty is calling. Duty, it’s not a word I’m on friendly terms with right now. And yet it’s probably my saviour…