Monthly Archives: July 2010

As with all good things it had to come to an end. It had started in a rather stressful fashion, at 6.30 am walking the dogs, doing the laundry and then off to the gym. More laundry, getting dressed and off to work. At Central Station I detoured picking up cakes at Hema and plasters for my feet that rapidly were developing blisters from my Christian Louboutins. They are obviously not made for comfort nor walking on the Dutch hole studded streets.

A raspberry and blueberry cocktail later and too many cups of coffee I’ve lost count of, I prepared myself for my meeting. An hour later I was happy not having been crucified but instead being granted the extra bonus of birthday hugs and presents.

Leaving 5 minutes before 5.30 pm I naturally managed to miss the bus by 10 seconds and was forced to wait for another half hour. I came home exhausted and frankly not in a mood for birthday celebrations. A slight headache that had developed throughout the day had transitioned into a migraine. Champagne, cigar smoke and small talk only seemed to make matters worse. At 10 pm and Sebastian throwing pens and tantrums with what seemed to be with a certain premeditation, my husband and I had settled for cold war. It continued until I was ready for bed.

Although we talked, and the next morning promised a new beginning, the path of war was already trodden. After an over reaction from my side I snatched a 20 euro note and walked off with brisk steps to the train station, determined not to miss another train nor bus.

Almost an hour later and I’m on the last bit of the journey. I’ve gone through my emails, and written an apology to my husband. I am not sure he will accept. My iPhone is blasting with Madonna, my sure-fire tactic for chic survival. Today is just another day, and thank God that birthday is done and over!

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Nightmare shoes…at least for catching the bus

At work, so little time for a longer blog entry but here comes some pictures from the day! Birthday girl got lucky!!

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Morning essentials

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My colleagues celebrated me at lunch….sweet 🙂

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I got “A touch of Sunrise” from Rituals

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Happy camper!

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Nice smell too…

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Healthy lunch at my desk

As of today, I am 35! We’ll strictly speaking 34, but since the age of 20 when I really needed to add some numbers to my meager age, I’ve been in a habit of adding an extra year. It works fine, also in later years. When I say I’m 34 (and in this case 35) people always look so astound. “Oh, I thought you were in your late 20’s!”.

I shrug my shoulders helplessly as in a way of saying “What can I do? Some people have all the luck!”
Talking about luck (or the lack of it), my husband who had bought an iPad for me, hijacked it over the weekend. He showed me net-a-porter.com as a teaser (looks very glossy and I wish I had a no limit credit card) and then went on to spend the weekend with his new toy. He even brings it to the toilet, being the optimal magazine reading for a number 2. Well at least it’s cleanable and I will make sure to install kitchen wipes in all our toilets as of now.

My husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday. Ideally it would be a piece of antique but knowing it would make a 10k hole in a near empty pocket I opted for something more recession minded. My underwear are the ones I bought when I was pregnant, and admittedly have seen better days. So I dragged him into one of Haarlem’s better establishments for a lingerie excursion. It was indeed Valhalla, as I found numerous sets of La Perla and Valisere (an amazing set I might add), whilst my husband was checking out the clientele. A 30’ish something woman (she could have also been late 20’s) proudly put her assets on display sporting triple F cups whilst she strutted an equally boosted booty. My husband being one of the few men in the store stood as transfixed at the sight. He assured me later I was way more beautiful than the latest incarnation of Venus de Milo but needless to say I have my doubts…

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Valisere lingerie. Love the exquisite lace!

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Aubade set in white

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Aubade set in black

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Same set as the white Aubade one….love it!!!

Sebastian got sent home today. With a slight fever and a cranky mood he was not welcome anymore at the daycare. Reinout sent me a clip documenting the evidence….

17.39. I’ve known him for exactly three days, 17 hours and 34 minutes. I try to calculate the exact amount of hours this would mount up to but fail. Hours always sound more impressive. As long as they go beyond the number 48. He’s standing in front of me, frying up an improvised risotto using whatever leftovers are available. It doesn’t amount to much, but it’s either that or a large pack of M&M’s. I casually pop a yellow, chocolate coated peanut, offering him one too. He shrugs, says he doesn’t like them.

“So why did you buy them?” I ask.
“I didn’t.”
He leaves it at that. My imagination is running wild and after a pregnant pause I can’t hold back.
“So who did?”
“A girl I met some time ago.” “They’ve been there for ages” he adds.

I wish I never brought up the subject. My head is filled with questions. He asks me to open a bottle of wine, and I’m relieved to be provided with such simple, yet effective distraction. I pour a glass, watching it condense in the heat. A drop of water forms and runs slowly down the stem of the glass to be united with its base and eventually the table. I pour a second glass, this time for myself, and place it on an already existing wine stain. The glass fits the red circle perfectly on an otherwise smudged, stained and burnt dining room table. It’s some cheap wood. Not the solid oak we have at home.

He picks up the glass and propose a toast.

“To friends”
“To lovers” I am quick to counter. He waits for a moment and smiles.
“To lovers”
His voice is deep, dark, with an undetermined accent. Eastern Europe, maybe Balkan. He doesn’t want to say. It’s another part of the illusion that goes by the name of Milan. Like the football team. I haven’t met any of his friends, although he gets frequent calls (always in English). All his books are in English too, ranging from Paolo Coelho, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Arturo Pérez-Reverte and Umberto Eco to John Connolly and Jeffery Deaver. They say you can tell the person by his choice of reading. If so we must be soulmates….

The apartment is spartan. A couch and two armchairs made out of bamboo, a TV on a small glass table, a dining room table, doubling as an iron board (hence a number of burn marks), three functional chairs, one broken one and a rocking chair. All in the same cheap bamboo material. Someone either had very little money, or very poor taste. Probably both. Which is in fact neither…

The bedroom is even less furnished. A queen-size mattress, slightly alleviated on some sort of frame. Similar design to an IKEA bed I seem to recall. A computer table hosting a an old desktop PC, and a standing lamp. The mattress is clad with a single sheet, roughly draped over three quarters of the surface.

There are two big fans, one in the living room and another in the bedroom. A third, smaller one stands unplugged at the entrance. I presume it to be broken.


Milan announces that the risotto is ready. He places my plate on the table.
“Can I sit here?” I not so much ask but presume it to be a wish instantly granted. The rocking chair keeps my nerves at bay as I continuously puff on a Dunhill Menthol. He offers me the plate and I kill the cigarette, stomping it out on a makeshift ashtray.

Food is delicious. I add it to a growing list of positive attributes of my new-found lover, and against an equally diminishing one of my fiance at home. I quickly dispel any thoughts of him. It will ruin a beautiful moment. Like in a film. And as ‘All I Want’, by Air comes on the speakers, the scene is complete.
“I want you.” I say.
“But you are getting married.”
“Fuck the wedding, fuck marriage. I want you.” I say this almost pleadingly, as to make a poignant statement of no return.

He turns away, cleaning up a dishevelled kitchen table. Haphazardly shovelling empty cigarette packs and a stack of bills that are way past their due date. I look at the new composition, for a moment an improvised still-life, before he puts down a steaming plate of risotto and drench it with HP sauce. It appears to be making a blunt statement of what may become my future. Or not. I weigh my options whilst fiddling with my fork, pushing around grains of rice and crumbles of minced meat, until they’ve been rearranged into a circle. Hunger becomes a secondary concern. Tomorrow I’m suppose to be on a plane home. A mental note to self I must send off that post card to John…

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I wake up early. Not from the alarm clock but from Sebastian wailing. It’s 6.30 am, 10 minutes before scheduled time, so I hastily wrap myself up in an overused, coffee strained dressing gown and head down to the kitchen to make another bottle. Sebastian eagerly takes it together with some pieces of Lego and seems happy with the paraphernalia on offer.

I continue to drag myself, first into the bathroom getting my running gear on and then downstairs for my ipod and keys. It’s not chilly outside, but somewhat windy. Not ideal conditions, but good enough. It’s to be my first run in 6 weeks. The first few hundred metres are going well. I cautiously gain confidence as I run past the police station with only a few stops. But as I continue to run my fatigue is starting to kick in. I curse myself for not having the stamina to continue, and in an intersection I contemplate taking a short-cut. My determination wins and I continue my usual route.

The last couple of hundred metres are going fairly well knowing the end goal is in sight. But as I get onto the pavement along the Kenaupark I trip and fall head over heel. In any other circumstances I would have caught myself on my hands but my hands and arms give in and I sort of slide along the rough surface. It hurts, it burns and tears are welling up. Floods of tears, as I’ve just been through a major assault. A woman on a bike stops and asks what’s the matter. She says she’s in a hurry but just wants to make sure I’m ok. I tell her I am and ask her politely to leave. I don’t want further indignation from this morning intermezzo.

I limp back home and as soon as I close the door behind me I start crying even more. They say when it rains it pours, and the situation appears to confirm this rule. I pull down my trousers and there are scrub marks on both knees, one bleeding more than the other. I cry even more at this sight and walk upstairs with heavy steps. My husband is wondering what is going on. After my explanation filled with sobs and all, he directs me to take a shower and clean my wounds. I happily oblige. As I let the water shed the blood, the dirt, the tears I wonder if I’m not more hurt on the inside than the outside…

Days are hot, nights are humid. Everything comes to a standstill. Trains are late, service is going down an ever slippery slope. And my own commitments are given way for excuses. They rarely hold up.

Last night…
I lay awake in bed, tossing and turning. I read a book about the fortunes of one Grace Hammer. It transports me to Victorian England….Whitechapel, East End, the Docks. When Bricks Lane is mentioned my mind makes a leap to one of London’s more infamous murder cases,  where one the victims if I’m not mistaken was discovered. Its claim to fame and notoriety, despite its sordid past, carried high as it was the imperial crown jewels.

I read more than usual, feeling anxious and agitated. There are reason. There always are. Life is in limbo, and old dreams are disbanded, forgotten in the darkness of night, evaporated in the mist of dawn.

I leave home in a state of defeat.

Dinner at Popokatepetl. I have fajitas, W goes for a burrito. Time passes quickly and at a certain point, rain and heavy thunder errupts. We move inside to continue our female rendez vous. I’m home at midnight, no salsa but evening was great. Reinout is asleep and but comes downstairs to open the door for me. He is grumpy. I’m hot, Sebastian is sick and throws up. At 4 am there is still no sleep and I walk upstairs, crawling into a cool bed in the guestroom. There I fall into a deep slumber until the family decides to wake me up at noon.

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Style a la St Tropez

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Dress Maison Vandenvos, snakeskin clutch Dolce & Gabbana…

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vintage shoes Karen Millen

In town it’s crowded. As I walk in my black pencil skirt my thighs are rubbing together from the heat. That forever taking diet is not paying off. Thigh rubbing or not, I decide against a cappuccino and order just a black coffee. A biscuit that accompanies it gets handed over to Sebastian who eagerly grabs it and puts it in his mouth. I look for something to read among the various magazines that lay scattered over the table. My eyes fall on a Vogue Hommes, which I pick up and start flickering through. I turn back a page after briefly catching the glimpse of a familiar face. Yes, it’s Tony Ward. Madonna’s ex and one-hit-wonder in Justify My Love. He looks good. I kind of see the attraction. I also see a slight resemblance of Sean Penn, drawing the conclusion Madonna and I share the same taste in men…

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The little man on his bike

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Victoria adopting my look…with my top and handbag I might add!

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Chilling with a Vogue Hommes magazine

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Reinout gave me a beautiful cross from Swarovski yesterday

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Sebastian leads the way

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Tony Ward…

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…is back

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baring a resemblance to Sean Penn

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Sallad for lunch at Dodici, Haarlem

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Products for me, Serge Lutens Chergui for Reinout

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Got these Tod’s slingback as an early birthday present