Monthly Archives: September 2014

I’m guilty of totally relaxing yesterday. Nothing but good food, wine, talks, walks and an impromptu excursion to the dunes and Elswout. It was both rare and incredibly good for mind and soul that I still don’t fancy getting out of bed and turning this day into reality. But I am afraid I have to, although for a few more moments I shall be sipping on my – by now – tepid coffee and enjoy the quiet morning with the exception of winds rustling the trees in the garden.

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The estate M and I visited yesterday

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Trying to make a new friend

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Checking out the premises….here I could live!

Again my little man disappeared out of sight before I could make any lunch arrangements or any other plans for that matter. So I called P, hoping I could see my other “little” girl…but alas, she was already at her work (she has a weekend job in a snack bar in Zandvoort). P and I settled for lunch (I brought the meatballs, P the Greek salad) and we discussed a variety of topics most notably trivium vs a triumvirate (quite different things actually). I took the liberty of taking some pics of Victoria when she was just a wee baby. Adorable and very precious, it was an incredibly happy and unforgettable time of my life. Needed to remember just that :).

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I still ended up spending most of my day at home, although I was harboring hope to take Sebastian out for lunch. But there were other plans in the make. I felt a bit cheated out on some well deserved quality time with my son as most weekends had been spent on cleaning and admin. That was exactly why I changed my schedule to late week day shifts so I’d have more time in the weekend. But alas… Instead I cooked up lunch and dinner for today and indeed did the last batch of ironing (there’s a lot of wash in this household as you’ve noticed).

At 5 pm, after a quick shower and rudimentary makeup I grabbed the bike and peddled as fast as I could to make it to Intertoys before closing hours. Unfortunately I was too late. Around the corner is another kids store – Mr. Paprika – and luckily the door was still open. But they had closed the till just minutes before. I begged and pleaded if I could pay in cash – for a friend’s book – for Sebastian. Without hesitation, the woman behind the counter went over to the designated section and showed me what was on offer. I decided on one with a monkey on the cover. Not only was it terribly cute, but my cash was limited to 10 euros and thus it was the only one I could get. I found Sebastian outside Viqh playing with Lego that he got earlier. Friends book vs. Lego? – no competition.

We scrambled together the toys that were scattered over a large area and decided on a small restaurant, its name escaping me (Chateau N… something rather). It started off with good conversations until I was made aware (loud and) clear I was a “Zweedse Kut Wijf” (or something in that direction, as it’s Dutch I rarely remember the exact words….meaning; A Swedish cunt).

I of course apologized as it was said rather loud and several customers looked at me. So I simply raised my body somewhat, apologized once more for being Swedish and if it had offended anyone and sat down again. People didn’t say anything but their looks of disapproval at me spoke volume. They were probably right, it wasn’t my finer moment in life. Not that I had talked too loud, or were intoxicated (I had 2 glasses of wine for the evening), perhaps I looked a bit shabbier than I should; newly ironed dress but haphazard makeup and a pair of red shoes maybe did make me look like a tart. The white-trailer-trash that only a country like Sweden could produce. Needless to say the dinner got cut short and I ended up putting Sebastian in bed and later watching a documentary. I must have been asleep by 11 pm.

Tomorrow is another day, and today is that day (I live by that mantra – especially in these times). I am guilty of far worse transgressions than looking like a Swedish hillbilly. In fact my transgressions are so gross and erroneous they would warrant an exceedingly worse reception and punishment than that of yesterday. But of course these people didn’t know of that (luckily).

What it did make me think of – this Sunday morning – is how it must feel to be an outcast. I am nowhere near that, and even if I am I choose to believe in myself and work on the parts I have still to master. But for a moment, that evening provided a glimpse of “you are not welcome, foreigner”. Based on whatever bias that had been instilled. I suppose that is why a national right wing party with a despicable humanitarian ethos gets 12.9% in the last Swedish election and becomes the 3rd largest party. Similar things are happening in the Netherlands with Wilders at the helm.

Lastly on the topic of diversity, is it “their” issues with their “culture” or is it “us either refusing to understand them or perhaps not having the mental capacity to do so?”

Marcus Aurelius, my last words will fall back to you… “An emerald will shine none the less through its worth be not spoken of.”

My sweetheart pretending he was a puppy this morning. Cecile fell for it. I did too :). x

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… with some happiness. I remember being a kid, in 9th grade, just short of 16 and the world was at my feet. I was – like most students – an idealist. I believed that all religions could co-exist in ecumenical harmony. My school was diverse and as it was small, I knew every Jew, Muslim and Hindu (we might have lacked the Sikhs coming to think of it), but it was good enough. If WE could agree that all these religions were merely facets of the same jewel, then what was the point? Of course in our naïve eyes we saw things through the context we were brought up – an International school in Malmo Sweden. We just looked at what we considered fair: everyone should have a country reflecting their ethnicity, with religious freedom and democracy to exercise freedom of speech. Easy right?

Fast forward a decade or so and I am working at HP, my political ambitions, not even a bleep on the radar. Life had taken over, I had grown up, and being bombarded with conflicts any moment I took a break, didn’t exactly help. I just became desensitized to it all.

It’s still morning, and I read the news as usual. In particular an article on Iranian kids who made a video on Pharell’s Happy. They got sentenced to half a year in prison and corporal punishment. Luckily it was commuted, but I decided to watch the video. It’s super cool. Vastly better than the original. And for a brief instant I feel like 16 again. Scriptures or not – we know right from wrong. So does it really have to be so hard to co-exist without all this senseless violence?

Let’s try by being a little bit Happy….like the kids in this video…it works for me, if only for a moment…

 

Numb, tired yet it is 9.33 am. You seek just normality, peace, a friendly face, a kind word, logic. Yes, you seek what is logic and rational and reasonable. Win-win sounds just fine, concessions are given to establish harmony. But when did you know harmony last? You have to think, dig deep into memories that you’ve done your best to forget. Not just forget, obliterate, full blown carpet bombed and then nuked. Funny what you think of are not memories, they are pictures. Pictures that portrait you as happy. A dinner, playing on the beach, standing on a pebbly beach, a barbeque, cooking even a painting figures in there. So does Paris.

You recall fragments around each event, but the event itself is almost frozen in time. That happy face. It’s suppose to be you. Now things are different. You find happiness in the little things. A joke, a childhood memory, someone else misery that turns into a specter of dark humor with mutual agreement. You live for the moment, for perhaps a few months ahead, yet dreams and hope are lost. Perhaps you’ll find them one day. It would be nice coming to think of it.

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Am I the only one wishing for the beautiful weather to end and for autumn to kick in? I don’t feel like a summer girl in the least anymore, bring on the rain, the cold and the dark evenings.

Apart from those brooding thoughts, which I’m sure are not shared by the majority of the community, I have a presentation to attend and possibly some new opportunities arising, which sounds greatly promising.

It’s been an outlier week with getting the office ready. I had no idea it would be so much work (if I did I might have rejected the idea all together). It set us back by a week, and today is no better as I need to finalise the house cleaning before the end of the evening. Ah well, it will be great when it’s done and I can drop into a fluffy, clean bed with a good book. Can’t wait :).

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Want to walk here this weekend

…came to my rescue today. Listening, sharing, feeding me, putting up shelves, making me laugh. Blessed doesn’t even cover it. I’m not sure either if I deserve it, but I’m so incredibly grateful for their presence. Just had to say that. Add to that list my dog – Cecile – who gives me unconditional love wether my company warrants it or not #K9love #brilliantfriends

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good food…

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In fact lots of it…

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Cecile who is too cute for this world

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friends that didn’t mind stretching out a helping hand…love the result

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front entrance to what is now our office

You have probably noticed my posts are getting shorter and shorter, in addition to far and few in between. The reason is an insane schedule, work wise and privately. There are small stopgaps of 10 minutes or so to do a post, hardly enough to write a couple note worthy sentences. The other thing I notice is that I have less time for what winds me down and puts things in perspective: contemplation. Of course there are opportunities arising whilst cleaning, cooking or working out on the cross trainer, but when you’ve already had a long day, with another equally long day ahead of you, its simply not that easy anymore. Last night I was whirling around the house like a Duracell rabbit until close to 11 pm, when I dropped in bed with the memoirs of Catherine the Great.

Actually there is a topic, although sadly I don’t have that much time to dwell on it. It’s the second time I read her memoires and I find her an utterly fascinating character. Born into an insignificant German royal house (von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg) she was never on the radar of becoming a queen, let alone an empress. Add to that a dysfunctional marriage with an imbecile of a husband, a controlling mother-in-law, and one of the most complex and diverse empires and you have yourself a woman determined to survive (her husband didn’t!).

Could muse about this lady for hours, but alas time is scarce. Still have some admin to finalise this morning before heading over to the office. Enjoy your day! Sx

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My battered copy which I’m reading for the second time

 

 

Just home. Exhausted beyond belief. Apologies for a mega short posting here, but at least some pics. With a bit of luck (and a few exceptions) it will be ready tomorrow :).

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Half way through…

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Printer installed

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desks in place

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…and my corner with kids memorabilia…LOVE!