Still here

 

The idea behind this blog was it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t write for ages. In that respect, 5 months isn’t that bad, is it?

All in all, a lot has happened since last summer. Apart from a bumpy summer holiday  with my family – needing personal space & peace doesn’t go together very well with two children, growing up into all directions and a partner who in some way is the same as you are.

This tiny family of four is in the middle of a process started who knows when – probably ongoing since the day we were born. We are making progress though. I guess we’re all growing up.

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I’ve started my own business, in both disciplines I love. Right now, after two weeks of Christmas break, I feel a little insecure and wobbly about all that, but the past 5 months actually went pretty well – getting back into the groove coming Monday.

 

Some lessons learnt:

  • Be your own best friend (whimpering & barfing allowed at this point).
  • Don’t chase after people that don’t get you.
  • Don’t be distracted (haha!)
  • Even better: prevent from meeting distractions. Getting my own workshop was a big step – a room of my own; sewing and translating in my own time, after my own manner, without homely distractions.
  • Stop working in time to get groceries & pick up the kids: that remains difficult – once in my ‘zone’ I just want to keep going until… that’s it. There would be no end to it and I would soon turn into a tired wreck. Right now, it is past 1am and I should be calling it a day – will be back though. For one, this “Happiness Project” is still unfinished business I want to attend to.

Take care !

 

 

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Gathering ideas & staying afloat

This week’s mantra could be:

“Gather ideas, ride their waves – well, at least don’t drown and learn to stay afloat.”

On monday afternoon, I ended up in our Central Library, It’s next to Central Station and a wonderful place. On the top floor, you can have coffee and there’s a roof terrace with a great view of the city:

View from the Amsterdam Public Library

Actually, this part is my favorite part of Amsterdam: coming from home, I cross the bridge coming from the green-ish building – which is a fantastic scientific & play-inducing museum for children aged 1-99 – it’s called Nemo.

What I also like about the route, is that although this is The Major Place In The Netherlands – touristically seen: next to Central Station, zillions of tourists hoovering around it… still, it has a feeling of desolation and emptiness. My theory about crowded places is: turn 2 corners and you’ll find an oasis of peace.

Also, I once drove through LA, now THAT’s a big city right there. Amsterdam is pretty tiny, actually. But – I am drifting from the subject.

Here’s what I took home with me: 

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“Miracles in Bricks Wonders of Nature & the World in Lego”

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This is the book I found in the hobby section. It shows famous buildings and statues you can build with your own lego. I like that they use the tiniest of lego bricks, so it’s really gratifying to finish it. My youngest son aged 6 started a project in bed – he was supposed to go to sleep, but he is as hardheaded as.. well, in the Netherlands we say: hardheaded as a donkey. I am sure that is poretty clear. So, loooking at the pictures in the book, he got a heavy case if Inspiration and built 3 figures. When finished, these MUST be showcased in front of the living room window, presenting:

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A high-rise building (he made that one up), a mini-colossus and the Sfinx.

He really tried his best – by nature, he’s very critical of everything he produces. I was glad he was satisfied this time, so he went to sleep. He’s inherited his perfectionism from his dad, and I still don’t know how to deal with either of       them once they get fanatic (read: when   they can’t enjoy what they’re making or doing, just because it isn’t perfect.)

** Lego: plastic magic **

** Lego: plastic magic **

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SEWING

I chose this one beacuse it looks catchy inspiring. I have no idea if I’ll ever actually make something from it – it looks complicated and precise,

Then again: trying is always ok, and who knows what inspiration I will draw from it. It’s worthwhile mentioning at any rate, and I am not surprised it’s a Japanese artist who came up with these ideas:

Tomoko Nakamichi.

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Great to have lying standby on our piano. I’m no pianist, but I can play some chords and sing along and have fun doing that. Sometimes my husband will play the piano (he is the pianist) and we’ll sing together, a favorite song we do now and then is A Song for You by The Carpenters. It’s too bad his perfectionism and my laissez-faire-attitude often get in the way of enjoying making music together. We were in a band together for 5 years though, quite an achievement. We had 3 other band members, keeping us civilized.

This monday, I picked good old Lenny from the library shelves (never mind these weird jeans, although they match the sewing project above). Fleetwood Mac is always fun to try and play, and of course John Mayer’s chords are way too complicated, let alone the lyrics and tone. But I enjoy just sitting down for a bit and put my hands and ears to work this way.

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Spring in the city

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The magnolia tree in our garden has performed its magic trick for us for the third time since we moved here. Even with our children climbing and ” decorating” it, it still looks perfectly beautiful with its unfolding leaves. By now, the blossom had started to fall down. Upon being asked why the tree would bother to make all these beautiful flowers, mu oldest son said: “Maybe it is for the people to enjoy them!” Sweet answer.

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DSC00565This was two weeks ago at our caravan. The one in the picture is our neigbor’s. Actually, our spot is quite small, but we don’t mind. It’s a 15 minute bike ride to the beach, the children bike across the campground and can join in all sorts of actviities during holidays.

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These are the feet of two of my men, both reading: the paper and a comic.

Pretty much all we do there is make tea and coffee and keeping warm or sun-bathing and do some reading. Do the dishes now and then and cook on the camping stove next to the caravan. Back to basics, but luxuriously: with electricity: a small heater and a lamp to read and play games by.

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Picknick at the beach, beginners’ fault: nice and sunny at the campsite; too windy and cold for sitting down let alone eating anything without being sandwashed. Alweays good to see the sea though.

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An extra: some urban knitting across the “IJ” – the water that separates the North of Amsterdam from the rest. Behind it is Amsterdam Central Station. A ferry takes you to and from several locations on the North side – and back – for free.