Saturday, November 29, 2008


this blog turned three years old today. three years and 493 posts. such a long time for a blog, such a short time in a human life.

and yet...

... please to consider the following:

three years ago, on the day i began this blog, i had

- never taken a photograph except the occasional unfocused holiday snapshot;
- never read a feminist treatise;
- never read about buddhism;
- never baked bread;
- never meditated;
- never done a single yoga exercise;
- never visited an organic food store;
- never touched a sewing machine;
- never sewn anything by hand except perhaps a grand total of three buttons;
- never heard of homeschooling;
- not touched a knitting needle since that deplorable incident in third grade involving mlle. Hardy and the infamous bootie;
- not made a drawing since age 6;
- not sung out loud since age 10;
- not written anything since the diary i kept as a teenager;
- not yet met my son.

most importantly, i had never, ever, ever ever, not even in my wildest dreams, thought of myself as an artist.

incredible, isn't it? the distance travelled. and although i guess i deserve at least half the credit for travelling it, i would not have been able to do so without this blog. and without you people.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


(it's not very pc, but i am sure my more conservative and/or male readers will forgive me, for how can one resist sharing the irresistible)

heard in the car on the way to leiden this morning:

'mama, nu moet je echt ophouden met praten over je tompons, want mijn yoni raakt ervan in de stress...'

(mama, now you really have to stop talking about your tompons, because my yoni (as in sanskrit for female genitals, in case you were wondering) (and that is a long story) (which luckily for my more conservative and/or male readers i am not going to share right now) is getting really stressed out...)

the curse has come upon me...

i am menstruating for the first time in exactly two years. november 2006 was the last time. odd thing, this baby-belly-breast business. odd thing too how much one can miss monthly bleeding. i felt all new yesterday, full of possibilities. real. strong. big. with lots of argggghhhh in my belly. and an odd urge to treat myself to something to mark this new phase. so in my usual weirdo way, i went online and got myself these. and this (i tell you, medieval torturers had nothing on me). i also found this little piece of additional information:

"The animal of the new moon menstruation is the toad, with all her knowledge, her slipperiness, her ability to be quite alone, and her untouchable (poisonous) exterior."

yep, that's me to a t. slippery. poisonous. and alone (or desperately wishing to be). oh, and knowledge. yes. much knowledge.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

taai taai

afternoon baking with new friends. Jet and Isabelle had a great time baking and a great time eating, and Antoine came up with a creative toothless solution for his 'falling star' (suck on it until it melts). even the mamas managed to try one each before they cooled down and turned into rocks (the taai taai that is, not the mamas).

(marc just came in to say they taste great (the taai taai, not the mamas), although some are a little hard...) (... he also mentioned making tea and watching morse with me...) (... and i can hear him cleaning the kitchen now...) (... and clearly these are the very reasons i married the man)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


it's only november. and already i am depressed, exhausted, sick, tired and ready for summer. can't believe there is still december, january, february, march and (if last year's luck holds out) april to go before the sunshine, the warmth, the light. bah. am recovering from third flu in a row. the farm bankrupcy situation is still up in the air, unlike the gorgeous autumn leaves, which lie in sad dried up heaps on our street, brown and dejected, sneakily concealing dog diarrhea and other surprises. bah. i managed to miss autumn, my favourite season. it simply passed me by.

all right, this is depression. barbara has a song about it. here (with subtitles in catalan, no less...).

anyway, back to the usual medication: yoga. fresh air. movement. writing. dancing. hugging favourite small people. colour therapy.
(PS. for those whose french is as good as my catalan, i have taken the freedom to translate:

It sends no warning, it simply arrives
It’s coming from far away
It has been shuffling from shore to shore
With its sulky face
And then one morning, as you wake up
It’s almost nothing
But it’s there, making you sleepy
In the small of your back

The ache of living
The ache of living
That you must keep on living
Whatever living may cost

You can wear it on your shoulder
or as a jewel on the hand
As a flower in your buttonhole
Or just on the tip of your breast
It’s not necessarily misery
It’s not Valmy, it’s not Verdun
But it’s tears in the corner of your eyes
At the thought of the day that dies, at the thought of the day to come

The ache of living
The ache of living
That you must keep on living
Whatever living may cost

Whether you come from Rome or America
Whether you come from London or Peking
From Egypt or Africa
Or from the Porte Saint-Martin
We all make the same prayer
We all walk the same road
How long it is, the road, if you’re walking
With that ache in the small of your back

No matter that they try to understand us
Those who come to us with naked hands
We no longer want to hear them
We cannot, we are all spent
And alone in the silence
Of a night that knows no end
Suddenly we think of them
Of those who did not return...

...From the ache of living
Their ache of living
That they had to keep on living
Whatever living may cost

...And without warning, it arrives
It’s coming from far away
It has been walking from shore to shore
With a smile on its lips
And then one morning, as you wake up
It’s almost nothing
But it’s there, filling you with wonder
In the small of your back

The joy of living
The joy of living
Oh, come and live it
Your joy of living...)

Monday, November 17, 2008


we came home yesterday from a wind-blown weekend by the seaside with our beautiful belgian friends (two-footers and four-footers) to find a letter waiting on our doormat. not just any letter, though, the letter. after a suspense-ful two weeks, two letters to the town council and some excellent advice from a homeschooling lawyer (not a contradiction in terms for those of you who wonder), Isabelle has been granted an exemption from the dutch schooling act. she is free!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday, November 07, 2008

joint art

isabelle and i have devised a way to immortalize her art. it involves plain second-hand t-shirts, one of her drawings, and my free-style reproduction of the latter on the former. it's good for her (she gets most of the credit, and can burrow for hours in my large stash of fabric scraps). it's good for me (since i am not 'the creator', my editor tends to shut up, and i can practice with imperfection. loverly).
the critics have been giving us raving reviews. so beware, oh various december recipients, you've got yourself some old t-shirts coming.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


it has been quiet around here for a long time, for which i have an odd urge to offer an apology... until i start wondering who it is i am apologizing to, and then i get into trouble. you know, the usual (who's reading this? who am i writing it for? why am i writing? and other existential blah blah questions). so. no apology then. i have been busy surviving. had a burnout (difficult stuff). sort of clambered out of burnout only to find ourselves in a potential bankrupcy (the farm we were buying and then not buying and then maybe buying and finally really NOT buying, enormous legal difficulties with that, lots of uncertainty and the damocles sword of having to pay incredible amounts of money for sure (but not knowing as yet how much)). it turned out to be too much for me to also keep up with this here space.

now i'm here once again (this blog seems to be having trouble dying an honorouble death). feeling a little small, a little exposed, a little fragile. and really glad to see you all.