Monday, December 28, 2009


happy birthday to my amazing girl, so wise, funny, and sweet, with her drawings, her stories, her endless questions, her brilliant ideas ('mama, ik heb een heeeel goed idee!'), her dancing, her singing, her soft skin, the smell of the top of her head, her sleepless nights, her nightmares and dreams, her barbies and playmobil, her chopin nocturnes and her mega mindy songs, with her jokes and her poetry, her eyes and her curls, her fragility and her incredible strength. stealing my heart, every single day. again. and again. breaking my heart, and mending it again. and again. with a single gesture. with a single sigh. with a single smile. with a single word.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


also known as tvorozhniki, these are the best kind of warm sweet treat on a day like this. i had to experiment for a while with the recipe, because tvorog, which is the main ingredient, cannot be found in this country (due to the fact that it is not kwark, nor cottage cheese, nor cream cheese, nor fromage blanc). in the end, a 1/1 mix of ricotta and full-fat kwark did the trick.


- 250 ml ricotta
- 250 ml full-fat kwark
- 2 large eggs
- 3 to 4 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup of plain flour (depending on the consistency you like)
- optional: vanilla or lemon rind

mix all ingredients in bowl. heat pancake pan with a bit of real butter, and bake in batches one both sides (these are little pancakes, typically four to one pan, i use one big tablespoon of batter per pancake). i hear people eat them with jam, cream, etc. but really, they are just perfect as is. nice hot, lukewarm and cold (and you should try all three because the flavour changes quite a bit with the temperature).


Thursday, December 17, 2009


there are times when homeschooling feels like a miracle of bliss. on a silent and white thursday morning, to stroll around a wet-white-blanket forest, side by side with your very best friend, leaving the snow with its first human traces of the day, see that's us, right there, next to the bird-trail. immortalized for the day.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

juffrouw minoes

up on the roof, talking to some cat
at Tibbe's typewriter...
... typing up the news
and, of course, up a tree (into which she was chased by a compliant Toini dog).

(for those who have no idea of what we're on about, see here.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

other way around

Isabelle discovered that by bending over and craning her neck, she can look at the world upside down. it is much more beautiful that way, she concluded. so i tried.

it is remarkably pretty. and slightly addictive. and i have a sore neck.

(on a similar, but horizontal-axis-oriented note, it turns out, amazingly, that google actually provides a number of answers to the question of what would happen if the world started spinning in the opposite direction. see for instance here. live and learn, that's our motto around these parts)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

today's questions (a small selection)

mama, heb ik nog zakgeld? hoeveel nachtjes slapen vóór mijn open les op ballet? wil je dat de theepot en kopjes in kerstballen veranderen? wil je een kopje kerstbal? hoe schrijf je 'ij'? hoe schrijf je 'ng'?
wat zou er gebeuren als de wereld de andere kant op zou draaien? mama, duurt het nog lang?
mama, mag ik een snoepje? mama, mag ik een plakje kaas? mama, mag ik wat worst? waarom heet het eigenlijk geen 'paarse' kool? wat is 'vaag'? wat is 'poetisch'? wat is 'schepping'? wat is 'stimuleren'? mama, waar is tijgertje? mama, waar is mijn ring? wat is de duivel?

(mama, do i still have pocket money left? how many more nights before my open dancing lesson? do you want the teapot and cups to change into christmas balls? would you like a cup of christmas ball? how do you write 'ij'? how do you write 'ng'? what would happen if the world started turning in the opposite direction? mama, is this going to take a long time? mama, can i have some candy? mama, can i have some cheese? mama, can i have some sausage? why isn't it called 'purple' cabbage? what does 'vague' mean? what does 'poetic' mean? what does 'creation' mean? what does 'stimulate' mean? mama, where is my tiger? mama, where is my ring? what is the devil?)

and my answers for today, in the disorder:
yes, yes, no, i don't know, something unclear, something that feels like a poem but isn't, the act of creating, 7, yes, yes, making something attractive so that people want more of it, yes please, IJ, NG, i don't know, i don't know, i don't know, i don't know...

Monday, December 07, 2009

a need to record

- jam boek (pyjama broek)
- boeksje (boekje)
- mejaninnie (mega mindy)
- jotap (rood kapje, i.e. red riding hood hand puppet which comes everywhere with us, and i am required to make talk)
- tom tein (thomas de trein)
- NOE!!!! (nu)

(amendment: jotot (likkepot); bah tink (bah stink! when he doesnt like something); boef tinken (borst drinken); jatiet (zwarte piet); snojok (sneeuwvlok); taat (paard); sjant (olifant); toka (orka); jiet (friet))