Sunday, May 30, 2010


it was as good as always (despite the rain, the wind and the cold). and here is a small real-life impression of last year's version (if you have extremely good eyes, you can catch a glimpse of Isabelle...).

Friday, May 28, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

the hike (take 3)

Rhenen-Veenendaal West. 17.5 km (+1.5 because we lost our way) (a few times). warm and sunny day with just enough of a breeze. gorgeous best friend and boiled eggs with norwegian caviar. lots of carrots (sticks) because very good because providing fast sugars, slow sugars and fiber. two perfect pakistani mangoes.

there were rolling hills, fields of wheat (or was it oat?), cherry orchards, tame chestnuts, a magical hidden black pool where the frogs did indeed croak their (and our) desire and satisfaction, blueberries already turning slightly blue, an entire alley of red beeches, a meadow with wild(-ish) horses that came as close to paradise as any place i've ever seen, wild flowers, a lake with no water, blue swirling clouds, a young jay fallen to her death from the nest. some tears. much laughter.

i find it difficult to describe happiness. can you tell?

Sunday, May 23, 2010


the tree-climber...
... and the treasure collector

(and lest i should be accused of that greatest of crimes, child-labelling: they have a number of other specialisations to choose from on a daily basis: flower eater, tracker, day dreamer, tree hugger, bug observer, ant fan, butterfly follower, grass stamper, stick thrower, arrow sharpener, bow builder, maypole dancer, dandelion blower, blossom sniffer, stone classifier, bark caresser, and sun worshipper, to name just a few. don't you just love the month of may?)

Friday, May 21, 2010


my grand-father died one year ago, and this morning, for the first time since his death, i listened to a recording of his voice. i heard him speak about the weather in moscow, on an april day in 2006, and it took my breath away. it was so now, so here, and so gone forever. that it broke my heart.

Mary Oliver wrote

"To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go."

the loving and the holding are so easy, the letting go so hard...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

in awe

of my little girl's huge talent

Monday, May 17, 2010

forager's bliss

i've said this before, but there are few things in life that give me more pleasure than finding food. this weekend, P. introduced us to the joys of wild garlic, which grows in abundance in the dune park near our house. we made soup from it, and it was truly yummy!

i think i'd like to make an 'edible' map of the hague. any tips anyone?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

artistes en herbe

in the midst of this cold and rainy spring, we are searching the sky for pockets of sunshine, and running into our favourite forest to indulge our new favourite hobby: sketching (in) nature. with the exception of toini, who persists in drawing dangerous sharks and large machinery, no matter where he is.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

wednesday sadness

crying into the soapy dishwashing water with the rain from the open window on my face. crying while listening to veronika dolina. crying on the cold and wet beach, under a sky of lead and a wind of ice. crying with my nose pressed against the third button from the top on marc's shirt. crying into my grand-father's handkerchief, inhaling for memory.

it's been almost a year. it feels like a wound that just won't heal. every time it might, i run into that which splits it right open again.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

monday happiness

a good night of sleep, the first 'berm' bouquet of the year, the smell of smoked garlic, a walk on the beach by myself.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


Blossom (by Mary Oliver)

In April
the ponds open
like black blossoms,
the moon
swims in every one;
there’s fire
everywhere: frogs shouting
their desire,
their satisfaction. What
we know: that time
chops at us all like an iron
hoe, that death
is a state of paralysis. What
we long for: joy
before death, nights
in the swale - everything else
can wait but not
this thrust
from the root
of the body. What
we know: we are more
than blood - we are more
than our hunger and yet
we belong
to the moon and when the ponds
open, when the burning
begins the most
thoughtful among us dreams
of hurrying down
into the black petals
into the fire,
into the night where time lies shattered
into the body of another.


- Toini, wat ben je aan het doen?
- Wat ben ik aan het doen? Wat ben ik aan het doen? Dat vraag ik ook... Dat vraag ik me al de hele tijd af: WAT ben ik aan het doen?

("Toini, what are you doing?" "What am i doing? What am i doing? I am asking that too... That is what i keep asking myself: WHAT am i doing?")

(it turned out that what he was doing was shuffling through the kitchen on and with his potty. we didn't get around to finding out why he was doing it)

Monday, May 03, 2010

le temps du lilas

at the stop of tram 11 near our house grows a huge lilac bush. this year, for the first time, i remembered to 'trim' it on time. just a little, mind you. and here is the other classic i've been meaning to share (with subtitles in spanish, for if your french is not good enough). the spirit of May.

the hike (take 2)

Driebergen-Zeist to Maarn. Again. Still 14 km (what can i say, i am an animal of habit...). This time not with best friend, but with best husband. Not in 9 hours, but in a little under 4. The latter maybe related to slightly different meteorological conditions (10 degrees centigrade and uninterrupted pouring rain being less conducive to lovely picnics than gorgeous warm sunny day). And walked on bare feet (because of weirdo reputation to maintain and unpleasantly soggy water-engorged running shoes). Which just goes to show: in this life, you shall never step twice in the same puddle.