There are always things in life that we don’t really appreciate to its full worth unless we don’t have it anymore. And then I’m even talking about something that I did appreciate a lot before, but still, it wasn’t enough.
I am talking about hair dressers of course.
In the Netherlands they were allowed to open 18 days ago and the first appointment I could get was for today. I went to a new salon I haven’t visited before, and I was not disappointed. It was definitely worth the wait.
I have always wanted to wear my hair like Stella from CSI, with all the girls beautifully defined and shining. Today for the first time in my memory I felt like maybe I could manage that. My hair seems a lot shorter than normal, but that’s just the bounce of the curls.
The proof is of course in the days to come but for now I’m rather pleased. What do you think?
Today was a day, like many other, spent working at my little corner office, or more precisely: the desk in the corner of my lounge where I built my home office.
Early morning I spent some time trying to rescue one of my balcony plants by meticulously cutting away leaves that look like it is infected. The good news is that it looks like there is already a lot of new growth, so maybe it will recover after all.
The bad news is that my plant adventures for the day didn’t quite end there.
Late afternoon in my weekly meeting, I was merrily carrying on, talking, listening, doing the usual meeting thing, when out of the corner of my eyes I spotted a movement.
As someone who lives alone and who comes from a place where intruders are a very real possibility, my senses picked up. In an instant I had scanned the room and noticed that something is missing. My head ran through scenario’s, the possibilities flickering through my head like the green numbers from The Matrix. Then it dawned on me: one of my plants had fallen out of the window.
Earlier in the day I opened the kitchen door for fresh air, something that I regularly do. And just before the meeting I felt very warm on the European summers day, so I opened the window in my living room. The two openings created a bit of a draft, and my plant, being lightweight in stature and in a lightweight wicker pot, got sucked out of the window and fell to the ground, 3 floors down.
I am guessing nobody got hurt, but a few minutes later my downstairs neighbour rang my bell to inform me that my plants are falling from the window.
I had moved the other plants from that windowsill to a spot where the windows don’t open, and after my meeting I went to go collect my plant and placed it next to its friend in the safe space. I was happy to see my plant survived it without a scratch too.
It’s too short to spend being angry about things I can’t change. It is too short to eat bad tasting food of watch TV shows I don’t like.
Use your time on this earth wisely. Make time to go the things that make you happy. Make time to talk to your loved ones. Make time to make friends and be with them. Make time to plan and go on adventures.
Today I had a work free day, and I decided to make use of the opportunity to visit a new museum.
When I just arrived in the Netherlands I invested in a Museumkaart that provides free access to a lot of the Dutch museums, and as of the first of this month they allow museums to open once more. As an additional safety measure, it is a requirement to book a time slot, and in every room at the door there is an indication of the maximum amount of people allowed in that room.
One of the benefits of this is that the museum isn’t crowded at all. So when I visited the Mauritshuis in Den Haag I was able to enjoy the whole exhibition in relative peace. I seem to have missed the Goldfinch painting, but at least could spend some time looking at the most famous painting in the building.
Today I tested an hypothesis,and was proven right, kind of.
My theory is that when the aim is social distancing you don’t get much better in terms of sport than surfing. The nature of the waves and the geometry of the boards are such that you keep a long distance between yourself and the next person. This part is true. The harder part is when you take a lesson and everyone stands closer to listen and suddenly you need to tell everyone to back off a bit.
Luckily the surf school I attended was amazing in this regard, so we could have a safe and enjoyable surf lesson.
That means that at this very moment I’m so tired, I’m battling to keep my eyes open and I already have numerous stiff muscles. Tomorrow is going to be interesting….
When I arrived in the Netherlands, I was a few days late to join a big braai (like a bbq, but more meaty) for the South Africans in the Netherlands. I thought it looked like a great place to meet other people and make friends.
There was another event planned for spring this year, which had to be deferred due to the corona restrictions.
Luckily it started a conversation and a smaller group of us, all strangers from the Internet, could get together for a braai and a visit with new friends. It turned out that we all had something in common aside from a mutual homeland, and I look forward to getting to know everyone a bit better.
Life is strange, although I can’t even say compared to what.
Sometimes when I step outside and I see people going about their life, it’s nearly as if nothing is wrong.
But then you see that all the shops sell masks, like its the most normal thing in the world. People step aside to keep a wide gap between each other. And we realise that life has irrevocably changed.
Worldwide economies are struggling. People are unsure of their income and some have already used their savings just to stay alive. In many countries people are stranded, far away from home, their visas running out and no way to get a flight out.
I hope this will end soon. I hope we can find a way back to life that is sustainable and reasonable and will take care of everyone, not only the ones that are better off.
Now that I’m working from home I have finally managed to get into a routine of planning, cooking and eating well balanced meals and snacks.
So what if it took me 80+ days? At long last I go grocery shopping and come back with ingredients that make up a series of tasty, pretty and nutritious meals.
As someone who always enjoyed cooking, I have a long track record of under planning over estimating the quantity and then I end up eating the same thing 4 meals in a row. Now, however, it looks like the tide has turned.
The other day I was catching up with a friend and he told me he was so lazy the last few weeks.
Spoiler alert: he wasn’t. He is working a full time job (from home) studying an additional course, taking music lessons and taking time for exercise every day.
But it made me think… How often do we criticise ourselves for everything we wish we could do, without realising how much we are already doing?
Despite the fact that the world has been brought to a grinding halt by this pandemic, we are still driven to do more, be more. While in fact we are already surviving through the biggest global event of our lifetime.
And in the middle of all of it, we are continuing with work, life, self improvement and hobbies. We should take a moment to give ourselves credit for what we are doing, and focus on the good stuff for a change, in stead of the stuff we want to change.
Today I had dinner in a restaurant. I celebrated the fact that we can go out again (with limitations) by visiting Nazka, a Peruvian cuisine restaurant in Amsterdam.
With Peruvian food you get two kinds of establishments: the fancy kind that experiments with incredible ingredient combinations and fancy plating, or the mom and pop kind of shop that serve family favourites in portions fit for giants.
NAZKA is one of the former type.
Not only was it incredible to spend time with a friend, ve served an amazing dinner and get outside of the house for all of the above, but it was also a wonderfully nostalgic experience to taste the exquisite flavour and combinations that is so true to all Peruvian food.