Return Of The Monster Tonsil

Or – How To Set Your Throat Chakra Ablaze In One Easy Step

strawberries and blades

It’s a random Tuesday night, I put away the millet-and-courgette-and-other-stuff cassoulet leftovers in the fridge, make myself a cup of lemongrass infusion and sit on the couch. I’m not even that pissed about myself tonight, the first two days of this new week have been quite productive and I always get a dopamine rush at the feeling I’m keeping my shit tight.

I fire up my favourite SVOD channel and while I relax in my sweatpants and thick old socks, I notice I may have a bit of heartburn, cause a small acid pang somewhere at the bottom of my larynx. I make a mental note to choose peppermint for the next cup. Too much lemon juice in the lettuce? Perhaps.

But at the third episode of Grace And Frankie I know things are much more serious than I had suspected. The peppermint didn’t help at all, and what I thought was a tiny acid reflux is turning out to be a full-blown throat ache, of the kind which mean no good.

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Berlin Liebt Dich

selfie in mirror in hotel room

I took this photo on the morning of February 14th, 2017 – Valentine’s day. Ironically, it was also the first night I ever spent away from the two boys I call love. The first night I didn’t sleep right next to my son, his feet in my face, and the first morning I was not awakened by the tickle of his fluffy blond hair in my nose.

19 hours earlier:

I take the Intercity from Dordrecht to Schiphol – Amsterdam’s airport, have a coffee at the gate while staring at nothing outside the walls of glass lining the terminal’s building, too dazed by the perspective of 48 hours on my own to even just pull my book out of my bag. The flight to Berlin Schӧnefeld is on time, I have only my small backpack so I skip the baggage claim area and walk directly to the S-bahn station. I take the suburban train nr S45 in direction Gesundbrunnen, get off at Südkreutz, switch to the S2 in direction Bernau, get off at Oranienburgerstraße. The hostel where I’m staying is just across the street from the subway stop. Continue reading

This Post Shouldn’t Be Here

sign saying mirror mirror on the wall

I shouldn’t have written this post. The reasons are multiple, but let’s just say it’s because I do not need another depression-inducing blow at the heart of my tiny beloved workshop.

Two anecdotes.

On the very first day of the year, one of the people I consider the closest punched me in the balls by asking something along the lines of – So when are you going to finally snap out of it and go get a job like all normal people do, as it should be evident by now that this “writing” of yours is not taking you anywhere?

(Time to be a responsible adult, bitch.)

One week later another someone to whom I am related by blood told me they found my blog (this thing you’re reading now here), read a couple of posts, but then gave it up because it was getting embarrassing to witness such personal stories, it felt voyeuristic, dirty? Anyway, they don’t want to see any more of it.

Fuck it hurt. I know I’m all bulletproof and I don’t need anyone’s approval to live my life the way I want to, but nonetheless – being flashed out of left field by the grim reality of how my “allies” actually see my creative struggle successfully cooled the “New Year New You” fireworks.

Spending two precious hours of Toddler-free time on writing a text which will further celebrate the fact my craft is not taking me anywhere and posting it on this embarrassing blog of mine would seem quite a counterproductive thing to do right now. Continue reading

To Dwingeloo

mama and son playing in the hot tub

Going on vacation is no joke. Every year, when the time comes to start planning the when and where to go, we need to be really careful not to make our relationship (family) implode under the weight of this crucial decision. When you think that, in the 365 days that a year has, we can normally afford to spend 14 of those on our only vacation, you understand we really don’t want to fuck it up.

So many things we need to discuss – do we wanna fly, do we wanna drive, do we want to stay in a cheap accommodation, but for a longer time, or should we choose a better hotel and thus need to come home sooner? Do we want the beach, historic cities, museums, attractions for toddlers, decent ice-creams, or cheap booze? Also, do we want to be there with my parents, with friends, my sister and her two kids, random people we could find online in order to cut the costs and make our vacation so much more spectacular?

Because going on vacation IS a spectacle, and it IS a public matter. Once upon a time there were Continue reading

Down Dog – A Yoga App Review

feet in tadasana pose on wooden floor

This probably is the strangest post you’ll ever see on this blog. First, because I don’t do reviews. And second because, of all things I could review if I were to, I doubt I’d ever choose to talk about an app (I’m so analog). But having stumbled upon Down Dog a couple of months ago made a real difference for the state of my chakras, and I consider this totally worth a shout-out.

By the way. I’m writing this out of my own free will – the good people behind this app have no idea I exist and did not hire me to write anything nice about their work.

The first time I ever tried yoga was shortly after the worst boyfriend I ever had dumped me in the most painful of ways (by getting his ex-girlfriend pregnant). I was so heartbroken I had to do something not to drown myself in tears of doom and close to my place there was this cute little yoga studio which shot a Continue reading

At Fault

selfie at the film festival

One of the best teachers I ever encountered on my way to who I am now once told me that FAULT is the most important element of a language. FAULT comes from personality, cannot be measured, is the form in which unsolved human thinking presents itself to our understanding – as a crack in a structure. Through that crack, all what is the essence of humanity (emotions, inspiration, sensation, content) seeps into our conscious to captivate, unsettle, fascinate us. We need a structure not because we need a solid form, a mechanism that won’t let us down. No, we need structure so we can have FAULT. Continue reading

Year Two

year 2

In December there have been way more parties than throughout the entire year. Guests, dinners, desserts on fire. Candles, decorations, presents, tons of mandarin peels left to dry overnight on messy red tablecloths. Two different versions of Saint Nicholas bringing gifts, office parties, cards with wishes for a good Christmas, a New Year ablaze, a happy life. And all of it is quite awesome, not that I am a great fan of family occasions, but it would be foolish and childish not to recognize what a good life we have, because we absolutely do. Of course too much family too close for too long can be pretty asphyxiating (if you don’t take Valium or the like), but then again what would we do without them. Still, none of these seasonal occasions stands a chance against Continue reading

Mug Shot

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Plain and rock-hard, no filter, no makeup, in the flat daylight of a Sunday morning at the petting zoo, this is how I look now. Age closer to 38 than anything else, I see the more time goes by the bigger my nose seems to become, and my upper lip thinner. I’m starting to look like my grandmother, who is 98 and still completely alive. Being yourself is not easy, people shrug this sentence off like it were the simplest thing in the world – as if it meant Continue reading

Things I Should Be Doing Instead Of Writing

I am a TWAHT mom.

And by TWAHT I mean Trying to Work At Home with Toddler (mom). My line of work is writing and I do it whenever my young offspring is asleep (god bless naps), whenever it’s a weekend and he’s out with his Papa, or in the bath, or at night when I need to write so much that I can’t sleep. Currently, my life mission is to utilize every possible scrap of spare time to slide any of my writing projects forward, even if it’s only by one paragraph. Sometimes, I write even when I’m not writing: under the shower, scrubbing potatoes in the kitchen sink, or chilling on the rug while my son launches his toy train off the couch’s edge.

Writing is my work, but it’s hard to consider it a job. Also, it’s hard to have those around me understand what it means to me, this invisible passion. Writing is my art and my calling and I do not think I need to earn money on my words in order for me to be legit. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t, but as long as I write I am legit. This very moment, this drowsy afternoon while the dishes downstairs are not yet done and I’m trying to type as many sentences as possible before my son calls me from our bedroom, right now, I am as legit as I need to be.

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Every Holiday Season is always spiked with hurdles in the form of uncomfortable questions from friends and family and strangers alike. Their inquiries and conversation starters will all be tentative paraphrases of the same thought – What is it exactly that you do? Every one has a clear opinion about what I should be doing instead of writing, and by everyone I mean my mother, my next door neighbor, and helpful strangers on the bus. Continue reading

The Power Of Walking [Rotterdam Parents]

on walking 2a

The weather sucks, real bad. Hard blows of icy wind, micro-raindrops cut like shards of melting glass, sideways, straight into my neck and it gets dark so fast. In a perfect world, all I would want to do when such deep wet autumn sets in, is hide under a blanket and read, sleep, drink steaming cups of mulled wine. But then again, I used to have a life where this kind of schedule was possible and I have done it more than once. Yes, when I was single and working from home, whenever the right kind of helplessness would set in, I could ride a steady wave of pajamas, cigarettes and eating things straight out of their boxes for a whole week at a stretch. Now that I’ve become a responsible adult who cannot even sit for 5 minutes without being harassed by a member of her family, I fantasize about those lost weeks full of nothing. But the truth is, those times were not good. Not good at all, in fact, and I’ve learned it the hard way. Another thing I have learned is that, if I don’t Continue reading

The First Kiss

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V has never been a very cuddly baby. Ever since he was a newborn he had a very clear opinion about his personal space and body contact in general. He does not like being touched, tickled, he can endure only so many hugs a day and, as parents, we have always been very respectful of this. Unless the reason for us to touch him is a necessity such as changing his diaper, measuring his temperature or removing a gigantic booger from one of his nostrils, we never insist on him accepting our physical contact. We screen him from having to kiss or hug other family members, we react on his cues when he does not want to Continue reading

Mama’s Day Out In Blaak [Rotterdam Parents]

If you keep an eye on Baby Blues News on social media, you must already know that we have started a collaboration with the brand-new website Rotterdam Parents, which is a source of information and support for the community of expat (but not only) families living in the greater Rotterdam area. I’m very excited to be a regular contributor for the site, as I could not imagine a better way to be involved in creating and promoting a sense of “being at home” for people of all nationalities and walks of life who, just like me, found themselves living in this crazy rainy wonderful country.

typewriters 3

The first piece to appear on the site is the tale of what I did on the very first day ever in which I threw in the Mama-towel and jumped a train to the city in a frantic attempt to save my mental sanity. Here is a little taste of how this story goes: Continue reading