Sunday, December 30

things done

i made myself a list of things that i wanted to get done during my days off in december. luckily they were all quite fun things, so it wasn't too hard to tick off the boxes. 
i made an inventory of my clothes and i ironed and folded everything neatly (luckily i don't have that many clothes, but it still took quite some time) and made a pile to bring to charity. now it's clear that i really don't need anything else expect a few basics that i will hopefully find the time to shop for someday soon.
i also finished the photo album of little imps first year. i know too many stories of people who never got around to it and whose children are pretty much grown up by now. i am quite proud of the result and i love leafing through it.
and finally i ordered myself to buy books. i am so happy with these self-given presents. i guess i find it hard to spend money on myself. i know where it comes from (don't all these strange beliefs start somewhere in our youth...) but i have been trying for years to be easier on myself with this. well, these holidays were a step in the right direction.

Friday, December 28

ps, i love you

what would the holidays be without a holiday novel? i prefer them fat and a bit girly and not too difficult, so this one is a winner. my second cecelia ahern and not the best one in my opinion (i also read the book of tomorrow). to be quite honest, i am not as gripped by this writer as i hoped i would be (what with the international bestseller status of her work), and i saw most things that happened in this novel coming from miles (or chapters) away. of course, that is not necessarily a bad thing, and i did enjoy this novel overall.

Tuesday, December 25

two days in december

to be honest, christmas doesn't mean very much to me. it's always a bit tiring, with three days of family visits in a row. when i think of the christmas traditions that my parents made, i remember the walks that my mum took with me in the evenings to count "christmas stars": the decorations that people hang in front of their windows. those were cold and dark and cosy evenings that i remember with fondness. now i do feel the need to make our own end-of-the-year traditions. little imp will probably not remember much of it once he's a grown imp, but i want him to remember warmth and fun and love. and not just when he thinks of christmas. because what is it really but two days in december.

Friday, December 21

the evenings

de avonden (translated as the evenings) by gerard reve is the perfect book to read in december. so i decided it was time for a re-read. the emptiness, bleakness and boredom of these last days of the year soon after the second world war are oppressive and tangible and timeless. the silent sadness is familiar. and somehow this book gives me a sense of comfort.

Monday, December 17

tiny tree

this is our first christmas tree in years. i never really cared for it, but these are the kinds of things that change once little imps have arrived i guess... i opted for a very little tree in a pot (so it can be moved to the garden and will not be thrown out like a useless thing in january - it always makes me sad to see beautiful half-dead trees on the pavement in the first weeks of the year) with minimalist decorations. it still feels like a weird thing to have a living tree with stuff in it inside the house, but it looks kind of cosy too. i'm sure i'll miss it when it's gone.

Sunday, December 16

792 pages

not very much time for extended stretches of reading during these december days, but i did read a few wonderful books: first i re-read de aanslag, translated as the assault, by harry mulisch. i decided to read it again when i read about it in tolstoy and the purple chair. then i read vogel, by the young dutch writer enne koens. and finally i re-read joe speedboot, translated as joe speedboat, by tommy wieringa. if you only read one dutch book, this unique novel should be the one in my opinion. 
and now i am waiting for my paycheck because this month i want to treat myself to a bunch of new books. and i am very much looking forward to picking them out.

Monday, December 10

one year and a day

last year, when my water broke at midnight on december nine, we thought i was going to give boyfriend the best birthday present ever, since his birthday is on december ten. but surprisingly enough, things went a little faster than that and little imp was born without any medical intervention (other than the firm commands of a stern midwife during the final hour - which was just what i needed at that point) less than twenty hours later. so, on his birthday today, boyfriend has been a father for a year and a day. a year and a day unlike any other and only the beginning of a new era. happy birthday boyfriend.

Sunday, December 9

one year

one year with little imp. sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's hard. often we laugh, sometimes we cry. often we are amazed and sometimes we are worried. sometimes things are as we expected them to be and often (well, most of the time) they are not. every day we push our noses into his blonde hair and every day we read stories to him and sing songs for him and watch him play and listen to him babble and hold his little body. my sister-in-law once said that life with her daughter is like a party. that's what it is. a bit of a tiring party sometimes, but then again it's like a friend said: the best parties leave you with a somewhat heavy head the next morning.
a few days ago, little imp fell asleep in my arms after a busy day, and i sat holding him for a long time in the candle-lit bedroom. i remembered the first days and when i closed my eyes i was right there again, just as if he was born only weeks ago. what a magical year this has been. happy first birthday my little imp.

Tuesday, December 4


i remember waking up on the first of december last year and thinking: this is the month in which little imp will be born. december will now always be that month for me. but from this year on, december is also a crazy month (and a month for crafts, which i love). first there's sinterklaas, a dutch festive day celebrated with poems and presents. and now we're getting ready for little imp's birthday. here are twenty-six packets of raisins dressed up as green and blue birds, diligently made for the children at day care. and that's only the first week of this crazy month...

Saturday, December 1


be kind. for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.