Thursday, March 31, 2005

one cool remove

he takes the call, there, in the chill shadow of empty market stalls, and, as she listens -
his voice is arch, charming - and shivers, he curves an arm around her.
it is an idle, an unintended, an unprecedented intimacy, and she leans, slightly
startled, into its absent-minded warmth.
"who was that, then?" she asks, as he pockets his phone.
"oh", he answers, "just someone..."
he looks, and slides, aside; their familiar distance is restored. they are, after all, just friends.
"...someone", he says, "from greece."

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

someone, today

wise dutch words say: you don't have are given them.
i have been given, been blessed, twice.
my oldest turns twenty-four today:
happy birthday, thijs!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

walking on clouds

on the eve of my final working day, just when my heart was heaviest, i received a
phone call from the one company that had actually invited me, a while back, for an interview.
i start my new job at the end of next week. i am very very happy .
sometimes i suspect that somebody up there - or somewhere - is watching out for me.

Friday, March 18, 2005


"mama!", my daughter cried, this morning, at ten o'clock, on my one day off this week, "there's something wrong with the washing machine!"
we had - had - such fine friday plans, she and i: we would sleep late; we would ease into the day, spend a few hours in town, shop, pause somewhere nice; we would buy the ingredients for maccheroni al ragu bianco, which is her favourite dish. she has accumulated all the "study points" she needs to graduate, so this was part of her celebration: the meal, and the afternoon together.
instead, we mopped up water rippling an inch deep on the whole top floor, wrung out every towel we own, again and again, called the repairman, waited for his arrival, and accepted his somber verdict.
we did get into the city, though, but a bit later than planned, and a bit stressed.
and we did do most of what we intended to do.
and we did dine on maccheroni al ragu bianco...
because graduating from college is worth a feast, deluge or no deluge, as far as i can see.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

and pleases where it goes

rachel brought bright blue skies and sunshine from ravenstein to amsterdam today.

she also brought a fisheye lens for me to try out...

...and an indefinable something that proved irresistible to the butterflies in the hortus botanicus..

but, best of all, she brought her own warm and radiant self.
it's the last week of winter, and it couldn't have started better.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

seen through

that old expression, the one concerning a picture's worth, took on new meaning for me as i prepared my submission to photoblogs magazine: a thousand words is - for a simple anecdotal writer like me - an epic task. a challenge it was, but a rewarding one, and i'm delighted to have participated, and proud to be there, in the first issue, in the company of talented souls like nitsa, charles, peter, and brita.
thanks, matt!

Sunday, March 6, 2005

and no place to go

"solitude begets whimsies."
- mary worley montagu

a frivolous post: what better way to start a winter week?

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

the weather with you

we finally saw real snow here today - snow that lasted beyond the morning; tender, tireless snow that flurried and settled so splendidly that delays and cold feet ceased to matter.
this old city, touched by winter, feels timeless, and almost surrealistically authentic.
the staid brickwork, the graceful gables and the tiled roofs, the cobblestones, the mullioned windows, the drawbridges, the bicycles: they are picture-postcard-pretty
at any time, but now, at season's end, and powdered pristinely white, they are
simply enchanting.