Monday, April 6, 2015

Reading, Finding, Doing.

Yesterday I finally finished the book I was reading (Moranthology, by Caitlin Moran). It took me almost a year. Finding the time for reading is becoming harder and harder, but leaving books unfinished gives me an unsettling feeling. I really liked some of her essays, and some others I found very entertaining. I particularly loved the one where she referst to libraries "cathedrals of the soul". So right. To quote her:

“A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life-raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination. On a cold rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer, but a citizen instead”
A couple of weeks ago I participated at the 'Writers unblocked' event organized by Catarina and Tamkera (Portuguese and Nigerian expats who write at 'CraftieMum' at 'Naija Expat in Holland'respectively). I do not really think of myself as a writer, I have no formal education in anything creative and mostly I just use this space to share and vent and as a sort of personal journal.

However, it was really nice to meet other bloggers going through somewhat similar life experiences (living outside your home country, assimilating a new language and culture, raising a family in a new setting, feelings of homesickness, adapting) and sharing our writing. I had to overcome my shyness, go on the stage and read out loud. (I did not fully overcome it I guess, because apparently I read very, very fast, but then again, that's also the way in which I normally talk).

 I continue to take a lot of walks with the kid, I love it because of the things I discover, like little free libraries, magnolias in bloom and nice places. Speaking of which, just 2 weeks ago a baby-friendly café, complete with toys and playground opened in The Hague.

 I was so happy I went immediately... I had just written about the need for these kind of spaces and there it was. Bij Mijs, (Laan van Nieuw Oost Einde 100) is a small gift/toy shop with a place for the babies to play and for the parents to relax. And it is also open on Saturday's. I love serendipitous finds like this one.

Last Saturday the boy and I went on a real, formal date probably for the 1st time since our girl was born. We had been out together without the kid to run errands, or for lunch with friends, but not like this. For the girl's birthday some friends gave us tickets to the movies and we decided it was about time. We first stuffed our faces in chocolate (hot-chocolate, mini-chocolate mousse and a tasting of different bon-bons) at Hop en Stork. It was really nice to spend time with each other, it reminded me of those first months of our relationship, when we first started going out.

To celebrate Easter we took the kid to a petting farm for the first time, I made zucchini and goat-cheese quiche, we went for a long walk to a park. How was your long-weekend?


  1. Wow that writers circle sounds amazing. I wish I could go to something like that. I love making friends who are also expats. No one gets what it's like to raise a family away from home unless they've been there.

    I can never go anywhere without Paloma (at least not for long) because Andino can't put her to sleep. How wonderful that you are able to have an evening to yourself here and there for a date etc.

    1. It was really nice to attend such an event, I was lucky that a friend invited me to join.

      And getting her to sleep without me is tricky... she used to be able to do it and now she seems to be regressing. She is OK with her grandma, but apparently not with dad anymore. But he used to put her to sleep,. That used to be her routine and lately she seems to want me. It is all phases. But she is also 15 months... and I think I have to slowly start to let go a bit, and her too. We do spend all days together. (And I love it... but these moments of "me" time are special too).


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