Oh dear Diary…

This is the day I never thought would happen: I just broke open my own diary. Once a primary school gift, I found it in a drawer and I couldn’t find the key. So I used the pin of my belt… this was never going to be a subtle operation.Diary

Uncovered are musings from a ten-year old: colourful writing surrounded by drawings and stickers. Neat school-taught handwriting that morphs into big print letters, trying to awkwardly find a personal style. Subjects from playing in the snow and home work evolve over the years into musings about boys and friendships.

At the grand age of 11 and still in primary school, I declare that “my life sucks” only to retract that statement 2 days later: as I might have mentioned before, I always liked to do things early and dramatically in my life. No surprises there, but what did catch my eye is my love for theatre that I describe at 10. I always thought this grew later but looking back on it, I suppose it was always there.

In the same drawer: other notebooks, used as diaries or journals; sporadically noting down life or just an event like a holiday or a school trip. Recorded bus journey to Rome, or a biology trip to a Dutch island. Names of classmates, school friends from long ago, some never mentioned by name or just mentioned with initial ( yes – boys) in case of prying eyes.

Later notebooks in the UK record the mundane: conversations, what I ate (which is A. Lot.), the ways I keep myself busy…the only way to survive homesickness in my first year(s) in the UK. These are still written in Dutch but I know that I have notebooks in London completely written in English, which is another evolution.

Since that first entry in 1994, I have sporadically noted down moments in my life. Reading back I find entries that make me smile (“No, I was wrong: I still like him!!” – age 14) and some that break my heart (“I’m going to read, cry and sleep” – day two, week one in the UK).

These are by no means special records, hardly Anais Nin, but they are mine, the uncensored me. If I (or indeed others) ever wonder why my focus is not on man and home, the writing was already on the wall twelve years ago…

Two days after my 17th birthday, knowing I might leave soon but still living at home, I write:

“Whatever I end up doing in my life, I’m going to be good at it. I’ll make sure I enjoy it, otherwise it is just no good. I want a happy life, an adventurous life, an exciting life, a fun life and a varied life. No two up- two down with two kids and a boring husband, a golden retriever, goldfish and a boxwood tree.

Being free is the most important thing, make my own decisions and learn how to do things myself.”

Yeah, I think my 17-year-old self would not be disappointed in the ride so far.

Sundays in the City

Telemann-Poloniosy1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Early morning in the city. Even around the usually busy Square, there is hardly a sound. No people talking, singing or shouting at each other, no alarms, car or other going off. I just heard one car driving past. One.

Early Sunday mornings have a sense of melancholia. Had I been with someone else, I would no doubt still have been in bed. Had I been with that someone else long enough, we would possibly have been up for the last three hours, on our fourth cup of coffee, with some cartoon noise on loop in the background. Life’s swings and roundabouts.

As it happens, this is not the case and while I am typing this I’m listening to Telemann’s Die Falschheit – and I only know this because the internet radio tells me so. Mixed with the recycling van that just came thundering past, must have known I was getting concerned about the silence, this creates an interesting Sunday soundscape.

Sunday. It can be the ultimate together day: the let’s stay in bed and erhm read day, the pack the kids in the car to spend time with grandparents day,  the let’s go for an outdoor walk/cycle day, the leisurely breakfast/brunch/lunch day with family, friends and loved one(s).

Sunday can also be the ultimate solo day. To clarify, I mean this not so much in the Johnny Cash’ Sunday morning Coming Down but rather Otis’ Sitting on the Dock of the Bay kind of way. It’s the day to indulge yourself in your own fancies, your own choices, your own passions because others will be too busy with the togetherness side to bother you.

Swings and roundabouts kids.

The radio’s moved on to Ottorino Respighi The Pines of Rome, which seems a little dramatic for this time of morning but then again, perhaps not. The orchestra clangs into a euphoric crescendo: This. Is. Sunday! ( Yes, do imagine this in Gerard Butler’s voice please.)

Next week, Sunday will be a day of togetherness again but today it is mine. As I retreat: whatever you do with yours, I strongly suggest you enjoy it.

Keep swimming/running/going

Victoria Park, London

Last week, something nice happened as I was running.

It was too hot, like it has been in the last few days. Having to get up early is the only remedy but that takes some dedication I don’t always posses. Thus I started an hour late but determined to get a run in, I ploughed through with the sun in my eyes. It all got better once I reached the shade of the Park but we’re pretty much 5K in by then.

Sips of water and protection from the trees got me through the park but then you have to head back. To be fair, it was much better with the sun not blinding me and as I was in full flow, I suddenly realised that all the things I wanted to achieve were actually so close I could taste it.

I realised that right now, the only obstacle between “where I am”  and “where I want to be” is time and this will pass. From not knowing where I was going, I am now so close, I can see it. I am heading in the right direction: all I have to do is keep running.

Brazil Time in London

There are times there is just so much too type, so much too share. From life’s transitions to life’s little quirks. (Overheard another classic Americans on the Tube conversation yesterday: “And then the Chinese got involved.” “The Chinese?” “Oh no I meant the Somali.” ending with the musing “I mean, imagine if in The States right, imagine if we would just invade a country. Without reason.”)

It has been a busy, exciting time and a birthplace for so many anecdotes, I couldn’t keep up with actually writing them. Today it would have happened but then two other things occurred this week.FxCam_1373115796509

Thursday 8am –  the doorbell went and there was incredible surprise delivery of DIY Pao de Queijo, courtesy of a beautiful Brazil friend.

The sun came out in London.

Put two and two together and despite working on and off today and as much as I would love to write: I am off to enjoy some Brazil time now.