ready for take offThere’s a growing pile of stuff in a corner of the living room. Stuff I plan to put in my suitcase and take with me to South Africa, where I’ll be visiting relatives (+attending a wedding!) with my mom for the next two weeks. It has been eleven years since I last set foot in SA and I can’t wait to see what a difference eleven years make.

The last trip to South Africa was my first trip outside of Europe. I remember being surprised to notice that the air smelled differently, the colour of the earth was different too. I loved every bit of our month long stay back then. We travelled over 3000 km from North to South and West to East. To hear the roar of a lion, live and in the wild, was something I will never forget. As well as our trip to Robben Island and Soweto. Not a moment did I mind spending long hours in a car, travelling from one destination to the other. Give me a book, a journal and music and I’m good. An amazing landscape to look at doesn’t hurt either of course.

Only a couple of nights sleep and two days of day dreaming and I’ll be back there. Breathing in the African air.

Rainy day thoughtsIt’s a little while before noon. Rain is pouring down, like it’s autumn and July doesn’t exist anymore. I can hear people screaming outside. I wonder if it’s from delight or dislike. Whatever’s the case they’ll be soaking wet in a matter of seconds.

When I was a child, and well into my teens, reading was a big part of my life – especially during the Summer. Every Wednesday afternoon I would go to the library, located just a few minutes walking from my home, and browse the few aisles of books that were suitable for my age. I would choose three books, the maximum amount of books you could loan at a time, unless it was Summer and you could loan six books for a staggering six week period. I would be back within days though, exchanging the first few books for new ones, having read the first batch already. The elderly ladies who, voluntary, manned the library, always seemed amused by my frequent visits.

After every library visit I’d go to my grandmother’s house and put the stack of books on the table. I’d flip through each book briefly before deciding which one to devour first. I loved to read, to dive into a completely different world. Even at that young age I was fascinated by books about history, war and most of all the (everyday)lives of others. I would only stop reading if I was told to do so because dinner was served, or because I couldn’t possibly keep my eyes open any longer.

The latter is exactly what I’m longing for right now: wanting to read so badly, that the only thing that can stop me from doing so, is sleep. For some reason Summer seems like the perfect time to recreate that reading habit. Starting out slow, with only a list of books that seem interesting to me and are on my to-read list. If it turns out I don’t like the book, I won’t continue. I much rather not finish a book and spend more time reading books that I love, than struggling to finish a book that’s boring me. Well, enough said I think. Here’s my Summer reading list. What’s yours?

  • The Good Luck of Right Now – Matthew Quick
  • Sculptor’s Daughter – Tove Jansson
  • The Summer Book – Tove Jansson
  • The Vacationers – Emma Straub
  • Elizabeth is Missing – Emma Healey
  • Luckiest Girl Alive – Jessica Knoll
  • We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler
  • Ruby – Cynthia Bond
  • The Girl On The Train – Paula Hawkins
  • This One is Mine – Maria Semple

IMG_0432Thursday is my day off: a day to spend as I please. A perfect day for wandering around town, and so I did. These pictures are from last week. It was a sunny day, Summer finally arrived, and Joost and I walked around the city centre the entire day. Late afternoon, our feet hurting, tired legs, we sat down for a pre-dinner drink at Coffee & Coconuts.

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It’s such a lovely place — situated in an old theatre building. When I looked around and took a couple of pictures, I remembered the days when I would go home after a day like this and fire up the old computer and share stories and pictures about my life right here. For months, perhaps for even longer, I have missed coming here and writing about my day. I have missed blogging: which to me means documenting my everyday life and the things that catch my eye.

I miss the community that blogging once was, back in the day when internet was slow and wired. In fact, I’ve noticed more and more people referring to the early days of blogging with a longing voice. The days when editorial schedules didn’t exist, sharing was more personal and comments created long distance friendships.

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Things have changed with the arrival of social media. Instagram might now perhaps be a similar community like blogging once was. But I cannot help but long back for those early days, because blogging then felt just a bit more intimate and personal than any type of online documenting does today. And I cannot help but wonder, if there’s still a part of the blogging community out there that feels the same.