9 am. Sunday morning.
A cup of hot black coffee sits besides me as I type this. I’ve just returned from a short business trip in Berlin, doing mostly research. My feet are sore, my notebooks are filled and I enjoyed the days that were filled with sunshine and the feeling of Summer, especially.
I take a sip out of my 1980 Queen Beatrix inauguration mug. It has the portrait of princes Beatrix and princes Juliana on it. I like to drink out of this mug whenever I’m working. If they could ‘rule’ a country for so many years, surely I can rule whatever I need to work on, on a particular day, no?
During my trip, and in the weeks prior to my departure, I thought a lot about this space. About blogging and writing, and what I want to say. The words I want to share. A plan hasn’t developed from this, nor have many blogposts. Just thinking about what I want to write, helped me form a better view of what I want this space to look like, feel like – develop into.
Over the past 10 years I’ve had many different blogs. The content all boiled down to everyday life – every day. Therefor this place couldn’t be more fitting. So I think it is about time to fully make use of it. To drag my sorry ass in front of the screen everyday and start the day by writing for myself first, clients second. I believe this will make me happier and a better writer. Both contribute to the work I do for my clients. Win win.
Showing up on the page, on the screen. Doing the work. Typing. Stringing together sentences. Whatever you would like to call it. There’s never a day I do not write. There’s never a day I do not read. So yes, this space is me. Mine. Right here. Elke dag.
[Photo: Morning sun in the lobby of the Michelberger Hotel, Berlin]
Mornings, time to get up and going. A first for everything that day. First beam of light, first cup of coffee, first breath of crisp morning air. Mornings in the household of freelancers, can look different from day to day. Yesterday I got up early, had breakfast at home followed by a long walk around town. Some days start slowly, other’s start with work. Most days I try to read for half an hour before I start to work.
What is your morning ritual? Would love it if you’d leave a comment below and tell me about it.
photo by Joost
Lately I’ve seen a lot of people sharing 20 facts about themselves on Instagram and on blogs. I thought I’d give it a shot after reading Sandra’s list. Her fact number 19 is something I want to work on. So I’ll start with that:
20 facts about me
- I feel way too guilty about too much for no good reason at all.
- I like to eat cheese dipped in applesauce.
- When I was younger I wanted to become a VET.
- I’m very nostalgic.
- I’m very bad at deciding what to have for dinner.
- When I was 16 and when I was 24 I lived in Finland for a year.
- I love to read books (I used to read so many magazines, now I hardly read any.)
- I almost always wear nail polish. Not today though.
- Up till two years ago, I never really liked Summer.
- I love to wander around the city.
- Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day.
- Tulips are my favourite flowers.
- I don’t like to bike in the city centre of Amsterdam.
- I collect Moomin mugs.
- I speak a bit of Finnish and understand a bit more than I speak.
- I usually start the day with a cup of strong black coffee.
- A Trabant has been my favourite car since I was 10 and visited Eastern Germany for the first time.
- Saturday is my favourite day of the week. I love to spend it walking around the city, buying yummy food + sitting on a terras watching people pass by.
- I would like to move abroad again in the future.
- Autumn used to be my favourite time of the year, and it still is, but for the first time ever I’m really, really looking forward to Summer.
Yesterday, in between work and appointments, Joost and I had a quick date (a short hour) at the neighbourhood bar. Just talking, laughing, sipping a drink and eating a snack. It was wonderful and cheered me up. I was feeling a bit blue prior to our date. Too much work, too little free time. But this one hour and his company, it made my day.
It’s the little things that make a day. I find that I often forget the small gems that make everyday life special. So here’s to a new feature to celebrate all the bits and pieces that make everyday life more fun.
photo by Joost
Yesterday, when researching a company and the work they do, I realised that the more hours I put in, the clearer their message becomes to me. This makes creating a tone of voice for a company much, much easier. It takes time though, a tone of voice isn’t created in a day. This got me thinking about my own voice, how I once lost it and how I found it -eventually.
A lesson learned the hard way
Finding my voice, was a lesson I learned the hard way, years ago. After blogging for several years on a blog called ‘Dreamer Girl’, so-called because I was always dreaming up new adventures and day dreaming was -and still is- one of my favourite things to do, I decided it was time to share my true voice. To do so I thought I needed to start afresh. Alarm bells should have gone off, right then and there. A voice isn’t found in a day or by erasing the past. It requires days, weeks, years of jibber jabber, slowly growing into the words that tell your story. Of course this is easy to say now, because I learned that lesson, but back then I thought a new blog, with a new name, would help me connect to my true voice even better.
Today I am 10824 days old. Which means that in a couple of months I turn 30. A fact I’ve been thinking about for a while. Not so much because it means that I am getting older, nor because it’s the big 3-0. Mainly because for the first time in years, I’m looking forward to my birthday. You know, cake! And while cake is delicious and I will make sure I will eat a heavenly piece (or two) it is not the main reason. I like getting older.
Thoughts on getting older
This morning I read a post on getting older written by Ali. It is written in honour of Susannah‘s 41st birthday (Happy birthday!). Ali wrote a wonderful list and then asked ‘what do you love about getting older?’. This is my answer:
After a day walking around town, we were ready to sit down and give our feet a break. Due to the holidays, many nice places were closed. Then I remembered Sandra Juto’s guide to Berlin and a hotel bar she recommended in it: that of the Michelberger Hotel. Seeing as it is a hotel, we figured it would be open and walked along Warschauer Strasse in search of it. It was every bit as wonderful as it looked in the pictures posted on Sandra’s blog. So wonderful, that the post below is nothing short of an ode to it. Be warned.
As the light was fading and we found our way to the hotel, rain started to poor down. We were cold and tired. All of that just disappeared when we walked into the lobby. Rows of couches, pillows everywhere and books, so many books. A huge chalk illustration of Clint Eastwood adorned the wall next to the bar and a discobal painted patterns on every wall. Even the menu’s looked wonderful. I wanted to take one home and frame it. Which I didn’t, because I’m a good girl.
Christmas days in Berlin are so quiet. Streets are almost empty, only some corner shops are open and a Christmas market here and there. And even though it meant we had to improvise a bit, food wise, it was lovely. The change of pace, the change of scenery.
The Stasi Museum and East Berlin
A lot of museums are open during the holidays, so we went and visited the Stasi Museum. I had been there before, in 2005, and was eager to show Joost. I think it is one of the best places to get a sense, if that is at all possible, of what it was like to live in GDR. The history of East Berlin, and the Eastern part of Germany in general, has always interested me. This interest stems from the letters I exchanged (from 1990 to well into this century) with my German penpal. I’ll tell you about our story another time. Suffice it to say that I have a special place in my heart for this part of town. With it huge concrete apartment buildings, graffiti, wide streets and the TV tower on the horizon.
At the end of last year, we travelled to Berlin. We arrived the day before Christmas Eve. The Christmas spirit was palpable. Markets everywhere, shops stocked with delicious looking food (well, when is that not the case in Berlin?), the smell of roasted almonds and glühwein everywhere. The city was so different, yet exactly the same. It was so nice to spend some time away from work, away from home. Just the two of us. I will start sharing a few stories + images about our trip soon. But first, work! (And day dreaming of another Berlin visit.)
This space is long from being ready. There’s so much to do, to write, to design. It has been about a month since my last blog post, and I miss it. I miss writing for fun, for me. I miss documenting pieces of everyday life here. I have so many stories to tell. Both in English and Dutch.
The main reason for this design change and move from Blogger back to WordPress, is my longing to simplify things. It might not seem like it now, but in the end it will be just that. At least for me. One space that holds all. I cannot wait.
Please bear with me while I adjust bits and pieces, here and there + while I move the archives. Some recent posts are already online, as are all the Everyday life interviews.
Een schone lei. Althans zo lijkt het. Niets is wat het lijkt. Langzaam aan verschijnen er steeds meer posts uit de oude doos. Het kost wat tijd om alles netjes over te zetten, dus heb geduld. Voor nu, lees eens door de ‘Everyday life interviews‘, deze staan alvast online.
A few days before Christmas we exchanged a grey and rainy Amsterdam for a bright and sunny Berlin. That’s the spirit!
Lately at night: Sleeping beauty by The National Ballet, dinner with friends and I Love Lucy’s Christmas show.
Zondag | Werken, werken, werkst, een aflevering van 30 Rock en een wazige foto van de kerstboom.
Sunday | Work, work and more work, an episode of 30 Rock and a blurry picture of the Christmas tree.
Zaterdag | ziek zijn, werken en tulband eten.
Saturday | being sick, working, eating Christmas cake.