It’s clean up time!

I’m travelling a lot this month. I went to Delft for a few days at the beginning of June, yesterday I got back from Leipzig where I spent the weekend visiting friends, and Friday I’m going to Canada for a couple of weeks. Between one vacation and the other, I took some time to clean up my wardrobe. Now I’ve a box full of old clothes, or clothes not-so-old but that I never use.

Today I’ve done a bit of “spring cleaning” (or summer cleaning I should say) also on this blog. I’ve updated the about page, as one more year has gone by since my graduation. And I’ve removed the postaday tag along with the postaday widget. I must admit that this idea of blogging once a day didn’t work out very well, but that’s ok.

Next on the list is the balcony. After a spring full of flowers – tulips and hyacinths – I’ve now a bunch of empty pots. My plan of having some herbs also didn’t work out… Maybe when we come back from Canada I can do something about it.

And while I think about tidying up around me, I shouldn’t forget there’s something else that needs to be sorted out, fixed and reorganized: me.

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Season of Mists

I used to like those days “in-between” summer and autumn. When it starts to get chilly in the morning, leaves turn yellow, red, brown, and the sun is still bright and warm.

But this year, I feel like summer has never really started. Yes, we had a few warm, sunny days in July, maybe a couple in August. I also went back to Italy twice – end of July and end of August – and I did enjoy two weeks of real summer. And that’s it. For the most part, what I remember about this summer in the Netherlands is grey skies, wind and rain. An autumn-like summer.

I really feel like I missed something. A beautiful spring turned into autumn, giving us just a glimpse of summer.

I look out the window. The sky is grey, the wind is blowing and it’s raining. It’s also getting cooler, so autumn is definitely here.

But this year I’m not sure I can enjoy the change. I read Keats’ poem To Autumn, I look outside and I can’t see the mellow fruitfulness, I can’t think that warm days will never cease. I can only wonder where are the songs of Spring?

The cruellest month

Canada. 2007. It’s a bright afternoon at the end of August. You check your email, and there’s a message from a friend you haven’t been hearing from for a few weeks. She is writing you about another friend, whom you haven’t been seeing for about a year.

You’ll never see her again.

You go away from the computer, in shock. You want to go outside. You want to breathe. You want to put air in your lungs, but your body has somehow forgot how to breathe. You have to go outside, you have to breathe. It doesn’t seem real, does it? It didn’t really happen, did it? It’s a dream, now you’re going to wake up.

But it is real. It did happen. She did do it.

You start breathing again, but it still feels unreal. A dream. A nightmare. It’s going to feel like this for a few days, weeks. You start to think about it, trying to make some sense out of it. Could someone have done something to avoid it? Could you have done something? But it’s too late anyways.

Do you feel guilty about it? You tell yourself that it just happens to lost touch with friends. It’s not your fault. But then you start remembering. You were so close, and then you started to drift apart. Slowly. You remember the times when you were not listening, or half listening, or listening but not with real interest. You were there when her problems started. And maybe you have even tried to be helpful at first, but then…you repeat yourself that it just happens to lost touch with friends.

They say time heals. With time pain will ease. And it does. Remembering the good times also helps. You do have many happy memories after all.

But at times it’s still difficult. It’s painful and it hurts.

And you can’t help but wonder.

Why?

What to Do When You’re Travelling With a Photography Geek

I just got back from a short trip to Belgium. A 3 day visit to Bruges and Antwerp with M. and…his camera. I’m not jealous or anything, the only thing is that sometimes waiting for the artistic duo to get the perfect image can be a little boring.

So here’s a few tips to survive a day trip/weekend/holiday with your partner/friend/fellow traveller and his/her camera.

1. Take pictures of the photographer. You can get some funny shots, but after a while you might want to do a different kind of shooting. 🙂

2. Photobomb! Jump in front of the camera and with your striking pose and shining smile spoil improve the picture the photographer is taking. He/she will thank you. Or not.

3. Observe the surroundings. You don’t have to run from one place to another. While the photographer is being artistic, take your time to look around.

4. Study your travel guide. Check the map and decide where you want to go next.

5. Start going there. OK, you’re bored and you want to go and see something else. Start slowly walking away. The photographer will follow you. Sooner or later.

Do you have any other tip? Tell me. I will add it to the list, and I will put it into practice during my next trip!

A month of (not) daily blogging

A month ago I was writing this, and now it’s been more than a week since I wrote something here. Not exactly a good way to keep up a promise.

I don’t really have an excuse for that…I’ll admit I was too busy enjoying the rainy dutch summer!

What now? I won’t promise anything. I may be posting everyday, or (almost certainly) not.

Qué será será.

Gone with the windmills

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve changed my blog’s header.

I like the Twenty eleven theme templates, but I thought it would be nice to use a picture I’ve taken.

So, here’s an image from Kinderdijk. The Netherlands, windmills…I know, it’s a bit of a clichĂ©. But I like this picture, anyway.

Kinderdijk is a fascinating place. We finally went there last week – after almost 2 years in the Netherlands, but better late than never! – and luckily there were not many tourists around, so it was quiet and peaceful. And windy, of course!

Here a couple more pictures. Enjoy the view!