Archive | August, 2017

Migraine and Yet a Beautiful Day

27 Aug

 

7.30h and I wake up with a migraine. Immediately I send a whatsapp to the group of friends/co-parents:

Migraine! Can anyone take care of Elena today, please?

and I put my daughter in front of the tv to watch The Last Unicorn.

By the end of the film, Irene has told me she´ll be taking Elena out for lunch to eat pizza with her son. And Olga says she´ll take care of her for the rest of the day and that she can even stay the night.

Fernando and Teresa say they can take her out on an excursion with their sons, but I tell them : thank you so much, but I´ve already got it covered.

So at 12:00h Irene comes to pick up my daughter, and at 16:30h she passes my house again to pick up a mermaid doll and drop off a pizza for me (which I didn´t even ask for). Then she takes Elena to Olga.

At 18:30h Isabel comes over for a short chat and brightens up my mood with her warm and energising stories. She leaves at 19:30h.

Half an hour later Olga passes by my house with Elena, her daughter Anastasia, and a dog she´s taking care of. She´s come to pick up my dog to take him for a walk, and she won´t take no for an answer. I walk with them until the orangetree fields, and there she sends me back home. Forty minutes later she brings back the dog, and takes my daughter to her house where she will stay the night.

Okay, I have migraines.

But I have the best friends in the world.

 

 

 

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Life lessons on the road

10 Aug

When my dad decided he would teach his children how to drive, he had no idea what he was getting himself into.

The day I took my place behind the steering wheel marked the beginning of a very stressful period in my father´s parenting career. Teaching his absent-minded seventeen-year-old the ropes out on the road would entail a lot more patience, use of the handbrake, and partly held- back screaming (“There´s a TRUCK, didn´t you SEE that?”) than he had previously imagined.

Apparently I had a tendency to concentrate only on what was right in front of me. This annoying habit would become properly compensated two years later by my brother, who would develop an amazing skill at looking in all the mirrors almost simultaneously, but neglecting what was going on right in front of him.

But we both got our driver´s licences, and when my youngest brother got his license as well, I´m sure my dad must have patted himself on the shoulder for a job well done, rejoicing in the fact that he would never have to go through such an ordeal again.

During that training my father taught me something about skidding that I want to share with you. It is an advice that I have never forgotten, although I use it in a very different way. He told me that when people lose control over the car, they usually focus on the obstacle that they don´t want to hit, in an attempt to avoid it. But this is exactly what makes them drive into it.

What you have to do, my dad said, is focus on the place where you want to go. The space next to the tree. The exit of the bend. If that´s where you direct your attention, your chances of maneuvering towards that space are a lot higher.

I have found this to be a very useful piece of advice when things go wrong in other places too. When the wheels of a relationship lose their grip, when my own steering wheel doesn´t respond, when I want to push the breaks but I just keep skidding. When that happens I force myself not to look at the trucks, the trees, the precipice. With all my might I focus on where I want to go.

It´s the only way to get there.

 

 

 

37

5 Aug

I somehow like this number better than 36.

It feels cool to say I´m 37.

Yeah.

That´s a good start.

 

I didn´t complete any of the challenges of last year´s list, although I have been slowly working on some.

Actually, looking at that list I feel the same inclination as last year, namely the urge to change another few items on it, because they have lost their appeal.

And now I´m wondering: instead of starting out with challenges, wouldn´t it be better to just do what I feel like and then afterwards report on what I´ve accomplished?

So for this year I´m going to turn this thing around. I´m changing the Belgian To Do List into a Spanish Let´s See What Happens Report.

Baseline: I have no clue what I´m going to do this year. But I hope a few very cool things will happen, things that will be interesting enough to blog about.

As for the past year, this is what´s happened (and some things rather unexpectedly):

  • I got a dog
  • I wrote a theatre play for children
  • I sewed a skirt and some pillowcases
  • I travelled with my daughter to Belgium
  • I sang Schubert´s “Ave Maria” during the mass for Saint Cecilia
  • I won a trophy at a karaoke contest (haha, that was fun)
  • I quit my job
  • I became a member of the Dutch School in Valencia
  • I started singing in the local jazz band

Now let´s see what happens next.

 

 

 

When people call you crazy…

4 Aug

… just tell them that´s simply a rather rough synonym for fascinating.