It’s quite lovely in Holland at the moment.
The colours outside are turning Orange and Yellow.
When I catch the wind doing its thing and blowing outside my window I can watch the leaves as they are falling.
There are glorious layers of coloured leaves covering the ground everywhere I look. Continue Reading
Expectation: a strong belief that something will happen or be the case.
Yet what if you’re someone that wants to live a life without too many expectations?
I want loads and yet I don’t want much.
This week I’ve been reading my early posts about Ireland and looking at the Instagram photos I posted back then that captured how Ireland felt for me as I begin to write about that time in my book.
It reads like a love affair.
An unexpected full blown love affair.
I was swept off my feet by the Emerald Isle. Continue Reading
There are a lot of things I know about myself and still a lot that I’m figuring out as I go.
I am a bit of a journey(wo)man. I love the journey.
The day I hiked to the summit of Mulhacén, the peak of that hike wasn’t reaching the top.
It was the wonder of gazing across open valleys as the sun rose, the hikers I met on the trail, the mountain goat who showed me that way across the river, the satisfaction of doing it on my own and the pushing through when it got tough.
The summit – that was just the candy. I only spent 10 minutes up there between the cramping and the freezing cold wind. I wanted to get back to the the 9hr and 50mins I would spent on the trail that day.
The journey isn’t always lovely, nope – sometimes it’s hard, uncomfortable and it can hurt.
But when the good stuff happens – the moments you notice, the love you feel, the strength you dig into that’s yours that you built, the truths that reveal themselves, the stuff you make, the people who make everything meaningful – that’s the sweet stuff.
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” ~ Dorothy Parker
As I write a book about my travels and the journey towards that decision I’m writing this weekly journal alongside it.
I suppose it would be normal then that the themes will overlap here as I look to my daily life for examples of the ideas I’m thinking about and exploring in writing.
My life makes sense to me when I see it through a bunch of connected stories.
‘I’m bored’ whined Lucas yesterday. ‘That is so brilliant’ I tell him. ‘That means you need to go and make something or think about what you’d like learn about or play with. Ask yourself Louie what you want to make?’ I challenge him.
The Travelodge left us yesterday. In the same way she arrived, she slipped out with Greg in the driver’s seat and Tommy as the co-pilot. While I did make my way downstairs to take this snap I wondered if I should have made more fuss, said goodbye with a bit of fanfare. But then, I’m not really the kind for goodbyes and fanfare. I’d rather slip out the side door too and I’m quite seasoned with letting go. We’ve living in ‘chapter Holland’ now and we’ll have a lifetime of wonderful memories and stories to share, that’s enough.
“As instinctively as the swallows, I have always known the time to go to a place and the time to leave”. Juliette de Bairacli Levy
I’m a bit obsessed with swallows at the moment. Throughout my whole life I’ve had a reoccurring dream of flying. In my dream I can fly. Mostly I fly freely but I can control the flight if I need to slow down, speed up, go higher and I can bring myself down safely. It seems a little swallow like doesn’t it. They fly high, following the seasons as they travel great distances. Yet, they always know when to come home.
It feels like we are home. One day the camper was home and the next day we step into this home. Ready and of course a little excited. I do understand to a lot of people that moving across the world must seem like a giant step. To me it feels like the next step that followed on from the previous step and the one before that. I’m not sure how to do justice to explaining that. Maybe like Jimmy as he learns to write his name. One day he’ll write his name and he’ll feel elated and then he’ll simply get on with learning to write another letter beyond the J.i.m.m.y needed for his name. I move in a forward motion and for me because of my character or is it DNA (I’m not sure, my cousins say it is) I often build new nests. That’s not usually the tricky bit for me.
So here we are living the Dutch life. Rain and all. Can you believe it has been a week? Actually it has been a little over. This is my first instalment of Dutch life. Somewhat more relaxed, iPhone snaps not photography works of art, nothing super profound. The posts where I will share our transition into this flat land of tulips, patat (chips and mayonnaise), exciting environmental policies and fun traditions that I can’t wait to experience with my five crazies. Maybe a few Franisms, stuff that makes life easier with 4 kids. You can take or leave them.
You know I like the deep thinking, story telling type posts but I am not always exploring what goes on in my head and connecting dots. I live a fairly normal life with all the things that go with having a husband who doesn’t know how to put the lights in the light basket and darks in the dark basket. Maybe he’s colourblind, I don’t know. My kids race each other on their bikes as they revel in the exhilaration of cycling on the roads. It scares the b’jesus out of me, shit, have I done the right thing moving them here? I like that they feel that kind of freedom so I ignore my fears. I think this is probably normal fear. They also tip boxes of lego out every.single.day and seem to want to be at the fridge or in the cupboards on the hunt for food NON-BLOODY-STOP.
My neck has been stiff for the past three days so my return to running is on hold which is a bugger because I want to do a trail run in December. I am not eating enough vegetables and I really need to drink more water. I am happy that I haven’t had a wine for the past two weeks, am writing loads (obvs.) and am getting out in the woods. I still want to shift the all that cheese I ate while travelling and I got a flat tyre on my second bike ride. Yep, plenty of mundane here in between the thoughts and bursts of creativity. That’s why the creativity and hiking are so important to me…it nurtures the insides, the loner, the daydreamer, the soul. It keeps me steady.
Fade: the process of becoming less bright, to disappear.
Audacity: boldness or daring, especially with confident or arrogant disregard for personal safety, conventional thought, or other restrictions.
Creativity: the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.
I wrote last week that I’ve committed to the 12 week Artists way program by Julia Cameron. It came about as I was looking for a bookclub to join in Amsterdam. I’ve never been a part of a book club. For many years I didn’t even read books, it wasn’t a priority. It wasn’t something I grew up with in my home either, neither was homework for that matter. Don’t worry I don’t need therapy for that. I played outside most days (all day) and I lived near a national park so my head was full of stories and my imagination was wild.
I still need to daydream, my imagination is still wild but now I need to read too. Mostly I read for curiosity, a little for escape but I prioritise reading. I call myself a minimalist which in my mind is about principles not necessarily stuff. Although many of us live without a lot of stuff because we have other priorities, daydreaming and reading are among my priorities. Now that I think about it my mum always have a stack of Mills and Boon next to her bed. Maybe she read to escape, she’s a daydreamer too.
“The mind is a beautiful thing because of the paradox.
It uses itself to understand itself.” ~ Adam Elenbass
Space, is a wonderful thing. Once you find it, it’s not something you want to let go of.
For me when there is space there is quiet, clarity, and in turn, peace. Delicious peace.
It’s not always sunny, but storms are easier to weather when there is calm.
The greatest lesson in finding simplicity I can share is to learn to simply say no…because when you do that enough you can then begin to say yes to what matters, to what makes your heart sing.