Over elmine

Making more impact on fewer people through storytelling.

Read: Het Smelt (The Melting), Lize Spit

It’s rare for books to leave echo’s in my head after finishing reading them. This one did though. For a number of days.

The book’s setting is a small village in rural Flanders (Belgium). The plot narrates from the perspective of a woman growing up there. Only three kids were born in the village in her year of birth, the woman and two boys. They formed a class of three and bonded due to lack of others. The woman looks back on the events during one summer while returning to the village years later to visit a birthday reunion for a lost brother of one of her friends.

I read a reader review of the English translation of this book and the title of that review was ‘Just another coming of age story.’ It’s not. It’s about parental neglect. It’s about siblings dealing with that reality in their own pre-adulthood way. It’s about loneliness. It’s about adolescent play that unexpectedly can turn into something far beyond play. It’s about the long term consequences of living through all those things combined.

It took me a while to finish this book (480 pages). The first half seemed to drag on forever, especially since I had to read it in small instalments. The lonely quarantine evening hours on the couch while both Daughter and Man were already in bed gave me the opportunity to finish the second half more quickly. I can now conclude that everything written does have a point to make at the very end of the book. Just keep on reading when you think you want to quit. My advise: read this book when you have plenty uninterrupted time to immerse yourself in it.

Door |2021-11-25T14:46:08+02:0025 november 2021|flow|0 Reacties

First CoronaMelder notification

I just received my very first alert from the corona app detecting whether I was in the vicinity of a contagious person for longer than 15 minutes. As I haven’t been in any other place for that long other than my own home, I’m 100% certain the app is telling me I have someone carrying COVID-19 in my home. The app is correct. That person is called the Man on this digital log. He’s been trying to infect me for a week now (supported by Daughter) and still unsuccessful. And indeed he was marked as Covid-19 positive by the GGD after a PCR test.


Door |2021-11-24T15:43:28+02:0024 november 2021|deze dag|2 Reacties

Taking it slow

I took a slow walk this afternoon, just to enjoy regained freedom after staying indoors since Wednesday. Daughter’s back in school. The Man on his way to recovery. I still healthy and negative. As in PCR negative. Breathing in the chilly Autumn air. Aaaahhhh!


Door |2021-11-23T17:41:22+02:0023 november 2021|deze dag|0 Reacties

Schoenzetten (2)

Ik dacht, ik probeer het gewoon nog een keer deze week. Vooral nadat ik tijdens de persconferentie van de Hoofdpiet hoorde dat oudere mensen eerst hun schoencadeau zouden krijgen. En ja! Dit keer kreeg ik ook een schoencadeau!

Bij uitpakken bleek dat Piet me had gefopt. Er zat nóg een pakpapier omheen met Dochter’s naam erop. Het waren chocolademunten voor haar. Dochter is er van overtuigd dat het bedoeld is om te delen. Daar zeg ik dan maar geen nee tegen.

Dochter kreeg, ondanks gedoe met de gesloten deur van het pakjesruim, zelf ook iets in de schoen. Gelukkig maar.





Door |2021-11-21T11:01:00+02:0021 november 2021|deze dag|0 Reacties


After two days of Daughter feeling discomfort (raised temperature but no fever, headache, belly ache) she woke up with a fever this morning.
Corona alarm bells were ringing since covid-19 is all around us, especially at elementary schools (housing the one age group completely unvaccinated without constraints).
As Daughter was already a bit under the weather we helped Daughter to take a nose swap (self-control is key to get her tested at all) on Monday morning, which came out negative. This morning we did another test and the line at T turned red almost immediately when the liquid spread through the test surface. Covid-19 is here.


As corona cases are through the roof in this country, it took me quite a while to get in touch with the GGD to make appointments for PCR tests for the whole family. During the morning both I and the Man tried calling the line especially for kids, but it was so busy we were not even accepted to wait in line.

After lunch I tried a different number, the one for those who have been in touch with someone testing positive. This time I got in the waiting room immediately and after some minutes I got connected to an employee.

As Daughter’s last PCR test was rather stressful, I discussed with the employee whether Daughter really needed to take an official test. She agreed with me that it was not necessary and that it was possible to have her case registered by hand for the team that deals with contact tracing. I did make an appointment for myself and the Man for next Monday, five days after first known contact with our positive house mate.

Of course I already contacted those who have been in contact with Daughter the past few days.

I’m curious to see whether I or the Man will fall ill as well. We’re both fully vaccinated, so I don’t worry about serious consequences.

Until next Monday we will stay at home. And perhaps longer when either the Man or I test positive by then. I guess it’s time to use that treadmill a bit more the coming days.

Door |2021-11-17T19:40:29+02:0017 november 2021|deze dag|0 Reacties

Donated data tells stories

The Robert Koch Institute launched an app in April 2020, which makes it possible to donate health data to the institutes’ scientists. All in the light of de covid-19 pandemic.

Since they started collecting they published several analyses. Very worthwile to browse through. For instance, last week they published a graph showing how the average heart-rate of those testing positive in their data sample is higher for up to three months. Fascinating.

Door |2021-11-16T12:55:15+02:0016 november 2021|dataanalyses, datascience|0 Reacties
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