Home/Kenmerk: 366-2020

Winter (47)

I’m sipping my morning tea at a very large table. I look out the window while writing (yes, to a certain degree I can type without looking at the screen and keyboard). I see mountains, covered in snow. My writing location is a small village. Core business of this village is hosting lots of people who like to ski. Ski lifts, the ones with open seats, go up, carrying skiers in all sorts of colours to the top of the slope.

I’m here together with Man, Daughter and friends. We rented a house in this village, that during summertime only resides about 350 people. I’m not here for skiing. I’m here because I and the Man said yes to our friends when they asked us if we’d like to join them on their skiing trip. We both want to give Daughter lots of experiences therefore a winter holiday, playing in the snow, is something we don’t want to say no to. And lets be honest, we like playing in the snow just as much, especially with an almost four year old.

But sitting here, enjoying the view, I also feel uncomfortable. Current outside temperature is 6˚C. Yesterday, when we stopped for lunch at the highway driving towards our destination, it was 14˚C and even the polluted air next to the highway scented of spring. What should be the middle of Alpine winter, feels more like the beginning of spring. Back home, we have experienced the longest autumn I can remember. The birds in our garden are not as desparate for food as last winter and some plants already show some green leaves.

While I finish my tea, I wonder: what will winter be like for Daughter? Will we make winter holiday a ritual for her, so she can learn how to ski (as her parents didn’t get a chance to)? Or will winter holidays be soon a ritual of the past in Europe?

I have already accepted that the knowledge I gained about what normal is for a season in Europe is useless. I have accepted to just go with whatever is presented in front of me. So today, I accept that I’m looking at white mounains, take a final sip of my tea, Daughter is playing outside in the snow with Man, my friends went up the mountain to ski and the air outside is scented with spring.

Door |2020-02-16T11:48:28+02:0016 februari 2020|366, flow|1 Reactie

Garden community (45)

Most working days I have lunch on my own at home. For entertainment while eating I position myself at the kitchen table so I can see the garden. It gives me a great view of all the visiting birds. Doing this often resulted in discovering patterns. And those patterns differ from those I observed previous winter. Here is a list of patterns and behaviour I witness almost every day. 

One: most birds come and pick their food in a similar rhythm as mine. In the morning when it’s light enough, midday and just before dark. 

Two: this year the biggest group of visitors are finches (last year house sparrows were the majority) and they don’t like each. They fight each other off the seeds constante. 

Three: the house sparrows, blue tits and great tits don’t get the fuss of the finches and calmly pick their seeds from the food silo dangling in the apple tree. 

Four: I have seen one hedge sparrow this season and it visits every day. Together with the robin it picks on the ground, and are always alert for threats. 

Five: the single pigeon that frequented the garden last year is no longer single. I call the pair Dolly and Doris. (Dolly is the name of the pigeon that stars in the famous children’s book Pluk van de Petteflet).

Six: the two turtledoves are chickens. They are the first ones to leave the scene when they think there is a threat. So far there were no real threats I observed.

Seven: the mouse, which I spotted for the first time three weeks ago, has settled under the beams left of the garden stairs. I see it almost daily. In the same rhythm as the birds it picks seeds from under the apple tree to eat and hide in its house. It has been spotted by one of my cats as well, so I fear for its life in the long run. 

Eight: Starlings, despite the wonderful shades of blue, green and grey of their feathers, love to make a shitty mess. I’m glad there are only two of them this season. The bird’s peanut butter is what they visit for.  

Door |2020-02-14T12:25:55+02:0014 februari 2020|366, flow|0 Reacties

The better version of All night long (43)

A Dutch musician called Thijs Boontjes made a cover version of the Lionel Richie song All night long, in Dutch. It is not a mere translation, it is a Dutch variation of the song. In my opinion Boontjes’ lyrics trump the original. He included the Rijksmuseum, Rembrandt, Bol and Vermeer in the song. Hello!

Listen to it on Youtube or Spotify.

Door |2020-02-11T11:22:19+02:0012 februari 2020|366, deze dag|0 Reacties
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