As promised a visit to the royal treasures inside Rosenborg today. And a crown, ice cream and coffee afterwards.
The past year the Man told me and Daughter on a regular basis how happy he was with our current home. Even after a long period spending mostly within our home, the home still feels spacious. Daughter always agreed with him. She would never want to leave this house, she repeatedly said. Until today.
At some point during lunch today our home came up as a conversational topic. I told that I sometimes think about living elsewhere, but that I knew she and the Man wouldn’t want to leave this house. Or does she, I asked. Rather unexpectedly she explained she’d rather live in France. More questions from my side followed. Do you mean for a short period? Or for a holiday? Do you want to leave this house? Like, forever? And why France, and not Italy? Or Switzerland? Daughter’s response was that she’d really want to move France. Permanently. She’d seen enough of The Netherlands. Time to see something else. And she already knows some French words (bonjour, au revoir, non).
She explained it in a way that she was willing to pack all our things right at the spot and leave tomorrow. The only issue she saw was not to forget to tell her teacher that we’d moved. Of course the Man and I told her it wasn’t that easy to just move to another country. Yet, I feel her. We’ve been talking about travelling to other places in the past months. Later. When the virus no longer makes so many people ill. If you make me an offer to pack my bags for a few weeks, months, a year even, to any place but here, I’d take it.
Patience my dear, I told Daughter. We’ll be able to travel again soon. Moving to France is not my dreamed future, but spending holidays there in the coming years is definitely an option. Visiting other countries as well. And by the time she becomes an adult, she can decide for herself to move to anywhere. Even France.
I stumbled upon a channel by a young German filmmaker who moved to Norway. In this video she described how she immediately felt at home when she first stepped on Norwegian ground. Now that she lives there, she makes videos of her life there. I’ve never been to Norway, but it’s high on my list of countries to travel to and through. For years I’ve been dreaming of renting a camper van and driving along its coast, but renting a van is something you need to plan well in advance. Planning holidays long before they happen is not my strength. Usually we decide about a month before when and where to we will travel. So until I finally manage to plan a trip there, I let Leena transport me to Norway in Autumn.
Our oldest cat died yesterday and it made me more emotional than I expected. I wrote a long piece (in Dutch) on her life yesterday. For that post I dug around in my photo archive and that’s probably why I got all nostalgic and sad. I came across all the holidays and short trips the Man and I made together. Switzerland, France, Denmark, Canada to name just a few. Travel got tremendously reduced when Daughter was born. This year she turned four and as this is the last year school is not mandatory for her, I always marked this year as a year to explore Europe together. Take a long weekend and visit Copenhagen. Or to visit our friends in Switzerland. We have a painting of the Eiffel Tower in our living room. It would be so cool to show her the real thing.
Daughter turning four was not the celebratory ritual it was for kids turning four the year before. Starting in school was messy. And care free travel during the Summer holiday impossible. Being confronted with all the lovely carefree moments the Man and I shared while traveling, I realised that I don’t know how long it will take before carefree travel will return. If at all. I long to surround myself with Alps for a while. Or visit Legoland with Daughter. Or introduce her to flødeboller in Tivoli.
We’re only halfway through this global gap year, so I don’t want to be too gloomy. At some point in time we will have to deal with the reality of this pandemic. We either get successfully vaccinated or we collectively accept the consequences of falling ill. Like we accept the possibility of getting involved in a crash when driving a car. Or to develop cancer when indulging in smoking and alcohol.
For now though, I just miss the variety of life. One day turns into another, and into another, and in another one. I’ve noticed my inspiration for writing, for creating, started to slip away. Neil Gaiman described something similar when talking to David Tennant. When all days look exactly the same, confined to the same space, what triggers you to an unexpected thought? Or a new connection between two ordinary things?
So yeah, the death of a feline roommate pushed me over to the dark side for a bit. And that’s OK. I need to grieve. For the loss of my cat. For all the anticipated exciting moments that didn’t happen during the year in which she died. All I can do is accept the tears for the days to come. And then, when most of the tears dried up, I’ll put on my shoes again and walk out the door. Just to witness the world keeps on spinning. Every new morning is a day closer to the day I can get in the car and show Daughter the world beyond Dutch borders. Until then, we’ll explore the flat land surrounding us together. And that’s OK.
It is half past nine in the morning and while the Man is applying sunscreen (it will be up to 32°C here today) I enjoy the view on the old harbour. We took a taxi to the city centre. It took a while since it was Monday morning rush hour. The driver called the roads in Montreal of Afghan quality and although I’ve not been there myself, I understand what he means. The Man and I make the same jokes about Belgian roads. Though it was a long drive, the driver played the classical radio station and we both felt very relaxed despite the frantic stopping and going that is part of navigating traffic jams. Looking forward to strolling around the city for a few hours before we’re heading to the airport and fly home.