“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
– Martin Luther King
This summer I have done a backpacking tour with my family through several Balkan countries. Sarajevo was one of many destinations and a city that has stolen my heart.
We had already heard several heartbreaking stories about the Balkan Wars, but the story of Bosko and Admira, also called “Sarajevo’s Romeo and Juliet” hit home full force. Around the same time when I was making plans for a future with my husband, they were making plans for their future too. They wanted to escape the besieged city of Sarajevo but that went very, very wrong.
Read on to find out more about this brave young couple and what all of us can learn from their love story.
“We only part to meet again.”
– John Gay
Living abroad and having both parents and children who have reached a certain age, saying goodbye and letting go is part of my life. Much more so than 20 years ago, when I started welcoming my children into the world and when having parents around was ever so normal.
“I wondher why ye can always read a doctor’s bill an’ ye niver can read his purscription.”
– Finley Peter Dunne
With the days being long and light, the weather sunny and warm and my summer holidays around the corner, I am selecting novels to read during the relaxing weeks ahead. When you are keen on reading too, you will love my selection of summer reads.
In all 5 novels, a doctor plays some kind of role (hence the above quote ). And trust me, none of the novels has got the “doctor getting a relationship with the pretty nurse” theme. No, they are far more profound than that and still light enough reads for the summer holidays.
Light reads they may be, but they will certainly enlighten and ignite you! Read on to see which 5 novels are my 2019 summer selection for you (in random order).
Shoes: Vans, Trousers: Jacqueline Young, Top: H&M, Jacket: Tally Weijl (this season)
“Love anchors the soul”
I’m a huge fan of Vans. Not because they are very comfortable and go well with many of my outfits, but because I always wear them when I am on holidays. You can imagine that I’m already in a good mood by just putting them on. They function like an anchor for me (and this is not a sailing term!).
Anchoring is something we all use in our lives, simply because there is too much information for our brain to process. In order to deal with that huge amount of information we delete, distort and generalise information, such that it suits us and our vision on the world.
Anchoring falls into that last category, generalisation. It means that when you see, hear, feel, smell or taste something that you have previously linked to certain actions or feelings, you react on that specific signal instantly. Take stopping for a red traffic light for instance. You see a red light and you instantly stop. Imagine you would think every time you drive your car: “Hey, that traffic light is red, what shall I do?” There is a direct link between seeing the light and your action. In the case of my Vans, I feel happy the moment I put them on, since I have worn them on so many happy occasions. There is a direct link between putting on my Vans and my good mood.
You can make use of this function of the brain in your communication. Teachers often do so and also for non-teachers it is very useful. Read on to find out why and how.
Skirt: Esprit, Top: Tally Weijl, Bag: H&M, Sunnies: Vögele (all previous seasons)
“Time and reflection change the sight little by little ’till we come to understand.”
– Paul Cezanne
Time flies as we all know. My statistics have shown me that today’s blogpost is number 100! Hard to believe that I have written 100 blogposts in 2 years. It was a good reason to look through some old ones and I love seeing how my blog has developed during this period and also how creative yet consistent I have been.
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than those you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
You know from previous blog posts that I often encourage you, my dear readers, and myself to step out of our comfort zones. Since I walk my talk, I did step out of my own comfort zone during my May break. I went sailing!
Trust me, setting foot on a sailing boat in order to really sail it is way out of my comfort zone. I have the highest respect for the sea (we have recently witnessed its full force on Fuerteventura) and am in awe with the power of the wind.
And you know what the funny thing is? It was a most relaxing holiday. My husband and I spent one week of sailing in the Dutch province of Zeeland, enjoying its natural beauty, the clear waters, small islands and surprise visits of seals and seagulls. Nature was kind to me (moderate windforce), my husband patient with me (an excellent sail instructor) and I had the best of times.
I learned so much in one week and those learnings go far beyond learning to sail and steer a boat…
Trousers: Jacqueline de Yong, Sweater: Tally Weijl (both really, really old, but still really, really great to wear)
“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.”
– John F. Kennedy
This week, standing in the sunshine under a roof of flowers, I show you an outfit I have worn many times to school and on the blog too (see this Copenhagen blogpost when you want proof and/or an additional read with fabulous photos).
The reason for showing it again is that the trousers slowly seem to enter their final season, so I want to give them a platform one more time. I also want to make a statement of repairing clothes in stead of throwing them away too easily. For interesting links and creative ideas, please read on!
Dress: H&M (see more of the dress here and here and disguised as skirt here)
Advice from a palm tree…
~ Soak up the sun
~ Stand tall & proud
~ Remember your roots
~ Drink plenty of water
~ Be content with your natural beauty
~ Enjoy the view
Dress & Jeans Jacket: Yes or No, Bag: H&M, Scarf: a gift
“I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”
A few weeks back I visited the exhibition “The young Picasso: blue and rose periods” at the Beyeler museum in Basel. The exhibition wasn’t only about blue and rose paintings, but showed very well how Picasso, by embracing and applying new techniques, developed his own style. His credo of always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it has worked out well for him and has even led to a new art movement: cubism.
As Easter is a symbol of a new beginning, I’d thought it apt to publish a blogpost about new beginnings and trying out new things this Easter weekend, taking Picasso as a starting point.
Enjoy this cultural spring blogpost full of fresh ideas and flowery photos!
Skirt: Yes or No, Top: Tally Weijl, Ankle Boots: Stravers-Shoes, Bag: New-Yorker
“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”
– Eddie Cantor
I am enjoying life to the fullest when you are reading this. I will either be on my way to Venice or already exploring the canals, small streets and Italian food, together with my husband. We have chosen to travel by train, because that is super relaxing and you are rewarded with stunning views of the alps and of Venice (the latter we have heard, not seen yet). On top of that: travelling by train is very sustainable.
You will probably remember that my husband surprised me with this romantic get-away on Valentine’s Day. Well, there is more to tell about how he came to that idea. He (or better said “I”) had some help from a rather unexpected source: a 12 year old pupil of mine…Read on to find out more!