I think the most useful advice I received, right at the beginning, was from an American friend who has lived most of his adult life in various northern European countries before he married a Brit and moved to the UK. We got to know each other years ago during our respective long residencies in Amsterdam. … More Bye, bye, Britain (No, this is not a Brexit post)
Pain has always been a requisite for life. Our evolution over the long ages to become the creatures we are today rests on suffering which drives the further biological refinements necessary to be ever more fit to a changing environment. Without pain, no adaptation, no fitness to the environment, no survival. As such, pain and … More On pain, injury and forgiveness.
The pendant of my necklace is a silver Spanish cob in the denomination of 1 Real, a coin about the size of a penny. Here is its story, and mine. In 1545, just over fifty years after Europeans first set foot on the land masses they would later come to know as the Americas, a … More Silver Cob
The woman in the barber shop knew why. No, I confessed, I hadn’t heard anything. Well, yes, I noticed the helicopter earlier, twice making a low approach over the neighbourhood, sending flocks of birds into panicked flight before it settled behind the houses up Uxbridge way. The traffic too, when I crossed the street just … More Of loss and layers
The mattress I bought in the Albert Cuyp market in 2007 has traveled internationally more than most, and I suspect more than most people. The initial move to Canada, which motivated the purchase in the fist place, turned out to be one of our bigger mistakes in life. We trusted people who were not trustworthy. … More Mattress II
There were just no two ways about it; somehow it had to fit in the car. If for no other reason than to spite the aproned, middle-aged Dutch housewife watching me from her second floor balcony across the street, bemused by my stupidity and willing my failure. An April thunderclap had corresponded precisely with my … More Mattress
Behind the hedge I hear the bat of the man in the practice cage at the Ickenham Cricket Club urging the bowler on, his bat drumming the ground in eager anticipation. Thump-thump-thump! Give it to me! Give it to me! “Whack!” A solid hit. Instinctively I look to the sky above to see if the … More The Hottest Day of Summer