Of toast and time

Image by Ruocaled. Used under a CC BY 2.0 license.

The other day, I finally accepted something about myself: I like to eat toast for breakfast. Of course, I’ve known this for years (and my husband clearly thought I was stating the obvious when I told him about this new-found acceptance). In fact, I can (and have been known to) eat toast for every meal. But for the last few years I’ve (mostly) resisted my love of toast because I felt like I needed to eat a healthy breakfast. I peaked during my overnight oats period. But when it comes down to it, I’d always prefer to have toast (spread with marmite or jam) and a cup of tea first thing in the morning. Being a tea drinker has been a big part of my identity for a long time—I used to drink milky tea from a bottle as a toddler—and now I have a new facet to add to my identity: I eat toast for breakfast.

Continue readingOf toast and time

How to fold laundry

Image by briandeadly. Used under a CC BY-ND 2.0 license.

It’s winter and I’m home from school. My mum is in the kitchen chopping vegetables and I’m kneeling on the couch in front of the window. Our house has a bay window, a divided-lite window—the kind with lots of little panes of glass. I can’t see out of the window because the dryer has fogged it up, so I draw on the condensation instead. These panes of glass are 50 years old and you are 25 years in the future.

Continue readingHow to fold laundry

I want to sell you the world

Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, New Zealand

Last night I watched the first episode of Our Planet, a Netflix Original David Attenborough series. It has been on my radar for a while and I wanted to watch it, but I also knew it wasn’t going to be comfortable viewing. I was right. I desperately wanted to look away, to close my ears, as my TV flickered with images of skyscraper-sized chunks of Greenland iceberg crashing into the sea and Attenborough spoke of how the polar regions are warming faster than the rest of the planet.

Continue readingI want to sell you the world

Reading outside my comfort zone (and the art of creativity)

Warning: this post contains spoilers!

On a recent holiday I decided to switch up my reading and go outside my nature writing, non-fiction comfort zone. At the time I was doing an internship with a publisher, so I had access to lots of free galleys (the bound uncorrected proofs that are sent as advanced copies to reviewers). I decided to read two of their new and forthcoming titles: The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave and A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher. In between those two books I also read Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (it was a very reading intensive trip!).

Continue readingReading outside my comfort zone (and the art of creativity)

A year in Toronto

View of the Toronto skyline from Toronto Island
View of the Toronto skyline from Toronto Island by Spencer Cappallo

Can it really have been a year since my husband and I landed in Toronto to start our new life here? In a way it feels like no time at all has passed. Despite the big move our lives have a rhythm that feels old and comfortable. We still wake up too early on weekdays and go to bed later than we should, we still cook the same meals, and we still snuggle up on the couch in the evening to watch Netflix.

And yet, our lives have changed quite a bit. Shortly after we moved to Toronto we flew back to Amsterdam for my husband’s graduation. At a party a friend commented on my husband’s new haircut and glasses, to which my husband responded, yep I’m just tearing it up, burn everything. In a way it does feel like we tore up and burnt the rule book of our old lives.

Continue readingA year in Toronto

On being a slow, quiet person in a loud, fast world

Image copyright Spencer Cappallo

I do everything slowly. I walk slowly. I eat my food slowly. I get dressed slowly. As a kid my slowness was a constant source of frustration to my mum. In the morning she would urge me to hurry up so I wouldn’t be late for school. Stop being a snail was a common refrain. I was always the last kid out of the school doors at the end of the day. I guess my mum’s first clue should have been the fact that I was born five days late and even then I had to be delivered by cesarean section because I hadn’t turned around yet.

Continue readingOn being a slow, quiet person in a loud, fast world

The first day of spring

Wednesday, March 20 – Today was the first day of spring. It didn’t feel like spring when I caught the bus this morning. The bus shelter was laced with ice and I crunched over frozen puddles. As the bus drove past my local park, I looked out over the still-frozen pond, ringed by frost-tinged trees and grass. Just as I had seen them gathering at the start of winter, the pond was busy with geese. They have been honking overhead for days now, heralding the changing season. As the bus turned a corner, I saw a distant tall, glass building glowing pink. I looked behind me and saw the sun rising above the horizon, a sliver of pink.

Continue readingThe first day of spring