11 December 2009
Garbage Dreams is about young boys in Cairo, from the Zaballeen population that collect garbage to recycle it. It is super interesting to follow these boys in their daily life, to hear their dreams... One key moment in the film 2 of the boys go to Wales to see the recycling techniques there and they are surprised that not everything is recycled (part of it is done automatically and small parts are not gathered) and they comment that they could do better!
Tapped is about bottled water produced by Nestle, Pepsi and Coca-Cola. Its really outrageous to see how these multinationals pump local inhabitants' water and sell it back to them for thousand times the price. In this documentary they also touch on the subject of the tons of plastic bottles that end up in nature without being recycled. Its enough to discourage anyone from buying drinks in plastic bottles.
In Earth Keepers a Canadian environmental activist explains how he got involved in it and travels around the world to meet experts who have developped solutions and projects that are simple in order to improve local environments (in terms of ecology, but often also socially). This film really makes one want to get involved, support local initiatives...
These films made me wonder "what the hell are we doing to our planet??!" and why is it so difficult to reduce our consumption or change out habits. And what can I do personnally? I will have to think about it, its a fine plan for ideas for 2010.
19 November 2009
When I read this definition of unbalanced, this is the drawing that came to mind. It looks the way my brain feels sometimes, that is to say one part is rational, smooth, a little intricate but easy-going and relaxed, while the other half is paranoid, over-thinking, complicated and self-destructive.
I really enjoyed drawing this, the only hitch was I found out I need to invest in a pencil sharpener because colouring in the lines with flat pencils doesn't work so well. Am off to post this on IF website and see what other wonderful drawings people have come up with.
13 November 2009
I've bought some new paints and sketchbook to occupy some peaceful hours at home during this winter. Sometimes its hard to know where to start so I've gone back to a website I'd seen a long time ago: Illustration Friday. Each week they give a theme for drawing and anyone can participate. Its great to have a starting point and amazing to see how many different ideas come out of the same theme. I'm going to try and do this more often. I'm off to check out this week's word :-)
I use the scanner at work which isn't optimal... so I'll have to be careful to make clearer outlines.
06 November 2009
30 October 2009
I really enjoyed the movie, mainly because of the spectacular performance of Meryl Streep as a very tall and extravagant lady of the 60s. But also, I found the overlapping medium interesting, we read books, watch films, write blogs and this is now all intertwined. The character from the 1960s communicates by means of letters sent and received family and friends overseas, she works on the book with a typewriter and carbon paper. The modern girl communicates by internet via her blog with many faithful readers.
I must say I am sometimes a bit overwhelmed by modern communication means and the thousands of ways to contact people that are sometimes so impersonal. I'm a bit of a communication hermit in the sense that I do not have a facebook account, and practically never connect to msn. I might not seem very sociable or always have all the information, but I believe I end up finding out about the right things without being swamped with info. I feel the universe sends the right messages when they need to be sent and being constantly connected to internet or mobile phone doesn't make it go any faster. If anything it distracts my mind making it harder to see those signs...
23 October 2009
21 October 2009
I have a lot of trouble with self-esteem, on a good day I won't think about it, but on bad days I feel like I am out of place everywhere, have nothing interesting to say and wish I could just disappear out of view and not face my own critical inner voice.
In the end this blog has become an extension of my journal, no one around me knows about the blog so far. I am not confident enough to tell even my family or close friends, maybe that will come later. For now it is just a platform for me to express things that catch my eye, that make me happy, that I create, or inspire me, that I can save to look back on when the going gets more difficult, and I write only for myself, freely.
I like the act of blogging, the simplicity of posting and the history that builds up. I feel the tug to write after a while without posting. I love reading other blogs too and the simple joy of finding a new post or a post that really speaks to me in a particular moment. It is also a simple pleasure of modern life!
16 October 2009
It was a real pleasure to be in Italy and speak the language again, taste the delicious food and generally enjoy life like italians know how to do so well.
We went for a long walk in the beautiful warm weather (very big contrast to Amsterdam in this period), through a giant market with all its wonderful fresh products, cheap clothes, flea market... Its a nice city despite being the industrial home of Fiat (employing about 80% of the people living there!).
Hungry, we stopped for delicious pizza on the corner of this beautiful little piazza, traditional with a church and this piercing on the corner of the building (made by Corrado Levi in 96). Improbable as it is it gives the square a particular twist capable of surprising the simple wanderer...
The museum is wonderful, it is located by the sea and in nature, with spectacular views. At the same time there is a lot of room for the art works.
I loved the giant sign on the top of the museum and wish I could see this sign out my window sometimes when I need a boost! I put it in this blog as a reminder for now;-)
18 September 2009
I made this collage last sunday afternoon whilst actually working on another collage which revolves around colours. This one just can really easily and I found the colourful page to stick it on. All these words inspire me and I love the fact that dutch and english are mixed... I think I may put it up somewhere where I can see it regulary and remember these important things.
16 September 2009
These days have been insanely busy as I have been travelling to Denmark for work practically every week. I enjoy being there, especially as the weather is still quite warm, I am enjoying getting to know my collegues and am starting to have my habits there.
04 September 2009
26 August 2009
11 August 2009
These classes have taught me many things, in particular that it's important to make space for the things in life that make you feel good (even if it takes a little energy to motivate yourself in the first place). Practising yoga has helped me to slow down and prioritise, regard my body as a temple and soothe my mind.
I've also learned to push myself a little more. Last week for the first time I managed a position Id been struggling with forever. It was such an amazing feeling and a wonderful reward for keeping on trying. These are lessons to apply to every aspect of life.
07 August 2009
Whilst busy in this activity I fell on this.is.home.project and it had just started. The idea is to have people participate, by sending first a sentence about what HOME is for them, and then in a second stage illustrating these sentences. I love the concept of collecting all these sentences from people all over the net, and seeing the recurring themes and original or unexpected ideas. I'm looking forward to seeing the illustrated results!
My sentence: At home I don't need to be anyone other than myself.
29 July 2009
As I put away my camera, a voice called out to me in Dutch 'so what does it say?'. I looked up around and up, and sitting with his feet hanging off the roof of the building on the opposite side of the street was a man who had probably been watching me the whole time.
So I translated it for him: 'To forget a very big sadness, I will kiss you in a spiral... when no one is watching...'. And the man said 'that's very nice' and smiled. I agree with him, its beautiful.
28 July 2009
23 July 2009
I discovered the Postcrossing website whilst surfing the net, it is a site where you can sign up to get in touch with thousands of other people who miss receiving interesting post and want to introduce some randomness in their lives. To me it's like the couchsurfing of mail, you never know what you're gonna get but it leads to wonderful surprises:-) Try it out, it's great to create interaction with perfect strangers and colour your day and their day with an unexpected postcard.
22 July 2009
1. A saying written on a beam in a dutch house 'Een glimlach is een goedkope manier om je uiterlijk te veranderen' (a smile is a cheap way to change the your outer appearance) - very wise reminder of the power of simple things
2. Four large wooden golden letters with serif that spelled F L O W in a window
3. A blue and red space invader
4. A naked man watching TV in his appartment a newspaper covering his private parts (admittedly it was a very warm evening)
5. A cryptic message in spanish written at the foot of a building*
20 July 2009
17 July 2009
Stumbling on that blog reminded me of Overheard in Amsterdam which is the same principle, short discussions overheard around town (most are in Dutch) with a funny title added by the eavesdropper. It is really fun to read through a few.
Both these sites remind me of how many absurd things we say everyday and how that is communication, which is vital to human interaction. It also reminds me of the importance of not always having an mp3 player in my ears and listening to what is going on around me.
16 July 2009
I came slowly to the realization that I wanted to do things differently. First by the hairs raising on my neck when I am told to speed up (Vite, vite!), or when I find myself struggling to keep up with some of my friends cycling… I wonder what the rush is. But I sometimes rush in my own way too.
For a long time I thought I was quite late at doing things. Now I realize it's better to do things in one's own time. The beautiful expression 'to take one's time' says EXACTLY what it should, it is my time! I don’t need to go at anyone else's rhythm than my own.
So I took a conscious decision to avoid rushing permanently. This actually is the same as living in the moment, which I find pretty hard to do sometimes since I feel like I am constantly about to rush off somewhere else or making plans.
I have listed off the top of my head the things that I feel help me or will help me to live more slowly and I want to try and follow these guidelines in the next months and years, this post being a reminder.
- taking the time to cook more, trying recipes, shopping at the organic market, trying to chose fresh products grown locally
- continue to practice yoga regularly, meditate and breathe
- slow love, get to know people and not rush into relationships
- slow travelling, staying in one place for a longer period, couchsurfing, getting to know that place better [my ultimate plan is to spend 1 year (or more!) without taking the plane, but more about this later…]
- writing letters and postcards instead of emails (I have a stack of free cards ready to be filled with stories of daily adventures and sent off into the world), taking those few extra minutes to buy stamps, to walk to the post box
- plan less, not try to fill every free moment
15 July 2009
They played one of the songs which I adore: The wine song. Everytime I hear these words I get shivers down my spine and it puts a smile on my face, its a wonderful vision of life.
I'm going to die with a twinkle in my eye
'cause I sung songs spun stories
loved laughed and drank wine
09 July 2009
01 July 2009
26 June 2009
His words have been an inspiration for me to think outside the box since I discovered it. The colours and the child-like pictures suit the messages perfectly.
I like this customised version of the statue and the orange traffic cone like a cherry on the cake! It put a smile on my face and I stopped to photograph it. It was a reminder that even on an everyday path surprising things are to be found...
06 June 2009
Yesterday was the 3rd anniversary of my arrival in Amsterdam! One of the questions people seem to ask the most in this city is: when did you arrive? as people come and go a lot, it's still the port it originally was with people generally settling for a short period of time before moving on.
I can't believe it has been 3 years already, at the same time I felt at home immediately in this city.
I thought it would be a good occasion to write down all the wonderful people, things and places that make me love this city like no other.
- biking around town, everything is so close and easy to reach, there is no need to plan with public transport - i guess its the freedom i love of coming home however late I want, being able to go on a sunny day to discover the surroundings of the city, riding off when I need a break from everything
- the Melkweg and Paradiso concert halls at walking distance from my house and all the awesome bands, known and unknown I've seen in the past 3 years and crazy dancing nights
- my house, and especially my housemates who are truly amazing people, with who I had the most fun moments discussing life, dwarves and other insignificant subjects, the huge pasta dinners, the unexpected drinks and dancing, the parties that made it look like tge floor would fall through
- the wonderful friends I made in the most conventional and unconventional ways and with who I lived and keep living the city
- Sauna Fenomeen - my restful retreat for hours of zen, warmth and chilling out far from the rain and grey
- the Vondelpark and our millions of picnics and barbecues and general relaxing at the first ray of sunlight
- the beauty of the canals, that look beautiful under different lights of the sky
- speaking Dutch and keeping learning this language with its amazing expressions and original books (no book has moved me in the last years as much as 'Komt een vrouw bij de dokter' by Kluun)
- the amazing cultural life that Amsterdam offers - alternative cinemas, sneak preview, film festivals, concerts, squats, bars and restaurants - all of these really accessible to anyone and well organised. The OCCII that I only went to for the first time this week (twice ;-P) is the perfect example that this city still has so much amazing stuff in store for me :-)
All of this (and also much much more) is the reason why I haven't moved yet, why after 6 years of moving too much I have settled down for now. This is a city that helps you live in the moment.
03 June 2009
29 May 2009
20 May 2009
13 May 2009
It was a magical afternoon and the memory of the fun we had pops up everytime I look at this picture which is bluetacked to the wooden beam in my room. Surprisingly it took more time than I expected to make this reproduction: we had to take many shots, hold the light the best we could and attempt to capture the essence as well as be as true to the original as possible.
08 May 2009
The interpretation is left to the reader: is it a wise person formally telling someone the trust themself, or a statement encouraging to trust each other?
06 May 2009
I was already inspired by the city in 2006 when I drew this fictitious street... To think that I still have so many magic places to experience, it never stops.