Winter in Kraków by Marcin Ryczek

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Balloon boy

Balloon boy

In 2011 I went to the “Amsterdam 1935-2005” photography exhibition at Stadsarchief Amsterdam. It gave a great overview of Amsterdam throughout the years, both the good and the bad. My favourite was this Cor van Weele photograph, unfortunately I still haven’t been able to find a print of it. If anyone knows where I can find it, let me know!

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New year’s resolutions revisited

Loads of us make new year’s resolutions, and when I revisited this blog I noticed I did so here as well a year ago. I decided to go back and see whether I managed to live up to them.

Jan 2012: I want to enjoy life more, enjoy the good people around me, my new apartment, my job. Too often I find myself caught up in stress, negativity, ‘too busy to enjoy anything’ mode that I need to remind myself that I’m actually doing quite good.
Jan 2013: Changed job, got rid of negative people around me, focused on people and things that I liked. Maybe worked a bit too hard, but did very well on the enjoy part as well.

Fall in love
Jan 2012: It’s been too long and I miss it. Enough said.
Jan 2013: Poor performance on this one. Drama with the old, and messed up a chance to fall in love with the new.

Learn a language
Jan 2012: I love learning new languages and besides English I haven’t been practising mine enough. So it’s time to enhance my German and to really learn another language: probably Danish or Swedish. Why? Just because I think it’s fun.
Jan 2013: This tweet pretty much sums it up. The intentions were there, I signed up for Swedish class but ended up hardly going. Did learn more words though, and actually improved my English too.

Jan 2012: I love to read, to dive into a new world and forget about my own. After reading a good book I can even get sad because the story is over. I want to read more books like that. And maybe, one day, I can have a beautiful bookshelf like the one here below :)
Jan 2013: I read, not enough as I liked but at least I read some quality books. Some highlights: finally read John Steinbeck’s ‘East of Eden’, was shocked by Jonathan Safran Foer’s ‘Eating Animals’, enjoyed Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and devoured Geert Mak’s ‘Een Kleine Geschiedenis van Amsterdam’. Thanks to my handyman dad I also managed to create a nice bookcase in my living room, see below.


“You’re a loser, a rebel, a cause without”

And just like that, after 9 months, I decided to write a blog post again. I don’t think it’ll become a habit, but sometimes you just come across things that you have to share.

Last Sunday I watched the documentary ‘Searching for Sugar Man‘, which has been in my mind ever since. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but if you love a great (true) story, can appreciate a beautifully edited documentary with amazing music to accompany it, it will be the best 82 minutes you can spend.

I loved ‘Sugar Man’, ‘I Wonder’ and ‘Inner City Blues’. However the lyrics of ‘Jane S. Piddy’ got to me the most. They’re so good, so good.

Connected, but alone?

I’ve been involved with TEDxAmsterdam and therefore have seen at least one TED video a week for two years. Some were ok, others were impactful. I just saw Sherry Turkle’s TED talk and wow does this one hit close to home. She discusses “digital technonolgy” and how it can create a feeling of connectedness but isolation at the same time. Although hesitant to admit, I recognize myself a lot in what she describes.

Most important: we all need to really listen to each other, including to the boring bits. Because it’s when we hesitate, stumble or lose our words that we reveal ourselves to each other.

Give Me Love

I saw Ed Sheeran in De Melkweg over two weeks ago. It is a concert I won’t forget quickly, and not only because it was good. A friend and I were surrounded by British guys who were enjoying the Amsterdam weed a bit too much. At one point one of them bit me in the arm thinking he was Dracula. No joke.

Ed opened the concert with an 11 minute version of “Give Me Love”, which I was very happy to find on YouTube yesterday. On repeat…