30 day challenge: day 2

day 2: a book you love

Without a doubt one book comes to mind: ‘Life of Pi’ by Yann Martel . I read this book a couple of years ago, and was completely captured by the story. It took a while though, because the first 50 pages I found very hard to get through (could have also been the language barrier, as I read it in English). After these 50 pages, however, I was absorbed in the story and was completely amazed by the surprising twist in the end, which makes you reconsider every chapter of the book, and which makes you want to read it again.

In short the story is about an Indian boy, Pi. Pi is a believer of both the Hindu, Christan and Islamic faith, because he ‘just wants to love God’. When Pi’s parents, who have a zoo, decide to move to canada, they board a ship with all the animals and sail for Canada. After a few days the ship suddenly sinks, and Pi gets stuck on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger, an orangutan, a zebra, and a hyena. Pi’s survival on this lifeboat with the animals is what most part of the story is about.

I can tell more, but that would just ruin the story if you haven’t read it yet. I can absolutely recommend it. What did you think of the book?

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30 day challenge: day 1

As I would like to push myself a little more to actually write on my blog, I committed myself to a 30 day blog challenge. In the hectics of daily life, I decided that writing one blog a day is not realistic for me, but I will try to write one blog every two days, with subjects ranging from favourite food to pictures of things I like.

I will extract challenges from different lists I collected, as I did not manage to find one list that has all the subjects I would like to write about.  I also created some of my own daily challenges. So welcome to the my very own 30 day challenge 🙂

Feel free to join the challenge if you’d like. I will tag my 30 day challenge posts with ‘Roseyschallenge’, so if you’d like to join, please tag your posts with this tag, so we can read along and share. Good luck!

Day 1: write down 10 random bits about yourself

This can be anything, weird or funny things, personal aspects. Feel free to share whatever you’d like.

1. I believe one person can make a difference. In anything. I have a huge admiration for people like Nelson Mandela, Russian and Chinese human rights activists, and other pioneers who try to make this world a better place. Websites like www.onemen.org encourage the power of the individual. Don’t ever think you are too small or insignificant to make a difference, this quote reminds me often: “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

2. I am a firm believer of Karma. What goes around, comes around. If it works for Justin Timberlake, it works for me. And remember: Karma is only a bitch if you are.

3.  I’m in love with my city, Amsterdam. Being born and raised here I grew up to love this city and everything about it. I love the freedom here, the relaxed atmosphere, the variety of people, the canals, the poshness of the south, the multicultural west, the bikes, the small town feeling and above all Queensday. I do believe Amsterdam is one of the most tolerant cities in the world, if not the most tolerant. I feel very lucky to have been born here, and wonder if I could ever settle anywhere else.

4. I love waking up in the morning not knowing what the day is going to bring.

5. I don’t like it when people enter my personal space, especially on public transport. It makes me really uncomfortable when people come and sit next to me when there are loads of other free seats.

6. I admire people who can just leave everything behind, pack their backpack and travel the world without worrying about the future. I wish I could be more like that. Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck in a life I cannot leave behind, with responsibilities I can’t escape. It’s a good life, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes I miss the real adventure.

7. I’d love to visit Cambodia and Bolivia.

8. I don’t like it when someone reads my newspaper or magazines before me, i like them fresh and new.

9. I refuse to let fear get in my way of life. I have many fears, and I feel they have become a little stronger the past year, after my dad died, but I refuse to let fear get the overhand. Example, I am not too fond of flying, but I just drink two glasses of wine before I enter the plane, and another one on board, lol. Fear is not rational, and it definitely is a bad advisor.

10. I have no idea if the career path I have chosen is the career I want to pursue. I still expect that one day I will ‘see the light’ and just know what I want to do with my life. I also expect this moment will never come.

Music on my mind all the time: my favourite songs

I’d like to take some time to share some of my favourite music with you. I am always looking for new music, but my favourites tend to stick around and come by now and then on my ipod. Sometimes a new song pops up and joins the list, but over the years I think I have a pretty solid list of favourite songs.

These songs all have a special meaning to me. Some helped me through a rough period, others just remind me of a memorable night, or periods when I was extremely happy, or they just make me feel good because of the text or melody. Together they always manage to cheer me up or make me feel better, even the sad ones.

I’d love to hear what you think, and if you have any songs that you think belong in list below. Note that the list isn’t endless, and not in popular order or anything. I may mention quite a lot of covers, but it seems I sometimes touch up on old songs, which I discover through their covers.

– Baz Luhrmann – Wear Sunscreen. This is the ‘song’ I try to live by. This song is a made-up graduation speech that appeared in a newspaper in 1997. Baz Luhrmann put the text to music, which was released in 1999. I think it’s a genius song. Every sentence is a truth in itself, and I try to listen to it at least once a month, or whenever I need focus. I just tried to pick one quote from the song that hits me the most, but I barely can, as every single line in the song makes sense. I will quote one I can say I experienced for myself, but I can really highly recommend to listen to the whole song and think about life for a bit.

“Don’t worry about the future, or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind: the kind that blindsides you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.”

In the future I might spend another blogpost on this song, as it is just so inspiring.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQlJ3vOp6nI

– Nina Simone – Ain’t got no…I got life. This song inspires me greatly. Written in 1968, the year Martin Luther King jr. was killed, in the middle of the African-American civil rights movement period, to me this song is about the positive spirit that is so important when life does not go your way. You might have nothing (no home, no shoes, no money, no class etc.), but you have life, and that is the most important thing in life.

– Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah. This is the one song I can truly and confidently say that the cover is better than the original. I really like the Leonard Cohen version, but the spin Jeff Buckley gave to it just has a touch of emotion I cannot describe.

– Beyonce – Halo. This song describes exactly what happened to me when I met my current boyfriend. I had built an enormous wall, not wanting any more hurt. But without me even noticing I let him in (“they didn’t even put up a fight”) and fell completely in love with him and am so happy since.

– Leonard Cohen – Famous Blue Raincoat. Sad song, but beautiful. My mom was a big fan of Leonard Cohen back in the day. I actually heard this song first by Tori Amos, who made a beautiful cover of this song. The song is in the form of a letter Leonard Cohen writes to his old friend, who had an affair with Cohen’s wife.

– Annie Lennox – Why.  No special reason. I just love this song. I once went to a Kelly Clarkson concert, where she did a beautiful cover of the song, and since then I like it even more.

– Damian Rice – Cannonball. Just a very very pretty song. especially acoustic versions. Perfect song to sing by the campfire.

– Amelie Poulain Soundtrack – Comptine d’un autre ete. This song was for me the reason to start learning how to play the piano. perfect sunday morning music.

Oasis – Don’t look back in anger. Reminds me of a great period in life when studying abroad in Manchester, UK, where Oasis is from.

– Patrick Watson – The Great Escape. This song is also very beautiful. I always listen to it on the train, I don’t know…to me it’s like a train song. Also love to learn to play this on the piano. Doesn’t seem too hard. can someone agree?

– Train – Drops of Jupiter.  Just a genius song.

– Patrick Park – Life is song.  This song makes me think about life. It makes me happy, it gives me a feeling that everything is gonna be alright, maybe not now, but eventually.

– Frans Halsema – Voor Haar. This song is by a Dutch singer, and the song is called ‘For her’. It was one of my dad’s favourite songs, and he used to sing it in the house when I was a kid. Brings back very good memories.

There’s also one album that I listen to a lot at the moment, and it is also by a Dutch singer, Ilse Delange. She wrote an album last year, and pulled the whole thing back when she found out her father was ill. When her dad died she felt the songs she wrote did not belong to her anymore, so she wrote a whole new album. Eye of the Hurricane was released last week, and I truly love it, especially the songs “time will have to wait”, “I need for you” and “we are one”. These three songs she wrote about her dad’s disease and his passing away. Having lost my father last year I feel I can very closely relate to the song, and I sometimes get very emotional listening to them.

There’s plenty of more songs I love and like, but these are the ones that come to my mind now. Look them up, listen, and let me know what you think!

Let’s eat, grandpa

lets eatI hope I didn’t scare you off after last blog post. I promise this post will be lighter 🙂

I want to spend this post on punctuation and spelling. I will probably not be flawless in English, but in Dutch, my native language, I try to write as punctual as I can. Nowadays so many kids and young grown ups make so many spelling and punctuation mistakes, I find it really worrying.

I will not extend on this topic too much, but image below pretty much explains it all.

Before I continue…

Before I continue with this blog, I want to make mention of a person that has influenced me to a great extent, and who greatly contributed to the person that I am today.

This might turn into bit of a sad blog post, but I feel it’s important that I share this, because it influences every move I make, and he is in everything that I do.

I am talking about my dad. He past away last November, after an unfair fight with cancer.  He was only 65.

I cannot describe the hurt I still feel every day having to miss the person that has been the most important man in my life for such a long time. It hurts me that he didn’t get the chance to continue his life, that he had to suffer so much pain, and that he found it so hard to stay positive and keep faith when the cancer kept coming back after fighting it off several times. In the end the cancer turned out to be stronger than him.

I try to top the sadness with the fact that I am very thankful to have had him by my side for almost 28 years. I know many people lose a parent much younger. Usually that works, sometimes it doesn’t.

I find it really hard to come to terms with the fact that he will never get to know my kids, and they will never get to know him. They will only know him from the pictures I will show them, but they will never know his voice, his sense of humour, the touch of his skin, and admire him for his incredible intelligence. He would’ve made a great granddad.

The quotes in this post helped me a lot the past 10 months. It has been the most difficult period in my life until now, but I think I can say I am on my way back now. I am, however, forever changed by his death, and I will never be the same person I was before.