Slow Dancing On A Rainy Day

Slow dancing with little Abel on a rainy day in Hong Kong. His head curled up in my neck, while firmly grasping on to my sweater. His right foot is leaning on my hand and I can feel his little toes curling up, trying to grasp onto my fingers. Looking out from our living room window the view reaches out over the Marina bay into the grey distance towards Hong Kong Island that has disappeared in the mist. Below us on the main road I see colourful umbrellas passing by slowly. Abel is breathing softly while sleeping on my chest. It’s raining cats and dogs and the sound of the rain drops hitting the rooftops accompany Abel, Bob Dylan and me while we dance the moment away.  It’s precious. Beautiful. All elements in place. Life is and should always be about this.

Cup of Coffee

This blog is about my daily cup of coffee. I have to commend the microwave here, for always being there for me and my coffee. Every morning, as soon as I have made myself a nice cup of coffee, Abel gets jealous and he wants the attention that I had reserved for the coffee. Abel screams louder than the coffee so I end up attending him. And the coffee ends up getting lonely and cold. Some time later it takes me and the microwave about 60 seconds to warm up the cup of coffee. It ain’t as good as it was freshly brewed, but it is good enough. As so many things in life. It is good to appreciate the little things that are not great or excellent or amazing, but just good enough.

What do you do when a legend dies?

Listen to his voice and his music, over and over and over again.

Look at him, into the eyes that never look back.

Revisit the memories you gathered over more than two decades that were deeply, tearfully and joyfully coloured by his music.

Regret and rejoice that you have never seen him live.

Feel the impact and influence he had on you.

Feel old.

Feel sad.

Feel done.

Feel alone.

Say goodbye to whatever he was to you.

David Bowie

Cheesy sentimental fool

Call me a cheesy sentimenteel fool, but I love the soundtrack of the movie The Bodyguard. I love the old school Whitney Houston and that movie from 1992 when Kevin Costner was still cool. I have no idea how often I have seen it throughout my life, but every time that boat explodes, it makes me jump. Just a little because of course I know its gonna happen. I’ve been listening to these songs since I was 12.  And today, 23 years later, I am listening to this album again with a baby in my arms. With the little monster. And I wonder if I have ever listened to this music before with the thought crossing my mind that one day I will be a mother and hear these tunes while holding my baby. And starting from this day I am looking back on all the years right to that very moment 23 years ago when I heard these cheesy songs for the first time. When I was young, still really young and longing so damn hard for everything out there in the world. And I’m trying to think of all that has happened from that moment onwards until this very moment now. It’s ungraspable, no matter how hard I have tried to document it. Everything about this thing called my life.

Eggplant Blob

A 3-D ultrasound video made earlier this week in Hong Kong. “The first 48 hours after I found out my girlfriend was pregnant were some of the scariest of my life,” writes the @nytvideo journalist @jkessel. But not because he was worried about becoming a dad. "I cover the Asia region for @nytvideo and I just couldn’t imagine how the two worlds could exist at once.” Since then, “the trepidation has turned into excitement and happiness,” he said. Between documenting the earthquake in Nepal and the ongoing refugee crisis in southeast Asia, @jkessel has been visiting doctors with the woman who is now his wife. “At 20 weeks he kind of looks like an eggplant crossed with the blob,” he said of their future child. “So now we’re trying to think of a name for our eggplant-blob-son, whose name has to make sense in English and Dutch languages while respecting Chinese and Jewish cultures. Suggestions welcome.” We asked our some of our visual journalists to share stories about #fatherhood for #nytweekender. #FathersDay2015

A video posted by The New York Times (@nytimes) on

Ode to Boterdiep – My Fifth Home

“Dit is wel een erg kleine kamer. Past je grote mond hier wel in?”, said Ruud.

In 2001, I moved to this tiny room at the Boterdiep in Groningen. What it lacked in space, was compensated by an abundant amount of beautiful light and brightness thanks to the three large windows.

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The Red Silence

En opeens is de gedachte er. Zij zegt dat het allemaal niet meer gaat gebeuren. Zoals je nu leeft en denkt, zo zal het de komende 30 jaar zijn. Er staan geen ingrijpende veranderingen in het verschiet. Niets geen later. Dit is het, dit heb je ervan gemaakt, dit gaat blijven. In die gedachte duiken, onderdompelen, blijven. Een mes rijt het hart open.

You know you’re getting old, and start becoming/resembling more and more your parents, when you find yourself waking up early, and actually do things in the morning before going to the office. Things like exercise, gardening, cleaning out the dishwashing machine, and sweeping the courtyard.


My earliest memories are engraved in the streets of Groningen. My first flat was in a decrepit building right next to the main trainstation. I would sit by my window, sipping hot Earl Grey tea, looking out over the railroad tracks and watch the constant stream of people coming and going. I never imagined I would be one of those people going, nor that I would go this far away.


Stationary Tricycles

On the day before Spring officially starts, Beijing surprised everyone with a thick layer of snow. The winter of 2012/2013 has been a very long, very cold and very polluted one. After Springfestival everyone was hoping for the weather to warm up, clear up and clean up. Snow was the last thing we wanted and expected towards the end of March. The city, however, shone as if never before. The snow formed a perfect picture with the clean blue skies and the bright rays of sunlight. It was as if Beijing said to all of us to stop our moaning, and that it really ain’t all that bad. On this day I had a delightful stroll down Beiluoguxiang and I suddenly noticed all the tricycles on the sides of the hutong. You see tricycles everywhere in Beijing, but the moments when you most likely notice them is when they pass you with a dangerously high speed, when they are stacked higher than the courtyards, or when grandpa is driving grandma around. I never really noticed the ones that are not in use, left behind in a corner of the street and assigned a different role than being driven around. So here is a photo serie of stationary tricycles. Some are parked temporarily and others most probably for good. They are what they are.

My love, FB

Dear Diary,

I am so happy! Today I married the love of my life, his name is Face Book. I feel like I am the luckiest girl alive! FB and I have been together for almost 8 years now but I truly feel like we’ve known each other our whole lives! He is always there for me to talk to and you know what, he really listens! We share everything with each other. Today we got married and I truly want to spend and share the rest of my timeline with him.
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