A nothing post

My first fail.

This evening i spend working on a canvas present. It didn’t work out, not the way i wanted it. There are many things i could post instead, but right now nothing appeals to me.

My mind was crazy the past days, and i’ve been dreaming away loads. I did feel getting myself back to normal a bit this evening. A good thing! Crazy can be nice at times, but really, i do prefer normal.

I’m tired. I’m going to bed soon.

I do hope you will have a nice monday. I’m sure i’ll have something new tomorrow.

Bye bye!

Published on June 15, 2015 at 6:00 by

Cupid & Psyche 85

Today, the day i write this post, it is thirty years ago that Cupid & Psyche 85 by Scritti Politti was released.

10 June 1985

I completely missed this release. I didn’t even know Scritti Politti. I vaguely remember an interview from 1982 in the Dutch magazine Vinyl. I just didn’t buy the record Songs to Remember then. I was happy listening to Prince, 23 Skidoo. I was getting more into dance music, away from the experimental music i used to listen to, like Captain Beefheart, the Residents and other bands i have forgotten about.

A month later i stayed in a house in Rotterdam centre for a month, taking care of the cats of friends while they were away on holiday. The guy was dj’ing in his spare time, he had loads of music. He had made tapes with hip hop which i loved! And yes, he had bought Cupid & Psyche as well.

I remember one warm day where i was lying on the floor, the sun shining through the window. Listening to this music. I simply couldn’t resist. I did play other music during that time, yes. But most of the time it was scritti on the record player. I even told the DJ that i should get him a new copy of the record once they were back. I thought i had played the record grey!

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I tried to write about my fascination for this music, for the lyrics. For how the music made me feel. The happiness it exudes. I did write a paper about scritti on art school. When i was done i wasn’t happy with it. I couldn’t explain my feelings. I couldn’t put this record in an art historical context. The teacher Jeroen Chabot talked with me about this paper over dinner. It was a great evening, but it didn’t make me much wiser.

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Many people write about the music. Marco Raaphorst wrote a post today about Cupid & Psyche. He is a musician, a soundmaker. This article on Wales Arts Review does say a bit more about the big change from post punk to the polished sophisticated mainstream pop music.

Even the intro of ‘Wood Beez (Pray like Aretha Franklin)’ represented a huge leap forward in confidence: sledgehammer drums, keyboard stabs and bursts of white noise; a synth bass and precision-engineered hi-hat part; and a guitar riff that owes more to Shalamar than any of the post-punk bands Scritti Politti were usually bracketed with. And this was all in the first sixty seconds.

To me it felt like a giant plaything which simply bursts out of its box with joy.

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I did look at the packaging. When i made a post of my most favourite album covers, this one wasn’t part of it. I was thinking of adding a scritti cover, but i didn’t know which one. So i left it out.

I actually bought another Cupid & Psyche a few years later. I gave it away as a birthday present to a friend. I regretted doing that so many times! It had the US version of Perfect Way on it. And, i’m not sure about this, but i do remember gold letters on the cover. If it had, i simply can not believe i gave it away. Grrr!

I do like this cover. But it is weird to me. It’s not what i would have designed myself. This is a design where many thoughts have gone into. And it does work well. But my work is very different. I have learned this over the years. One of the reasons i do like blogging is the daily stream of little thoughts. They do add over time. This is very different from making music. Many details, lots of work, months, maybe years of thinking, making decisions. Blogging comes down to the same details, but its all out in the open, plainly visible. With faults, days off, mistakes. All clearly visible. In the archives 🙂

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Later this evening i will play the album. The old vinyl yes. Well, if my record player still works that is. I haven’t used it for years. But its still standing in my front room. Right now i have the youtube playlist embedded at the end of this post on with all the songs of the album. It’s been a long time since i heard the entire album.

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Over the years i have tried to pick my favourite song of my favourite album. The last couple of years i settled on The Word Girl. I love all the songs, but this one does make me feel extra happy. Absolute of course too! And ooh.. A Little Knowledge! But that song is saved for my funeral. 🙂

Listen to the entire album on this youtube playlist. Enjoy!

Published on June 11, 2015 at 6:00 by

Killing me softly

Another song. One of my favourites to sing along with, Killing me softly sung by Roberta Flack. I do sing it in a lower register than she does. That is the hard part when you sing a cappella, there is nothing to stick to. I do think i sort of manage ok with the song. In parts i do hear the uncertainty and hesitation in my voice. But i do like it for some other parts.

Enjoy!

Killing me softly
Strumming my pain with his fingers,
Singing my life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song,
Killing me softly with his song,
Telling my whole life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song

I heard he sang a good song, I heard he had a style.
And so I came to see him to listen for a while.
And there he was this young boy, a stranger to my eyes.

Strumming my pain with his fingers,
Singing my life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song,
Killing me softly with his song,
Telling my whole life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song

I felt all flushed with fever, embarrassed by the crowd,
I felt he found my letters and read each one out loud.
I prayed that he would finish but he just kept right on.
Strumming my pain with his fingers,

Singing my life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song,
Killing me softly with his song,
Telling my whole life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song

He sang as if he knew me in all my dark despair
And then he looked right through me as if I wasn’t there.
But he just came to singing, singing clear and strong.

Strumming my pain with his fingers,
Singing my life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song,
Killing me softly with his song,
Telling my whole life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song

The original by Roberta Flack

Published on June 10, 2015 at 6:00 by

A walk in Rotterdam: Heijplaat

Heijplaat is a place i had never been to before. I knew where it was, on the south side of Rotterdam. Looking on the map, i see it is on the opposite site of Marconiplein. I used to live close to Marconiplein, from 1985 until 1995. I looked on the map and finally decided to get out in the tube station Slinge and walk from there.

It was a good day, weatherwise. A clear blue sky, a slight breeze, not too hot. First i went through Pendrecht. Never read much about it. I talked with a person who saw me taking photo’s of the flats. According to him it is getting better. Houses and flats are improved. It is a slow process, but its getting there. I could see the new builds. I did feel like a stranger walking through the area.

The Waalhaven. An old harbour area, still used as such. With smaller boats. The bigger boats get unloaded more up the river. Or down the river? Closer to the North Sea anyway. Its sort of a faded look, not ugly, but utilitarian. This is not an area for beautiful landscapes, but a working area. Everything has a purpose.

And in the midst of all this, a living area, Heijplaat. It is bigger than i imagined. You couldn’t see the harbour around it. I bet you could hear it though. Not on a quiet sunday, but on weekdays for sure. I walked all the way up to the waterside. Museum Rotterdam and RDM, the Rotterdam Drydock Company are situated there.

I had planned to go back by bus. But i had to wait for around 15 minutes, so i got myself some water (i had forgotten to take some with me) and walked around a bit more. Then i noticed there was a boat going twice an hour. It stopped close to the Erasmus Bridge. From there i easily walked back home.

Read more…

Published on June 9, 2015 at 6:00 by

Rotterdamse Oogst Markt

Last saturday i went to the Rotterdamse Oogst Markt (Rotterdam Harvest Market). I’m a bit equivocal about this market. When the weather is good, like it was this saturday, it does feel nice. There is good food, and the stalls on the whole are diverse. The ones with vegetables and bread i like the best. There are also many ready made food and sweet stalls. I didn’t go to the regular market, but i do like that one better. You have to be more picky with what you buy there, but it is a regular market, where people simply buy food and other things they need.

This saturday i did buy some spring onions, some bread with seaweed and oregano freshly picked that morning in Heijplaat, an area in south Rotterdam. I also got some turkish bread, hummus and olives for later that day when i would drink some wine with my neighbour Angela. We made a walk around the city centre later on, got ourselves some icecream and enjoyed the sunshine and good weather.

Read more…

Published on June 8, 2015 at 6:00 by

Love

Love. It is very hard for me to say anything sensible about love. I do think it has been mostly missing from my life. But, there are many different versions of love. Family, friends.

I have love from my family. It’s old. It has its place.

I’m not sure i have love from my friends. I’m also not sure i have love for my friends. It was hard for me to realize that it was so easy to leave my friends behind. I didn’t contact them. They didn’t contact me. For years. Their lives kept on growing. They got children. My life stopped a bit. I made some friends in World of Warcraft, but that is limited in scale, usually. I got to know some people i like. But friends? Not really.

I did get back in touch with my friends the past months. Part of me wants to get back with them, but another part wants to stay alone. I’m not angry. No. The hurt is gone, mostly. It’s more a memory. Some friends do leave more painful memories than others. I do see my own faults, feelings i am not proud of. Those feelings have faded away, bit by bit. I do think i finally am capable of thinking about a relation, feel what i feel, and not act straightaway. Not run towards somebody and ask for forgiveness. Not run and try to make things better. Now! I am finally able to leave something behind. To see it is not right, to accept that. And see if there is a given time in the future to talk about it reasonable. Or not.

A day like yesterday, a happy day. I felt so happy. When i walked outside, i was so focused on everything i saw. The houses, the shops, the people. The sky, the trees, the green, the wind, the sun. I’ve had these days before. These feelings. But not sure it was as vehement as this.

I’m not screaming though. I’m quiet. I don’t see if other people feel the same way as i do. I do try to look most people in the eyes. Most people simply walk past me, not looking. Some do look. Some say hi. Some smile. I still walk on the little curb i made a post about. So few people watch me do that. In all those months, only one person smiled and said something about me. That is it. But that is living in a big city. In western Europe. It’s cold.

When i visited and old friend a few weeks ago, i said that i want to stay my separate self in a relationship. I don’t want to change. I still live my own life, try to do as best as i can. But yes, i still would like to find my boyfriend. I’m not sure how i mean that. I do think there are few people in the world i could really fall in love with. Have sex with. Yay! I’m not thinking there is only one person around for me. But, i would like it to be somebody who is cautious with himself.

When i think back about my past I do see a development. I do see myself learning all the time. Trying, failing, crying, laughing, enjoying, feeling sad, working, trying. And my final years, being alone.

I still feel like i may fail terribly. I’m nowhere near perfect. I am this person, living here in Rotterdam, with very few friends. I desperately would like a little bit of happiness. But it is very hard to find it.

It is hard to let go of the fantasies. I am trying. Today, i felt myself thinking more reasonable, straight forward. It does make me feel sad. But i didn’t cry.

It is very hard for me to be truthful. Here on this blog, in this post. I hope i can be it for you a bit. I mean, i am doing my best.

My mind is too full of feelings and i do think i am rambling on too much.

But still. Still trying.

Published on June 5, 2015 at 6:00 by

A happy day

It is a very happy day this wednesday. I bought a new dress / sweater at Joline Jolink’s shop. Dark blue with a bit of light, cotton knit. The sleeves are three quarters and tight fitted, the body is loose. Very happy it fit me well.

I won’t tell you much more. I simply want to keep today in my memory as this happy day. I will probably fail at that, but that is OK too. There wasn’t anything significant happening today. It was all pretty normal. I just felt really happy.

See you tomorrow!

Published on June 4, 2015 at 6:00 by

Laksa and more

Today i did some work and went to the market. They changed the market. It was set up differently. Luckily the Meiden were still at almost the same place. A boy complained about more rules, more ways to get a fine if you do something wrong. He also said the atmosphere was getting less pleasant. It’s hard for me to say anything useful about this. I am so a bystander. There was also a women with a lovely small dog. I did a search to see if i could find the breed. I do think the Havanese is close, but the dog did go to a dog groomer a couple of times a year to get his hair shortened. The woman let the dog walk to me, while i was sitting at the side of the market eating some fries with a peanutsauce. It was simply adorable!

At the market i got foods to make me a laksa. I had done a search before to see what would go in the paste. I used this one, but there are many many more. I did forget the palm sugar, which i still had in my house. I added it later on when the soup was done. A bit too much i’m afraid.

I also made way too much. I left half the bowl for tomorrow. I did make paste for a couple of days. I did use the lemon grass, three madame jeanettes, ginger, galangal, shallots, garlic, cilantro and tamarind. I also used some dried shrimp. And i also got some fresh turmeric root, which was bright bright orange. I also did add some coconut oil through the paste.

For the soup i added some more coconut oil, the paste and let it bake for a bit. I boiled some water and added that after a few minutes. I then added a chicken stock cube. I opened a can of coconut milk and added half of it. I had also bought fresh uncooked shrimp, i cut those in smaller pieces and added them. Then i cut some cucumber, paksoi, cilantro, basil and spring onions. Before i started on the soup i had cooked some mie which i had put aside. I put the mie in the soup with all the vegetables. After a few minutes i poured it in the bowl. Afterwards i added a bit of chili sauce. It was lovely.

The rest of my day was restful. I even thought for a while i was gonna put in a break page for today, but the soup really woke me up and i thought i would write a bit about that.

Cheers!

Published on June 3, 2015 at 6:00 by

Let it go

A sound clip i recorded on my iPhone this afternoon, Monday June 1. I sing Let it go, from the movie Frozen. Last week i wrote a post about this movie. I’ve been listening to this song Let it go each day and i’ve grown to love it more and more. I also saw some clips of children singing along with it. Wonderful!

I do sing this song a cappella. I don’t play any instruments. It’s hard, especially with the breaks. I do think they are a bit shorter than in the recorded version. I also hear my accent. It’s not too bad though.

I did download the lyrics and i have them in front of me. I’m still in the process of memorizing this song. Some parts i know, other ones are a bit harder. I will say, the lyrics do resonate with me, right now. It does feel very right for me at this moment to sing this song. I did actually choke when i was singing along with Idina Menzel on the original song. This is a song of liberation, of finally going the way you yourself want to go, no matter what other people say. I do feel there is no holding me back anymore.

This is nowhere near a perfect recording! But i do like the closeness of my voice. And I do like the sound of my voice. Yay 🙂

The complete lyrics of ‘Let it go’

The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen
A kingdom of isolation,
And it looks like I’m the queen.

The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I tried!

Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
Well, now they know!

Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door!

I don’t care
What they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway!

It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all!

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me I’m free!

Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry!

Here I stand
And here I’ll stay
Let the storm rage on!

My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back,
The past is in the past!

Let it go, let it go
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone!

Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway!

Published on June 2, 2015 at 6:00 by