Tuesday, 27 August 2013


My aunt gave me an amazing collection of old pictures. Made by her cousin between 1953 and 1958. Her cousin travelled with three girlfriends to Austria, Italy and Denmark. Mostly by old Deux Chevaux (Lelijke Eend) and some bits by train. The pics are great, and a glorious inspiration. Brave women. No Lonely Planet, no Wifi, no Routeplanners. I know, im repeating myself from an earlier blogspot but that is how big my amazement is.... And how much I admire their curiosity. In a time when women had to have a lot more courage to go travel by themselves.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Inés, of my soul...

....by Isabel Allende. 
As some of you know by now I'm a fanatic secondhand shopper. Whenever I need something I will do my utmost best to buy it second hand; my beautiful leather horse riding boots are second hand (brand new second hand). The beacon of my life; my blue espresso machine is secondhand and almost all of my furniture is secondhand. (I rather recycle than buy new...) The secondhand shop in neighborhood has a fantastic book-section. Yesterday morning I found Thirteen by David Mitchell, a book Arthur Japin (dutch writer) and a brand new copy of the Corrections by Franzen. (that will make a great gift...) So piles and piles of good books, but also loads and loads of shitty books, and many of the same titles. I've made a habit out of it: to find as many of the same books as I can and put them next to each other; 7 copies of 'Fall on your knees' by Ann McDonald. Prices all different, all orange and all the same size. (yes my idea of saturday morning thrill.... I fully understood if I lost all of you by now..) The Chilean writer Isabel Allende occupies an entire section within the book-section in this shop. I've read loads of her book, devoured them I should say. Last week a good friend gave me a book by her; Inés,, of my soul. It has been years since I read an Allende book and I was a bit hesitant. What if I was about to find out that she actually is the sentimental, crappy writer that I sometimes thinks she is... Inés, the main-character, sails from Spain to Chili, in 1537. She's a brave, woman (like al the Allende women), founder of Santiago (Chili) and of course there is love and passion (it is an Allende book after all). Inés Suárez ((c. 1507–1580) really existed and according to the acknowledgements none of the facts are influenced by her pathos imagination. (she quotes her critics here) I don't really care. I loved the story, I loved some of the historical facts. And the most important thing I learned: the Natives thought the bearded Spanish were foul smelling, They never bathed. Opposed to the Mapuches who bathed daily. (according to the Mapuches you could smell the Spanish a day away...) Just this one little fact, so contrary to my narrow minded conception that the Spanish would be cleaner than wild tribes, makes me love this book. But also, I will leave the other Allende books in the thrift store a little while longer. Maybe another time. But not for now. Now I have other books to read, David Mitchell for example. Have a wonderful day!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Mosquito Coast .....

.....by Paul Theroux. I read the first paragraph and already loved the book. I guess I love men who fulminate about all the things that are wrong in the world....love them to a certain extend .... Mosquito Coast, and my all time favorite book; Poisonwood Bible by Kingsolver, there loads of similarities. Im not sure whether that is a good or a bad thing, is she a copycat or was she inspired by Mosquito Coast? Maybe some of the similarities are to honour Theroux? I don't know. Just read both books. Great reads, the stories linger on in my mind. Books to pick up from the shelf again. Oh books, and their marvelous writers, thanks for all the inspiration you give me!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Brave or Batty?

Drawing of two old, tanned man, (nickname the Brownies) who go swimming in icecold waters of Dorchester Bay, Boston.