Cultural differences

London is a city full of theatre. I’ve been to two shows. Life of Pi and Moulin Rouge. When you go to Piccadilly Circus the streets are filled with signs and blinking lights to lure you in. I’ve also been to two very British shows. The Graham Norton Show and Taskmaster. I have always been a fan and this was quite special to me. I got to sit in the audience and see the set.  


I’ve also been to Salsa Temple every week. This showed me how diverse London is. People came from all different backgrounds to Salsa Temple. I’ve also met a Londoner there who invited me to be on his podcast. We talked about English shows, politics and my courses.  


I’ve not only visited London. I’ve been to Hastings where the famous Battle of Hastings took place. I’ve been to Watford, Oxford, Bristol and Brighton. Furthermore, I have been to Scotland. Here I visited Irvine, Troon, Ayr, Dunure, Edinburgh, Kilmarnock and Glasgow. I didn’t get the chance to visit Isle of Skye and this will be for the future.  


The people in Scotland are very open and would love to help a visitor. On a bus there were four individual people who tried to show us the way even though we didn’t even ask for help. In London people are very individualistic and everyone is in a rush. You frequently walk through a red light. There are always sirens going off.  


The weather in the U.K. is pretty much the same as in the Netherlands. I also had to learn this during British Studies and it seems to be true. A storm in the Netherlands, meant a storm in England and it didn’t rain as often as its reputation says.


I met with a childhood friend and she gave me a present. I was so thankful that I started crying. Her mother panicked and told me that: ‘We don’t show emotions here’. I could see she was trying to keep her feelings in. This is what I’ve also learned during British Studies. The English are modest, have a stiff upper lip and apparently are not that open about their emotions.


I think that the Dutch are better organized. When it comes to university and also the general look of a place. We have better roads. Furthermore, there aren’t any fences surrounding our parks. You don’t have to find the entrance of a park to get into it.  


The parks are so big compared to the parks back in my city Zwolle. The park can also include a waterfall such as in Kyoto Park within Holland Park and there is also a waterfall in Hyde Park. In these parks there was a strong rollerblading community. Squirrels would hop around everywhere. You would also find foxes in the city or in Richmond Park. 


People dress differently. Some women wear a lot off make up and high heels and dresses when they go out. They don’t even wear a jacket in the middle of the winter. Dutch women usually always wear a coat and could easily go out in a pair of jeans. Dutch people are more down-to-earth.


The food is very different. The bread isn’t anything like in the Netherlands and let’s just say that is a negative thing. The supermarkets do not have the choices you would have back at home. I missed a package or a fresh meal deal to make a lasagne from scratch. I missed all the things we are able to put on our bread. I missed aioli. The English cheese is quite good I must confess. A good cheddar cheese.  


The diversity in London is nothing compared to anywhere else. There are tourists but there are people living in London from so many different backgrounds. Mixture of cultures. In my area there was a black community and also a Spanish community. The person I sold my bike to via Gumtree was Italian. It didn’t surprise me. It is rarer to bump into a person who isn’t a mixture of cultures and from Britain than someone who is a mixture of backgrounds or a foreigner. My university was also known for diversity and very proud of it as you can find on their website. I came to find that this was very true. A strong Pakistani community and Indian community was present. This makes sense considering British history and colonization.  


I came to know that Pakistan used to be one country with India. I came to know that Russia also invaded Bulgaria. I told people Belgium used to be one country with the Netherlands. Some people were very unaware of where the Netherlands actually is.


Universities are very different when it comes to discipline. You can be late or not show up and it will have no consequences. There is not a lot of room to speak though and there is respect for the teacher. Students can be lazy and undisciplined.  


There were security measures taken when it comes to the university. You needed to scan your pass to be able to get in the building. I remember a mother who was a student and her child wasn’t allowed in the building. One day there were police officers and sniffer dogs making their way through the building. There were also security guards just around the corner of my street. I also knew several people who were mugged and I even got an email about it. Whenever I walked home by myself I kept my distance to anyone else.  


A big cultural difference was transportation. In the Netherlands everyone bikes everywhere. In London you take a tube. It is completely dark and the sound it makes is deafening. You also get a train or a bus or walk for an hour and then an hour back. Very normal. I did buy a bike and did bike to a bit of a hilly area but overall London is quite flat. There were three hills that I have been on top of.


There are a lot more options when it comes to restaurants and bars compared to my little city. You can take salsa lessons and dance freely until three. Enough gay bars and countless dining options in very varied cuisines.


I think it is fair to say that London is a much harsher place. People are more individual and are always in a rush. They don’t have the time for you or for a red light. In Zwolle people have time to have a chat with you while you purchase something. They sometimes do in London too but I think it is more common in smaller cities. The bus driver for example will not greet you at all. You are very lucky if you even get a smile or get eye contact. They usually just look very grumpy. Sometimes it is a woman with make-up and earrings. Also, very normal. Talking about greeting each other; in Zwolle some people will say hi in the streets but in London this isn’t normal at all.  


Since London is so individual people dress exactly the way they like. They’ll wear piercings or something very colourful. You will come across these people who just put on whatever they wish in Zwolle but not in the same volume as in London.  


I had this very interesting conversation with a student from Romania. Her background is very different from mine. She is not allowed to get a divorce from her parents. That she left her previous boyfriend already meant that she is the black sheep in the family. Mostly, I think in the Netherlands we are pretty free when it comes to break-ups and divorce.  


There was one big cultural difference I learnt from my childhood friend. A peace sign is not shown with the back of your hand and if you do show the back of your hand it actually means fuck off. This is supposed to stem from a time where people used their fingers as an arch and would fire an arrow from it. Fingers were also cut off. These fingers were powerful and it is a powerful sign until this day. If you want to say peace, you don’t show the back of your hand but your palm.

If you want to know more about my time in London or get more cultural insights, please let me know. Until next time! X


I am not playing jazz music and for some reason I am unable to write on my laptop. I am lying in my bed and typing on my phone. Not ideal but I don’t give up on writing that easily.

I am nearly two weeks in the Netherlands. I still use some English words here and there in a conversation and I am still comparing Zwolle to London. I suppose I am still adjusting to the new/old situation.

I am beginning to sleep better but I am still very tired. I am trying to pick up everything as quickly as possible: work, friends, hobbies and sport. I’ve just been to Viva Salsa in Deventer this Tuesday. Not a lesson but just dancing with anyone who asked me to dance. I even recognised someone. Yes, the world is a small place.

I loved dancing. We had two hours to dance before they told us it was the last dance and the lights were briefly put on. A very Dutch way to say: Time to go home. Various men wanted to dance and all had their own style. I am quite good at following but I could do with a few lessons. I came by myself. I could’ve gone with a friend but I liked the thrill. I went to see him afterwards since he lives very close by to Viva Salsa. Next time, he’ll join me.

I’ve also started working again at my favourite place. I teach teenagers languages. It is a lot of fun. One on one and this way you get to know them. You should have seen their faces when I walked in. One was in complete shock and most of them smiled broadly. Just lovely to see them all. I have bonded with them. It was actually also quite nice to see my boss. He was interested in me and the documentary I made and he immediately offered my job back. I think he knows how much I love my job.

I am also seeing friends and I have noticed that sometimes it is hard not to talk too much. I have felt, seen and experienced so much that I want to express it. Luckily, they are tactful, kind and know me well. I try to be understanding, thoughtful and kind too. I must say that I usually make more time for them but I simply don’t have the energy.

I was so lacking in energy that I even cancelled on a friend who was coming to visit me in London. He is now there by himself. What comforts me is that we stay in touch and I know what he is up to and he knows how I am doing. He’s a good friend. I think it is so special how you get to know someone just a few years ago and how close you become.

I am also happy with my housemates. It is good that there are people in my house that I love, know me well and that I can spend time with. We even went on a little trip together in Zwolle. We even took a little ferry for the first time and all got sun burned. We had a good time.

First week in the Netherlands

I am starting to feel a little better. My mind isn’t racing as much and I am slowly processing being here and all my experiences of London and reflecting on my life here and my past. Introspection. But what you need is another person to talk to and that helps. It gives you perspective. I didn’t realize I had grown so much already. There are still a few things I’d like to work on but overall I am doing pretty good.

I managed to break my wardrobe and I managed to fix it. Thank you Gamma. It’s a well known store in the Netherlands. I also took the opportunity to clear out my wardrobe. Clothes that I wore when I was fifteen had to go. I am growing up. Still playful though.

I walked around the city at night time to clear my head. I saw the most peculiar thing. A stone marten or a ferret. One or the other. I saw him three times. He kept running away. In London I’d see a lot of squirrels and foxes. Yes; foxes. In the city.

We have decided on a new housemate. I think she is very calm and is quite independent for her age and also empathetic. A warm nice person. Hopefully a great addition to our house. She goes kickboxing three times a week. Well, can’t beat that! Impressive. I just went yesterday to my trainer. Gloves on and ready to go. He told me I hit pretty hard. It was nice to see him. He’d joke around and tell me a little riddle. He usually does at the end of the training. When you are knackered thén he gives you a riddle.

There are a lot of changes in our house. I am back. One is leaving. Luckily, they are very happy to have me back. I also have a picture now of the beautiful welcome home pizza my housemate made. He knew I wouldn’t like a pie. Haha. So, he decided on something savoury. Good choice.

I think I am going to get a goodbye gift for our leaving housemate today. It’s not really goodbye of course since she will always be our friend and we’ll get to see her.

My cat is also in the neighbourhood and he came to say hello. Apparently, according to my housemates, he knows when I am home. It might mean he missed me or that he actually is attached to me. Usually during the summer, he rarely is home. A street cat. A bar cat. A beggar for food. During the winter it is cold and then he’d rather be home but you know outside there are way more adventures.

I’ve bought new shoes. I was so done with wearing practical shoes because of all the walking I did in London. I finally wanted to look beautiful. Plus, I was also done with living out of a bag. Having only a few options of clothing to choose from. For four months I had a bag which I usually take with me on a holiday for two weeks! It was overfull when I travelled home. It did shut though hahaha.

Soon I’ll be making a photo book about London. I think this will be a nice way to reflect on my time there.

I am just finishing with my portfolio for my teacher here and my teacher in London sent me the most kind email. She wrote that I made a very good photo book and that the other teacher thought so too. Even the librarian who came to look at all the photo books. Two days later I still didn’t respond and I got another email wondering if I arrived safely. I thought it was really touching that she had thought of me and complimented me. I think she had seen the stress and all the effort that went into it.

I am also very proud of the documentary. I might just post it on Facebook. It is worth seeing it and it only takes four minutes. If you type in: ‘Path of a woman’, you will find it on YouTube but here it is:

Wish me good luck settling here and where ever you are; I hope you are well and having a good time. Until next time! X


I am home. I am home. I am never leaving. Hahaha. Well, that is what I feel like right now. I have been living in Zwollywood for nearly eleven years now. So, moving was a big step. Even to a whole different country. It was life changing. But I am so happy to be back and to be welcomed back home too.

My housemate had balloons and welcome home signs and made a pizza with welcome home on it. It made me cry. I held him tight. He and his friend got my heavy luggage upstairs. I sat at his place and we talked while simultaneously judging the singers on TV. We watched EuroVision. I ate pizza and he brought me some water. He wanted to be home for me. I was so glad.

This morning I have gone swimming. Well, you have to keep up with good habits. I have also lit candle lights next to my bed here. That is something I just usually only do in my living room but in London I only had one room and got used to having candle light next to my bed. I also noticed missing a bath when I got up. I wanted to jump in the bath tub and read my book but I couldn’t. We don’t have a bath here unfortunately. But we do have windows and sunlight coming in and a lot of plants. My other housemate took care of my plants and she even gave me two new ones. I am very thankful.

I have already biked through my little green and quiet city. A Sunday morning in Zwolle. There is hardly anyone in the streets. Even in the city centre. The city sleeps. Weird! I knew that. It’s just a big adjustment to crowded London. I haven’t heard any sirens since I am here. I did play my new record. Yes, I can play records now on my record player. Bliss.

Just before I left in London there was this woman called Elsa. My classmate. She had made me a goodbye gift. I didn’t expect that at all. It was so kind. She also bought my photo book. Sometimes people surprise you in the most beautiful way. I said my goodbyes to Theo and to Ivallyo. That was tough. Theo joked around and told me he loves me and Ivallyo said we had clicked really well. I said I’ll miss them. Very surreal. How your life is one minute something and one minute later something completely else.

I am still going through red lights and I even had a moment where I was at the wrong side of the road. I am also partly still thinking in English and not only in Dutch. Well, I have all the time to adjust.


Chin chin, cheer up

My mind keeps racing. It thinks of all the things that can go wrong. It thinks of all my fears. It’s thinking about disappointment. It fills my head with rage. Just in case I can handle that better. It’s exhausting. I go to bed filled with thoughts and it’s how I wake up. Sometimes this small room feels like an isolation cell. I wasn’t the first person to feel the same way. I remember another exchange student telling me at arrival that she was in shock. I remember another exchange student feeling depressed for a whole week. They say going abroad is fun. But all students experience feeling home sick at some degree. Or just feeling low for one reason or another. Just being in a different country doesn’t make everything automatically better. It is actually more challenging. Well, I thought so.

Now, I am nearly going home and I am terrified. Nothing new under the sun. I am always terrified. When I dance, then I feel free. I might go dancing tonight. Say my goodbyes. Who knows, maybe being back home will be just fine. Mind.. Mind.. Mind…. It plays tricks on you.

I am supposed to be excited about our event today at the pop-up store. Let’s hope I will find the energy again. Usually I do. Luckily, these class mates are very welcoming and friendly. They are always giving me hugs. Complimenting me on my jackets. All three of them. Apparently, when it comes to jackets I have good taste.

Yesterday, there was a moment of feeling proud. My photo book was done. I laid it all out. The cards and envelopes. I even felt so inspired I decided to make more cards with dried flowers.

I should maybe try to cheer myself up. I might be more cheerful for you to read too. I had this beautiful walk with my housemate Ivallyo. He is from Bulgaria. It is nice to have people around you that are also from other countries. He is very calm, friendly and always willing to help you in the printer room for example. We did the same course and his photo book is amazing. He put so much effort into it and it shows. He can be proud of himself. Every time someone gives a compliment about his photo book, I tell them to tell Ivallyo.

It was a beautiful park. Hampstead Heath. There were hills and a beautiful view. It was just lovely to listen for a change. This time Ivallyo told me about his plans, his future and it made me realize that right now was pretty good. That my life was good. I felt calm. I wasn’t thinking about the future. I was listening. I was looking at the world around me and I got Ivallyo in the present moment too. We talked about bees and flowers.

I’ve also been to Sky Garden. Everyone seems to think it is amazing. I wasn’t that impressed. I prefer a park over anything. Over a museum, Starbucks, Sky Garden. I have to confess I had a good time though. It’s always a good time when I am with Theo. He is funny, playful, easy going. He is also scared about going home. He asked me to come to the airport with him. I am flying much later than him. Unfortunately, I had to say no. Airports aren’t the most calming places. I rather take another stroll in the park. He understood. We are both terrified and we just become more hysterical and playful together. It’s good fun.

There is also this beautiful woman named Irene. She is stunning. Our birthdays are on the same day. She is just three years older. When I first heard I was pleasantly shocked. She is always talking about being Sagittarius. It cracks me up. I don’t believe in that stuff. I let my bottle fall down and also my banana and she just went: Sagittarius. I burst out laughing. She loves my laugh. She thinks it’s powerful. It is the same as my mom’s. My aunt will always tell me. You’re just like your mom now. Also, when I cry. Apparently, it is the same way my mom cried. Irene cried. She cried while saying goodbye to me. I held her tight. She told me she was happy to meet me. I told her she was welcome in the Netherlands. She told me I was welcome in Italy. That is good news because I love the sun, the historical buildings and the food. I’m in love with Italy and I would love to see Irene again. Where ever. I love the way she talks with her hands. She is elegant and fun.

Lastly, there was Sarah. She is very friendly. When I told her I wasn’t feeling well she asked me what she could do. I told her a walk in the park. That’s what we did. Hahaha, I am so demanding. Apparently, all I need is good company and a park. Well, it was nice. To listen. It got me a bit out of my head and I tried to put things in perspective. We also sat in a jazz cafe. The cafe where I came in the first week. I studied for my exam there. This time rather than having one of my favourite teas – red bush -, I had an elderflower soda. They don’t have them as much in the Netherlands and I am enjoying it while I can. Just as salt and vinegar crisps. They are not the same in the Netherlands. It was good to also just talk about dogs and about the trees we saw. Here, now. After three hours I was so tired that I told her, I had to go home. But it was good. A good way to spend my time.

A while ago in Brighton with Sarah

Well, now you have a little insight into the back of my head. I hope you are doing well where ever you are. Until next time! I am going to try and continue with this blog once I am home. x

Nearly goodbye

Living in my own little bubble in my head is sometimes peaceful and sometimes exhausting. Sometimes it’s just great to listen to someone else. It brings you outside of your own bubble. It helps seeing other lives. Listening to others. Realizing life right now is good. It’s also nice to share your thoughts with another student from abroad. We’re going through the same things. Attachment and detachment from people and a place. Stress about flying, packing, leaving. Reflecting on life here and back home.

It’s sunny. I’ve worn flip flops. I am wearing dresses. I like going to a park. Yesterday I got very unlucky. I went to a park that is filled with deer. But for me there was no deer to be found. Two foxes though. I liked that. Furthermore, there were beautiful flowers. Nothing like you’ll see in the Netherlands. The size of these plants makes them look like small trees filled with huge flowers in vibrant colours. Everyone was taking pictures.

Richmond Park

I’ve also managed to go to the zoo before leaving. I really wanted to go to the butterfly garden. I love it so much. At some point I got into a meditative state. Whatever you like to call it. I was quiet. Theo was quiet. It was warm. We just sat on a bench for a really long time. We looked at the butterflies. There was music playing softly in the background that was very soothing. I also felt bewilderment for quit a while and would exclaim: ‘Look at it fly, it’s so beautiful!’. There was one particular butterfly that would flap their wings so slow that it looked very elegant. It was my new favourite butterfly.

Theo and I together with penguins at the zoo

I managed to finish a workbook I had to make. All my progress is written in it and the meaning behind the photo book I’ve made. I’ve made three copies. I am ready for the pop up store. That all starts tomorrow. People can pop in and take a look at the photo books and possibly buy one. For the rest, I’ll be packing my stuff. I’ll give my plant away and I’ve already sold my bike.

Goodbye Elephant and Castle. It was good to be here. It was awful to be here. Just life. As anywhere else. Who knows, I might look forward to coming back for the nostalgia and meeting all the wonderful people I met here. Goodbye London.

A reference to the area I stayed in: Elephant and Castle

One week left

This trip meant meeting my mom. Meeting my dad. Maybe saying hi and goodbye. Maybe just reconnecting. Maybe all those things. Maybe realizing that my mom loved me so much but was also very imperfect. As we all are of course. But I know that I’d like to live my life differently than my mom did. I’d like to be less scared. I’d love to think that the world is a safe place and if I ever have children show them that. Instead of showing them panic. In the end I am who I am and I can change little by little and make some progress and just do what I can. You always do what you can. I must say I am actually really pushing myself.

One of my mothers told me to set boundaries and don’t feel desperate about setting them. She is very right. I am totally experimenting with it already. Just saying I can’t come or that I am leaving early without making it any bigger than it has to be. I can make progress. I can learn. As anyone can.

Maybe I’ll just be fine in the end. Just a woman who is fine in every way. Imperfectly fine. Imperfectly enough. Loveable and capable of giving love. Showing love and forgiveness. Seeing pain and going through it. Showing up. Being tough. Being soft. Being gentle. Everything I always wanted to be. Strong, powerful, vulnerable, loving, kind, stable and the best I can be.

This trip, man. What a trip. What an experience. I don’t know if I changed. If it was for the better. If it was worth the money. But who knows. Maybe I did go through some personal growth. Pain. Confrontation. Learned new skills. Met new people. Saw so many new things. Ate good food and bad food. Enjoyed the sunshine. Hated the grey sky. I just felt everything. Everything that a Dutch girl – uhm, woman – could experience in my own little bubble.

Yesterday we watched all of the documentaries. There was one called sonder and it meant something like the realization that everyone lives an as complicated and vivid life as you. It made me think that I spend a lot of time in my own head with my own thoughts. I can love that place and sometimes feel unsafe in that place. And it’s only my place. There are billions of us with their own little bubble.

This makes me think of mindfulness. I use an app called Headspace every morning. There is this animation called small mind and big mind. Maybe they are talking about sonder just there. And actually, they might include the whole world. Plants and animals included. Who all also have their own little bubble.

My bubble is about to change. Or burst hahaha. Well. I am leaving. One more week. Can you believe it? One more week. Then the adventure is truly over. Back to my own life. Back to reality. Whatever that means. In a way I am very much looking forward to it. Mostly just looking forward to lying in a park by myself with a book. And you know seeing my housemates when I get home. Even if it is shortly and sometimes longer. At some point seeing some friends. I am dreading the fact that I have to choose a new housemate. A luxury problem, I know. I mean there could have been the possibility of no choice. I should be grateful. Which I am and at the same time I am a bit anxious. But who knows, maybe before you know it I get attached to this new human being in our house and this person might be a great addition to our house. And well, we’ll miss our housemate that actually did get attached to us. Luckily, she is just going to live around the corner. So, there are plenty of opportunities to say hi. Life changes. We don’t have control of all the changes that happen. It can be scary. It can be bad. Good. Ugly hahaha. But yeah. We’ll see what life will bring once I am back in the Netherlands.

I got to meet up with one of my classmates from back home. She gave me a clear description of what is coming up for the upcoming years of our study. It actually gave me some peace of mind. For my upcoming internship I could do just one day. This seems very doable. Who knows, I might get the opportunity to be a tutor again at my favourite place in my favourite city.

I might work at an international school one day, at an MBO or I might work in television one day. Or maybe something completely different. Is that the beauty of life? That you don’t know?

Food for thought. Food for thought. I hope you are having an amazing week. I missed Bevrijdingsfestival. Such a bummer. Hope you danced your ass of though. Dancing is the best. I danced at salsa temple yesterday. On the Thursday with all the friendly faces I know from there. It was in a way ‘coming home’. It’s a really safe place for me. With such friendly people. Great music and great dancers. I’ll miss it. I’ve also said goodbye to a few international friends. And the last goodbyes are coming up.

Wish me luck this last week with my last deadline and with saying goodbye. I hope the weather is lovely where ever you are and that you are having a good time. As the song says: Enjoy yourself (It’s later than you think). It’s by Maxine Sullivan, Bob Haggart, Ike Isaacs, Dardanelle and Sil Austin.

Music, candles and reflection

I am at home. ‘Home’. Here in London. In my tiny room and tiny bed where I just fit into. One cupboard, a desk and a sink where you can’t drink the water from the tap. A bin, a lamp, curtains. I didn’t have a little night cabinet to put my books on and so I creatively made one out of a cardboard box. I just put a towel over it and it’s slightly dented but it serves its purpose. Candles are on it and next to it which isn’t allowed. It slows me down and gives a cue that it is night time and soon time to sleep. Above my desk is a plank and on there you find photos of family and friends. I rarely look at them but I am happy that they are there. It gives me comfort. I do the same at home. Photographs are actually a big part of my life. Very different to other generations. A different feeling of nostalgia and memories. I am glad that I have the photos. I will keep on taking photos and making photo books and displaying photos.

I am playing music. ‘The art of conversation’ by Leo Sidran. It’s a duet. I wouldn’t know who the female singer is unfortunately and I am too lazy to look it up. Oh oh oh. I just felt like writing and expressing myself. I am feeling quite good. I had a really good conversation with my family and it feels like it lifted a lot of weight of me. Plus, I got to spend a lot of the day with Theo. He is funny. We can have childish fun with each other. Really playful. I am totally going to miss him. In about a week he’ll be all the way in America and I’ll be in my ‘koude kikkerlandje’ the Netherlands. I’ve also hugged my teacher. I guess I made a good impression. I think we’re nearly of the same age and we really clicked. We could talk about my work and brainstorm. Who knows, I might have made bonds for life. I might go back to London and see them all again.

I had the exhibition yesterday and it went really well. I invited a few people and actually 7 people showed up! I was so glad. Everyone was curious what the work was about. I loved hearing what they thought it was about and being able to express myself. It was a good evening.

And… Tomorrow is also a big day. We will watch the final cut of the documentary. Have a look here if you like:

Have fun guys back in the Netherlands tomorrow. It’s Bevrijdingsdag! Feel free! You finally might have the opportunity to celebrate it after two years. Do a little dance for me. See you soon x

Being grateful

Another week has passed. Two more weeks and I’m back in the Netherlands. The countdown has started. I am still making the best of it though. I’ve been to one of my favourite shows called Taskmaster. That was a dream come true. Even the comedian Dara O’Brien explained to everyone what the word gezellig means. That was fun! Okay, I’m not supposed to tell you who is in the show. Can you keep a secret? Haha! I went with my friend Theo and we missed the first show because there was no space left and I got a little upset and told her we’re leaving the U.K. in two weeks. So, she gave us priority tickets for the evening show. So glad! Theo considered buying her flowers but in the end thought that was too much. We got the opportunity to explore the surroundings. There was a beautiful park with huge trees and flowers. We could see Windsor Castle in the distance. Theo was particularly excited about that! It was all nice and green and I had lasagne for my lunch. My favourite!

For the rest I am working on my deadlines which is going really well I must say. One exhibition is already ready to see which I am actually proud of. I didn’t exactly expect it to be good. Additionally, our documentary is nearly done and I am quite proud of that too. I mean it is not a masterpiece but it’s clearly not bad! Lastly, I am working on my photo books called ‘The gift that keeps on giving’. I have made three editions. I will be working with ink today and writing some poetry and sticking dried flowers to cards and putting it all together. I’ll finish the workbook and if I get the chance I’ll start with writing a final document for my teacher back home in the Netherlands. Take an English test to prove I learned some English while I was here haha.

And after my hard work I think I deserve some breaks. Maybe lie down in the bath with a candle next to me and my book ready to read. I might go swimming but I think I can still feel my arms from a few days ago. If I feel like it I’ll go to Borough Market.

I went to salsa yesterday. Once again by myself. Usually that doesn’t bother me. I had a really great evening and was asked to dance a lot and enjoyed it with a giant. He was clearly taller than two meters. Yes, we Dutchies don’t measure in feet and I haven’t quite figured out that system yet. I think I am 5’6? 1.78 cm. So quite tall. I guess if people just look at you surprised and confused that you came by yourself it gives you a bad feeling. But it won’t discourage me. I think I’ll go again next week and luckily, I do meet people there who come by themselves too or who are very welcoming. I’ll really miss that place once I’m back in the Netherlands. Nothing beats holding each other and dancing the night away. It brings a smile to my face. A really big one.

I am still considering going to the Zoo. I’d love to see the butterfly garden. I’ll bring my camera. I think that could be a really good day. I am also enjoying my last days with my bike here. I mean I am Dutch. What am I without a bike?! Hahaha. I’ve biked all the way to Putney near Richmond. That was a long journey. I enjoyed the forest. A dog that stole my bottle and a nice owner of the dog kept on smiling and apologizing. I also enjoyed trying to get my bike over a fence by myself and clearly struggling when two young men, runners, came up to me and just both took my bike and helped it over the fence. Then I heroically jumped over the fence and that was that. It was fun. Later on I passed them and wished them a great day. They laughed. I am so grateful for those moments and being able to enjoy myself. Even if it is by myself. I suppose I became quiet independent on this trip. I mean I’ve always been able to go to the park by myself. But I’ve never been to the cinema by myself. I was proud.

I missed King’s day back in the Netherlands and I’ll miss Bevrijdingsdag. That last one bugs me. I love Bevrijdingsdag. A free festival. I mean who doesn’t love that?! Oh well, better luck next time. Theo asked me to go to karaoke. So we are definitely doing that!

I hope you had a good week wherever you are. Wish you the best. Until next time! x

Our exhibition!