Rechterlijke uitspraak houdt sociale en fysieke onveiligheid voor vrouwen in stand

‘Laat het recht zegevieren’ – een zinsnede waar ik veel waarde aan hecht. En ik geloof daar ook écht in. Daarom zag ik met veel vertrouwen de uitspraak in de ‘wildplas-zaak’ tegemoet. Helaas, mijn rotsvast vertrouwen in Vrouwe Justitia heeft een deukje opgelopen.

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Vandaag nam ik afscheid van een bijzondere man. Stellig, geïnteresseerd, rechtlijnig, oprecht. En… gewoon erg lief.

Dat vond ik altijd, en vind ik nu. Dat vond ik niet toen hij – heel kort – mijn docent was. Gelukkig was hij al voor mijn geboorte een familievriend; dus toen ik rond de herfstvakantie van school veranderde, was hij daarna voor mij ook weer gewoon wie hij was: heel erg zichzelf.

Ik hoorde vele anekdotes vandaag. En bij iedere zin die hem werd toegedicht, hoorde ik hem die zin uitspreken. Dat was mooi, ontroerend en soms uitermate grappig.

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Uneasy, skin crawling, awkward and uncomfortable

It’s an uneasy and skin crawling feeling that I’m ‘happy’ for my US Green Card holding friends that they aren’t from any of the 7 mentioned countries and/or Muslim. It’s an awkward feeling that I’m ‘happy’ I don’t know anybody from those 7 countries. It makes me feel uncomfortable to be ‘happy’ that I don’t know anybody who is affected by this.

But what’s next? Who’s next? Because that, my friends, is the uneasy, skin crawling, awkward and uncomfortable truth.

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Ode aan mijn huis

En dan opeens zit ik daar. Op mijn houten, monumentale, ingebouwde bankje in de erker. Mijn huis is leeg. Een skelet met wat rare ingewanden: de kasten laat ik staan voor mijn huisbewaarder voor een jaar.

Mijn huisje. Met je onmogelijk kleine keukentje – gebouwd voor mijn lengte. Mijn prachtige rijksmonumentje waarvan ik niet dacht dat ik het ooit voor ook maar íets (of iemand) in zou willen ruilen.

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Moving tables

Recently, while referring to our decision to move in together, I posted on Facebook: ‘tables are moving’. Besides the cheers and witty remarks, the most asked question was: ‘What does that mean?’


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Never before did I realise how hard the muscles in my neck work. It wasn’t until they surgically removed quite a big lipoma (or as I call it: an ugly, fat lump).

The doctors did some tests before the surgery, so they knew it was completely benign and it wasn’t attached to the muscles. Both facts are good, but it was the ‘benign factor’ that called for the so called bubbles, obviously. Continue reading

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We will overcome

Today I saw a movie that got me overwhelmed with emotions. I cried. Now I must admit: I do exactly what a movie director wants me to do: a scary drum roll and I cover my eyes, a sad violin and I cry. I always joke that I could still easily cry watching Bambi.

This afternoon was different though. Not often before did I feel like this while being the cinema. Come to think of it: the last time probably was when I was a teenager, when we went to see Schindler’s List with the entire school. I remember afterwards, sitting in our local pub with my friends: quiet and shocked. Not that we didn’t know about the awfully organised and documented horrors brought on by the Nazis, but probably because a movie had more impact than our history books and stories told by parents and grand-parents whose natural aim it is to protect their offspring.

Today I saw Selma. Continue reading

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Butterflies for Peace

Last night, completely unexpected, two causes close to my heart united.

2014.09.21_masterpeaceThe evening started as planned: September 21, 2014: the International Day of Peace. After years of preparation, ‘blood, sweat and tears’ by many, it finally happened: MasterPeace in Concert. It’s a cause close to my heart and because of that I did some voluntary work for it in the past. I wrote about it before, and last night was a climax (with undoubtedly many to follow): Top artists from 14 conflict areas performing together on one stage, together for peace. Continue reading

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One minute of silence

The Netherlands mourns. At 4 pm we were silent for one minute to commemorate everybody on board of flight MH17 that was shot down in the Ukraine on July 17th. Innocent victims: husbands & wives, sons & daughters, friends, near and dear ones, et cetera.

This afternoon I was working at the so called Tulip Island in the Amsterdam ‘Vondelpark’. Of course we were going to be silent for one minute at 4 pm. I was asked to announce this in English and Spanish, because we figured that tourists might not realise what was going on. Continue reading

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Requiescat In Pace, Madiba.

One of the most vivid memories I have of listening to the radio was in February 1990. It was late, but I couldn’t sleep; wouldn’t sleep. So, while lying in bed I listened to the radio. Lights out and the volume as low as possible, so my parents wouldn’t notice I was still awake. I listened to background stories and historic speeches. I didn’t sleep much that night. After 27 years in prison, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a free man again. Continue reading

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