small strokes

published on: 21.08.2017 in: All entries

I had watched him swim with a large branch and then drag it along the beach. Shoulders slumped, one hip raised, the opposite arm seemed longer than the arm alongside his hip. His body was pale and with red blotches where his sunscreen hadn’t protected his skin. Was he going to lay down somewhere with [...]



published on: 15.06.2017 in: All entries

I’ve been wondering about borderline personality disorder. Daily even, for the past three years, ever since I was told I have it. And yet if someone asks me: what is it? My best answer would be: I can’t really explain. It’s like childbirth, you only really know what it’s like once you’ve experienced it yourself. [...]


a million years of sun

published on: 15.03.2017 in: All entries

The pinch of stress on realising I had forgotten to drop my son’s soccer bag off at his dad’s house. There’s so much we do well, but so hard to get it all right. There are phone calls I have to return, things to read, follow-up to give and much more of all that, ten [...]


child’s play?

published on: 12.11.2016 in: All entries

I am on the phone with a friend and his youngest child shrieks. She is a little girl, angry, sad, distressed. “That is MY stick, MINE! I found it,” she wails in dispair to a silent other in the room. My friend says something along the comforting lines of, “oh was it your stick?” and [...]


always the first to…

published on: 28.03.2016 in: All entries

A girl in her early twenties girl was struck by a sudden revelation and it was about silences. She said that she desperately hated awkward silences and always felt the need to break them. Until it struck her: it wasn’t only her silence to break. It was a mutual silence and therefore as much the [...]


the hopper

published on: 06.03.2016 in: All entries

My son casually asks, while peeling the shell of his boiled egg “what man were you talking about?” I had been on the phone with a friend. I explain that my friend needed some advice concerning a man she’s being seeing. “What advice?” I always choose honesty. Not everyone would agree. “He went to a [...]


of things that can be pleasant

published on: 29.02.2016 in: All entries

A phone call. A voice I only very faintly recognise. My memory searches its files. “2013,” she says, “on the airplane. From New York? The marathon.” Her voice is friendly and optimistic. I remember now. We had made a connection, she had run the marathon in order to raise money for her handicapped daughter. I [...]


you are right

published on: 16.12.2015 in: All entries

My little big boy, you sit on a stool, your back turned to my bedroom door. When I finally pull myself out of bed, it’s your shoulders I notice first. Compact little boys’ shoulders, bent forward, spine protruding through your T-shirt. For a moment, I think you are playing something on the iPad. But it’s [...]


gone tomorrow

published on: 23.11.2015 in: All entries

I have a white, flower-shaped candle holder which is only for her. It sits at the foot of my Sta. Tereza statue, who stands comfortably in a corner. There are shells too, at her feet, and a few more candles for friends who are in trouble. But this particular one is for her. Three years [...]


cloud fields

published on: 02.11.2015 in: All entries

Some words only exist in one language. Like cloud fields, although the Dutch would turn that into one word: cloudfields. I came home from work this evening and wondered: when did Winter swallow daylight this year? I turned up the heater and sat in my armchair next to it, waiting for things to warm up. [...]