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Christmas tree 16 December 2013

Posted by uggclogs in Christmas, Happiness.
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Christmas is back.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love Christmas. Sadly no snow for me this year, though, as I am staying in Australia. But look at my Christmas tree – finding the Christmas spirit all the same. Enjoy your Christmas wherever you are!

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Childhood Memories 8 December 2010

Posted by uggclogs in Baking, Christmas, Happiness, Life, Sinterklaas.
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Today, I received a package from my mother.

It wasn’t supposed to arrive, as generally food stuffs are not allowed through the post. I expected it to be sent back upon arrival, without me even seeing the contents, just like what has happened to my partner’s packages of food before.

But it did arrive!!!

My dearest mum, who is one of the most well-meaning and well-balanced people I know, who sent me a post card every week while I was at boarding school, and who I can literally speak to for hours, sent me this package. I have all my nurturing abilities from her – I love doing things for others to make them happy. I like getting up early and making my partner coffee in the morning. I love cooking and baking for others, spoiling them rotten, to show them that I care. I like making home-made advent calendars for people I care about, and cheer them for the 24 days that it lasts. This is a page straight out of my mum’s book.

We disagree sometimes. And I can tell her that she annoys me, and she still listens. She is amazing. And now she’s sent me a package full of Sinterklaas goodies. For a moment, standing there in the kitchen, having run up the stairs like a child whopping and hooting, after which I ripped open the packaging, emptied the entire contents onto the counter, and stuck bits from all the goodies in my mouth at once, all of a sudden memories came flooding back.

I don’t know if this was my mum’s intent. But standing there, at the kitchen counter, eyes closed, savouring the sweets and cookies, my partner found me smiling, far away in memory land. He had to laugh at me, and my childish expression. He’s mentioned that exact face to me before – the ability I still seem to have to utterly enjoy something for the happiness it brings me at that time. The look of marvel that will flash across my face when I experience something new and turn around to smile at him. He once said he was jealous of my childlike ability to just enjoy something.

And this time it was triggered by the morsels of cookies that evoked my childhood, even the smell brings me back to cold winter nights, snow, rugging up and that special type of electricity that builds in December. And it reminded me of family, spending time around the fire, cat on my lap, parents reading or watching TV, brother being annoying.

And I do not know how my mum managed to get the food through customs, it must have been shear will power. And it’s not like she sent me a package with a few food items amongst other things, it was an entire box of food.

My poor man, who, a year and a half back, when I was in a real dip and feeling home sick, tried to cheer me up in the same way. I remember mentioning to him that I missed my family. I missed having them there. So the little darling hopped on the internet and ordered Dutch treats for me, including liquorice, and other things he knows I love due to my heritage, but which the rest of the world thinks is disgusting, and therefore doesn’t sell. He had meant to surprise me.

Yet this is the package that never made it through customs. He was gutted, because he had really wanted to do something nice for me, and it fell through. And here is mum’s package on my doorstep with no effort at all.

So thank you so much, mum, for the memories and the treats which we will enjoy so much! And thank you to my partner, who I know tried very hard, but whom the postal system thwarted. You both spoil me rotten.

Easter Postponed 8 April 2010

Posted by uggclogs in Easter, Life.
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After all my good intentions and amazing plans for a happy, baky Easter, I am finding myself crashing on a floor in London at my brother’s place, blogging from the inside of an orange sleeping bag amongst a whole lot of dog hair.

Due to a family emergency, I had to dash off just before Easter to Europe. And, although sad, it has been a wonderful time.

For me, being around my family means an opportunity to regroup, to reassess and to establish, yet again, what is important to me. I love my family for this. I have long, deep talks with my mum about everything. I have beers and good food with my brother. And my dad and I always reconnect in a way you just cannot over the phone.

And reassessing my life, I have come to the conclusion that I am where I want to be. I am ready to go back to Vietnam and to do even better in my job. I miss my partner and cannot wait to see him. I feel that I am making the right choices for myself.

It is amazing how only a few, measly weeks allow you to see so clearly. Being removed from everyday life makes you better at understanding it. And yes, there are things that drive me nuts about Vietnam. But what an opportunity, what an adventure, what an amazing experience!

But today, I am off to enjoy London.