A while ago Pet Shop Boys released their latest EP, Agenda, featuring the song ‘On social media’. I recommend watching the entire video, it’s fantastic.

 

 

When you care about the issues of the day
And check your facts on Wikipedia
You can and get into an argument right away
If you’re on social media

I use Twitter a lot. It’s extremely easy to get into an argument about literally anything. If you follow me, you will notice I never post or repost anything political, with the exception of the climate catastrophe content, which is politicised, but not political. (When we’re dead it won’t matter whether we voted left, right, or down.)

I used to get into those arguments. I’d get myself so worked up I wouldn’t be able to sleep sometimes, rolling in bed at 2am, coming with the best retorts that I didn’t think about eight hours earlier. It wasn’t until my friend R. pointed out that I didn’t actually have to engage that I understood… she was right. I didn’t have to engage. I was choosing to. And, like that, I chose to stop.

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My greatest wish is to live in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere. As of right now, we live in an apartment near the centre of Amsterdam. Every now and then I need an escape, and this time we went to a holiday island – Terschelling.

The Netherlands is a small country with more people than necessary space, and that’s before the tourists descend. It’s also a flat country. Literally. It has no mountains (although a friend of mine once had a really large zit and it got officially registered as Holland’s tallest peak at 2.3 mm). Amsterdam is obviously the worst place for a lover of nature, space, and silence. The holiday islands are exactly what they say they are – 99% of their income comes from tourism. Luckily, we went a week after the school holidays ended, which made me the youngest person around with the exception of people who live and work on Terschelling. Nobody blasted loud music. I only had to pick up other people’s litter once. It was rather fabulous…

 

Saturday

It turns out that the change from living near the centre of Amsterdam to this place is brutal. I am not used to silence. Actual, near-complete silence, interrupted only by the sounds of rain and hail, birds’ mating call, and one rather insistent duck attempting to join us inside. We don’t let the duck in. My head is super-confused. I’ve been ready to go to sleep from about 7pm (when it was still completely light outside), because the only times when I experience actual silence are when I go to bed with earplugs in.

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Game of Thrones is coming back, just in time to celebrate the 10th anniversary of George R. R. Martin announcing that book six, The Winds of Winter, will be out soon. (You might think I’m kidding, but the completion of the first four chapters WAS announced in June 2010…) Since we are unlikely to ever read the last two books, we have to focus on the final season. Which starts tomorrow.

Read further for a (mostly) spoiler-free list of my favourite characters…

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