There are things that I don’t understand hanging over the 3D world in 2019 like a cloud of smog. Here’s my top 10… and yes, it might be controversial… I ask a few questions as well, they’re not sarcastic, I’d love to know if you have answers to them.

 

#Influencers

I am aware of the phenomenon of influencers, i.e. people who advertise things on their social media. What I do not understand is why anybody would follow them. It’s like voluntarily watching ads. Who would say, while watching a TV show, “phew! finally a break from this boring Game of Viking Outlanders and some ads!”? We all know that Kardashians, Jenners, and whoever is fashionable this week don’t even use the products they pose with. Some of them are kind of nice to look at, I guess (influencers, not products), but the brands pay them sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars, so this apparently works. Do you look at a photo of an #influencer holding a #vitamindrink with #kale and #spirulina and think “oh goody, now I know what to buy”? If yes, why?

 

The “top 10 things you are not allowed to wear/say/do after 30” articles

Like… why? Who cares what I wear? Those articles are mostly aimed at women, but men get their small share as well. I generally fail to understand ageism (see below), but those things confuse me much more. “A woman after 30 shouldn’t have this haircut/wear that brand/use this product.” I don’t understand both why somebody would come up with this sort of “advice” and why anybody would actually follow it. Do you believe that you must act “appropriately for your age”? Do you read those articles and…adapt?

This has a side effect. The store where I used to dress for years changed their designs, completely overhauling everything. I didn’t like those much, but bumped into an article where the owner described their clientele as “aged 16-24”. I was, uh, 34. It never occurred to me that clothes were age-assigned until then. I started reading on, then taking a closer look, and realised that if I were to follow the articles about age-appropriate clothing I would have to stop wearing clothes entirely between the ages of about 30 and 55. My age group has the most money and is simultaneously targeted by nobody. Why don’t you want my money, stores?

Speaking of clothing…

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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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Tuesday, March 19

I haven’t realised how extremely tired I was until my friend, the owner of the Magical Garden and the cabin where I am staying, left me alone. I texted Husby to tell him I arrived and everything was perfectly fine, then switched my phone off and sighed out loud “now I am offline”. This was the first surprise I gave myself.

I ate some bits and pieces, unpacked the essentials, used the gentlemen’s room, then left one lamp on and decided I needed real rest. So I went to lie in bed – there’s no door between the bed and the living space.

I sighed with pleasure as I stretched my aching bones, then decided the lamp was irritating me and I wanted the cabin to be lit only by the fire. I got up, switched the lamp off, then returned to bed.

I sighed with pleasure as I stretched my aching bones, then decided to get up and stop the toilet from doing that thing where you have to push the button again so it stops leaking indefinitely and making noise.

I sighed with pleasure as I stretched my aching bones, then shut my eyes. I opened them a moment later, alarmed, when I heard an odd sound – like a motorbike that’s going very fast, but the source of the sound was moving very slowly. It was an airplane. But the other noise, a louder one, was an owl looking for a one-night stand. I closed my eyes again and only then realised how extremely tired I’ve been.

*

In the last months, I’ve gone through a lot in my personal life, I ended up stuck in a legal dispute, and at the same time I am launching a book. If I had known earlier, I would have picked a different date, but the letter in which life was notifying me that it intended to get really intense must have gone missing. Coming here and getting off the grid for a week right before the book’s release date was probably shooting myself in the foot from the commercial point of view. But only now that I was able to rest have I realised how badly I needed it all this time.

After a while – it was still early – I decided to go for a short walk. To my dismay, I noticed some sort of brutal, bright light that made it difficult for me to do stargazing, so I turned… and faced the moon. It was so bright that I was literally casting a moonlight shadow. I gawked at the shadow, then back at the full moon. It was the only source of light around and no torch was needed. 

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