Α five o’clock sky. Birds chirping in the dewy silence. A summer-time restlessness  settling in  the system. I never have qualms about going to bed early if my body is ready to call it a day.


However, as days expand, my interest in sleep declines. I go to bed with the feeling of ticking off an item from a list.  I wake up early and despite the itchy feeling in my eyes, I get up, check the time and take in the view. I open the window for a breath of fresh air…Breakfast

I marvel at the transition from the gloomy darkness of the long winter evenings to the glorious resurrection of life. This season, which looks soft on the outside, but is tough on the inside, demands to be lived to the fullest.

No room for discounts and discussions. Light is back.



March has been sugar coated.

An impending deadline was what it took to make the social agenda fill up and swell with all kinds of delightful commitments. Travels, reunions, home dinners, lunches, workshops and classes… I have levitated on clouds of good energy. I have been marinated in positive attention and consideration. I feel all tender.

This is a transition like many in the past few years, but it does feel somewhat different. I am moving and moving on. I have a white canvas in front of me and of course, I do not know how things will turn out. I am still pondering, still on the lookout, still landing.

I am here now, but as I heard someone saying on TV today, life is border-less. You may draw lines on a map, but kindred spirits know no limits. I do wish I could fold the corners of the world to the middle and have all my friends at the same place, at least for some time, though. The new friends and the old friends. The people who are rarely named here, but who are so often present between the lines and behind the pictures.

After several years of frequent traveling I can only conclude that my travel stress has not disappeared; on the contrary, I think it has increased. It is a transition-related anxiety that bubbles up despite my love of change. It mainly consists of fretting over the things to do before taking off.

Rounding up, packing, tidying up. I hate to leave a mess behind. Once everything is in order and I have closed the door behind me, my mind automatically switches to travel mode and I can genuinely enjoy the process. This weekend was special and much anticipated, as I was to reunite with a very close friend after almost three years…

Floweringtree LakeCasadelCampo

We talked and talked. We strolled around the streets of Malasana and Lavapies. We had coffee in the sun. We made onigiris and talked some more.

omigiri2 bananacake5

We ate patatas bravas, went to a barbecue and looked for dates in at least ten grocery stores. We finally found some and used them when baking a birthday cake. We walked by the Manzanares river and in the Casa del Campo. We watched a movie and had late afternoon siestas…
Market Bonboneria Pasteleria


Travel stress may be here to stay, but it is compensated manifold.

This past weekend I topped up my well-being credits.

Saturday started with an orthodontist appointment and a morning tea with a friend; it continued with a cooking class, a long afternoon coffee with a friend, a dinner with another friend and later on a party. Sunday was kicked off with morning lounging short but sweet followed by yoga, garnished with new acquaintances and rounded up with late Indian dinner with friends; by the time the paneer and red bean stew were on the table, relaxation was hovering in the air and time did not matter anymore.

The positive vibrations spilled over into the new week. On Monday I kept the momentum by visiting a close friend to celebrate her birthday; I must have been quite tired by the time I was dropped off in front of my apartment because I managed to mysteriously loose my purse somewhere in between the car and the front door.

I was not defeated however; On Wednesday evening after work, I gave my feet some tender love and care and then walked with light steps to meet up with nice colleagues for Korean dinner. Tonight I am cooking for my guests – two couples and a dog. The dog will most probably not care to try my culinary skills and will hopefully make itself comfortable somewhere on my living room floor. I will for myself make sure to lay back and enjoy the process with the minimum amount of stress. Rather than aiming at being the perfect hostess, I will aim at having fun. Life is too short not to take the necessary shortcuts…

Into the tramway came a little singing girl on a stroller pushed by her mother who got a seat next to me.

Twinkle, twinkle little star echoed in the wagon full of sullen people on their way home from work.

The little girl, Mariam, looked up on an ad posted above her head; I can see a hand mom, she said, a thumbs up!

Her mother laughed. Isn’t it strange she asked, a hand hovering just like that in the air, does it exist? Mariam giggled.

We had to get off the tram and change to a bus. Again we stood next to each other, I and the mother, a young woman with a black braid tucked under a dark red cap.

She’s in a good mood, I commented. Oh yes, the mother answered, children are just amazing. We need that kind of energy I said, and the hope…With all the wars going on around us, replied the mother, we definitively do! We are lucky to live here and to be able to offer everything we can to our children, she added.

We got off at the same stop. We greeted each other and walked off to different directions.

People can be cruel and corrupt. But sometimes life beams at you with an unspoilt smile, like that of a little singing girl.

There is no space in this world for the tug of blown up egos; the world belongs to Mariam and it’s time she got it back.

Chick on a Pea

a vegetarian, gluten & sugarfree culinary lab by a chick who loves her peas!

Sadness Theory

Music with passion for the environment

zee pause café

taking a moment, having a coffee, writing down some thoughts


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