Ten Years

Yesterday it was exactly ten years ago that my mother died. She died in a hospital in Imperia, Italy at 15:00. We went to the park where we spread her ashes, and remembered her by enjoying the warm weather, strong winds, each other’s company and all the excited dogs that were being walked in the park. Jody had made delicious sandwiches, I had brought ginger beer and vodka, and Robin had squeezed a bunch of limes, so we could make our own Moscow Mules. Ruurd and Moulsari were there as well. When the weather turned bad, we decided to have dinner at an Italian restaurant in Hoorn, ate food, had wine, drank limoncello until we were all drunk and happy. It was a good day.

(I think it’s really appropriate that yesterday was such a windy day. There was so much energy in the air. Wild is the Wind, after all.)

I realised that I haven’t been sad about her death for a long while now. Sure I’m sad, but not in a way that it momentarily stops my heart when I suddenly realise. Nowadays the first thought of the day after waking up is no longer the crushing realisation of her departure. She pushed me in the right direction and for a while the momentum was gone, but I feel like her death has now galvanised me and I have regained momentum in life. I can only hope that my brother and sister feel the same way.

Natural Charisma

It’s interesting when you meet someone with natural, undeniable charisma. Last week I was invited to a party at the house of one of Joasia’s acquaintances in Exeter.

The previous night I had gone a little overboard celebrating the release of our new software with my colleagues and afterwards had some food with Robin and Mounir at Rum Barrel. During our stay there, Sam joined us with a lady friend, and we got bombarded with different rum drinks. Needless to say, the following morning, when I flew to Exeter, I was feeling a little rough. I picked up some limoncello to bring to the party; to cure that which ails you, you need a hair of the dog that bit you, as they say.

Anyway, the acquaintance is a mathematician at the university of Exeter, and as a result there were a lot of really cool, smart people at the party. Number theorists, lecturers in logic and the like. Luckily, I wasn’t the dumbest person in the room for a change, since there were also a few civilians at the party, like myself.

One of them was a Scottish neighbour by the name of Keith, and from the moment he walked in, he and I were chatting. He was a bit older and confident, and impressively charming. He was a radio broadcaster and unsurprisingly had a way with words.

We shot the shit, and I couldn’t rightly tell you what it was that we chatted about, but the conversation and the limoncello went well together and helped me forget about my mild hangover. It’s unlikely I’ll ever meet Keith again, but he’ll go down as my single evening man crush of 2018.

New Office

My company just moved to another office and it’s been an interesting process. The last time we moved offices was quite a few years ago and I remember that to have been a pretty smooth transfer. Admittedly, we were a bit smaller then. This time it didn’t go quite as smoothly.

Yesterday, upon arriving at the new office, which is in an area of Amsterdam where there are currently many construction projects, I found that the building we’re in is still under active construction. It turned out that not just our building, but also our office was still under active construction. Small things, like water in the kitchen was missing and we only had one sink in the bathrooms that provided water. But more legit things like missing toilet doors and only two working electricity outlets. The latter was exciting, since we connected everyone to these sockets and it was a miracle that everything was sort of up and running.

We started unpacking boxes, arranging desks and clearing some of the mess. By the afternoon, when most of that had been done, the office actually started to look kind of nice. We still had construction workers roaming around, drilling everywhere, and everything is kind of covered in a perpetual layer of dust, but it was turning out alright.

The whole place has a bit of a dead-tech, post-modern, industrial feel to it, but it looks kind of cool. Hopefully I’ll be able to take a few cool photos once things are looking a bit more presentable and I can share what the office looks like. Until that time there is a lot of freewheeling, troubleshooting and unusual shit to take care of. Hurrah!(?)

A Funny Incident

My weekend has been wonderfully lazy. Joasia and I went to see a film, had some dinner together, and generally just lazed around. On Sunday morning we decided to go to Staring at Jacob for a late breakfast. The weather being as wonderful as it was, we sat outside, enjoyed some really good food and chatted together. We cycled back home and about halfway home is when it happened. I suddenly felt like I had a strange, almost out-of-body experience. It felt as if I had taken some MDMA. A general wooziness that wasn’t entirely unpleasant. I think perhaps my blood sugar levels may have been impacted by the food. I have never really experienced it, so I am using this post to plant a flag and remind myself in case it happens again.

No Longer an Eligible Stem Cell Donor

Years ago I submitted myself as a potential donor for stem cells. I went through the whole rigamaroo of giving blood, getting tested, etc. Unfortunately, I was just called by the organisation that arranges this to go over my medical history. Unfortunately, the thrombosis and subsequent pulmonary embolism I suffered in 2013 makes me no longer eligible to be a donor. Kind of sad about that.