grateful for what life has to offer these days

life has been chock full of everything: emotions, changes, biking, autumn harvest, flukes and unexpected things happening

Like for instance in Utrecht, where the husband and self went to an exhibit at the Future Food Raum, and we ended up in a tiny caravan just opposite from where we were heading, found ourselves amidst a gathering of youngsters who could have been our kids, having bumped into Stan who invited us to come and join him for his workshop 'the 7 keys to happiness' how could we refuse?
colourful caravans

Stan the Man on the left
lovely studio for artist-in-residence, in this case Chloé Rutzerveld, food designer

I'm glad we met Stan as the food of the future was pretty bland.....fortunately we also met up with friend L. making for a very pleasant afternoon

An emotional last September work-week at Miele (my former employer) saying goodbye to lots of folks and a final goodbye party at one of my now ex-colleagues house Saturday a week ago.
Sunday a day filled with live music as a coup le of us went on a so-called indoors tour in Gorinchem (Binnenskamers) where people with nice (i.e. large) houses open their doors and let us strangers in to enjoy several live  acts; I wany to mention Helga Buitelaar, a local artist singer-songwriter extraordinaire; 

I always love live music, say to self I should attend such events more often and so I have booked 2 tickets to Father John Misty in November! yay am so happy

my life is happening: back home from my last day in the Miele-office I received a request from a friend: would I like to exhibit together with other artists in the theatre in Gorinchem (nearest town) for the performance of choir Klink! (for 2 days in December)
yes of course I would and I instantly had ideas, small journey clothstrips  with feathers and crystal pendants suspended from the ceiling, rather theatrical and so fitting I think

more importantly I realised I feel liberated,  as if the mist in my brain has evaporated now that I have made a positive choice, a job closer to home, less pay but also more time and freedom of movement!
after months of agony about the whole outsourcing project, the sense that I was stuck and had to spend so many hours commuting.....all that has gone and I am full of energy

a glimpse of the fridge: glass bottles with milk, buttermilk, vanilla vla, from a farm very nearby where they make farmer's cheese and also sell other dairy produce, lucky us; bottle on the left is my home made kombucha, my yoga teacher gave me my first scoby. I only thought to show this as the basket in the top image was bought in this farmers shop this morning! 

meanwhile in our front garden, the sweet chestnut has been extremely generous; so far I have gathered 15 kilograms in the basket below, more are falling as I type....on the right a roedeer hindquarter, which has now been simmering since 1 pm this afternoon, after an hour's marinating. It's now 6:30 pm so the meat will have fallen off the bone, mmm looking forward to a warm dish like this as Autumn has arrived, with a glass of red wine of course

so what about my new job as receptionist/handyman? I have been there everyday this past week, not quite full-time but getting to know the ropes; I feel it's gonna be just fine for 2,5 days, I get to meet many people and make their welcome into the building a friendly experience.
It's in the Business Centre Gorinchem meaning it's close enough to cycle to, which I have done for 4 days now (skipped Thursday as the wind and rain were just too fierce) the cycling itself is an adventure:
day number 1 saw me losing my bag which I had attached the wrong way round, duh (I did manage to retrieve it and fix it the right way round)
day number 3 on the bike started off just fine, and just as I was humming a fine tune thinking how perfect all it was, it started to rain, but believe it or not, my leggings stayed dry as the breeze combined with the heat produced by the cycling made everything all right again
day number 5 on my way to work I lost an earring whilst fidgeting with my scarf, so had to stop, get off, walk back and pick up the beautiful jewel, it was Roz's ! On my return journey through the woods I lost the left pedal! ugh got off and tried to fix that....managed to cycle back home and will have to deal with that tomorrow

What amazed me most is how unfazed and relaxed I was through it all: this was the most meaningful realisation for me, how un-stressed I have become.....finally

basket overflowing


Mo Crow said…
(((Saskia))) such a beautiful post full of "the muchness" as the Mad Hatter said to Alice!
Debbie said…
Fascinating post, I am glad you have less stress, it is the way we should all be heading, less is more.
Marti said…
Everything about this blog post Saskia speaks to the kind of strong, open woman that you are,how you live your life and it is all a heart tug. Good for you for finding opportunities and in so doing, freeing yourself for what comes, more time, an art show, live music attendance.

This post also tugs at my stomach because I would love your comfort food. Reminds me so much of what I ate as a child in autumn and winter- venison stews, pigeon, duck, pheasant, rabbit. Good memories of warmth, good food, laughter and even at age 6, a little red wine in my glass because my Spanish parents cooked most of these meals with wine and believed in letting us taste everything. We always had family and friends over and when they knew there would be a special stew, they would call it "Fiesta" time (Fiesta the Spanish word for celebration) so thank you for your photo of your "Fiesta."
susan hemann said…
lovely post, I'll stick to the foo in the present, much more appetizing!
Anonymous said…
love the bike ride reports -- and as you say, how 'unphased' you were about the mishaps... it speaks to a decision really well made. as does the opportunity popping up in the change's immediate wake. congrats. but really, thank you -- for this window into your life... it does me good to ride along with you now and then!
Sue McQ said…
Dear S...wishing you a smooth transition in your new place of employ. The cloth suspended with the rusty patch is fantastic. Can I come over and sit in your studio? I promise to be very quiet.
Julie S said…
funny how words can exude calm. i love your surrender to the Gods of Cycling Mischief.
saskia said…
muchness it is Mo!

all we have to do is say YES to less Debbie

oh the comfort of stews Marti, I do believe we have spoken of this before, which doesn´t surprise me as Autumn and shorter days usually make for longer evenings and yearnings for heartwarming food; I do enjoy hearing about your personal memories; the meals we are able to make with produce from the land closeby are reason for Fiesta.

Saskia said…
it was delicious Susan, if I say so myself

you are welcome Dee, you know how much I enjoy the view into yours!

oh wish that you could Sue, who knows maybe one day you'll come visiting this small country of ours

why Julie, extraordinary how these particular Gods have taught me so much, haha

this is late, but i've carried it around in my heart since you posted
What a FULL sense of Everything and how we can come to believe in our
intuitive selves...letting the intuition lead and surrendering to follow.
I am so happy for you...Love and Love...
Saskia said…
it is a big deal, truly
how i've come to trust it more & more
these days
Nancy said…
Waves and waves of pure happiness wash over me as I read of your latest antics and most importantly, your lack of stress. More than anything else of late, your words here give me hope. xo



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