Friday, 22 March 2013

Back on the blogging saddle

I have been staying away from blogging for quite some time, I know; but it was for a good reason.

Last year my chronic migraines became more frequent than ever before and unfortunately, sitting in front of a bright computer screen was one of the things that made the headaches worse. This meant I had to reduce the amount of time I spent in front of the pc and ergo, the time I spent blogging and reading my favourite blogs.

The good news is that I have finally found the medication that really helps with the pain and even if I still have migraines, they are less strong and they last only until the medication kicks in -usually 30-45 minutes- so I am hoping that from now on I will at least be able to do some blogging and sharing sights and news from this small part of the world. I also have to catch up with the blogs I used to follow and which I loved reading; I hope my blogger friends will understand why I have been staying away for so long.

I will soon make ten years since I moved to the Netherlands. In all these years I have accumulated an enormous amount of photographic material that in a way chronicles my life in this country. The main idea when I started this blog was to share this material with you here in the blog, so I am now hoping that I will be able to keep it up, migraine-free, if possible.

Here I am then, back in the blogging saddle.

A book recommendation

Homesick for the Netherlands - Martin Bril asks, what do you think, when you think of the Netherlands?
I am currently reading a book that I initially bought to take with me to Argentina last year, for those times when I miss being here in the Netherlands: Heimwee naar Nederland or Homesick for the NL, by Martin Bril. In the end, I did not take the book with me (too bulky) and I only got round to start reading it now. I love it!

 In this book Bril describes the country that he knew all his life and keeps asking, "what do I think of when I think of the Netherlands?" I am happy to say that many, many of the places and things he describes, I've seen, experiencedor can relate to; they are the same things that make me nostalgic of this country when I am away.

Martin Bril was a well-known columnist who wrote for important Dutch newspapers, like Het Parool and De Volkskrant and he is considered the ultimate chronicler of the modern-day Netherlands. Unfortunately, he died of cancer in 2009 but many of his stories and his work has been collected in a number of books, such as Dertig graden in de schaduw  (in English, Thirty Degrees in the Shadow),  Au Revoir, (Goodbye), or De Donkere Dagen (The Dark Days). In Heimwee naar Nederland you will find some of the best pieces he wrote about this country and I seriously recommend it if you can read Dutch (I don't think he has been translated into English, unfortunately). 

So, what do you think of, when you think of the Netherlands?


Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane said...

Hi Aledys! Glad to see you back. I understand all about your migraines as I am closely related to a migraine sufferer! I'm glad you found the right meds, because your life is so impacted by these headaches.

I love Martin Bril and have a couple of his books - Overal wonen mensen, and Rokjesdag.

I wonder how well translating his writing would work because it is so culturally specific and atmospheric.

Nice to see you back. Keep writing! Groetjes.

Ellie Foster said...

Dear Aledys
Welcome back and I'm sorry you have had health problems. I hope you will find your migraines have been sorted out now.
Best wishes

Ana O said...

Que feo tener migra#as! Que bueno que encintraste la medicacion ideal y que puedas volver al mundo virtual!

Unknown said...

@Miss Footloose,
Thanks a lot! Yes, it is so true: when you suffer from migraines, your whole life gets put on hold sometimes.
I agree with you about translating Bril's books - I would certainly do recommend reading him to expats living now in the NL and this book in particular, would be great for you, who have been away from home for quite some time ... snif, snif... :)

Unknown said...

@Ellie Foster and @Ana O, thanks a lot girls!

Barbara said...

Aledys, I've missed you! Sorry you have been unwell, but glad you're coping better now.

Scott said...

Excellent post..Thanks for such a insight..Keep on doing this

Anonymous said...

I used to suffer from migraines when I was younger, so you have my absolute sympathy. I'm glad you've found a medicine that works for you. I look forward to more of your posts and photos!

Martin said...

Martin Bril was known for the expression "rokjesdag", the first sunny day in spring when all women simultaneously decide that the time/temperature is right to wear a short skirt.