Taking back control.

Life is good on Mallorca this January month. The days are sunny and soft, mostly 13 or 14 degrees Celsius, it feels like a mild spring, like always this time of year. But the nights are cold. Colder than other years and colder than when we lived on Ibiza. It’s around freezing temperatures and when we wake up I see the plants and earth covered with a thin layer of ice.

Early mornings in January are cold when you live off grid. Sometimes I light the rocket stove and make a fire straight when I get out of bed, but today it was so cold I went back under my warm duvet. Soooo good, especially with a warm cat next to you! Dorus was already on his way to his building job he’s doing at the moment. He cycles each day 1,5 hours to get there. Yes, on this cold morning under my warm duvet I thought of him on his bicycle, and I said to myself: just enjoy for the two of you, to feel guilty is a waste of time girl!

Still practising to lose that guilt and to silence the Calvinist little voice in my head. Slowly making progress. While I was still in bed this morning I thought about my family, especially my mum and sister. It has been a year since I saw them. Luckily my brother and sister-in-law visited us last June. Next April my mother will turn 82. It’s hard for her to live alone, I know that so well. But still, knowing this doesn’t make me a frequent caller, and when we call we mostly talk about the state of the world, and guess what, covid is still part of it. 


It’s a fascinating time we are living in. The developments around covid, such as the covid-passport and the coercion to get vaccinated are disturbing. We went to a protest in Palma two weeks ago. Walking through the streets of Palma with so many people, some of them with drums and whistles, young and old. It was moving. It was peaceful. Police was only present, that’s all. No fights or aggression like you see in other covid protest around the world. None of this here. It gave me hope, although we still have the covid-passport and exclusion of a large group of people and medical discrimination are daily business in most European countries. 

Protesting against these shameful policies around the world is necessary, but there’s more than covid. More other crises yes, but also more life. Since the new year I promised myself not to dive into the media on this topic that strongly anymore, as I felt negative about it all.

Especially the cold November month was a difficult month because we lost our cat, Liefje. He disappeared and hasn’t returned. I miss him so much. Lately I have dreams that he’s back again, scruffy and hungry. But deep down I know he won’t return anymore. He now lives in cat heaven, leaving a little hole in my soul. 

Donate a compost loo

Dorus wanted to do something with our sadness around his disappearance. In December we received a message from an animal sanctuary here on Mallorca. They needed a compost toilet and asked us if we could make one for the animal sanctuary. Dorus did and we donated the toilet to them. Dorus felt he should do this in remembrance of our cat Liefje. I think this was such a sweet gesture. The animal sanctuary is a wonderful place, with abandoned, neglected, and handicapped cats, donkeys, pigs, sheep , etc. The owner, Nicole, does a fantastic job. 

To donate this toilet gave us a good and positive feeling. That’s why we need to support the things we believe in. To transform the sadness into something meaningful, into love and trust. I felt that too during the manifestation. To move into action, even if it’s just small. That’s what I try to do this new year, so I’m in the driver’s seat again (the symbolic one, as you probably know, I am carless 😉

Support what you believe in

That’s also why I gifted us a membership of the Dutch Party for the Animals over Christmas. Because we only can vote in the Netherlands, we want to support this party for its important work it does for humans and animals and planet. Also with regard to covid, the Dutch Party for the Animals are doing the right thing. In contrary to all other Dutch leftish parties, they are the only party that rejects the covid passport and the covid law and defends everybody’s freedom to choose to get vaccinated or not. Proud of this party! In Spain we have a Party for the Animals too, PACMA (Partido Animalista Contra el Maltrato Animal). Their approach is a bit different though, more case to case, instead of seeing the bigger picture like the Dutch party does. Anyway, maybe I will join them too in the near future.

Turning sadness into joy and positivity and hope doesn’t mean we don’t allow ourselves to be sad. Feel and sit with our sorrows first, accept we feel this way, and then turn it into a (small form of) action.  And to know what feels right and doesn’t feel right, such as for me, not to be overwhelmed by (social) media, is something to be more serious about.

Speaking about control…You remember this one? Janet Jackson’s Control. Always loved this song (and the moves..)

Here she’s again:

Con Amor,


It’s So Unfair.

Why is it that some of us have so much on their plates? Not in the sense of work or activities. No, I mean too much as in loss, pain and grief.

fairness doesn’t seem to belong here
a heart doesn’t beat unchanged
lungs don’t breathe air parallelly
a body doesn’t survive equally
body cells don’t divide unvaryingly
a baby crib’s country doesn’t count evenly
no, fairness doesn’t seem to belong here
sometimes the spirits have other plans
and care for us differently in ways
we cannot comprehend.

Too much

Why is it that some of us have so much on their plates? Not in the sense of work or activities. No, I mean too much as in loss, pain and grief.

Every now and then this question grabs me and words as “it’s so unfair” always end up rolling off my tongue. Last Thursday morning I said these words again. I opened my mailbox and I scrolled down the bullshit information (most of it). Since three months or so I receive a daily newsletter of a Dutch newspaper which is kind of strange as I’ve never subscribed to it. Anyway, I don’t always take a further look, but that morning I did. My eyes stopped when I read the headline and I decided to open the article. I was able to read it as it wasn’t hidden behind a paid wall. Yes, it was about her. His sister he was so proud and fond of.


I read that she died at the age of 37, Paulien van Deutekom, the former Dutch world champion all round speed skating. She left behind a 1-year-old little daughter and husband, her family and friends after she suffered from cancer.

For quite some years I lived together with her brother in a student home in Rotterdam. I remember he said how disciplined she was, always moving, training, cycling. Living a healthy life. Working hard. On top of that she had such a sweet heart. I met her a couple of times in our student home years ago. Her brother was so proud of her. Unfortunately over the years I lost contact with him, but I was able to send him a message which he replied the other day. What can you say to someone who experiences such a painful loss? I mentioned it’s so unfair to lose her at such a young age, just like I felt it. This unfairness lingers in my head.

We woke up

I talked with my partner about it and he always seems to look at death differently than I do. More from a distance. I’m sucked into it and almost can feel the pain of those who experience a heavy loss. I feel sadness when I hear news like that. I imagine the broken hearts. But I also feel it hits me like somebody pinches me and I tell myself “thank God I’m alive”. Dorus and I, we woke up this morning. My mother woke up this morning. My sister. My brother. Dorus’s dad in New Zealand. His brothers and sisters. Their partners woke up. Our friends. We all woke up this morning. Nobody is ill.

Intense life

People like Paulien, they lived their life as all which they experienced had to be squeezed in a short time. Therefore it was an intense life. Maybe to another person it would held a complete lifetime. They truly lived. In their short, but lives well lived my partner sees a certain consolation. Yes, it’s a beautiful thought, yet for a parent or brother we can’t imagine how it must be to live with this cruel reality.

50th birthday

My sister turned 50 last Friday. I wasn’t there, but in thought I was and automatically I went back to March 2015 when a doctor said she possibly had metastatic cancer. I took the first plane to be with her and my family. In that time we were torn between hope and fear. I will never forget how thankful I was my sister wasn’t severely ill, but would be able to become healthy again. In the end she recovered from her illness. My old roommate’s sister didn’t.

Cherish what you have

It’s a fact, we can’t control everything in life. However, as the words which a friend wrote to me say: what we do control is how we cherish what we have and to make the right decisions for ourselves, with love and without regrets. It’s true. It’s powerful.

Con Amor,


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