Our 5 yr old is as any her age well aware that dinos roamed the world ‘a very long time ago’ even before humans existed. Two weeks ago we discussed the Dodo (because it figured in a cartoon she likes), and how it died out in the late 1600’s.

Last night as I brought her to bed she asked me what werewolves are, and I told her that ‘vroeger‘ (an unspecified long time ago) people believed there were people who turned into wolves at full moon. “Did you believe that when you were young, vroeger?” she asked. So I specified that with my vroeger I meant a long time before even I was born, some 300 to 500 years ago.

To which she replied:

“Ah, so that was after the dinos, but during the time of the Dodo.”

Indeed, that’s correct 😀
I love how this shows how she is constructing mental images of the order in time of things and clears up the mists of time for herself. The dino’s demise at one end, us at another, and a marker for when the Dodo went extinct, with belief in werewolves somewhere before that marker. Vroeger.

It’s the first of September, and we’re starting the final third of the year. There are 122 more days in 2021, of which 82 working days. The summer hiatus is over. I feel lucky we were able to spend two weeks in Denmark, and another week in France. In the spring we assumed we would stay home as we did last year. Especially when the number of Covid cases surged just before the summer due to premature easing of restrictions, the likelihood of travel diminished.

The weeks away were needed and helpful. At the start of this year I couldn’t focus much on anything, and while that later improved, most things felt sluggish and uninspiring. Being out and about with the three of us gave me new energy and ideas.

In the coming 4 months I’ll keep doing a few things as I did them in the past months, to maintain balance. Like only allowing meetings and conversations in one half of the day. Like using the evenings mostly to read fiction (55 thus far this year). Like avoiding urgent things as much as possible, because those make me feel like being prescribed what to do. I also want to add a few regular things. A weekly lunch out with E, to have time for ‘normal’ conversations together, like we did today. Spend more time reading non-fiction books, something I’ve mostly failed at for years, but now feel more capable to, having relearned myself how to read non-linearly and having a note making routine to do something with the things I read (I even mention this on my /now page, showing the strength of the need I feel to address this).

I also restarted making ‘month maps’ which I skipped mostly in the spring as one month bled into another. ‘Month maps’ are overviews I make at the start of a month, exploring the things I want to finish in the coming weeks, the things I’m dreading or likely to procrastinate on for which I then define small actions to help overcome that, the things I want to avoid becoming urgent, and a general list of things to pay attention to.

Work wise I have the luxury of being able to focus on one project mostly, which happens to be on a topic, the new European digital and data legal frameworks, that is just becoming relevant to data holders and will stay that way for the coming few years. It’s the biggest legal change in data re-use since the first open data directive en the INSPIRE a dozen or so years ago. In my experience having one such ‘steady’ thing going, makes it easier to acquire other work for my company, as I don’t feel urgency to make it so.

Hiatus ex!

We’re in the city that the bikes suggest. Drove here yesterday, now staying in a beautiful house that even would be great if we had to quarantine. Except for getting groceries of course. No isolation is needed though. We used a test to get into the country (having stood in a traffic jam to cross the border like it was 1995, or 1996 in the case of the Danish-German border), and got another test within a day of arrival. From now on our jabs are qualification enough to move around among the Danes, it was just not quite the two weeks since the last jab which counts as fully vaccinated and needed to get into the Dane mark without testing.

This is how we rolled today, Y having the luxury of being driven around (E has the better pics). And how I found out that cycling to the Copenhagen suburbs goes uphill in unexpected ways for my Dutch cycling legs. The G maps tell me there’s some 32 meters of height difference between our home and the water in the harbour we visited today. Our own home in NL is 2 meters above the water. Which is better than the up to minus 7m that areas towards the coast have (meaning in many places you’d cycle down from the sea shore, not up like today)

It’s great to travel with the 3 of us again. We’re good at it. I didn’t allow myself to miss travel the past 16 months, but I enjoyed the long drive and I am very much enjoying we’re here now.

Ever since I was a child in primary school, my mental image of a year has been that of a circle, with January and December at the bottom, and July and August at the top (you’ll notice that this means the months aren’t evenly spaced around the circle in my mental image, spring takes up less of the circle than the fall. It’s a mental image, not a precise graph, likely influenced by my childhood sense of the endlessness of summers, and the long period of darkening days of fall and winter).

My mental image of a year ever since childhood

This Monday I completed a full circle around that image: I’ve been reading my own blog posts from previous years on each day, to see which of those I can take an idea or notion from to convert into a note in my digital garden (named ‘Garden of the Forking Paths‘). Peter has been going around the circle with me I read today (which in turn prompted me to write this), starting from my posting about it last year. He’s been reading his old blogposts every day, not just to reread but also to repair links, bring home images to self-host, clean up lay-out etc. I’m sure I am and have been my own blog’s most avid reader ever since I started writing in this space 19 years ago, and like Peter had been using my ‘on this day’ widget to repair old blog posts since I added the widget in early 2019.

Now I’ve come full circle on reading those blogposts for a year to mine them for their ideas and notions. The next cycle until the summer of 2022 I am adding a layer.

I will of course be making another round through my own blogposts like I did before. Because sometimes I missed a day, I haven’t repaired all of them each day, and I may take new meaning from them the next time I read them.
The layer I’m adding is also reviewing the personal notes I made on this day last year. This concerns the daily notes I make (a habit I started in April 2020), the other notes I’ve created on a certain date (work notes, ideas, travel etc), and indeed the blog posts I converted to notes dated on this day last year.

I see Frank has also picked up on Peter’s posting, and is embarking on a year of reading his own daily postings as well. Like Frank, I have never blogged on this day of the year since this blog started. And like for his blog, that has now changed.

Going in circles… I suspect life is circles, not turtles, all the way down. At least when you get a bit older that is.

X marks the spot.

X marks the spot

Our 5 yr old and I did a treasure hunt with a map she drew. And indeed we found the x mark right where the map told us it would be…