The mundane and the magical

The daffodils are blooming everywhere and even though I ran in 1 degrees on Saturday and we saw sunshine-that-doesn’t-actually-warm-things-up on the weekend, it is starting to feel like a new season is emerging. Perhaps it’s not just about a season per se, but because lockdown was lifted a few weeks ago and it feels like “normality” is being restored.

On Saturday night Andrew and I went into the centre and there was buzz and chatter, and that familiar smell of weed from coffee shop patrons. I also started a new job in January, and it feels so good to be challenged again, to be learning new things, and to be asking tens of questions a day. I’m working for an agtech company, and get to learn all about cows and the technology that monitors them and helps farmers to be more productive and sustainable. Each day I’m astonished by the product and the people, and it feels like exactly where I need and want to be now. In the pictures down below, you’ll see a pic of me at a dairy we visited a few weeks ago.

Highlights over the last few weeks include:

  • I got my booster jab
  • Took Rebecca for her first shot (technically I didn’t take her – Andrew did. And apparently the exercise needed two people to hold her down, and one to inject her. We’re trying not to think about the next shot she needs).
  • Border-hopped twice to Antwerp  while we were in lockdown for some shopping, eating out and to have my nails done. Disclaimer: we didn’t go ONLY for my nails, but it was a big bonus extra.
  • Enjoyed the most wonderful two-week visit from my inlaws. Even though everything was closed, it was still a “gezellig” time and the kids really loved the time with them too.
  • My birthday
  • Consistent morning runs and managing to not find that many excuses NOT to go, aside from pouring rain which is where I draw the line. I’ve been doing speedier sessions which I hate at the time, but love afterwards (don’t we all?). My running programme is less about long long runs, and more about quality sessions with enough time on the legs, and it seems to be working well for me – I’m not getting bored and I didn’t struggle too much on the marathons last year. All the beautiful – and unfiltered – sky pics are from some of my morning runs.
  • We have found a great cleaner who comes every two weeks. For more than a year we cleaned ourselves, and still do obviously, but having things more properly cleaned gives me much comfort and joy as she does a really thorough job and I can take a bit of a backseat that week when she’s here.
  • We have also found an incredible babysitter, who is also happens to be live-in – my son Max! We hadn’t found a new babysitter since our last one moved back to South Africa, and then I had the genius idea (if I say so myself) of asking Max and Rebecca if they’d be keen and comfortable to spend two hours on a Saturday night in each others’ company – and they were! It’s a win-win – they both enjoy their time together, and Andrew and I can spend some precious time together. After we came home after our first night out (five minutes away), Rebecca almost started crying that we were home so soon and asked us to go back out in the cold. Max also gets some pocket money so he can see a PS5 that he’s been saving for in the distance… I feel fairly comfortable and Max is really responsible and I feel they are safe enough in our apartment. Max has a phone, I’m in touch every half hour or so, and so far they haven’t drunk my gin or had wild parties while we’ve been out (it take a previously wild teen to know another one, and so far we’re okay).


  • I’m feeling way more confident driving here. I’ve been going to work once a week by car and on some other trips, and I’m getting a hang of things.
  • And lastly, I’ve learnt the hard’ish way that one always needs to ensure one’s tyres aren’t deflated. This is probably obvious to people smarter and with more bike common sense than me, but for months I hadn’t looked at my tyres and thought that my difficulty in riding was because I wasn’t biking fit, which is quite ridiculous in hindsight. It always felt like I was riding with high resistance even on my lowest gear, and I’d arrive everywhere fairly breathless. Eventually I thought that it was the bike, not me, so Andrew checked it out, pumped up the tyres. I now feel like what I imagine Chris Froome experiences on a Tour de France downhill finale. I feel liberated and fit again, and ready to overtake a slow cyclist. Simply because I can.  It’s the small big things, right?

Be back soon (I’ll try to not leave it for another two months).

Yours in daffodils and improved cadence,


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  • Merlien

    2 March 2022 at 5:25 pm

    Love your piece 😀 . My family and I moved to Delft in Nov from Durban, South Africa. It's so heartwarming hearing about your experiences […] Read MoreLove your piece 😀 . My family and I moved to Delft in Nov from Durban, South Africa. It's so heartwarming hearing about your experiences and how happy you are. I can't wait for the day when I'm settled too.😀 Read Less

    • Tanya
      to Merlien

      14 July 2022 at 8:07 am

      I hope you're settling in well x It's not easy (but worth it, as they say)

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