Sunday, June 24

RAIN

My mother sent a postcard from France, saying she washed her clothes in the rain. Yesterday I called her and we talked a lot about the past. She said there's no point in regretting decisions we once made, we all make wrong decisions, that's just part of life.

Tuesday, June 19

ESCAPE

I haven't been in love for so long, and somehow I miss feeling that way. The confusion, the excitement, the insecurity. It's also a cheap way to escape from everyday life. Only the ability to escape seems to make life bearable.

Saturday, June 16

GUILTY

In July I'll be going to France, but only for about two weeks or so. I would love to stay longer, but feel guilty that I have to abandon my cat. Last time I left him he got so bored that he started eating my books. Despite the fact that he has a catsitter, most of my books now have bitemarks on them.

Sunday, June 3

BLACK BIKINI

Yesterday I went to the beach to get some sun, the first time this year. My black bikini had faded and now appeared to be too small. It gave me some male attention (the kind I didn't look for) so I decided it was time for a new bathingsuit. I'm now the proud owner of a multi-coloured bikini, which fits perfectly. It also makes me look like I'm sixteen. Well, that's what I tell myself anyway.

Monday, May 21

NEW JOB

Just started my new job last week, so I have less time to write. And I'm working twice as hard for the same salary. I guess it's normal these days.

Sunday, May 13

SMALL BITES

Reading Jeffrey Eugenides is like eating too much baklava. It's so good that you want more and more and more, so you stuff your face with it, only to realise that it's best to take small bites. I'm digesting Jeffrey in a small dose at the moment.

Saturday, May 5

THE RIGHT DRESS

Brussels is full of beautiful dresses. There were brandnew summerdresses everywhere, on every streetcorner I saw some on display. It wasn't that I needed to buy one, I just enjoyed looking at the different fabrics, the colours and textures, the promise that my life would be better if only I'd be wearing the right dress. Just when I felt completely liberated of my past, I bumped into my ex-boyfriend, who didn't notice me at first. I called out his name, just to see his face when he'd see me, and ask him what on earth he was doing here. There were memories of one long hot summer, the vegetarian meals he once cooked for me, the pictures on his walls and letters he wrote when I was away, in search of myself. At the time it felt like his love for me was somehow a sign of weakness. "Margot," he said and smiled the way he always did. He mentioned facebook and asked if I was on it. And I said: "No, not yet, just google me."

Monday, April 23

TWENTY-FOUR

Leaving for Brussels this weekend. When I was twenty-four I desperately wanted to live in Brussels. I guess part of me will always remain twenty-four.

Sunday, April 22

THE PSYCHOPATH TEST

Some time ago I read a book by Jon Ronson, called 'The Psychopath test, a journey through the madness industry.' I became interested in psychopathy after I diagnosed my ex-boyfriend as being one. ( He was arrested in California for assaulting his ex-girlfriend, apparently he dragged her through the living room by pulling her hair.) I was curious why a psychopath was able to inspire such tender feelings in me, even if this person was not able to feel anything at all (something to do with the amygdala hidden in our brain). The Bob Hare checklist teaches us that psychopaths often possess superfical charm, are manipulative and can be promiscuous. But don't worry, Jon Ronson writes, if you think you might be a psychopath, then you are not one.

Tuesday, April 17

FIRST TANGO

A few days ago I was supposed to have my first tango class. For no apparent reason I had signed up for tango classes at a place called Tango Passion. I hadn't felt passionate for a long time, and was hoping that this dance would do the trick. I arrived on time and left my coat and bag in the hallway. Tango Passion turned out to be located on the second floor of a dark, gloomy building, next to a bookstore which sells English books. A blond woman wearing extremely high heels quickly glanced at me and whispered: 'Hi'. There were about five or six creepy looking guys in the room, all of which where drinking herbal tea. I waited for about five minutes, then took my bag and coat and left. I spent the rest of the afternoon reading.

Saturday, April 14

BLUE

Last weekend I met up with my Italian friend A., who visited Holland during the Easter Holidays. She brought me some chocolates from my favourite shop in Switzerland, called Laderach. We talked about various troubles in our lives and men who are somehow important to us. She told me that Gluten Guy recently had a baby with his ex-girlfriend, which felt a bit like a relief. And contrary to what I expected, spring was making me feel slightly blue.

Thursday, March 8

STRUCTURE

If you work in a bureaucratic structure, part of your life is spent wishing your life away. Unless you really love your job.

Sunday, March 4

FACIAL HAIR

Why is it that Tom Selleck is the only guy who looks good with a moustache? In general I'm not a big fan of facial hair. It's too itchy when you try to kiss.

Friday, March 2

CHAT

The difference between a good hairdresser and a bad hairdresser is his ability to chat. I would say mine does an okay job.

Tuesday, February 28

CLOSE

My mother cried for hours after she heard the news about Prince Friso. We've always felt close to the Royal Family.

Monday, February 27

NAKED

In my dream I slept with Arnon Grunberg, but his mother walked in on us. I covered my body with his sheets, but she didn't seem to notice me. They continued talking as if I wasn't there. In the end I started cleaning his room, naked, but she still didn't notice me.

Saturday, February 25

BEING MARGOT

Sometimes I'm tired of being Margot. But recently I found out I have readers in Russia. So I guess I have to continue. I don't want to let my Russian readers down.

Thursday, February 23

DEAR DOMINIQUE

In a way you have to give Strauss-Kahn credit, for providing us free comedy. The guy apparently can't tell the difference between a secretary and a prostitute. Dear Dominique, if you read this: secretaries usually like to keep their clothes on, when they're at work. They also get paid considerably less per hour. If this is too confusing please ask your wife. Why she hasn't divorced you yet is another mystery.

Tuesday, February 21

PLEASURE

I'm not a Catholic, but I'd like to try and fast for a few weeks. There's happiness in denying yourself pleasure.

Monday, February 20

GRATITUDE

Lately I've been watching a lot of Oprah Winfrey dvd's. Oprah says you should take care of yourself, because you are worthy of taking care of. She also suggests keeping a gratitude journal, listing five things you are grateful for every day. Does it sound cheesy? I'm grateful for knowing Oprah.

Thursday, February 16

CONNECTION

Yesterday I had a small panic attack when I came home: there was no connection to the internet. I checked all the cables, turned off the computer, but it still didn’t work. Turned out my cat had thrown my modem on the floor. Sometimes it’s good to go cold turkey.

Wednesday, February 15

ETERNAL SUNSHINE

Valentine’s Day was a small disaster of course. Or in the words of Jim Carey: ‘Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap. ’ I’m wishing for the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind.

Tuesday, February 14

HOW TO BE HAPPY

This morning, on my way to work, I saw a young woman who was reading: ‘how to be happy in Holland – a practical guide.’ Her face looked very pale and serious, as if she really needed some advice. I wanted to run up to her and hug her, but at the same time didn’t want to freak her out. Let’s hope her practical guide is practical.

Monday, February 13

HUMAN CONTACT

Recently my library changed it’s customer service desk: you now pay your membership to a machine. In theory I don’t mind minimizing human contact, but not when it comes to books.

Thursday, February 9

TIRED AND ANGRY

I’d like a small cappuccino,’ I told the guy behind the counter. He looked tired and angry, as if he hated his life. ‘We only have one size,’ he said, and put the paper cup in front of me.
That’s what you get from visiting Starbucks too often; wishing things in life were small.

Tuesday, February 7

SHORT STORIES

Just finished reading Hanif Kureishi’s short stories, which are mainly about men who drink too much and cheat on their wives. Apparently Kureishi was accused of copying his own life and disguising real events as fiction. If this is true then bad relationships can still result in good literature.

Sunday, February 5

MY FIRST BOOK

Guess what. if you read Dutch, you can now buy a part of my first book: http://www.tenpages.com/manuscript/de_verovering
If you don't read Dutch don't worry, there's still time to learn.

Friday, February 3

PUTTANESCA AND FRIENDS

I’m not sure if C. and I are still friends. Last time we saw eachother she stormed into my favourite restaurant, saying: ‘I didn’t have time to buy you a birthday present, cause the Polish ambassador was my priority this week.’ She was forty minutes late, wore a new black dress and the highest heels I’ve ever seen. ‘Maybe you should have dinner with the Polish ambassador,’ I replied. She ordered pasta puttanesca and a glass of sparkling wine. We then pretended to have a normal conversation, but she never looked into my eyes.

Thursday, February 2

FIX IT

On Wednesday night my shower broke, but I managed to fix it myself. I was quite proud of my mechanical skills, but this morning it broke again.

Wednesday, February 1

SHAME (part two)

My favourite quote comes from the movie Dangerous Liaisons: “You’ll find that shame is just like pain, you only feel it once.”

Tuesday, January 31

CRUSH

Today it’s time for a small confession: I have a crush on Cesar Millan, also known as The Dog Whisperer. Since National Geographic started airing his shows I’ve basically been glued to my tv, watching growling monsters turn into loveable pets. According to Cesar’s philosophy every animal needs excercise, discipline and affection, possibly in that order. Since Cesar is visiting Amsterdam sometime soon I was hoping we could go on a romantic date, or maybe a quick drink. But part of me fears he will tell me that I need more discipline.

Saturday, January 28

PANCAKES

This morning I made pancakes for breakfast, but they were not edible. This year I plan to make edible pancakes. At least once.

Thursday, January 26

IMPECCABLE

On Sunday I went to see The Iron Lady, starring Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher. Meryl mastered the British accent perfectly, make-up and hair were impeccable, but the movie didn't strike me like I hoped it would. When the young Margaret accepts a wedding proposal she says: "I don't just want to cook and clean. One's life must matter." If anyone asks me to marry this year I will reply with the same phrase. One's life must matter. Don't you forget.

Monday, January 23

MATCHING HEELS

Lately I’ve been having a lot of strange nightmares. In my nightmares I keep losing things: a laptop, a lamp, a pair of matching heels. Yes, in my dreams lamps and shoes are made of the same fabric. I wonder what Freud would have to say about that.

Sunday, January 22

SONGS

Perhaps you’d like to know a bit about Saas Fee and my adventures there. I skied for six days in a row and didn’t want to stop. In the evenings I drank tea with J├Ągermeister with some handsome strangers and The Gluten Guy. After a few days of intoxication The Gluten Guy suddenly seemed very attractive. In the morning he would play songs by Adele and Coldplay, as if I’d never heard of them before. I must admit those lovesongs by Adele have struck a chord.

Saturday, January 21

LOVERS

I’ve had lots of different lovers, but the ones from Chile were the best. Just a random thought for today.

Monday, January 16

WAKE ME UP

In the train on my way to Bern a young man asked me: ‘So where are you going?’
‘Saas Fee,’ I replied, and tried to smile mysteriously.
I thought his next question would be: ‘What are you going to do there?’ but instead he said: ‘Could you wake me up when we get to Fribourg?’
‘Sure,’ I said, ‘I’ll wake you up.’

Wednesday, January 4

READY

All packed and ready to go to Saas Fee. I’ve brought two novels, two pairs of jeans, five sweaters and a lot of decent underwear. I’ve also packed a lot of different earrings and two ounces of green tea. I’m not bringing my computer on this trip, so will write more after twelve days. Please be patient and pray for my return.

Tuesday, January 3

PLEASURES

Today I went to the shops and bought a lot of stuff that I don’t need. Sweaters, skirts, a purple scarf and a new dress. If I were an intellectual I’d write a book called ‘On the Pleasures of Capitalism, why buying useless stuff makes you feel good.’ © But I’m not an intellectual. At least, no one has called me that.

Monday, January 2

ALLERGY

Okay, so the good news is: there will be one single and good looking guy accompanying us on our skiing trip. The bad news is he has a gluten allergy. Somehow it’s hard to be sexy if you can’t eat bread.

Sunday, January 1

POEM

Let's ease into this year with a poem called Riposte, by William Carlos Williams.


Love is like water or the air/my townspeople/it cleanes and dissipates evil gases/it is like poetry too/and for the same reasons/Love is so precious/my townspeople/that if I were you I would/ have it under lock and key -/like the air or the Atlantic or like poetry

Happy new year everyone! Have a wonderful whatever you have.