Between the dots #9

I think I can honestly say that I have lost every sense of time. How is it September already? I don't even remember what happened in August. So for this little recap, it's going to be a deep dive into my calendar, e-mail and notebooks, because otherwise I have to stop writing here. Let's see where this adventure will get us, shall we?

The sweet

The first happy thing I encountered: to celebrate the first year of them being together, a dear friend asked me to take photos of her and her boyfriend. Nothing fancy, just a couple of things they often do together: playing a board game, walking to the swing set around the corner, and going for a ride on their newly acquired tandem bicycle. I love this type of photo session. And I'm so happy that I chose to document daily life instead of just the big life events.

Speaking of which, I also got to be a wedding photographer again in August. It was a long, but fortunately relaxed day. Nothing was rushed. And the couple and their families and friends were such lovely, caring people. I feel truly blessed to have been a part of their wedding.

The day after the wedding, I had my last church service of this year. Well, one that I had to prepare and lead. It was extra special for it was in the church where I spent my teenage years. So I knew almost everyone who was there. In the preceding weeks, I was so nervous. Almost like I had never done this before. And I even fell back to my old pattern of writing the sermon the night before. Yes, you read that correctly: after a 13-hour day of photographing, I wrote an entire sermon. Everything went fine, and everyone was so pleased to see me after all this time. And I was happy to be back. It felt a little bit like the ends of a circle coming together. But that's a story for another time.

Other happy things this month included a lunch date and a breakfast date with Matthijs, endless days in the garden, hours and hours of making lists and sketches and plans for what I want the garden to look like in five years, and a morning at a tree nursery where I bought a birch and a beech tree.

The sour

The not-so-fun part of this month was the ongoing heatwave. I stop functioning above 25°C, so imagine how well these thirteen days went... It was a good thing we had one of these weeks as our 'official' summer vacation, so we went to our private campsite (aka our garden), put up a tarp, read books, showered ourselves with water from the ditch, ate endless ice creams, and did nothing at all. That is to say, I did nothing at all, my crazy husband still thought it a great idea to dig out the pathway in the burning sun.

I also learned that a photo session during a heatwave is not the best idea. For the first time ever my camera started to break down. At first, it refused to show any of the photos we had taken, giving a reading error every time I tried. Then it refused to shut down, which is not great for battery life. Luckily, my friend was more relaxed about this than I was, so we went back to her house to see if the photos were still there. But lessons learned: check for backup cards before you leave the house, start saving up for a second camera, bring your own computer to check if everything is ok.

Another less fun event this month was my body showing every single symptom of early pregnancy. I can tell you, projectile vomiting mid-morning for no reason at all is not the best way to spend your time. I think this little episode combined with the heatwave has largely contributed to me forgetting most of August.

The everyday

This month has definitely been better than the previous ones. Even though I still spent a lot of time in bed and in the garden doing nothing but listening to the same books, playing the same stupid games, and rekindling my close relationship with Netflix. My body is better, my mind and soul are better. I'm even able to work entire weekends again without falling apart completely. Ok, I do need a week to recover, but even that is better than it used to be. And I'm finally at a point where I'm truly able to switch off my mind when I'm not working. And I must say it's the strangest thing to realize that you're not constantly reminding yourself of everything that you should be doing.

So, about that close relationship with Netflix. I watched: Cable Girls, The Dressmaker, Inside the World's Toughest Prisons, Immigration Nation, Dead to Me, Greenleaf, Dirty John, Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story, I am a Killer: Released, and The Most Hated Woman in America.

Then the books: I'm listening to Mythos by Stephen Fry, and I'm reading De Pest (The Plague) by Albert Camus. The first one is entertaining, but a bit confusing because of the vast amount of characters. The last is a bit disconcerting due to the similarities between this work of fiction published in 1947 and actual life in 2020.

And the food. I have made some changes to my diet. Again. But they seem to be working for me, so that's a good thing. I also started to experiment with my pressure cooker. My findings so far are that the results are a bit moister than I'd like, so I keep on trying. Any tips and recipes are more than welcome.

So, that's quite the story given that I couldn't remember much of August when I started writing. As always, feel free to share your story as well. I love to hear from you. Until our next catch-up.

Love, Hester

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