Archive for January, 2010

A beautiful winter’s day

This picture, taken on a bridge in Witham, is the main reason I’ve started this new blog. The beauty, the serenity, the simplicity, together they took my breath away. Now, ever since I moved here [to Witham], people have tried to convince me that this town is ‘a sh*thole’, ‘a stain on a map’, ‘not worth it’s space’, but to be quite honest with you: I love it. Witham, to me, is synonymous to peace and quiet, to safety, to weekend, to calm.

A short introduction. As you could have probably guessed by my name, I am not an English national. I was born in the Netherlands, in a city in the county of Brabant, in the mid-south of Holland. I grew up in an unconventional yet loving family of four: my mum, my older brother, myself and my younger sister. My mum’s side of the family is rather large, with one aunty, four uncles, and their spouses and children.

I remember my mum being a lawyer and a writer. Therefore it should come as no surprise that I was brought up to respect the elderly, respect your superiors, but to never give respect to those who demand it. Another lesson learned very young in life, is to always speak my mind. My mum used to do this by actively contributing to the local newspapers by writing in, engaging in politics and reading up in encyclopidia.

Feeling very mature and confident in my abilities, I swapped my home country for England, to spread my wings, to make it big, to prove myself, to find a meaning in life. A year and a half on, I’m slightly surprised to find myself settled, not in London, where I thought I would find it all, but in Essex. It is here where I have been given a chance to prove myself, to find my way.

Every single day I find myself in situations, places, conversations I’ve never found myself in. Situations, to keep it short, that make my blood boil in anger, or make tears well up in my eyes from happiness. And everything in between. For a very long time, I have put this down as (inter)cultural differences, but with every new situation, it makes me see it is down to pure ignorance, stupidity, bias on one end, and heroism, bravery and intelligence on the other.

Apart from my daily struggle to make sense of [British] culture, my hobbies include reading, history, the arts, photography, cookery and travelling. These are the subjects I’d like to write about, obviously not limiting myself just to these.

That will be all for today, then. Thank you!

xx Chrisje