As The Dust Settles …

<< We Had Such A Wonderful Time That We Couldn’t Bear To Go Back To Our Regular Lives, And So We Decided We Just Wouldn’t … For A While >>


Nearly 7 weeks post-Burn … We are almost ready to face normal life once again. Well, of course, normal life kinda continued after Afrika Burn but we just felt different. Because for 7 days we had been disconnected from the rest of the world.
Instead we entered a world where 9.000 hippies build a small city in the desert for just a week, and then burn it all down … leave no trace … and depart a different human for all the awe-inspiring, breathtaking, mind-blowing experiences and encounters.

A week without cellphone reception, a week without internet, no Facebook, no posting on Instagram, no Whatsapp, email, text messages, news reports.

It. Was. Glorious.

A week where everybody interacted with everybody. Young, old, dressed, naked, humans from different backgrounds, nationalities, a mixture of characters. But oh characters they were! Nearly all of them, one by one, were their very own very special character.

A week where everybody helped each other, cooked together, took care of one another.
Small communities erupted – packed next to each other on the edge of the desert. We helped pitching tents, cleaning up, borrowed stuff from the neighbours we never met before and handed out gifts to beautifully dressed up humans, free lemonade distributing kids, guitar playing talents and tequila gifting skimpy clad girls.

And all we wanted when it was all over, was for it not to be all over.
We wanted to stay in that African desert underneath the star studded Tankwa Town skies forever. Dust storms and all. Be those radical self reliant and radical self expressing humans till the end of our days.

But instead, on Sunday, after Burning for seven days, in the middle of a typical Karoo sand storm, we packed up and drove the 3 hours back to civilization. The 120 kilometers back to the first small town for phone reception, for gas for the little red devil of a rental car and after 120 kilometers we also got rain. As soon as we left the dirt road, left the desert where not a single drop of rain fell all week and hit ‘normal life’ it rained, it theatrically and symbolically cleaned the dust from our car but not from our minds. Not from our souls.
We drove another 2 hours all the way back to Capetown. We were quiet in the car. Overwhelmed by the experience. We drove, called our friends who were one by one missing flights. We drove, called friends who started on 2 day journeys back to Johannesburg. We drove, we listened to music. We drove and we already started to form our favorite Burn memories.

For weeks we flew on this cloud called the post-Burn. And we’ve only just landed …

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Posted by on June 20, 2014 in Blogs


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Afrika Burn 2014

Excitement is kicking in!
AfrikaBurn isn’t far away now.
Plans are starting to form. Travel arrangements are being made.
‘San Clan burns in 46 days!’


The 2014 Burn theme is ‘The Trickster‘.

Tricksters are heroes of culture, mythological characters that are found in stories throughout the world: Anansi the spider, Zomo the Hare, Eshu – the mischievous messenger of the Yoruba gods, Jack Sparrow, Beetlejuice.

Tricksters transcend boundaries and time. They are often human-acting animals or have the ability to switch between animal and human form – they possess magical powers of transformation; they are the shape-shifters, clowns and jesters of our world.

By their actions, Tricksters remake and readjust the world.
As he wanders along, ignoring boundaries, awaiting chance opportunities the trickster is simultaneously Hero & Fool.

AfrikaBurn is a jester, it is a call to play, to question, to catalyze change for the greater good.
To create freely, to experiment, to express, to dare, to do, to celebrate.

Today I found the official Afrika Burn 2014 poster online. I’m sure gonna try to get my hands on one!
46 Days to go. I cannot wait to be part of it and meet our fellow Burners!


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Posted by on March 17, 2014 in Blogs


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Message to Lou

‘The sea throws rocks together – but time leaves us polished stones’
That’s U2’s current message to the world.

This is how I have been feeling about you lately, Lou.
I miss you. We will always miss you.
It’s been almost a year and half since we had to say goodbye to you on that dreary day in the Welsh countryside.

Yes, like on every sad occasion there was a tad of laughter and reminiscing good times, celebrating a too-short a life.
But most of all there was that raw feeling, the burning tears, the intense pain, the heavy heart.
The sudden stomach pains thinking about our loss.
That powerless feeling of not being able to console your parents and sisters.

That feeling stayed. Long after the accident. Long after the funeral.
We are only very slowly recovering from this.
Slowly, very slowly that pile of rocks is losing its very sharpest edges.

Our lives would have run fairly parallel to each other by now, left behind us the decadent world of travelling and working on super-yachts. Settling down with our men in our home countries.
Even though we’d be in different countries – we’d both be working on setting up businesses. Setting up our futures.

It is your birthday today and I would call you for a long due catch up chat. And you would want to know everything about our lives in Amsterdam, about our jobs. And you would give me advice and have all the right answers to my life’s little struggles. And you would plan to visit us. And we’d laugh.
Like we always used to.

You were always so full of life and laughter and energy.
Like no one I have ever known before.

That’s why I’ve gone out to get a bunch of flowers.
And we’ve opened a bottle of good Port and we are raising our glasses to you, lovely Lou.
Double Ding-Dong! We are celebrating the day you came into this world.

Gone, but never, ever forgotten!

Much love,
G & M.


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Posted by on February 14, 2014 in Blogs


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Un-snoozing Myself

Summer is ending. Time for some self reflection.
Back to the gym. Back to yoga. Back to Ohm.
Healthy meals and lots of smiles.

I have decided to get rid of some bad habits.
First one out of the window, I decided, is hitting the snooze button.

I am the Queen of Snooze. I love snoozing. I do not feel any hesitation towards setting my alarm earlier and earlier, only to find myself hitting that snooze button more often. And liking it. Loving it. Turning around and around, tangled up in my sheets.
Over and over again.

But there is something so deliciously wrong about hearing the alarm go off – a distant sound.
Breaking you away from your dreams. Or the blissfully nothings of the morning waking hours.
And then SLAM! to shut it up. And again. And turn. And snooze.

While living onboard with cabin-mates and later my boyfriend/then fiancée/now hubby, I developed the perfect quick alarm-hitting-skill that went a little like this: alarm goes off-hit it quickly not to wake anyone else up-turn around-snooze-alarm-hit it-turn around-snooze-alarm- … and so on. Now that I’m landlocked I stick with that routine.

Lately I’ve been trying to get the right amount of hours of sleep. I have been told it would make me more active. More productive. Healthier. Glowing skin – good stuff like that.

Well, that’s what I am trying to achieve. Believe you me, between full work weeks, trying to re-integrate in my own country, house-searching, legal paperwork for Hubby the Sailorman and a social life, one might lose that activeness and productiveness every once in a while.
Add a long hot sizzling summer full of braais, wine, picknicks in the park and festivals and you’ll see why I need to re-energize and keep energy levels up while the days slowly get shorter.

So this morning was day number One of getting up within 10 minutes after the alarm goes off.
Mind you: after the alarm goes off the FIRST time. Not the second or third time. Or even the fourth … [blush].

I did well. I followed all the tips I read:

Went to bed early [only to find myself pestered by my ol’ friend Insomnia].
Did not type away on my iPhone for an hour before going to sleep.
Turned on a light directly after the alarm went off.
Only set my alarm about 20 minutes before my normal time of getting up (7am) -to slowly build it up.

And it worked. I got up. Felt fit and energetic.
I was looking forward to the first of my ‘new mornings’ with a cup of coffee, the newspaper.
I slowly started my day, smiling to myself.

Only to realize I was late for an unusually early morning appointment with the garage and I had to hurry and run to make it in time.

Oh well, good first time try. Again tomorrow.
Good night. Sweet dreams.


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Posted by on September 9, 2013 in Blogs


Heart As Loud As Lions

My fav singer of the moment is Emeli Sande and I’m sure many a Dutch driver has chuckled when seeing me sing-a-long to ‘Read All About It’ while driving my car …
My absolute favorite words of this song:

‘You’ve got a heart as loud as lions / So why let your voice be tamed?’

I think of my friend who had a heart as loud as lions but her voice was tamed abruptly, unexpectedly and way to early.
And I think of my African friend Alexander who wouldn’t let his voice be tamed when he was separated from his pride and feeling lonely in the wee hours of the night.
His roars -sad as they were- were my favorite African wake up call while staying at The Kingdom.


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Posted by on August 19, 2013 in Blogs


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