On the last Sunday of the month I always look back on what I’ve been up to in the past weeks. What were my personal highlights? What films and series did I watch? What exhibitions did I visit and which countries did I travel to? Find the answers in my Reflections on April.
But first of all, what happened to last week’s summer temperatures? Was I too optimistic thinking winter was over? Expecting having no need for them again for another six months, I chucked my thick warm clothing at the back of my cupboard. Although I was in denial, I’ve desperately dug them out again yesterday. Sunshine you tease, please come back! I wonder if the sudden weather change also explains why I’m feeling a bit rundown at the moment. Hoping sleep and paracetamol will keep me going as I’ve got a busy week ahead!
In April I wrote the following blog posts
- The Dutch Girl Tales #13: Tussen taart en trappist: In my monthly Dutch blog post I wrote about how I spent my days in the Netherlands eating birthday cake and drinking Trappist beers.
- The 10 Most Memorable Deaths in ‘Game of Thrones’: In anticipation of the final season of Game of Thrones, I summarised the 10 most memorable deaths of the series so far. Because let’s admit it, isn’t the unexpected and violent deaths one of the reasons we watch and love the series so much?!
- It’s a Kind of Magic: Discover the Science Behind Magic at the Wellcome Collection: My review of the current revealing exhibition at Wellcome Collection which investigates the history and secrets of ‘magic’.
My Immigration anniversary!
This April was my 7-year immigration anniversary already! Time really does fly. This year my immiversary was supposed to be just after Brexit. Although the Brexit date has been postponed, I did apply for Settled Status as soon as the programme opened (on 30 March 2019). I was very cautious and reluctant about this all initially (and still resent having to apply for something I had a right to) but realised it would allow me to apply for British citizenship.
Although I experienced some technical problems, I received an email from the Home Office last week confirming my Settled Status! While this leaves me with less rights than I had as a ‘regular’ EU citizenship, I am very relieved this stage is over. Now I can start the (pricey) process of applying for British citizenship. Besides writing down all the days I’ve been outside of the country in the last three years, this entails an interview to test my proficiency in English. Want to keep track of my process into turning into a British Girl? I will of course keep you updated of this new ‘adventure’ in my Brexit Diaries. At the moment I feel both excited and overwhelmed by it. Let’s see what the future brings.
Having just returned from our 1-month long trip Down Under, I didn’t go on many trips in April. But since I hadn’t seen my family since Christmas, I booked a plane ticket to visit them on my mum’s birthday. And unlike I usually do, I didn’t pack every single day with meetings and lunch dates but really took it easy and spent time with my parents and their pet birds.
I did have my hair cut (the shortest I’ve ever had and still hardly anyone notices it!) and also made a special trip with one of my besties to the La Trappe brewery, where the beer is brewed by monks! Despite that this brewery is so close to my former hometown of Tilburg, I had never visited before so it really was about time. But not until we had explored Tilburg’s spectacular new library LocHal, located in a former industrial building.
New work projects
After a quiet start of the year work-wise, I started working on two new projects in April. It’s still early days and I’m not sure if they will both go ahead, so I won’t share too much about them yet. I can tell you that one of them is a fun travel-related project for which I’ll be writing web texts about unique accommodations across Europe.
The other project is for one of the biggest Dutch educational publishing houses. I’ve worked on their books as an editor several times now, but this is the first time they’ve asked me to contribute as an author. It is interesting yet also quite challenging for me, but I hope to be able to master this new skill.
As during every month, I’ve visited a few exhibitions that left me either thinking or inspired afterwards. I will limit my art list to only a few exhibitions here.
Smoke and Mirrors: The Psychology of Magic @ Wellcome Collection (until 15 September 2019). This is such a clever and interesting show on the history and science of magic. It might not sound like it, but it’s very accessible and fun. You can read about it in last week’s blog post: It’s a Kind of Magic: Discover the Science Behind Magic at the Wellcome Collection.
Don McCullin @ Tate Britain (until 6 May 2019) Another highlight was the photo exhibition on the work of Don McCullin, focussing on war and conflict zones. This was one of the most impressive shows I’ve seen in the last months and I intend on writing about it in more detail.
Diane Arbus: in the beginning @ Hayward Gallery (until 6 May) In contrast to McCullin’s photo exhibition, the show on celebrated photographer Diane Arbus at the Hayward Gallery really didn’t do anything to me. I was surprised to see photos she had taken of film credits from a TV screen and also blurry and ill-framed photos in the gallery. I couldn’t help but to think what curators would’ve made of these photos of such quality if they had been by a less famous photographer. Would they have still considered them gallery-worthy or tossed them in the bin? I guess this is a question we could ask ourselves about so many artists and disciplines though.
Dorothea Tanning @ Tate Modern (until 9 June 2019) Yet another wonderful and inspiring show! During her 70-year career her works drew from surrealism and the Gothic but she used so many different styles and techniques. You can see some of her works below.
Emma Kunz: Visionary Drawings @ Serpentine Gallery (until 19 May 2019) Fascinating exhibition of Emma Kunz’s colourful and intricate drawings. Read the texts in the photos below to find out what made these spiritual art.
On my watch list
These last months hubby and I have been living a second life in Scranton, Pennsylvania, as we followed the lives of a paper company in The Office US. Although I hated it when it was on TV at the time – convinced it couldn’t compare to the original British series – I am truly sad we have reached the end now.
We started watching the series early this year and watched 167 episodes since the return from our trip just over a month ago. Perhaps I can’t remember the original that well anymore, but I find the American version very affectionate. I feel like I’ve bonded so much more with the characters, who also developed significantly over the series. Tonight we’ll be watching the last two episodes, tissues at hand!
Here are some other films and series we’ve watched over the last months (as I missed sharing those from February/March with you).
Entertaining, but not that great
Really don’t bother with these
Hope you enjoyed my monthly review! As always I’m curious to hear what you’ve been up to. Tell me in a comment below! Thanks, Zarina xx