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Wednesday 24 May 2017
21:31 Hrs

Surfsperience Dutch beach life

Last weekend I journeyed off to enjoy what Dutch beach life has to offer and opted for a few days of peace, love and happiness at Surfana Festival in Bloemendaal. It was a weekend for lads and ladies, beginner to pro surfers, who are inspired to celebrate the good life with surfing, BBQ, party, camping and good vibes all around.

I’m not really a camping girl, so I made myself a cosy home in the back of a 60’s lime green Volkswagen, which incidentally saved me from getting soaking wet when a storm cloud settled in off the coast in the middle of the night. The next morning the sun broke through and I welcomed a new day with a fresh fruit shake before running up the dunes, taking in the view looking out over the ocean and then diving into the dark blue waves.

Surf Zandvoort is planning another mini surf festival this summer; a must-go for anybody who has affinity with sea, sun, beach and of course, surfing.

Photo by Phoebe Dawson, thanks babe!

Head first at full speed

I once caught Stephen Fry commenting that skiing was the world’s most pointless activity and that he would rather catch a chairlift to the highest peak, sit in a café and drink hot chocolate with rum all day long. I contemplated his thoughts the other day as I rode a gondola up to the top of Cime de Caron, towering 3200m above sea level. What was I doing here? I looked down at the scar on my right wrist from the year before, a reminder of what the over eager side of me can result in – 2 operations and 6 weeks in a cast.

I stepped out into the cold wind and snow that whipped over the ridge, clipped in and followed the group down the steepest slopes I have ever attempted. Is this another case of me biting off more than I can chew? We descended into the hurling wind and into what I first thought was fog but infact was more snow. “Screw it” I muttered and pushed with all my strength into the infinite white and yeehawed my way down, exactly as I did a year ago when I snapped my arm. I was determined not to make this another case of history repeating itself.

Sometimes the best way to face your fear is head first at full speed.

1yearatdr

December 2009, Paris, France
4 months since I’ve been graduated, still unemployed and my mum kept asking me all kind of embarrassing questions about future plans. On Christmas dinner, I suddenly came up with this idea about going to Amsterdam.
Why? (Expat advice number 1 = Never answer that question)

January 2010, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
I arrived at Centraal Station in a cold morning and had my first walk through the city under the snow. I was scared, my english was shit and I wasn’t able to ask my way to anyone. I finally managed to arrive 33, Nieuwe Prinsengracht, Dolly Rogers HQ for my first interview.

Since that day, the sun came out and so many good things happened. Working at Dolly Rogers is an every day surprise, it’s hard to describe, you never know who you gonna meet, what they gonna ask you to do. For better or for worse.
I keep the full story for a hollywood production but here is my 2009 task list review:

Ski trip with my boss on the 1st weekGet a bike✓ Conceptualize and program a website for a crazy talented violonist✓ Burn out the toasti maker in the office✓ Data visualisation for a great file transfer service✓ Mix at Dolly Rogers barbecue✓ Do a beat for Nike✓ Parade with the bohemians in a chicken suitSpray paint the Nike EHQ entry✓ Party hard at Mystery Land✓ Triple X tatoo on my ankle✓ Get my first contract✓ Bring the Dolly Rogers crew to Paris for “la fete de la musique”✓ Get a flat in the Redlight district✓  Try a few dutch lessons✓ Get my bike stolen✓ Create a facebook app✓ Perform at NDSM with my mate Mihas✓ Speak better english✓ at least better than other frenchies✓ Not fired after 6 months✓

Finally Christmas again, my mum is coming over.
I love my city, love my work.

Merry Christmas from everybody!

Illustration by Victor de Bie

Illustration by Victor de Bie (www.victordebie.com) for the Museum of the Bohemian

Symphony for All

Alongside Dolly Rogers, I’m also founding partner of The Museum of the Bohemian. We started with a group of friends who shared the simple philosophy that creativity is for everyone, and the more people participate the better our society becomes! So…with nothing more than a shoestring budget and grandiose fantasies of inspiring the world through creativity…we set off on our magnificent dream adventure to build a travelling art Museum…for the people, by the people.

It’s nearly two years on and we have been busy creating, sharing, performing and spreading our Bohemian happiness. For me, one of the most exciting things about being part of such an initiative, is all the inspiring, curious, eccentric, magical, peculiar, exceptional, extraordinary, fantastic, odd, strange, uncommon, unexpected, unusual and wonderfully creative characters we get to meet and collaborate with!

Recently the Museum hosted the March Fourth Marching Band, a mobile big-band spectacular from Portland, Oregon who did a special performance for us as part of their  FUN-raiser tour of Europe to spread JOY TO THE WORLD!! They have performed at Burning Man Festival and other venues they played in Amsterdam included Ruigoord, ADM…oh and umm PARADISO!

As the remarkable composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven explains, “If you want to change the world, you need to break through the expectations of people. Because only when you break expectations and you create confusion, then you create openness. And openness is the only place where contact can take place.”

The Museum moves location four times per year in a big colourful parade through the city. You’re invited to come along, participate, get involved…make and create. ART is LIFE…so let the music of the real world enter your reality!

petite-ceinture

Photo by Chris

At the office I’m always trying to explain memories from my experiences in Paris, my neighbourhood in the 19th district, my mates, our parties. So when I heard that the crew wanted to go to my city to soak up the culture I felt like I had a mission to accomplish. My aim was to make the crew discover “Paname” ~ Paris’ B-side, far far away from the Eiffel Tower and Moulin-Rouge. Co-incidence of the calendar, the chosen weekend also happened to feature “la fête de la musique“, Paris’ massive street event where people play, dance, listen and enjoy music in the whole city.

On our first night we hit 2 clubs, a new one called “1979” and the unmistakable “Social Club” ~ the basement hangout for young Parisian cool cats. To end the evening we enjoyed a suturing walk at sunrise through the city back home. Revitalised by some good bread and stinky French cheese we continued exploring and walked on the “Petite Ceinture” an abandoned train line that goes all around Paris. After going through a Chinese protest in Belleville we ended up at “Le Point Ephémère“, one of the rare legal squats in Paris.

For “la fête de la musique” we went to a block party organised by “Pain O Chokolat“. The main act was 113 and Dead Prez. We enjoyed our time dancing with a large eclectic crowd. To finish our evening we took the last metro deep into the suburbs and arrived at a friend’s house party that was off the hook.

Photo by Sarah Esteje

Photo by Sarah Esteje