When I traded Amsterdam for nature I was tired of a lot of things, and one of them was of having an opinion about almost everything. Somehow I got to the point that I believed that it is ok to be critical about everything I encounter in life. From the colour of someones shoes to their last work to their vacation destination. From politics to eating habits to social media. I had an unsalted opinion about everything. And it wore me out. Not only because I had to think up something over every single thing that happened around me, I also had to live up to it. Because if your critical about others, you also become very critical of yourself. To the point that nothing is good enough for your standards and you become preoccupied with impressing others.
As I moved to a place where people wait for the bread wagon in their pj’s, this attitude does not work here. The neighbours are gardeners with five (!) children, our other neighbour walks around in red fleece suits and talks all day to her cats. The postwoman wears her hunting clothes to work, the other neighbour is a shaman, again another a single mother running a sheepfarm. There is no way that anyone is interested in my opinion. Or that anyone is going to think anything about my new Nikes. They don’t even notice.
As I’m typing this it past 11 PM and I am waiting for my sons cake in the oven. Which is becoming a disaster. Every month each child has to bring ‘le gouter’. An old, but very much alive habit where French children eat something sweet at 4 PM sharp. They even have a break at school for it and as every day another child brings something different to class. The idea is to discover a lot of different flavours and have one structered moment a day to eat sweets. I suggested to my son we’d make an elderflower blossom cake. The elderflower is in bloom all over, and as we made pancakes and syrup last week, we could also make a cake (to impress the teacher thought the mom). After dinner we went to pick the blossom, made the cake and I put it in our tiny oven when he went to bed. I don’t know what I did wrong, but it is still in there, not done, it is as flat as a pancake, the bottom is burned and no way that’s its going to be enough to feed 15 children. Of course there is no store in sight to buy new ingredients, so I just will have to put him on the bus tomorrow morning with the elderflower pancake/cake/burn. And I know that they will not be impressed, but knowing the people here they wouldn’t be impressed if I brought a perfect 3 layer wedding cake. They just don’t care about making an impression.