About week 1651: Utrecht, Russian Doll and things you can’t do yourself

Well. That’s just great. I completely forgot about my week notes last weekend. And do you know why? Well… I don’t. I really don’t. I stayed in Utrecht from last Sunday night, which perhaps robbed me of my usual surroundings of writing my week notes and of the train journey in which I can catch up writing the week notes if I don’t finish them on Sunday night. But yes, those are all excuses if I said I didn’t get round to writing them. But truth be told: I just forgot about them. Sorry. And then to make matters worse, I’m very late with the notes this week, and without much input for them. So yea. Sorry again.


So yes. Utrecht. It’s a nice city, you know. But on the other hand it might be having growing pains. Leaving aside the nice people living there which always make me feel very welcome, I sometimes feel like Utrecht is trying to be Amsterdam, but just isn’t. And I feel like that’s a good thing, because I don’t like Amsterdam as a concept really. It’s just too touristy and too big for me. It’s a nice city to visit every now and then, and then it’s very nice to go home. The same goes for Utrecht, except I can tolerate Utrecht for much longer than Amsterdam. It’s nice to come home again too, however. Which is where I am now.

Things I recommend that you can’t actually do yourself

  • Escape with my friends from a great escape room near The Hague. I mean, I could recommend the escape room, but you still wouldn’t have the same experience. Because with my friends, it’s gonna be a lot of discussion, a lot of overlooking things and in the end nearly but not quite making it. But that’s okay. Because it was fun. And they’re my friends.
  • Watching your gf’s cousin play jazz in TivoliVredenburg. I mean, you could have been there, but it wouldn’t be your girlfriend’s cousin. Because, well I don’t have to explain that to you.

And since I should recommend something … Russian Doll

By now, hopefully you’ve already watched this Netflix-series, because it’s short and very good. It’s so good that I hope there won’t be another season: it would work perfectly well as a standalone show a couple of 30-minute-episodes. It’s a mystery, a comedy and a sometimes almost a thriller. The acting is very good, the story is nice and quickly picks up from what seems to be a not very original beginning. If you don’t know any more about the show than what I’ve just cryptically described you, I recommend you stop reading this now, and just jump in.
Now go.

About week 1649: first days of Spring arrive

What a glorious weather this weekend. I know, I know, it’s only February and as my parents say: “Back when your sister was born late March, it was snowing”, but I happily take this weather to be the first days of Spring. We might pay for it with another cold streak later, but for now I’ll take it.

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About week 1645: new plan(t)s

Writing with a headache isn’t ideal, but leaving it till Sunday night to write these week notes isn’t either. But here I find myself writing on Sunday night with the headache. So forgive me if this update is slightly shorter than usual. Having said that, thankfully I’m doing better than many of my plants. Despite taking excellent care of my friend’s plants while he was on holiday, keeping my own plants alive is proving to be much harder. This week I had to say goodbye to another casualty, sadly. There’s still enough plants left, but I fear I’m just not very good at keeping them alive. That, or my house is poisonous for plants? So when’s the point where I give up and don’t get new plants anymore. Not yet… Not yet…

And while the new year is for making new plans, I’m working on that too. There are many ideas to be realised this year. I’m excited to try some new things in the next few months. Try a lot and see what sticks, I guess… We’ll see.


  • So I watched the Netflix documentary about Fyre Festival on a train ride home Saturday night. For those not in the know: Fyre Festival was supposedly the Summer music festival of your dreams. The marketing launch was as representative of the festival as our own Instagram posts usually are of our lives (so not really) and the documentary shows how things quickly went downhill from an organisational standpoint. What was supposed to be a luxurious private island for influencers turned out to be a complete and utter disaster. While it’s a great reconstruction and it’s a nice way to make fun of influencers and rich kids getting swindled, it’s worth pointing out that according to this much shorter Internet documentary, there were a lot of normal people who bought into the marketing and actually didn’t pay thousands of dollars to go to the festival.
  • Not sure if I’d recommend *You *as good television, but it is a pulpy Netflix series that is entertaining too.
  • Finished the latest season of BoJack Horseman. It might have been one of the best, though I felt the emotional impact of previous seasons was bigger. Maybe it’s because I’m happier? It had some good laughs too, this season.


  • Made this tofu dish tonight, except I didn’t have the fancy lentils, and I used regular peppers and regular tofu instead of smoked. But I was at the very least inspired by the dish. Added some extra zing to it with garlic and more vegetables.


  • This Friday Rosie Carney’s debut Bare is released. I’m very excited. Check out www.rosiecarney.com for details.
  • This song by ELO popped up earlier this week. It made me dance.

About week 1643: A new year starts in London

Happy new year everyone. My 2018 was pretty good all in all. It wasn’t always smooth sailing, but I’ve done so many things this year that I hadn’t done before. Or at least I’ve done things differently. Being in a relationship all year might have helped, but other things proved to be a catalyst for adventure as well: a wedding in the United States, housesitting in Utrecht for colleagues and many other things. I kind of feel good about a new year starting. Although the news cycle proves to be the same negative rollercoaster as it was in 2018, I feel kind of good of starting things fresh in these dark days of Winter. Starting with these new week notes.

London travel

  • Last Sunday I travelled to London with the lady and it proved to be a lot of fun. We ended up with a vegan Airbnb host that filtered her water and then added new minerals to it with stones from a mine in Russia. Surrounded by chakras, mirrors and herbal smells (and an amazing conservatory full of plants), we touristed the hell out of London, at least when I recovered slightly from my fever / cold / virus thing. I’m still coughing and sneezing throughout most of the night and day, but I feel at least a bit better.
  • We celebrated New Year’s Eve on Primrose Hill watching the fireworks and London skyline. We also visited Waterstones where I bought a book because that’s what you do there. We had dinner at a great vegan place in Covent Garden (Redemption, recommended!) and did some touristy highlights (Buckingham Palace, Westminster etc).
  • I already wanna go back. Now it happens there is a Turin Brakes gig happening in February, hmm…


  • While I did make some progress in 19Q4, I did buy a new book in London and started reading it this weekend. In Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, a young toddler gets adopted by the not quite living inhabitants of a – yes – graveyard. Only two chapters in, I love the mood Gaiman is setting in this novel. It’s a breath of fresh air compared to the Murakami epic I’m still kind of working through. I still plan to finish that though. But I might read this first….
  • For Christmas, I gave my girlfriend a book about the design of the excellent animated movie The Secret of Kells. It’s one of her favourites and the book does not disappoint, showing everything from sketches to unused ideas and alternative designs. I don’t wanna boast too much, but this was a gift I very much enjoyed giving.


  • Yes, a new (and the final) season of A Series of Unfortunate Events has arrived on Netflix. I might be a minority here, but I loved the movie with Jim Carrey a lot, but the Netflix series turned out very good as well. My main gripe with it, is that it’s a bit too episodic for adults sometimes (with a lot of frustrating (similar) plot developments happening over and over again). The first two episodes of season 3 turned out to be a breath of fresh (mountain) air. I look forward to finally finding out how this story ends. Having never actually read the books, I remain unspoiled and thus excited (if a little frightened) about the ending of this series of tragedies.


  • I mostly listen to podcasts on the way to work and back, so there hasn’t been a lot of listening for me lately. But Adam & Joe Christmas podcast has been a reliable source of laughter this holiday.
  • My girlfriend’s current jams come courtesy of Cass McCombs: Laughter Is The Best Medicine is the favourite. And that means it has been stuck in my head too.

Apps & Tech

  • I’ve been composing these Week Notes, and the previous ones, in Drafts on the iPad Pro. I must say I’m always trying out new apps for writing, with both a nice design and nice functionality. I didn’t like it that much at first, but Drafts proves to be pretty reliable. I even used it as a HTML-editor yesterday when editing some website files and I didn’t have a computer nearby. So far I’m on the free version, but if this sticks I might see what the pro version holds in store. I like how the app starts as a blank slate for writing, and then has many “Actions” ways of using/converting/sharing your text in any way you want.
  • Apple just gave a warning about their current financial quarter. They will make 5 billion dollars less, apparently. Mind you, that still has them making over 80 billion dollars, so they far from in trouble. And I know the picture is probably more complicated than selling overpriced phones these days, but still… I know Apple is too arrogant to downright lower pricing, but they might find other ways to flog their current generation of iPhones. And hopefully, they’ll adjust their strategy accordingly for the future. Probably not though.