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An historian's view on life, leisure and less waste

Category: Bucket list

Keeping busy: what I’ve been doing in the past few weeks

Leaving the harbour of Ostend (Belgium).

Leaving the harbour of Ostend (Belgium).

These past few weeks have flown by so quickly. I finished editing a book, spent about a month travelling in July/August and have just started my own business. I don’t even know where to start…

The book I’m talking about is actually a volume I edited with a Dutch colleague on the dynastic identity of early modern aristocratic families, which will normally be published in December of this year by Ashgate publishers. If you want to know more about it, you can find details on their website. It took us about 4 years to finish it, I don’t think either one of us imagined it to take that long. Not that this in itself is an exception in academia, my husband is waiting on a publication to come out which he wrote about 8 years ago…. So things could be worse 😉

The good thing about finishing a project, any project, is the mental rest that comes with it. After I sent my final e-mail this Saturday,  I felt completely exhausted. I couldn’t think of anything else, I just wanted to go to sleep early. I’m still really tired strangly enough, but it also feels as though my head is clearing up and new ideas are slowly filling it up again. That feels so wonderful!

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Hanami people: why living in Japan is on my bucket list

Hanami in Ueno Park Tokyo

Hanami at the Ueno Park in Tokyo (2012). Cherry Blossom fun in the Ueno Park in Tokyo where crowds gathered to celebrate Hanami.


A recent blogpost by Thewallinna and other creatures about how she misses Hanami in springtime Japan, reminded me about my own fascination with all things Japanese. I don’t exactly know where it comes from, but even as a child I was incredibly curious about faraway Japan. In 2012 I had the immense pleasure of finally travelling to Tokyo.


So living in Japan is on my bucket list. Would I like to stay in Japan indefinitely? I don’t think so. But for a year or thereabouts, I would really like to experience its culture a bit more profoundly than I did in 2012. I only stayed for a week, but it’s left a huge impression. The sentiment that stayed with me most is admiration. And what I admire most about the Japanese is their elegance.

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