Bleeding Exercise

Reading one of the stories in Dancing Barefoot brought up a memory I dearly love. I’d though I’d share it with you, as an exercise in writing.

One early summer day a few years ago, my cousin and I decided to go out for dinner. The establishment of our choice was a pancake restaurant at the edge of the Old Canal in Utrecht. The sky was occasionally clouded, but the temperature was nice so we opted to sit at a table out by the water. If there were any other people sitting outside I didn’t notice them. We talked about all the stuff girls our age talk about when they haven’t seen each other for a while. Basicly we talked about everything, no matter how important or mundane. (Which is what girls like us always talk about, even if we get on the phone after having just seen each other.) Ducks swam on the water, trying to tempt us to throw them some morsels of our food.

We were having a great time of it, eating the nice food and just revelling in each others company. We didn’t notice the clouds becoming thicker and thicker. And then when we did, we didn’t care. Our pancakes were gone and eaten, the ducks hadn’t won us over so we ate everything ourselves. Drinking sips of our wine, lounging about. There was no rush.

A drop fel into my wine, and then another one on the table. My cousin looked at me.

“I don’t feel like going inside”, she said.

“Me neither.”

We grabbed our glasses and covered them with the coasters. Our bags were on the two extra chairs at the table, we put them closer so they ended up underneath it. More and more raindrops fel out of the sky.  We grinned at each other.

“This is the time to do this, sitting out in the rain, ’cause when we get old, we won’t do it anymore!”

“It’s not even cold!” I yelled back at her over the drums of the rain on the table.

Not an inch of us remained dry, we sat out there until we had finished our wine, and then some. Eventualy we had to go inside to pay our bill. Nobody said anything about us being dripping wet, I think they could see how much we were enjoying ourselves. It was great, feeling life bubling inside you, feeling the rain dripping from your hairs to you face to the rest of you. Being a part of the concert the raindrops create. Doing something purely for the reason of doing it while you’re young and happy. I’d like to think that when I get really old, I’ll be that crazy grandmother who sits out in the summerrain with her grandkids. Chances of that are slim though. But at the very least I can be that grandmother who tells the grandkids a story about the time she sat outside in the rain with her cousin, because we didn’t feel like going inside.

The Fool and the Flying Ship

I love stop-motion animation. Films like The Nightmare Before Christmas feel so wonderful and real.

I remember the moment I developed this love. I remember watching TV one afternoon when I was just a little kid. On one of the childrenchannels there was this film. This awesome film about a boy who gets a flying ship. It’s a well known Russian fairytale, a great story. And I was wholly enchanted by all that was happening on my screen. The old man who secrectly builds the beautiful flying ship out of snow and ice while Pjotr (the protagonist) is sleeping. All the different characters Pjotr picks up on his journey to the Tsar.
These were real people to me, I could see them moving and laughing and being sad. This wasn’t some film made of drawings, those were real living puppets, they could touch each other and interact with their surroundings. It was one of those films that just stick in your mind and never leave. And I wouldn’t want it to.
I have often wondered where I could find it again. Nobody I asked knew the film. It didn’t help that I asked it like ‘that film about a boy named Pjotr and a flying ship and an army of twigs’. But yesterday Google and Wikipedia aligned (like the stars) for me and my search paid off. It’s called The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship (watch a few bits edited together on YouTube). There is only one place that has a dvd of it (Amazon) and that’s currently unavailable. I would love to have this film in the Dutch version, because that’s how I remember it. But the English would be awesome too. Thankfully I’ve found a torrent of it, and it just finished the download. I will go and watch it after posting this.

So there you have it, the film that’s responsible for me loving stop-motion animation. The comments of that youtube video show that I’m not the only one who remembers it from seeing it as a child. There’s even someone asking if anyone knows where he can find a Dutch version. 🙂

In other stop-motion news, I cannot wait for Coraline to come to Dutch theaters. I love the book, and I think stop-motion is the best way to bring it to the big screen. It sucks that I’ll have to wait until May 15th for it.

Later als ik…

groot rijk ben, dan huur ik gewoon iemand in om huishoudelijke klusjes te doen. Zoals schoonmaken en opruimen. Tegen die tijd heb ik ook een afwasmachine, dat zal al veel schelen. Net als volgens GeenStijl veel meiden onder de 30, is dat hele huishouden niet mijn ding. Maar ik ben natuurlijk wel voor een lekker schoon en opgeruimd huis.

Nu alleen nog uitvogelen hoe rijk te worden…



Het regent weer eens. Als ik zo binnen zit is dat niet erg, ondanks dat het toch best koud is.
Maar ik moet zo naar buiten, en het is nog geen lente/zomer. Het is niet het soort regen die eigenlijk niet zo koud is, en waarna je toch weer drooggeschenen wordt door de zon. Ik denk dat ik heel lui de bus ga pakken.
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