Happy New Year

We’re 12 days into the New Year, and I’ve finally found some time to write a blog post. I would like to wish you all the very best for 2019. What a good year will encompass is different for everyone. To me personally, it should contain love, growth, and justice.

joe_strummer

Joe Strummer of the Clash once said: “Without people, you’re nothing.” It may have been the simplest of statements, yet it says it all. Without others around us, life is meaningless and, I would even dare to say, impossible. We need each other. Granted there are days I loathe the entire human race, including myself, but those are the days I should pull my proverbial cranium out of my hindquarters and get a grip. Luckily those days are rare. Most of the time I realize how lucky I am with the people in my life. I’m incredibly grateful for the amount of love, inspiration, and support I have received from them in the past year. They made 2018 a good one. This is why, to me, love is the most important ingredient for a happy new year.

Then there is the other ingredient; growth. One summer, when I was visiting in Maldon, I got introduced to this hardworking and modest guy. He had something about him that I connected with and we got talking. I found out he was keen on learning new things. He had taken a course in photography, learned to play the guitar together with his son and managed to get his GCSEs (for non-British people, this is the equivalent to your high school diploma) many years after dropping out of school while working six days a week running a tool shop. student-2052868_640Now I like to learn things, but he was taking it to a whole new level! Even though he is now one of my best friends, he probably doesn’t realize that he is the one who made me decide to learn something new every year. Not only did I pick up a lot of new skills through this resolution, but it also gave me a huge kick and more confidence. So no new year is complete without growth.

The last ingredient to a good new year is justice. That is the most tricky one as well. I see injustice everywhere around me. I see it in the big factory across the river, that knowingly spend decades covering up the toxicity of their products. I see it on my timeline, where the word refugee has become interchangeable with illegal. I see it on the streets, where the homeless people are sleeping. In the company where my husband works and where he gets paid a good wage while his Polish co-workers are robbed of their passports, work at low wages and are being beaten by their superiors. Injustice is everywhere, and it starts with us looking away. With us allowing it.

first-aid-850481_640I’m no saint. Far from it. More often than not I’m far too busy worrying about my own life than about that of those less fortunate than me. Still, I try to float back to Justice as the main item on my agenda. I can’t change the world. Hell, I can’t even run without tripping over my own feet. But with a bit of luck and a lot of help, many people together can change a little part of the world. I hope I can be one of those people.

Concert Review of Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real

coverLukas and his band probably froze their asses off when they landed on our frostbit continent. It wasn’t the most welcoming weather for the Austin, Texas-born frontman and his band, of which the members reside mostly in the Southern States of America. Still, this didn’t stop them from giving a stellar, heartwarming, and passionate performance in the city of Utrecht, the Netherlands, yesterday.

The location was an excellent choice. Tucked away on the top floor of Tivoli Vredenburg, there is an cosy music room called ‘Cloud Nine.’ It holds a maximum of 400 people and has an excellent acoustic paired with an even better atmosphere. In this intimate setting, the band kicked off with, how appropriate, “Set me down on a cloud.” This track also is the opening song of their latest, self-titled, album. Although a few sound settings needed to be adjusted when the first notes got played, the band quickly slipped into their comfort zone, and the audience followed.  Continue reading “Concert Review of Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real”