On this day...
3 years ago: Washability
10 years ago: Not just waffles

Making faces at the camera

Life is good for Adrian right now. He is mostly happy, and as silly and talkative as only a six-year-old can be. The only things that can bring him down are hunger and tiredness.

He is very sociable and enjoys being with people. Where Ingrid needs other people’s company, Adrian truly enjoys it. When we go to a family event of any kind, he talks in advance of how great it will be to meet them, and meets them with hugs. farfar is his particular favourite.

My brother is currently staying with us for a few days, and even though they don’t know each other well at all, and my brother is quite reserved, Adrian already has him playing Skylanders and building with Geomag.

Building toys of almost any kind are his favourites. Skylanders is a great combination of (a) cool things you can collect and (b) a co-operative game with (c) lots of fighting and not-too-scary monsters.

He eats like a horse. Quite often his portion is the largest one around our dinner table. And then it takes him forever to finish it, because he gets distracted and starts talking and forgets about eating. We’ve now generally given up on waiting for him to finish – we leave the table and start putting away the food and dishes while he is still eating. It’s the least frustrating solution for everybody involved.

As a result of all that eating, he’s grown about 10 cm since summer: I recall measuring him at about 110 cm back then, and he’s about 120 now. Although I think his appetite may be waning a bit now – several times last week he wasn’t able to finish his food, so perhaps this growth spurt is coming to an end.

He’s growing, but he’s still a little kid at heart. He still enjoys the childish stuff, like hugging the ski resort’s mascot, and he still loves it when I carry him in my arms up the stairs to the bedroom in the evening, and down again in the morning.

  • Reading: Bamse, and Maximus Ring. Plus he’s started several other books (fantasy and supernatural thrillers) that all look very exciting, but not gotten very far.
  • Bedtime stories: Winnie the Pooh with Eric, and Rasmus and the Tramp with me.
  • Watching: Ninjago.
  • Shoe size: 32. (We just bought new shoes last week.)
  • Favourite item of clothing: a wooly Gryffindor hat.


Ingrid is on a self-imposed entertainment fast for Lent, abstaining from YouTube and gaming. For a while she filled the extra time with tidying and organising her room, but then she sort of ran out of energy, and now she just reads more Kalle Anka. Occasionally she draws.

She just doesn’t seem interested in doing anything else at all. The Zoomer dog she bought after having saved for so long is languishing on a shelf, after just a few hours of play. So do her books.

When I buy a book for her, or even when she chooses a book, she reads a bit and then abandons it. And when school forces her to read that same book a few months later, it’s “the best book ever!” Crocheting for crafts class at school is great fun. And as soon as that project is finished, she puts away the yarn and the hook and never picks them up again.

She says she wants a pet, like a cat or a dog. Partly to cuddle with. But partly I think she needs someone to give her an impulse to do something, and she’s hoping that a cat or a dog would do that – would be a playmate.

She also wants to be a little kid again. I suspect she’s finding growing up somewhat stressful, and wishes for a simpler life, with fewer expectations and responsibilities. Perhaps she does so little because she doesn’t have the mental energy to do more.


Miscellaneous fact: She dreams incredibly fantastical, detailed dreams that she then recounts for us in the morning. I can’t remember any in detail but they generally seem to involve adventures such as hikes.


Eric and I went to the Opera to see some modern dance.

The Royal Opera doesn’t allow the audience to take any photos of the performance, and even if they did, I probably wouldn’t.

Olivier Dubois – De l’origine

A dark scene. Two barely visible figures, in a field of indistinguishable black objects. With time we see that the objects are floppy and roughly human in shape. Dead bodies perhaps?

The two perform movements that I would barely describe as dance – more like crawling. This is accompanied by rumbling droning sound, somewhere in the borderland between music and industrial noise.

I’m no stranger to modern dance, and I don’t mind dark themes. But when I simply cannot see what it happening on the scene, I don’t find it “intensively mystifying and anguish-filled” (as a reviewer put it) but boring, plain and simple. The music, the lighting, the movements, the decor for this piece were all designed to give me a minimum of input, which is the definition of boring.

I can’t quite say it was contentless. There was definitely content and ideas and a message of some kind. It might be described as performance art perhaps, a philosophical commentary on life (or mostly death). But it was not dance, and it was not interesting.


The couple sitting next to us was so disappointed by the first piece that they left during the interval – so they missed the good part of tonight’s show.

Sharon Eyal – Half Life

A man and a woman near the front of the scene dance in one place. Their movements that are monotonous and strict, but also forceful and entrancing.

A group enters from the side of the scene. With minimal movements, barely moving forward, they approach the couple. When the group arrives, it encloses them and they become part of the group.

They are swallowed, but they survive. The rest of the piece is about the balance/opposition between the individual and the group.

The group and its movements swell and flow. One figure – a head taller than the rest – appears to be leading and subtly influencing them. Other dancers sometimes do something different but then return to the main flow. Are they forced to conformity by the group? Or are they experimenting and then returning to the comfort of the familiar?

The techno music is akin to the soundtrack for the first act, but this clearly actually music, and much more interesting. The dancers wear minimal skin-coloured costumes, which exposes their bodies as well as each distinct movement in Eyal’s exact, twisting choreography.

Half Life is absorbing and intense. Every moment is rich and beautiful. I can’t look away. I wish there was more of it


(Both photos are from the marketing material published by the Royal Opera.)


From some days I only have boring photos in bad light.

That’s because some days all I do and see is boring.

That is also worth remembering.


She’s already making plans for doing disco twice a week during the next school term, and talking about advancing to the level when she can join the competitive disco group.


Corn fritters. Mise en place like a pro.


On my way home after working late.


Adrian and I played War but with Skylanders cards instead of normal playing cards.

He only has 12 Skylanders cards, three of which are non-character cards and had to be left out, and then to get to an even number we left out one more card, so we ended up with four cards each to begin with.

Unlike the normal game of War, this version was actually pretty fast to play.