Sunday, January 03, 2010
Sunday on the better side of it...
I've been up for a while, drinking coffee, smoking my cigarettes and answering my emails. I'm also pretty much caught up on my blog reading, although I didn't leave comments everywhere. Sometimes I'm just short of words and sometimes I'm only a lurker. I read other people's comments and wonder where they get the imagination to write such good ones, because I really have to stop and think of something sensible to write and sometimes I give up completely. It's not that I'm not amused or that I don't empathize, it's just that I can't find the right words to express that and I really have to try very hard to come across as a sincerely involved person, which I am, make no mistake about it. I just assume it speaks for itself, but it doesn't, of course, and I know how much I appreciate each comment that I get, so I try very hard to say something relevant if I can.
When I first started reading blogs, long ago in the Dark Ages before I wrote my own blog, I didn't realize it was customary that if you didn't have anything good to say, it was better not to say anything at all, and that you should always try to find something positive to comment about, even if it was just a minuscule detail. I was always putting my foot in my mouth by being to straight forward and calling a spade a spade. I thought I was a criticizer and not just a reader who could put her positive two cents worth in. It was in a time of my life when I was super critical of anything anyway, so it was the imperfect setup. Very unfortunate. Since then I've learned to keep silent if I think something is nonsense, or to at least find something positive to focus on and to bring any criticism as diplomatically as possible and not see it as a matter of life or death.
It's in the national character to be very critical of things to the point of being rude. That's no excuse to act like a clodhopper, of course, but I used to meet many of those Dutch kind of people when I still lived in the States. They were critical of everything and all things were better in their own country. Those are the kind of people you don't want to read your blog, because they will find all sort of faults with it and trip you up on the smallest details and have an argument with you. I think that's another reason why I don't write in Dutch. It's to prevent me from meeting those kinds of people. English speaking people are more polite as a rule. They come better equipped to hand out the niceties of life and isn't that just a much better atmosphere to write in?
You all know that I only read English language blogs and novels. The only Dutch I read is in the TV Guide and in the articles I read in magazines in waiting rooms. My Dutch is good enough now that I can pass for a native, which I am, after all, although for a long time I didn't feel like one, but I don't have the least desire to read Dutch language novels, many of which would be translated out of another language anyway. There are good writers here, there's no doubt about it, but I'm not the least bit curious about them. My interest lies mainly in English language female authors and there are so many good ones to choose from, that it will keep me busy for a long time, and I will even read male authors now and then.
This specific interest was born after reading a big collection of short stories by female authors that I enjoyed very much and I started reading them and subsequently discovered other English language female authors. Our library has a very good collection of English language novels and I was able to extend my list of authors quite a bit. Now, of course, I mooch books through Bookmooch and I have been very successful so far. What I can't get, but really want, I order occasionally at Bol.com at a discount. Every time I hear about a new author, I look into it and add her to my list if she sounds interesting.
So, you could really say that English is my first language and that Dutch is my secondary language. I don't know if I could express myself as well in Dutch as I do here in English, although I am aware that the occasional mistake slips through every once in a while. I make more mistakes in Dutch.
It's snowing outside and there are a couple of centimeters. Only one car had driven on it so far, so it looks very pretty. I have to take the dog for a walk, because he's waiting impatiently. I'll have to dress warmly, because there's a cold wind blowing.
Well, that was all about writing and reading and such. I hope you all have a nice day.
I'll be thinking about you all on this Sunday and wondering how you are doing.