This was the Chinese year of the dog, and I can only laugh at how relevant that has been to my home life. Alfie, our Saluki mix rescue, came to live with us just before Christmas 2017, and I took time in the beginning of this year to let him settle in to his new home.
This was taken by Stories by Madelinde, not long after he came to live with us. He looks a lot more relaxed with us these days. However romantic adoption is, it also takes a lot of time, patience, work and love to help him find confidence. It is still a work in progress, but he has been such a source of joy and fun!
And in the process, I have met some really great people, and built a really nice contact with his former foster lady!
I didn't post a whole lot of pictures on social media, except in my Instastories, so if you want to follow the dog adventures and see in how many ways this yoga dog can bend, go follow me on Instagram. ;)
In January, I put on my big girl shoes and asked if I could audition for De Wilde Deerne, a musical theater project initiated by De Zwolse Stadsproductie, led by Ilona Kevelham and Boudewijn Koops. Even though I don't live in Zwolle, I was given a shot and against all odds, I was cast as a singer from Antwerp. It was my first theater production ever, the first time I was given permission to go nuts with my voice and play such an over the top character. I have loved the whole project so much!! The goal was to build community and it really did. For the duration of the project, on the days we played shows, I lived in anti-squatting housing in a former methadone clinic with some of the production crew and it was hilarious and fun! I am so grateful for the experience, and I made some new friends in the process. In the midst of that whirlwind, I also lost my aunt and my foster sister. Getting a text message backstage with the news and going back on stage... Even though I was away from home, there were wonderful friends who were so kind, and I thank the production for allowing me time off to attend the funerals (and Toos Ligtenberg for replacing me on such short notice!) The losses brought families together, and we celebrated life with all its ups and downs.
In the meantime, Folkert Brands and I were working on a new music project, called Prospectif. It is different from what I do as Elisabeth Daniel, but as much 'me'. Folkert builds electronic tracks, gives them a title, sends them to me, and I write melody and lyrics to them. We have had a lot of fun in the process and on 7 December, we released our debut single, "Second Atmosphere", which you can listen to on Spotify! If you like ambient triphop, go follow us on Facebook and Instagram! Here are some pictures of our gig at the Muziek bij de Buren afterparty this month, taken by Robert Westera.
In between, I was doing freelance work in admin and social media, and to the extent possible with other work and Alfie, I continued working with Cherut. It was fantastic to see some friends fulfill some of their goals and dreams, and one of those moments was when Anke Lenaerts presented her art and stories book, Women in Gold. We combined our strengths for Koffieklap's 5th anniversary, which was extra special, because it brought Cherut, her art, my music, and friends together.
The last gig of the year was last weekend at the Wereldberoemde Verhalenfestival in Zwolle, where I told the story of Esther in a beautiful yurt on the festival site. Here are some pictures:
There were trips, great conversations - some with random strangers, long-lasting and new treasured friendships, unexpected kindness, loss, struggle, fun visits, new experiences, hospitality, and a lot of joy and love. I would say there has been a whole lot of life lived.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this year, to everyone who has supported and encouraged, to everyone who has lovingly challenged and pushed.
Here's to a great end of 2018 and to all the good things to come in 2019! Let's make the most of every day we are given, and grow in Love! Cheers! 🥂
And for those interested, here were my top 9 most liked Instagram pics of 2018: