Emma Massingale

If my fairy godmother were to appear all of a sudden and tell me my life had been cursed by some envious sorceress and that the only way to save me was to switch lives with someone, I would choose the life of Emma Massingale.

In fact, I wouldn’t need my own life to be threatened to choose a life like Emma’s. #lifegoals

That she has a lot of animals is unquestionably awesome, but the way she does it is what I admire the most. The bond she shares with her furry friends is incredible.

She is an adventurous soul. She is a dreamer who learned much about life and herself the hard way (by being too bold and breaking important bones). She is naturally charming and unapologetically awkward.

But don’t take my word for it, take a look:

All the work she does with the animals is based on fun and never force. She uses their natural way of being to teach them tricks. She is their leader but most definitely also their friend and part of the pack.

She goes on fun trips around the country with beasts of all shapes and sizes and makes it look effortless. One time she might take all the tan colored horses (of all sizes) out for a stroll. On the next occasion, she might take the speckled team (including the dalmatian) along. And sometimes, like in this video below, she’ll go on a ride with two ponies, a lamb, a dog and a cat.

I am a fan, as you might have suspected by now. I love all of her work and am thrilled every time a new vid comes out.

I even love it when she dresses up her animals in crazy outfits, even though I usually can’t stand that. In her case though, I know that she wouldn’t do it if the animal was uncomfortable with it. Also, I believe that her animals live very natural lives, outside of the work they do with her.

I guess that, if my fairy godmother were to appear, I might ask her to adjust just one aspect of my new life as Emma. I would be tempted to ask her to transfer it all to a place with slightly better weather. I’m sure English moors are lovely on a sunny summer day but in the winter, maybe not so much…

Then again, if at the end of the day you can warm up by the fire surrounded by some furry friends, it would totally be worth it.


This dedication to Emma Massingale is a contribution for my own personal A-to-Z challenge, which I will be adding to once a month. Alphabet so far:

  • A is for Axolotl
  • B is for Bird buddies
  • C is for Comfort food
  • D is for Dystopia
  • E is for Emma Massingale

All the images in this blog were taken from Emma Massingale’s social media accounts. I do not own them nor have rights to them.

Mind Cleanup: Aug 2020

AAaaaaaand that was it for August, folks!

My blogging flow was definitely less burdensome than it was in July. And I think that applies to most things in my life. The rhythm of what we used to consider to be normal is slowly returning and I am enjoying getting back into the routine.

Cycling

In some respects my routine has even improved.

For example, when I started to go back to the office, I didn’t feel completely comfortable taking the train, so I started cycling the 19kms to work. And now that I’m back in the office three times a week I have kept up this habit.

We’ll see how long I last when autumn makes an entrance, but for now I feel really good about myself.

Permaculture

I don’t even know what triggered it, but somewhere in the last month I have become very interested in permaculture. I have spoken to several people that have experience with these principles and I will definitely sign up for an extensive course in the future.

Bill Mollison, one of the founders of the concept, says some things in the video above that captivate me. He says:

When you look at a whole system there are two things that are very undesirable: one is work, and the other one is pollution. Pollution is a product of work. Work is a result of not supplying every component of your system with its needs.
(…)
Another thing which is extraordinarily intriguing is that when you design well nature takes hold of what you’ve done and does it better. But what you gotta do is watch the system and guide its life path.
(…)
[Permaculture is] an attempt to build a good place to live.

How to Summer

August was hot. The Netherlands didn’t know how to cope. We were not made for temperatures above 25 degrees celsius, and definitely not for weeks and weeks on end. And where did all the sky-water go?

The pandemic just added that little extra layer of complications.

Beaches were too full, crammed with every Dutch person that would normally travel abroad during their holiday. On top of that, holiday-goers from other countries made their way to our small sliver of coast as well, given that our corona measures have been relatively lenient.

As you can imagine, everybody and their mother had and opinion about this. It was intense.

And for reasons not completely clear to me, quite a lot of people drowned. Did it have to do with the large amount of people in the water and therefore an inherent larger amount of people running the risk of getting in trouble? Or did the abnormally high temperature perhaps do something to the water(currents)? Or are people just not good swimmers (anymore)?

I don’t know what was up, but it was definitely remarkable.

Star Trek

I’ve been watching the Star Trek – Next Generation series the last few months. I am now somewhere halfway season 5. I watched it sporadically as a kid, but never from a-to-z. This means I never got fully acquainted to the different characters, other than their superficial traits.

Also, I never appreciated the deep philosophical questions that many of the episodes touch. Questions such as “what does it mean to be human?”, “what is love?” and “when does help become an imposition of your way of living on another” come by.

Now that I am going further down the Star Trek rabbit hole, I am even thinking of writing a couple of blogposts about the deeper lessons one could learn from it. The stories are not quite ripe yet, but I am enthusiastic about the idea.

Music service switch

I’ve always used free version of music streaming apps. This means I have to deal with commercials in between music these days. And that’s OK. I get it.

It did start to bug me that Spotify made their commercials extra annoying, probably to coax me towards buying their premium version. I don’t like being manipulated that way. So once I got over my attachment to my Spotify playlists, I made the switch to Deezer.

It’s been an easy process and there is nothing about Spotify that I miss. I highly recommend Deezer. The fact that their commercials are friendly and subtle (and not 50% louder than the music I was listening too either) I am actually considering trying the premium version!

Confusing quote

My interest for permaculture has also caused my filterbubble to start including information from more alternative sources. And that is how this little gem came upon my path:

I was actually quite confused by it.

The premise that plants grow better if you speak kindly to them is already a bit wobbly, if you ask me. I think I am not integrated enough in the treehuggers-community to be able to accept the parallel between plants and people in the way it is presented here. My imagination is clearly lacking…

On to September we go!