Time to go to China! I'm at the airport right now, getting properly excited for my ten hour flight to Beijing(to be exact: I'm excited for my ten hour flight to be over and to actually be in Beijing). Often when I talk to people about traveling and such, it seems like they think I am very well traveled and must have that effortless ease that frequent travellers seem to have when it comes to things like packing your bags and dealing with the hassle of the airport. Of course, I'd like to think that I'm not a mess by the time I get to the gate, but the current state of my bag, hair and half torn boarding pass speak otherwise.

I don't pack my bag three days in advance-in fact, I don't even really know what to pack three days before I leave! I always forget to do something and then have to do it on the day of leaving, usually this is something quite important too, like picking up food for the trip or printing my knitting patterns to use in the plane. I always need more time to pack than I think, and I always intend to clean my house perfectly before I leave so it's all nice and fresh when I come back, when in practice, a quick vacuum cleaning round is all I can manage and it's dusty anyway by the time I get back. Or my actual house plants are dead but there are plants growing from the sink. 

Then, I usually travel to the airport by train-train travel is a risky business here in the Netherlands at the best of times, but I feel like the NS-Gods just know when I'm about to get into a train with the intention to eventually board a plane, as that's usually when they'll announce the trains are delayed or just plain cancelled because of leaves on the tracks, missing conductors or other shenanigans the NS gets up to. 

Luckily though, I tend to have plenty of time, because not only do I leave ridiculously early thanks to train-paranoia, my flights also have a habit of being delayed. At some point, I had an impressive 8 delayed flights streak. By now, I feel like apologising to my fellow passengers by the time I board.

I like to think all of this is just a lack of experience, and within time I too will look like those relaxed, perfectly groomed people waiting lazily at the gate with everything in order, but I suspect it's rather a personality thing, and I'll be a clumsy hobo no matter what my frequent flyer card says. Oh well ;) 


So, a blog! I started this because I'll be going on an artist residency to Beijing, China in March(in one week, to be exact)and I usually keep people updated through Facebook, as you do. Since Facebook is blocked in China, this is as good a time as ever to start a blog! Thank you, China ;) I will mostly be writing about travelling and the residencies, but I'll also write pieces about embroidery and about how to do artist residencies. I often hear from my fellow artists 'oh, I'd love to do a residency too but I don't know how!'. Once you really get down to it, applying for a residency is quite straightforward, but when you first get started it all seems pretty overwhelming, so I hope a series of articles about that will be useful to some people. Other than that, expect posts about embroidery, pictures from travels and work in progress. 

Lets start with a pretty picture, shall we? ;) I love travelling and going to far away places, but the Hague holds a special place in my heart. Here's a view of the sunset after a rainy day from my bedroom window.