We must Feast: Vaals trip learning

The biggest learning, which 2017 brought for me, was that things often do not go as planned, and that is a gift.

As an INTJ – MBTI profile I am a goal-oriented person. I make lists. I systematically work towards tackling the topics on my list. I diligently mark them off, one by one, in order, ensuring that each task has had my attention. Unfortunately, adding to my dismay, people let us down and processes have disruptions, not just sporadically but, repeatedly. To top it all, sometimes, even when we take all precautions – shit happens. Just like that. Out of nowhere. These happenings, which have caused me much frustration, I realize now thanks to the year 2017, created pockets of insight from which I learn a great deal about myself.


Mid-December we headed off to Vaals to stay at the Kasteel Vaalsbroek. Having had such wonderful experiences with Bilderberg properties we were excited.The drive from Amsterdam was pretty as we crossed several vineyards to get to Limburg. The property was enchanting with lit fireplaces, reading corners, and a running stream. Bambi and I enjoyed a swim in their luxurious swimming pool that came with its own cave. In the evening, we visited the city centre.

Unfortunately, Bambi got sick on our first night, and we had to rush back to Amsterdam in the wee hours of the morning. On the way back, sick shivering child in tow, we stopped at a petrol pump to refuel, they say when it rains – it pours! Apoorva slipped and fell, injuring his ribs rather badly.


A few days back from the trip, the boys were on the mend, slowly and steadily life crept back to the usual pace of morning coffees and iPads, laundry piles and writing, long walks and takeaway food. I was thankful that we were home. Home for the holidays after all the dramatic events did not seem like such a bad idea after all. But, I was glad, in a strange way, that we went to Vaals.

There is something to be said about trips, which make you feel that you have left something-you-needed-to-leave behind. Lisbon made me feel that way. It took away the niggling splinter. I feel that one evening in Vaals was meant to be just that, its unraveling nullified a knot.

Apoorva fell, paused, got up, collected himself, walked, and drove miles. Bambi was ill, shaking, he got sick over and over again, worried and tired, yet he willed himself to better health, and fantasized about food to no end. I fretted and fussed. I did things slowly. I mended.

Perhaps, the cipher to all those bungled plans is the awareness that everything happens for a reason. Is it the INTJ in me still pushing myself to see a silver lining, a learning? Is it my religion urging me to reconfigure my chakras? Is my spirituality seeking karmic relief? Certainly, the awareness that failure is common and oft-repeated is not new, that people are fallible is also not a revelation, when sea waves crash on you again and again its repetition is no longer surprising. 2017 will be remembered as the year I understood that disruption is a blessing for my craft. It sharpens my pencil and wets my paintbrush. Admittedly, I might be late in the game of this discovery, I am sure this epiphany is not new. But, for me, it happened in 2017.

Whatever be the kedgeree life cooks, undercooks, or even burns – dinner time will come – and the churn will produce – a meal. We must dine, even feast, we must celebrate the rolling of this juggernaut.

I share with you some pictures from the one evening in Vaals.

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Diligent Candy

A local [international] blogger, writer, amateur photographer, academic, solar-powered INTJ, voracious reader, wears novelty socks, proud mom, and indulgent wife.

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