Lens. From Greek antiques to Art Deco.
Amsterdam. A room full of girls on the top floor of a very narrow house. Rembrandt, Chagall and Constant. Canals shining under the sun. Hot mint.
Toulouse. So much rain. Giving a talk in my wet socks. Cake and tea. Books, books, books, so many books. The whirlwind of an evening from here to there, chatting freely with people I had just met, having fun. Breakfast in the sun.
Germanland. A room that hasn't changed over the years. Work. Schubert on the piano. Aperol-Spritz on the main square. A long theater rehearsal. A party, me in my striped dress, stories, confessions, hugs, and love. Ice cream alongside the river. Feeling at home.
Southern France. I didn't know it, but this was to be the last time I saw my grandmother.
Germanland, again. More work. Feeling warm and loved as an old friend fusses around me, feeding me food, coffee, music and books. A ride on the river. An evening at the theater. Hugs.
Porto. Music, food, sunshine, a ride on the river, the decaying beauty of an old town, photos of that same town taken from behind windows. A crown of flowers on my head. Port. All of it in great company.
London. Canals, water, pubs, sunshine, Indian food with a Californian friend.
Cambridge. Beers near the water. The best little girl in the entire world. Photo shoots. Indian food with a lots of people I never met before and a few I've loved for what feels like forever. More sunshine, pubs and water.
Southern France. Meeting the most fantastic puppy in the entire world. Swimming outside. Managing to neither melt nor burn in the sun. Thinking, fleetingly, about running away from it all and write absurd novels.
Picardie. Fires and shooting stars.
Stockholm. Science. Great science, awesome science, terrible science. Science in hallways, science at breakfast tables, science around beers, science in rooms where we sneaked in. Some of the best conversations around food and beer I've ever had. The fantastic Scandinavian light at sunset. Reindeer and sea lions. Telling stories.
Southern France. Two round trips in one week to see my grandmother die and bury her. A warm puppy licking the tears off my face. Hugging my cousin for the first time ever and wondering whether we'll ever let go.
San Diego. Sunshine, water, good food and beers. And cool science and friends. I'm starting to see a theme here.
Tunisia. No Internet. No decisions to make. The Mediterranean, sunshine, desert sand, oases, palm trees, camels, Roman ruins, and dates. Probably what saved me from burning out.
Germanland. Curling up with my feet under myself, liters of tea, a few beers, theater, boardgames, and good friends wrapping me in their arms.
Southern France. Family, minus one. Mixing traditions from Provence, Morocco, and Germany. The sun on my face and a warm puppy on my belly.
You know, I could convince myself it was a good year.