April 18, 2009
Every year, for as long as I can remember, on my birthday at 10 a.m. my mother would tell me the story of my birth. As births go, mine was rather unremarkable except that I was my mother's first child. The hoped for 'footballer' did not appear, but that was soon forgotten. I was born in the Kamperstraat in Amsterdam, but I always said Kalverstraat. In one street there was a hospital and the other street is one of the liveliest shopping streets in the heart of Mokum (Amsterdam), but what did I know?
When I left home at 21 my mother would call me every birthday at 10 a.m, and we would both act as if she was telling the story to me for the first time and I, as if I was hearing it for the first time and this is what we still do. It's our little game. Living a continent away makes it a little harder to reach me at 10 a.m. dutch time, so we have changed it to 10 a.m. Mountain Time. It has become quite a precious little ritual to us both. This picture was taken on our veranda of our house in South Africa. I am dressed in a costume from Volendam.