This blog is in English, because Greg (Cornelia’s son) should be able to read it. I translate it into Dutch, see Siblog 33b. This month of July, Greg visits us in The Netherlands. We go to London, England, De Efteling, the Torture Museum in Amsterdam, bookstores, fish restaurants and visit members of the Cody family in Childs Ercall (see picture below). It is nice to have the opportunity to talk to Greg. He is a nice guy, and he gets along well with everyone, including my kids. He is 27 and thinking hard about which road to take in life. Currently he works as a teacher at a preschool in Virginia and he is very good at it. Tomorrow he is flying back to the United States.
During Greg’s stay he and I work on our own upcycling project and we do it in very different ways. The idea is that we upcycle a box and give that to the other person: a stepson-and-stepdad cocreation project. From my collection of upcyclable objects, Greg chooses a box that can be used as a piggy bank. I will paint it and decorate it to make it shine. It does, however, keep its function. I work on it slowly but steadily: it takes me a couple of weeks. I use several layers of paint, sand it, and put handles and five lucky Chinese coins on it. Also, I put nicely patterned wall paper inside of it. With some good will a piggie can be discerned, with the handles as head and tail. The end result can be seen in the collage on the left hand side.
Greg also makes a box for me. At the recycling shop he sees a box with a stamp inside. He places the stamp outside as a handle. Contrary to me, he produces the box within one day. But what an explosion of creativity! He paints it, puts buttons and a pencil sharpener on the sides and lets his fantasy flow (see collage on the right). Quite a different way of working, but with a great outcome. Both of us write each other a personal letter (Greg) and a personal poem (Sibe) to accompany the gifts. We touch each other with it, as we have reached out and touched each other in the previous month. The boxes we have given each other will remind us of those precious moments And I wish that balance and good luck will be part of Greg’s life when he is back in the States. All of us in England and The Netherlands will support him in that.