h a r o h n n y

An online artificial outing of extremely unreasonable sense, so as to be foolish or (not) taken serious. Written by Bo V and Aïda G.

Promises, Promises

With Christmas lights fading in the background, we start writing down resolutions we know we’re never going to fulfill. I never got to watch all Hitchcock’s movies this past year. I didn’t go running twice a week. I didn’t stop eating chocolate on a daily basis. I’m still drinking much more (mulled) wine than is good for me. Age and glasses of wine should not be counted anyway. I’m still spending too much money on shoes. And I didn’t sell some of my old ones. Sue me.

So as you can tell, this kind of resolutions don’t really work for me. The weird thing is, I don’t mind at all. Because I love watching The Holiday over and over again at Christmas time, crushing over Jude Law (who wouldn’t) and the cute English cottage (fairytales exist). Drinking hot coco spiked with some brandy at Christmas fairs will never stop being my favourite way to spend cold December days. And don’t get me started on the shoes.

My kind of resolutions are more about making promises to myself. Like I promised myself never to change or settle for a life I don’t immediately get super excited about. Sometimes, when surrounded by the comfort of people and places you’re so used to, it’s easy to get swallowed up by other people’s lives. Especially in Winter, when fireplaces, holiday traditions and old friends give you the feeling that this is exactly where you belong. But as much as I don’t want it to, Christmas fades. Decorations are being put down, Advent calendars are finished (I ate all my chocolate in one week anyway but shhh), presents are opened and given a nice place/being returned to the shop because they’re tasteless, Christmas trees start making place for plain old cactuses. You realize this cozy place called home starts losing its spark. You could totally give in to these Winter blues and wallow in self-pity, which gives you even more reason to finish that expensive bottle of brandy. Or, you could see this as a sign to get your life back on track – going to the AA should not be a resolution.

And this is where your New Year’s resolutions come to the rescue. They’re made to keep you from weeping over ripped tinsel and perished mistletoe. They’re just a quick reminder to think about what you want the new year to bring, just like how you asked Santa for Christmas presents. Only, compared to what lovely gifts you found underneath the tree, this present might ask a tiny bit more effort to get to. But it’ll definitely be worth it.

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(When) Christmas Comes to Town

harohnny-christmas-pic

I’m a sucker for Christmas. I wear Santa jumpers during the day and reindeer pj’s at night. I decorated my tree a month before people actually started thinking about putting on a coat. I have a turkey hat that serves as a Christmas ornament for my speakers. Instead of watching the news every day I watch Christmas movies. I know every Christmas carol by heart. Try me.

As you can tell, I’m totally into the Christmas spirit. No hairy Grinches welcome in my Winter Wonderland. Hell to the no.

Every year as soon as Halloween is over, I turn into this over excited elf, wrapping presents no one actually cares about and complaining about the lack of Christmas lights in my street. If I was in Christmas With the Kranks, I would be one of those angry neighbours protesting to free Frostie. I aspire to ride on Santa’s sleigh one day. And why should I not? Why should I not celebrate this holly jolly time of the year, when it’s allowed to be drunk at 2pm – hurray for eggnog. It’s a time when you don’t have to make an effort for small talk with people you barely know. Last week a had a full on conversation with a shopkeeper about the perfect colour for Christmas balls. Blue is a no go, by the way. It’s called a Winter Wonderland, not a Winter Whoreland.

The weird thing is, summer is my favourite season. I love beaches, cocktails and late nights talking to random people from all over the world. Travelling is what I live for. Preferably  to countries that believe snow is something the Americans invented. There’s no place like home vs. the need to explore new places. I thought these were opposites, but I’ve found out they do form a good couple.

What I’ve become to realize during one of my previous trips, is that home is where the heart is. And it’s not because I might feel the need to be at the other side of the world to do whatever I think I need to do there, that I don’t have a home anymore. Of course, I’ll be home for Christmas next year (see what I did there?). But even if I was stuck in a cute old village because of a terrible snow storm, I would embrace the Christmas spirit just as much. No matter where in the world I would be.

I would even do Christmas in July.

Instead of fighting these seemingly conflicting thoughts, I embrace them. I mix & match and know that even fake snowflakes can be charming. So for now, I enjoy the smell of my real Christmas tree. I enjoy the cold December air – or at least I try without freezing to death. I enjoy my friends and family near me. But I will also enjoy putting my backpack back on, packed with memories of last Christmas.

Anomaly

“There was a girl. A very strange, enchanted girl. A little shy and sad of eye, but very wise was she.”

They told her to settle down. To grow up. Not knowing that ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ would always be her favourite song.

She should learn how to prepare a decent breakfast. She chooses to eat some old crackers on her way out. She should go job hunting with her degree. Or put it in her backpack and leave the country. She could find herself a fine hubby if she wanted to. But she is more a Netflix and chill kinda girl. She wants to be a mom one day. Not today. She should start wearing mature blouses. This girl goes wild for Christmas jumpers. She could watch her soap opera every night at prime time. Or she could spend the night getting potted with her mates in the pub. She should buy herself a car. She finds more joy in flirting with strangers on the train. She should read high class literary works. Instead she wallows in the romanticism of predictable chicklits. She should rent a two bedroom apartment. But no, she decided to live in a shared bedroom in a party hostel. She should die old and eat lots of apples. Or just down wine and die young. She should learn how to make some healthy home-cooked meals. She’s ok with cookies and chocolate. She should improve her French. She just started learning Italian. She should start drinking coffee. She’s more into Bailey’s. She should always take her keys with her when she goes out. She rather wakes her roomies in the middle of the night. She should be careful with her intake of alcohol instead of cracking a bottle of red wine every lunchtime. She should watch her cash flow. Which goes only in one direction at the moment. And she’s totally fine with that.
She should miss her old life at home. She doesn’t. Only the people in it.

She shouldn’t get in a car with strangers. She shouldn’t go to the beach with strangers. She shouldn’t move in with strangers. She shouldn’t accept strange looking drinks from strangers in a strange bar. She shouldn’t work for strangers. She shouldn’t be stuck at a lake with strangers. She shouldn’t travel to a strange country with strange people who’re speaking a strange language. She should settle down. But her confused, teenage, dirty mind is not ready for that.
 

A Holy Harohnny Christmas Special

Where are you, Christmas?

miracle on 34th street

Lijstjes als ‘De beste Kerstalbums voor aan de feestdis’, daar doen we bij Harohnny dit jaar lekker niet aan mee. Iedereen weet trouwens toch dat de beste muziek om je (vegi-)kalkoen op te kauwen van Smith & Burrows, She & Him en Frank Sinatra is. We gaan ook geen vluchtelingen/zwartepiet/terrorisme/dewereldisnaardekl*ten- litanieën spuien dit jaar. Maar geen schrik, we gaan Kerstmis niet skippen om vervolgens op cruise naar de Caraïben te vertrekken. Onze stapel nieuw ingevoerde Christmas sweaters laat dit niet toe. Harohnny laat Frostie niet in de steek.

Waar we ons dit jaar wel zorgen over maken, is waar de ‘Christmas spirit’ heen is. Winkelstraten zijn gevuld met gewapende milities in plaats van met hordes gezinnen die het uiterste uit hun creditcards aan het halen zijn.  De temperaturen zijn maar nauwelijks onder nul gezakt en er is nog geen spoor van enige yeti’s. Het enige wat we zien is vijandigheid tegenover mensen die hopen hier iets meer vredelievendheid te vinden dan in het land waar ze – zonder daar zelf enige zeggenschap in hebben –opgegroeid zijn. O ja, we zijn wel nog steeds enorm begaan met alle hippe geldinzamelacties. Zolang onze buren en Facebookvrienden maar zien hoeveel rode neuzen we dragen. Zolang we maar worden gefeliciteerd met onze deelname aan de jaarlijkse sponsorloop.

Maar is het werkelijk liefdadigheid te noemen als je bij een vernield bushokje onmiddellijk de schuld zoekt bij ‘die vrende’ en wanneer je naast iemand staat met een hoofddoek argwanend zoekt naar de nooduitgang?  Is dit dan de Christmas spirit waar alle Christmas carols uit de duizenden kerstlijstjes- waar we dit jaar dus niet aan deelnemen – het over hebben?  Wij zijn ervan overtuigd dat dit niet zo is, anders zou dit toch een aanklacht worden aan de hedendaagse maatschappij. Wat dit zeker niet is. Zie dit eerder als een oproep om een poging te wagen die argwaan, frustraties en vooroordelen aan de kant te schuiven voor zingende kerstbomen en knisperende (al dan niet fake) haardvuren. Zoals een bepaald vrouwenblad zou zeggen: hé, het is oké om het goede te zien in alle mensen. Tenzij ze je kerstchocola afpakken, natuurlijk.