'Though she be but little, she is fierce!'
What a way to describe oneself! Shakespeare's sentence has now set the tone, but that's alright, I suppose, after all, it's never easy to talk about yourself, because where do you begin? And what do you say? So, let's just start from the beginning then, shall we?
My name is Michelle Schuurman. I was born and raised in Adelaide, South Australia. Yes, this proud Dutch-Australian loves her Vegemite, and yes, I do enjoy BBQs. But, no, I don't particularly appreciate swimming in the sea due to the nosy behaviour of a particular species of elasmobranch fish. For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, that's a shark. I'm referring to the larger species with the rather dazzling Colgate smile, and teeth as white as snow. However, I believe that the sea is their home and seeing as sharks and people don't always seem to get along, I felt that swimming in a lake would probably be a safer option. Have you ever felt the urge to kick yourself? I do.
Some years ago I went swimming in Lake Garda, a large lake in Italy, and I enjoyed the experience - until I encountered a huge snake sneaking up on me from behind. I think my hysterical scream scared the living daylights out of the slithering reptile because it disappeared in a flash. Needless to say, I also scrapped 'swim in a lake' off my list. I am now quite happy just twiddling my toes in the safety of an inflatable swimming pool. Come to think of it, Shakespeare's sentence does seem to sound a bit lame now, right? 'Though she may be little, she is also a huge coward' rings more true.
I moved to the Netherlands as a teenager, leaving a rather sizzling + 45 °C behind for a freezing -15 °C. It was like being smacked in the face with a cricket bat. I'm sure my body measurements were reduced mainly due to my cells trying desperately to hold on to some of that glorious Australian warmth. I've never felt so cold before, but as with all things, you do get used to it - well, you do eventually. Sadly, nowadays, not even a deep freeze can diminish my measurements.
I'm married to a very patient, and handsome man and am the proud mother of three wonderful grown-up children, all of whom have aged me considerably due to their somewhat wild pubescent years. In case you're wondering, no, I haven't had a facelift, botox or any other plastic surgery to enhance my good looks. All that sagging skin you see in the photo above? It is mine, all mine! I intend to age with as much grace and dignity as I can muster.
So there we have it, I'm a wife and a mum. However, I'm also a mother in law (no, not the one from hell) and a grandmother, which is understandably hard to believe due to my pretty face, (well someone has to say so). My grandchildren are my greatest joy. My eight-year-old granddaughter says I'm her favourite grandmother because, to quote her: 'Oma, you're as nutty as a fruitcake!'. My baby grandson drools all over me and frequently tries to bite huge chunks of flesh from my face. Should I worry? Heck no! He does, however, remind me of a hungry shark attacking its prey, but since he as yet only has a few teeth, I think I'll survive.
I'm a culturally orientated person. I love history, devour historical biographies, am interested in WW2, love classical music with the occasional odd mix of rock and roll, folk and whatever other music takes my fancy. I love relaxing walks in the country and sometimes long for some much-needed peace. My husband feels the same because he often tells me so, although I do have a sneaky suspicion that he's referring to something entirely different. I just retaliate and give him burnt sausages for dinner.
And just so you know...
I may be fierce, but I am also quite gentle...
Michelle Schuurman (and partly William Shakespeare)