A Blogger’s Best Friend – Introducing “my” Jasper

I am actually not a Warrior of the Pen in the literate sense of the word – in that I do not write my blogs with an actual pen but with the keyboard of my laptop. However I usually have a pen and a piece of paper with me wherever I go to enable me to jot down notes, thoughts, ideas, reflections and feelings, which I then elaborate on in the evening or the weekend. So when my figurative “pen” (aka laptop) decided to quit a few weeks back, I sent out this little prayer to the IT God that might be:

Dear IT/Computer God, 
I really want to thank you. Yesterday I thought that my beloved laptop, called Gimli II (because he is small and strong) had officially died. But today you allowed him to come to life one last time, which enabled me to back up some of my last files and my pictures from my amazing Canada/USA trip in the summer of 2012. Thank You!!!! As my dad would say I have more luck than common sense.
However I think it is definitely time to put Gimli II to rest – he has been a faithful companion throughout my MA degree and the first 4 years of my professional life. 2013 is a new year for new beginnings, and hence also for a new laptop. Rest in peace Gimli II, I promise to find him a worthy replacement.
Your Steffi

So it was time for Mission: Find New Laptop; even though my credit card kept screaming in agony, trying to argue its case, blackmailing and sweet talking me, all to no avail.  A new laptop was needed, whether I liked it or not. I mean how I am supposed to keep up with my new blog without a decent writer’s kit?

I originally wanted something smaller and handier that I could take with me to my favorite café or bar for a productive writing session after work – yes I have to admit I got caught up in the romantic idea of seeing  myself as a buzzing writer in a cliché setting (sipping a latte macchiato while writing something incredibly witty). I liked the idea  of a power-book that could fit easily into my handbag, so I could write anywhere and everywhere. I actually identified such a species in the shop – but to my dismay it only came with an AZERTY keyboard, and I don’t do AZERTY!  In high school I had learned to type with 10 fingers on a QWERTZ keyboard, hence there was no way I was going to compromise my writing flow for a smaller size laptop. So on to choice No2 – which, as it was the last of its kind in store, only came pre-installed with the Windows package in French. Again a no go, I am used to communicating with my laptop in English, I was not going to let it talk to me in a “foreign” language. I do not want to have to check up words in my online dictionary to understand my friend’s needs. Yes, I know I can be picky and sometimes I do not like change… but I wanted a laptop that fitted into my life, not me fitting into the laptop’s life.

So in the end I went home with a Lenovo notebook, with a QWERTZ keyboard and a Windows 8 package with English language option. It actually turned out to be bigger than my old laptop – cliché of aspiring writer thrown overboard – pragmatism wins. If I recall correctly I do not ever remember the last time Gimli II left the house – so I did not see why my habits with Gimli II replacement would change.

So without any further ado – Ladies and Gentlemen – I am very happy and proud to introduce my partner in crime – Jasper. As you can see I stayed true to my tradition of naming my laptops  after a book character, and to your absolute horror and disapproval I have just come out as a Twilight fan  (I shall hang my head in shame). I promise you though that this blog shall not be used to discuss my fascination with the Twilight saga – it shall suffice to say that it is the only book series that I have read more than once (four times in total me thinks) and I never ever read a book twice. However please allow me to explain as to why I have chosen the name Jasper, in the hope that you will understand and actually forgive me.

Jasper is one of the “minor” Twilight characters, who is a bit underestimated, underrated and easily overlooked – he is the underdog and that is why he is my favorite.  Jasper is a former army major, with a militaristic and strategic mind set, who is called upon when battle tactics need to be discussed and elaborated. He is charismatic and a good person at heart, who possesses the unique “gift” of feeling and “manipulating” other people’s emotions (particularly calming people down when they are angry). Jasper for me is a warrior, who struggles on a daily basis, who finds it hard adapting to his new surroundings and life; who is trying very hard to master the art of self-restraint and control; so what better name to choose for my companion than the one character who “symbolizes” my personal daily struggle?

Here is to Jasper and me – to a long and happy friendship!


Introducing the Warrior of the Pen

Moien (that is “Hello” in Luxembourgish), my name is Steffi or Steph, I am never ever Stéphanie, even though this is my official name. I just turned 29 nearly two weeks ago. My academic background is in International Development and I currently work for a NGO in Luxembourg, my home country. I am what I would call a “repat” – I returned “home” after having lived abroad for 7 years (involving 7 moves across 4 cities in 2 countries before hitting my current destination). My “happy place” is a beach in Mozambique. I don’t like shopping for clothes, but I can get lost in a bookstore for hours. Wealth for me is measured in the number of books I possess; I adore good food and wine (red not white), but value great company and conversations even more. I think that jumping on beds in IKEA is the most random thing I have ever done in my life. I don’t particularly like Christmas, but adore Thanksgiving (the Canadian one!). I don’t really know how to ride a bike properly and my proudest moment of my life, apart from graduating with two degrees, was the day I mastered the art of blowing up a balloon at age 28.  Oh yeah, and I was diagnosed with breast cancer on October 3rd, 2012. That day changed me in more ways than one and turned me into a warrior.

This is my blog, my testimony to saying YES, YES to Life, YES to the wonders I encounter every single day of my current life, YES to getting busy living. Thank you for letting me share part of this journey with you.

My "happy" place

My “happy” place