‘In a love break, you can say that the cake is done. A friendship is really about your character’


Stéphanie Hoogenberk: ‘Complaining about something also creates a bond. Janneke and I hate presenter Erik Dijkstra to death. A very ugly man.’Figure Frank Rider

End a friendship or let it bleed to death?

‘Bleed to death. Breaking up is painful for both parties. But sometimes you have to. If someone keeps asking to meet, you can’t say “I can’t” indefinitely.

‘The first story in my book We’ve talked about you is about how I end a 22 year friendship. I wanted to write down why I did it. When I tried it verbally with friends, I told a few anecdotes about her and they quickly came across as vain and childish. For the same reason, I prefer not to give a separate example.

“Another story is about how two women ended their friendship with me. You hear so often about people who have been cheated in love, but almost never about people who feel slighted in a friendship. There is a lot of shame in that. With love, you can say that a certain chemistry is gone, that the cake is finished. A friendship is really about your character.

‘I was inspired for my book by the American authors Nora Ephron, Fran Lebowitz and David Sedaris. The six stories are personal events, memories.

‘Of course, the people described will recognize themselves in the book. But I didn’t think about that while I was writing, otherwise the result would be awkwardly cute.’

Linda or Quote?

into my column Linda I don’t want to miss, but my reports are coming in Quote nor. In 2018 I visited Peter Gillis in one of his holiday parks. The highlight was meeting a German couple who said to him in German: ‘We’ve been coming here for 22 years, but this will be the last time.’ Peter did not ask why, and the woman pointed to her husband and said, “Because he is dead.” Peter then said ‘Too bad’, patted him on the back and moved on. Then I am completely satisfied.

‘I’ve always written, first when I was 19 on the travel blog site Waarbenjij.nu, when I took a language course for five weeks, and I didn’t immediately enjoy it.

‘Then I started writing pieces on my site and on Facebook. As a 29-year-old, I have Volkskrant magazine emailed and asked if I could join a trip for singles. It turned out to be a goldmine of a report. A man made sex jokes all the time. The tour guide called him to order, said women don’t like it. I recommend such a trip to everyone.’

Shit or Warm message?

‘It’s headlines in That crap show, a podcast I make with the author Janneke van der Horst. Bee Shit we tell something we thought was crap that week at Warm message we praise something. In our new episode, coming online on Thursday, mine will be about Can’t we talk about something more pleasant?a graphic novel by Roz Chast.

‘I’m not into cartoons at all, but I’ve been enjoying the book for three days now. It is about an only child whose parents are over 90 years old. She describes everything that comes with it, such as emptying their house, but also the truly shameful qualities of her parents. Horrifying, but also funny because of the cartoons.

‘I now also share book tips on Instagram. I used to think it was pedantic, but so few people read anymore that I think it’s important to share what gets me excited. I take a lot of comfort from Nicolien Mizee, who writes that she can also find friendships very complicated.

“But saying something also creates a bond. Janneke and I are very annoyed by Erik Dijkstra. A very ugly man. Once he threw a pigeon that went wrong, and another time he threw a bottle of beer at a tour boat that went right. And as Janneke rightly said, you shouldn’t wear a leather jacket and glasses like that.

“We have never received complaints about the inconveniences we discuss. They are also not always essential: for example, about a friend who says Iesja Meijer instead of Ischa, with a hard g. If I really had something in my stomach, I would go to that person’.

Stéphanie Hoogenberk: 'I get excited about those talk shows every day.  I used to enjoy watching good interviews at 'Pauw' or 'Pauw & Witteman'.  Now there are always the same people, and it's all about the news Image Frank Ruiter

Stéphanie Hoogenberk: ‘I get excited about those talk shows every day. I used to enjoy watching good interviews at ‘Pauw’ or ‘Pauw & Witteman’. Now there are always the same people and it’s all about news’Figure Frank Rider

Erik Dijkstra or Lauren Verster?

‘Lauren Verster, whom Janneke and I have often talked about. She seems nice in real life but I don’t like her shows. I always end up with more questions than I started with – an achievement in itself.

“Recently she went to the weed nuns in America. A nun tells her that she started researching cannabis oil because her son had cancer. Then I have a thousand questions. How is your son now? Did she even survive? Why did you enter that monastery full time? But Lauren nods and asks no questions in return, she is happy about something’.

Twitter or talk show?

Twitter, for sure. I get sick of those talk shows every day. I used to enjoy going to good talks at Peacock or Peacock & Witteman to see. The world moves on i miss too.

‘Now there are always the same people and it’s all about news. I think someone should sit at the table every day to talk about a book. So many beautiful ones come out.

“Twitter is an addiction that brings me a lot. Thanks to Twitter, we now have a great podcast studio and a friend. And I know what newspaper articles I want to read because someone recommends them.’

Havo or Limburg complex?

‘Havo complex. Now it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to.

‘I wasn’t motivated at high school in Sittard. I thought it was cool to stay seated. Then I worked in a clothing store for a year, but I got bored there after three months. Then I started on the Dutch teacher training course.

‘After that year in that clothes shop, I got a huge urge to prove myself. I read biographies and all the interviews HP/Time, which my father had a subscription to. I looked up every word I didn’t know’.

To fake names or not?

‘In my book, almost all names are fictitious.

‘When I had a bone to pick with my ex, I got into one Lindacolumn made an exception. “I hope you’ll write a column about me one day,” he told me as I entered The password had written about flip flops – the worst footwear on earth – by another ex.

‘Good, I thought, because I was still angry with him. He had not opened up nicely, a month later he forgot my birthday but asked me to open the door to his house so his friend could put things there. He was lying on the beach himself and oh yes, I could immediately hand over the key.

I described that in Linda, including his first name – which I’m not going to mention right now. To be honest, I needed that name too. I wrote that the only good thing about our relationship was that my friends always laughed when I said his name. He reminded them of an old man.’

Alone or together on holiday?

‘In my book I describe a three-week writing holiday in Italy. I will never do that again. Writing didn’t work and it colored everything: environments, encounters.

‘Then let’s go together. But the other must have somewhat the same rhythm. I think one of my very best friends is not the right one for me because she likes cycling and… well, mostly cycling through the mountains. I don’t like doing things. I take an afternoon nap and could lie on a beach bed with a book for three weeks.

‘I once went to America with a friend, which was nice, but at the same time I was terribly annoyed. He suffers from a gathering rage. Within two days our hire car was full of brochures, tickets and handkerchiefs which I had to clean up because he happened to be going to the bathroom when he had to return it.’

Stephanie Hoogenberk

1985 Born in Geleen

1997-2002 Secondary school Trevianum Sittard

2005-2009 Dutch teacher training at Fontys Hogeschool Sittard

2010-2012 Two-year master’s in Dutch linguistics at the University of Amsterdam

2012-2014 Football Magazine Per Department Hard grass

2016 Report on travel for singles in Volkskrant magazine

2018-present Prescribing reports Quote

2020-now columnist at Linda

2021-Now Podcast The Shit Show with Janneke van der Horst

2023 book We’ve talked about you (Prometheus)

Stéphanie Hoogenberk has a boyfriend and lives in Amsterdam.

Stephanie Hoogenberk: We’ve talked about you. Prometheus; 224 pages; € 20. Available from 24/1.

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