A Coffee Talk and April Sum-up

It has been a while since we had a coffee talk – and suddenly it is May. Today I wrote my morning pages, saying good-bye to April and realized that I had planned so much for this month – and did so little. No photowalks, no color hunts, no collection of shop signs I intended to go for with my camera. Thanks God to the all the photos I had taken in Rome – they were enough for one month’s sharing (and I still have some in store ;)). These coffee photos were taken just before my trip, in the last days of March. The air was still winter cold, but the sunlight was that of the spring. So everyone went outside to grab a place on a sunny terrace, and there we sat, in our winter jackets, enveloping ourselves in scarfs and rugs – pretending that this is a real spring. Celebrating the light.

Spring vibes. It starts looking like spring here. At last. You may not believe it, but while the whole Instagram is full of blossoming magnolias and the French blogs show gardens full of grass, flowers and life – here in Norway we had seen some first flowers in April, but the leaves are coming out only now. This winter has been really long, and the spring has been really late. I hear, there is still snow lying in some woods and outside of Oslo. And some days ago I have seen a guy in full ski attire with skis over his shoulder, waiting for the bus. Where was he going, I wonder?

Well, sometimes it is hard to call it spring yet. What is true for April in Oslo is that one day you see people dressed down almost to their bikinis, the next day you wear your winter puffy jacket. Then you walk in a t-shirt, and then again in a rain coat. It is totally unpredictable here. The previous weekend we had temps up to +19, and while the Spanish tourists were still in their winter clothes, the locals filled the parks and streets, wearing shorts and t-shirts. But then the cold came back, the streets got empty again, and yesterday, on the first day of May, it was +3, rain and promised snow (it didn’t show up, but no one would be surprised). I pulled out a wool coat and a wool scarf again – I was wearing them in January sometimes. Five months later and it is still an actual choice. Norway, when will I get used to this? πŸ™‚

But the green leaves are a joy to the eye. Suddenly it feels like real spring. And even if it is biting cold again, and feels like winter is back, I still feel happy. Because it is green! And it is light until 9pm – so the darkness is gone and we head on to the lighter times!

Coffee Talk. How do you like your usual coffee? Do you prefer to take it in a cafe or at home? I like to make my coffee at home, in a coffee press pot, and enjoy it in the company of my journal or my Mac. But there are some days in a month when I walk around with a square head, making notes to myself like in fear of sudden Alzheimer, and coffee has been consumed but the system would not start. Today was such a day, and I felt lost – until I have heard my intuition’s voice. It told me to get out, into the sun and wind, and find a place in that hipster bar around the corner. These are the perks of living in a hipster neighborhood – the Norwegian barista champions just a block away (holding myself fast from bragging :)) There, with the first sips of cappuccino, the universal chaos of my head fell into harmony. And the sound system started playing a song “MΓ₯nemannen” (The Moon Man) by the band “Vamp”. And I felt like jumping up and telling everyone that I know the song by heart and understand the band’s difficult dialect. Because I have lived in Haugesund, on the West Coast of Norway, and the band comes from Haugesund. And I may not look like I know more besides my hipster hood, but I know. I have been listening to this band a lot, and I used to talk the Haugesund dialect when I moved to Oslo. Nice memory on such a strange day. Do you like going out to take coffee on your own? (And do you know “Vamp”? :))

Color of the month. Though I didn’t go on the color hunt, it turned out that my April had a color theme. I just had to go through my photos searching images for this post – and suddenly I have seen a pattern. It started with those ochre shade that is so typical for the Roman buildings. Then it showed itself everywhere – in my favorite Aperol Spritz, in flowers matching my coffee cup at home, in my drink choice on the plane, flying in the sunset. In Oslo it was the cheerful facade housing a Portuguese cafe “Pastel de Nata” (I still need to go and try their pastry!) – when I stepped out from a job interview and felt happy to discover it there. No need to play guessing games – you can see it easily here (click on any image to view it in the gallery).

Orange was once my favorite color. I find it the happiest and most vibrant of all the colors, even though now I prefer red in clothing and accessories. But when I discovered that my April was spent in an orange filter, I felt an instant happiness. Not bad after all, not bad.

Going shopping. Another collection I could compose is from my favorite activity: window-shopping. Although it is more than “window”, because I go inside (and what else would you like to do in the Northern wind like today?), but I have no intent buying anything – I do it just for the sake of exploring, getting inspired, collecting images. Hence the name “window-shopping”. Except when we went to IKEA to buy some plants for our balcony. IKEA is all on trend these days, with lots of greenery and natural materials. They say, that bamboos lamp has become a hit in different interiors, from hipster cafes to hotels and further. Well done, IKEA! I love this trend. I hope, it will only continue. I vote for more green in our homes and our lives!

I have spent some time indoors, since the weather was… not always nice (see the discussion above :))). From now on, I hope, I will spend more time on the streets and in the gardens than in stores. Seeing actual greens and colors of nature. That IKEA green and trendy factor, by the way.

An attempt at minimalism.Β I have wanted to write about lifestyle minimalism and my take on decluttering – for quite a long time. These days I am dealing with the collection of old magazines. I have collected them since 2012 and taken from place to place. Now they just take up the space which we need (Carles is moving the furniture again, throwing away the old shelves), and if we, maybe, decide to move soon I will have to get rid of them anyway. So I am going through them now, cutting out the images that I want to take further with me. But gosh, it was such a sad activity yesterday. Like saying good-bye to an old friend. They have been with me at the beginning of my new life, those magazines. They have seen me change my style, change my life, falling in love and getting my heart broken. I have opened them again and again, after their fashion was out of fashion – but the style never dies. And now I rip into their pages – like ripping in my own heart. Am I too sensitive these days? Is it foolish – to be so sentimental about a bunch of old magazines? (Anyone here with the same collector quirk?)

This was my attempt at decluttering, and it was not so easy (no bragging material yet :)) It will take some time till I can call myself a minimalist, haha. I could never call myself that, but I thought something has changed recently. Not so much as the experience shows, not so much πŸ™‚

What are you up to in the middle of this spring? Any collections, any colors, any spring clean? Share your April thoughts and discoveries! Always lovely to hear from you!

16 thoughts on “A Coffee Talk and April Sum-up

  1. Fun post, hearing what you have been up to, Marina!
    Must take a moment to listen to that Vamp song out of curiosity at some point πŸ˜‰ Listening to videos is hard though since my only free time is when the babies sleep and any noise could wake them up!
    The weather here is the same as yours (as are my clothing choices: winter stuff!), except no green yet! You guys are ahead of us πŸ™‚
    As for home decor, I don’t collect, I throw everything away. Right now I have so much stuff to sell online or at a flea market, if only I could muster the energy! Haven’t sold at a flea market since the 90’s, but I’d better start making more practical choices financially (instead of throwing away).
    I like orange too πŸ™‚ My coffee is espresso since I have no time for larger cups. Strong and efficient. Four a day now (down from 5!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Snow! My April seemed fast and fluent, with little to name – but when I sit down and write… suddenly there is almost too much πŸ˜† (should cancel writing with a glass of red wine, makes me overchatty πŸ˜†).
      Yepp, we are ahead! Can it be true? Thank you, God πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I thought we were the last. I don’t view too much Instagram now – to keep me from crying 😭
      Btw, you can listen to anything with your headphones. Is it ok for babies? I don’t have babies, but I have a football-obsessed hubby. So I use headphones if I want to share a couch but wanna listen to my stuff (Russian youtubers πŸ™ˆπŸ˜†).
      I am in the period of getting rid of stuff too. But I just have to go to shops, look, touch, imagine. It is my hobby, a dangerous one, but I need it πŸ™‚ I used to work in shops for almost 6 years of my life. That must be a professional damage πŸ˜†
      Do you get out to take coffee with your babies? Or do they prefer fresh air to the coffeehouse caffeinated buzz?))
      And wow, 4 coffees! My dose is 1 (and I tried to live a week without it but I couldn’t 😱). Congrats on the progress! What is the goal? How many cups?

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      • If I wear headphones I won’t hear if the babies cry. Sometimes I watch a tv show online (The tv channels here are all online too, which is great! Is it the same over there?) and set the volume to really really low so that I can just about hear it! But listening to music that way is a bit pointless 😊
        Yes, we seem to be the last ones. I can’t bear to look at foreign spring pics either! (Everyone says they love winter yet they are so excited for spring!)
        But I still see moms playing outdoors with their kids every day, no matter what the weather. They must have an attitude that this is what life is, there is no alternative, rain or fog, out we go! I don’t know how I could train myself to think like that. Rationally, yes, but my heart…?? I’m getting excited now about my babes going to kindergarten in 6 months, so that they will be able to play outside then, and I won’t have a guilty conscience about that anymore! I keep seeing all the tiniest kids playing outdoors for hours with their kindergarten groups! Maybe that is how they get acclimatized and learn to not mind the cold and wind!??
        My coffee goal is 4, I can’t go lower than that!!! But I also won’t go over it anymore, yay 🀣 One coffee! Wow! Well, in my defense, espressos are really tiny and 4 feels like one big coffee… πŸ˜‹ with just a BIT more caffeine!! (Sometimes I do take decaf!!)
        I don’t go to cafes with the babes coz a)our twin pram is too big for most doors! (we got it for free and they are freakin expensive, around 1000e, so we are trying to make do with this one!) b)the babies still have winter clothes on so if we go inside I have to take it all off so they don’t get sweaty and that’s a lot of work, especially if there is no good space to do it. Easier to just walk outside. And c)going into a cafe we would need 2 free baby chairs and a table with enough space for both. Then I need to watch that they don’t fall since cafe chairs often are too big. And I need to feed them. And then how could I queue for my own stuff without leaving the babes alone in the too large high chairs? (One babe I could carry but not two). I wish table service existed in Finland, but no waiters here! Self service always. So… it’s too much of a hassle, not relaxing at all! 😧

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      • I thought that about headphones but for one song it’s ok, no? Or are afraid to get lost in music?))
        I don’t watch much tv (it’s my man’s domain and I am very good at Spanish politics and football now πŸ˜†). So I have little idea really.
        Yes, the kids get it from kindergarten! Here they are outside in every kind of weather. I was shocked my first year here, but this is life condition here, you cannot wait it over like in Ukraine πŸ™‚ your boys will be used to it and will draw you outside to the playground πŸ˜†
        Oh, cafe visiting with babies can be a hassle, especially with the twin pram. Here it is so normal to have mama mafia: several moms occupying the whole terrace or cafe with prams. This country is for babies and their moms. I guess, you just buy your takeaway coffee and push the pram. This is popular here too))
        Oh, 4 tiny cups is not much, true. I cannot drink black coffee and espresso, I need milk! Outside I ask for cappuccino, at home I make a press pot coffee for a medium cup and warm up milk. It must be the size of your 4 espressos πŸ˜†
        Yeah, and no table service here too. I usually buy a coffee for my baby friend (which doesn’t happen often). Alone and with twins – there should be some mercy and table service for such moments! But then again, in 6 months they will start walking and running and you may recollect this time with some nostalgia, hehe. So enjoy the moment and viva home espresso β˜•οΈπŸ˜†

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  2. I love your Roman colour scheme and the fact that green is back in your life.

    It’s nice how you heard a song that made you wish to brag because you knew the difficult dialect, it made me smile. πŸ™‚

    As for the last: I think I’m diametrically opposite of a minimalist. Yeah, a meximalist! πŸ˜‰

    I still have my selected magazine pages with me. It’s just that unlike yours they are not about style or fashion, but rather about music, sports and film, simply about life back in Yugoslavia. That was a good life right there, and the more the world sinks into capitalism, the clearer it gets. I can imagine how my heart would be tearing if I had to make a selection.

    I wish you good luck with it and more green coming up. Over here in Italy the end of May signifies the end of green, believe it or not.

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    • I considered myself a maximalist for quite a long time too. Minimalism is attractive though, and you become more of minimalist in the North. But what is meximalism? πŸ˜†

      Oh, but those pages are worth gold, they are history itself, they need to get into museum! Things have changed from the old Yugoslavia – just in some 20 years. Same for Ukraine. Too bad that I was not documenting these changes, too busy with my own life πŸ™ˆπŸ˜†

      Oh, the end of green? Why? does it autumn begin in June in Italy?)) come here then, here it only begins now πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

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      • Not autumn. Desert begins. I have a photo from May 31 of last year that I’ll post soon. Took my breath away. Last summer was incredibly dry.

        What is meximalism? πŸ™‚ This is a good question. It’s what I do, nowadays on my blog, Facebook and Twitter. I collect everything worthwhile. πŸ˜‰

        Those pages would need to be organised. Not that I don’t have time… Need to find some vigour.

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      • Oh really? 😱 do you live in that part that is considered Africa? (Kalafrika? πŸ˜†)
        Oh, I like your meximalism, lovely idea to borrow πŸ˜† I know, I know! It is easy to collect, difficult to keep in order πŸ˜‰

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      • I have heard that the Northern Italy calls everything from Kalabria and down “Kalafrica” because it is like Africa to them :))) True? So if you borrow, it is not from me, but from them :)))

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      • Austria is nice πŸ™‚ ps, Germany would be more offensive πŸ˜† Austrians are a sweet nation.
        Being in the middle is the best position. So there is no discussion in your place of North against South?

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      • I don’t mingle with natives. πŸ˜€ Austrians are inoffensive, polite, withdrawn and masochistic. Somehow like Slovenians. No wonder that I’m in Italy. πŸ˜‰


      • Withdrawn? Austrians? Oh my, you must meet Scandinavians then πŸ˜†πŸ˜† I found Austrians very lovely and chattable when I stayed there. I still consider that year in Austria one of my happiest ones, so I love everything about Austria then πŸ˜†

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      • Must be you then, hehe, yes πŸ˜† I chatted with so many museum workers in Salzburg, a city heavy with tourists. They complained about them, but still they were chatty and friendly. Ah, I was just happy and loved everyone, don’t listen to me πŸ˜†
        Imagine landing in Norway after that… πŸ™ˆ

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