I love to write lists, sum-ups, goals (not resolutions) – I just like to write, yes :)) And usually this period around the new year start is a typical time when even those who don’t like to write, find their pens and papers, write lists of what was accomplished in the leaving year (or post them on social media), and then some even get to writing down the resolutions for the new year too.
A lover to write, I usually would gladly join the common listing fever. However, this time I opted out. I wrote down some wishes for myself in this new year (no resolutions, I don’t like the idea of them. Whenever I think “a resolution”, I feel like it’s too hard and kinda setting up for failure. I find that setting goals or making wishes is a much kinder approach :)). I didn’t do the sum-up of the leaving year. I looked back at it and thanked for everything it brought. But I felt that sharing the sum-up would be interesting to no one, not even myself 🙂
But there is one way to look back at year 2019 that I like. As I went through some of my old photos, I noticed there was much of one particular color in them. Of course, it was pink (surprise surprise). So this is what I want to do: to review 2019 in color-themed photos. One year in one color.
This is my favorite theme for a post! What inspires me right now. Though I have a whirlwind of thoughts, caused by this transfer from Barcelona back to Oslo, I don’t really find the time and energy to write them all down in texts and posts. The photos however – they are always easy to share.
So let me speak from my heart through photos – and several words. Btw, what do you prefer in a blog post – pictures or words? (I used to be a word person)
There is a season for each thing, is said somewhere in the Bible. As I stand some days before leaving for Norway, I feel that the seasons are changing. And not only because I go from an African heat wave hitting Barcelona to a weird Nordic summer of +17 and rain, but also because I feel that the story is changing. I am turning some invisible pages right now.
Only now I feel like enjoying Barcelona at my most. I even want to share some photos of it – but when I searched my gallery on the phone, I found only photos of furniture, its prices and flower pots. I remember when after my first months here my friend asked me: “And when are you going to write a post about your favorite places and cafes in Barcelona?” Not that I was not eating outside. But I was like: “Dude, what do you imagine my life to be? Sipping coffee on the terraces all the time? I can write a post with the review of furniture stores though. If that would interest someone 😆”
Once I read this: “May you walk in beauty” is the blessing of Navaho Indians. I ripped the page with this article from the magazine, put into my vision journal – and left it in Oslo. So I don’t remember anything except this phrase, no explanation, no thought elaboration 🙂 But I simply love it. It is a good blessing. I like to sign my posts with it.
And then I thought that when I hear this phrase I usually think of great things like natural wonders or man-made creations. But this doesn’t need to be something great and faraway exotic. In fact, it can be something small and near, like the things that surround me every day. So I opened my eyes and looked for the beauty all around me. Everything that I like.
Here on the blog I try to follow the philosophy of small steps and small things. And I want to add to it by capturing the small things that give me joy. So here is one of them.
Today I continued exploring my French obsession :)) Even better, Facebook friendly suggested me another French online store – Sézane. It reminded me instantly of Rouje about which I wrote so fondly before. Maybe, Jeanne Damas was also inspired by it when creating her own brand Rouje.
What makes me happy is that I get more Southern fashion input now. I was namely a bit afraid that the Scandinavian style has made me into an eternal lover of gray color and minimalistic jewelry :)) Another thing that made me happy was this little video on their Instagram – about Barcelona (btw, they are cheating, because I can see the oranges in the trees. And oranges mean it is winter :)). All that brought me back to my dreaming times.
When I used to read the books about French art de vivre and about the French style – to inspire myself in the cold and boring autumn months back in Norway. When I used to stand in the warm shower, on some dark January morning, before work, and imagine myself on the sunny streets of Barcelona wearing a long summer dress. And when I used to put on some sunny music or Barcelona songs on a rainy summer day in Oslo.
So I decided to share this list with you. Who knows, maybe, there are fellow dreamers out there who need this gentle reminder. That sometimes it happens that dreams come true. And sometimes in much brighter colors that I imagined.
April is a month of surprises. In Germany they used to say “April, April macht was er will” (April makes what he wants). Here in Barcelona they say “April – agues mil” which means “April – thousand of waters”. It hasn’t been a thousand yet, but I can confirm that after some three months of stable sunshine, April is suddenly surprising with many rains.
The weather has been weird the last weeks. I listen to Radio Hamburg and today they promised +21 and total sunshine. While here, in the South, it doesn’t go beyond +17 and the whole week is filled with windy forecasts. I guess, we all need to go to the Northern Germany right now 🙂 Even more ironic for those tourists who came here for the Easter week and discover that the weather is better in their Northern parts back home :))
However, I find this weather quite enjoyable (not the windy part though). When it rained everyday on the Norwegian West coast, it was very frustrating. But when the rain breaks up those weeks of sunshine, I don’t mind 🙂 I welcome the change and get back to those cozy activities I learnt back in Norway. I here I want to share some things that inspire me right now on a rainy day.
So often when we talk about a country or a culture, it seems that we compare it with another one and come to conclusion that sums up to: “I’ll stick with this one, no matter what” – or “No, thanks, I’ll go for another one”. It sounds like we choose all the time. But why choose only one? Can we take (and make) both?
I have noticed that my life comprises mostly of the people who come “from here and there and a bit of everywhere”. There are few (or none) 100% Norwegians, or 100% Ukrainians, or other pure nationalities in my life. Maybe, because that’s my natural tribe, reflecting my life choices. I am not amazed, for example, that I, born Ukrainian, communicate with my native Catalan husband in Norwegian language, not native to either of us. It once suprized a couple of Norwegians though.
I can understand them, they didn’t expect to hear the language of their little proud country in some tapas bar in Barcelona somewhere around midnight. Especially coming with heavy Spanish accent and sweet Eastern-European accent, used to discuss a love relationship between those two. Why Norwegian?? They seemed to be falling from their chairs, breaking their backs to turn and see who these two were, using their language in this place.
Winter is the season when I feel the acute need to hunt for the light and color. Today my memory brought back to me one nice winter experience that I want to share here.
Two years ago we were doing a road trip through the Southern France and stayed one day and one night in the town of Aix-en-Provence. I wish we had stayed there longer because this one is an especially pretty town, though every town on our itineary was pretty. We had come to Aix-en-Provence after four French towns, and, to be honest, we were more tired than impressed. This is when we felt that traveling is not just all excitement as most of us use to believe. Sometimes you feel more hunger for your own home kitchen and your couch than for another restaurant and hotel :))
I guess, I was more hit by the beauty of Aix-en-Provence later – looking at my photos of it, than in the moment of walking those streets. Maybe you know that this town was a favorite place of many artists, Paul Cezanne being one of them. I am a great lover of impressionists and I can see why many of them were inspired by Provence. And after studying the photos of Aix-en-Provence I can imagine where their inspiration sprang from. Join me if you want to feel like that artist! 🙂
The turn of the year is always a special time – and a difficult time to blog. Not just because we are all so busy packing, unpacking (gifts or suitcases), visiting families and having a good time/food and some drinks (sometimes too many). But I also feel a need to write something special – and the most remote idea runs away at this wish.
I used to make summaries of the past year, to write thanks and wishes – but this year has been so evidently full with events and changes that I don’t even feel like summing it up in my little notebook. Feeling lack of inspiration (and trying to chase some of those runaway ideas), I was scrolling down through the photos of the past year. When my eye caught a pattern – this year was full of especially one thing. Or better say – of one color. And the color was – tada – pink! (anybody surprised here?)
Well, I would never say that I look at the world through the pink glasses. But it looks like my life is more rosy than I dare to admit it :)). So I want to celebrate its pinkness with you! As I wonder, which color will fill my life in the new year 🙂