I landed in Oslo physically a week ago – but it took me some time to land here emotionally and mentally. As I get used to my new surroundings, opening my eyes for their beauty, I still don’t feel for blogging about it.
Sometimes I wonder if I should be writing a book, not a blog :)) Because I have this literature attitude: you have first to live through, to work through, to digest and process – and only then to express in letters. To get the best out of it, not just taking everything on the page. This is a writers’ attitude, I have heard. To write about the past, once it is been processed, not about the present.
The blogger attitude, however, is to document the present, to capture what’s going on right now and share it. Sometimes I do it, sharing my emotion of the moment – but I prefer to wait. So even though I am in Oslo already, finding the pretty patterns in the new mix of life – I will go on with some posts about my life in Barcelona. Where it also took some time (a lot of time) to settle down and start seeing the pretty patterns.
Today is a simple little post about things I like. Five, as I usually count.
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.
If New York is a Big Apple, what is Barcelona? I would go and say it is a Big Strawberry. It is full of flavor, it’s colorful and juicy. Or there is this tasty Spanish word for “raspberry” – frambuesa. La Grande Frambuesa, that sounds good for this city, doesn’t it?
I have spent some time here now, and maybe some of you are wondering why there is no mention of it. I must admit, the longer I stay, the less I feel like mentioning anything 🙂 This city has swallowed me into its emotions, noises, flavors and colors, it has filled me with impressions which I still work on processing.
It is called the Great Enchantress, this city, it is known to have passion. And today I felt like the right color to describe this place would be Red, the color of passion. I have seen it everywhere recently. Even though these images are kind of old, some dating 2 years ago. But they still do the job – so why not? 🙂
Since I have started to notice the black and white theme around me – on the streets of my city and then at home, this combo seems to be popping everywhere. It is even on trend this season, as I came to conclude after walking through some stores.
And though some may have different opinion on black-and-white vs. colors , and even though I have proclaimed myself a color lover ages ago (actually, my second blog in Russian which I started 10 years ago has the name “My Life in Color and Black and White”), I just cannot resist the elegance and prettiness of this simple combination. Let’s do the window shopping with me and see for yourselves!
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.
No, the past month hasn’t been rich in photos. It has been rich in life – but, sadly, not in photos. I have scrolled my mobile camera roll – nope, no great photos there either. But wait a sec. There are many bits and pieces I see there that have inspired me through the last months. Why not start this year by sharing my sources of inspiration with you?