Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Gotland i mitt Hjärta




I just got back from a long weekend in my old hometown (one of quite a few by now) and felt like digging up some old pictures ... I've taken plenty over the years!

There's no place like Gotland ... Honestly.

I booked my flights at a time I felt particularly homesick and in hindsight I did really well choosing the weekend of the 1st advent as the time to go back.

Not only is Visby ready for Christmas with decorations all over the place and stars in all windows, but more importantly, during advent there's so much to do in town and all over the island that literally everybody is out and about.

I hung out with my some of my most favourite people and bumped into quite a few others throughout the weekend. 
There were Christmas markets, long and lazy breakfasts, morning swims and sauna sessions, 
There was lots of glögg & pepparkakor, saffransbullar, a very ambitious apartment crawl, meals at my favourite restaurants in great company as well as an impressive julbord-style dinner at my hosts' house (love you Jenny!) and quite a few walks down memory lane ...

My heart is full and I feel like I've topped up my Swedishness-stores (if that makes sense).
I brought home Swedish things to decorate with,
my fridge and kitchen cupboards now hold lots of Swedish ingredients,
tomorrow I'll be making Swedish meatballs for the kids (I've missed lingonsylt!!!) 
& I'm counting down to Lucia for a proper Lussekatt-baking session.

I find myself listening to Swedish radio again and seeing pictures of Gotland on Instagram doesn't hurt my heart quite as much anymore.

I was worried that my little visit would make me miss my old life but as one of my friends said ... "Gotland will always be here ... "

I'm so lucky to have a place to go back to that will always feel like home (as long as my friends stay put!), wherever my home is. 

xxx

Jag älskar er!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Twenty-one Months of Projects

On September 1st I started a new project I call "Twenty-one months of Projects"

91 weeks of projects to work on & to get fit enough to climb an actual mountain.


That's right, by the end of it I will be climbing Mont Blanc with my other half.
The project even has its own Instagram account which you can find here.
Start: September 2017
End: on the summit of Mont Blanc in the spring of 2019!

Among other things, from now on I'll be doing tons of yoga at YogaZen Harrogate, where I conveniently enough also teach. :) 
I couldn’t resist taking a pictures of my feet surrounded by heart shaped confetti, at Harrogate Registry office the day of my first Ashtanga Class with Charalene during my walk over the the yoga studio.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Tales of a Newcomer



I've just spent an amazing weekend with some very dear friends who all traveled to England to celebrate my 30th Birthday with me.

It was the loveliest thing to be able to welcome them into my new home, to introduce them to the love of my life and show them around the area.

We had made 2 sets of plans. One for rain, one for sun, which is apparently the way to do it around here. 
We ended up spending most of our time indoors but managed to find ourselves in the middle of a 1940's themed event in Pateley Bridge & squeezed in a lovely nature walk without getting rained on!
Great success!





 I honestly never imagined finding myself living in England,
even though the decision wasn't hard to make after meeting my other half.

Brexit makes me nervous at times but I was told that I've got nothing to worry about till at least 2021.
I'm not sure I'll ever truly like steak & kidney pie and salt & vinegar on chips and don't even get me started on Marmite ... but I'm digging scones & clotted cream.
I'm pretty sure I'll never enjoy the rain (I guess not many people do) but I'm loving the rainbows & stomping through puddles in my wellies.
I'll probably always sound more like an American and confuse people with my name but that's nothing new.
I'm going to postpone driving on the left hand side for as long as I can but in the mean time you can be sure I'll be claiming the sidewalk (pavement?) as my private bike lane.

Here's to making the most of it!
Wherever you find yourself :)

#Whynottoday?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A hard to beat coffee moment.






Last Sunday we decided to have our breakfast by a nearby river.
The skies were close to cloud-free, the sun was shining bright and the kids could do with a break from their screens. 

Dry sticks and moss were collected,
The camp kettle was stuffed & lit.
Croissants were passed around and the coffee was enjoyed.
I did some sunbathing, read & collected stones as topping for my growing succulent collection while the kids clambered around the rocks in the river while their dad attempted some fishing.

It was quite the idyllic scene.
We don't go out in nature often enough.
It's so good for the soul, and frankly, coffee has never tasted better!



Thursday, June 29, 2017

My new reading nook.



I've been in Harrogate for roughly 4 months now.
It's hard to know when to start counting, but I generally take the day I brought my cat into the country as my official arrival date.

My first mission was to add a little "life" to the bachelor pad I moved into & to make it my home,
so in came the plants.
Finding pots for the plants seemed to be a bigger challenge,
so I found myself a pottery class ...

My own creations aren't big enough (yet) for anything else but baby plants and mini-succulents (and nor have they been fired so they aren't even in use yet) but in the mean time I've been starting to propagate the plants I do have and find myself ordering (even) more whenever I have money to spare.

It's becoming an addiction of the most beautiful kind, so I thought a few pictures were in order.

A Liekeland poster and a newly acquired velvet chair to accompany the table with the plants turned our bedroom into the cosiest room of the flat. 


I believe to correct name of this plant is Alocasia x Amazonica Polly. 
Next to it you can spot one of my Pilea babies and a Fittonia (nerve plant), my Belgian grandmother's old crystal candy jar and my Swedish grandfather's Elephant good luck charm.

If you ever heard me say I'm a minimalist I was clearly trying to fool myself. 

Also, Hector was only allowed in the chair for the duration of me taking these pictures. He was told this was a one-off thing and carried off to the living room. Velvet and cat hair shouldn't be allowed to get too close. Seriously.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wild & Free


These images take my breath away.
I hope they have a similar effect on you ...
Even though nothing compares to meeting these magnificent creatures in the flesh.

I snapped some (read: loads of) pictures and then put my camera away to lie down on my belly on the bow of the boat to get as close as possible ...


The moment one of these curious dolphins casually rolled over to swim belly-up and make eye-contact with me is something I doubt I'll ever forget.

February 12th 2017, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Monday, June 19, 2017

Saltburn-by-the-Sea



Sunny Sundays are for discovering new places,
 picnics by the sea
and finishing the day with a cooling shower & admiring tan lines in front of the mirror :)




Saturday, June 3, 2017

From where I sit


A peaceful sunny morning.
An empty flat except for a sleepy cat who's been out exploring all night 
and me, showered and dressed,
examining the mess the children made during their unsupervised morning,
reflecting on how much exactly my life has changed in the last couple of months.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Seahouses


Pictures of a lovely seaside getaway
My dear old North Sea 
New memories bringing old ones back to me



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

On moving to a new country ...



I've moved to other countries before.
No biggie.
I thought.

What I seem to have forgotten is the emptiness of daily life when you don't have a routine, when you don't have a network of friends to turn to, when everything is new & even going grocery shopping feels like a major challenge.

In addition, the last time I moved countries I didn't have a business to move with me.
Now there's so much more to consider all of a sudden, so much more to look into ...

All of that together felt so crippling that instead of getting to work I found myself wasting time doing everything else but "advancing" and looking forward to the weekend, when nothing was expected of me, or rather, when I didn't expect anything of myself.

My biggest challenge right now is to allow myself to relax and let things happen as they naturally do,
which is funny because looking back, that's what I've always done ... and that didn't turn out too bad did it?
So why am I stressing and feeling paralysed about some enormous imaginary pressure to do "things"?

With those thoughts in my head I packed my backpack and left for a little walk that would take me from Harrogate to Knaresborough via the river Nidd.

 (For those of you who are interested: just follow the Nidderdale greenway until you reach the Nidd Viaduct, turn right and follow the river for a really nice walk of roughly 13km with a stunning destination.)

Since then I've regained my mojo.
I obviously need to get out more!

xxx
Aina

PS: Ramslök (wild garlic) lovers - there's plenty of it all along the river Nidd!