Two months later… After two months of living by the sea without actually seeing the sea, it’s almost shocking how nothing’s chaged, nature is still the same. Then you look away from the water and notice people… protective masks, gloves… and fear mixed with joy in their eyes. No matter how much we try to pretend, so many things are not the same, are they? Continue reading “It’s Still Spring… Even at Home #9”
Apparently, we’re not the only ones tempted by chips… 🙂
I’ve been waiting… and waiting… and waiting… but snow – fluffy, thick, magical snow – refused to make an appearance this winter. I was hoping I could get some of those winter wonderland shots and create a seasonal series, but Mother Nature is throwing tantrums left and right… not that we can blame her, considering our behaviour. It did snow once in my neck of the woods, last week, and my hope was revived for a minute or two, but let’s just say that the white dreamy scenery was not in the cards. Continue reading “Birds #1”
I stopped the car by the lake and braved the cold wind in order to take a few more shots of the setting sun. We all have these places we frequent, special spots where the view, the context or the history speak louder to us than in many other similar corners. We unconsciously find our way there when we need them, perhaps we get out of our cars and take a few more shots, very similar to the selection those particular places have already offered us on so many other occasions. Continue reading “One of Those Places”
Yes, they’re finally gone! The locusts have left the beaches!
Locusts, that’s what I so fondly call summertime invaders, also known as tourists. I love to notice that brief amazing time when seasons change, but here by the sea, autumnal magic also brings about peace and quiet, a sense of relief for all of us, locals. Continue reading “Autumn By The Sea”
“At least you’re close to the sea, you can go for a quick dip and cool off,” he says, when I tell him the weather is terribly hot here too. Continue reading “A Break From The Usual Breaks”
I have mixed feelings about 2018… and overthinking various moments and decisions of the year which recently came to its end won’t help, that much I know. I also know I’m not the only one in this situation; like many others, I’m trying to focus on accomplishments, positive outcomes and lessons learnt from those less than pleasant moments. In spite of everything else, I still manage to hold on to that feeling of contentment I was mentioning in December.
It’s not the last day of August. I’m not thinking of the autumnal equinox either. There’s this one day every autumn when I get the distinct feeling that’s the end of summer. Sometimes it sneaks up on me; other times it goes by unnoticed and later I regret it. But when I do notice it, I have my little ritual…
It’s often enough to look up from your computer, your desk or the countless other things that clutter your life, and you notice it… you feel it. Of course, checking that weather app on your phone to figure out for how long you can leave some flower pots outside might also prove helpful… That’s what reminded me that I could put off bringing in the plants, but I can’t “postpone” that final hot beautiful summer day of the year. So it was time for one more barefoot walk on the beach. Continue reading “Last Day of Summer”
Have you ever seen a car with wipers and wing mirrors scotch taped and thought, “It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy”? Let me be clear, said car didn’t suffer some mishap; someone was trying to make a point, in a rather humorous way.
I’m no advocate of vandalism, but this is what end of summer here will do to a person. In fact, I was so taken with that original non-destructive kind of punishment, that I immediately snapped a pic which I will gladly present if I happen by when someone else contemplates perpetrating a similar kind of offense.
I start my summers full of joie de vivre, optimism and insane thoughts of “It’ll be different this year”. Continue reading “End of Summer Buh Humbug”
I take a left and there it is, vast, deep, seemingly endless, stretching under my eyes – the sea. I love to travel, but I have a small ritual whenever I return. I have to see the sea, as soon as possible. Trite as it may sound, it’s reassuring. It’s calming. It’s home… and there is a certain kind of safety and security in knowing you are tethered to a place, no matter how much of a wonderer you may be.
I wasn’t born here, but this is my place, my home. It adopted me from the moment I decided I would move here… or perhaps I adopted it, with all its beauty and flaws. First I would always say, “I live here… for now.” The idea of committing to a place for more than a few years seemed restricting, stifling, boring… Then I finally accepted what was already my reality – this place had become a part of me, and that was not a bad thing. In fact, it was a relief. I could allow myself to wonder and still have a safe place where I could come back. I could say, “I live here. This is my home.” I also knew that didn’t mean it had to be forever. One can’t really tell what the future holds…
Like me, it’s far from perfect. It doesn’t have the most impressive architecture. It could have more parks, more museums, more theatres… But it does have the sea… and when coming home, it’s always comforting to breathe in the salty air, to hear the seagulls and feel that annoying humid breeze mess up my hair.
Then there’s the atmosphere… This is by far my favourite region of the country. I could see myself living in another country; I could also see myself living here for the rest of my life; but I cannot see myself living in another corner of this country. Kind is not one of the first words that come to mind when describing the people here, not as a society. Neither is empathetic. Real? Yes, definitely. Self-centred, fun loving, often materialistic, certainly more open-minded than in other parts of the country, dark and incredibly bright at the same time, that’s them. But what I like most is that on the whole, they don’t pretend to be a much nicer group than they are; on the contrary, they take pride in their identity. This is why I felt I could fit in from the very first moment. One often needs to be rude, loud and pushy first, only to be able to create a context where one can then be polite, decent and respected. Otherwise there’s a good chance one will be devoured or at least stepped all over from the very beginning.
The question is, will I always feel the same way? Slowing down is rarely an option, there’s a constant sensation that you need to catch up, no matter how hard you’re trying. And it’s not only me or those here coming from other parts of the country. I’ve seen it in everybody; some don’t bother to hide it, others go to extreme lengths to do so. Regardless, there’s a constant drive to keep up with someone or something, no matter who or what you are.
So exactly what you love the most can become exhausting. Infuriating. Frustrating. It’s like that with people, it’s like that with places… That’s when I most need the vastness of the sea, the perspective it provides.