Sunday, February 28, 2010

Free from freedom

Hello again! I have been away on a mission of well-being. Every year in february, the girls from my studying class all meet up for some days of spa, relaxing, good food and lots of girls talk in this lovely place. Even though normally I would spend that much on two weeks of vacation instead of four days, it is well worth the money. I feel very restored, especially in my social skills and had a complete break, not thinking about anything, feeling very far away from my 'daily life'. This may also be because I did not really expect it coming and hurriedly packed my stuff the night before leaving, taking a bag that was even emptier than when I use it for training.

There is also another reason that has quite definitely affected my shape in the past few months. Ever since I started taking hormonal contraception again, I have been feeling all strange. Of course I didn't link it with the pill at first, but it became fairly obvious when I started observing it and realised that during one week a month I began turning back to 'normal'. The symptoms were mostly that I felt always very tired and it was hard to actually do things and I felt increasingly uneasy with social contact. Maybe this sounds like little now, but it undergoes all parts of a life and thus has quite a big influence on how you feel in general. It is very disturbing for the mind to be disconnected from the body.

Last week we had enough of it and decided that it was not even worth going to the end of the already bought package. I threw everything away. Of course my body and cycle were very confused by that, but all in all I have been slowly recovering since then. I feel much more vital already, and I am so glad about that decision.

It may be that the pill is a very handy way of contraception when you are younger. But as we grow older and more accustomed to our body's ways, we become more and more aware of the fakeness and the side effects of all the hormons in our natural cycle. A lot of girls my age that I spoke to about this agreed with my story and said they had experienced more or less the same. Some are lucky to not have any problems at all of course. But I think it's almost riddiculous how little we are told about what these medicaments can do to us besides being the cure of all evils that come with being a girl.

My mum told me that the pill was called the freedom of the new woman in the sixties, when it first was distributed.
Now we have to free ourselves from the pill, or the firm believes that we have grown, that it is a natural part of the life of every woman...

It will be quite some time before I think about possibilities of hormonal contraception again.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


These days I have been thinking about taking a break. It seems that, out of several reasons, I am not so capable of enjoying social events at the moment. I enjoy time for myself, cocooning in my ideas and projects, spending quiet time with my beloved, just taking it easy. I like not having to rush from event to event and talking to people all the time. It leaves space in my head to consider what every thing that I plan is really worth to me. Do I want to go to that party? Not really? Do I have to go? Of course not.
It's hard to push away the social consciousness sometimes, that tells you that you have to go because your friends expect you to. But honestly: Nobody will fall into depression just because you don't show up to their meeting, even if they say so. I'm not talking about meetings with only one or a few friends. Of course it is impolite to back out in the last minute and leave somebody with an empty schedule because they counted on you. (Even though there are situations where I think it is ok to do that, although not with a light mind). I just find that at the moment I do not get enough from happy social babbling with other people to make it worth for me. This has nothing to do with my friends or the people I'm meeting, who are all very nice and I still like them. This has to do with me and my very personal needs.

Also, last wednesday, fast-time started. I must say I do not know a lot about how and why this time was traditionally celebrated, but I like the view that a lot of people have on it nowadays: To refrain from something that is dear to you for a set amount of time, for the purpose of thinking about how much we have, why we think we need certain things so much, if we really need them, and to (hopefully) appreciate them again, once your time of restraint is over.
I thought about what I would miss most if I wouldn't have it anymore. Of course, there is always the choccolate option. But I am cutting out on sweets pretty much anyways and thinking about the way I eat, so I didn't find that such a good choice. I was about to just let it go and maybe start thinking about it earlier next year, when on friday my internet went off. It just didn't work anymore. I tried everything. When I realised it's not gonna come back, I started thinking about how I could spend my day. I had intended to do some research and some knitting, but I could not do these things without the net.
I was quite surprised that after the first minutes of desperation and a feeling of emptiness (I am a person that uses the internet for literally everything), I started feeling really calm and thinking, that it wasn't such a bad thing at all.
Well, the net popped back on after about 15 minutes and all was well, but my resolution until Easter's is now to take at least on day per week off the internet and especially facebook. Blogposts are allowed.
My first day off was yesterday and it was really nice. I missed checking on fb of course, when I turned the computer on to blog, but it was ok, not as bad as I would have thought. I guess the weather being so sunny I even took my bicycle out for the first time this year helped a lot. And since it seems like today is gonna be nothing short of yesterday, I will now go and enjoy the sun!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

News from the market

Since it was such a rainy and grey day yesterday, I felt like we really needed some winter food for dinner.

So these goodies from my trip to the market on wednesday

All went into a big pot to boil into this

And in a bowl for this

Vegetarian Gerstensuppe and salad with red cabbage, carrots and apples. True winter food. Feeds the friends who were invited, the obligatory 'I-miscounted-the-people-again' additional hungry mouth and the also obligatory 'can-I-bring-somebody'-friend.

Ten people crowded around a just a bit too small table and heaty discussions... its really good to have a full house from time to time. Although I realised that I really am not in the most social of moods. My nerves are not so good and since I don't like cooking so much I was already quite tense when the people arrived.
I guess I'll have to accept that for now, I'm going for a few days of wellnessing next week and it won't be necessary to socialise a lot. ;o)

Friday, February 19, 2010

A different point of view

I got this message from the boss yesterday, after my missionary post. As always, he has a big point to make. Thank you my darling!

Seems you maybe didn't quite get what I was saying. I absolutely don't believe that this world is dying. To believe that we brief humans can kill the Goddess is arrogant at best. 2.4 billion years ago, cyanobacteria, the first photosynthetic life, had released so much oxygen into the atmosphere that the oceans and the rocks couldn't contain it any longer. The result was the almost complete exctinction of all life on the planet. Yet life prevailed and even took use of the toxic oxygen that now filled the air. Now, oxygen is almost synonymous with life.

The moral of this story is two-fold. First of all, She holds death in one hand and life in the other. By bringing new souls from Her chalice and cutting them down with Her knife, the wheel turns and moves along its mysterious way: Human destruction of our surroundings is no less a part of nature. Second of all, the planet is big and tough and can take care of itself. The question of what we are doing is not about whether we are going to kill Gaia. It is the question of whether we are going to kill ourselves.

I know I'm light-hearted about these things but I find it almost impossible to hide from such things once I've thought them through so laughing about them and making bad-taste jokes is my way of not being scared to death every day. I always think of the older generation saying how glad they are that they would not live to see it but it seems likely that we will and this attitude of total individualism where the Universe begins at one's birth and ends at one's death is completely evil to me. Even if its not gonna be us but our children or grandchildren, what can be done now, by us, for them? We are one moment in the stream of life, taking spirit from our ancestors, changing what they gave us and passing it to our descendants.

So am I pessimistic about the future? No! Our best predictions are telling us that disaster is coming and to pretend that it isn't is not true optimism but tacit acceptance. I don't think we are going to change our ways as a species so we can only hope that our own streams of life can flow past these events and into the future. I do want to find somewhere to live a sustainable life because that may be the only life possible in an anarchic world without oil.

But who knows, maybe we'll find some magic solution to preserve the planet we know and ourselves but in any case. Disaster or no disaster or somethingelse, finding a more sustainable existence and working each days to improve ourselves a little at a time can only be a benefit, no matter what tomorrow brings.

I guess I was thinking too much with the view of humans and not so much with the view on the whole world. Do we still have a reason to care? Even if we know that the headache will go away by itself with time, we should try to ease the pain right now, to show that we care, don't we? I think I would.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I don't really feel capable of writing anything senseful today. Sometimes I am really enthousiastic about all my plans and projects and interests, and on some days it just feels like a bit too much. All the things are cramming in my head but nothing really seems to get done, and I feel frustrated. I did some exercises today and it was really hard and I have the feeling like I'm not improving at all.
I am on holidays at the moment, so I really enjoy all the free time for researching things that interest me or doing all the stuff that I'm telling you about. I know that now is the best time to make changes and define a healthy and sustainable lifestyle because I do not have a big schedule nor anybody else to care for in my life but me. (Although I think I might be affecting close people with all my greeny-stuff as well).
Sometimes I'm really impatient and just wanna jump in and go and change my life to what I want it to be from now to tomorrow. Some people might be able to do that, but I know now that I don't. Changing your habits and lifestyle needs time, if you don't want to make a radical cut and leave everything you've known so far behind. I have realised that I can't. I like where I live, I like the people I know here, and I think it is illusionary and untrue to say that everything about our 'modern' world is evil. I was born into this decade, I grew up with Computers and Pizza-delivery, buying a new T-Shirt every month, cars and supermarkets where you can buy strawberrys in December. I want to stay a part of this society, because if I leave it, I will be a freak (which I am anyways ^^), but if I stay in contact with it, I can make a difference because people can see how I live a life that anybody could. Not only people that know how to build a tipi and are willing to live withouth hot showers. (Imagine! oO)
Do I sound missionary now? I think I do. You know, I am in love with a biologist who tells me that by the time we will have a family, the world will be in chaos and anarchy anyways, because nobody can stop the climate change and all that is happening because of us on earth. And somehow I do believe him. It would take immense efforts to stop everthing that is rolling towardes an ecological desaster.
But does that give me the right not to care? Do we leave the dying body of a loved one, because there's nothing to be done? Do we turn the music louder for our own amusement, whilst somebody next door has a big headache and we know that turning the volume down will not stop it?
I love the world we are living in. I feel tied to it, and the term 'mother earth' seems very right to my emotions. I want to find a way to live that suits me and her, because that feels right for me, and therefor makes me happy.

It's funny though, I thought today, that now we are putting so much effort into returning to a lifestyle that was absolutely normal and not really desirable for our grandparents. Self-sustainability seems such a high value to me now, whilst my mother when she was my age did everything to get out of the farmer's town she'd grown up in, and live a 'modern' and 'civilised' life. It is a great idea that through our connections with other countries far away and through the means of quick, cheap transport and communication we can now enjoy things that otherwise we would maybe know from big books in the library. Oranges, Couscous, Pineapple...
It just seems like we jumped into it a bit too early (I still hope for oecological solutions...), and now we are in big trouble, just because we wanted to share. Isn't that unfair?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Watcha wearing Wednesday?

This lovely lady came up with the idea for watcha wearing Wednesday, and since it does not take much imagination to guess what it is about, let's get on with the game! ;o)

It's still quite cold, so a scarf is mandatory. I had to hop on the sofa to get all the mess out of the way. Lucky for me there's an experienced photographer hanging around and she did a good job.
Otherwise one could maybe have told that the cardi I'm wearing is something like a bazillion years old... ;o)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

On the needles

There are three projects on the needles at the moment.

First this pink sock. The pattern is Farnkraut socks by Silke Pieper (Ravelry Link). A pretty straightforward and easy to memorize lace pattern, knittet toe up with a jojo heel.

Then another pair of socks in the same yarn, only with a slightly different color. They're knee socks with a gorgeous pattern; Clessidra from Gabriella Chiarenza (Rav Link). The pattern is pretty tangy. One round consists of five cables (three different patterns) and in-between parts of moss-stitch and stockinette. Now that I am a few rounds into it I can see where I need to knit which pattern, but for those of course (especially the hourglass pattern) I need the chart. I can't do anything else whilst knitting on these, so I only do one or two rounds every now and then.

Both yarns are sock yarn from Aldi that I got for really cheap (of course), and now don't reallyknow anymore why I wanted them so badly. I don't like the colors particularly, and the yarn is 50% cotton, so it's not really ideal sock yarn. It has too little stretch and it feels stiff. In addition, these multicolored yarns are not good for knitting elaborate patterns, especially if the colors are as uneven as in these yarns. The pattern can't really stick out. But I gotta knit up the yarn, and just plain socks are much too boring.

The third thing I'm working on is a hat for my beloved. I'm using yarn I found in a Brockenhaus, the color is dark grey with wine colored streaks. I am knitting with two strands at a time, to make it really thick and warm fabric. I've finished it last weekend, in time for nordic skiing, but it came out too big, so I started reknitting it today. Its a quick thing, so I'm ok with it. The pattern is Thorpe by Kirsten Kapur (Rav Link). I love the look of the hat and surely one make some more of those.

That's it from the knitting front today. I'm in an awful mood. I don't wanna do anything, just hang around and feel grumpy. It makes me furious that the sun is shining. That always makes me feel like I have to go out and enjoy it, but I really don't want to, today. Isn't that unfair? Stupid sun!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cure for everything

My very first boyfriend used to get me Tigerbalm for putting on tight muscles in my back and neck. His dad, who is a pilot, brought it back from Asia, and I remember being very impressed to have something for me come from so far. To me it seemed like a miracle; you applied the stuff wherever it hurt, kept the area warm for a night, and in the morning, you felt better with a 100% chance.
I have treasured the last little jar that he got me for many years, but since tight muscles occur every now and then, one sad day the jar was empty. Of course I could have got a new one, but somehow I felt strange getting the stuff myself, and with time I forgot about it.

Until I went to Asia this summer. I made sure to bring back a jar of balm for everyone I knew. My friend Jana who travelled with me, and I used up a whole of the smaller jars in these nearly five weeks. It was almost the only medical thing that we carried with us, and we used it constantly, for everything. Blocked noses and sore throats from AC's, tight and sore muscles from sleeping on the floor or hiking, tired feet from sightseeing, and of course, itchy mosquito bites. Tiger balm helped with everything. Jana even put it into her ear once when she had really bad ear pain. She needed something to soothe it until we had found a pharmacy, and thought of the balm out of sheer desperation; but it seemed to help.

If you don't mind the sharpness of it you can also dissolve a tiny bit of balm into hot water for cleaning out your nose when having a cold. The sting of the balm's essential
Do you know any more possibilities of using it?

You can buy Tigerbalm in every pharmacy.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Choccolate on my mind

I am a huge fan of chocolate. I can't help it; I think it's in my genes. When I was a teenager and not yet ... femininely shaped ... I used to eat a whole block of chocolate by myself every day. Well, one day I got the bill for that and even though I liked growing hips and no longer being mistaken for a boy back then, there came the day when I wished it would stop. I have never been overweight, but I am well aware that my liking for food calls for a little control every now and then. When we came back from the Balkans in November (four weeks of very good but very heavy food), I had gained two kilos and I really wanted to get them down again. Two kilos may not seem like much but then they become your standard weight and then again two kilos more aren't much and so on and pa-daah! Six kilos more!

I tried to not eat in between meals anymore (I am a big talent with that), and I took up a tiny bit of exercising. Really only about ten to twenty minutes every couple of days.

That was one month ago, and I am down three kilos now. It's really amazing what effect working on your unhealthy habits can have.

So I decided that since I've made such a good start I am going to try and keep it up now. I strongly believe that a personal sense of everybody's life is to develop you, to learn new things and always strive to improve yourself. Of course you got to know what that means to you. :o)

I think that I kind of owe my body keeping it healthy and fit. I have never been a big sports fan and such, and bad eating habits don't just jump on you. I started this very early. So it is hard to keep going, but I feel like I am doing something for myself there and it gives me a very genuine feeling of satisfaction.

This is one of my projects at the moment: Improving my life by developing a daily routine that supports my health. At the moment this includes first of all exercising regularly. I took up swimming and playing squash again, and when the snow ends here I want to have my bike ready, too. Then I am fighting hard (today, for example) to eat only at mealtimes and cut down on sweets (*sniff*). And then something not so obvious: I am trying to treat my teeth better. I never got used to cleaning them with dental floss and it's really hard for me to introduce that now, because I feel like everything takes so much longer if I add that (I still have two lingual bows -wires glued to the back of my teeth to keep them in place- in and that makes getting the floss everywhere quite fiddly). And I have bought this ugly gel that we used to get at school when the teeth lady came and showed us how to brush. It does not taste so revolting anymore. It makes your teeth strong and I use it once a week - if I don't forget.

You see, I'm trying to train myself for my own best, but of course my little self can't really understand and she thinks chocolate is for her best. Now. And lots.

I then try to tell myself that tea is very tasty too.

Of course I don't believe myself.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Site review: Instructable

Happy weekend everyone! I feel quite socially capable today, so you won't get idle ramblings about philosophies this time. I've got some sites in my favourites that I'd like to share. The one I decided on today is Instructables. Before I favourited this one I kept coming back to it when I did google searches on how to do anything, from mending a bicycle to cleaning my work clothes from crayon stains.

The site is not only for crafts like knitting and paper stuff. Its subtitle is 'Instructables, Make, How To and DIY.
If you start at the main page there will always be a bunch of interesting new projects displayed. Even if you are not looking for anythng specific, its fun and inspiring just to browse through them. Need a five minute choccolate cake? Or how about a last minute valentine gift? There's hundreds of options, from a very ironic card to a selfmade set of (easy) handmade rings.
Maybe you would like to know what a bus bike is and how to make one. Or you are a clueless guy and need a guide to buy flowers? Some of the instructables are of a more mental nature, others are very practical. From your pets over the garage and kitchen down to decorating, crafts and make up tipps, you will find something to every topic you can think of.

I like this site a lot since making your own and using materials that you already have is first of all satisfying, second a lot of fun and last but not least (most of the time) the greenest way to do things, and just looking at the site always inspires me.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Behind it all

I am not a person that strives for sense behind action too much. I am quite ok with „it makes me happy“ as a reason for something. (Especially when it comes to hopping on sidewalks, choosing clothes and eating chocolate.)
But when it comes to making stuff, the whole case is entirely different. Lots of artistic advice that you encounter in books, interviews, or on the web consists of phrases like „Just sit down and play a bit with the material.“ Sounds familiar? It does to me. And I still do not agree with nor see the sense of that advice. It may be that other people like just sitting down and playing with material, and then magically, something creative and crafty and wonderful appears.
For me, it hurts to even think of it. It is hard enough for me to focus myself enough on something to actually sit down on it for more than five minutes. The problem with the bubbles is that I cannot stop them. They keep appearing, and I am very, very bad at deciding on a single project and giving all my attention to that one thing. The shiny bubbling in my head is just too distracting.
So when I sit down to make something, there has to be a reason, and that reason has to be strong. Even though I’d love to say it, but „these straps of paper are so beautiful I just want to play with them“ for me is not a strong reason.
The blog pause obviously has not been so long. In fact, I’ve missed blogging ever since I stopped, which was actually somewhere in summer, as you might have noticed. The reason why I stopped has to do with exactly the scenario that I described above. I did not see a reason for it anymore.
I initially started the blog when I moved out from home, as a mean for my family to track my everyday live. The blog then with time turned into a crafting life journal. As the main language in my life drifted to English I also started to try and keep the posts bilingual, which is a lot of work. Then I started travelling and I was able to reach most important people in my life much more easily through facebook, for pictures and status updates.
That was where I lost the mojo for blogging. The main goal, sharing my life with people I know, had shifted to another tool, and the blog had become „useless“.
I missed it, though. I have always liked writing, and all the time, documenting my everyday life had had something reassuring for me.
So I sat down and had a serious talk with myself about what I expect from blogging. Even in that very process I realized that as a main use for me personally, it helps me give structure to things. And since I am at a stage in my life where I am very, very free to do whatever I please, structure is what I need to sort things out, see what is important, and then actually take steps, even if they go in many directions at first.
So with this post, I declare the sense of this blog is to structure and lay out my thoughts, write down my plans and document my progress.
Of course there will be lots of fun things too, pictures and links and tutorials and all that jazz. Because I want you guys to like it here, for if nobody reads it, it does not make sense, either.
Even more so I’d like to ask you to comment and tell me your opinion, share your ideas or just tell me that you’re here, it really means a lot to me!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A new home

Phew, hello there!
Come on in, I just finished putting everything in place and cleaning out the corners.

I've taken a little break back at my old blog, and it turned out I needed something new. Its a bit of a new start for me in every sense. I came back of some months of looking around the world in December 09 and I am not quite sure which direction my life should take from here on.
It has already helped a lot to think about why I want a blog again, and to write the text for the about site and so on.

So this is the shiny bubble. I thought of that name because I feel like my life is a little bubble that defines my space and the (physical and mental) area where I operate. And because I always have lots of ideas and dreams in my head, like shiny bubbles. Some of them do not have a long life. Some are small, some are bigger. Some of them fly high and out of reach, while some of them seem to float in mid-air. All of them are very shiny and colorful.
The main purpose of this blog shall be to write about all these bubbles, explore them, bring some structure in the floating, shining mass and make it easier for me to -step by little step- make my own path through the landscape of life.

I guess, this is enough for the beginning, and you should all just sit down and grab a nice cup of tea.
I hope you like it here just as much as me. If you wanna know more about the background of the blog, you can read the About -or All the bubbles pages, or flick through my old blog.
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