Monday, January 30, 2012

The dreaming sanctuary

We've been having a cleaning day. We've been chasing dust bunnies and shaking out rugs, scrubbing pots and pans and running after bubbles.
I've been spending my nights on the bedsofa in the livingroom because it is more comfy than ours and I've found I wake up less and have more quiet nights that way. I've also been very productive during the days and the bedsofa has been turned into my working-dreaming-planning-lounging sanctuary.

All sparkly clean! What a feeling to settle down in this space in the middle of the cleaned, aired flat, incense burning, lighting some candles... I really like that it is cosy and soft and warm (as opposed to working on the floor), but I can still spread my stuff all around me, and I'm next to my painting nook and the window.
So tonight I got out my diary and notebooks and scraps of note paper and all my planning and list files on the laptop, and I had myself a big dreaming and goal setting session.

This is what it looks like when I work! ;o) Colors and pens everywhere, teacups, and Teddy and Pinkerton are my assistants.
(I've been experimenting with a new picture editing program... ^^)

Do you have a vision or list of things that you want to achieve in 2012?
Here's some of the things I've been working with:
- Tal Gur's design your dream year
- Live your Legend's goal setting and action workbook
- Resources from the Home Life Simplified's 52 weeks to simplify your life challenge

Happy Monday to you all! :o)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Yaga's list of must read 'classics' - 2012

One of my goals for 2012 is to read at least one book a month from this list of 'classics' that I have put together. I thought it might be fun to share it. 

This is a personal list. It is not meant to be complete. It only contains books that I have not read yet. There are many more that can be considered world literature and that I have either not thought of yet or that I have read already.

If an author as written many famous books, I have usually selected one or two of the most well-known or recommended. The titles are written in the languages that I intend to read the books in (mainly German and English, sometimes French), if you want to see the complete list with information about the year each book was published and the original language it was written in, please give me a shout.

Some of them, more to the end of the list, are modern books that I put on so I wouldn't forget that I wanted to read these, too. I do consider all of them quite must-read books, though, so maybe they are interesting for you, too.

If you have any suggestions of books to add to this list, please do contact me!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Come on in!!

Oh my, oh my! It's been two and a half weeks since we're here and I haven't been able to show you our place. Can you imagine how that bugged me!!?? I'm dying for you to come and take a house tour, so come on in!

Our entrance aerea is small but functional, the only thing that's missing is a coat rack. But then judging by the weather we've been having, I don't think we'll need coats for much longer! :o)
Let's turn right to the livingroom.

As you can see there is plenty of space, for mine and Trev's obsessions. The easle is doubling as a sheet music holder for the moments in life when I need to caress my cello. And the cupboard behind it is dedicated to my painting supplies. It feels so great to have a place where you can just sit down and start the work.
Through the livingroom we can have a peek into the kitchen:

Yum, cooking in progress! :o) What I absolutely love about this place is that almost everything is getting recycled. We have to take our glass up the road to a container, but we have special bags for the compost that we can deposit in the garbage containers and there is a collector for cardboard, paper and pet right next to our entrance.
Do you wanna go out on the balcony? The sun is shining, you won't need a jacket. ;o)

We're the lowest flat in the block, but it's still a bit elevated and our balcony looks out on a big terasse space in between the block complex that forms a horseshoe shape around it. You can see the trees of a tiny park in the background. If I would live here for longer, I would totally start a rooftop garden up here! ;o)
But for the moment, I am looking forward to have some kitchen herbs up here, and we're enjoying the occasional late breakfast soaking up the sun:

(The plants are fake, although quite good looking ones, I must admit. ^^)
Both the kitchen and livingroom have window fronts towards the balcony, but because of the angle of the flat, we actually only get direct sun into one corner of the balcony for a few hours in the early afternoon. I'm not unhappy about that... I know what temperatures are waiting for me in summer!
Let's go back to the entrance, then you can have a quick look into the bathroom:

It's  both bigger and much warmer than the one in Glarus! ;o) Doesn't have a bathtub though. Definitely a minus in my book.
On the lefthand side of the entrance is the sleepingroom. Don't be shy, I cleaned it up for you. ;o)

Cute, isn't it? I still can't really imagine the amounts of clothes somebody must own to fill the wardrobe space available in this room. After we made all the weird decorations of the late proprietor dissapear in the depths, there was still way enough space for all our clothes and lots of other stuff.
It's mostly functional, although I found space again for a little altary and we put up our own decorations and it feels very peaceful.
There is a little balcony on this side, too. It doesn't get any sun and looks out on the walkway and the school on the outside of the residence, so it isn't a place to linger, but we hang our washing here.

I hope you like our little space, isn't it quirky and cute, and very personal already? It's great fun to live in different kinds of places... I love making a place my home.
Don't you wanna stay for dinner?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Clean eating challenge

I'm linking up with Sometimes Sweet for her clean-eating challenge that starts Monday 30. This challenge is wonderful if you need a little motivation and a kick-start for healthy eating habits. It's very open as to what you define as your clean eating.
It could be that you cut out sugar completely (even fruits, bread, pasta and such) like Danielle there is currently doing (be sure to do good research though, she's backed up by a doctor!), or you could just decide to ditch fast food for a week.
There'll be a linky and I think it will be a great circle of girls to help each other out, share inspiration, tipps and recipes. I'll certainly do that, I've been planning some more detailed posts about my eating habits for a while now and this gives me a good opportunity.
So stay tuned and fill your fridge with healthy healthy stuff!! :o)

See ya, pumpkin! ^^

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Light on the horizon

Yip Yip, you won't believe that, but I'm writing this with the real blogger editor! Trev kindly lent me his laptop for a wee while, mainly because I needed to access my cv, but I'm sneaking in some blogging. ^^
It's such a great feeling to see my signature pic again there at the bottom!
So whilst the bliss lasts, I'll just upload some pics from the past weeks and make up for all the words I've blabbered out during that time. ;o)

Leaving the snowy Swiss mountains

The little ones are all set for traveling

What a difference! 18°C in Montpellier

Sunshine everyday

Sushi abundance

Lovely couchsurfers welcoming us

French breakfast on the terasse

Weird, totally random pic ^^



We're happy! ^^

There, I hope that was a little bit of catching up...
I think, there will be quite a lot of exciting things coming up in February/March... Stay tuned, you will like it! I'll keep you up to date!

 Much love

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Things that inspire me today

- Pie in the sky by Johnny Cash
- Meeting a new friend.
- Reading French teenage magazines on the toilet
- Finding a trick that makes blogger recognise my enters as line breaks - no more html typing. Still no pictures though. :o(
- Looking at my pretty cello in the corner
- Unrolling my brand new all ecologic very affordable yoga mat!
- Listening to long missed music on my iPod whilst walking through the city.
- Cooking up new blog-goodies for better times! ^^
- Dreaming about places to go and things to do.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Diamonds and Stones

"Some Days are Diamonds, some Days are Stones." ~ John Denver.

I always think of that quote when I'm a bit down. It's a bit like the wise man who says "this, too, shall pass." There are ups and downs in life and nothing is forever. Only, I'm not sure if the stones would be the ups or the downs. Me, I think I'd prefer a smooth and lovely pebble to any ol' diamond.
Well, whichever it is, I've been having a rough day. It actually started yesterday. I'd been having such a great weekend realxing and I felt like I really recharged my batteries, and then I started the week off feeling tired and unmotivated and overwhelmed. When I got back from running in the evening (which I dragged myself to), I discovered that somebody had stolen one of the bicycles that a friend has lent us whilst he's away. Superbugger!
The rest... well it just all feels like a bit much and I'm quite sure that's because of my mindset. Take this as an example: In the afternoon I felt like I really needed to get it out, but I thought I wouldn't post a big rant on my blog, so I typed it (quite slowly on the touchscreen of the ipad - because I was too lazy to use the real keyboard) all into the writing app - and then halfway through apparently hit a key that says 'erase everything and don't save and don't ever give it back'. Boum.
That's pretty much how I feel about my whole life at the moment.
Diamonds and stones, diamonds and stones. I hope the shiny things will come my way soon.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Things I'm loving today

- Pajamas - Mango for dessert - Writing in my supercool new diary - Feeling inspired and passionate - Meeting Godesses - Getting inspiration for a story I've had in my mind for a year and didn't know how to continue - Running-date with the sunset - All organic incense sticks - Starting a new painting - The boy in cuddly sweatpants

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A relaxing weekend.

Hi everyone, I've been kept from blogging by thinking about blogging too much. No joke! I was in a bit of a nostalgic mood lately and I've been thinking about writing about my two only best friends I've had. I'm not a person to make best friends easily. That's ok though, I'm way too clumsy and easily stressed out to maintain many parallel friendships, so I don't. I'm not best friends with these people anymore, but I sure miss them from time to time. Like on Friday, I was thinking on what to write about them on my walk home from the city. But then I decided I shouldn't post it, because it seemed so sentimental. Maybe I'll do it some day when I'm not soaking in nostalgia. ^^
I've been feeling a bit worn out by this week, organising all the language exchanges and getting confused between three languages every day, along with other things to think about, working out and not sleeping too well has taken its toll from me. I just kept feeling more and more tired, I had headaches all day long and I felt flu-like pain in my limbs each evening and had a sore throat even though it never turned into a cold. So I decided, this weekend I'd take a break from everything.
I slept in real long yesterday and today, I've been lounging around all day, reading in the sun on the balcony and such. Then yesterday afternoon we went into town to check out some shops we'd found interesting during the last week. I discovered a big arts supply shop and bought one of these artist plates with a thumbhole to mix paint on. I can't say what the word would be in any language atm. ^^ It's been on the list for a while. Normally I use a piece of cardboard or the lid of a glassjar or my hand, but the first two are not so handy, and since I've taken to experimenting with oil colors, those leach through the cardboard and the paint certainly isn't so healthy on my skin, so I'm excited about that new tool.
I also got a French SIMcard - after a lot of waiting! But it was worth it. Then we went for cocktails and beers and discovered the 'street of cool places' - I believe every city has one. That one is certainly gonna be an object of more exploring in the future. Several cool shops (Rockabilly!!), bars, brunch-places....
But we went to an Indian Restaurant for dinner, and it was phantastic! I even ate dessert... oO It's hard to find good vegetarian food here, and vegan is even more difficult. So atm I'm not completely strict when we eat out, but I'm trying to track down the right places. :o)
Today I finished the first book of my booklist (H.D. Thoreau's 'Walden, or life in the woods'), then read some background about it on wiki, talked to my family on the phone, did my finances, dyed my hair (brown, with henna, nothing interesting, but it feels good) and went and took some pictures of the trees behind our house. I'm on a mission to get acquainted with the trees and eventually other plants around here, so I took pictures and then I sketched their bark and silhouette, the leaves and fruits (as far as there were any, it is, after all, only January) on my notepad. There will be more investigations online, but so far I have an idea of what they might be for quite a few of them. It feels good. :o)

What feels good in your life? I hope a lot! :o))

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My morning routine, my bed, my hair.

I have quite the morning routine these days.
In the mornings, I get woken up by the bell from the school next to our apartment complex. The outside area of the school is right in front of our bedroom window, so at 8am., when the kids start pouring in, there is not much sleep to be had anymore. I mostly stay in bed, cuddling in and enjoying the warm for another half hour, that's when the doorbell of our neighbours starts to ring. They are a married couple who look after six kids every day during the week. Around 8.30, the first parents will drop off their kid. After that, it's constant bell-ringing and chatter in the hallway for about two hours. That's when I'm getting up. I put something warm on and I sit on the livingroom floor for 15 minutes, meditating.
Then I check on Trev. If he is still sleeping and doesn't seem to want to get up (or if he has worked late the night before), I'll get dressed in tracksuits and go to the bakery. Most days I walk, sometimes I take the bicycle. On th way back, I munch one small bit from the end of the bread. It is my little treat that I look forward to and it is the part of the bread that tastes most delicious, but only if you eat it in secrecy. ;o)
If Trev is waking up (like today) I'll ask him if he can go and get bread.
Then I switch on the iPad and I put on the yoga video of the previous day on the 21day yoga challenge. Today it was standing poses. I like the teachers and I like standing poses, but they are really challenging and I get tired. After that I wake Trev or I wait until he's finished his mornig workout and we eat breakfast. I'll clean up the kitchen if it's my turn and tidy up the rest of the apartment, like give the toilet a scrub, put away laundry, pick up clothes from last night, air the cover and make the bed.

That's pretty much my morning routine atm. After that it's either off for conversation dates, or hanging out at home like today. Some days feel more productive, because there is an outcome, like the painting to show off from yesterday. Other days I do more thinking, planning, researching... like today. It feels like I haven't really done anything - although I swear I haven't been surfing mindlessly except for breaks. I guess I'm writing this down so I know it myself. :o)

I don't sleep so well atm. The first few nights I couldn't sleep because of all the unfamiliar noises, I had to check out if any of them was a threat to my rest, or if they were just normal things. The radiator in our room is broken and can't be switched off, and it makes gurgling or dripping noises all night. It gives me a hard time when I want to go to sleep. The bed is harder than I'm used to, with springs in it and some nights it hurts my hips when I lay on my side. I then turn from one position to the other and can't really find any way to be comfortable. But I think I've got used to most of these things now. I just still have troubles going to sleep, but then I have times like these. The thing is, I get woken up in the mornings (which is quite ok, because I like to have a routine that includes as much of the daylight as possible), I can't catch up on sleep. I also seem to have lost the ability to nap during the day, even if I feel nauseous and headachy from tiredness. I just can't get myself to lie down and rest when there is so much to do. I'm afraid I will fall into being my lazy, tired self and never get up and get interesting, exciting, creative and wonderful things done.

Duh, so be it then, there's people who live with a lot less sleep than me. ;o)
My hair is getting longer, and I'm looking forward to when I can put it in a ponytail again. The sad thing about it is that the purple is washing out. I won't dye it again for a while, I bought some brown Henna powder yesterday to get it to an all natural color and then it will stay like this for some time.

Now I think I will go shopping as long as the sun lasts... I've planned for some yummi vegan risotto tonight. Wish me luck! ;o)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In which I ramble... again.

I really finished that painting I talked about on facebook today. Whoot whoot, it makes me really happy when I look at it in all it's finishedness. It's a big painting and it has so many elements I was intimidated by until I used them for this project. It also gave me a very big surprise, and it was a something like my anchor for settling into a life here. But I'll show and tell you more when there can be pictures.

No pictures has turned this blog into a bit of a random. I actually like that I can just ramble on about daily things to you without feeling guilty of not posting anything 'meaty'. I like to babble, sometimes. ^^
I'm saving a lot of the more serious things for later, so you can look forward to some very nice and be-pictured posts whenever the Gods decide to give me back my charger. (Sorry for whining yet again, you can probably tell by now I am veeery impatient). So don't give up reading here just now. ;o)

What else from today? I felt tired. I worked out. It made me feel worse. Well, you can't always win.

The package that arrived from my parents yesterday had christmas presents in it: Two new nightshirts and three pairs of tights. I really needed new ones and had wished for one of each from an environmentally conscious company (they are so expensive I couldn't have afforded them myself), and they bought me so much! I am thrilled! I want to run around in a nightshirt and tights all day now. They are really comfy. :o)

How are you guys? I haven't been able to respond to any of your comments, but I'm always so happy to hear from you, and I visit your blogs, too! *Wave*
Yum, I think it's chips and salad for dinner tonight! Talk later! ;o)

Sherlock Holmes and the Scary Bitches ^^

Wheep, I wanted to check in yesterday, but it turned out to be a hard one. Not *the* hard, but full of things. I went out for lunch with a lovely couchsurfer and talked with him in French for about two hours. Now, there are different people who have different styles of talking, and I am a person who adapts strongly to the attitude of whoever sits opposite me.
So this guy was a very lively talker. Not loud, or emotional, mind you, just very lively, changing topics fast, bringing in a lot of ideas, also making my mind jump from point to point. It resulted in a veeerry interesting and genuine and althogether lovely conversation
Man, was I exhausted afterwards! I then went shopping, half way on the way back I realised that the back tyre of my bicycle is completely flat. I still had to go and find the post office to pick up a parcel (lovely Xmas presents, thanks, parents!!!), went to get garbage bags at some community center and then hauled my load home.
Once back I felt really physically wasted and I was almost suspecting I had picked up the flu somewhere.
I cuddled up on the sofa with my doodling pad and a cup of tea for a while. But it was my running day... Running when you're sick is not the best thing. But not running and then it turns out you're not actually sick also sucks.
So... I put on my running pants. They have a little lable on the side of the leg that says "Scary Bitch". And when you are wearing pants that say you're a "Scary Bitch", it's actually hard to *not* go running. ;o)
Well, I had a feeling that working out would either make me feel worse and make the sickness come out completely - or it would make me feel better. Luckily, the latter was true. As soon as I started I felt better and I was very proud of myself.
Then I baked really good pizza for dinner. I have decided that I need to learn to cook more, and better, so I'm trying to take it in turns with Trev now. After all, I will be living here allone for a while and I don't want my nutrition to go down the drain just because my personal chef is not around.
So yeah, I'm making pizza and pasta and stir frys at the moment, but I'm confident I can try my hand at more complicated things soon. ;o)
Then we watched Sherlock Holmes which was very sad because it was the last one and I might have cried a little, and I also punched Trev on his piercing (by accident!!!) in a very romantic moment - duh! I'm just so clumsy!

Well, all in all it was a great day and today I have another lunch date scheduled with a French girl, so I better get out of my pj's. ;o)

Monday, January 16, 2012


Yesterday was a Duh-kinda day. I felt cranky, whiny, frustrated. Restless, cold, could eat all the time. Back aches.
Some of you will roll their eyes now and say "Same old story." But well, I just don't ever seem to learn. It's the same every month, it just kinda sneaks up on me. At least I get a nice moment of relief when I realise why I'm feeling so crappy.
Then I went and opened my diary and next to the lines where I had scribbled "Why can I never be happy?" and "Nobody really cares for me here." I wrote:
"It's all good, don't believe any of this shit, I got my period."
Then I started painting a new picture and felt better. I also wrote two mammuth blogposts about significant stuff that I'm quite proud of. But I won't publish them yet, firstly because it's a pain to use the html editor for blogger on ipad and insert every end of the line and paragraph code by hand, and secondly because I can't insert any pictures and really long blog posts without pictures are just really a pain to read.

And today was a Dah-Day, with a little spring, because I knew I was on the upside of the wave again, and I went and had a cup of tea with a lovely girl and talked French with her (wasn't as bad as I had feared), and then got a bicycle. I can only keep it until end of the month, but it's a start. ;o)

I'm wishing so badly that I'll get my charger cable in the mail soon so I can use my laptop again... meh me. >.<

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Weekend links

Hey, wanna have a peek into my bookmarks? It's always interesting to see what other people are up to, so I thought I'd share with you where I hang out on the net these days.
Blogger/ipad (they're the best pals!)have decided they won't let me add pictures to my posts anymore (I can't upload anything from the pad but before I could at least steal something from the web.), so we'll tell them 'screw you!' and you'll just go and look at the links, ok?

- Happy Cow This page finds you vegetarian, vegan and vegfriendly restaurants - all over the world! Trev is taking me out for dinner tonight, so we'll try one from the list (unsurprisingly, there's not many, down here in the South where people are fond of their sausages and think that fish is a type of vegetable).

- Fluent in three months: Can you believe this guy learnt how to speak 8 languages fluently in 9 years? And he's conversational in more. Currently, he's trying to get fluent in Mandarin in 3 months... oO I'm working hard to push my French, so I find it very inspiring.

- Pretty Zoo: Pretty Zoo is one of my muses on the web. When I feel a bit art-weary I take a break on this blog and let myself get excited by all the inspiration.

- Talk to the trees: Likewise, talk to the trees is my go-to feelgood blog. I like Rachaels gentle approach to beauty and her fearylike pictures. She is also an amazing artist, so get your creative juices there!

- d'blogala: Dawn is an art journaler and whilst I have never really warmed up with this technique, I'm just in love with her whimsy blogdesign and her beautiful creations. Maybe art journaling is for you? Go see what masterpieces you could end up with!

Happy Weekend everyone!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Just for remembering

Sitting on the balcony on a weekday in January, in short sleeves and a skirt, letting the sun warm me.
Paper and pens in front of me, sketching, working, creating. Feeling the small steps I take from an idea steadily towards the finished project.
Looking at my work and realising that, even if it is not as perfect as the work of those I admire, it is the expression of my need to share my inner worlds and stories, and therefore is a beautiful and legitimate work of art that defies any comparison.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Trees make everything ok.

I've been SO productive these past few days!
I can't believe how much of a difference it makes to have more space. I really am content with little, but being able to have my painting supplies in their own dedicated cupboard, with a chair and the easle next to it is heaven. I've been working on a painting and some sketches and lots of stories.

I've also explored running routes in the neighbourhood and found a decent park to turn my rounds in.
A funny thing happened there. The first few days here I got really anxious and insecure. I suspect it was a mixture of the aftermath of the tension over Christmas, the coming down from the stress, the exhaustion from the moving and then anxiety for the future; would we find friends? What if that French thing really doesn't work anymore and I just can't speak more than two languages at a time? Will I find a job? Is it gonna be nice to live here?
And all that Jazz. I just didn't feel at home yet and it all scared me a bit. Then I went for a walk one day, I went into the park. I felt the grass under my feet and I started to look at the trees who were like strangers to me. I could recognise about a tenth of them. I went and stood with a fir tree for a long time. I stroked its bark and felt the familiar patterns under my finger. I felt the comfort of talking to a tree, its rootedness and the silent security that life is good if you only have means to grow down for water and grow up for sunshine.
When I went home, I was happy. And from that moment on I thought of this place here as home.

Well, I'm trying not to overdo things in my euphoria, as I know I tend to do. I'm making my lists and try to keep them simple, taking one thing at a time, doing my best to enjoy the freedom that I have now to form my life exactly as I want to. To learn when I want, create when I want, relax when I want, work out when I want.

I'm eagerly waiting for the charging cable of my laptop that I left in Glarus and which should arrive soon (!!!?) by mail. Without my own laptop I feel like only half a person. :oP

Monday, January 9, 2012

New year's resolutions - part 2

I actually can't believe I'm writing down my new year's resolutions - the sun is shining outside and it is at least 12°C... it feels like April, or October, but certainly not January!

But every day is a good day for new plans, so here we go!

Mind and knowledge I generally enjoy learning new things and I feel keeping my mind and spirit challenged is a very important part of keeping myself happy. Currently, I'm working hard to fill up the immense gaps I have accumulated in my common knowledge.
I'm keeping a list of things I come across in my daily life - in discussions, in articles or on the internet. Usually some of the questions or topics will group together into a bigger theme. For example "Lenin", "Marxism", "October Revolution" result in me sitting down for a day or two and trying to understand the history of Russia. There are a lot of things out there to know and it would take too much time to go into big details for everything, but I'm constantly working on it and it is actually quite awesome how interesting it is - didn't feel like that in highschool!

Since I've been doing this in the past year already, it doesn't count as a resolution, but I've made two more specific ones that I hope to be able to keep quite easily.

- Read at least one book a month that is considered a 'classic'. I have made a list of books that I haven't read yet that I think one should know as they play an important part in our cultural background or are important witnesses of times and events to remember. If you're interested I can publish the list as soon as I can use my laptop again. But don't be shocked, the list is much too long to work through in a single year!

- Try at least one new activity This one is a bit tricky, as it is not only a matter of motivation and time, but also money, to do most of these things. But I would like to try a new hobby. These things have been on my mind:

- Some kind of dance: Rock'n'roll, swing, jazzdance or maybe another try in bellydancing
- A sewing class - learning to make my own sewing patterns for clothes would be great
- A new form of martial art. I have missed it ever since I stopped swordsfighting and I would like to find a more 'popular' martial art that suits me (I have tried Judo and Jiu Jitsu but didn't like it much).
- Rugby - It's almost like a martial art, isn't it?
- Volleyball - I absolutely love this sport but have never made it into a hobby - quite sad actually.
- Rollerderby - I've only seen this on youtube so far, but it looks so fascinating and I think rollerskates are SO cool!


I still need to have my initiation ritual and I think this will be the next big think I'll be planning for. The whole moving has made it a bit complicated, because since I want my friends to participate, I'll need to have it in Switzerland. But it will definitely happen.

- Visit at least 5 new places in Europe. I have made a list of places that I really want to go to, but I'm not sure if I will make all of them, finances will have to decide that. There is definitely a lot of exploring potential around where we stay here, so I'm confident I will make the five anyways. This is my wishlist of places to see this year:

- Prague
- Santiago de Compostella
- Talinn
- Helsinki
- Rome
- Ljublijana

I know it's six places, but Ljublijana doesn't really count, because I've been there before. ;o)

- Go to Australia Trev has been talking about settling down there as long as I know him and I never had much doubt that I will like it there. As we are moving closer to that point in our lives (well, not very close yet, but still closer than before ^^), we're talking more about it and I figured I should like to see the place for myself first of all and decide if it is really so wonderful. So we have some kind of downunder holiday in planning towards the end of the year.

Jap, I've thought about the blog, too. There is always a certain duality in my blogging. On one side, the joy of blogging for me is much about sharing what is dear and important to me at that very moment, it is a kind of online diary. On the other hand, I do like structure, and I like to have a goal or vision, a sense of meaning in the things that I do. And my life and personal thoughts are not so outstanding that it would be meaningful to put them on the interwebs for everyone to see. I do like writing, I like sharing my experiences, and I'd like to inspire and help people who feel similar to me about life.
So what I want to have is a kind of theme and structure to the posts that give the blog an identity. We've seen where it leads if I try to stick to a publishing schedule. It doesn't work, it puts me off. So a structure that still allows me to share personal thoughts but gives the reader a feeling of meaning behind the whole website would be the best.
I don't have a masterplan for this yet and I'm not quite sure where to begin, but I have ideas and I'm working on it.

Do you think this list is way too big? Oh you blessed, ignorant person! How lucky for you that I didn't share my secret to do list for this year that contains at least another ten points, from becoming a photographing pro to designing a tattoo down to world domination. Muahaha!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New year's resolutions - Theme song

So here it is, this brand new 2012. I always get a bit amazed at new years. It's funny, I should be used to it. I get new year twice a year. My spiritual year ends and begins with Halloween. It has always felt right that way, and not weird at all. And I still get amazed every time, by the sparkly new thing that is lying before me, the opportunities, the maybes, the plans, the energy, the redemption. I do get amazed easily, it has to be said.
Well, maxabella has asked what our word for this new year would be. You know, something like a motto, or a theme word for this year, something easy and short that helps you keep in mind something that you want to work on.

My word would be compassion.

It encompasses everything I've learned in 2011. It was the answer to the questions I started this last year with.
Am I a good enough person? - Practice compassion and you will always be more than good enough.
Where am I going in this life? - As long as you choose the path of compassion, every destination will be the right one.
How do I find energy and confidence to pursue my goals? - They lie in compassion. Compassion for yourself and the world.

And most importantly: What is the meaning of life?
It's compassion! Whoever brings love into this world will not have lived in vain.

I am still so moved by the blessing of these truths and the fact that I have found them after such a long search, that I get teary eyes whilst typing these phrases.

So, for 2012, the motto, the meaning, the tool, the goal, will be compassion. I will strive to let love and passion glow in everything that I do, every impact that I have on this world, everything that I do to myself.

It's gonna be a good one! :o)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New year's resolutions - part 1

Woohoo there, or coucou, as we French say *lol*
So, our lovely landlady was here today to sign the inventory. I was a bit nervous about how she would react on the fact that we had already taken some of the art down and replaced the carpet in the livingroom with a cowhide. I didn't know how close to her heart the things in the flat are (which used to be her mothers - the first thing we did was take down the family pictures from above the sofa... it's just a bit weird having strangers looking down on you when you have tea.)
But she was completely cool with it. In fact, one of the first things she said when she arrived was that we should feel free to change anything we want. She also said that all the things in here are really old and she just doesn't have the time to get rid of them, so we shouldn't worry if something breaks. Well, good to know, I would say.
So we went to work and put away the last of the things that we didn't like and put up some of our pictures. Not all of them yet, but it feels more 'us' now around here. That also has a lot to do with the fact that I put up the altary. I think I should write a blogpost about all the different altarys I've had in my life... that would be quite funny. This time, I found an old shelf meant for plants on the balcony. It works really well.

Well now, back to topic: Have you made any new year's resolutions? Many people tell me they don't because nothing comes out of it anyways. But I love making plans for the new year and thinking of great things that I can do with myself and my life in the coming time. Some time between Christmas and new year I always sit down and make a list of things that I have achieved this year, an then I draw up a plan of things I want to change in the coming year. It's great to look at the plans from the last year and see how much further I've come since then.

So, for this year there are a few things that I have cooking and I will set aside at least one more blogpost to talk about them. For now, I would like to link you to two interesting challenges that will start soon and that might interest you. I'm definitely participating and it would be nice if some of you came along on the journey.

The first one is the 21-day yoga challenge from that starts this coming Monday. You can choose either a beginner or intermediate program and you'll receive daily emails with asana practice, recipes and tips. There's three goals involved in this challenge: 15 minutes of meditation a day, one vegetarian meal a day and one session of asana practice (that means the actual gymnastic thing) a day. You can choose to follow all three of those goals or only one or two, just as you like. I haven't exercised since we got back from Britain and I really miss challenging my body, so I'm absolutely grateful for this little boost of motivation. I know that once I've got my body moving with some yoga positions in the morning, it will be easier to exercise, because it'll want more.

And then there's the Simple Living Pledge, by Kanelstrand. It starts in February and there's nothing in there that I haven't been working on for a while, but I always like to get inputs from somebody, and it's great to share the experience with a group. So if you are interested in making your live a little simpler, more frugal and sustainable, calm down a bit, spend more times with activities and people you enjoy, you should go and have a look at this.

Thanks for checking in here, and have fun making your own plans! :o)

Friday, January 6, 2012

New year, new home

Hello everyone! How have you been this first week of the year¿ Me, extremely busy of course. We drove back up to the mountains in Glarus on the 1st, then packed all our stuff into the car. We left the little house in the mountains with quite a heavy heart. Especially Trev has really enjoyed our time up there and it was not an easy goodbye. We had to leave really early because I had to be in Zuerich at 10am to hand over my flat. It went all well and I'm really glad to have found a good friend who loves the little space as much as I do.
We still had some stuff up in her attic though and even though -kind as she is- she offered to keep it until we had found a more permanent place, we wanted to take it with us and leave the space clean for her. We didn't have any chance to pile those things on top of all the stuff we had packed already, so we drove all the way out to my parent's place, dumped our boxes onto their parking space, and then went back into town to fetch the rest. Back at the parking we sorted through the things and found we could fit in a few more, the rest we packed as neatly as possible and left at my parent's place (bless their hearts!).
Then we made sure we had all our paper stuff together... if you move from Switzerland to an EU country you have to have a list of all your things, with weight and how much it is worth, address and signature on all three copies of them, and receits for the more valuable things. And your housing contract of course... well, it's so complicated and you can't get any real information on what's expected from you anywhere... so we made the list, but we didn't weigh or estimate the price of all the things. Even like that, and owning the little that we own, it was quite crazy. But I was really frightened that they might make problems at the border - I never trust buerocracy!
The next morning we got up at half past4 and said goodbye to my mum, and by 5am me, Trev and my dad were on our way south.
My dad - the nicest man there ever was - was driving down with us so I had somebody to share the driving with, and so we didn't have to return to Zuerich with the car. The journey went well. We passed the border without a soul in sight. We arrived in Montpellier about three hours ahead of our schedule. Our landlady sent her very lovable cousin to hand over the keys. Unloading the car took us about ten minutes and there we were: In our little flat in the south of France.
It feels so weird to live in another country. If you would have asked me before, I would have said I know France quite well. I spent most of my childhood summers very close to here. And still, now that I actually am here to stay - at least for a while - it all feels much different and very big and a bit intimidating at times. We treated ourselves to a nice dinner in town that evening. The next day we spent mainly unpacking and we went to buy some basic things. In the evening, Trev cooked a great dinner and today my dad left to drive back to Switzerland in the early morning.
This evening now almost all the things are unpacked and stored, most of the decorations and weird art from our landlady has gone down and the space is waiting for our own decorations. So you see, it has all gone just as well as one would wish for. Now it's a matter of getting settled and starting to feel at home.
I hope you had an exciting start into the new year. I am typing this on Trev's iPad which is not really comfy, but I just can't find the charging cable of my laptop... So pictures and other things might have to wait for a while until I can use my own laptop again.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Lights on!

Wishing you an enlightened 2012 guys!!! I hope it started out great for you all, with lots of love and new chances!
I've been very fascinated with light in these dark times, so here are some of the most interesting light-pictures from this month for a bright start into the new year.

I wish you that there will be lots of lights to be found in your life in this coming year!

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