Drink Coffee and Smell the Cactus 

If we were having coffee again. This kind of writing – partly catching up, partly me rambling about everything – feels very natural to me. Though I consider myself a bit introvert – I prefer to talk more than to listen. And, of course, talk about myself 🙂 Many look really sceptic when I say that I used to define myself as an introvert – and I understand why :))) So this is another post with a hashtag “if we were having coffee” – about everything and nothing special. Just the way I like!

Cactus life. My cactus seems unhealthy to my eye. I bought it last year and was so happy about my first cactus at home! Totally hipster home now 🙂 But now, after only one  year, it doesn’t look ok, having lost its nice green color. And tell me, how can you neglect a cactus?! Isn’t it a kind of plant that suits best all those who are disasters at taking care of plants? I watered it once a month like I was told in a shop – not too much. It missed sunlight, standing on my table, so I moved it on the window sill. But how can a window spot help when the winter lasts five months and the sun is so seldom? I guess, the heart of the cactus just couldn’t bear it anymore. And, I tell you what, I have so much empathy with it. Dear cactus, you reflect my attitude very well. Just that my face is a shade greener than yours 🙂

The weather though. The passed weekend gave us a new faith in spring. The sun was shining on Sunday, all day long, such luck! Every sunny step, terrace and bench were occupied. On the huge stairs, built like an open theatre, crowds froze in one common move: turning their faces into the sun. It looked like a weird festival – a festival of sun-worshippers. Both funny and sad. It shows plainly in how great deficit the sunshine is here. Some things you just cannot buy, not even in the world richest country. But – you can always use money to get out, and so Norwegians are leaving the city for the Easter holidays. Oslo becomes so empty and deserted during this week. Well well, what would you do?

After a weekend of spring the winter is back, however. A forecast proposes -10 at night and sunny +1 during the day this week. Calling for every desperate emoji that you can think of. I am back in my winter boots, winter jacket, scarf and beanie. So much for the spring flirting. Flirting? In Norway? Forget it. But, I must admit, it is such a pleasure to walk the streets free of ice – for the very first time in many months. It feels like flying 🙂 And the sun is out, the sunglasses are on – in nice combo with the winter jacket and the beanie.

My color hunt. Pink has been my color of the past months. Now I close the pink hunt with these two images (in the end I even bought me a pink sweater. This is how we freshen up a wardrobe for spring. We buy the same warm things but in spring colors: spring coat, spring sweaters, spring puffy jacket. This is the irony of Northern fashion, haha).

And now I start a new color photo hunt. But I still haven’t made up my mind which color it will be. Yellow is so obvious, but yellow hunt I had last spring. Though it is so easy, because here it is considered a color of Easter. I have seen already yellow Easter chickens decorating everything and shops setting out the first flowers – yellow daffodils. Making us believe it is spring all over again, even as we go on in our winter attire.

While I am thinking about the new color, one is popping vigorously into my eye. It is everywhere – in the fashion picture, in every store, in the road signs. And I welcome this color and kiss it on every chick leaving the lipstick marks. Because it is the lipstick itself, it is love, passion, it is its majesty red. In the fashion picture there is a lot of French references: sailor strips, French texts on t-shirts, Vichy checked print. There is also a lot of Spanish passion and romance: flamenco-ruffled skirts, T-shirt with a print “Latin Lover”, romantic ruffles on every top, and the hot red itself. I love both French and Spanish clothes tradition – and you cannot imagine how happy I am this year to browse the shops and see that the typically shy Scandinavian fashion has given way to this bold and extravagant bonanza.

Work work. I am teaching again – and it is such a joy! I used to work as a primary school teacher a couple of years ago, but it wasn’t 100% my passion. As much as I love teaching and kids, I love them separately, not together *ironic emoji*. Though working with kids can be so fun, I have always had an ambition to get into teaching for adults (that’s how I picked sociology at the university of Oslo. I thought, I would become a professor of it, hehe. Little did I know how little I liked lonesome researching). This month I have started teaching Norwegian for Russian speakers in a private school. It is still some hours a week, nothing big – but I am so happy to feel this rush again. I must have missed standing in front of the class and writing on the blackboard cuz I get so excited 🙂 And I am glad that I can do something I love as much. Good to get to the feeling that work can be fun and a source of energy.

Last week I was a substitute teacher in a town 1,5 hour away from Oslo. Taking train to there was like a little adventure. And coming back, oh boy, feels like getting into a real metropole :))) The landscape is so beautiful, even though after a while you get tired of the same white on white. The day was sunny and gave some pops of color on the stations.

Philosophical stop. Recently I’ve came to view our life as a garden. You work with what you’ve got and after a while you get to harvest the fruit. Yes, some start with better tools and some start with bare hands. And you may have a different kind of soil: while some can throw any seed and it will grow almost by itself, the Northern soil makes you toil and sweat just to grow the basic potatoes. But in the end there is no one to blame, but to ask a question: and what have you done with what you got? Did you sit around and wait? Did you play an offer role and complain? Because in the end, the work means so much. Even if someone starts with better resources – the work is a key still. Because getting the goods is not enough – it is how you manage them that counts. And in this we are all equal – in our ability to strain our will and work for our goals.

Coming up. There is so much I want to write about. I want to explore the lifestyle minimalism I learnt by living in Scandinavia. I have thought a lot about what is the most precious for us and about owning the things we love – and loving what we own. Then also I want to reflect on the Happiness Report that is out there again – and talk about how Norway can be a perfect place and for whom. So many ideas – and so many distractions (called real life, hehe). Now with the Easter vacation coming up, it will be even more difficult to keep on track. But it is good to break the routine – and then come back to it.

Summing up my March in some words: still winter, extensive window-shopping, red color, teaching again. And yes, a sad cactus. What is your March in some words? And let me know if there is something special you’d like to read on my blog!

Happy Easter! God Påske!

16 thoughts on “Drink Coffee and Smell the Cactus 

  1. God Påske to you too, Marina! 🙂 It’s good to feel the energy from your words, your joy at teaching again (just yesterday a blogger told me that I would make a good teacher, I’ve never done it or even consider it, but it was lovely to hear it), your love of red and even hear of your poor cactus and how you compare yourself to it.

    My favourite part is this: “But, I must admit, it is such a pleasure to walk the streets free of ice – for the very first time in many months. It feels like flying.” Hihih, I love it how you get airborne from a little thing like this – which for you must be huge. No ice!

    Summer is not hear yet, next week, they say. I’m going to Rome tomorrow and have no idea whether to pack the sandals yet. 😉 Be well!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hehe, glad I could touch your heart with this energy 🙂
      What would you like to teach if you had a chance? 🙂 and would you like it?
      Oh yes, the Northern life teaches you to appreciate things you never knew before. Icefree streets, sunshine on your face, first signs of spring (still waiting), color popping. Hard life but good lessons 😆😆
      Ooh, Rome is rainy this weekend, no? How long are you staying there?

      Liked by 2 people

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