April is a month of surprises. In Germany they used to say “April, April macht was er will” (April makes what he wants). Here in Barcelona they say “April – agues mil” which means “April – thousand of waters”. It hasn’t been a thousand yet, but I can confirm that after some three months of stable sunshine, April is suddenly surprising with many rains.
The weather has been weird the last weeks. I listen to Radio Hamburg and today they promised +21 and total sunshine. While here, in the South, it doesn’t go beyond +17 and the whole week is filled with windy forecasts. I guess, we all need to go to the Northern Germany right now 🙂 Even more ironic for those tourists who came here for the Easter week and discover that the weather is better in their Northern parts back home :))
However, I find this weather quite enjoyable (not the windy part though). When it rained everyday on the Norwegian West coast, it was very frustrating. But when the rain breaks up those weeks of sunshine, I don’t mind 🙂 I welcome the change and get back to those cozy activities I learnt back in Norway. I here I want to share some things that inspire me right now on a rainy day.
I used to have this regular post on my blog – about 5 things I like. It comes especially handy when I don’t know what to write about. I go through my latest photos and choose the images I like. And this time I noticed that those five were actually united by one theme – it was all about light. Hence 5 things I light.
Ok, they are not actually five. As you may know, I am not fabulous with numbers. Last time I wanted to share 10 Most Amazing Tips for Blogging, they turned out to be not 10 but 16. And not amazing but mediocre. And not tips but “bad advice” :)) So well, you have to take this with a pinch of salt, as we say it in Norwegian.
And the first thing I like would be something that rimes with it. A bike. I could not hold myself back from this primitive poetry :)) Because the poetry is what makes this life worth living, even such a basic one 🙂
How beautiful can a grey day be! Now, I have never been a fan of grey days. I guess, it is because I got too many of them in Norway. But after so many sunny days in the Mediterranean this winter the cloudy skies feel like a pleasant change. I love Barcelona on a sunny day, on a grey day, and on a rainy day I love it too. Especially on a spring rainy day, when everything starts to smell intensely of young green leaves and fresh earth.
And since green is on my mind today, I wanted to share some photos of my green friends at home. I always dreamt of a pot garden while living in Oslo. The weather conditions there were tough, and the green balcony was only a summer thing. Here it can be done throughout the year, but I am still slow (or lazy). Still happy that I got these plants, and planning to expand my little garden in the middle of the big city.
The good thing about changing a flat is that one can start creating the new space just as one wishes. From the blank page. When I moved in with my husband, his flat was already set, so I had to carve out small spaces for my changes and things. When we moved now to Barcelona, the flat was empty, with very few pieces of furniture (I even had to sleep on the floor the first weeks). So we had to spend some time and money visiting all the interior stores (instead of drinking sangria and eating tapas, like most of my friends thought I was doing :)). The upside of it was that I had more freedom in creating our home this time.
Now, after all stress and mess, I feel content with some results and want to share the corners I like. This one is from my side of the bedroom. It is a sunny room with the big French windows, which are also doors to the balcony. It is so great to wake up and see the sunlight beaming through. And in the evening I like to light a candle and unwind with a book. I close the door and feel like it is my secret garden. Where there is place for my books, my dreams, my jewelry, my inspiration – the place for everything.
Since I have started to notice the black and white theme around me – on the streets of my city and then at home, this combo seems to be popping everywhere. It is even on trend this season, as I came to conclude after walking through some stores.
And though some may have different opinion on black-and-white vs. colors , and even though I have proclaimed myself a color lover ages ago (actually, my second blog in Russian which I started 10 years ago has the name “My Life in Color and Black and White”), I just cannot resist the elegance and prettiness of this simple combination. Let’s do the window shopping with me and see for yourselves!
If you know me just a bit, you know that I am a color lover. Especially the bright colors make my heart bounce with joy, because I find them full of life and optimism. I have shared some collections of yellow, orange and lots of pink. I also collected colors in my city and tried to show that Oslo can truly be colorful.
I would never call myself a color minimalist. On the opposite, the more colors I could mix, the better. I would never be the one wearing total black or monochrome outfit. But recently my eye got attracted to this simple combination of black and white. First I noticed it on the streets of Oslo, then in my home, and now I find it in interior and fashion trends, so it seems to be everywhere 🙂
So often when we talk about a country or a culture, it seems that we compare it with another one and come to conclusion that sums up to: “I’ll stick with this one, no matter what” – or “No, thanks, I’ll go for another one”. It sounds like we choose all the time. But why choose only one? Can we take (and make) both?
I have noticed that my life comprises mostly of the people who come “from here and there and a bit of everywhere”. There are few (or none) 100% Norwegians, or 100% Ukrainians, or other pure nationalities in my life. Maybe, because that’s my natural tribe, reflecting my life choices. I am not amazed, for example, that I, born Ukrainian, communicate with my native Catalan husband in Norwegian language, not native to either of us. It once suprized a couple of Norwegians though.
I can understand them, they didn’t expect to hear the language of their little proud country in some tapas bar in Barcelona somewhere around midnight. Especially coming with heavy Spanish accent and sweet Eastern-European accent, used to discuss a love relationship between those two. Why Norwegian?? They seemed to be falling from their chairs, breaking their backs to turn and see who these two were, using their language in this place.