The Importance of Play

Sometimes I like sitting on the bus without headphones and listen to people. Mind you, on the bus in Norway everyone is usually very silent, except the teens and the foreigners. The locals speak to each other in low voices. One morning, however, I was lucky to hear an interesting talk. A guy was telling about his master thesis: a role of play in learning. He told how the first year of school was first meant as a transit from the everyday playing of kindergarten to the school life. And how it changed nowadays with the prevalence of testing and result-oriented study from the earliest years. “I don’t want to call it play, it is a little bit scary to use this word” – he said (and I smiled internally. Norwegians’ choice of words can be funny sometimes. Maybe, I will write about it one day). “I would better say “learning through exploring” instead of playing”, he continued. And I thought: Bingo!

Because my blog’s name is about exploring, that’s why 🙂 No, not just that. Because I also had been thinking about the concept of “play” – applied to our adult life. Sometimes I ask myself: how come we adults become so boring?

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If Cities Were People

What if cities were people? I remember a friend saying to me: “Everybody says that Moscow is a she, but I would disagree. European cities are feminine, but Moscow is a very masculine one”. I believe that every city has its soul and I am always eager to explore it when traveling. Today I want to share my impressions of some cities whose heart I got to know. I am very curious if you agree or disagree on my conclusions about their character.

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Sunny Coffees Are Not From Norway

When I first got contacted by a Norwegian family who wanted me to be their au-pair (this is how I came to Norway), they sent me a bunch of photos with their kids and a notice: “The  sunny photos are not from Norway”. It was 13 years ago, and I still remember that sentence – such a weird comment, I thought. Why did they feel necessary to mention that? So that I don’t get all rosy about those beach photos and think that town of Haugesund where they lived looked like Miami? 🙂 After spending some months in Haugesund, I knew for sure why the sunny pics could not be taken there: it was raining all year around. The west coast of Norway is famous for the rainy weather, and the seasons look pretty much alike there, all grey and wet, with some temperature variations.

Recently I was looking through my mobile photos from the last year and had to admit: I love coffee shots. I seldom post my drink pics on social media – but I keep on taking them. I don’t know why. Maybe, it is the feeling of the moment, the harmony of here and now, or it is some sacred geometry there – but I make sure I snap a pic of a cup and it feels so right. I thought that making a compilation of coffee (and some random tea) cups would be a nice idea – and since I got into playful mood about asking you to guess this and that some weeks ago, I decided to make it a riddle time.

So here are some coffee compilations from five countries. Can you guess where do they come from? The only hint would be similar to that of my Norwegian guest family: the sunny coffees are not from Norway 🙂 I give no further hints, since these are the countries that are not exotic to my blog. They have been covered here, even with some of these images already (and if you check under my travel tag, you will meet all of the places ;)). So let’s play! Who’s ready?

Country # 1.

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Where Is This Pretty Place?

Monday, Monday…  I have noticed that it is popular here on WordPress to attach a theme to a day: Thursday Doors, Meet-a-blogger Friday, Book Wednesday. It looks somehow American to me, am I wrong? I like the idea but I cannot imagine I could introduce such thing – and keep up to its schedule. I tried to create a regular post theme called “5 things” a year ago – for a collection of things that inspire me in the moment. And last time I did such a post was in April last year. My oh my… Regular categories are not for me 🙂

So I would love to attach some funny tag to Monday – but I don’t want to make more commitments. This space here is for learning to walk with inspiration and creativity, and I have enough scheduling in other parts of my life, so why schedule more? Some bloggers however prefer making a content plan and sticking to it, or picking up a commitment which helps them to stay on track. I am a true hippie in this regard, running wild and free 🙂 And what is your blogging style?

There are routines I love though. I love Mondays because after the free and scattered spirit of the weekend I can get back to my desk. I really like my Monday solitude and feel like a true writer, hehe. Getting back to work. Coffee and my notebook. My notebook and coffee. Not a computer even, no. Hand writing is the best. I cannot call it work because I write my morning pages (a practice picked from “The Artist’s Way”) – but I am serious about it like it were work. In this moment I feel myself totally at home. And even the weather doesn’t matter (are you kidding me?). If the sun is shining, I smile, if it is replaced by the weird snow storm (like right now) I am still focused on the paper.

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