Winds of change

So I’ve been living in Scotland for almost 1.5 years now. It feels both much longer and shorter than that. It always does.

I can still imagine our first visit here. It was one of the worst storms ever. Maybe a sort of prophetic symbol for the time that was to come.

The past 2.5 years have been turbulent to say the least. From living in the South of France, to moving back home to Switzerland, to coming to live over here, it has been both wonderful and tough for both of us.

I personally am very grateful for this time and I feel like I was granted growth beyond my imagination through this journey.

I know that a lot of the quite big changes over here I haven’t talked about on this blog, because I didn’t feel capable of putting everything into words, out of fear of smashing all the precious things that were growing in my life. I hope that now, after a solid few months into everything, I can start to make that up to you.


But now, we are also already looking at the next step, the next chapter. The winds of change are blowing, and we are both eager to move on.

We both finish our current jobs early next year, and we are planning on leaving Scotland in spring.

Tref has a new job in Yale, Connecticut. His visa is still being processed, but at this point we are quite sure it will come through and that he will be able to start his new research project – which he is really excited about – soon.

It feels really weird to type this out so matter of factly here, after keeping things quiet and crossing fingers and dreaming and making plans and getting excited for quite a long time.

I am already beyond sad to be leaving Glasgow, a city that I have learned to love more than I ever imagined. But, of course, I am also super excited to move to the U.S. and start a completely new chapter and explore a different culture for the next few years.

We are wading knee-deep in paper stuff and all the little things that have to be organised now, like getting rid of our car, flat, getting all our documents sorted, organising the move, and thinking about things we want to do before leaving Europe…

And enjoying everything that we have here as much as possible as long as we can!!

Posted in A good Life, Personal | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A hut adventure

I’ve been holding this post back a bit mainly because I was waiting to get my hands on my friend Stef’s awesome pictures. So sit back people, this is something to look at.

In the UK, Halloween or Samhain falls really close to another traditional holiday called Guy Fawkes or Bonfire Night which is celebrated on the 5th of November. As you could imagine, it’s all about bonfires, and people also light a lot of firework.

We wanted to get away and celebrate somewhere nice, but after last year’s Halloween camping, we opted for something a bit more sheltered.

The hut is tiny, but it’s got everything you need. Cooking stuff, an oven, space to roll out camping mats, and even a cuddly sofa. It fit seven of us very cosy.

And the scenery is amazing:

We made an awesome fondue with British cheeses for dinner. Funnily enough, all my friends seem to be people who love food and cooking… it is very practical!

The next morning…:

Some people are grumpy when they have just woken up…!

It was rainy all weekend, and we were lazy, so we didn’t do much during the day. But it let off long enough for us to make a fire for grilled lunch.

And we saw an awesome double rainbow!!

It was great to have a warm and dry homebase, so the weather didn’t really bother us at all. We knew we could play around outdoors a bit and then snuggle up in the warm hut again later.

This guy kept us nice and warm in the evening:

We played munchkin (if you’ve never tried it, you totally should. It’s an awesome game. Make sure to play with people with a jolly sense of humour though!), and ate more awesome food.

And then it was finally firework time!!








Aren’t those pictures awesome? I think on some of them it looks as if some spirit or faery was flying around the trees. It felt very magical. It was also very cold. We took care not to fire any rockets that would leave pieces of wire or other stuff behind in the wild that could harm animals.

I love to look at the pictures and imagine that we are all having a magical party in some sort of faery forest.

We also played around with sparklers a bit:


(I tried to make a heart shape, but it looks more like a butt)

We were all very sad to have to pack up on Sunday. It is so nice and quiet out there, after a few days, you never ever want to go back to the city and the roads and the cars again. But we’re planning on going back very soon.


If you like the pictures please visit my friend Stefan’s page on photocircle to see his stunning landscape and aurora photographs. If you want to purchase a print, all the money goes to charity, so it’s a really great cause to support!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Purple hummus recipe

Some people have asked for the recipe to make purple hummus. I thought on here would be the easiest platform to share it with you all – and also a good opportunity to write a blogpost after taking a hiatus this summer.

The basic recipe that we use for our hummus is very classic. We don’t measure our ingredients, we just add them to the blender and then mix until we find the right balance of flavours. Everybody has different tastes anyways, so make this yours.

2012 snapshots (180)

Classic hummus:

~1 cup cooked and drained chickpeas
~2 cloves garlic
~0.5 cup tahini (sesame paste, you can buy it in organic stores)
~0.5 cup good quality olive oil (we use olive oil as the main liquid in this recipe, as opposed to other people who add water which makes it somewhat less heavy, but also less flavoursome in our opinion. But because the olive oil doesn’t only add texture but also flavour, it is imperative that you invest in good oil. Cheap oil is bitter and can make your hummus inedible).
Salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste

Mix all your ingredients in a blender and then transfer to jars or plastic tubs. You can freeze the hummus so it’s easy to make big batches in one go (as cleaning up is quite a chore).

Once you’re familiar with the basic recipe, you can start experimenting with ingredients. The main things that define hummus are a pulse base, olive oil, tahini and lemon (in my opinion – you might add garlic to this list).

IMG_8223

Purple hummus

In the purple hummus, I exchanged the classic chickpeas with black turtlebeans. I also added cooked purple cabbage to the base which gives the hummus its lovely color. I left away the garlic because I didn’t have any, and I don’t think it did any harm. I added rosmary instead and think it all fits together very well.

~1 cup cooked and drained black turtle beans
~1 cup finely sliced and cooked purple cabbage
~ 2 tbsp finely chopped rosmary
~ 0.5 cup good quality olive oil
~ salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste

Mix. Fill into jars. Add some sprigs of rosmary, pepper, and a dash of oil to the top to make it look pretty. Take pictures and boast about it to all your friends.

And don’t forget to share! :o)

Posted in A good Life, Green and simple | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ramadan – retrospective

I kind of wanted to write down a few thoughts about how ramadan went for me, but never found the time to do so. Now it is, then.

I stuck to it for two weeks – so about half of the 28 days. Then I had to stop.

I only did two full ramadan days during that time, meaning that I did not eat and drink from sun up to sun down. I realised I could not deal with the lack of water – it was making me sick. So I started what I called the kid’s ramadan regime: I would eat a normal breakfast after getting up, and drink water and herb tea during the day, then have a fast-break meal after sundown.

Trying to gulp down an enormeous bowl of muesli at 4am… oO

But even so, it was very very hard for me, and I didn’t really cope well. I was fine during the first half or so of the day. But from about 3 or 4pm on, I was just so out of energy that I could not really think clearly. All I wanted to do was sleep, and maybe do useless things like browse the internet, but I even had troubles concentrating on that.

Of course besides feeling not too great that meant firstly that my days were super duper unproductive, and secondly, it wasn’t clearing my mind for spiritual practise at all as I had hoped.

So I realised the fast was completely beside the point, and after two weeks I decided to call it quits.

I would still like to try spiritual fasting again, but next time I would probably try and do it within a dedicated setting, like a retreat, where there is support and guidance, and a spiritual structure so I don’t have to spend energy on these things too much.

I’m glad and grateful to have had this small inside into islamic culture though.

Posted in Personal | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Holding on

Sometimes, all it comes down to, is holding on to something.

To a smile, maybe, or the covers of your bed.

To a vision, a passion. Or just a box of cookies.

To hope, and light, and lofty ideas, or a pack of tissues.

eyes

Holding on is not always heroic, rarely graceful. It involves ugly tears that will not do well on canvas, a heart that breaks a million times, a soul that is too confused to even look up for the light. If it means doing nothing, talking nothing, thinking nothing, for a while, sometimes a longer while than anyone could ever justify. And being so scared that nobody could ever respect your smallness. Maybe it means hurt, until you realise that it is yourself that is causing the hurt, and then, still not being able to stop. It means hate, and dark clouds, and shadowy valleys and looking out the window and seeing a world turn on without you, so fast and big that it makes your innermost soul cringe with fear. It will also mean cowering in a corner and trying to dissapear by curling into a ball of unworthyness.

Oh, yes, it will. But however ugly and wasted and useless the days may seem, floating by endlessly, you are holding on. Because you are still here when all you want is to dissappear, into a blue and peaceful cloud, forever. You are still here, and all your dissappearances are temporary. That is why you are a hero. That is why your scars are nothing to hide from the world. Because you held on to whatever you could when you needed to.

And then one day you looked up and you said. “I found a tiny bit of love, right here.”

And then you got up, slowly, on shaky feet, and you took a tiny step, and you gave it another try.

Posted in Art and creativity, Personal | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ramadan

Trev and I decided to observe ramadan this year.

There are a few reasons for this, at least for me. We have a few friends who celebrate ramadan, and as it is especially hard up north in Glasgow, it feels kind of nice to emphasize with them. We are always up for any types of challenges like this one, but first and foremost, for me, this is about spirituality.

086 - 21. Juni 2014 (Medium)

Ramadan is a time for muslims to try and grow closer to God through self discipline, experiencing of personal limits, intense prayers, and charity. (As far as I understood). Although I am not a muslima, I do definitely see the use and potential of such a period of intense spiritual focus. The abstinence from food and water during daylight is supposed to cleanse and purify the body and mind in order for the heart to listen closer to God.

Frankly, I have no idea yet if I will make it, and I did try and ease into the schedule by just abstaining from food and drink from normal breakfast to late dinner time on the first couple of days. Today is the first day that I got up before sunrise and cooked a huge breakfast (had to force it down as I am not a breakfast person at all!) and drank one liter of water in preparation for the day. Now it’s evening and the sensation of hunger is not as bad as it was in the early afternoon, but I am very thirsty, tired and distracted. I’m not sure how well I will function with this regime if I had to do any focused work. But I guess I will find out in time.

Muslims are asked to pray five times throughout the day and there are special prayers added during the month of ramadan. I’m not observing those prayer times or prayers because I don’t know enough about them to perform them, and from as much as I have seen, I would probably not be comfortable with them because their wording clashes with my personal spirituality.

So I am praying and meditating on a more personal schedule, and it definitely feels like a very special time. It might be a bit unorthodox to dedicate ramadan to the Goddess, and to chant ‘Hare Krishna’ and ‘Om Shanti’ on your mala beads, but for me it works.

The month of ramadan lasts for 28 days, so there will be plenty of time to experiment, and maybe write some more on the subject.

Ramadan Mubarak – Blessed Ramadan!

Posted in A good Life, Personal | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer Solstice camping

 

For Summer Solstice, we went camping on the beach this year.

The previous week had been gloriously warm and sunny, but Scotland wouldn’t be Scotland if the weather had been perfect for our little outing. So we started out with rather grey skies and a few showers during our drive to our destination.

Spirits were high anyways, everyone was looking forward to spending two days outdoors. On the ferry:
After about three hours of driving we parked the cars, put on the packs and shambled off into the woods.

After some scrambling through forests, bogs, and clouds of midges, we finally arrived at a decent camping spot and put up our tents. It was already late and we quickly gathered some wood for a fire.

Geoff doing magic.


We spent both nights huddling around a fire, trying to escape the assault of midges, and marveling at the beauty of the night sky. It didn’t really get dark, and the sun peeked back up over the horizon almost as soon as He dissappeared around 3am.




I had never been this far north ever in my life, and I am still awe-struck by the experience.





A campfire and lots of time means lots of cooking of course. All in all, we had tons of food and ate really well, although our water situation wasn’t quite that good.




During the day we went exploring, the guys hiked to fetch water from the next beach that had a little stream, cut fire wood, and people went swimming in the sea (except for me because I’m afraid of getting cold and also not a big fan of jellyfish ^^).






Cooking breakfast. Everything was full of sand, scratches from scrambling through the forest, sticky midge-repellent, and midge bites. Somehow though, we still managed to have a good time. Miraculous!





Almost ready to go. After breakfast on the last morning, a huge, threatening raincloud rolled in and we all packed our tents in a hurry, getting everything wet in the downpour (if you’ve ever camped you know what a pain it is to pack up in the rain!). Stupidly enough, the rain stopped after just a little while. Andy, who’d slept through the rain, was the only person to pack up a reasonably dry pack. Duh!

We walked a longer, but slightly less boggy route on the way back to the cars on the Sunday. Coming back home from camping is almost as great as going camping in itself and we were all sure happy to have a nice shower, wash the remaining ticks out of our hair, and slather ourselves in aloe vera gel against the itchyness of the midge bites.

We’re already planning the next trip!

Pictures by the fabulous Stefan Glatzel. <3

Posted in A good Life, Green and simple | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life of late

So, hi. Do you still know me?
It’s been almost 3 months that I haven’t really written a blog post.
Giving up the ambition of blogging daily, or blogging at all for that matter, really felt like a huge relief at the time. I realised I was putting pressure on my self about something that was supposed to be a fun pastime. It happens sometimes, and in my experience it’s best to give up attachement to this thing at least for a while and prove yourself that you don’t have to do anything.

But now things seem to be a bit less hectic, I feel some more routine coming back into my life, and I can feel a well-known tug to document things that are on my mind.

So I’ll start again, but I’ll start slowly. No daily posts, not even a weekly schedule. I’ll just post whenever I feel like it.

A lot of things have happened in those three months of course and there’s probably one or the other story to tell.

Here’s the short version:

– I completed both my permaculture design course and my yoga teacher training.
– I turned 29.
– I started two self-employed careers.
– I knitted lots of things.
– I renovated a room.
– I made some big decisions.
– I started training again.
– I got a new job.
– I went on a few road trips and an amazing vacation.
– I made a few new friends.
– I cooked lots of food, washed loads of laundry, petted lots of cats, picked many many flowers, had so many laughs, hugged a lot, drank a few pints of cider, tried new things, and am still deeply in love with life and the world.

Sounds like some stuff to talk about, don’t you think? Be seein’ ya! xxx

2014-05-25 15.34.55 (Medium)

Posted in A good Life, Personal | Tagged | Leave a comment

Catching up


It’s been a while… as I said on facebook (find me there!), there’s just so much stuff happening at the moment. I can feel that things are shifting, but the process is too imminent and I feel vulnerable talking about my hopes, dreams and goals at this moment. I am just trying to stay with this forward-moving energy, and not to loose momentum. I know I am very prone to this, and it takes superhuman strength to get back up and going once I’ve fallen off the train, so my main concern at the moment is to enjoy the ride whilst keeping a balance between downtime, personal projects, necessary (adult *blegh*) life stuff, friends and family.

I miss blogging though, so even though I have no words at this moment, please enjoy some pictures of precious moments from the past few weeks.

 



My beautiful sister visited for a short while, and we enjoyed lots of sunny hours sightseeing and adventuring.





Trev and Picoletta are bottling our first homemade beer.

I hosted a full moon ritual. It was beautiful.

Also, yoga is on my mind a lot these days.

We started a garden. Well, it’s not quite that yet, more a patch of dirt where we hope to win an epic fight against an army of bramble roots.


Yoga inspiration and yoga doodles.

Permaculture is still going strong!


We don’t spend enough weekends exploring!

 

Posted in Personal | Tagged | Leave a comment

Quiet

Hi everyone, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but it’s been very very quiet here… I just can’t find the mind to blog at the moment. I am crazy busy with a lot of things happening – some of them are awesome, some are just dull and some are bothersome… but it seems I can’t really write about any of them. It doesn’t seem to be a time for much reflection, but more of doing, and living, and making.

I’ve decided to not let this add to the buzz in my head and just take as much time off as I need. In the meantime, if you wanna keep up, follow me on instagram or twitter @little_yaga.

See you around!!

 

 

Posted in Personal | Leave a comment