Archive for July, 2010

Pillar 3: Love

A part of me doesn’t even know where to start here, while another part of me is overflowing with things I want to say about the wonderful topic of love. This is one of the main reasons why it has taken me quite some time to write this entry, but I will make a real effort today to put down my thoughts on this. At least an initial scratch on the surface.

In order to do this, let me define love a bit so we are on the same page. I want to do this mainly since love comes in so many different formats that a narrowing down of the topic is needed, as well with the aim of sticking to my definition of the five pillars of happiness. So therefore, for this particular pillar I have put my focus on romantic love, as I think the other pillars contain their own varieties of love, whether that is family oriented, platonic, materialistic or the love and appreciation one should have for oneself. So here we go.

I find love one of the most wonderful as well as mysterious things in the world. Ever since I was little I have had a bit of a tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve, something that to some extent I like (since I think that if you like someone you should show it and I enjoy the feeling of happiness that it brings me most of the times) but to some extent I find really annoying (since it does tend to mess with my emotions and it is oh so easy to get hurt while having your heart on display like this). Due to this love has always fascinated as well as frustrated me, mainly since I never seemed to get the balance right.

Too much vs. too little. Too intense vs. too mild. Too physical vs. too emotional. In order to be true to myself as well as balance these issues out, I have always put a lot of emphasis on the fact that I had to be attracted to the other person both physically and mentally in order to really fall for someone. Even if that hasn’t happen very often, it has made it oh so worth it when it does happen.

Without saying too much about my personal experiences, or going too much into a general analysis about the wonders of love, I think this pillar is so important to me exactly because I still tend to wear my heart on my sleeve a lot and it does affect me on a daily basis. Thanks to that, this has been a pillar that has been a bit volatile at times, but at any time, it has still stood strong thanks to the support of the other pillars in times of need.

Following my somewhat volatile path of exploration of the matter, I have slowly established my opinion on the matter and I think my view of love is actually very nicely summarized by one of my favourite authors, Louis de Bernières in his famous book  “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”. And to finish this entry off, I think I will let that quote do the talking:

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.

Wonderful Weekend

Ah, I am just getting back into normality following a wonderful weekend of pure debauchery.. How absolutely amazing is it to not really do ANYTHING except for eating, drinking, sunbathing, surfing and just lying around..  I was going to write a line about this already during the weekend, a little note in celebration of all things lazy, but I was just too lazy to get around to it..

Until now that is. So, here we go. “My weekend” by Linda.

My weekend started off in an absolutely fantastic way. Actually, words almost fail me in describing how lovely it was, but I will try. 🙂 It started early, that’s for sure. By 7am on Saturday morning we were at Barranca, getting ready to head out into the waves with our boards. The day was sunny, actually it was extremely hot compared to the last few times we had been down there, the waves were about 4ft high and there were only a handful of other people heading out. In other words, excellent conditions for a day in the waves.

While paddling out I decided to have at least 10 waves during this session, out of which 5 were supposed to be great, memorable waves. I like setting goals like that, but this time I decided not to stress too much about it and actually just work on my tan in case I wasn’t getting along with Poseidon. To my absolute delight we were getting along like never before and I caught 5 amazing waves during the two hour session. FIVE excellent,  head high, pounding, fast waves that carried me for ages! Pure morning bliss..

Following such an amazing start to the weekend, how could the rest be bad?

And I was right.. All we did in addition to the surfing was fully focussing on enjoying the time off.. We spent the days lounging around, eating, drinking, reading, sunbathing, watching movies and playing with the little monster Sofia.. Absolutely wonderful..

But now its back to work again, and I must say its a bit difficult to focus on doing something as mundane as work following such a wonderful weekend. Ah.. I really should just be a lady of leisure, I am pretty good at just lounging around.. Although, I do wonder at what point a good thing would become too much.. Maybe its a good thing I am not at risk of having too much fun just lounging around thanks to my work that keeps me busy on a daily basis…

Clark Little Photography

Clark Little – Yet another fantastic Photographer showing us the wonders of water and the power of the waves through his lens. 

Looking at these images I cannot help but wish I was out there in the waters and not in the middle of a long week of work. But its Tuesday already! Not that many days to go before another fantastic weekend in the waves!

As you can probably tell, I am giving myself yet another pep talk to get through this week. I am not really sure why, but this week is starting to feel like the longest week ever. And its only Tuesday! Anyone got any great ideas for how time will go faster?

Surf Wear

For the first few months here I naively tried to surf in my normal Bikini. It all starts off well, I put it on, it sits nicely where it should sit as I carry the board down to the beach. I put the leash on. I start wading out into the waves. And BAM. Already the first wave to hit me usually manages to tug my bikini bottoms somewhat down, revealing an embarrassingly white bum, while simultaneously distracting me from the task at hand – Getting Out There with the board. This also sets the scene for what is to come…

So I am getting better at catching waves and the surfing part in general, but unfortunately, quite a few attempts still usually result in a wipe out, where both I, my bikini bottoms and my top suffer, ending up in a slight confusion about what was the task of each parties, especially the who should be covering what..

All this involuntary nudity finally led to me giving up and heading out to buy a new bikini. I ended up with a lovely one from 69 Slam that manages to keep all my assets in place while I can focus on the board and the waves and the wipe outs.

With this purchase, I also realised that my previous bikinis had all been bad at staying in place, and they all had one thing in common. They had movable parts attached to strings all over the place! Strings are not good in waves. Nor are movable parts. My new one has a band that holds the top in one place, helping it stay where you want it to be. Excellent!

I am now quite excited about this whole new world that is opening up to me. I can finally DO stuff in my bikini! Yay! So with this new knowledge I am now constantly eyeing up my possible next bikini purchase. Without falling into the typical error of stereotyping I will say that if you are a man you will now say, “Why do you need another one, you already have one”.. If you are a woman you will understand. Obviously its so I can have another great bikini to change to when I feel like it!

I have also started checking out next seasons stuff just so I am ready once the new collections hit the shops.. And OMG I want this one by Patagonia:

Love the colours, the cut and the bottoms! I want, I want, I want… Since patience is not one of my top virtues, I pray to god that the 2011 Collection will arrive in the shops soon! 🙂 (Including the ones in Costa Rica please!)

new Old Spice man

I am deeply moved by the melodic voice of the new Old Spice man, amazed at his general fabulousness and impressed by his manliness.. But most of all, the viral marketing by Old Spice has made the biggest impact on me this morning as I saw that this video (see below) has made the amazing achievement of becoming the most viewed item this morning on YoutTube..

Viral marketing is a bit of a mystery to me still. And I bet I am not the only one who feels like that. How amazing is the internet and its ability to spread a simple video all over the world, providing this experience, this fun moment to be shared among hundreds of thousands of people in a short period of time.

I have to say, the guys behind this campaign has given me my inspiration for today, even if I can only hope that anything as spectacular as this will ever happen with one of my bingo campaigns.. 😉 But at least it has inspired me and made me smile, and I hope it put a smile on your face as well.

Anyhow “my dearest and closest internet friends”, that’s it from me for today. Now I will wrap up this entry and bide my farewells, since I, just like Old Spice guy “I must ride my jetski lion into the sunset.. ”

(or in other words, I have to continue with work…)

My Pineapple Plant!

Our new pineapple plant, Costa RicaYesterday J got me a fantastic Pineapple Plant! Since I haven’t managed to take a picture of it yet, you will have to make do with this one I found on the internet. I promise to change it as soon as I take one of the real thing. (change done 🙂 my plant on the left, stand in image on the right)

But how mad is this plant! I have never seen one before, so I am pretty enchanted by it. Apparently it takes about 2-3 years for a plant to bear fruit, so I have to say that I am pretty pleased that EPA had done most of that work for me pre purchase and I can just jump straight into being the proud owner of a fruit bearing plant (even if the fruit is just a small pineapple at the moment). I do wonder how long it will take for it to become 2kg of delicious fruit so I can use it in my morning shake?

So as you can see, my little private Garden of Eden is flourishing. I made a few small mistakes with the Coriander, so that’s gone, and I really need to learn more about my Aloe plant as its looking a bit soggy at the moment (too much water?), but my basil is almost 1metre high and the thyme is a true conquistador of space and already in need of its own flower pot I think. Its so much fun to see how all these plants seem to adore our terrace with its abundance of sunshine and rain.

This weekend we also picked up some seeds so that we can start growing some vegetables from scratch. I have high hopes that the tomato, coriander (I decided to give the coriander another chance), spinach, squash and carrot seeds will like their new home and provide me and J with some delicious ingredients for my next vegetable quiches. (Already got the mini quiche oven forms sorted, now I just need the ingredients to start growing..)

Force of Nature

Rainy Season Costa Rica

The rain here in Costa Rica is truly amazing, it is just so abundant and forceful, and most impressively, there is so much of it.  I have never seen anything like it.

The other week we were driving home from J’s work, and as we got on the ramp up to the highway, we were surprised to find it completely covered by about 60 cm of water.. One car was already stuck in the water, but our super car (with the excellent driver..) slowly ploughed through the water and up on the highway. I now understand why some cars around here have those snorkel thingies on them. I mean, I understand why they could be useful, I dont understand why some people would need them though as I bet they never head out of the Gringo Bubble that is Santa Ana and Escazu.

I love these surprises that nature throws at us over here, its beauty amazes me every day, and the impressive power of the elements has definitely made an impact on me. Especially this Sunday as I was flipped over by a huge wave over at Barranca, dragged along the bottom and held down until I ran out of air before it decided to spit me out. I came out spluttering like a half drowned cat, clinging to my board while trying to catch my breath. Scary.

But just like the wave and the force of the water really brought me to its knees, a few minutes later, I was up on the board, taming the wave, having one of my best rides ever. ❤

I do love how much nature affects every aspect of life over here. And I especially love it when you learn to just go with it all and realise its all there to be used to your pure enjoyment, but its up to you to take advantage of it and make the most of it! Although, I do think I will need some professional rain gear to survive the remaining months of rain over here, as apparently the best is yet to come…

Pillar 2: Family and Friends

My second pillar in this little story is for Family and Friends. If your home is your physical cornerstone in life, then your Family and Friends are the social cornerstones. The amazing people I have let into my life and who in return have extended me the privilege of accepting the invitation, are of extreme importance to me. I would not be the person I am today without all of you.

Although, at the moment I feel my cornerstones are quite spread out all over the place. My best friends can currently be found in Finland, England, Spain and The U.S (my apologies if I have forgotten anyone of you currently based somewhere else..) but at least my closest family is still somewhat lumped together in one place over in Finland, making seeing them a bit easier.

My Family and Friends have always been great; they have always been there to give me inspiration, support, encouragement, and constructive criticism (Let’s just call it that ;)). I miss all of them so much and wish I could just force everyone to move with me whenever I go anywhere.. Nevertheless,  I still feel they are all with me somehow wherever I go, and even if I cannot speak to them all on a daily basis, the bonds I have with these people don’t weaken.

And anyways, there is always Facebook to keep me up to date with their latest adventures..

Pillar 1: The Home and Making a House a Home

When we moved to Costa Rica in March I had to leave a lot behind. Many friends, a few hobbies, some favourite places, but mostly a large amount of things. All the above mentioned were very dear to me, but I guess what surprised me the most was how stuff can become important to you when you build your own little nest.

Interestingly enough, it did not take long until I  started to slowly accumulate stuff again for our lovely little nest over here as well.. I find this quite funny  as I never considered myself that materialistic. This self generated image of myself that I had been carrying with me following the last few years of somewhat Spartan living in various countries went up in a big Pooof when I suddenly realized that I like to have things. And not just a few things, many things.

In other words, I suddenly realized that I was the total opposite to what I was trying to be in my attempt to keep it as easy as possible for me to  just pick up my stuff and leave the country when needed. (Hmm.. That came out a bit wrong.. Oh well, you get the idea.) No wonder I had troubles feeling settled and happy and content in the various places I was living when I was always one foot out the door.

Following this realization, I have made it a point to always make my current home into my headquarters and to purchase things for it whenever I see things I like without worrying about a future move and how I will get it all with me to the next place. This new process of building a nest rather than just setting up camp usually involves bringing in my Moomin mugs, some books, my jewellery and make up, some kitchen stuff, my bed linen, the wonderful sheep wool bed spread that I got from my mum and dad a few years ago, and a few other things (most importantly Joel ;)).

And having brought more stuff with me during the move to Costa Rica than during any other move, I am feeling amazingly settled and happy. We have a beautiful house that we are little by little filling up with things, both from back home as well as new ones picked up along the way during our adventure over here.

It took a while, but I have finally realized that in order for me to be happy one of the things I need, the first pillar that is, is the one  symbolising the Home. Ironically enough it took me quite some time to realise this. But at last, for the first time in my life, I am paying enough attention to it. Thanks to this I feel better than ever and I am very excited about continuing my explorations into what I want my Home to be as well as what my new home country has to offer.