Mind the gap

Mind the gap

Time flies. I won’t apologise for the absence – noone cares.

Although I’ve snapped a lot fewer photos lately, my eye is still keen for beauty, and my heart for a play on words. I may revisit this place yet.

The biggest blocker, stupidly, has been that I’m unhappy with the way my content here is presented, and have been unable to find a good alternative layout. But without knowing what you want first, it’s hard to find something that fits. I will keep looking.

I’ll see you when I see you.

Love,
Z

Holidays gone and done

Holidays gone and done

Uh-oh. Some time appears to have passed. I’ll call it the January slump, not apologise for the silence, and pick up where I left off.

We visited my parents’ for the holidays, took walks in the epic frost-bitten woods, cooked up huge roasts, and had a generally unusually merry time. I’ll leave a bunch of photos for you below & throughout, so you can see just how magical the woods were.

The five days went quickly, but we had another full week of holidays to enjoy afterwards, back in our home in Edinburgh. The weather wasn’t anywhere near as magical in Scotland as it was in Hungary, but hey, can’t have it all… and to be honest I was quite happy to just hang out at home, sew, cook, hang out together and do very little else. It was bliss.

Then the commute started back up again, and the rest of January feels like a blur. I’ve been staying in Bristol some weekends to save money, which is painful. I’ve been trying to get my driving to test standard, which is excruciating. It’s dark and damp here (thanks to the duly famous “Brizzle drizzle”). But the work is interesting and so worth it in the mid-term.

The sewing obsession continues. I decided to start a separate blog to gush about that and save you from the noise. This of course added to the prolonged silence over here though, as for a while stitching was all I wanted to write about. Well, it helped me through a dreary January, so no regrets! Let me know if you’d like to read my dressmaking rambles too, and I’ll send you a link.

I’d like to say that regular programming will now commence, but little’s happening  just now that’s not work, sewing or weekends in Edinburgh. If I get up to something fun, I’ll be sure to report x

London for work and pleasure

London for work and pleasure

Absurdly and unexpectedly, London was the pick me up I needed after the failed “relaxing holiday” in Bali.

I managed to spend some real time with a close friend I sorely miss, we took a lazy jet-lagged walk along Brick Lane and the flower market, then chased a very special Thames-bank sunset.

Then for two nights I checked into a shoebox hotel room by myself for work and wandered around Oxford Street and Soho in the evenings to recharge.

In the middle of a bustling city I managed to be very blissfully alone, barely take notice of the crowds and enjoy the festive lighting.

By the time I got back to Bristol, then Edinburgh, I was ready for the holidays.

Relaxing on holidays

Relaxing on holidays

So it turns out I can repeat myself and say that I thought I’d have a lot more to report about Bali than I actually do. Nothing demonstrates this more than the fact that I have taken more photos in the four days since I’ve been back in London, than on the entire week and a half holiday overseas.

It feels like a sad sad waste but I reckon completely missed out everything good about Bali and only experienced the tourist pits that I can’t possibly appreciate. I felt like a walking dollar sign the majority of the time, and haven’t seen any of the natural beauty, sights, real culture or warm hospitality that Bali is duly famous for.

I don’t even feel much like writing about the trip to be honest, so here’s a sunset shot instead.

Dan saw how frustrated I was the whole trip, and reckoned I just can’t chill the fuck out. I wondered if he was maybe right at first, but after spending three extremely chilled days in London once we returned from Bali, I’m convinced that he isn’t.

I feel the same way I did about that day trip to Morocco, I want to go back and see the real face of this fantastic corner of Indonesia, because I know it is a beautiful place full of warm hospitable people and things to discover.

So, that’s all I’ve got to show for going the world over. I have a fair few photos of my days in London though — next I’ll write about that instead.

Of everything and nothing in particular

Of everything and nothing in particular

Okay, so let’s go over the past few months, and the next few weeks too.

Since September and the last of the crazy travels, life has been a wee bit more regular, but no less hectic. I did end up catching a heavy cold sometime mid-October which took me out of action for the best of a week, but other than that it’s been back and forth between Bristol and Edinburgh, with little else to report.

D came to stay over the Bonfire Night weekend, which was blissful. Never went out to see the actual community bonfires all these years, and the Victoria Park event was pretty spectacular for a first. Missed out on the bit where they first ignite the fire and burn a Guy Fawkes effigy, but the combination of a pyre the size of a house, the surrounding magnificent autumn trees and all the fireworks constantly popping overhead made for a great experience anyway. All I was missing was some Baileys hot choc to keep my mitts warm. Should have thought ahead!

Been having my ups and downs at the new job, but I’m trying to keep in mind that this is the fastest way for me to learn and improve as a designer – I’ve purposefully thrown myself in at the deepest end, and I’m doing my best to keep above water and push through.

Speaking of improvements, I’ve been making significant progress in terms of my pool skills. Mostly I just play the same one mate but my confidence is slowly building up to a point where I feel like I might take some new people on soon as well!

What else? I’ve become increasingly obsessed with the idea of sewing my own clothes lately. I fully blame YouTube. This came to a head earlier this week when I ordered a sewing machine in the Black Friday sales. Damn you Amazon! But at least I got a real good price.

My biggest motivation is that I own a couple of items that I have quite literally worn to death, they look so worse for wear that I can’t possibly appear in public in them anymore. I’ve been trying to find similar pieces for yonks to no luck at all, but I know enough about sewing (and learned plenty more via YT) that I could totally totally copy them with ease. Hence the investment. Plus it’s fun. Crazy fabrics here I come!

Made me think, is there something in here about how I’m slowly taking up deep interest in all of these extremely traditionally female activities like makeup, cooking, crochet or sewing? I mean, I think blaming this on gender stereotypes/affinities is total and absolute BS, and so is calling makeup/cooking/crochet/sewing a “traditionally female” things, but nevertheless the fact remains that lately I’ve been really getting into a very typicised set of interests.

This aside, I’m excited about giving this a bash! Making my own clothes is on par in my mind with making my own plates and dishes (something I also practiced for a long time, throwing pottery), or any kind of skill that allows you to create things of great functional utility from scratch. These things all play into my survival instinct, however tertiary a priority having well-fitting clothing in a survival situation is.

Och well, this post is turning into a bit of a random brain-dump under this very bright but waning altitude Moon (I wrote this up in the air in flight mode, obviously), but I did promise rambles, so there you go.

What I did want to let you know is that soon I’m off on another epic holiday, this time to Bali. (If you wonder how I can afford all this travel, well so do I.) So I’ll be sure to write about that, and also share what it’s like to go to the worst tourist pits of South East Asia when you loathe being and feeling like a tourist. For all I know, it might be blissful. It’s Bali after all.

Flying twice a week

Flying twice a week

I thought there will be more to share about being a super-commuter, but to be honest, it’s a lot less meaty topic than I had anticipated.

Every time I try to wrangle my brain for some coherent thoughts on the subject, I find myself at a total loss. I have a routine set up now on either end, and the transfer in between is relatively painless too. This split life has become my new normal for now and it’s hard to think what to share about it, other than these snaps.

One definite benefit is all the hours spent above the clouds, the sunsets and sunrises I get to see. I always loved flying, even though I feel it’s a very guilty pleasure. (I hate to think what my carbon footprint has become.)

I love how the world goes in and out of focus, how I leave normality as everything shrinks into a scale model of itself. Up in the skies I get a break from real life and I exist in between places. Then during the final descent things slowly grow into their own shape again, they scale back up to normal surroundings, and I find myself back in reality.

It’s a weird, gentle and often breathtaking feeling.