Happy Sunny Ramblings

Yes! Finally! It has happened! Ladies and Gentlemen, Spring Has Arrived!

My goodness you have no idea how much I’ve been craving for this. Or if you’ve been following my blog, you probably do, as I often complain about how I miss the sun. And not just the sun, but the possibilities it brings. Coming home from work when it’s still light out, it changes your whole day. I feel like doing stuff in summer after work, rather than just sitting on the couch and relaxing, I want to go for walks and do some spring cleaning and garden and cook and just listen to music in the sun. And that’s the funny bit. In winter, when I don’t do anything I get frustrated. But in summer, doing nothing is the best and makes me feel amazing.

Yesterday, it was that first day of sun-laziness. It was 19 degrees out and super sunny! So I put out the picnic blanket in our tiny little garden and just lied about. Bit of music, cup of coffee, maybe a book for a while… Ah, the life! I felt on top of this world! (And sunburnt by the evening, so I bought myself some new sunscreen.)

Today, the sun has gone again, but I am ready for its return. We went out to buy a hammock ūüėÄ It was a bit of a disaster to build the stand, but it’s up now and ready to be used extensively! We also got some extra gardening equipment and later this week (I have a holiday from work this week) I will go to the garden centre to buy a few small plants for a¬†hedge. Exciting! And then I can also start planting some veggies. And a berry bush!

I have a massive to-do list for this holiday week. And I feel like, if the sun does indeed stay out, I might just actually do all of it! I have to urgently clean the shower, go through my papers to see if I haven’t missed some important stuff, do that gardening, and I am planning to do some awesome cooking. I am going to try a shrimp curry, samosas, and I’ll also make a big load of chilli to put in the freezer in one-person portions for a lazy day. Painting is also on the list, some sort of super colourful paint splash out. I’m really excited to get started, but oddly enough, even though I am well excited, I am still sitting on my butt on the couch and have been doing so for the last two hours.

Time to get up! Off I go ūüôā Oh yeah, and not to forget: I’ve challenged myself to go to the gym every day of the week! Let’s see how it goes, I’m looking forward to giving you a hopefully very succesfull update ūüôā

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A Love Letter to the Sun

There is a specific kind of happiness that comes with sunbathing at the deserted seaside. How I love the warmth of the sun on my face, the orange light behind my eyelids, the sea breeze making my hair all crazy and leaving that peaceful rushing sound in my ears that is only broken by the sound of the waves either crashing into the each other or just gently wobbling along the sand or stones. Sometimes I even mix in some music. Mostly instrumental, lounge-like stuff. It lets my mind fly past like the seagulls drifting on the wind.

It doesn’t even have to be warm, wether it’s just my face getting the sun and every other part of me wrapped in hats and gloves and scarves and coats, or wether it’s me in a dress or a bikini. When the sun warms your face, the rest of your body feels golden too.

Or I might also get that happiness away from the sea, maybe in an empty field or a quiet spot on the side of a mountain. But it has to be peaceful. No other people. Just me, some animals, and the sun.

I’m not even sure if happiness is the correct way to describe it. It’s more like complete and utter contentness. Life feeling perfect right there and then. The sun being so overpowering that you simply can’t worry. You simply can’t come up with anything to worry about. All that matters is inhaling deeply and exhaling while smiling. Yes. You are smiling. Your face muscles feel completely relaxed, and still you are smiling.

And you could lie there for hours. Or sometimes just a few minutes, and it feels like you were there for hours: you feel like a new person. I really don’t know anything as relaxing as a peaceful lonely sun session.

Sun, please come visit¬†soon. I’ll start with finding the perfect quiet spots near me so I’m ready when you get here. I miss you.

Lots of love,

Yolaine

 

How to Let Your Weekend Invigorate You

As it is Monday again, and I am again trying to work but obviously failing, it is time to reflect on a most wondrous weekend.

It kind of already started on Thursday, when we went out on a little date night. We went to this fancy burger place. No fastfood stuff, but quality ingredients cooked to perfection. My choice was a lamb burger with grilled peppers and sheep cheese. Cole slaw on the side, and of course Belgian chips with freshly made mayonnaise, and a beer to wash it down. Omnomnom. Then: two games of pool, I won twice. Booyah. And to finish off: watching Everest at the cinema. My Goodness with capital G, what a movie. I was so impressed I even forgot to finish my skittles.

But then came Friday, and work was horrendous. It was the first time I had to teach, and it went far from well. I don’t really master the subject, so all I could do was read my notes and go through the slides. It must have been awfully boring, and¬†all 100¬†students looked terrifyingly confused. It makes my stomach twist and turn when I think of the next session I have to teach. I guess you can all imagine I came home from work Friday evening in a state somewhere between priceless relief (thank god that’s done, for now at least) and mad disappointment (I think I might just be the worst teacher ever). But the boyfriend was waiting for me to cheer me up, and as always he succeeded. And we watched the brand new Big Bang Theory episode. Smiling and giggling was guaranteed.

For this weekend, we had nothing planned at all. At least no obligatory things like drinks with friends or dinners with families. So Saturday, we went out shopping. Time to get some winter gear: shoes, coats, gloves, and a good piece of meat to roast the next day. Then pop a pizza into the oven, watch the latest Graham Norton, and the brand new Heroes Reborn. Yes,¬†summer has gone, television season has started! We were both very much looking forward to Heroes, but so far we are not convinced. We stuck through the whole episode, 1 hour and a half, but might not do next time if it doesn’t pick up. I’m hoping this was just an introductory episode, introducing all the new characters and story lines, and that the fun will start next week. Usually I wouldn’t watch series like this, I like¬†cliffhangers from the first episode onwards, immediately being dragged into the story. But it’s¬†Heroes so I’ll give it one more chance.

Sunday was a gorgeous day in so many ways. First of all, the sun was shining. But I didn’t really have the chance to go outside straight away. First, we were going to¬†build our final Ikea cupboard. I started on it during the week, rearranged the whole room so we could lie the cupboard down, empty cardboard boxes everywhere, and I got so enthusiastic I was trying to build an over 2 metres high cupboard all by myself and slightly broke it. But thank goodness for my improvising skills, and my smarter boyfriend insisting on building it together after that. After we’d done the big parts together, I left him to finish it off¬†and went to my kitchen kingdom. I was going to make a Sunday roast. For the first time. Ever.

Why would I do such a thing? Or even: why would I only do such a thing only now for the first time?! Well, I had this weird teenage phase where I was a vegetarian. Luckily, by now, I have come to my senses, as meat is not only good for you but also super tasty. Sadly though, I skipped the part where I learned how to cook it. So usually I do sausages or chicken, maybe some pork. But the time had come to tackle some roast beef. And as sides: oven roasted butternut pumpkin, oven roasted potatoes English style, broccoli, and gravy. Bring it on.

Usually when I cook, I just sort of improvise. But now I consulted recipes (including my dad and the boyfriend’s mom) and I made a cooking schedule. 3.50pm, skin potatoes; 4pm, boil potatoes; 4.10pm, preheat oven to 50 degrees; 4.15pm, warm up the meat for 30 minutes, 4.45pm, preheat oven to 200 degrees and put in potatoes. Etc. Since these oven cooked dishes were new to me, and the meat was like the biggest challenge ever, I thought it wouldn’t be bad to dig into my crazy meticulous planning side. And it worked. Spuds: perfect. Pumpkin: cooked to perfection. Meat: suuuuuper tasty! And best part: you should’ve seen the look on my boyfriend’s face! A little kid on Christmas morning. Mission accomplished.

After finishing our wine and cleaning up the battlefield that was once the kitchen, we went out for an evening walk. Let’s take this road, we haven’t been up this one yet. And what a surprise we got! Turns out we are only a 10 minute walk away from the countryside! Fields, cows, gravel roads that might just lead you to magnificent views, and some stunning houses to dream about maybe one day in our future. I really hope next weekend will be sunny as well, as I am planning to take my bike and go discover exactly how far this countryside stretches out for.

These are definitely the kind of weekends I need. No social obligations, nothing that needs to get done. Just me and the boyfriend and our new hub that needs exploring. So invigorating! I can’t wait for next weekend now!