Finally summer is here; as the heat takes over, life is conjugated in the present tense and I experience joy tinged with melancholy; somehow the sun almighty, pinned to the same position on the sky for hours and hours, reminds me of the unbearable lightness of being – such is my psyche, what can I do?

I love July, though. This crazy, temperamental summer child that wants it all, now. Even when the rain comes, you just know your at the very heart of the season, and it’s beating fast. sunscreenSo, I have unearthed some summer skirts, bought myself a cheap pair of flowery shoes and found my Japanese style hat. I apply sun cream on my pale face from a tube that was bought on a hot day in Chennai, last March: along with the sunblock come beautiful sticky memories of a lovely weekend of self-indulgence.floweryshoesshadows veteThe landscape is turning voluptuously green including the unsolicited plants that are rampantly taking over my vegetable beds, calling for immediate weeding.mangoAlso very importantly, the season of frozen fruit has officially opened. Melons, mangoes, bananas and berries are placed in solitary confinement in the freezer, before they come out deliciously iced. All in all, the pieces of the summer puzzle are coming together. The only element  missing now is water – indeed, every cell of my body is longing to plunge into the sea, but a pristine lake will also do. 

 

 

Managing one’s to-do lists can be a challenge; striking a comfortable balance between the necessary, the would be good to do, and the desirable is an art. I am convinced that over-ambition and not curiosity killed the cat.melonjuiceI think however that I have found a way to make peace. I single out  a focal activity for each day. It could be in the lines of, working on the assignment, sending off the agenda, going to the gym, cleaning up, etc. Everything else, like going to work, washing the dishes, cooking, etc., are just orbiting chores and do not count unless there is a particular reason.toastfordinnerAlso combinations are allowed, as long as they stay realistic, i.e.  go to the gym AND bake bread.

Take the other  day for instance:  I  cleaned the fridge, baked bread, made soup,  washed the dishes, gardened, worked, met my sister, worked some more; quite a typical level of activity for me; in hindsight, I realise that it is not exactly the definition of slacking. Nevertheless, for the feeling of efficiency to sink in, there has to be a match between projection and outcome. Also, quite importantly, there should be room for good quality rewards, some good old patting on the shoulder to fuel motivation and intention.

fotbadToday’s focus is going to the gym. Two loafs of bread are already in the oven, and a tray of muesli is waiting to get crisp and  toasty.  Before I jump into my training gear, I have a couple of hours of work ahead of me. Being lazy is hard work!

 

 

Midsummer has passed without the typical folklore attributes. The longest day of the year was overcast; the unidentifiable weather has not helped in instilling summer feelings.   stolarIt has been raining profusely. The grass is as green as ever – and not only on the other side of the fence. Snails relish on chlorophyll and happy hermaphrodites risk their lives on wet asphalted paths.

kvallsmacka

concert

cappuccinoThe sun is always out in the early mornings without fail, but the long evenings are still crouched under a duvet of clouds.

Summer is on hold; eventually, it will stretch out its long legs, kick the cover aside, rise and shine. I think we’re ready.

Some realisations dawn upon you while in the deepest slumber of everyday life. Like:

You cannot have a rainbow without rain. You can only have a double rainbow if you have a rainbow to start with. And for that, you need rain. doublerainbow

It is summer if you can have your cereal with pieces of watermelon and delight in the crispiness of the melon and the sogginess of the grains. Knowing that the melon has traveled all the way from Spain does not make it less tasty; it is just a reminder of how striving for perfection is a bumpy road, paved with curvy fruit.

breakie

Squash a plant into a pot, and it will still claim its right to a habitat, be it in the confined space of a window sill, because it is born free.

squash

Three colours that just happened to meet on me created a triumvirate and a joyful chain-reaction that started in my eyes and ended somewhere in my heart.  I thought, “Wow, this is powerful stuff….”

triumvirate“May the Force be with us“, I heard the Jedi with the rainbow saber saying.

 

Once returned to your starting point after time spent traveling to foreign, or familiar places, you may feel as if the travel has never taken place. Just like that and you’re back to your everyday life, routines and mundane chores.

But the ethereal gift of traveling materialises slowly: it comes to you when nostalgia over times spent on the road  washes over you; when a random stimulus awakens the reminiscence of moments spent savouring the unknown; or when looking  forward to visiting an old or new place makes you brim with anticipation.

In my rosary of places treasured, there is a knot for Crete: I am eager to return to the island, as if lured by a promise unfulfilled.

Mellon

I have this image – I am sitting at a specific restaurant located on a backstreet of the old harbour of Chania. I can see the sea promenade at distance. It is slightly off season, and the atmosphere is not upbeat, but rather mellow and relaxed. I lean back on my chair, letting my gaze wonder…

Right now, this is what I’ve got – a mental projection, a postcard on the fridge door and in my hand a cool slice of melon, which quite accurately sounds like the Greek word for future.

The beauty of traveling in a melon pit.

A few days ago, I returned from a week away to a weekend of birthday celebrations, heavy curtains of rain and a new week of nearing deadlines.

Quite weirdly, it is the short trips to known places, in which I have vested feelings, that tend to give me a certain kind of jet-lag. After a couple of days of tiredness combined with a non-optimal mood and more sleep than I have been getting in the past year or so, a window of opportunity appeared in the cascade of rain, so I went out for a -dry- walk.

Flowercarpet

Path

Ekebyvatten

Beautiful surroundings, physical activity and rays of light: what a magical concoction. The swing of moods swayed up to the skies…

A sunny day.

I was walking to the market with limited liquidity and a short list of groceries to buy: aubergine, squash, lettuce and olives imperatively – fruit optionally.

I was leisurely reaching my destination and somehow, the new testament phrase on offering the other cheek, popped up in my thoughts. Specifically, I was pondering my interpretation of it, namely not letting one’s peace of mind be challenged by another person’s bad mood, or foul intentions.

The zen Buddhism meets Christianity-like paradox of the slapped cheek and unslapped spirit had just ebbed out of  my consciousness as I made a stop at a fruit stall. I put a batch of bananas on the scales in front of me to check the weight, make a mental note of the price and return later on, once I had purchased the more vital items on my list.

The fruit-vendor was perplexed when I explained that for the moment, I just wanted to weigh the bananas, not buy them; he was obnoxious and impolite. I reacted to his customer-unfriendly manners and reciprocated by raising my voice. I would quite gladly have thrown unripe tomatoes at him, while adorning him with a garland of Neapolitan pejoratives, but a) I do not master the street talk of Naples and b) I believe in peace (bitch!).

Eventually, I turned my back on him with burning cheeks and tears clogging up my throat as they quite dumbly tend to do when I am really upset – wow, I can’t really recall the last time  that happened. I found consolation in the salty tender flesh of a green olive that the seller at the Greek produce stand prompted me to try, allowing me to make an informed decision and regain my zenitude.

In the end, things turned out for the best: not only did I find organic, fair-trade bananas at an equally good price; I also managed to successfully accomplish my shopping mission.

A simple lunch, a power nap and a yoga session later, I was once again roaming the streets in the bright day. A tall African man stopped me to sell a story book. I had no more money on me, and was quite frankly not interested in story books.  He clarified that any amount I could spare would do, but unfortunately, I was still as short of cash as before.

Madam, you have nothing but your beauty then…,” he complimented me. There and then I was promoted from a bizarre banana woman to a fair lady.

There is obviously enough room for both slaps and pats under the sun.

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