Thursday, September 27, 2018

Being Busy V. Being In The Moment

Are you busy all the time? I mean, busy for months in advance? Are you part of the people that, when you're asking them "wanna go watch a movie tonight?", they go (and their voice implies "are you kidding me???): "Tonight? Impossible! My next free evening is, wait, let me see ... in 2 and a half months."

Well, me, I don't want to be busy all the time. I sometimes have busy weeks and other times not so busy weeks. My busy times (i.e. my twenties and thirties) are behind me and nowadays my motto is more quality over quantity.
Right. But then how does the figure of speech read again?
The expection proves the rule?

This coming October is MY expection to the rule. You should see my agenda. It's filled with appointments: concerts, long weekends, nephew sleepover, more concerts, dinners (emphasis on the plural) at friend's houses, workshops, time out with girlfriends, hiking tours, etc. etc. I even had to decline an invitation ... Unprecedented.
It feels like I'm back in my twenties (Remember these? When staying at home just one evening was totally not cool AT ALL hahaha.)

Suddenly, it's like everybody wants a piece of my time. I have no idea what happened but it did. I do feel kind of dizzy just thinking about all the stuff I am gonna do the next five weeks but at the same time the stuff is so cool that I don't feel like complaining.
On the contrary.
It's time to implement what I practice during my weekly yoga class ... in a joyful and grateful way.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Remembering: Lago Maggiore ... One More Time

I had been to Stresa, a couple of years ago, and had visited the Isole Borromee. I had loved the places and I remember thinking that I wanted to come back in Summer time (I visited in April and it rained one day out of three). This is what the places look like:

I was curious to discover the other little towns along Lago Maggiore (especially those on the Italian side) and I was right. Retrospectively though, I am glad to have come back during off-season. Had I visited during high season, I'm afraid, my impression wouldn't have been as favorable.
SIGH … what do you want me to say? The disadvantages of mass tourism.

I can't imagine liking the cute little towns with their cute piazzas, their cute lungo lago (lakeside promenade), their cute little shops would they have been (over) crowded.
And I certainly wouldn't have appreciated to spend a weekend in Italy ... hearing German talk all around me!
Don't get me wrong.
I have nothing against Germans or Swiss Germans (remember? I live here hahaha) but it's not the kind of travel that I look for. Put the blame on my being a language aficionada but when I travel, I want the real thing and hearing the local lingo is part of the real deal.
Luckily, I got to have the real deal during my 3 days at Lago Maggiore and I highly recommend it to everybody … during off-season, obviously :-)

Detail seen in the Angera fortress

Rocca d'Angera seen "from the other side of the lake"

More details...

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Remembering: Lago Maggiore

We had aperitivo and dinner al fresco every evening of our stay at Lago Maggiore. And I absolutely loved the sunsets! What do you think?

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Remembering: My Big Birthday on Lago d'Orta

That's it! Now, I'll have to say "I'm 50" (not that anybody ever wants to know … it seems that after you hit your thirties nobody dares to ask anyway hahahaha). Anyway. Here I am. 50 years old.
The first half is over (what a ride!). I'll see what the second half will have in stock for me!

I spent my birthday on Lago d'Orta (my friends let me choose the day program). A magic place. On Lago d'Orta there is this tiny cute little island, called Isola San Giulio.

A boat will take tourists from the town of Orta to the island of San Giulio. There is not much to see besides walking along "Via del Silenzio" (the way of the silence).

So, we walked the small alley … in silence (astonishingly enough, all the tourists kept silent!), stopped at every sign, read the words, reflected on them, went on to the next. A magic quarter of an hour (magic is in the small things!).
BTW, the words were written by Madre Anna Maria Canopi, one of the 40 nuns living in the island's convent. Besides the nuns, the island has 11 official inhabitants of whom only two live on the island all year long.
I didn't take pictures of all the signs (obviously), I picked those which spoke to my heart:

This is how I want to live my second half of my life

A cute little island…

We had lunch in the town of Orta, took a walk up the hill (from where I took the first picture in this post), had some gelato, enjoyed the cute shops.
It was the perfect way to spend my Big Birthday.
In the evening, we went out for dinner and as the temperatures were summerlike I got to wear my pretty dress and my sandals.
What a perfect ending of my first half of life!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Best Birthday Presents Ever

Next week I'll celebrate my 50th birthday. (How fast time goes by, incredible!). I will be spending it "on the road", so to speak. I'll be going on a road trip with two girlfriends of mine and we'll travel around Lago Maggiore. Can't wait!
For a couple of weeks I toyed with the idea of organizing a birthday party sometime after my trip. I thought that it would be nice to have it all … the trip on my birthday, the party sometime after … but I couldn't seem to make up my mind. Where? What? Who? My thoughts were a mess. And as always, when I can't make up my mind, I just … don't. The perfect idea would find its way to me :-)

And it did.

I decided (obviously) to stick to my 3 day road trip with my friends and to NOT throw a party. I didn't feel liking throwing a party but I totally felt like spending time with my friends. So, I decided that, when someone'd ask me "what do you want for your birthday?", I'd answer with "some of your time". Do you wonder what I mean by "some of your time"? Well, let's see. Here some examples.

With my family it's gonna be dinner at a restaurant of my choice. I've picked one that specializes in game dishes (their gift to me: their time, spent in a restaurant they normally wouldn't spend time in). It's not about who treats whom to what. No. I just want to have me some game dish because, autumn after autumn, you hear me say: this year, I'll have me some delicious game dish … but then somehow, year after year, I never got to have any. No more!

Then I'll be spending an evening at my home with some friends whom I haven't seen in what feels like ages (what a gift to get together after all this time).
Other friends will make wishes of mine come true: visiting places that I have been wanting to discover for what feels like forever. With one I'll be spending a day in Fribourg and with others I'll be hiking in the Swiss Jura.

I feel so grateful. I feel like it's gonna be a wonderful 50th birthday that will last so much longer than a single day. I am thankful to this inner voice of mine that never let's me down and that always surprises me with the best ideas. And I am particularly grateful for my family and friends who are all cool enough to let me indulge in my heart wishes :-)

I believe I will have some new stories to tell you after all that :-)

Thursday, September 6, 2018

September Wish

I love the French word for the "back-to-school" vibe. I love the notion of "coming back" implied in the word because September often feels that way. We come back. Back to everyday life, to our routine. Back to colder temperatures (SIGH). Back to whatever was before the summer (break). Yet, somewhow (or at least that's my feeling) we come back to a different situation.
Summer changes me. I soak up the sun. Do a lot of ... nothing. I read. I think. I spend days and evenings in plein air. I disconnect.
Like going to a spa ... without the spa (hahaha).

And then comes September and I feel like ... starting anew.
So, my friends, let's all start anew. With new ideas. New motivation. New everything. New whatever-you-need-right-now.

Bonne rentrée tout le monde!