Dec 28, 2015

Spring preview

We are back from our Christmas holiday and because yesterday was such a lovely day we decided to go for a walk. The weather was positively springlike, not only sunny, but also really warm. If it wasn't for all the Christmas decorations everywhere you would be forgiven for thinking we just celebrated Easter. Some people say that the real winter with snow and freezing temperatures in still to come and that it may be only a few days away. Is it though?

Dec 10, 2015

My handmade Christmas

Two weeks till Christmas...did you put up your Christmas decorations yet? We did it last weekend. And we bought a Christmas tree and decorated it too. I approach Christmas in a creative way, so many of my Christmas decorations are self-made. Some of them I made from scratch, like the felt tree decorations, Christmas wreath or the embroidered picture. Other are customized, like the wooden letters which I painted in red and white or the tealight holder which I painted icicles on with an old glittery nail polish. And next weekend I want to bake Christmas cookies. The baking always makes the house smell lovely: of chocolate, coconut, cinnamon and cloves...

Dec 3, 2015

Bare necessities V

If there is one thing I can't stand about shopping, it is the plastic bags you get free of charge, or for a few pennies in every supermarket. They look ugly, they break easily, and they are no friend of the environment. And, of course, there is always the question of what to do with them, after you unpack your groceries. Some people re-use them as bin bags, but they are always too small or too big for the bins in our house. So, I used to hoard them until I had too many, and because I didn't know what to do with them, I just gave up and, threw them into the recycling bin. Fabric bags in comparison have many advantages. They are more sturdy, and more suitable for heavy items. You can buy them from stores like Primark for as little as 1 Pound, yet they don't look cheap like the plastic bag. And, if like me, you pick one with long handles you can carry them over you shoulder and keep your hands free. I always carry one with me folded inside my handbag. I just prefer to have as little plastic in my life as possible, and also in my home.  


Nov 23, 2015

Three Men

If you were asked to name your favorite book what would your answer be? I find that usually if you ask somebody this question, people fall into two categories. Some struggle to pick a single book. It is natural, after all, there is a huge field of writers, styles and genres, and so many good books to choose from... To others, the task comes easy. I belong to the second group. Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) from J.K.Jerome is my indisputable number one and the sequel, Three Men on the Bummel is a close second. 
Those are the two books I can read over and over again and each time I enjoy every page. Written in a good-natured tone they are easy to read, uncomplicated, funny with a few serious parts. The author is often digressing from the subject and the characters are just like the real people, far from perfect, suffering from the same weaknesses we all suffer from: laziness, vanity, schadenfreude. The books are about travelling and friendship, witty and filled with good advice that is valid even now, more than 100 years after the books were first published:
Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.” 
So, what is your favorite book?

Nov 17, 2015

Truth and love...

...must prevail over lies and hatred. Those are the words of Vaclav Havel spoken sometime in November 1989 when my country went through a period that is known as the Velvet revolution. I was too young at the time, not even a teenager yet, and I didn't really understand what the change meant for me, for my country. Nonetheless I remember that the general feeling in those days really was one of love and truth and above all: hope. Hope always helps. 
There are no pictures today, but here is a song, that became and anthem of those days, 26 years ago. 

Nov 10, 2015

Upcycling I.

Upcycling is a kind of recycling. You take an item you no longer use and convert it into something different, something better. A few weeks ago when I was walking around the H&M home section I noticed some lovely  knitted cushion cases. Here is a picture from the H&M website:
I liked the design and the fact that they look so cozy and wintery but the price was a bit higher than I was willing to pay. And then I had an idea: I will make my own! 

This used to be an old jumper that didn't survive a machine wash. It stretched in the washing machine so much that I could no longer wear it, so I decided to unweave it and I kept the yarn, thinking it may come handy some day. And it did :) I spent the following few evenings knitting as I watched TV and when the cushion cover was ready I dyed it with a home fabric dye to a more lively color. And here is the result:

What do you think? I am quite happy with the result and I think that now, that the days are getting colder and evenings longer I will give DIY and upcycling another go.

Nov 2, 2015

Bare (travel) necessity



With the autumn in full swing and the winter approaching fast a scarf is a real must. In cold and windy days I am mostly using scarves for the  most obvious purpose - to keep my neck warm. Yet I carry a long, light pashmina (or I should rather say: a wide scarf, since my pashminas are not the real, cashmere ones) in a neutral color with me all year long. Because, you see, a scarf can become so much more than a scarf. You can wear it as a shawl around your shoulders to protect yourself from the strong sun or from the cold air. It can be used as a beach towel, if you happen to forget to bring one and in the biggest emergency even as a bath towel. You can tie it around your hips as an improvised beach skirt or around your torso as a top. On holidays, when visiting religious sites where head cover is required you can use it as a head scarf. You can tie it together and use it as a bag, or wrap fragile items in it to stop them from getting damaged in your suitcase. You can use it as a light blanket, as a sling or as a bandage...and much, much more. Who would have thought, that a simple piece of fabric that will take almost no space at all in your luggage can be so versatile?

Oct 23, 2015


I was pondering for some time about whether I should write about my work or not. But, after all, it is such a big part of my life, and therefore such a big part of me... 
The first time I flew on an airplane I was in my early twenties. I don't remember being either nervous, or particularly excited. In fact I remember very little about that first flight. But I am positive, that it never occurred to me at that time, that only few months later flying would become my occupation. I became a flight attendant.
It is an odd way of life, and you have to be an odd kind of person to adapt to it. For the past ten years I've rarely spent more than a week at a time on the same continent, let alone the in the same country. It involves long hours, dealing with lack of sleep, separation from loved ones. Regularity becomes an unknown concept. But I can barely think of any other job that would suit me better. And that to me is an accomplishment. It is so much easier to go to work if you are doing something you truly enjoy.
If you are flying somewhere in the near future, I wish you a safe flight!

Oct 15, 2015

More bare necessities


Pretty much everything I wrote about lip balms applies to hand creams too. I have a lot of them and they are deposited all over the house. I like to try new brands but always have a jar of the old classic, Nivea at home. I always buy the biggest pot of Nivea I can find in the shop. Of course, such a big pot is nearly impossible to carry around. The small pot is more handy, but money-wise, it is not such a good deal. So, I came up with a compromise that's both, practical, but at the same time pleases my bargain-loving heart. I've got both, the biggest and the smallest pot and when the small pot gets empty I simply refill it again from the large pot. The small pot, which is meanwhile bent out of shape from being carried around all the time lives together with a lip balm in a turquoise case that's small enough to fit in every pocket and goes with me everywhere. That way, whenever I go, I can always have my bare necessities with me.

Oct 9, 2015

Summer no more

I was in denial for a long time, but now I have to admit it: summer is truly over. It was a good summer. It was everything I wanted  and more. I already miss the warm weather, the summer outfits, the long days and all the the things you can only do in summer. But who could stay sad for too long when there are so many good things to look forward to in autumn?
Autumn leaves. Do I really need to say more?
Ginger tea. Neglected in spring and summer but in those cold days a cup of tea made from fresh ginger makes you feel warm inside. 
Fire place, candles, blankets and thick socks. As the days are getting shorter and colder, I will be spending evenings on the sofa (whenever my job permits) watching TV covered with a thick blanket.
Winter wardrobe. I actually probably prefer my winter clothes to my summer ones. I notice that with the start of autumn most women start wearing mostly trousers, but to me it would be a shame, to give up wearing skirts for the whole winter.
Scented candles. I've got a good supply or spicy, chocolatey, sweet smelling candles perfect for winter.
Are you prepared for autumn?

Sep 29, 2015

Antique store

At the top of our street, near the town square there is a small shop, a cross between an antique store and a junk shop. Every day the owner takes some of the goods out and displays them on the street, perhaps to attract potential buyers, or maybe just because the store is too small for everything to fit inside. The store sells inexpensive antiques, dishes, clocks, movie posters, antlers :), small furniture and pictures. Most of the pictures are probably not what you would call a work of art, but from time to time I see some that I really like: lovely drawings of white and purple lilac, or sunflowers that in my inexpert opinion could rival the ones from Van Gogh. 

Although I didn't buy anything from the store so far, I am sure that sooner or later I will. For now however, the store is kind of a variable street exhibition, a pleasant bright spot that makes the way to the market or to work more colorful.  

Sep 17, 2015

Bare necessities too

HAND SANITIZER AND WET WIPES                                                                                                 

How often do you find yourself in a situation when your hands feel dirty or sticky and there is nowhere to wash them? It happens to me every time I use the public transport. That's why I carry hand sanitizers and wet wipes with me. When it comes to choosing antibacterial gel, I suppose I am guilty of judging the book by its cover. All sanitizes claim to remove 99of bacteria, or something to that effect, but I like the Pocketbacs from Bath and body works best. They smell divine, have pretty picture on the front, and a practical holder, so they are always readily at hand. The same goes for picking wet wipes. All of them work the same, but I never choose the ones in boring, plain packaging. After using the Pocketbac and wet wipes I feel that my hands are clean enough to do anything, even eat. But this treatment can dry them out, so I always carry a hand cream with me - another bare necessity, to be featured soon :)

Sep 11, 2015

Memories: New York

Not so long ago I wrote here about London and about my halfhearted attitude towards it. And it made me think of another city and a very different relationship. I first visited New York City almost 8 years ago, and in less than a week I was enticed, mesmerized and charmed by New York, the buzzing, noisy, dirty, exciting, crowded, vibrant, unscrupulous, iconic city full of busy and straight talking locals and slightly confused tourists. I don't necessarily believe in a love at first sight between people, but when visiting a new place or a country I sometimes feel this instant and inexplicable appeal - and New York definitely falls under this category. I am forever a great New York devotee, and I cannot tell you how much I envy those, who are lucky enough to live in such a breathtaking city. It will always be in my heart as one of the greatest places I have ever visited. 

Sep 1, 2015

The bare necessities...

...or the things, that I cannot imagine my day without.

Well there is the obvious, vital and irreplaceable:

But other than that:


or Labello, as I call it, regardless of the make. I am not sure how many lip balms I own. You would be able to find one inside of every jacket pocket, inside of every handbag I own, in my desk drawer, in my suitcase, in a car glove compartment, and, just so I don't have to walk too far to use one, I keep one in the kitchen, one in the living room and one next to my bed. And, if in spite of all this I still find myself without a lip balm, like I did on our recent trip away, I make towards the nearest store and buy one. I read somewhere, that lip balms are addictive and I am a living proof of that. Carmex is the best one I tried so far and my undisputed favorite. 

More bare necessities coming soon...

Aug 29, 2015

A weekend away

Here is what we managed to squeeze into 48 hours: driving, sightseeing, walking, picture taking, wine tasting, more sightseeing, beer drinking, bike riding, lovely dinner, an OK dinner, lying on the grass and visiting a battle field. It has been ages since the last time I rode a proper mountain bike in the country and I am not going to deny it, I struggled at times, going up the steep hills. But, no pain, no gain, and my effort was rewarded with great views of ponds and hills covered with grape bearing vines.

Aug 21, 2015

The best time

Summer, my favorite time of the year, and sunset, my favorite time of the day...

Aug 16, 2015

White wood

The colour white wasn't my first choice when I thought of decorating the house. Cold and modern, it is often linked to minimalism, a style I don't embrace. So, in a way, I surprised myself when in shops and furniture catalogs I was more and more drawn to white items. It started with picture frames, flower pots, lamps, little trimmings, and continued with larger pieces of furniture, such as a desk, a sofa or a chest of drawers. In combination with wood, white can make a place look clean and bright without looking too contemporary.

At the moment, I am completely in love with white wood and if it was up to me, I would have it everywhere: on wardrobes, door frames, floor boards. The latter is not the most practical thing, I have to admit, so instead I opted for a more sensible solution: a white wood ceiling. I painted it myself and I think it looks pretty amazing. What do you think?

Aug 2, 2015

The lightness of being

The end of July was busy and it seems, that August will be busier still. But busy in a good way. Busy not only working but spending time outside, drinking morning coffee in the garden, cider in the beer garden and in the evening, wine on the terrace. Getting together with friends, decorating the home, going for a run at sunset, planning a weekend away and babysitting a cute little monkey.

Jul 17, 2015


The kind of summer I always long for is finally here. Hot, dry, sunny. I am determined to make the most of it. After all, who knows if the next summer will be as warm and as carefree as this one? So I want to see friends I didn't see in a while. Instead of going away on holiday I hope to have people visiting us and stay with us. I want to spend evenings sitting on the terrace or on the river bank, not in front of  the TV. I want to drink pina coladas and chilled white wine. I want to wear each of my summer dresses at least once and wear glittery nail polish when I am not at work. And I want to take pictures and print them out and have a proper photo album at the end of this summer. 
I hope you enjoy your summer to the fullest too...

Jul 11, 2015


My work takes me to London from time to time, and I don't mind going there, as long as it's not too often. I used to live in London for many years, perhaps even long enough to call myself a Londoner. But, the thing is, I never really liked London. The city is too crowded, too traditional for my taste, too multicultural and above all too cold, grey and rainy. There are, I am sure, many good things to be said about London too. The city renders many opportunities and living there helped me to find my vocation. Unfortunately, to me, living there felt like living in a marriage of convenience. So I left, and I never regretted it. I mean, a coffee person living in a tea-drinking country? That was never going to work.

Jun 29, 2015

Evening walk

Summer has officially began, but the weather at the moment resembles April more than June. It is raining with the sun emerging every so often, but always only for a few minutes. It was like that all day yesterday too. Only towards the evening did it stop raining. I took the opportunity, and went for a walk. It was cold, much colder than you would expect it to be at this time of year. And although the sun appeared eventually, the sky remained dark and angry.                                                               

Jun 21, 2015

New Samsonite

My suitcase has traveled thousands of miles around the world with me at it shows. By now it's wheels are so damaged that it can no longer be used. It's time to get a new one.

When it comes to choosing a suitcase I know exactly what I want. It has to be a carry on type with two wheels, not four, expandable and to comply with my company's standards of appearance, it has to be black. I have been a faithful Samsonite user for many years, so somewhat naturally I picked a Samsonite again. It is almost identical to the old one but with a few improvements. The only thing missing is a coffee cup holder :)

In spite of the appearance rules I tied a small bright ribbon to the front, just to be able to distinguish it from many other similar suitcases on a luggage belt. 

So, here it is. Packed and ready for our first trip together. Wish us a safe journey :)