Summer bummer

Commentary

Photo credit: gege.gatt

They usually count me among the lucky ones who get to sit around during summer. Formally speaking, that may be true; but I’m here to convince you otherwise. The little voices in my head are telling me that there is no way I can get everything I need to get done within the entire month of August.

Go ahead, roll your eyes, wince at me. It doesn’t stop it from being true. Even the ants here are staging a retreat below the keyboard – some brave lookouts comb the white plains of the ibook for the deathly fingers of yours truly much to their utter bad luck (the fingers are lurking). What am I on about? Is it the heat? Or maybe it’s the stress of  knowing I won’t get all my to-dos done that makes ants miraculously appear out of nowhere on my laptop, in my bowl of cereal and most likely swimming somewhere in my stomach too. As you wonder whether I’ve now become positively insane, let me take a moment to explain everything that I plan, but won’t have time to fulfill.

The Summer Wishlist

Thank you magazine articles for constantly letting us know what the best summer / beach reads are. I have feverishly read all the summaries, religiously circled the ones I might be interested in and now all I have to do is pack a beach towel, head for the nearest beach and root myself in the most cancerous looking spot of sun. It’s what I did every other year, but this year it seems like the hardest thing on earth possibly because my perception of hard has changed dramatically. There’s one reason for this, and you can blame it on the kids.

And yes, thank you too billboard ads, mailings, radio and TV advertisements. I now know that I can’t afford even the best deals in travel packages. My financial situation is so dire that I can hardly even get to the average hotel that’s down the street (not that I would want to anyway). Yet at night, when I tend to get more delusional than usual, I search the web frantically for ticket prices and accommodation and convince myself with midnight maths that I can afford it. I wake up with a number hangover, but luckily with no great debt as of yet, at least.

And oh, let’s not forget sleeping late, going out, meeting with friends and the general paralysis of all things normal in your schedule. In the 100% humidity we’ve been experiencing lately, the only paralysis I feel is that of my brain.

I think the message is clear: Get out – even the ants are vacating. I would hide under the table for a week until people start wondering where I’ve disappeared too, but that’s not possible because the carpenter will be delivering the dining table in September. I don’t even have a bed to crawl under, for shade if nothing else. I could of course sandwich myself in the bookcase; perhaps surrounded by books I could feel a touch of the escape from the mundane even briefly, before the bookcase topples over me.

It’s going to be a short one month, I’m sure.

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Paris, je t’aime

Musings

When I say Paris…

Think Parisian reunions in royal gardens.

Think too much wine and entirely too much cheese.

Think a hangover or two.

Think 700 steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower (saved us €9)

Think buildings you fall in love with.

Think beautiful sounds you try to emulate.

Think that you’re really set to have a good time.

It was for a brief 2.5 days, but we met with some old friends who travelled halfway across the globe to find us. It was the kind of experience I thought I could only dream about. I even dished out my rusty French and much to my surprise, managed to carry a crippled conversation here and there. Since then, my new goal is to retouch on my French, and once I get my feet together, I’ll give the French Embassy a call and see if I can find myself a conversation partner, s’il vous plait.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Standing Tall: Notre Dame behind the greenery

Standing Tall: Notre Dame behind the greenery

Pretty hungry: Lovely restaurant

Pretty hungry: Lovely restaurant

Stop to smell the flowers: Not your average polytechnic

Stop to smell the flowers: Not your average polytechnic

So plush: The royal gardens

So plush: The royal gardens

A toast: To Paris and our reunion

A toast: To Paris and our reunion

A great idea: The ferris wheel

A great idea: The ferris wheel

View from the top: The Eiffel Tower

View from the top: The Eiffel Tower

View from the top: The Louvre

View from the top: The Louvre

Spotted: Sculpture of a brushstroke by Lichtenstein

Spotted: Sculpture of a brushstroke by Lichtenstein

Drop anchor: That dash of pink really makes all the difference

Drop anchor: That dash of pink really makes all the difference

Pause: How Parisian

Pause: How Parisian

Time ticking: The imposing clock at Musée d'Orsay, which was an old train station

Time ticking: The imposing clock at Musée d'Orsay, which was an old train station

Just a shadow: From Le Chat Noir, shadow theater

Just a shadow: From Le Chat Noir, shadow theater

So close: The Eiffel Tower

So close: The Eiffel Tower

Ich bin ein Berliner

Musings

Sure, Kennedy said he was a donut, and I sympathize because it sounds like the kind of mistake I would make. Donut or no donut, Berlin was a wonderful city. In 2.5 days that we had there, we were in awe of the bicycles, great organization and order, big pavements and no litter on the streets, friendly people and cool shops and bars. Both my boyfriend and I were secretly falling in love with the place, but I was afraid to say anything because I’m generally known for my compulsive impulsiveness and didn’t really want to freak him out with: I want to live here. It was a great relief and a big surprise when he came out and said it first. Woohoo! My mind has been plotting since, but Berlin, is a few years away for now.

First step: learn German. This is in my immediate goal list, but since returning to Cyprus, has been pushed down on the list of priorities due to some other more urgent things. But it’s in there. I swear!

Here’s a sneak peek of Berlin — some of my favorites.

Tachelles: A building taken over by artists full of graffiti inside

Tachelles: A building taken over by artists full of graffiti inside


An oasis in the city: Full of lush parks, a rare find for someone coming from a dry climate

An oasis in the city: Full of lush parks, a rare find for someone coming from a dry climate


Look at me: Graffiti in the city

Look at me: Graffiti in the city


In the distance: Berliner Dome

In the distance: Berliner Dome

Look up: The tower that's visible from anywhere in Berlin

Remember this: Artist installation representing those who died during WW2 at Jewish museum

Remember this: Artist installation representing those who died during WW2 at Jewish museum


Just cool: Wall painting on East Side Gallery, where the remaining wall still stands, full of paintings by artists from all over

Just cool: Wall painting on East Side Gallery, where the remaining wall still stands, full of paintings by artists from all over


In progress: A true masterpiece

In progress: A true masterpiece


Go for it: An act of desperation

Go for it: An act of desperation


All-time classic: Of course we got our black-and-white set of four

All-time classic: Of course we got our black-and-white set of four


Pick one: I'll live anywhere!

Pick one: I'll live anywhere!


By night: An onion ring of moon

By night: An onion ring of moon


Take a break: The best chai ever!

Take a break: The best chai ever!


Hang on: Resting by the river

Hang on: Resting by the river


Take me for a ride: I want a bicycle too!

Take me for a ride: I want a bicycle too!


Picture perfect: I'm moving in tomorrow

Picture perfect: I'm moving in tomorrow

Math Monday

math monday

Math Monday

Today, I’ll keep the mathematics short. There are only a few numbers that matter right now and that’s:

  • 2 hours till we catch the ship to Athens. Let’s get the vacation rolling. Berlin and Paris, just around the corner.

That’s pretty much all the math I can think of right now, apart from:

  • 20 kg each is what we’re allowed to take on the trip. We’re sharing a small luggage and wonder if they’ll give us trouble (the airline is pretty strict). We don’t even have scales, so we’ve taken turns in lifting it and coming out with our very own humble estimations.
  • 5 is the number of dresses I’m taking.
  • 4 items left on my to-do list.
  • 28 hours till take-off.
  • 12 boxes packed as we prepare to move out of our beloved apartment.
Photo taken mid-week. The photo on the wall is now in a box somewhere too.

Photo taken mid-week. The photo on the wall is now in a box somewhere too.

My week has definitely had more numbers than these, but forgive me. All I can think of is packing and the trip. So this banana is off for a week of holidays and a couple of reunions with good friends.

Hold tight — I’ll be back before you know it.

Oh and by the way, how was your week in numbers?

Come along for the ride

Jewelry, Musings

In true Austin Powers style I have to say, “I got my mojo back.” Yeah, baybeah, yeah!

I was leafing through the Berlin guide, when I was overwhelmed by a sudden feeling of restlessness. Hey, I’m used to that. But lately my restlessness has hardly lent itself to jewelry expression. I don’t know what went wrong (or right) today, but I suddenly felt I had a calling to answer. And I’m thrilled with the result!

Want to see? Great, because that’s exactly what I had in mind. The problem? Poor lighting for any good photos…so, why don’t you take a guess…

shadow on the wall

Any wild guesses?

I promise to take some good photos of my new creations tomorrow when there’s some good old natural light. I can’t wait!

But hold on — you didn’t think my mojo only brought back this little number? Think again. I have a new fun project / idea that aims to bridge distances and connect artists and non-artists all-over. To complete it, I need your help. What am I on about?

A cycle journal

A cycle journal

What’s a cycle journal? One that will start from here and travel around the world until there are no more pages left to fill. Each person has a page or two to fill with anything from thoughts, photos, drawings, poems or even favorite quotes. Once it reaches the end, the person holding it, should return it to me and I’ll scan in the pages, one-by-one under a new theme day. So what now?

Who’s in?

If you are interested in participating in this, please send me an e-mail at plainbananas@gmail.com or start a conversation with me on Etsy, with your mailing address. I will collect a bunch of addresses that will be indexed at the back so whoever holds it can randomly select and tick off where they would like to send it off to next.

And that’s what I call good mojo! Are you game?