Thursday, 30 August 2012

What I've been doing other than writing here...

Now that all the paperwork is FINALLY done, I can tell you that we bought a house.  

Crazy grown-up shit, right?!  We can't really believe it either, except when we look at our bank account.  Then it becomes real as a punch in the face.  And that is what it felt like sometimes as well.  Ugh.  

Because we like to cram big events together into the most inopportune times*, we decided to buy a house in an Olympic borough, during preparations for the Olympics.  Needless to say, it took a bit longer than expected as no-one in the city was at their desk or if they were they were too busy watching the action to file some paperwork for little 'ole us.  

But it's done now and in a few weeks we will be settling into our third home together, but this time it is well and truly ours.  No crazy landlords refusing to fix burst pipes.  Now we will have sole responsibility for said burst pipes.  FABULOUS!!

But seriously, we are excited to have a space of our own to do with as we wish (with council approval, of course).  There are a few choice decor items that I know you are dying to see, for instance the bathroom wallpapered in imitation cork with beautiful, truly vintage, avocado bath, sink and toilet.  But that will have to wait for a bit.  

Meanwhile, while we *patiently* waited for paperwork, etc. we poured all our energy into nurturing another baby. 

GOTCHA!!!  Meet our little babies.  Tomas and Tommy.  We love them.  

We picked these guys up as seedlings.  During one of our walks through the 'new' neighborhood, we noticed someone had put out some tomato seedlings that needed new homes.  we scooped up two and they lived in the shower for two weeks before moving to their new home.  We have urged bees to visit and actively removed snails and slugs.  They are flourishing with our attention and we think they make a great addition to the family.  

I've also been sewing like a madwoman.  Last week I spent two days creating havoc in the living room as I burned through the t-shirt quilt.  An eight-hour run followed by a twelve-hour run have left me with almost complete quilt top and bottom.  You can read about the process over at Squaring Up.  

So that's me.  Not as exciting as you hoped, I know, but not everyday can be spent in the medina or recording petulant baking and laundry woes.  

What have you been up to these last few weeks?  

*see completing my PhD, international wedding and job change in June of 2010.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

5 minutes in the medina

Last October I spent 17 days in Morocco.  Five of those were spent in the medina of Marrakesh.  The above photos were taken over a span of five minutes while sitting at a cafe waiting for lunch.  The teeming humanity of the medina and souks is hard to explain or illustrate.  

bread-wool sacks
logs-iron rebar
satellite dish
safety vests
cinder blocks
donkeys/scooters/handcarts/mopeds/bicycles (100s)
misc. bundles
rolled bundles
coffee kettle with attached stove
boxes of cupcakes
van w/bikes
sacks of dates
humanity in general

This list comes directly out of my travel journal recording the contents of five minutes of traffic. While we sat, stationary, at the entrance of the souks the amount and variety of traffic was fascinating.  We had been weaving our way in and out of the teeming masses for a few days, had more than a few close encounters with speeding motorcycles or scooters in the narrow passages and pressed into the wall to avoid passing donkey carts.  But sitting here, just watching, the mass movement washed over me.  

I haven't been able to find the words to describe the majority of that trip.  I wrote a lot during the trip, but I can't bring myself to turn those scribblings into anything as of yet.  What I have been able to do is create some photo stories.  These five stories speak to themes I experienced in those 17 days.  

Thresholds for the slow realization of my transition.  
Red for the heat, and sometimes frustration, of the country.
Earth and Sky for the deep contrasts in colour and the inescapable basic elements.
Green for the lush valleys and ever-present sickness (of our own).
Crowds for the, well, ever-present crowds.  

At the time of leaving Morocco, I had no thoughts of going back.  Our organized tour was close to disastrous, although the moments spent on our own exploring were exceptional.  After almost a year, the memories of frustration and sleeplessness and illness have faded, a bit, and my opinion has changed.  
The magic and mystery of Marrakesh is worth another look and the sea breeze of Essaouira so refreshing.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Ivy Women

I was the third granddaughter to get married.  
I was the third granddaughter to carry the ring down the aisle.  
I was the first to carry her mother's ring down the aisle.  

I was the first granddaughter to get married.  
I was the only granddaughter.
I carried her ivy down the aisle.  
The same ivy she carried down the aisle, and after, to each garden. 

After, I left the ivy at her grave.  The same grave I took ivy from after she died.  

photo by Genevieve Nisly