The last few days have been a real downer as the country I live in is no longer the country I think it was, and everyone I know here are feeling depressed over what the future holds for the nation. I feel like the kid whose parents are divorcing, and I have no say in the matter (I couldn't vote as I'm still a Swedish national, and believe me, I will remain one now for as long possible), and the fall out from it is going to affect the rest of my life. I'm weirdly more upset than when my actual parents got divorced, but then that was 28 years ago, and my memory probably doesn't serve me very well. But I survived their split, and I know we will survive this one too. Whatever happens, me and my family have each other, and at the end of the day that's all that really matters. And like my brother-in-law said over the weekend, "All we can hope is that the Leave voters were right, and that we were wrong." Time will tell.
One of my favourite things that we did in LA this time round was hiking Temescal Canyon in the rain. Yes, rain! El Niño changed the weather patterns this year, and so for the first four days it was pouring with rain, but I didn't mind one bit as I've never seen LA so lush - ever. It's such a city of contrasts (on so many levels), and while you have to spend years of your life in traffic, you're also very near nature, be it canyons, deserts, mountains or the ocean. We ended up in the clouds and couldn't see the city at all, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. As LA is pretty empty of parks people use the canyons to the north of the city as their recreational grounds (it's either that or the beach), but on this rainy day there was hardly anyone else there. I will never forget that walk - it's definitely up there as one of the best I've ever taken.
The Broad is LA's newest museum of contemporary art, where all the art is from a private collection owned by the philanthropists Eli & Edythe Broad. Some seriously rich people! The building itself is really cool, and parts of its architecture worked well as accidental picture frames. If you find yourself in LA, a visit there is a must, and if you go soon, try and catch Ragnar Kjartansson's The Visitors. It was one of the most moving experiences I've ever had looking at art - the lump in my throat must have been the size of a melon... Gulp.
One of my dearest friends lives in LA. We've been friends for over 20 years and she's the most generous, loving and fun friend you could wish for. It breaks my heart that we live so far apart, but at the same time when we do see each other it's so special, that in a way I wouldn't have it any other way. Anyway, my sister, who now also lives in LA, was expecting her second child back in April, and was having a baby shower, and my BBF thought that I should come out for it - as a surprise. So I went out there for a whole week on my own, without my boys. That meant that I could go and do all those things that they wouldn't be as into, like going to exhibitions, check out stores and have a karaoke session for old times sakes. It was an amazing seven days where I got to reconnect with aspects of myself that I somehow had buried and neglected since motherhood. It was like I got my old self back.
Little Mo, and so went with an as opposite a cat as you can get. He may look petite, but in fact, as these pictures are already a couple of months old, it's funny now to see him looking so "small". So first of all he is a he, long haired and a Main Coon, the largest domestic cat breed there is. They are the closest you can get to having a dog without having an actual dog. He plays fetch, follows you around the house all the time and is super social. He simply just wants to be with you, as much as he can. Little Mo was often hiding somewhere, and wouldn't dream of playing with a room full of kids like it was nothing. I still well up sometimes thinking about her, and at one point I did think why on earth are we getting another cat that we will love and lose - again. But I'm hoping that we will have many years of fun with this furry dude, and I'd rather have known him than not at all.
Oh hey there. That was quite a break... I didn't mean to disappear like that, but I didn't have a great start to the year. I put it down to a mid-life crisis of sorts (I did turn 40 last year after all), and felt that I had to more or less stop everything and start building myself up from scratch again. I ended up putting my camera down, but kept going on Instagram, as it for me is just the light, fluffy, nonsense type of picture taking that I can carry on with, regardless of what else is going on. I'm still not fully connected to my camera yet, but I'm getting there. I still have to get to the point where I carry it with me everywhere again. I'm feeling better now, and I'm actually grateful that I went through what I did as it shook up things up. I was coasting along not realising that I was getting too set in my ways (some of them bad), and that at this point in my life (hopefully half-way through!), it was time for a change. I'll be back with more soon, but I'm not putting any pressure on myself to do so. It's gotta feel right at the end of the day. Life's too short innit.
Et voila - the last of the LA pics. I'm annoyed with myself that I didn't take that many pictures; for years I'd imagined going back there and not giving my camera a rest, but once we arrived I kind of switched off. Which I guess is what makes a trip like this a holiday, haha! Never mind. There's always a next time. Have a great weekend!
I might be a bit hormonal today, but looking at these pictures I feel really grateful that we got to go on this trip. And that we got to hang out with friends and family, enjoy beautiful weather and views, whether they were of national parks, the sea, the valley or the moon. It's both a blessing and a curse to have my dearest so spread across the globe... My husband has been away on the other side of the world for a week, and I plan on giving him the biggest bear hug I can muster when he gets back tonight. And I think I have a few phone calls to make to friends and family, and let them know that I miss them too.