The best day of 2016

I think we can all agree that 2016 was a truly shit year. It started pretty rough for me personally, but I will look back at it as the year when I got the chance to reset myself. It was simply time for me to learn a new way of being, and of setting myself on the right path for the next half of my life, and for that I'm grateful for what the past 12 months have taught me. I don't think I can usually say which day was the best of the whole year, but I can this year. It was on my 41st birthday, which also happened to be the hottest day of the summer. We jumped in the car and brought Oomoo's cousins along for a day trip to Margate, and managed to cram in so much that it felt that we'd been away for a couple of days and not just 10 hours. The first place we visited was the Shell Grotto, a series of underground passages discovered in 1835, where someone has covered the walls in 4.6 million shells.  The comments of awe from the kids as we entered were priceless. It was truly amazing and I can't recommend it enough if you ever go to Margate. Selfishly I then wanted to go to Turner Contemporary (pics 2-4) thinking that the kids would get bored, but they had a cool exhibition on with different artists' take on the humble circle. Plus the place had air conditioning, so no one was complaining! We then headed to Dreamland, and got seriously ripped off, but we made the most of the retro rides. The others then managed to get a quick cooling dip in the sea in before we had dinner (I chose to guard our bags and take pictures instead, hehe). As we walked back to the car on that hottest of days, I thought that we'd all agree that it had been a brilliant day, regardless our age, and I'm sure that we'll speak of it for years to come. As for 2017, please be a better year for all of us. Please.


The last night

Sigh. I can't wait to go back. I just had a quick look to see if there were any other pictures worth posting, and it made me want to fast forward until we go back. It was such a hassle-free and relaxed holiday (am I repeating myself?) and those are so good for you! I really want to take Oomoo to a different part of the world, to broaden his horizons, but that type of holiday is not one where you just rock up and wing it. It'll take a lot more planning, and a lot less relaxing, but I think I can deal with it :)  Where to next...?


Letters and windows in Annecy

Oh hi there! If you follow me on Instagram, my last (maybe ever??) post was about how IG is starting to feel like a graveyard (just like Flickr did when we all deserted it for Instagram - oh the irony...), with it's insane algorithm that cuts us off from each other, and decides for us what we want to see and in what order. It's made me seriously think about whether I still want social media to be a part of my everyday life. In a world where people get their news from Facebook, and politicians vent on Twitter, I'm starting to feel that I no longer want to partake. This here might be a better spot to "hang out" as it's quieter, and as I'm still reading blogs, it makes sense to start posting more as well. But I'm quite behind (five months - gaaah!). It would take many days in front of the computer to get back up to date, and I'll try my best to catch up. So, as far as the blog is concerned, it's still July, and as the sun has been absent from the London sky for days, I savour seeing some pictures from the summer again.

These are from Annecy (the town), and the French do signage so well. Something the Brits are terrible at. I'd love to tour France and just collect pictures of their typography. Now there's an idea!


At Talloires beach

So, it was basically a picture of the lake almost exactly the same as the first one here, that made me make us go to Lake Annecy. I mean, how could it not, right? And it was just as good in real life, if not better. The water was the perfect temperature (+23) and not salty, so it didn't dry out your hair or skin, and no sand to get trapped everywhere. It actually made me realise how annoying the beach can be, haha! But the best thing was the atmosphere; relaxed, friendly and unpretentious. If ever win the lottery I sure know where I'd buy a little cabin. Can you imagine?! The lake and hiking in the summer, and snowboarding in the winter - what could be more perfect? A girl can dream... I would have taken more pictures, but as we would leave our bags unattended as we swam, I didn't exactly want to broadcast that I had a big camera with me :)


Annecy rules

I'm actually quite glad now that I'm behind with my pictures. As one of my life lessons this year has been to be more mindful and in the now, it's great to look at these and go back a bit in time. Because we all know how it goes with holidays; the second you get home it's like you never went. Everything is back to how it was before you left (generally anyway) and the everyday continues as if nothing just happened. This year has also been a chance for me to reconnect with France. As a teenager I spent every summer there with my mum, but I haven't really been back there at that time of the year since then, and this year we went twice in the space of two months! Anyways, since Melanie posted her holiday pics from Lake Annecy on Instagram last year, I knew we had to go there, as the place looked stunning. And you know I'm a sucker for the mountains, so it was a very easy choice over where we should go away this summer. It didn't disappoint for one second, and we all fell in love with the place. The first three pics are from our first hike that we went on at La Sambuy, and we got a really clear view of Mont Blanc (second picture). For years we've waited for Oomoo to be old enough to go on these kind of holidays, and he took to hiking like a fish to water. On one of the days we went for a 13km hike, and he didn't complain once! Such a trouper. The last four pics are from Annecy, the town, which we visited a couple of times. It was ridiculously pretty in places. The good news is that we are sure that we will definitely keep going back to Lake Annecy, as it's just simply ACE. More pics to come.


May days in France

Oh hello there. It went a bit quiet here again. Well, I should know better... Once the summer holidays roll round, there's just no way that I want to spend any time in front of the computer. And so here I find myself with a backlog of holiday pictures... again. These are from May, when we went to stay with my mother-in-law in her holiday home in France. Buddy had just had surgery (which went well but he still needed after care), so it was only me and Oomoo who could go in the end. It rained every day, but we didn't mind a bit. The days were filled with simple pleasures like building fires in the wood burner, picking veg from from the veg garden, reading, making jam, going to the market and visiting the local castle. Oomoo and his Nana get on so well, and I loved seeing them enjoy each other's company so much. If or when the day comes when Oomoo has children of his own, I will try my best to be as hands on as she has been with all of her grand children!


The boxers

Around the same time that Muhammad Ali died a month or so ago, the boxing gloves in this house got dusted off and put to use. And I enjoyed the match and the light. Boxers don't usually giggle as they fight, but these two did.



My last LA shots from this time round.

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.


Up the canyon

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.