Happy Samhain!!!

Happy Samhain!!! Or for those who don’t know what it is – it’s Halloween before it was commercialized 😉

Fruit stall in peruvian grocery shop

Halloween (Samhain) is an old celtic tradition – it was the date marking the end of the harvest season. A celebration was held and fires / candles were lit – often in carved pumpkins, so symbolize the beginning of the darker winter season. It was also believed that the boundaries between this world and the world of the dead was particularly thin on that evening. People started disguising themselves as dead so that if the ghosts would cross the boundary and try to scare them, they would not recognize the living.

The pagan tradition was brought over to the States with the emigration of the many Irish people during the potato famine. From there, it evolved onto the English word “All Hallow’s Eve”, eventually becoming “Halloween”.

I think it’s fun (and also important) to understand where our customs come from and what they actually mean. Over here in Switzerland, the Halloween Parties and Trick and Treating events are slowly becoming bigger. Most people alas just go along with it and think it’s just an American thing…

I intended to post this close up picture I took a few weeks ago of a big ugly hairy spider for you. I can’t deal with looking at the picture though, so I stuck to one of my Weekly Photo Challenges (“Orange“) entries and share this lovely pumpkin found in a Peruvian supermarket during fall season. Isn’t he adorable 🙂 ?

Do you celebrate Halloween or have a custom around this time of year in your country? Please do share it with me – I’d love to hear all about it 🙂 !

Friday Flow #38 (2.0): When You Completely Forget About Your Blog…

Life at the moment is very hectic for me. I was yet abroad again over the weekend, when suddenly, on Sunday night, I remembered that I had completely forgotten about last week’s Friday Flow issue… I couldn’t do anything about it anymore anyhow, so I just tried to let it go and not worry about it. And it worked! (Don’t get me wrong – I also felt quite terrible about it and do apologize to the readers wondering about it…!!!)

But why worry about things you can’t change anyhow?

And now I’m trying to prepare tomorrow’s issue – am all over the place with stuff I need to do and getting nowhere at all… Will come home very late tonight… No time whatsoever tomorrow either… And I would just love to let it go, have a break, let it be or completely trash the whole thing^^because you matter cappuccino

I wasn’t prepared for blogging. I just started and went with it. Keeping up a blogging schedule is one of my goals with this Friday Flow issue I started back in spring time. I had no clue people actually wrote ahead and scheduled their posts^^ I had no clue it would have been a good idea to write ahead for quite some time, and then start the weekly feature…

Nevertheless – I shouldn’t worry about it now because I can’t change it anyhow. And I try to find a healthy balance between my needs and my passion for this blog and at the same time be mindful about myself:

Yes, I set myself a goal to try to get this blog working, to try a weekly feature for at least a year, to get this started.

And yes, this is all about fun. Writing makes me happy. Sharing stories makes me happier. There’s no need to stress about – there’s enough stress in this world and all I know is that it won’t make me happy.

So I try to keep my blogging schedule with a healthy piece of nonchalance… After all – I’m living my life and doing this for myself only – so what’s the stress about?

Silent Sunday #1How about you – how do you deal with your blog? What do you do when you barely find time to keep up with the posts? Do you pre-write a lot of the things and schedule them? How do you deal with no time vs. your own ambitions?

SL – Week #17: SDF Or Homeless

When I read the new topic of Sylvain Landry’s weekly photo challenge, it made me stop and wonder: do I even have photographs of homeless people? After rooting around my files for quite a long time, I just had to admit to myself that yes, indeed, I never took a picture of a homeless person. I had many encounters with them, ever since I was a little child. Countless of times my parents (and later on myself) bought them food and handed it over to them. Or packed the huge masses of leftovers in restaurants after our meals to pass them along to those who had not yet had any dinner. But I never took pictures of them…

Maybe I just feel like if I do that, hiding along, trying to catch the moment, it would not be well seen by them. Like as if I would insult them by taking their picture.

I’ve travelled quite some really poor countries and encountered many very poor / homeless people. Scarcely though I took photographs of beggars or other hardship cases we’d visit through humanitarian aid. So I now can only enter a picture of a very, very poor family.

This particular family was a household of two women, mother and daughter, and the daughter’s own four children from four different fathers. They had no man in their family, which meant no protection whatsoever and nearly no rights. They had lost their herd in the crucially cold winters of the early 21st century. You could say – yes, at least they are not homeless. But they had nothing, believe me. We were there. We talked to them. We saw the way they lived, out in the suburbs of Ulanbaatar, the slums made out of thousands of poor households, losing everything in the countryside and moving to the border of the city with hope of a better life. Who are we to judge them and their decisions, their actions? So we are here to listen. To talk. To try to help, at least a little bit, where we can.

watermarked-beneficiaries household mongolia

The thing about the poor people I encountered all around the world though is that even though they have nearly nothing, they are some of the happiest persons I’ve ever met. Take Nepal, for example: I’ve never ever visited a country where poverty takes such a big part of any daily life there. And even so – one of my most incredible memories there was seeing a little child with filthy clothes, running barefoot down a street full of litter, carrying something in his hand and having the biggest, happiest smile ever… When I saw what he was carrying I couldn’t believe my eyes – the picture was too strange and beautiful at the same time.

He was carrying a cage with a fat dead rat lying on its back, paws above…

Weekly Photo Challenge: (Extra)ordinary

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “(Extra)ordinary.”

I love the intro post to this week’s photo challenge. Photography has risen high up on the top of my hobbies in the past few years. I went from photographing people and landscapes to remember events and gatherings to try out silly things, dressing up for photo sessions and finding the tiny weird things you come across in life, trying to capture it the way I see them.

The most beautiful gift then is when you walk around having other things in mind and suddenly see something interesting from the corner of your eye.

Like this screw I found in the concrete floor somewhere in Zürich.

watermarked-screw in concrete

It was just there. I mean, what does a screw do in the concrete?! Did anyone put it in there purposefully, or did it fall in there by mere accident? We’ll never know. Nevertheless, I love that screw 😀

Tidy-Up-Challenge Update & Video #4!

I finally got my 4th video together of the Endless-Tidy-Up-Challenge featuring days 147-250 – watch it here below 🙂

You’ll see ups and downs on the challenge… In a way, you might still think there has not been much done ever since, but lots has been done actually, even though you can’t see it! Let me give you a small update on the challenge and the things I’ve done since video #3 came out:

* I KM all of my shoes, bags and books ever since I published the last video – you can’t notice those changes in my room since you can’t see into my closet from the pictures or onto my other bookshelf, but yes – I did them 😀

* I filled seven more Brocki bags and gave the things away to the Brocki (charity shop) – so seven more bags are now gone with things that were in my bedroom before!

* I KM my craft supplies – that’s when you see the room in the most messy stage in the video. Since it was all scattered and hard to grab in a picture I can’t show you the progress there, but I gave lots away and my craft supplies now only need to be sorted better and stored in a more appropriate way – I will be dealing with it later since Marie Kondo suggests to purge first before finding an appropriate way to store.

* I KM all of my medals and trophies and tidied up my top shelf – it looks really nice and neat now – but it’s on the side of the picture so you never get to see the progress there either 😉 It gave me loads of joy though as you can read about it here.

* I finally got rid of my computer tower cluttering my bedroom for nearly a year 😀

* I dealt with lots of paper already, shredded masses of it with my own fingers or put them into the recycling pile. I went through all of my recipes and reduced the collected ones onto one binder, leaving another binder free for storing other paper things I would like to keep separately.

Current status:

* I’m still doing paper, paper, paper… never-ending, dear paper… I managed to deal with all of my bank info and started writing down important information on a separate digital word file to be able to discard most of my credit card balance records – still working on it.

* I have to finish dealing with my health insurance papers – that would be the last thing on the list of official paper category and then I will be done! Continue reading

Bye Bye Old Computer

watermarked-tn_old computer 2A few weeks back, I finally managed to get rid of my old computer. Believe it or not – it had broken down in fall 2014 I think… I then went on to buy my current one, at the worst possible time as Uncle Murphy usually manages to stop by when work is most stressful 🙂

I installed it and all, and had my old hard drive, monitor and keyboard / mouse sitting there for a while. In fact, no – I brought the monitor back to the store quite soon after buying the new computer, as it wasn’t so heavy for me to carry around and Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Monochromatic

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Monochromatic.”

OK, muuuuuuuuuuuuuch later but still I’m happy I finally managed to enter this – even though the topic is now totally outdated but I, to be honest, just like entering photographs on the Weekly Photo Challenges for my own self and my own challenge 😉

When I read about the topic “Monochromatic” I remember an old photo session I had tried to do ages ago. I was inspired by those pictures that were all full of tiny trinkets and things in the same colours. So I had tried doing the same thing in different shades of blue. Looking at it now – I should have arranged the things in a straight order rather than just randomly scattering them. But because I had to think about this session I went to look for the photographs and picked one of the nicer ones to share here.

Have you also ever tried arranging such a thing, inspired by those puzzle pictures or such? 🙂

watermarked-wpc monochromatic

<a href="https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/monochromatic/">Monochromatic</a>