Homeowning

Hi everyone!

I’m on a train to Bruges at the moment and I’ve finally found some time to write, after being away for more than a month (sorry!), swallowed by my life basically. What happened in the past busy month? First of all, this blog turned one year old (yay! virtual prosecco for all my followers).

But the biggest news is a personal milestone I’ve finally achieved: [drumroll…………] I’ve bought a house! Well, a flat actually, not an entire building, which in London is already a pretty big thing. But yes, I’m officially an adult with a mortgage, scared and excited. I know that most travel&lifestyle bloggers prefer to have a more nomad life and flexible bases, and I thought about it a lot… coming to the conclusion that for me it was very important to stop wasting money on rent, making landlords rich and having to deal with ridiculous letting agencies (and having to argue because they wanted to charge us 334 £ to change a toilet lid that was cracked. Yep, 334 £, true story. Not even in the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi I’ve seen toilet lids worth 334 £). I wanted to start investing in something more solid for my future. Plus, my partner and I really wanted to have a house to call our own and we felt this was the right time.

The past year has been dedicated to this project entirely. Saving money was a priority: after a delightful contract on board SilverCloud I had to put my performing on hold and commit to a more regular day job (aaaaaargh….). I had to find ingenious ways to live, eat, go out, even have holidays on a budget. I’ve switched to a capsule wardrobe, minimising and optimising the purchase of clothes. I’ve mastered a shopping list template that allows me to buy groceries for an entire week for two people spending less than 30£, salmon fillets included. I’ve cooked nice and healthy meals to take to work, so that I could cut extra costs (and extra carbs). I bought an insulated flask and started preparing my coffee at home, with my beloved Italian moka espresso machine (saving a minimum of 2,70£ a day). This was the best part, but it was tough at times. I had to constantly remind myself that I was working towards a goal, and that sacrifice was only a temporary and necessary step.

And here we are, all settled in our new place, having a fresh new start. I feel a bit tired and overwhelmed by emotions, but at the same time I’m happy and energised. We still don’t have Internet connection at home (we live in a brand new development and the works for the fibre broadband are delaying a bit), but I think I’ll use the local library to have my blog work done. I need to get back in the game, and after this important milestone there’s so much more I want to achieve, personally. Things I want to do, places I want to go, best versions of me I want to be. But first, I’d better put up the curtains on the bedroom window, because I’m currently sleeping with a black t-shirt wrapped around my eyes like I had been kidnapped by a dodgy gang in Tijuana.

See you all soon!

 

 

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Ta-dah! The jar of sands!

I’ll start saying that I’m so proud of this project it makes me want to lock myself home, deactivate all my social media, turn off the phone and spend the rest of my life sitting on the floor and staring at it until I starve to death.

I’m joking.

During my eight month travelling on board Silver Cloud I’ve collected samples of sand from beaches and deserts around Europe, Africa and Asia with the idea, once back home, of layering them in a jar and see what could come out of it. Sand is such a fascinating and artistic matter, it comes in an infinity of colours and shades and once layered it can reveal subtle patterns and nuances you would never notice in normal circumstances.

Soon my idea of the “jar” seemed a little restrictive because after four months I had already collected 12 different samples… Towards the end of my contract on board I’ve made a selection, letting go the less interesting ones colour-wise and texture-wise. When the moment to fly home arrived I showed up at Athens airport with more than two kilograms and a half of sand wrapped in transparent, labelled plastic bundles, in my hand luggage. Of course I got stopped and questioned at border control, the agent examinated the whitest packages and looked at me with a “Really?” face, making me feel like the creepy weirdo that I probably am.

Once back home I started to build up my project: I bought a tall glass container from Muji, I’ve organized the samples alternating colours and textures and started pouring the sands, levelling them carefully and removing pebbles and other bits to make the layers look as smooth and homogenic as possible (see pictures below). Once finished I cut labels from a black chalkboard tape from Paperchase and wrote the places of collection for every layer. The final result turned out to be even better than I had envisioned it! There is still space on the top and I want to add a final layer of sand I will collect when I’ll travel to Portugal in July.

I hope I gave you a nice idea to create an object that would remind you of your travels everytime you look at it 😉 Let me know if you have or have created any nice travel memorabilia artefact, I would love to exchange creative ideas on this space. Bye for now!