Pink waters and a dark forest

Look who took the train down from Borås to hang with me and Otto for a couple of days - Nastasja!! I hadn't seen her since November last year so I was over the moon. 

We did typical countryside things like fishing in the most incredible sunset! 

And look!!!

Nastasja caught her first pike, ever!! We threw it back in again, of course. But still! Since we're not very savvy fishers we were so excited and surprised.

And look at this amazing sunset?? Thank you, Piggaboda. 

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To our left the moon climbed the sky and I got the chance to use one of my favourite Swedish words; mångata.  

We stayed until the daylight disappeared and the previous day was just an orange glow in the horizon.

We also picked bilberries! Another typical activity when you live in the middle of a forest. 

These two ♥ 

And filled another basket with edible gold. We also had a lot of fika, watched Lawless, talked talked talked, and just enjoyed being in the same place for once. Thank you internet and the blog world for this incredible person. ♥

A weekend in Gothenburg, seen through my phone

Min lilla sovkatt. ♥

Otto and I spent the weekend in Gothenburg, visiting my aunt and her partner at their beautiful summer house by the sea. We ate delicious food, did some sightseeing in the soaking wet weather, were so happy when the sun finally warmed our cheeks again, drank coffee and talked talked talked until late with the murmur of rain and wind as background noise. Spent the sunny Sunday afternoon at Marstrand with food, ice cream, angry sea gulls and the smell of salty waters, before we took the train back home to Småland. So happy and filled with energy after an amazing weekend.

Today I tried to go for a run in the morning, but 2k in I got the worst period cramps ever and decided to lie down in the middle of the forest to wait them out. It didn't succeed, instead I threw up, and walked/crawled home again. The contrasts of life, huh? So I've spent the day taking it easy in the sun, napping, and eating loads of chocolate. Which is not too bad, after all. 

the cat sitting week

Last week Otto and I were cat sitting Otto's aunt's cat at their summerhouse outside Oskarshamn. We went for long walks in the forest, ate massive breakfasts, drove over to Öland and had ice cream by the sea, went for morning runs and ran faster and longer than ever before, watched films every single night (Swedish thriller in my <3), went to the nearby elk park, had coffee with Otto's grandmother, read wrapped up in blankets in the chilly evening air, and devoured the long lazy days. 

35mm: Swedish summer

It's funny how much more attached I get to analogue photos compared to digital - they feel like little treasures, pieces of art, part of me, in a completely different way. Probably because of how much more important your interaction with the light becomes when you can't see the result straight away but instead have trust your abilities and let go of the control for a while. To celebrate that I've found a medium that feels like home, yet unexplored and exciting + to motivate me to do more, I've created an Instagram account for my 35mm photos! You can find it here: j.stroud35mm

And I've also started posting on my personal instagram again! So if you want to see photos of Otto feeding elks, breakfasts and other random things that happen in life, follow hejjenka.

a walk at 4 in the morning

I'm back in Sweden again to spend the rest of the summer here in the forest. The first morning back in Småland I woke up at dawn by the sound of the cranes and decided to go for a walk in the misty morning air. Nature is stiller than it was a month ago, it's like the greenery is as lush as it can get and now, instead of hysterically trying to bloom, it's resting in all its splendour. I listened to bird sounds in the distance (black-throated loon, woodcock, crane), ate my first homegrown pear of the year, got cuddled/followed by our cats, and was blown away by the beauty of the burning sky. When I climbed into bed again an hour later, my limbs were cold as ice, but my mind quieter and calmer than it's been in a long time. 

MY GRADUATION! (or that time we all dressed up like Harry Potter)

Finally, the long overdue graduation blog post, yay! I'm usually not a fan of ceremonial things with dresscodes etc., and I know it sounds cheesy, but it was truly one of the best days of my life. Even if I was running on only 3 hours of sleep due to nerves, and even if I was so ill I had to fight the fever with ibuprofen and lots and lost of water - I could not stop smiling. Let's have a look at some of the photos Johanna, my super photographer sister, took: 

Look, so happy! Here with my cute parents. 

And my little family: my aunt, Otto, mum, dad, my brother, and my aunt's partner. + my sister behind the camera. The robes we had to wear were so cool! I felt just like Harry Potter, one of the many perks of graduating. 

And one with my little sister (who's 15cm taller than me, lol). 

They had a bagpipe band playing, very Scottish. 

And Fatou!! Look how happy, cute and nervous we are!

Then it was time for the actual ceremony! They played organ music, held a couple of speeches and handed out our degrees. We had to walk across the stage in front of our teachers when they called our names, get cap doffed by the principal, and then we received our degree by the other side. I was so scared that I was going to face palm on the stage, heh. 

But I didn't fall!! Such a relief. 

Got my degree! 

Just after the ceremony, before we headed off with our families, we took a photo of our girl gang. These girls have been my group throughout these four years, we've been holding each others backs and encouraged each other to try even harder. They are so intelligent, ambitious, powerful, and funny - and I can't wait to see what fantastic things the future will bring. 

♡ ♡ ♡ 

You know the "I just want someone who looks at me the way my brother looks at ketchup"? Well, I just want someone who looks at me the way Fatou looks at her degree, haha. 

We were so hysterically happy. 

Before we headed off to the reception at QMU we had to take a photo with John, aka everyone's favourite teacher/person. He was my dissertation supervisor, and I really couldn't have wished for a more supportive and inspiring supervisor. 

At the reception they welcomed us with more bagpipes. 

We filled our hungry stomachs with canapés and I showed my family around campus. 

Took obligatory photos with my degree in front of QMU. 

And was cute with Otto on the deck by the pond. 

I also had to pay one last visit to the outdoor gym that Fatou and I've been using during our 10 mins study breaks. If this was a broom instead of a crosstrainer I'd be the most Harry Pottery person after Harry Potter himself.  

And my whole family joined in. 

Then I put on some more lipstick, took the train into town with my little Swedish contingent, and met up with Fatou's family at Las Iguanas for some Latin American food. 

Oh, and I also met this cute little sausage dog. Best day ever. 

the hottest day of the year

Yesterday, which was to be the hottest day of the year, I woke up here. Otto always reads the news first thing in the morning, while I'm scrolling instagram.. hehe. 

We had breakfast, and I got ready to meet up with Fatou. 

We had decided to seize the amazing weather and climb to the top of Arthur's Seat! 

We were geeky and cute with matching tote bags that we got from the QMU graduation reception. 

We started our walk to the top! We skipped the normal route and took a more scenic (and steeper) one.

Fatou was feeling the summer so she decided to take off her shoes and walk barefoot!

Almost there! We stopped to cool down in the breeze (and to catch pokémon!) and look at the view. 

How can it be so pretty?? I don't understand. 

At the top! 

Dogs!! First time I've ever seen dogs up there. The German Shepherd was loving life. 

Hello, you ant sized little people down there. 

I said "I love this city!" so many times, but I really do.  

Then we climbed down again. I also want to point out that Fatou was STILL barefoot. ♡

We sat down in the grass, ate some melon and talked about politics, summer and life. 

Fatou needed to study for an iSyllabus exam that she was taking the next day so we headed back down again. 

I hugged Fatou goodbye and started walking through the city, past Dean Village. 

Up to the Modern Art Gallery. 

Where Otto was lying in the sun on the mound outside Modern One. If there's a sunny day in Edinburgh you'll most likely find us here, reading and eating lunch. The shape of the mound shields from the most stubborn of winds and it always gets super hot up there - not that it was needed yesterday.

This is what I'm reading right now! I read Things Fall Apart by Achebe in highschool, really liked it, and decided that it was time to read more of his work. So far it's really good! We read and got fried in the sun (I had forgotten to put on sunscreen.. very big mistake) until the gallery closed at 5. 

Later we had the most summery dinner in the garden: hotdogs, corn on the cob, coleslaw, and potato salad. It was so good. 

The setting sun tinted the chimneys red, and the air was hot and humid. 

Then we read some more, edited photos and I turned into a lobster. End of the hottest day of the year! 

a Sunday in Edinburgh

Let's have a look at what I did yesterday: 

I woke up at 7 and did some reading for the MA in Women's Studies that I'm starting in September - so exciting! I also researched some PhD opportunities for next year, better to start early etc. I'm considering to do it in Sweden, but it seems so hard to get accepted? Or should I stay and do it in the UK? Don't know. 

After a couple of hours my stomach was screaming for food, so I woke Otto up and we had breakfast: greek yoghurt, nectarines, egg, cheese sandwiches, and turkish coffee. 

After breakfast I got ready and put on my face. A lot of you have been asking about my eyeshadow; it's from Mac in the shades Honey Lust and Star Violet! They're my absolute favourites out of the eyeshadow palette that I bought to treat myself after getting accepted to York - I've been using them so much that they're almost out.

And how nice are the (bottom) earrings that my family gave me for my graduation? They're kind of L-shaped, but from the front they look like straight lines. I've been wearing them every day, I love how simple they are, yet not too subtle. And they go so well together with the flat round ones I got from Nastasja for christmas.

After breakfast we took the bus into town.

At Princes Street we got new glasses for Otto, picked up a book from Waterstones, went on a hunt for black, leather loafers (also for Otto), and fought our way through the sea of tourists. 

After a little food break in Princes Street Gardens we went to the National Portrait Gallery to check out the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 exhibition that is on right now. It's the second time I've seen it and it's really 10/10, so amazing. It's on until the 2nd October and it's free, so go see it if you're in Edinburgh!

And look at this artsy photo person, he's 10/10 too. 

We walked back to Otto's place and rested our legs for 10 mins before it was time to head down to the shore. 

We had booked a table at Café Tartine! It's our new favourite restaurant in Edinburgh, the food (especially the mussels) is heavenly. 

1kg mussels for Otto, and 0.5kg for me. In creamy garlic and white wine sauce, with chips and bread. Mmmm.

We ate and ate and ate until we morphed into mussels. Then we rolled back home and spent the rest of the night playing Pokémon! I feel like I'm 10 years old again and it's great. 

SCOTTISH BEACH SUNDAY

I've been in Edinburgh for a week now. Three hours ago I hugged my family goodbye as they climbed into the taxi that took them to the airport. I had the best graduation - I'll tell you all about it when my sister sends me the photos that she took - and the best week together with my family. We've been all over the place (my phone tells me we've been taking 20,000 - 33,000 steps/day, phew) and I've showed them everything touristy + my best spots in Edinburgh, had so much amazing food, and just enjoyed spending time together again. 

On Sunday we decided to have a quiet day and hung out in their airbnb flat most of the day. But we also took the bus to Portobello Beach and had greasy, delicious fish & chips to the sound of the waves, walked along the shore in the rain, and talked to all the dogs we could find. 

What we did in Mavrovo, Sofia and Bitola.

Here's what happened between Skopje and Ohrid! Brace yourselves for the longest blogpost in the history of this blog: 

After leaving Skopje we arrived in Leunovo, a tiny village in Mavrovo National Park, just as the sun set behind the mountains. We had turkish coffee with our airbnb host, and then we went fishing with his cousin and his family in the purple dusk. They didn't speak a word of english, but we had such a great time together anyway. No fish though! 

The next day we explored the little villages that skirt the lake, in one of them we found this church that left us breathless. Until we realised that the paintings on the walls were actually wallpaper and not actual paintings. :((

We drove along windy roads through the mountains, past little farms and saw more goats and donkeys and cows that we could count. We stopped by the river and dipped our feet and hands in the perfectly clear, ice cold water to cool off in the pressing heat. 

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And stopped for lunch in Jance, the most picturesque village I’ve ever seen. Located on a hill so steep that the car struggled to take us up the road (we parked it halfway and walked up instead), with only 50 inhabitants but a hotel, churches and a mosque. We ate lunch while the call to prayer filled the air and couldn’t stop looking at the incredible view. Such a magical little place. 

We explored some more (more mountains, goats, scary roads, espressos etc.) and ended the day with pasta and pesto picnic on our balcony while watching the sunset. Life, you're too good sometimes. 

The next day we set out for Sofia in Bulgaria! A while ago I told my friend and classmate Vessi about our holiday in Macedonia and she excitingly suggested that we should take a detour to Sofia to visit her in her hometown! Feeling spontaneous, Otto and I checked that it was okay to take the rental car out of the country and booked a cheap airbnb. But before leaving Macedonia we stopped at Matka Canyon for lunch and some scenic landscapes. 

Since comprehensible road signs isn't a thing in Macedonia we got lost. So, so lost, and drove around the countryside and random little towns that weren't on the map for 1.5h before we managed to locate ourselves. After we'd crossed the border in the mountains, we took a breath of relief as we knew it'd be pretty straight forward after that and stopped for sandwiches in the most beautiful of landscapes () before we continued driving. Also, pro-tip: never ever drive in Sofia. Especially not in a rental car. And especially not when you've already been driving for 8 hours and it's dark and you have no clue of where you're going. Because all the streets are one-way and the other drivers have no patience for even a second of hesitance, and you will have to dodge cars and people and bikes coming from all directions. It was stressful to say the least, but everyone involved (including the car) survived. 

Our first day in Sofia we woke up to the news of Brexit. We had breakfast and sat out to explore the streets of Sofia, but it was hard to enjoy the excitement of a new place when it feels like you’ve just been backstabbed by your best friend. Brexit was the only thing we could talk about, but feeling lost for words we often fell silent and stared into the distance. It kept us up at night and the photos of a celebrating Nigel Farage made my stomach turn. The UK is my home, where I’ve planted my roots, and where I planned on living my life. This turned everything upside down and we were angry, sad and disappointed. At last we had to put a ban on reading any news about Brexit, the UK or Scotland (although the prospect of a new independence referendum is the only glimmer of hope in this freaking mess), because it put us in a gloomy mood = no good when you’re on holiday.  

The post-brexit depression is the reason why our four days in Sofia only make up a handful of photos and videos on my memory card. But apart from talking about how much of a mess the UK is right now we also: got caught in the rain and took shelter under a tree while we watched the people of Sofia hurry by. We met up with Vessi who took us to a restaurant and introduced us to Bulgarian cuisine, she navigated us through the vibrating night and we hung out with her friends in a hidden bar. We had picnic on a bench while the thunder roared over our heads, we spent hours in the National Gallery getting lost in Bulgarian art, we had breakfast with the windows wide open while the sounds of the city (singing birds, rustling trams, people speaking fast in Bulgarian) filled the room, and read books spread out on the grass in the sweltering sun. 

Then we hit the road again! Here illustrated by a sandwich stop by the road = classic roadtrip moment. 

Through the mountains (we had to stop for a little turtle that was crossing the road!! so cute). 

And along the wineries in the south. 

Before ending up in a village in Pelister National park, next to the city Bitola, where we stayed the night before continuing to Ohrid in the morning. We woke up to this incredible view. Visiting this village was it was like travelling back in time, the fields were cropped by hand, the sheep were herded up the mountains in the morning, and the horses ran loose with a bell around their neck. It brought me back to growing up in the countryside, how it felt when I was a child, when my grandparents still were alive - and somehow, I found a piece of my childhood in the middle of nowhere in Macedonia. Who would’ve thought. 

Our first day in Ohrid: thunder, churches and turkish coffee.

Hello! I'm so sorry I'm a perpetually bad blogger, but screens are so boring during summer?! And especially when you're on holiday. Anyway, last Monday, after driving around the whole of Macedonia (+ to Sofia in Bulgaria!), we landed in Ohrid, a little city that is perched between the mountains by Lake Ohrid. We've been savouring the history and culture of this place, swimming in the lake, collecting freckles in the sun, going for morning runs along the still water, eating more watermelon than I thought possible (it costs 25p/kg here!! never been happier), reading and playing chess. This is what our first day looked like:   

I woke up around 5 and watched the sunrise from our balcony, the city was completely still and quiet and the air was so easy to breathe. Then I crawled back into our warm bed and slept for a couple of more hours. 

I had breakfast on the balcony with this guy! We've been eating all our meals out on here for the past week and it's been the best thing ever = I must have a balcony in my future home. 

Our weather apps told us that it was going to thunder the whole day, but since we couldn't see any signs of storm we were sceptic. 

We sat out to explore the streets of Ohrid. It's such a beautiful, lush little place. I stopped every 3 meters and forced Otto to look at cool/weird/pretty trees and flowers and cats. :)

But then the sky started to darken and we could hear thunder in the distance. So decided to check it out and made our way to the lake shore. 

We walked along the boardwalk.

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Until we ended up at the church of St. John at Kaneo (i.e. the church that is in every photo and postcard of Ohrid) where we found a spot on a cliff to watch the storm roll in over the lake. It was the most beautiful, majestic thing I've ever seen. Nature <333

When the storm started picking up we headed back into the city for shelter. 

We stopped for pizza lunch at a restaurant just next to church of St. Sofia. According to legend Ohrid once had 365 churches, one for every day of the year, and even if there aren't that many now you see churches everywhere you turn. 

After lunch we walked along the lake, picked up some food for dinner and headed back home.

We got home just in time as the storm hit the city, and we spent the afternoon playing chess on the balcony to the sound of the rain. 

But after a while we had to move inside because the rain got so heavy that it started to rain in on us. 

Although I had to run back out all the time just to look at THIS. You couldn't make out the silhouette of the mountains for all the rain and I had a little double rainbow moment on the balcony.

Otto beat me in chess. Twice. And since I'm the worst loser you can imagine I was super grumpy afterwards :)) But Otto made us turkish coffee so then naturally I stopped moping around. 

As the sunset painted the sky red orange purple and pink we had watermelon salad with feta cheese and olives for dinner, and that was our first day in Ohrid. Today is our last day, and the weather app says that it's going to be another thunderstorm!! Hope so. 

p.s. I was too lazy to carry around my heavy DSLR this summer so all the photos from the past month are taken with my little point and shoot camera. I thought it'd compromise the photo quality a lot, but I'm so surprised by how good the camera is keeping up?? 

Postcard from Skopje, Macedonia

Just a quick little update on what is happening in life right now. Otto and I flew from London early on Saturday morning and spent two days in Skopje before continuing our travels out towards the west of Macedonia. Skopje was mesmerising, beautiful and so alive. It took ages for us to get from A to B because we constantly had to stop and point and wow at everything. We met the nicest people, made new friends and took one or two breaths of relief as the worry of racist encounters wore off with every smile (you don't want to know how much bullshit we, or rather Otto, had to put up with last summer in Montenegro). On Monday morning we hit the windy road to Mavrovo National Park with its blue mountains and still lake, but I'll show you that later because there's no time for screens when there's so much to see and do and photograph and eat. Talk to you soon! 

Trondheim, the night club degree exhibition, and a first class honours degree

During our five days in Trondheim we took the boat out to Munkholmen where we had ice cream in the sun, dipped our feet in the sea and had a stone skipping tournament. We strolled down the narrow streets skirted with wooden houses in every colour, raced up the steep hills to the Kristiansen Fortress, and got freckly in the sun. We ate the best food, had the nicest evening in Johanna's and Pär's flat, and were amazed over the perpetual daylight at this time of year up north. But the highlight of the whole trip was (of course) Johanna's degree exhibition! The work was truly incredible, I was so impressed - especially by Johanna, I'm so proud of her. They had a barbeque, a bar, a photo booth where we took funny family photos, and when time approached midnight the place turned into a night club. Johanna, Pär and I stayed and silly danced with her friends the whole night, it was so much fun. I filmed a fair bit of our trip, so as soon as I've edited the footage I'll put up a little video for you as well! 

I was so sad to leave Johanna there in Trondheim, since I haven't met her since Christmas it was the nicest thing to be able to spend so much time with her, but luckily I'll get to see her in 3 weeks again when it's my turn to graduate. At midnight on Sunday, when we were on our way home from Trondheim, they released our degree classifications. I tried to open the portal using the unreliable train wifi; with 1,000 nervous forth year students simultaneously trying to access their grades the portal expectedly crashed, and it took me two hours before I managed to log in. I teared up when I saw the words Classification: First Class at the bottom of the page, and then I broke down sobbing when I saw that I got freaking 83% on my dissertation?! I still can't believe it. As promised I've uploaded my dissertation for you to read! You can find it here if you're curious. 

When in Småland.

When I'm in Sweden I always lose contact with the rest of the world; I haven't checked facebook since forever, I don't touch my laptop and I barely use my phone. And when I do, it's like snapping out of the most perfect dream. Right now I spend my days drinking strong coffee in the sun, going for morning runs through the forest while the air still feels cold, taking long walks with our little dog, playing with our cats who still behave like kittens although they're getting old, swimming in dark lakes to escape the heat, spending time with my family, eating ice cream (I <3 Oatly), and working on the farm until the sweat trickles down my back (today I woke up with sore muscles and blisters on my hands, conclusion: the city has made me soft).

On Wednesday we're flying to Trondheim to celebrate my hard working, talented sister who's graduating from Norsk Fotofagskole! But until then I'm going to continue to soak up the Swedish summer and spend as much time in the forest as possible, so if it goes quiet in here you know where to find me. How are you? Is summer treating you well? I hope so. 

Leaving Edinburgh.

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Update: Yesterday I moved out of our flat. My life currently fits in 4 boxes and 1 suitcase of clothing. I cried when hugging Fatou goodbye, and I'm probably still in denial of the fact that yesterday was our last day as flatmates. I'm now in Sweden where I'll be spending the next week before I fly to Norway for my sisters graduation. 

When I moved to Edinburgh on September 7 2012, my knees were shaking as I stepped off the plane and I had no clue what to expect. In Edinburgh I found a home, a family of closely knitted friends (with whom you laugh until you cry every day), I found a passion for feminism and academia, courage and stability. I found pieces of myself I thought I lost, discovered new ones, and changed. I built a life from scratch.

Although I'll be back in July for my graduation the end feels very tangible. I'm sad, and happy, excited for the things to come, and so grateful for these 4 years. Edinburgh, you've been so good to me. 

Cherry blossoms, a new piercing and my favourite people.

Hello, just wanted to check in on your and say hi. Life is spinning so fast right now. A little re-cap of what has happened lately: 

 I've turned 25. A quarter of a century. I thought that I'd be freaked out by the big, scary number, but instead I feel so grateful and happy for the life I have. I really couldn't wish for more. Otto and Fatou spoiled me with the nicest presents, and check out what I made for dinner: mussels in a creamy white whine sauce, shrimps, home made garlic bread and chips. It was heavenly. Imagine what masterpieces I'd create if I actually enjoyed cooking, lol. 

✧ The day before my birthday I was in the pharmacy when my phone rang. It was a guy who said that he had a delivery for me and told me to stay where I was and he'd come drop it off. A bit surprised and puzzled I waited. 5 minutes later he came in the door with the biggest bouquet of red roses that made all the people in the pharmacy go "aaaw", it was from my parents as a little birthday hello - so cute. <3 

✧ I've also managed to win a £100 Amazon voucher from my uni through participating in a survey?! I'm going to buy books (of course), so if you have any must-reads let me know!

✧ Speaking of books, I'm finally reading again! I almost thought that my brain was broken because I've been unable to concentrate on anything for more than 3 minutes, but now, after some well-needed rest, I can finally lose myself in books again. 

✧ I got a septum piercing! I've been wanting a new piercing for ages, but couldn't decide on what to get, but I finally settled on a septum. It's strange because it feels like it's always been there, which I guess is a good sign. 

✧ And finally, one of my texts is featured in Myller! It's a new Swedish zine, and I feel so flattered to be among such amazing writers. Get your own copy here

Otherwise I'm trying to soak up everything about life in Edinburgh. Exploring new streets, memorising old ones, becoming soft as a kitten in the Turkish baths, learning how to make timelapses, escaping the violent rain in narrow alleys, taking slow walks in the hazy sun, and spending as much time with my little Edinburgh family as possible before leaving for Sweden, Norway, and Macedonia (!) for some summer adventures. I'm determined to blog more (hence the new design!) so I'll speak to you soon, okay? Hope life is treating you well. 

Sunday and Monday in the sun.

Edinburgh has been beyond dreamy the last couple of days, unfortunately I came down with a horrible cold on Saturday night so I've bed bound for most of it.  

But on Sunday the sun was shining and the sky was blue, and when that happens in Edinburgh you just can't stay inside, no matter how ill you are. So I took a walk down to the shore. 

With this superstar. 

We were deviant and walked on the roof of an abandoned boat. 

Took thousands of photos of the glimmering water and the boats, and had extensive conversations about identity and nationality (naturally a reoccurring topic for two little foreigners like us). 

Can you believe that these are offices? Cool right?? Even I'd consider working in an office if it was on a boat.

Then I needed my bed really badly, so we headed home. Fatou spoiled me with both homemade soup and fruit salad (she's the best at taking care of me when I'm sick), while I spent the evening watching House of Cards.

Yesterday morning I felt completely well again (thanks to Fatou's brilliant care, I'm sure), and the non-Edinburgh-esque weather continued so we decided that it was time for a little excursion to the beach. We brought fruit salad (and vanilla sugar) that we ate behind a wall in cover of the strong wind. 

Look how hazy it was!! My favourite kind of sunshine. 

The beach was spotted with these perfectly circular little holes, from some kind of worm or crab maybe? 

I should start a new photo series: Fatou looking like a movie star while taking photos with her phone. 

What's this, an attempt to an atmospheric photo? No, I just stepped in dog poo and needed to wash it off... at least it made for a good photo, right? 

After a couple of hours Fatou went home to write on her last essay. I took the bus to town and met up with Carina, we sat down in Princes Street gardens where we talked and talked and talked while the sun rested on our cheeks. Such a good day. I wish the sun would stay forever. 

Spring in Edinburgh.

The cherry blossoms are finally blooming, the blackbird's song lingers in the air and the wind is warm. Walking on these streets, knowing that I have to leave all this behind so soon makes me so incredibly sentimental. My heart goes soft at the sight of the church towers, the narrow alleys and Arthur's Seat, and I cling to every moment to make it last longer.*

Otherwise my head is empty. The mind space that uni left behind still hasn’t been filled, and when I’m not constantly doing things, seeing things, I get restless. So incredibly restless. So yesterday I was out walking for 6 hours in the hazy sunshine. After 3 hours Fatou joined me, we had our first ice cream of the year in the sun (it was so worth it, even if our allergic bodies reacted accordingly) and were ecstatic over the fact that spring is finally here. We walked around the city, up the Castle Hill which smells of daffodils, and down the Royal Mile which is slowly filling up with tourists. We were completely exhausted when we came home. We spent the rest of the evening cooking a tuna omelette, reading books and watching videos. We also witnessed the most amazing sunset ever, it looked like another world, and we were shouting so loud of excitement that the people on Leith Walk turned their heads.

*But every time I get a mail from the University of York my body goes all numb for a while, and starts to tingle with the adrenaline rushing through my veins - I know I’m making the right decision, I’m just very bad with goodbyes.

A weekend with Otto.

Otto was in Edinburgh this weekend (yay for bank holidays)!! It was the best. On Saturday we picked up my glasses (I'll show you soon!), had breakfast with the morning sun shining through the window and stopped by Nordic Affär to say hi to Otto's mum. We browsed the shops on Princes Street and headed for the National Gallery of Modern Art which is our favourite place in Edinburgh. We had lunch and read in the sun on the landform outside, and saw some art, of course. We had our one year anniversary last week (!), so on Sunday we celebrated with a candlelit dinner at a french restaurant called Café Tartine, the food was heavenly and my date was even better. ♥ Afterwards we went out and met up with friends, listened to some jazz, and finished off the day at 3 am by watching youtube videos and eating crisps in bed. Yesterday Otto took the train back to London, and although I get to see him in less than two weeks again I always get so emotional when we say goodbye. Long distance sucks. But soon we get to spend a whole summer together - I can't wait. 

While in London.

I just got back to Edinburgh from spending a week down in London. Otto is staying with his dad, but this week he was out on tour so we had the place to ourselves. It's small, full of trinkets and so, so homely. Otto was working during the days, but the hours we got to spend together during the evenings were heaven, as was falling asleep + waking up next to my favourite person every day for a week. During the days I was torn between getting my shit together and go explore London, and just wanting to lie in bed and watch House of Cards all day long. Mostly the tiredness had the upper hand, and I spent a lot of time in bed, doing absolutely nothing. A bit boring maybe, but my body and brain needed it so badly.

But I also bought 3 new books, I got caught in snowstorms and heard the thunder roll over the city more than once. On Sunday Otto and I went to Radlett and had lunch with Seb and Rachael, and walked through green fields. I went to Tate Modern and was annoyed with all the loud teenagers who made it impossible to enjoy the art, but the next day Rachael took me to the Courtauld Gallery, the art was amazing and Rachael told me little stories and facts about the paintings, which made me forget all about annoying teenagers. I tried to read on a bench in Regent's Park, but it was way too cold so I went home and read under a blanket instead. On Friday I had sushi for lunch with Otto and Rachael, and afterwards Rachael took me to Sir Joan Soane's museum where she's working, and gave me a private tour of the place. It was a good week.

Now I'm back in Edinburgh, feeling more human than I have in a very long time. I have 4 weeks left in this amazing city before it's time for me to leave, and I'm going to enjoy every second of it. I'm also going to try to be a better blogger, but since my track record isn't that great, I'm not going to make any promises. Hope life is treating you well, speak soon (I hope)!