1. Music! Joni Mitchell/The Kings of Convenience/Fionn Regan/Florence/Madge/The Fairport Convention etc will always sort me out.
2. Danish companies like Noa Noa, Miss Etoile and Lisbeth Dahl because they totally press my colour/fabric/ephemera buttons.
3. The Ear and his daily 9:30am morning text. It always wakes me up and makes me smile. His grumpy face also totally delights me.
4. My Family. My lovely Daddy who takes me for coffee and regails the contents of his New Scientist magazine to me in great detail.
Woman, who pesters me on a regular basis about the goldfish/snails 'The snail hasn't moved all day, what do you think I should do? Sally? SAAALLLLYYY?'...
Pie, who smells funny and annoys the hell out of me but is silly and cosy and makes me smile.
Boy, who doesn't have much to do with us but whose humour is sharp and he has deligtful moments where he is actually quite affectionate and the most fun!
Marley, who won't talk to you when he passes you by but if you catch him half asleep he will roll onto his back and allow you to give him a full body massage before he throws you a disgusted look and faffs off...
and Bubba who is just the kindest, sofest, most wise cat that e'er lived.
5. Food! Especially smoked salmon, afternoon tea and cake, humous and kettle chips and guacamole!!
6. Maria and Alex in my First Certificate Class (mainly because I had to add something Spanish here, and because Maria made me a FIT brooch and they are the only two students that I believe actually really like me... we often exchange silly presents or emails.) I am also totally in love with my daily PET class who are pretty shit at English but have so much enthusiasum and kindess. A few of my nine year olds are also so so cute and think that I speak Spanish even though I assure them repeatedly that I don't.
They still rant off on one for ten minutes and I have to nod and say 'Wow! Really?'.
7. Friends (Bobbie and Vicki, my true loves)
8. Buying delightful objects from ebay, etsy, car boot fairs...
9. Candy Corn- I could eat that shit all day, seriously.
10. Nostalgia- aaaah, good old memories. Pictures, letters, little ornaments, smells, tastes... I love the past... Good or bad, it either fills me with immense warmth or with bittersweet laughter at the memory of behaving like a royal twatface.
Rapidly fading memories of cosy coffee dates with friends and family.
In exchange for THIS.
Don't get me wrong, I don't completely hate it here, but when it is so starkly contrasted with the recent memories of my lovely homeland it just all seems a bit... bleak.
I moved here to be closer to the Ear, but he's now on the other side of the country. It's not easy letting go of the ones you love, when all you want is to be close to them. However, he needs to grow and flourish and who am I to stand in the way? I am only responsible for myself and have to make my own happiness.
Speaking of the Ear, I'm off to see him this weekend. 142 Euros, a 14 hour round trip and a 6am start for one day's worth of quality time.
Thank god he's paying for it.
So how was my Christmas, you ask?
Well, after excessive eating I am happy to declare that the flaps are fully flourishing again and resemble two big, bountiful melons. It was lovely to see the family and the friends... Oh, and one of the cats now weighs in at an astonshing 10kgs...
There is nothing quite like being surrounded by everyone you love.
And good food.
I shall miss the food. Now I am back to the chicken diet.
That's all I seem to eat here.
The melons are aching at the thought.
Not in a good way.
Ooh and while I am here, may I just throw a little pickle into the mix?
I have been offered an exceptionally delightful bedroom in a flat that I fantasise about.
The top floor. Huge balconies overlooking the mountains and with stunning sunsets. A cleaner. Warm colours. Friends.
All for more than twice the price of tiny room next to loud traffic lights and fire station with housemates that like to interfer in my life more than I desire them to.
But the money... the money... what do I do???
The one plan in my exciting life here is to accumulate as much money as possible... so looks like I'm stuck with my housemate who I often suspect is stalking my every move via facebook or spends hours devising ways to piss me off.
I walk in the front door.
He pops out of his room like a jack in the box (I think he has been waiting, fingers on handle) demanding to know
where I have been.
'My mother has been waiting to meet you, and you weren't here, where have you been? She had to go. She was very... very... emotional'
Now, I certainly wouldn't mind if I had been informed of her visit but, as it turns out, I had just finished work and been to the supermarket. CRIMINAL.
So then he sighs and says 'I go to my room now to call people about the internet. I am suffering for YOU.' and skulks off with the pout of a fat child.
Suffering for me? The internet is down so I have my laptop perched between the ledge of my double windows trying to receive a signal from the art college.
And my fingers are freezing off.
I promise next time I write it will be about happiness, small bunnies and joy.