Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Amsterdam.

It's eight months to the day since my last post and things have changed so much. Edward is working in IT again and I have left employment to focus on my career in yoga. We've been living in our own house for nine months now, just up the road from my family.

Weekdays are strange. I'm my own boss so I try to motivate myself to practise yoga, do housework, take walks and get coursework done. Sometimes the days are super productive and other days Blake and I just cuddle and eat and watch TV and wait for Edward to come home from work. We're happier this way. Evenings are reserved for being together and stress and sadness aren't the constant companions they once were.

At the start of the summer Edward went to Manchester and I went to Germany. We spent a few days apart and then met in Amsterdam afterwards. We stayed for three nights in a house boat and explored this beautiful city. It's been a while now and the memory of being there has faded. As reminders we have these photos and a beautiful little milk jug, which we chose in the flower market.




















Thursday, 31 December 2015

Goa, November 2015.

We spend a week and a half in South Goa in India. We're on a quiet beach lined with yoga shalas, restaurants and accommodation in the form of simple huts.

We are met at the airport by a man who doesn't talk much and leads us to his car. He opens all the windows and hands us each a bottle of water, which soon becomes hot. As we drive south hot air hits our faces and it's hard to breathe and sometimes I have to close my eyes. Lanes are marked on the road but not used as the car weaves its way round motorcyclists and buses, horns beeping around us, frequently for no apparent reason. People and cows walk along the side of the road. A woman carries a large bundle on her head, not even supporting it with her hands. Women and children occupy roadside stalls selling coconuts and other fruits, shaded from the hot sun by big umbrellas. We have barely slept in our almost thirty hours of travelling and Edward falls asleep now. My eyes cannot look away from this world outside the open window, so different from our own.

Each morning after a breakfast of rice, bread and dal we walk the length of the beach, watching crabs scuttle into holes in the sand as we approach. Long legged birds scurry to and fro as the waves roll in and out. A cow walks towards a couple relaxing on the beach and the man chases it away. The sand is too hot to walk on and we walk alongside the sea, splashing lightly as we go. There are no words here, only being, being a part of something beyond comprehension, a world bigger than I realised before.

We swim a little. The water is salty and one time the waves pull me under and I'm not sure when I'll come back up but somehow I'm next to Edward again and he pulls me up. We laugh and wait for the next wave.

One morning we take a rickshaw to the next big beach along. It's a lot busier than where we are staying and as we walk the length of the beach we are offered boat trips and henna and visits to shops. The shops here are bright and my eye is drawn to coloured throws and sheets. Edward is attracted to leather bags and wooden boxes. We buy gifts for friends and family and a lovely set of coasters for our new home, We eat in a restaurant called Peter which is among palm trees and what looks like people's homes. We see a pig and a squirrel and dogs. There are dogs everywhere here.

After dark one evening we travel to a place called the German Bakery, trusting that the rickshaw driver will take us where we want as we have no idea where it is. In the cool night time the road is lined with cows lying down and dogs resting or walking. We arrive at the restaurant and meet a long haired French man and sign up for a day of canyoning later in the week. It's outside our comfort zone and we're excited and nervous.

The same night we arrive back at our little camp and a party is in full swing downstairs. A band plays music which sounds Latin and lots of people in brightly coloured clothes move their hips, dancing and flowing with the beat and each other. We sit upstairs, the music vibrating the floor, the sea breeze warm and gentle and the sound of the waves still audible just underneath the guitar and drums.

Our canyoning trip involves a long ride in a 4x4, heading away from the coast and up into hills and forest. We chat to young people from various parts of Europe. Walking through the forest we see big spiders and avoid spikey sticks which hang down everywhere and will apparently make us ill if they stick into us. Some of the group eat ants which taste like lemon. When we make it to the river we abseil down slippy rocks by the side of waterfalls and jump into massive pools of water. We stick to the three metre jumps while the more adventurous in the group jump from up to twelve metres. I can't believe their bravery but I am proud of the jumping and abseiling I do, as it's like nothing I've ever done before. By the end we're soaked and tired and I have a leech bite on my foot. But we're exhilarated and in awe at this beautiful part of Goa which we wouldn't have seen otherwise. On the way back to the coast we see a monkey and rice paddies and many banana and palm trees and we stop in a little village for spicy omelette sandwiches. I couldn't bring my camera because it would get wet so I try to take it all in and store it in my mind but there is too much.

We talk to people who come here every year, October to May, and I think how wonderful that would be: to spend half the year in this beautiful place with these friendly faces and eating the most delicious food. But we miss our families and our puppy and we know that a few weeks of holidaying at a time is enough for us.

Sunset yoga is at half four each afternoon and the sun goes down over the sea while we practise. It's massive and red and most days it seems to disappear before it touches the water. Photos don't show the beauty so, once again, I commit a little picture to my mind and hope I can hold it there for always. One month later and these pictures are already fading so I just try to remember the feeling in my heart and maybe one day I'll be there to feel it all over again.
























Saturday, 11 July 2015

Watching the tall ships.

We watched the boats sail across the lough after leaving the harbour while a happy sun shone between heavy showers of rain. We brought tea and snacks and chairs and a picnic blanket but the blanket got soaked through so I put it away along with my shoes and the wet grass kissed my bare feet. We waved at the seals who poked their head up to say hello and Joanne told us that sometimes when Juho plays his guitar the seals sing back.