Up here, April is the month that just can’t decide what it wants to be. One day it’s 14° C and not a cloud in sight, the next we’ll get five inches of snow in a night. It makes me feel restless and off-kilter somehow, like I, too, am stuck in an in-between state and can’t make up my mind about anything. It leads to impulsive haircuts, unfinished books and unfinished projects, and hangriness because I can’t decide what to eat. As I’m writing this, on April 30th, I can see how the world outside has changed since the beginning of the month, though, tipping more and more into spring — finally.
Dry asphalt! The most wildly pink sky I’ve seen in a very long time. The sun finally hitting the mountains from the northern angle again. A crowd of porpoise, at least six of them, swimming quite close to the shore. The song of a particular kind of tit, always starting its monotone chirps around 3am, a reminder for me to put my book away. A giant flock of beech finches, singing so weirdly I was genuinely worried when I woke up that morning and heard it. Breakfast on the terrace on a particularly sunny day.
Snow, on April 25. And 26. And 27, 28, and 29. I’m normally okay with our kind of climate here, but sometimes you just want spring, you know?
On the last day of easter break: an adult strolling down to the shore, then angrily and vigorously flinging rocks into the water, then calmly walking away again.
Yellow tulips. Asking for help with things like dusting and interior projects and plant maintenance. Doing a new thing where I clear the kitchen counters before bed (unless I’m so tired I just can’t), thinking it’ll make Future Maria so happy (Future Maria always is). Mum painting my new-ish shelf, so it’s no longer black, matte metal and untreated wood (a nightmare to dust!), but matte gold and a soft green like the wall behind it. Upholstery shenanigans.
A bralette, while cursing the pain that is fold-over elastic, and breaking my very first needle. But it’s the most comfortable bra-like garment I’ve ever put on, and I feel like I might be nearing a solution to my decades-long bra-garment issues.
Photos for the blog, with the good old DSLR camera and a remote, very 2011.
Some delicious meals, and indulging a current obsession with lemon, especially really sharp lemonade.
Not much else going on creatively, as my body wasn’t cooperating well this month. I did spend some time staring into my art supply cabinet, though.
Why do I always forget how nice rosemary (the herb) is?
This is probably a controversial opinion, but: if The Lord of the Rings trilogy (the books, I mean) had been published today, I wonder if it would have been nearly as successful. Not saying it’s bad at all, but it’s quite a tough thing to get into by today’s standards. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, I suspect.
- “Crooked Kingdom” by Leigh Bardugo, the second book in the duology about The Crows. These two books are everything I want books to be.
- Sappho, because there’s nothing like love poems in spring.
- Several books about people (usually Brits, but also an Australian) who move to France, start growing lavender/cooking/Enjoying The Little Things, and thus Revolutionizing Their Life and Finding Happiness at last.
- Several books that were either plain bad, boring, or both, that I refused to finish. I used to be such a stickler for finishing books/shows/films on mere principle, whereas now I’m all nope! bye! because life is too short, and I first and foremost read for pleasure.
- “The Principles of Pleasure” on Netflix, a documentary mini-series about sex and such.
- “Starstruck”, twenty minute long episodes of “common Jane unknowingly sleeps with a movie star, romantic hilarity ensues” (the official description is much better; I’ve never gotten the hang of making good summaries of things).
- Season one of “Gentleman Jack” (always always crying at the “you came so close”-scene, I think it’s in episode six).
- A spring playlist I made for Maja
- Lots of Ella Fitzgerald
- Soundscapes of rain and crackling fire, or bird song
New hair, done by Yours Truly with embroidery scissors one evening after watching Bohemian Rhapsody.
New tights that are properly plus sized, a.k.a. not uncomfortable/too tight/too long/awful. Then realizing that the lack of comfy tights is probably the main reason I’ve hardly worn dresses and skirts the past few years. (In case you’re in a similar boat, it’s the 120 denier ones from Snag)
Glasses instead of contacts, some days, to give my tired eyes some rest.
I’ve also started using an app to track what I wear every day, because I was curious about which garments I actually wear the most, and the app was free. It’s called “30 wears”, based on a hashtag/campaign that encourages you to not buy garments you can’t see yourself wearing thirty times. And yes, for specialty things like formal wear or snow pants, thirty is quite a lot — but for everyday clothes I’d expect far more than thirty wears! This lead to an impromptu poll in my Instagram stories to see how others feel about that number thirty. My main takeaway? So many of us feel guilty about clothes, and for things we genuinely have very little power over. There might be a blog post simmering in my mind about all this, we’ll see.
Going through the self portraits I took for the blog, and realizing that I’m no longer afraid of my double chin. It took several years of consciously curating what, and who, I surround myself with (like who I follow on Instagram, which shows I watch, what the algorithm shows me everywhere, and which magazines I (don’t) read). It seems I’ve finally made some real progress in unlearning who and what’s seen as Beautiful™, and I’m also more critical of the importance of beauty in the first place.
Upholstery shenanigans, even if they exhaust me no end. Stapling fabric to bits of wood makes for such a quick transformation when you’re used to sewing. Also it was fun, and the company was lovely.
Seeing my apartment go back to a less messy state, with the shelf all prettified and back on the wall again.
That week we had of warm sun and budding trees and cawing seagulls, before the snow came back again. Won’t be long now, though! Just please don’t tell me how many spring flowers you’ve seen this month, okay? There’s only so much positivity this Northern Norwegian can muster.