Baked pepper salad

IMG_2828

These days I’m trying to find back to my roots, without spending a whole day in the kitchen. I love cooking (and eating), but I prefer something new every day, so making a ginormous pot of cabbage rolls that I have to strive eating for an entire week is probably never going to happen in my kitchen. Unless I get my parents over for Christmas, that is.  Continue reading

Peaceful Days

I realized I wrote the previous entry in a state of what you might call holiday blues. Now, four days away from our return, I feel I can do our vacantion more justice.

Processed with VSCO with kp1 preset

I wake up at about 8, my mouth a bit dry from too much wine yesterday, my head heavy with sleep. I have trouble falling asleep when it’s this hot. I move around from the couch to the bed and then back, chasing the evening breeze.

F165C94F-56EF-414A-BACE-FACAA8121BEA.jpeg

I open the doors to the balcony and let the morning light in, then follow it for the rest of the morning, first as a perpendicular line on the neighbouring block, then like a reflector on their balcony door, as if waiting for whoever lives there to step into the sunshine and grab their 5 minutes of fame.

1D34BC5F-7F7A-48C6-B55D-3D1EBA2D562B.jpeg

I make some coffee, it’s too hot to drink it warm and so I add three ice cubes and a dash of milk. I listen to the city sounds, the occasional car or motorcycle ventures into our little alley and I welcome the feeling of everyday peace it brings me.

Processed with VSCO with 6 preset

I open my book, it’s supposed to be glorious, but for now I fail to see it, so I put it away and start reading about a trip to Mauritania in winter, walking through the dessert and sleeping under the stars. Maybe we could do that for Christmas?

3F3E77FC-3627-4777-B5AE-3EB3806316B6.jpeg

I open the cupboard and take out a couple of Oreillettes, sweet cakes thin as a sheet of paper, sprinkled with sugar and tasting like orange blossom. They’re so good, I need to learn how to make them, I don’t think I can live without them from now on.

490A4489-0D53-45F3-B113-6FF7D3237050

Today we’re going to F’s aunt for lunch, so I should chill that rosé and brush up my French. It’s coming together, all the words I forgot or never learned in the first place suddenly come to the surface.

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

She lives in the countryside, in a quaint stone house by an olive grove, with a husband and a lovely dog who’s afraid of her own shadow.

We’re looking for a property, for now we’re still dreaming, but I could really see myself living here during the summer and I know that if it was my place I wouldn’t have time to get bored.

It’s ten already and I’m still lounging in my beach towel, to hot to put on clothes and too alluring to go back to sleep.

Processed with VSCO with kp3 preset

Drop me a line. I’ve missed you!

 

 

Garden Life

I haven’t blogged in a long time and I realized I’ve kind of missed it! The thing is I’m trying to write “real stuff”- short stories or even a novel and the process is exhausting, I’m telling you! Besides, it leaves me with a feeling that blogging is just amateur writing that no one reads anyways. But then a couple of friends told me they were looking forward to my new entries and so I decided to let you know how things are on this side of the world. 😉

Continue reading

Montpellier 2017

You-huu from my holiday paradise! It’s my third time in Montpellier and I absolutely love it! You should definitely book your flights if you haven’t been here already- you have the sea a 15 minutes tram ride away, the old town with its charming piazzas and wine bars, lots of cool shops, a wine festival in July and a couple of dazzling art museums, too. On top of all that, you have the French cuisine, lovely Southern people and a pretty international vibe to it all. 😉

_MG_0982.jpg Continue reading

Almost July

Hey, folks, what have you been doing lately? I was in Bergen last week and although the weather was crappy and the trial drove me nuts- both the defendant, the lack of professional curtesy from the judge and the acoustics- it was good to see friends and catch up a bit.

19399219_10154716084645665_4176043832163047132_n.jpg

Now I’m back home, counting my blessings, doing a bit of work, walking Sammy in the woods every day and eating strawberries for lunch. 😉  I have a tough time in store, with moving out of my apartment on the 1st of August and needing to sell/give away/throw away lots of stuff and then find a storage for the remainder of my things. I can’t even begin to think about it, it makes me sick to my stomach.

19397095_10154634625401711_5332069403756976690_n.jpg

I’m starting to get restless about my job again, I’m working with so many twats (lawyers, prosecutors, judges and defendants) that I sometimes lose faith that I’ll ever be able to get the respect I need to feel professionally fulfilled. But then I usually work 20h/week, instead of 40-50, as many of my friends do and at least I have no boss, neither any reports to fill inn, so I shouldn’t complain. Still, it gets to me every time. Few people care about quality, everybody wants you to jump out of bed at any time of the day when they need you and as soon as you don’t, they trade you for a hungrier colleague. And I can’t live like that.

But first things first, we’re going to France on the 9th and I can’t wait. I just need some sun, a beach, French food and Mediterranean vibes. Walking hand in hand with my love on a cobblestone street, making plans about our new home, sipping coffee on a terrace, reading a good novel in the shade, need I say more?

I’ll be sure to take my camera with me!

xxx, Alina

Lunch at Energiea

Most times I come to Bucharest, I make sure I fit a lunch or coffee with Irina, a high school friend, in my “busy” schedule. 😉 It’s so refreshing to meet with someone so different and easy going in the “run, run, run” mentality of Romania, I can’t even begin to tell you. Things seem to be changing a bit though and the younger generation appear more hedonistic than my friends, more set on leisure time and freelancing, just like me.

_MG_0627.jpg

So we met at Origo, my favourite place, both for the coffee, the people and the shade, where I’d just managed to empty half a cortado in my lap, on the same silk dress a pigeon had “blessed” a day before. Haha! I wasn’t even furious, I felt like a kid with an ice-cream, unable to eat it without smudging all over herself.

_MG_0619.jpg

I’d asked the guy next to me on the bench if he liked Bucharest, since he spoke English and carried a huge camera, just like me. And he told me yes, it was his second time and he came all the way from Texas. When I told Irina she was like “I can get somebody straying once, but coming back to Bucharest?” Haha! I told her I totally got it, especially if you’re not into sights (like I’m not), and more into people and taking a city’s pulse with a camera on your neck.

_MG_0628.jpg

We had a lovely elderflower lemonade to go with our pasta and salad lunch and raised the bar with a Prosecco by the end, since it was Friday and we only see each other once a year. 😉

_MG_0625

Irina has a 3 year-old boy and we chatted about sleeping and reading routines, I mentioned my Diana one too many times and I might have slipped in Sam, too, even though he’s “just a dog”, since he’s my only kid. 😉

_MG_0618.jpg

We spoke of other colleagues from high school, how some of them never seem to have time to meet, how others have secluded themselves and others again have just disappeared from the map.

_MG_0623.jpg

_MG_0629

_MG_0626.jpg

I’m going to visit her at home today, so stay tuned for pictures of what I hear is a lovely garden and “maybe”, if I’m allowed, of a toddler. 😉

xxx, Alina

Home

Once or twice a year, I get to go to the place I still call home, although I actually only lived here for about 8 months, 17 years ago. But as much as Calarasi is the place of my birth and Craiova was my home during childhood and adolescence , Bucharest is the home of my soul. It’s in fact the only place I’ve lived where I’ve ever felt like home, if I come to think of it.

Don’t get me wrong- much of it is completely destroyed by the megalomaniac Soviet architecture, but the old neighbourhoods are an oasis of calm and allure. Lush gardens, decrepit old houses, hipsters and grey people, elegant gals and Roma dressed in their colorful skirts, for whom I only used to have disdain back in the day, I embrace it all and feel blessed to have grown up with so much diversity. And although I’m often taken for a foreigner and feel out of place from time to time, I really love it here. It’s home.
_MG_0589.jpg

This girl made my day! I was walking past a couple of other Roma girls with small children, thinking how I’d love to photograph them, but I couldn’t possibly do it, I’d have to ask and they’d probably say no and who knows what else, when she came to me asking me to take a picture. I immediately said yes, but then she asked for money and so I said no. But then she changed her mind, enticed by the idea of being the subject of someone’s interest, and said ok, just take a picture. And then she and her friend rushed to my camera to see the picture and exclaimed: Wow, I look like a real star! 😉 And she did! She couldn’t have been more than 12-14 years old, ribbon in her hair, she was proud as a peacock and posed in front of the camera with as much natural talent as any model.

_MG_0533

Today was incredibly hot and I used that as an excuse to buy a new skimpy dress and a top, both silk, from COS. When I’d finally changed, I felt I could even survive in the desert and so I and my brother hit one café after another, drinking iced latte, lemonade, prosecco and more lemonade again. The Prosecco was a terrible move as it only made us even more hot and thirsty. But hey, I’m on a holiday and he’s taken some days off to be with his sis! 😉

_MG_0536.jpg

_MG_0557.jpg

_MG_0537.jpg

_MG_0546.jpg

_MG_0547.jpg

The linden trees are in bloom and the whole town smells intensely of summer, of long coffee breaks and French kisses.

_MG_0562.jpg

_MG_0528.jpg

_MG_0530

_MG_0523

We had these babies at M60, a lovely mid-century café, frequented by the “creative class”,  as the Financial Time puts it.

_MG_0521.jpg

_MG_0580

_MG_0573.jpg

_MG_0587

_MG_0467.jpg

The best part of coming home, besides seeing my mom, is I get to hang out with this cutie here! 😉 I don’t know how you feel about children, I for one tend to either love or barely stand them, but this cutie here makes my heart fill with tenderness, the way I’ve never really felt before.

_MG_0471

She’s so cheeky and so affectionate and she says whatever crosses her mind, not very unlike me- haha, it’s so refreshing to be together and do the craziest stuff.

_MG_0473.jpg

_MG_0515.jpg

“Nuca”, meaning walnut, is the neigbour’s cat and comes for a visit every now and then. This morning he was meowing outside the apartment door and he jumped right in when I opened up. 😉

_MG_0561.jpg

A new coffee spot in town. I’ll check it out tomorrow, as we sat in the garden and it turned out the terrace belonged to another place.

_MG_0556.jpg

Happiness is a warm pretzel with salt and poppy seeds. 😉 Can you tell?

_MG_0495.jpg

My mom on the balcony of my airbnb. I love this place and I’d love to be back here again! Stay tuned for more fun!

xxx, Alina