Monday, 31 October 2016

Notes from the hornbeam: October.

 Notes from the Hornbeam: October. |  A Golden Hour  
The tall hornbeam outside my bedroom window has always been one of my favourite subjects to photograph. On my computer's hard drive there are countless photos of this tree that I have taken over the years - at every time of the day, in every season. This will be the first post of a series I have called Notes from the hornbeam: the idea is to share a photo of the tree every month, accompanied by some thoughts about the month past.

October was extremely kind to me. It started off on a high note with a trip to London, which is my favourite city. I was talking with one of my best friends last night and she told me that when she visited New York she felt as safe as in the womb there, she felt like everything was in the right place; London has the same effect on me. I went with my brother, who is the perfect travel mate. We spent an amazing couple of days there and just thinking about it makes me so nostalgic. I discovered new favourite places, visited some old ones, ate great food and laughed a lot. We even met one of our idols! Incredible. How lucky were we?

I then spent about ten days in Rome, where I study (wow, I just realized I spent more time at home than in Rome this month.). Life there always goes by at a faster pace, between lectures, making sure there's food in the fridge and my room is tidy... and trying to fit some studying in there as well! The days I spend there are not my favourite to be completely honest - I always end up feeling a bit alone, although I have made a lot of progress in the past three years. My house mates and I often have very different schedules and even though I don't mind being by myself, sometimes it does weigh on me.

Thankfully those ten days went by fast and I came back home a few days before my dad's birthday. Our house is in a very quiet neighbourhood near the countryside and being so near to nature -unlike in Rome- feels so beneficial to my mood. I'm much more relaxed and serene when the only noise I can hear from my room is birdsong! On the 26th we finally saw Doctor Strange at the cinema (if you follow me on other social media you will know that I am a huge Benedict Cumberbatch fan!) and it was AMAZING. I have been waiting to see it for over a year and finally being able to watch it was so exciting. We may be planning to go see it again in the next couple of days... ;)

As I said in my previous post, I have been pushing myself to enjoy Autumn a bit more. The weather has been great this month, and that has definitely helped: rainy days often make me a bit sad, so I'm glad we have had just a few of those. The next month won't be as exciting as the one that has just passed as I will have to spend a lot of time on my books, but nevertheless - I am ready for you, November.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Sunday.

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Up until recently I used to dread Autumn. In my mind it was always connected it with the start of the school year, the cold weather coming and the trees taking their leafy clothes off. I have always been a Spring girl - partly because my birthday is in March, I'll admit it: it's the season that makes my heart feel about to burst with happiness. Autumn, on the other hand, not so much. I cannot help but feel sad when it starts to get dark at 5 in the afternoon! For the last couple of years, however, I have been trying my best to embrace this season; I've been trying not to fight it so much. To surrender to the shorter days and the chilly air, and the rain too! *gasps*

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Sunny days make it very easy to enjoy the autumnal season. Today we visited my grandma, who lives in the countryside; near the mountains, actually. We pay her a visit every Sunday and when I was little we used to spend the entirety of the Summer holidays there, and got extremely bored by the time August rolled around, so going there always felt a bit of a chore. I was so silly when I was a teen, always complaining about the lack of internet connection! I'd like to punch my teen self sometimes. Now that I'm a little older, I study in a big polluted city with very little green areas, I very much enjoy the limited time I get to spend in my grandma's village.

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While I was taking these photos I was thinking about how photography is the ultimate way to practice mindfulness. If you want to take good photos you really have to open your eyes. It's like being in a state of constant alertness, of amplified consciousness. You have to be completely in the moment or you'll miss a great shot opportunity.

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The light outside was very white and soft.

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After frolicking in the field for a while, my brother and I went back to the house, where I devoured this pasta with mushrooms foraged in the mountains by my uncle, seasoned with oil made with olives from our trees.

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When my brother and I were little we used to spend the whole Sunday at grandma's, from morning to evening, but now that we both have to study even on weekends we usually go back home after lunch. On the way home we saw this very yellow tree.

We ended the day by roasting the first chestnuts of the season on the fire.

How did you spend your Sunday?

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

An introduction.

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It's been a couple of years since I last had a proper blog. I had one ever since I was 11, and now I'm 22. And even before that, I have kept a journal ever since I knew how to hold a pen; I think I have always felt the need to write my thoughts down somewhere. To keep track of them, of course, and to understand them better. I kept a beauty blog for a couple of years, which I stopped posting on in 2015. I didn't feel like I had anything interesting to add to the table. I still don't, to be honest.

I feel like my outlook on life has really changed in the past year, as I have been trying to live more mindfully. It all began when I read an article about a woman who tried not to buy anything new for a year. I started reading and thinking about conscious consumerism, zero waste living, ethical fashion and slow living in general, and that really opened my eyes. I feel like nowadays we all tend to live life absent-mindedly and I have been trying my best to correct that.

So I want this place to be somewhere where I can keep track of the beautiful things that happen in the day-to-day life, the things you have to take time to notice or they'll just slip away. The morning light, the feeling of the first sip of hot tea in the morning, the scent of Spring in the air.

This is what I have been thinking lately: I don't want to let things just pass me by. This is my one life and I want to live every minute of it at the fullest.

More practically, I want to have somewhere to practice my writing and photography skills. I used to write lots and photograph lots in my high school years, before university got in the way, and I would like to change that. My only worry, if you can call it that, is that I don't live what can be considered a very exciting life; I'm a full-time student and sometimes I don't leave the house for days. I don't go to pretty coffee shops and drink lattes every day, and my house is not very 'instagrammable'. This is what makes me think that I don't have anything interesting to say or show in pictures - isn't that what people are interested in right now? I hope not.

Anyways, I feel inspired and have felt for a while. So I'm going with my feeling and we'll see what happens.

PS: I took that photo back in 2011! I remember that moment so vividly. It was the afternoon my dad began to teach me how to drive. I used to take pretty good photos back then and uploaded them on my Flickr account (the Instagram of the past, haha)