author archive


swapping homes

have you ever seen the movie “the holiday“? in it, two women swap their houses in LA and the UK during the christmas holiday… and naturally end up getting into lots of adventures.

for me, the movie nothing short of a revelation. i liked the idea of home-swapping so much that we quickly signed up for one of the websites and have not looked back since! :) i love traveling and experiencing cultures from within, and having a fully-equipped house in the destination is the best way to experience life without the sterility of an hotel room.

as much as we love traveling, we would not be able to afford all these extended trips without house swaps. if the biggest expenses in a trip are usually accommodation and eating, the first is taken care of when you swap your home for someone else’s, and the second gets easier with a kitchen available — especially when you’re traveling on a budget. we can cook at “home” now and then, work and relax without worrying about keeping our stuff in a safe or getting kicked out by the cleaning service.

sometimes people ask us whether we feel ok letting strangers into our house… and after a few times, it’s actually not as scary as you’d think. we don’t have fancy china or designer couches — it’s all straight from ikea, and thus easily washable and replaceable. in 11 swaps, we’ve lost the lid of a coffee grinder.

one of the unexpectedly nice parts about it is definitely the books! you get to peruse someone else’s bookshelves, maybe even pick up a few books to read — it’s wonderful. in the pictures, you can see three different bookshelves from three different homes we stayed in, all stocked with interesting reads.

it’s not something for everyone, but i can’t recommend it heartily enough!

anatomy of summer

summer came late and then all of a sudden. the roads and the beaches filled with tanned bodies, the scent of sunscreen lotion permeating the air. new voices and accents and honks invading our quiet bubbles, their cars parked every which way down the street.

the hills have gone dry and the children cries alternate between pool-side delight and tired tantrums. grass trimmers and pool motors buzz away, giving the cicadas a run for their money. the swallows come and go, like pendulums over our heads. our bodies stick to chairs during the day and to sheets at night.

our favourite restaurants are full, as are the supermarket’s tills… but we don’t really mind. far from invaders, tourists are powering the workforce of the local communities who live for the summer months. they drive the boats, cook the meals, clean the houses and everything else — and they need these months of business to get through the rest of the year.

but for us, summer is the time to leave it all to them. “when the heat dies down, i’ll be back in town”, as they say. :)

analogue wednesday #151

more funky stuff from the last frames of R4R-32, that timm and i collaborated on.

passionfruit update!

around the end of june, some of our passionfruits started turning purple. i confess we’ve been quite anxious for this last step. the vine’s many fruits been growing for over 2 months now, and with an upcoming trip fast approaching, we were running out time to actually taste the literal fruits of our labour.

so when the first mature fruit (a tiny perfect one) fell on our hands last week, we rejoiced at last. let’s open it!


(pardon the dirty fingernails, i was gardening)

look at that! :D it was just as juicy as promised, and immensely satisfying to finally taste something that was 2 years in the making. there’s plenty more on the vine, but sadly i don’t think they’ll ripen before we have to go. oh well, hopefully there will still be some left for our return — and if not, there’s always next year. i don’t think we’ll get tired of passionfruits anytime soon!

field notes

i always have a small notebook on my bag. it’s handy for lists, notes of random things we see or hear, stuff we need to remember or to jot down impromptu flying lessons. these get filled and replaced rather quickly… but luckily there’s never shortage of small notebooks around the house. from tombola gifts to conventions’ goodie bags, they have a tendency to pile up faster than we can use them, so i have absolutely no excuse to buy them.

but that doesn’t mean i don’t get super excited when people gift them to me, which was the case of these field notes that i received from my friend addis last year! they’re some of the sturdiest little notebooks we’ve ever had, and a pleasure to write on. not too big, not too small, smooth paper and tough covers that can take the constant jostling of a bag that at any moment contains at least 2 cameras.

the first finished one took quite a beating, but somehow the weathered look only makes it more beautiful. i’m a fan!