Posts in daily
Bits & Bobs #2

Friday night in July. We’ve invited friends to BBQ down by Spanish Banks. They’re all busy; we decide to go anyway. Once on the way with the car packed with Bridget our portable BBQ and a basket with groceries, Alisa and Mikel texts us to say they’re coming. We break bread together while having cans and watching the sunset. Soon Alisa and Mikel will have to move back to Spain while waiting for their next visa.

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Saturday morning in July. We have a weekend off, together. We’ll call it Andrews birthday weekend in Vancouver, decide to to go brunch at Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe; a diner inspired spot in Kitsilano. Our portions are huge and delicious, despite me ordering the wrong thing. Andrew gets a strawberry milkshake and waffles to match his sweet personality.

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Saturday night. Andrew spent the day up in the air in a sea plane (his birthday gift). We feel like extending the day, so we go home, change clothes and walk to main street to The Main; perhaps our favorite spot in all of Vancouver due to being our “local spot”. We sit in the evening sun, drinking pints and eating the best gyro in town (oh and a plate of straight up feta cheese). On the way home the light is still gorgeous; we think of Michael Scott and past, future and current life together (probably).

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After a day at work, I take the bus to London Drugs to get myself a new pair of headphones. I take a picture of an iconic Vancouver sight; the mountains, the tall apartment complex covered in glass panels, Japadog and people gathering around Science World / Creekside.

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Finally. I decide to bring a book into work that I bought at a second hand store just because I liked the cover of it. I read one page, then decide to put it away. Not because it’s bad, just because I’m lazy. While waiting for the bus home, I watch a guy do push ups at the stoo. Being quite the opposite of lazy I guess.

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Smoke & Bones
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After working 9 - 5(30) last week, I had a “normal” weekend off which rarely happens. I spent Saturday having a much needed day all by myself cleaning corners of my apartment that had been neglected for a while. Same can be said about myself I guess, I cleansed corners of my brain that had been neglected.

On Sunday I was ready to face the world again! Me and Andrew went to Port Moody, to Lake Sasamat. About thousand others had the same idea, the sun was out and the temperature was high. Everyone in Vancouver (it seemed) brought their entire family + their huge unicorn floats to the lake. People were parking wherever they could find a spot, getting tickets but not caring. A day at the lake was worth it.

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We brought a minimum amount of supplies: water, camera, bathing suit, towel, blanket to sit down on. Excuse the look of me looking so touristy.

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There’s a bit of a walk to the actual beach area, across the floating bridge and then halfway around the lake. Wherever you looked people were camped out alongside the trail. The thought of us finding a spot of our own seemed impossible.

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We managed to squeeze in somewhere at the edge of the beach, in a shaded area (thank god). I swam and it was g l o r i o u s. Wish we had planned the trip more so we could’ve stayed longer. I overheard someone saying they had arrived there at 8.45am and even then every spot was occupied.

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After some lake chilling we went down to Port Moody town to visit the Rib Fest at Point Park. Point Park was crowded as well, but we managed to find both a grass area and later a table inside the beer garden to sit down at. At this point, we met up with Andrew’s cousin + boyfriend.

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Appetizer: corn on the cob!

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I believe there were at least 5 big rib “food trucks” like these, all competing against each other. Andrew got a full rack and to no ones surprise finished the whole thing.

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After a huge late lunch and a couple of beers later it was time for ice cream from Rocky Point Ice Cream. I went for half a scoop of rum and raisin and half a scoop of banana fudge.

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After paying $7 for a glass of beer at the Rib Fest we went to Yellow Dog brewery across the street to get a full pint for a way cheaper. Sitting out the in the back patio we were surrounded by the sun, the heat and the smell of garbage.

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10/10 would recommend to spend your Sundays exactly like this.

The Golden Hour Treasure Hunt

Last week me and Andrew spent a couple of days on Vancouver Island to do some sightseeing and to celebrate him turning 30! I’ll write more on that trip later once I have all the pictures collected. Once home, we both worked the Saturday and spent Sunday hiking around Burnaby Lake in rain. After work on Monday, we were delighted that the sun finally showed up in Vancouver.

The weather’s been really crappy lately, I don’t mind but I’d love more sunny days here! Throughout winter and the rainy spring it’s the only comfort people give you: “just you wait for the summer!” So to have it rain pretty much 80% of the time is a bit of a let down. When the sun does come out though, Vancouver is m a g i c a l. We drove straight to the beach to walk on sand and watch people barbecue and play volleyball.

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I collected some glass/plastic/cigarette butts along the shoreline and Andrew was windswept. I love how we try to really treasure each moment we get to go out and do something and not just go from bed to work to couch and then straight back to bed. Fighting capitalism since 89!

Young Americans

Hi from a post-Seona world. I’ve now occupied her cubicle in work, made it my own. In true Seona fashion I continue to sigh loudly at annoying people, places, things and I correct people without being ashamed of coming of as too much. The Lisa Simpsons of the world unite!

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The last afternoon before she left we went down to English Bay to have a final farewell hangout. First we had food (fried cheese and steak salad) and orange juice to cure our hangovers.

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We spent the evening on the beach on blankets listening to some weird guy playing music on his guitar while screaming his heart out and drinking gross peach tea alcoholic drinks.

Look at these cute American-coming-of-age-style-Polaroids we took!
10/10, will miss these hangouts x

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The Water Cure

14.6.2019

After an emotional phone call and a crying session on the couch, it’s nice to live in a place where you can decide to just drive to the beach and watch the sunset despite it being past 7.00PM. The soul wants what it wants, and sometimes that’s walking barefoot on sand while watching dogs fetch balls and glee at a young pair of sibling covering each other with sea weed next to the shoreline.

Oh, and I love how different I look in this photo vs the anniversary photo. Here’s to celebrate every version of you, greasy hair and greasy sweatshirts and all.

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ps, The Water Cure is a book I read earlier this year about a family of sisters and a mother living isolated from men and the rest of the world. It stays with you for a good while, read it.

Beauty Cleans The Mind

Sunday before Andrew arrived back home. I cut my own hair in front of the bathroom mirror over the sink. Exhilarating, why haven’t I done this before? One side turned out shorter than the other, but it’s just hair. I fixed it on the monday anyway.

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I walked down to the Kingsway crossing, had lunch on my own at Sal y Limón. Slushie margarita with grilled chicken huaraches (first time, wasn’t a huge fan of the deep fried corn tortilla itself but the toppings were amazing?).

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After lunch, I walked over to Robson Park to sit down with my kindle, silently weeping as I finished reading Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig.

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At home I roasted a huge tray of vegetables which I ate in front of of Black Earth Rising on Netflix, celebrating my last day at home all alone. But also celebrating life, I guess, because Matt Haig’s book had left such a mark in me.

Here’s his list of 40 Ways to Live Better:

1. Appreciate happiness when it is there.
2. Sip, don’t gulp.
3. Be gentle with yourself. Work less. Sleep more.
4. There is absolutely nothing in the past you can change. That’s basic physics.
5. Beware of Tuesdays. And Octobers.
6. Kurt Vonnegut was right. ‘Reading and writing are the most nourishing forms of meditation anyone has so far found.’
7. Listen more than you talk.
8. Don’t feel guilty about being idle. More harm is probably done to the world through work than idleness. But perfect your idleness. Make it mindful.
9. Be aware that you are breathing.
10. Wherever you are, at any moment, try to find something beautiful. a face, a line out of a poem, the clouds out of a window, some graffiti, a wind farm. Beauty cleans the mind.

11. Hate is a pointless emotion to have inside you. It is like eating a scorpion to punish it for stinging you.
12. Go for a run. Then do some yoga.
13. Shower before noon.
14. Look at the sky. Remind yourself of the cosmos. Seek out vastness at every opportunity, in order to see the smallness of yourself.
15. Be kind.
16. Understand that thoughts are just thoughts. If they are unreasonable, reason with them, even if you have no reason left. You are the observer of your mind, not its victim.
17. Do not watch TV aimlessly. Do not go on social media aimlessly. Always be aware of what you are doing, and why you are doing it. Don’t value TV less. Value it more. Then you will watch it less. Unchecked distractions will lead you to distraction.
18. Sit down. Lie down. Be still. do nothing. Observe. Listen to your mind. Let it do what it does without judging it. Let it go, like the Snow Queen in Frozen.
19. Don’t worry about things that probably won’t happen.
20. Look at trees. Be near trees. Plant trees. (Trees are great.)


21. Listen to that yoga instructor on Youtube, and ‘walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet’.
22. Live. Love. Let go. The three Ls.
23. Alcohol maths. Wine multiplies itself by itself. The more you have, the more you are likely to have. And if it’s hard to stop at one glass, it will be impossible at three. Addition is multiplication.
24. Beware of the gap. The gap between where you are and where you want to be. Simply thinking of the gap widens it. And you end up falling through.
25. Read a book without thinking about finishing it. Just read it. Enjoy every word, sentence, and paragraph. Don’t wish for it to end, or for it to never end.
26. No drug in the universe will make you feel better, at the deepest level, than being kind to other people.
27. Listen to what Hamlet - literature’s most famous depressive - told Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. "‘There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.’
28. If someone loves you, let them. Believe in that love. Live for them, even when you feel there is no point.
29. You don’t need the world to understand you. It’s fine. Some people will never really understand things they haven’t experiences. Some will. Be grateful.

30. Jules Verne wrote of the "‘Living Infinite’. This is the world of love and emotion that is like a ‘sea’. If we can submerge ourselves in it, we find infinity in ourselves and the space we need to survive.

31. Three in the morning is never the time to try and sort out your life.
32. Remember that there is nothing weird about you. You are just a human, and everything you do and feel is a natural thing, because we are natural animals. You are nature. you are a hominid ape. You are in the world and the world is in you. Everything connects.
33. Don’t believe in good or bad, or winning and losing, or victory and defeat, or up and down. At your lowest and at your highest, whether you are happy or despairing or calm or angry, there is a kernel of you that stays the same. That is the you that matters.
34. Don’t worry about the time you lose to despair. the time you will have afterwards has just doubled its value.
35. Be transparent to yourself. Make a greenhouse for your mind. Observe.
36. Read Emily Dickinson. Read Graham Greene. Read Italo Calvino. Read Maya Angelou. Read anything you want. Just read. Books are possibilities. They are escape routes. They give you options when you have none. Each one can be a home for an uprooted mind.
37. If the sun is shining, and you can be outside, be outside.
38. Remember that they key thing about life on earth is change. Cars rust. Paper yellows. Technology dates. Caterpillars become butterflies. Nights morph into days. Depression lifts.
39. Just when you feel you have no time to relax, know that this is the moment you most need to make time to relax.
40. Be brave. be strong. Breathe, and keep going. You will thank yourself later.


daily, summerEmma Carlsson
Bits And Bobs

One day:

Both tired from work, we take a walk to the closest park. Just cause the weather’s amazing and it’s too early to go to bed, that kind of thing. We met this precious little creature. The privilege of being born a cat.

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The park was filled with kids at soccer/baseball practice and their parents cheering them on.

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Another day:

We visited the same park, with our trustworthy blanket we bought last year at Canadian Superstore. We spent an hour or two underneath a willow tree next to a pond watching duck-politics and discussing human-politics.

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Afterwards Andrew FINALLY got his hair cut and honestly, he has never looked better. While I look more like a hag by each day, he as a man just keeps on getting more handsome? Is this a fact or an idea I believe in due to the patriarchy?

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Another day:

Andrew’s favourite activity on days when he doesn’t feel like driving anywhere is to just stroll down Main Street. So that’s what we did. Look at this very extra sign outside a new, hipster cannabis shop.

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We had lunch at El Camino, a really cool mexican place. The food looks amazing, and Mexican Fanta is my favourite. However I wished the food tasted more? Had more flavour, spices? In classic Canadian (sorry!) fashion it was quite bland.

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I had good company though so didn’t really matter that much!

And so are the days of our lives (wow).

Not All Days Are Sunny

I’m pretty good at looking up places to go, around Vancouver. I wanna make sure we’re not just visiting the same places over and over again, even though sometimes the familiar is all you want. A mix of both is nice. We have a car, Misty, and she can take us pretty much wherever! So we try to venture outside the home -> work routes on the weekends.

Most of the times I look at Instagram for inspiration, then I save the location on Google Maps. I saw a picture of the Centennial Beach with Mt Baker in the background, it was a beautiful purple and yellow sunset. It looked glorious. So we decided to go there as well. But not all days are sunny.

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Mt Baker is somewhere there, hiding. It wasn’t as beautiful as the picture maybe, but it was something else just as worthy and perfect. Kite surfers and grey skies. If you romanticize regular moments in your day to day life just becomes better, it really does.

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It helps that Andrew usually is around. It honestly doesn’t matter where we are. Yes, I’m throwing a bag of cheese directly at you reader BUT I love him and I love exploring with him.

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I’m trying to be better with allowing pictures of myself to take up space. I don’t want to be like so many women with body dysmorphia before me that have refused to having their pictures taken and shared and therefore erases herself from her own history.

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That’s it. That’s all from this beach day. We’ll be back, the weather might be better, or worse. It really doesn’t matter.

The Lark In The Clear Air
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A list of things that have happened recently that I don’t have any pictures of:

  • Andrew left for Ireland and left me all alone! The day before we finally went to that burger place in the River District and it was the best burger I’ve had in Canada.

  • Game of Thrones finished, the tv show that is. I also finished reading the first book in the series and have officially fallen in love with the Kindle again.

  • I had a “girls night” with Keith and Seona at my place a couple of days ago. We had cans, I made curry, there were nachos and just lots of chats while listening to Mariah Carey.

  • We bought a new bed, a very firm one from IKEA. All from “extra” money we got through our jobs, even better.

  • Oh, a couple of weeks ago I went to Rocky Horror Picture Show with some friends of mine. It was fun! But more so because it was a thing we did together and not so much the show itself.

  • I’m in love with the smell of summer. Vancouver really smells of plants and flowers and it’s amazing.

  • We got our tax back! I paid off my debt to my brother and it felt a m a z i n g.

  • I read Call Me By Your Name. Here’s my review: Part 1 is out-of-this-world, but then I kinda lost interest. I prefer the storyline/tempo that’s in the film?

  • I finally watched Fleabag and now I’m in mourning. I want Phoebe Waller-Bridge to be my best friend and I want Andrew Scott to marry me.

The Battle of Land and Sea

I’ve been having extreme knee and leg ache lately, and in my mind walking on pebbles and rocks helps. The beach helps. So we went to the beach!

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During this precious walk, Andrew proclaimed that he didn’t believe in soul mates; that we, as an example, just met by pure luck. From there on, we tolerated/liked each other enough to stick together for a while. How romantic. He said I’m just as compatible, probably, to random people in India and Norway as I am to him. While that might be true, I refuse to adopt that type of mindset! I’d like to think he’s a soul mate of mine. Even though it was pure chance that I moved to Ireland in 2013, I’d like to think it wasn’t random at all. I’d like to think the universe provides. And maybe he’ll change his cynical mindset too, eventually. Or maybe I’ll agree with him later on, who knows.

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I ended up complaining about billionaires and people’s naivety when it comes to the environment. Lately I’ve been so angry. And I’ve got a complex relationship with anger, so does Andrew. So when either of us are angry, it’s just not ideal. When he’s angry at someone in traffic, or when he drops a glass of water, I cannot relate to the anger at all. For me, it’s completely unnecessary to be angry at those things, things you can’t control. I’d say he feels the exact same way when I get on a mad-rant about politics and injustices. I guess I need to be better at how I’m expressing my anger, because I don’t believe that anger in itself is harmful. It means things move me, it means I’m emotionally connected to my surroundings. But perhaps there are other ways to funnel that anger. Less shouting, and saying words like “I hate” for example.

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Kanga & Roo

In December last year we had the Privilege and Pleasure of dog sitting Kanga and Roo, two adorable “sisters” for a full day! I don’t think people understand just how much me and Andrew L-O-N-G for a dog! Before I got my visa, it was all we talked about. “As soon as it’s approved, we’ll look for a dog!” It helped, to think that something positive was going to happen.

Now I’m not so sure. We still really, really, really want a dog. But reality is tougher than the dream. We don’t want to leave our apartment, we love our little cave. We also, realistically, won’t be able to afford it. I would want to feed the most premium food out there, and then there’s the potential vet bills. BECAUSE of our love for dogs, we wouldn’t want to commit unless we’re absolutely certain we would be able to care for the pup.

Anyway. I managed to take some photos of Roo & Kanga, despite the two of them being in constant motion.

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How I Know You're My Person: A Saturday in February
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A saturday in February. We spent the morning watching The Office. Because even though we’ve already watched all the seasons within the last year, we decided to re-watch them all. And this is why I love you. This is how I know you’re my person. We took the bridge over to North Vancouver, then past West Vancouver, all the way to Horseshoe Bay. We just wanted a coffee. You told me to put the phone away, just like I had asked you to tell me a couple of days before. A weekend without the phone, please.

We looked for a place to eat. The sun was shining, it felt like April. We went to a place called Trolls, which is just a regular diner. Known for their chips. I had a shrimp sandwich - it was extremely mediocre. You had chips and chicken fingers so there were no complaints on your part. I sighed and sulked; we always go to your kind of places for food, never to my kind of places. I’m so tired of diners and fries and boring Canadian food. Boring Irish food too, for that matter. I let it go though. There’s nothing I like better than to eat out with you and talk about nonsense. It doesn’t really matter where it is.

We got a coffee in Starbucks, and headed out to the pier. I had a long speech about creativity and vulnerability. That people who are really talented at what they do often lack vulnerability and therefore they stop evolving. They get millions of people to look at their stuff, but no one will remember their actual name because they didn’t really put themselves out there. I spoke about the importance of being personal, of getting people to remember who you are. Of not being afraid of criticism. Surely it’s better to have a few people know about you, I mean really know about you, than having a million people getting your attention for a couple of seconds and then they go back to not knowing where you came from or where you want to go. I used other people as examples, but we both knew I was expressing my own fears.

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We left and went to Lighthouse Park after strolling around for a while, but more on that later. For now let’s just admire this picture of a you looking like the glorious angel that you are.

daily, vancouver, winterEmma Carlsson