Posts in nature
Jones Lake Reservoir

The last weekend before Seona and JS left for Ireland we brought them on a day tip to a couple of lakes around Chilliwack. One of the lakes I looked up was Jones Lake, which looked pretty accessible on Google Maps. Not reading anything about it before we started our journey, just looking at pretty pictures, we all got a bit disappointed when we arrived at the start of a steep gravel hill. Luckily Misty, our car, pulled through and brought us all the way up to the lake with only a couple of scratches.

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Alison’s got some nerve having a birthday party this far up in the woods. Obviously Alison doesn’t have friends that don’t own trucks.

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JS found this aerodynamic frisbee and I think it changed his life. He hasn’t been seen without it since. We went to Spanish Banks in Vancouver after our road trip to watch the sunset and had a pretty good game of frisbee.

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Frisbee is L I F E.

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In the distance we could see Alison’s birthday party. We thought about crashing it multiple times, but we were way too scared having seen too many scary movies about rural people in trucks.

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Couple photos alert!

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Seona Flanagan <3

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Couple photos alert nr 2! And yes that’s a lens cap in my breast pocket.

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After Jones Lake we went to Cultus Lake, another lake we hadn’t been to before. Maybe more on that later!

Greetings from February

May is here. Along with it came summer. It’s been 27 degrees on some of the days this week. The smell of lilacs fills the air, the tulips have already said their goodbyes. Somewhere between April and May I lost track of time due to overworking in an understaffed work space. I still managed to have good days in between my four-weekends-in-a-row work schedule though, I just didn’t have time to write about it.

Before May is gone I need to post loads of pictures from when the snow snow was still here. Like from this weekend in late February! Yes, February. I finally had the time to go through thousands of photographs from the past couple of months. And if I don’t share them here, how will future me know these days even took place?

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We came here in February 2017 as well - see this post here. It felt like a pilgrimage, to celebrate 2019 and the fact that we could stay here another year. There’s comfort in visiting the same places again, they become your places. This year we’ve been to loads of places we’ve already been to before, and it feels great. Familiar. Like Vancouver belongs to us now. We see you, we know you. We know the best routes, best spots to stop for photos, we know how to find our way home.

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How Can I Write This Title Without Mentioning 2018?
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There are so many stories I didn’t share in 2018. So many moments that went undocumented. Or, at the time I did document them - taking photos and such. But I never shared any of it. An Instagram picture here and there, definitely a couple of stories. But apart from that, no writing. No real reflection.

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I obviously neglected this space on the internet after august. Summer here was amazing. I worked a lot, yes. But I also visited parks and beaches. It made me think differently about Vancouver. It made me like it here. Fall was glorious, with all its colours and Halloween decorations. I nested quite a bit in our apartment, and couldn’t wait to go all-in over Christmas. Which we did.

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From September onwards, up until very recently, my main focus was just getting my visa extension approved. I had to live life with a plan A, B, C and D in mind. I was well prepared to just go home to Sweden. Start my life there again. Or to visit California, stay with my aunt for a while. Either way I quit my job two weeks into January. And that very same week, my visa got approved. The stars aligned, etcetera.

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Now I’ve been home for a week. Resting, mostly. Taking those sick days I never took while working. Forcing my body to r e l a x. I have some saved up money. I have food, I have an apartment, a car, I have a supportive family and friends but most importantly I have Andrew. There is nothing to be worried about, although the outside world and your inner critic try to constantly convince you of the opposite.

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I asked for help during the visa process. I tried not to feel shame while doing so. I was open to people about my struggle; I shared the turbulence with people around me without expecting any emotional care-taking back. The biggest lesson in 2018 was to not take responsibility for other people’s emotions. Only for my own. And I can decide not to worry. Because what good does worrying do?

(Easier said than done, obviously. But practice makes (almost) perfect.)

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In 2019 I intend to be better with sharing. To follow some advice I gave to myself earlier in 2018, to create a scrapbook of memories; not a show reel. Because almost every day I find something to celebrate. Coincidently, I find something to be sad about as well. Why not share it, for future use.

(All these pictures are taken at Chilliwack Lake a couple of weeks ago)

SUMMER 2016

In 2016, during the summer months, I moved back home to Sweden temporarily. My plan was to finish my Masters degree at home, get a job, relax with my family and take care of some health issues of mine. I relaxed with my family a little bit, but apart from that everything else sort of fell apart. Life happens and what not. I made this video for school, but ended up never using it. The idea was to film the moments that didn't really mean anything; just everyday moments without any commentary really. My favourite kind of videos? Anyway. Looking back at it now, it's one of the best things I've ever done? Only because watching it now gives me so much joy. I know exactly how it felt like being there, in Sweden, during summer 2016. The clips showcase it so clearly to me. Of course you can't fit a whole summer in a 3 minute clip. Of course I filmed when I saw beauty in everyday life and not just clips of me watching tv or me crying or me wasting my day not doing summer:y things. I want/need to make more films like this. Because it's all in those boring details. It's ALL in there. 

Sunset In Bridebay

Driving slowly in no traffic is my favourite pastime. I have no need or desire to drive full speed, I'm not going anywhere in that kind of a rush. I like to take my time, to fully appreciate my surroundings. I also like to be able to stop when needed to devour Mother Nature™ when she offers a full plate of goodness. 

I can't tell you how many times I've stopped at the beginning of our bay, by the pier, to simply S O A K in the views. There are colours next to Siljan (Sweden) that you can only see here, uniquely attached to the landscape. Warm pinks and blues. On this day the fog had laid itself down over the tiny villages, the temperatures were creeping further and further down. We're talking -20 celcius. It's time for Siljan to go to bed, to finally put a heavy blanket over her and rest for a while. I managed to catch this changing moment as I stopped by the pier. 

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At first glance, the sun was not visible. The fog was running along the surface, coming in fast over the lake. All you could see was the dirty peach colour that suggested that the sun was setting on the other side. As I stood out on the pier, I could hear clearly how the cold fog created ice crystals, as to tuck in the water for its rest. It was magical? I don't know how to describe it. This is what it's like to be in the presence of The Creature whatever and/or whoever you believe that to be! 

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Soon afterwards, she appeared. The golden burning ball we live and die under. What a beaut, what an astonishing moment in time at a place that most people, if they had driven faster, would've simply passed. Makes you think how many moments you're missing by rushing with your mind clogged up with nonsense. Presence huh, what a thing. 

winter, sweden, natureEmma Carlsson