Spring Haul

One fine Easter Sunday I woke up and realised that I had no appropriate seasonal footwear. Like, at all. This wasn’t the case of ‘omg have nothing to wear’, this was a legitimate ‘only got a pair of sneakers with a hole in them’ situation. So I donned said sneakers and ventured out to the sanctum sanctorum of the local teenagers – Shopping Malldova, colloquially known as The Mall.

I would’ve gone elsewhere, but like I said – it was Easter Sunday. Everything was closed.

As you can see I made four purchases overall.

Both t-shirts come from DeFacto. They’ve recently opened up shop here in Moldova – recent enough for their entrance to still be decorated with balloons, so we’re talking weeks. The shirt with the brighter stripes is long sleeve and has really cute lace (as in cord, not fabric) detailing on the shoulders. The shirt with the paler stripes is short sleeve and is much thinner than the other one. I hesitated buying it at first, but really liked the length of the sleeves. Plus I could really do with a ‘fancier’ t-shirt for summer.

The black pair of sneakers comes from DeFacto as well. This was more of an impulse purchase, and one that I only slightly regret. I didn’t have basic black sneakers, but I suppose for summer I should’ve waited until I found a suitable white pair instead. They will get its fair share of wear, though. Not worried about that.

And now for the star of the show, the orange slip-ons. The colour put me off at first, but the more I looked at them, the more I liked them. I honestly can’t believe I almost left the shop without them. I bought them at BEST, and they were on an impressive sale.

And since I had already had these items for a month, I can tell you how they wear.

The DeFacto t-shirts wear poorly – especially the lighter one. Both already have an impressive amount of pills on them, even though I’ve only washed them once and worn twice. The DeFacto sneakers feel a bit hard on my feet. The sizing is also a problem, but I think it’s my personal problem – I’m between two sizes, and affordable brands rarely bother to make halves. Had I bought these a size smaller, I wouldn’t be able to wear them. Buying them a size bigger means that they slip around on the foot a little, and since the material they’re from is not soft at all, they tend to blister. I’ve broken them in a little and they don’t feel as wooden, but like I said, the material is not exactly pliable, so I don’t think I’ll be getting much further in that department.

The orange slip-ons, though, wear wonderfully. The sole is foam and is a little hard to clean, and there’s quite a lot of colour transfer on my socks, but other than that I’m impressed. I hope I’ll be able to wear them beyond this season!

Have you bought anything new recently?

Six Good Things Sunday, 22.04.18

A Breakfast Kinda Day

Today I’ve eaten breakfast food for every meal of the day. I’ve had banana pancakes, a banana and chia pudding smoothie, peanut butter on wholegrain bread, and fried eggs with spinach and tomatoes. Mmm. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day (rivalled only by lunch time sandwiches), so I’m thinking of doing this more often. Maybe every other Sunday or so.

A Clean Stove

Well… As the picture above shows, it’s not perfect, but it’s much better that it was yesterday. I’m going to give it another go next weekend, to see if I manage to make it pristine.

Installing Photoshop

It’s the little things, right? After several months without it, I’m finally getting back into the groove of things. Granted, my version is free (and therefore severely outdated), but it’s still better than the free apps available, no matter how new they are.

Making It To Church

… If only for 15 minutes. I came by to pick up some Holy Water. The Saturday service was just starting, so I stayed a bit to light some candles and to listen to the choir.

Not Losing My Laptop

One of my cats, Jolie, overturned a flower vase – and my laptop was on the table. Luckily, no water hit it from above. It got a little wet from below, but the Lord is merciful, because I reacted quickly and moved the sad device to another surface.

Made for a great photo op, though.

A Walk With Friends

Last week I went for a walk to one of the local parks with Anna and Oxana. Anna took her puppy pug along with her, and let us walk him. So much fun! The weather was also great, probably the best day we’ve had this spring so far. I’m going to share a photo post about it soon!

What’s your good things this week? Share in the comments!

What I’ve Read – January-March 2018

How’s your bookish year going? Mine isn’t half bad. I’ve read a variety of genres, and a decent mix of ebooks and paper books. Shall we dig in?

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I started the year by finishing Galbraith’s Career of Evil. Good mystery, more backstory, awesome thriller points – the third in the Strike series comes highly recommended from me. Cuckoo’s Calling was rather twee, Silkworm was full of grotesque. Both enjoyable (especially Silkworm – I continue to be amazed by J.K. Rowling, it takes balls and talent to write that shit), but Career of Evil is the best one so far.

Continue reading “What I’ve Read – January-March 2018”

My First Easter Service

For a self-professed (and, well, baptised) Orthodox Christian, I really haven’t been an active participant in church life. This Easter I had my first full service. I came a little late, after The Holy Fire had arrived and was shared amongst the believers. Stayed until the very end, though admittedly I wanted to go home somewhere close to 3 a.m., because my very comfortable yet still heeled boots were causing me pain.

lampada

This picture, taken in the low light of the church, may fool you into thinking that it’s got four lampada candles in it. In reality it’s just one. It’s standing in the corner and reflecting off of the church’s walls.

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Aside from staying awake for the service itself, I also kept vigil over the candle holder above. During big services people come and go, and many of them want to light a candle, so candle holders get filled really quickly. The are women, workers of the church, who keep an eye on these candle holders and take out the candles that are close to burning out. I’ve been asked by one such lady to keep an eye on this candle holder – I stood right next to it. It sounds like an easy enough job, and I’m not saying I was overwhelmed, but it was a new experience. I needed to make sure that all the candles were upright, or at least not melting the nearby candles nor dropping wax on the floor. And as mentioned above, I needed to make sure that the ‘older’ candles were taken out to make space for the new prayers.

Closer to the end the lady who asked me to help her took care of me as well as she could. She gave me a piece of cloth to wipe my hands with – the candle holders are heavily oiled to ease the cleaning of them, so my hands were covered in oil. She also made sure that I didn’t leave the church without a burning lampada. It’s a tradition to take the Holy Fire back home with you.

As I exited the church, I saw the amazing view of hundreds of people with candles and lanterns and baskets standing in front of it, waiting for their kuliches (special Paschal baked goods) and Easter eggs to be blessed by the bishop. Unfortunately, my battery was giving up by that point, and my phone wouldn’t let me take a picture.

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I didn’t buy a kulich this year, nor did I dye any eggs, so my Easter breakfast looked like that. Two sandwiches with butter, cheese, and marmalade, a cup of black tea, and a tiny cup of cottage cheese. And, well, some sweets.

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My “proper” Easter breakfast came eight days later – today, actually. I finally bought a kulich, and I had a chocolate egg remaining. Still no dyed eggs, though. I’m sure this oversight isn’t as gross as my other ones, so the merciful Lord will forgive me.

Christ is Risen!

What Would You Write If No One Read?

sauron

I don’t have that big of an audience. Some of you probably subscribe through some RSS reader, a couple of people visit the site, and there’s almost 60 subscribers on Bloglovin, who probably hit ‘mark as read’ more often than not.

I’m not whining.

The other day I wondered how an audience affects what I do. Here, there, on Instagram, at work, in life. It used to not affect me much – or perhaps I was blissfully unaware that it affected me in any way. As a result I wrote better, I wrote more often, I wrote about a variety of themes. I took endless photographs and shared them in a timely manner. I wore things that I liked and put on eye shadows that I liked without constantly looking over my shoulder.

A blank page never scared me before.

My opinions never scared me before.

Or is it – my own blankness never scared me before?

Let’s not get philosophical.

Whenever I sit down to write these days, I write with an audience in mind. And I’m not thinking about people who come here because they, the poor souls, love what I do for some reason, no matter how rarely and how poorly I do it these days. No, I’m thinking about people who come here to dig some shit on my existence. Who want to look into my pants, into my plates, have a laugh at my wrinkled shirt, my hot water bottle, my overcooked boiled egg. I’m not making this list up, I can’t make this list up, this list is so ridiculous, I want to spit in their faces and step on their necks, and forgive me, Father, for I have sinned, and I am sinning right now.

Back when my main blog was on alexandrabrovco.com, I was much angrier, much more closed off, but on the other hand much more vocal. Nowadays I am not as angry, maybe a bit more open – but also much more depressed and much more silent.

What would I write if no one read this shit? What would I write if I were not afraid for my paycheck? If I didn’t care for an intrusive colleague? If I didn’t care to tread carefully, to conform, to comply?

There’s nothing new in my identity crisis. Corporations and open space have ruined us all.

I’ve been writing on the internets since before it was profitable. I think it was 1996 when I first started some odd-arse online diary. I know that in 1999 I’ve been writing daily, and Blogger and I have been in separable since February 2002. My first domain, homo-urbanicus.com, will turn 12 this year. So I’m old, and weathered, and should know better.

This current incarnation of my blog was started on consumerism, and I am not sure it’s where I want it to go. I still want to write about beauty and make-up. I still entertain the idea of having an outfit diary – even though the last time I’ve been clothes shopping was almost exactly a year ago. It’s not for the lack of wanting to do it, though. I need a new pair of pants (and I mean underpants, not trousers) like five months ago. I just can’t set my finances straight, and shit keeps piling up, and I try to not spend any money on non-essentials until I pay off at least some of my debts.

Cheers to that.

You have no idea how many times I sat down and opened a post-new.php, a blank Evernote, a Notepad, a Google Drive Doc, or even an email draft in my inbox to– I don’t even know to do what exactly. To write? To convey? To unblock? To get some ideas? To straighten my thoughts? To crawl out of depression?

What have I become? I resolved, long time ago, to either write the truth or not write at all. Is the truth so daft empty useless blank pointless incomplete tiring busy old untruthful that I chose not to write at all?