Monthly Archives: March 2012

Sun is shining, the weather is sweet…

Oh, what a glorious weekend we were blessed with! The sun is shining and EVERYONE seems to be out and about! From our lovely balcony, that we are growing to love more and more, we can see and hear kids, dogs, cars, people, sea and happiness all round. It’s amazing the effect of the sun in this country. In Brazil, because we are so used to the hot weather, we kind of take it for granted, I think. Here, when the sun comes out, everyone goes automatically from grumpy to happy.

I can see how the sun just makes things look better… it’s almost like everything around is lighter, more touchable even. And then there is the fact that the sun makes us feel free. Free from the layers and layers of clothes, free from closed doors and windows, free from the winter blues. Now, everything is yellow, yellow, yellow, the colour of vibrancy, warmth and happiness.

It’s funny that after this long living in England – over 10 years now -, I feel just like any other British person in respect of sunny days. I jump out of bed when I notice a bit more light than usual coming through the curtains, I relish any possible time taking in all the rays and I pull a face when the weather man says that the cold weather is approaching once again.

Seeking for sunshine tells us that we are all the same, somehow. We are all in the same boat, rich or poor, healthy or unhealthy. When it comes to the weather, we have no power at all – although some may argue that the hotter summers and colder winters are actually our doing (which I’d agree with!). And because none of us have power over it, we all  feel blessed when we have a big yellow ball in the sky. It’s the one thing that unites people anywhere in the world, the one thing that we all treasure. And in England, this is even more exacerbated because, in a country where the three months of summer usually present us with 10 days of actual sunshine, we all know very well that it doesn’t happen very often. And this is why every sunny day makes us celebrate and enjoy it as much as we can.

Categories: Beautiful nature, Living away from home, St Annes living | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The 3 things

So, here I am today… sat on my armchair in the lounge looking out the window, which has quickly become my favourite past time. This flat simply asks for it. There is so much going on downstairs. People are parking up their cars, getting the dogs out, kids are running around and climbing the sand dunes… I even saw a running competition going on at lunchtime. It’s all great, apart from the fact that, today, Mother’s Day, it all made me feel really homesick.

I can just imagine what I would be doing if I was in Brazil today… I’d probably wake up late as usual, get dressed, try and make my sister get up as she is hard work to get up in the morning, and then generally go through the mild chaos of getting ready when there are too many people involved. It would be a day to have lunch with the whole family, a big affair but very common in Brazil. It’d probably be at someone’s house, like my auntie Ana’s, and we would all take something to make up for a great big lunch. My uncle would take care of the barbecue and we would have scrumptious meat, sausage, chicken hearts (the English don’t get this one!), potato salad, garlic bread, a big salad with fruits in it made by my stepdad and a lovely and refreshing caipirinha going round to start the celebrations.

We would be celebrating being together, having our mums there with us, looking out for each other, giving advice to each other (even when not requested!), feeling protected somehow. Family can be hard work, we all know that, but nothing beats the warmness of hugging people you are very close to, people you trust and that love you unconditionally.

I was reading somewhere the other day that there are 3 things that we all need to survive… 3 basic human needs. They are: the need to feel capable, the need to feel free and the need to feel a link with others. This got me thinking and I concluded that I agree with what I read. We all need to feel worth of something, we need to feel we can achieve something regularly, be it in our jobs, be it with raising a family or even through personal projects. We also need to have enough freedom to exercise the necessary attempts to feel capable, so I guess all is linked somehow. Human beings don’t really like feeling like prisoners, we like to be able to make our own choices and make our own decisions. And then there is the link to others. No one can be happy alone, and this is simply a fact. Even if we live alone and don’t really interact much, we still end up finding ways to connect with others, even if it’s through the television which, obviously, is not ideal.

These three basic human needs interact with each other and make us feel alive, worthy and happy, I guess. Today, I feel like I could be interacting with others and these others are my family back home. If I close my eyes, I imagine being there, being in the company of them all, creating happy memories.

This is the hardest part of living away from home… the homesickness. It hits you when you least expect and then it brings you down for maybe  just a moment, but sometimes for hours or days. It’s hard not to think that I’m missing out on moments that I would treasure forever but, then again, I need to live by my choices. After all, I have the freedom to make them and I make them every day. I’m very happy here, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes I wish Brazil was a little closer, so I could just jump on a plane, go home, get my “family fix” and come back.

The homesickness will go and I’ll be less nostalgic in a few hours, I know the process already. And when you know the process inside out, in a weird way you even start enjoying it. It’s almost like I treasure even more every single important person in my life and take nothing, absolutely nothing for granted. And this is probably a lesson in itself.

Categories: Home, Living away from home, St Annes living | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The real house by the beach

We moved! After quite a few posts about the preparations of moving from one place to another, I can now say that we have actually done it. Lee and I transferred our little lives from a house to a flat, from sharing accommodation to living all by ourselves. OOooo, I’m scared! (nah, not really).

I’m most excited about being able to do whatever I want to the place. Ok, it’s rented so I may not have all that freedom, really, but I can have it as we want it and I can do one of my favourite things: change stuff around without consulting anyone. Well, the quick word with Lee helps, I guess, but he always grunts some “fine” and I carry on.

The new place is great. It’s at the top of our budget and let’s hope we don’t lose our jobs, but we are quite amazed that we were lucky to find a place that is just literally opposite the sea and that we could afford. My new morning routine now consists of having a coffee watching the sea from the sofa before going to work, as opposed to dashing off in a hurry, and this kind of thing is what I call improved quality of life.

Now let me just say this… I’m not bragging… we have been thinking about doing this for quite some time and we had to plan and save pennies to be able to do it so, if anything, I’m proud of our little achievement and just thought I’d share my happiness here. Life is not easy nowadays and when you achieve something, however small, I reckon it’s worth celebrating!  hehe…

The strangest thing to get used to is all the different noises of the building. You know when you have been in a place for a while and know all the sounds? By this I mean all the stair noises, all the cracking when you walk around, the sound of the heating going on, etc. Small things, really. Well, this takes some getting used to and I’m still in the process. I’m naturally quite jumpy and seem to live in a world of my own sometimes, so when I hear a different noise, one I haven’t heard before, I go and investigate or kind of make a mental note of it for next time. I like to know my surroundings quite well.

The place where we live now is an old building of 8 flats that was refurbished entirely, apart from the back of it. Therefore, the old staircase of the building is still there and people still use it. In our flat, we have a door with glass panels at the end of the corridor, so if people use the stairs at the back and turn the light on, the light makes our corridor a bit more illuminated. This, in the beginning, used to make me jump and I considered blocking that door with something, but now I’m kind of used to it and don’t even mind.

Also, the neighbours above us are a couple of lovely oldies and they like their tv… a LOT. And they like to watch it as loud as possible, so this is something I have to get used to. Having lived in a house before, we are not so used to the noise, but in just a week I can tell you that I don’t mind it anymore, which I find kind of strange. It seems like this place has so much to offer that a bit of a muffled tv sound can’t really become a big deal.

I started this blog in January and at that point we were not sure where we were going to move to yet. I named the blog housebythebeach and this was because living very near the sea has always been one of my wildest dreams. How funny is it that when we actually write about it and make our goals in life very specific (and graphic), they kind of make a way to actually happen? I didn’t have any idea that I’d be living by the sea, especially not this soon. And then life kind of makes its own little movements and makes things fall into place. It’s good to feel like the universe is moving in your favour sometimes and I guess I appreciate it because I know it doesn’t happen all the time.

It’s priceless (well, not quite) to get up in the morning and watch the sea. It’s even better to enjoy a Saturday morning watching how the sea changes… we had a high tide today and it was great to watch the people walking their dogs give space for the sea to come forward and cover the ground like a blanket. And then as the evening comes, the sky changes and looks amazing with all the yellowy shades going pink, then red, then blue, followed by a dark night. I absolutely love watching the nature at my doorstep and feel quite lucky right now. And by the way, I feel quite generous at the moment too, so if you fancy a visit to Lytham St Annes, just let me know. You’ll love it, I’m sure.

Categories: Beautiful nature, Home, St Annes living | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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