Seven days and counting

Agua Castello, sparkling water

Agua Castello, sparkling water

Now it’s seven days until I leave this beautiful island Flores in the Azores. Next Monday I’ll meet the house- and dog owners we’ve been sitting for and after talking to them and leaving the keys I’ll be on my way to Lisbon and further on to Sweden.

So, tonight I decided I’ll have one Agua Castello, Anders’ favorite sparkling water, per day until I leave – there are seven left. That’ll be my count down calendar.

Not that I really want to leave, but it’s kind of good to “see” how much time is left. Before Anders left we were already talking about wanting to come back here, it’s such a lovely place for people who like beautiful nature and quiet places.

Trying the sand in Fajã Grande

Trying the sand in Fajã Grande

Surely, I long to meet my family and friends in Sweden and we have things we want to do.

Lingongrova with cheese - I know Anders will have a few of those

Lingongrova with cheese – I know Anders will have a few of those

Anders has now settled down in the room we get to stay in close to his work place in Lund. He’s also picked up and driven his new motorcycle and seen parts of the family and a couple of our friends. Tomorrow will be his first day of work in seven months.
(He happened to spill a drink on his pants and the green sweater, so his kind hosts have helped him to clean it up before work).

Today I tried these natural pools in Fajã Grande

Today I tried these natural pools in Fajã Grande

There are certain things we’ve been talking about wanting to do, see or eat when in Sweden. And Anders has now started on that “list” in his first few days. Heard he was a bit tired after meeting and talking to all these people, suddenly being in a totally different environment after two rather quiet months out here on Flores island.

Me? I’m a physical person, and I have one thing in mind when I think of friends and family:

hug you

And I look very much forward to having a cup of my dad’s hot chocolate, and for someone to cook me a meal.

Tonight I’ll hug the dogs, but I won’t trust them to cook for me ;-).

// Wivan

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Morning walk and back to bed

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The sun starting to come out

The past few days I’ve started to wake up earlier than before (don’t set an alarm) and the weather has been really good so I’ve taken Lucky for an early morning walk. And it’s so quiet in the village.

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Lucky taking in all the smells

To keep it easier for me, and calmer for the dogs, I take them separately for longer walks every day. And Lucky is my morning companion.

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Sky and clouds colored by the sun

Yesterday I drove off to Santa Cruz after the walk and had a swim and a few hours of sun bathing before noon.

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Cool star fish

This morning I am a bit tired and went back to bed for a nap and some reading – luxury huh!?

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Natural pools in Santa Cruz

It’s a bit easier for me to just get going in the morning and I love the quiet and freshness of a new day. But I have been in “training” with Anders (he’s an expert) to relax and also see when more rest is needed. So sometimes I do it this way.

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Natural "jet stream"

Happy Sunday to you all! And Happy Mother’s Day in Sweden!

//Wivan, the star fish wannabe

Magical moments

This is real, though it looks fake

This is real, though it looks fake

Had a lovely tour on the south-west part of Flores last night. One of those magical nights when the sea is almost still, no wind, nice temperature and well, the setting – nothing more to ask of that.

This is one of many great views of the island

This is one of many great views of the island

How the Atlantic looked like a polished dance floor with the sun shining among the clouds is a sight I’ll remember for ever. It was all so beautiful it’s impossible to take pictures that actually give a hint of the real thing. And yet everything on the pictures look so perfect I had to put a person in some of them to make it a bit more real…

See?!

See?!

This one is for my friend Inga-Lill

This one is for my friend Inga-Lill

It’s still rather calm and quiet here on the island, though the tourist season begun a few weeks ago – we’ve seen more and more rental cars and typical tourists (they’re easy to spot among the locals…).

Some tourists look like this

Some tourists look like this

We’ve been lucky to be here so early in the year, with quite warm and good weather (it’s gotten so much better in the past weeks) and almost everyplace we’ve gone for hiking and sightseeing we’ve been totally alone. That’s really something!

The views, the sea, the green green grass

The views, the sea, the green green grass

Now this is what I call a good Friday night.

Laughing, crying and just quietly taking in this view

Laughing, crying and just quietly taking in this view

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Look for a new angle

One of my favorite scenes from the animated movie Big Hero 6, is when one of the main characters, Hiro, is swirled and shaken around on the shoulders of his elder brother in an attempt to “shake things up” and “look for a new angle” to solving a problem. Sometimes doing something totally different than sitting at a desk and ‘solving the problem’ is the perfect thing to do.

Today's Skype call with Helena

Today’s Skype call with Helena

Earlier today I had a Skype call with a good friend and Master Mind colleague, Helena, who’s an expert at looking at things from different angles and helping others to see new perspectives. We were going to talk about how we can help each other with a couple of different projects and what actually needs to be done. That was my angle. And when we finished, Helena had helped me see a totally different perspective, and things got so much clearer in my head. (and new questions had started to form too ;-)).

This is also where Helena is a master at “holding a space” for others to be in, in this case me. Because I felt a little lost and ashamed – I “should” know what I’m doing, right!? And I “should” just get it done. But something has held me back and by listening behind my words, Helena helped me see another angle and to actually bring clarity to some thoughts I’ve had over the past few days.

A swim is a great way to change perspective for me

A swim is a great way to change perspective for me

Being held in a space of love means that I can be me, full out, without feeling like I have to guard my human experience.

– Helena Roth –

Still, like a Swedish summer night

Still, like a Swedish summer night

Tonight I also got to see the physical world from a new perspective. The place I had thought of visiting was “taken” by someone else, so I looked for a new place around the corner.

Who would have known...

Who would have known…

... this old house had such a great view!

… this old house had such a great view!

Fajã Grande, Flores

Fajã Grande, Flores

Guest blogger: Lucky the Dog

They call me Lucky the Dog, but I prefer using my real titles: Neighborhood Police and Cheerleader In Charge.

On the Jawb outside our house

On the Jawb outside our house

You see, I’m the one who take all the shifts in the neighborhood nobody else wants, and make sure the job gets done. Some of the things I am in charge of:

* Getting all the cats home fast – they should be with their people or wherever they belong.
* Body guarding my humans.
* Traffic control, focusing on odd vehicles like a little red truck and some of the mopeds.
* Keeping cows away from my humans.
* When humans aren’t excited enough, I start the cheer leading, jumping up and down on all four, making funny faces, wag my tail excitedly and do breathing exercises to get them in a good mood.
* Noticing all odd behavior in the neighborhood, like when new people or cars come, if one of the kids run in a wrong way or anything that’s simply not part of our daily routine around here.
* Protecting my humans from any other humans – no one (except for one or two nice people) can come close. Everybody is a threat to my human’s safety. Really, this job is serious.

This person in so SLOW!

This person in so SLOW!

If I were the one to decide for all the dogs on the island, I would throw a huge Bark and Play Fest for everyone, it would be paw changing.

I have my own driver and sometimes I have to shout directions to her from my comfortable back seat

I have my own driver and sometimes I have to shout directions to her from my comfortable back seat

It’s sort of odd though, since about two months I’ve had two foreign humans I attend to. They showed up one day and stayed all this time. Now one of them have left. They must be under some human protection program or something, hiding out here on this island.

Usually, when we don’t have these foreigners here, I make sure to have some hours of calm and quiet around, sending the humans to WOWK – that makes them feel important and useful. Actually, as both you and I know, it’s just a day care center. The people that I’ve been protecting now know it’s a cover and see life as a big day care center anyways, so they call it a “Time Out”. Don’t know if there’s a difference, really.

We had to take one of the humans to the airport

We had to take one of the humans to the airport

Oh, I forgot to tell you about my assistant. She’s small and very energetic, skinny and not as furry as I am (not as pretty either if you ask me) but she does a good job making sure the humans are under constant surveillance. Well, almost. Sometimes we need to sleep and the humans sneak out on their own, but we have lots of dogs that bark as soon as they see them, so it’s all part of my plan.

Ervilhas guarding the human's stuff

Ervilhas guarding the human’s stuff

I’m pretty good at my job monitoring the humans too, keeping them on a lead almost all the time, making sure they get their daily exercise and when they walk to slowly I simply pull them along in the lead they are attached to. Works like a charm!

Exercising a human

Exercising a human

Sometimes, I can be bribed. Just a little. Bread is my weak spot, so if a human comes up with a piece of bread, there is a slight chance my focus on the duties fades for a moment.

I can make humans do anything. Look at this funny picture!

I can make humans do anything. Look at this funny picture!

When I’m off duty I enjoy chilling out in the sun. Often, some silly cat come at those times and I need to do my jawb, helping them get up to speed and run fast home to mommy… If they’re not fast enough I might just taste them, I mean chase them, a little. It’s not safe for cats to move slowly – there can come a car or a monster or something…

Stay pawsome!

Stay pawsome!

Well, it’s been nose meeting you! Maybe I’ll get my paws on this computer again soon.
Until then – remember to wag your tail daily!

// Lucky, NPD (Neighborhood Police District)

Spontaneous day

Seems to be extra easy to be spontaneous today – you ever noticed some days are different than others? I guess it’s our mental state doing that, but anyhow.

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Beautiful path down the mountain

This morning, after a nice walk with Lucky-the-Dog and some stretching/movment and brunch, I felt such big feelings of love I just couldn’t stay inside or by the computer – had to get out. Wanted to go to one of my favorite spots on the island, by some lakes inland but as I drove towards the place I realized it was to cloudy and misty for it to be any sight whatsoever by the lakes. Instead I went back to Fajã Lopo Vaz, where Anders and I went hiking one of our first weeks here.

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Parcour dog

Today little Irviljish was my company, and I thought we would just take a little walk – not do the entire hike down to the Fajã – but, as we walked along the trail it was so good conditions, the temperature perfect, the grass newly cut along the trail and so we went on until we reached the beach!

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Fajã Lopo Vaz, Flores

Last time Anders and I were here we never reached the water but today I managed to do that.

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Happy dog

On the way back up the cliffs I was sweating like crazy and understood the value of not wearing cotton, like I did today. It gets really wet and cold after a while. And smells!

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Some type of jelly fish

So, though I had a different plan, I went along with what felt good at the moment and had such a lovely time with little Miss Pawsome.

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Two tired girls

This afternoon Anders will be back in Sweden, going to my mom’s place overnight, and tomorrow visit the storage with all our boxes to pick up some things. Glad he had a safe flight back and a bit touched by him being in Sweden – feels odd to know he’s there and I’m here.

// Wivan – off to get ice cream

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Charming red face

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Unusual to see bikes here on Flores

Seven months of hair

First days in France, November 2014

First days in France, November 2014

It’s been more than seven months since my last visit at my hairdresser, Kajsa. And when we started traveling in November my hair was quite short. Once during these seven months I’ve had my hair cut by a friend (it costed a kiss on the cheek).

Cairo, in December

Cairo, in December

This obviously means the hair on my head has grown quite a bit, and I haven’t gone this long without paying for a haircut since I don’t know when.

January, on a plane from Istanbul to France

January, on a plane from Istanbul to France

For a while, I thought I was going to get a professional haircut, but since I didn’t really know what to do and how to actually communicate with a French hairdresser in the small village we stayed, I gave up that idea. When we went to San Sebastian in March, I started cutting off my bangs with the nail clippers in the hotel room, after Anders suggested I should comb it differently.

March in San Sebastian

March in San Sebastian

After that I had my hair cut by our friend, just to even everything up a bit.

April, in Flores

April, in Flores

And when we got here to Flores in April, the real fun began. My hair went totally crazy from the humidity, wind and salty ocean water.

Flores in April. Looking like a 70's pop star

Flores in April. Looking like a 70’s pop star

All of a sudden the hair needed to be washed more often, I even e-mailed Kajsa to ask for advice!

Flores in May

Flores in May

Her tips have helped: to was twice with shampoo and then just a little conditioner before rinsing. And to be patient. It has gotten better, but the salty water from our swims isn’t really making the hair look like an ad for styling products!

Flores, in May

Flores, in May

Hair clips are my new best friend, and headbands. And sometimes a cap when it’s sunny (not my favorite, but it works).

After a swim in the Atlantic, May 2015

After a swim in the Atlantic, May 2015

This is just one way of seeing every day life from another angle, how used we are to certain things and how comfortable it is to have a good hairdresser close by, or what happens when you to try and save money by not cutting your hair!

Flores, May 2015

Flores, May 2015

Together with Kajsa, I’ve now decided to let the hair grow longer again. That’ll probably be easier to get cut anywhere and it should be long enough to put it up in a pony tail rather than having the hair literally flying all around the head in the wind. Let’s see how that goes!

Me and some colleges in the summer of 2008

Me and some colleges in the summer of 2008