23 December 2014

The night before jul

Something is different this time: jul is no longer painful. I think we have finally made friends. Clue number one was a couple of weeks ago, when I salvaged a tiny potted Christmas tree that someone had thrown out. Then, I went out and bought it a tiny elf, to keep it company. They are sitting in my kitchen window, reminding me how far we have come. 

Actually, it is hard to believe it is even the 23rd of December today. The temperatures are more like fall, and some trees even still have leaves, nature must be so frustrated. It would be cosy with snow, but I am relieved that they are not salting everything to death. It's one less thing to worry about.

Up on the bridge corner, the Christmas tree seller is back in business, stacking them so close that you almost get the feeling of being in a small forest.

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Magic.

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Even cut off, trees have a calming effect, working as a buffer from traffic and stress.

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The cosiest part of this season is not how they decorate the shopping streets, but the little non-profit surprises popping up here and there. Like this initiative by the prison fence, encouraging you to leave a greeting for the inmates. 

Merry Christmas.

Or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, pleading with maniac drivers to slow down.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer


Take care of Rudolph

Watch out for our Rudolph.

As I took these pictures, a woman in an SUV came racing around the corner, bumping into a pedestrian. He smacked his hands on the hood and let out a loud yell, but fortunately he was alright (a child might not have been, though). Proving the urgent need for this sign.

I found one more cosy greeting from the streets, but I am saving it for tomorrow. For now, rest your eyes on my new friends, the tiny rescued jule tree and the armless elf.


We have come a long way.


 

10 comments:

  1. Wow Sandra, indeed it looks cosy, and i'm happy it's become joyful for you. i should come celebrate with you one year ;) we are in need of your signs for car drivers. my son has been bumped into by a car (no physical harm, the car bumped the back pack), coming from school. the car didn't stop at the red light, and didn't stop afterwards, to see if he was ok... i had written 2 or 3 years ago to the people in charge of traffic at the city hall, to tell them this was a dangerous crossing, with 800 elementary school students crossing, and they had replied they knew better than me, that they had looked and it was not dangerous... hum... this is a sign, time to leave paris ;). big kisses to you!

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    1. Ah, that would be so cosy! You could teach me new traditions.

      People drive like maniacs around schools here, too. Parents are getting really frustrated that police prioritize busting cyclists for minor offences, over keeping school streets safe. I am so relived to hear that he is okay, how can anyone drive recklessly around children? And not even bother to check if everything is okay?

      I have a few signs planned too, one for speeding cyclists and a few for drivers. A lot of them are idling the engines for 15 min or more, polluting the air, so we can't keep our windows open. Ugh, leave your toxic, speeding metal behind and get a bike already.

      From what I read about Paris, you are on the right track. Don't leave just yet.

      Big jule bear hugs back at you. : )

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  2. Haha, the Elf is fantastic :) Glad to see you are making friends with Jul - not for Jul's sake, but for yours. It's never fun to get depressed and/or angry on a regular cycle every year :)

    It has become a normal, daily activity for me lately to nearly get hit by cars - as Portland builds in more density (tons of apartment buildings being built in what used to be only single-family home areas), they are doing basically nothing about their transportation system, and so the traffic is getting worse, and people are getting more aggravated, impatient, and aggressive. And then there is the Christmas shopping rush (and we live near all the places people go for Christmas shopping), so it is even a step worse during December. Nothing to get you in the loving spirit like a neighborhood full of assholes who don't care if they injure you or not :) Well, by next Christmas we are planning to be in Amsterdam, so this may be our last year to deal with that, hopefully :)

    I do love the decorations and the food and other things about this time of year, though - and we went all-out on the decorations in our apartment this year. Our neighbor came over last night and said it was like a fairy-land :)

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    1. It took me forever to get here, but I am so relieved to feel at ease today. Not just surviving, but actually feeling good. Hopefully the cycle is broken now.

      I wonder if you are moving to Amsterdam, or just going on vacation? It is a cosy place to spend Christmas, it is always calm, you don't get that hectic honking asshole behavior there, and it gets even more relaxed around the holidays. They seem to have found the perfect balance in traffic. I talked to a driver there, who explained that it helped when the speed limit was lowered. At first they moaned about it, but they quickly adapted, and now it is just understood that the cars come last. Pedestrians and cyclists first.

      I love Amsterdam, and the two of you will probably fit right in. : )

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    2. We're moving to Amsterdam, and hopefully we'll be able to stay longer than three months (meaning, hopefully we'll find work). We love it there too, though we haven't spent a lot of time there, it felt very home-like. Maybe we'll meet you there next year during Jul :)

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    3. That so exciting! Fingers crossed that you find work, and that we meet up in Europe some day. : )

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  3. I am happy for your new found peace with jul tid.. it can be kind of cosy ;) The time that I miss Denmark the most is actually around now. The lights and hearts are good for the soul....
    Your tree and elf are fantastic... Merry Christmas xox

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    1. It is kind of cosy, and much easier to appreciate when it doesn't bring back bad memories and sticky feelings. I love the lights too, and I keep trying to capture windows for the birthday requests, without invading anyone's privacy. A tricky assignment.

      I hope you had a cosy jul with your family. : )

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  4. Yes, that elf does look harmless, errrr, armless...

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