“Have you ever imagined…?” The first step to any change, new thing, possibility or chance starts in our minds, in our imagination. Do you think that’s true? “But what if…?”
I’ve written before about the importance I think imagination has, but let’s touch on that one more time. Why? Because it is really the tool I use the most in my life.
Welcome to your creative life
Humans are creative creatures. We look for solutions to problems using creativity and imagination, helped by previous experience and common sense, as well as shared knowledge. There’s always someone who says “well, I’m not creative”. Well, probably you actually are, just in an area of your life you don’t think of as a creative field. We don’t need to know how to draw to be creative, nor be makers or designers. We are creative every time we try to find a new way to get or achieve something (be it a “thing”, a goal…). When we’ve tried the easy and proved paths and we keep looking for another one, we are being creative. Be it by trying to make a dish out of the leftovers, stretching our money this month or creating a loving space at home by rearranging our furniture.
But imagination does so much more for us
How do you discover your dreams? How do you know if you want to spend more time with a person? How do you know if you can be happy in your workplace? How do you know where to travel?
You imagine it. And learn what you like, what you want and what you don’t by going over it in your mind. We imagine the future and we imagine alternative presents. It’s the fastest way to build an opinion on something and decide if that pursuit deserves our time and energy. It may not always be accurate to reality, as many thoughts, mindsets and fear can interfere in our perspective, but it’s our least-invested way of learning and trying things. It’s the first step for change. And let’s not fool ourselves, life is ever-changing even when we try not to think about it.
If you love it, you’ll hold it softly
I’m starting to believe that if imagination is not valued as it should it’s because it can confuse us more than terms like “creativity” and “innovation”. We can’t pin it down and identify it as easily, we can’t list it in our resumé, there is no tangible proof of it. But it is certainly a transferable skill.
Still, because imagination can easily take us to wishful-thinking and irrational possibilities, there’s an aspect of it that gives it a bad reputation. We are here to solve problems, not to create new ones. This, though, should not get in the way of starting that fire.
Imagination is the first step
As a designer, there’s nothing I use as much as my imagination.
Whenever I have to create something, a graphic image, for example, I first imagine how I would like it to look. What do I wanna say and how? Then I may get help from mood boards and inspiration images as well as references for similar things. After that, when actually designing (creating a layout, choosing the font, the composition, the colours and photos) I don’t go on just moving everything all the time and adding and taking it out… I firstly do it mentally, imagining how I could change or move that to better capture the image in my head, the desired final result.
In life, we may do similarly. We can imagine how we would like it to look, to feel like. Then, we think about what we’d need to change and how that would work out. We imagine the possibilities and do some internal tests to see if it’s worth the investment of our energy and if we could get those desired results.
The thing about imagination is that it is a door to a world of possibilities but not certainties. It’s a tool for exploration.
And we are all explorers. But only once we take that first step.
Our lives seem to revolve around things. We work to get things, we want more stuff, new stuff, different stuff. We like buying stuff, we like creating stuff, consuming stuff. But rumour has it that in the present times, we are realising that we don’t need so much and that there’s something wrong with this obsession.
It’s been widely stated that Millenials already value experiences more than objects. But what does it all mean? Will we be spending less on objects? Will things be more expensive? Will we have really better, more quality things?
Everything changes but everything stays the same
When we live in an economy based on consumption, what happens if it degrowths? Does it ever actually slow-down? During quarantine, have we really stopped consuming? Or have we just refocused and changed our consumption habits to satisfy them in another way?
When we learnt about minimalism, did we really decrease our spending? Once when we followed the teachings of Marie Kondo, did we just learn to live with less more lovable things we already own or did we have to get some new things to love?
And that time we got stuck at home because of the COVID-19, did we just slow-down our life? Did we stop consuming? Or did we maybe just focus our consumption habits on digital stuff, especially content, entertainment and information (and food)?
It’s never been about having more
I don’t believe us as a society only want to have more. I believe we crave change and betterment in every possible way. Even when we are so afraid of change. Things are just a reflection of that. And honestly, obtaining things feels easier and more comforting when other more meaningful goals stay out of reach.
Call me a capitalist, but I believe in the system, at least as the thing that is currently working at some level, though it’s not perfect. The world is grey. Capitalism is grey. The production of goods should be fair and sustainable and politicians should be honest and love should be unconditional. But here we are.
As in so many aspects of life, what we could work on is knowing ourselves, knowing why we do what we do, why we buy what we buy, why we think as we do and how all of that works for us.
Ebbing and flowing
I’m sure better “things”, a better future is coming. Probably still not perfect, still not fair enough and not sustainable enough, but the world is also a work in progress. Let’s keep that in mind. We are working toward betterment, we can pivot, change, improve, go back, change something else, and keep trying. Be it with our personal habits, our consumption habits, our mindsets or our businesses. Let’s be hopeful.
The real future of things
So, what will we be seeing soon?
It’s being said that we are going towards a more conscious model of consumption in which quality will be more important and we will be OK owning less. I wouldn’t buy completely onto that trend though. But it will be strong in the marketing spheres. I’m sure more people will be fine spending more on more high-quality products and we will have more well-designed and well-crafted products at our fingertips. Still, we will probably see growth in mass consumption in low-priced items and content services as we look for the comfort of buying, for a sense of control in our lives. In all likelihood – and as soon as we can- we will be spending even more on experiences we can share, as a rebellious reaction for having been locked at home.
With minimalism, we learnt to own less and value well-designed, (with a certain) aesthetic and higher quality stuff. Though we learnt that we can always find something better that we could use to replace other things in order to own less.
With the realisation of the fashion damaged system, we learnt to love old clothing and went for the vintage, more sustainable option. But those clothes don’t always match our size and style, and sometimes they are faulty or need reworking. Buying second-hand objects is fun but it’s not always so much fun to own somebody’s else’s trash or having to clean it and make anew.
Will we learn to share more of our stuff and adopt what our friends and relatives do not need anymore in a way to own more meaningful stuff? Will we be more open to why we own what we own? Or we will just spend less as we wait for the world to work again as it used to?
I’ll probably be doing just everything of the above:
I’ll keep buying things to love, new and pre-loved, I’ll be upcycling, I’ll be consuming entertainment and I’ll be paying for experiences. And while I can’t go window-shopping, I’ll keep scrolling endless websites to satisfy my need of seeing stuff. In a more meaningful note, I’ll keep learning and creating more.
So, where will you be putting your rediscovered time and money now?
As this unpredicted but not so unexpected event caused by COVID-19 has us all experiencing all kind of emotions, from home and away from home, like grounded adults, I’m coming back to share my favourite explorations of the first months of this year 2020.
You’ll find it’s a very “fashion”-able post, but your girl has some interests that must be shared. At the end, as usual, some of my favourite techy/geeky and random stuff.
Let’s dive into the fashion world!
You may recall that I mentioned I was reading a biography about Diana Vreeland – Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland – , the great and famous Vogue editor (let’s say a predecessor of the more known today Anne Wintour) when I started exploring more of the fashion world on my reading. I’m not a great fan of Vogue magazine – or any fashion magazine, for that matter – as there’s so much marketing on them… But I do enjoy the photography and essays they publish.So, from time to time, I do explore them. Now, reading about the life of Vreeland makes it a lot more interesting. And by the way, she started at Haper’s Bazaar.
There’s actually a lot of fashion history in those pages and I would totally recommend it to anyone interested in the fashion of the last century. At least for other folks that aren’t yet so familiar with the origins of the great fashion brands of today, but also those interested in fashion communication and how this world came to be how we know it. From the Parisian Haute-couture to today’s fashion walks. I’m pending to read her autobiography though! Looking forward to it.
Now, there’s a lot that I got from Vreeland in that book which goes beyond fashion. It is her philosophy in life and how deeply she believed that one can make herself up – that really stands out for me. We are not what we’ve been told we are, but who we believe we can be. That’s a great power, my dears. And you’ll see how she made herself up if you read the book 😉
Wanna know more about fashion brands and keep reading? Well, there are two more books on my shelf that have been entertaining me for a while.
Always in Fashion: From Clerk to CEO — Lessons for Success in Business and in Life. Kind of a memoir of a man who started out as a designer and built his way up to LVMH (you know, the luxury group to which Louis Vuitton and so many other brands belong to. My key take-away? His philosophy too, the passion he put in his every role, the drive to learn, become better and make the business work, not as a way to only get personal profit but to make the company and one’s work greater. There’s much more to learn in the book though, as there are plenty of behind the scenes in the fashion industry, closer to our days than those in the Vreeland biography.
Third, the book I’m reading right now,The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever . This book does go brand by brand, which is sooo …. nice? It feels very educational while still entertaining, as it analyses the big names in fashion, the luxury brands, how they came to be and where they are headed, while going from designer to designer. I still have a long way to go before I finish this book, so I may add some new thoughts on it in the future.
So, now that I’m so deep into the fashion world… Let me add another recommendation – The Coursera course created by the MOMA which is called Fashion as Design. It’s a very different approach to fashion from the books above. Instead of focusing so much on the big names and shiny brands, it talks pure fashion. The design, the purpose… They explore different themes during the course, while teaching about different clothes and why they are how they are. It’s a must even if you are not interested in fashion (as seen in the media) if you like the design side of things. I totally loved the approach of those lessons and it’s a way to understand fashion that aligns better with my own vision.
Something else. Did you know that there’s a TV program showcasing what’s inside the V&A Museum (Victoria’s & Albert Museum in London)? Well, it started some weeks ago on BBC2 and it’s quite interesting. It shows the work of the museum focusing on various pieces of different kinds in each episode ( p.e. jewellery – painting – costume). It’s called The Secrets of The Museum and you can watch it here (if you’re not in the UK you may want to use a VPN – keep scrolling down, I’ll talk about it later).
Now, let’s travel!
So, not really. You know why, the whole world knows. BUT. If you need a moment to get your mind off everything and fill the weekend with some new, different memories… well, there are a thousand things you could do. The want I’d like to check on today, though, is… VR travelling!
The world is going digital (ughh… hello black mirror nightmares), so there are lots of digital alternatives to anything right now. From the digital online fashion shows to Google earth in VR to shopping in 3d scenarios . Check out this recent article by the Independent about places you could visit digitally that I recently found (or this other one). And I’m quite sure there are many, many more similar opportunities. Think of any museum you’ve ever wanted to visit and look at their website for digital tours and exhibitions. Think about it: sometimes, even just a well structured article to be read on the sofa could be better than 4 hours of standing in front of pieces and looking for the small captions. At least, you can get some previous knowledge about the great pieces in display. For example, I found that the museums of Edinburgh have this Mode article in which to discover 30 pieces of fashion – and you can see them in 180º!
Another possibility is to check the outdoors online, and not only by a webcam – which is not such a bad option after a whole week spent looking through the same window to a boring view – but you can go on a dreamy vacation instead. Not a bad way to visualize a future destination, right? It’s as easy as going to Youtube and searching for “virtual tour” of your destination of choice. Or let the suggestions get on the way and visit things like “The Titanic” or a million dollar home. Would you like to fly over a particular place ? We can do that too! See! And this! What about entering the worlds of Dali?
Just found my place on Youtube now. I’ll be spending all my remaining internet data here. I’m doomed.
Let’s get techie!
Lately, everywhere on the internet there are references and ads about VPNs. They are important to surf more safely, adding a layer of privacy, to access sites restricted by geography, trick apps and games that depend on your location and even recommended if you download software in not a very legal way.
I personally feel very much against the restrictions of location. The internet is a door to the whole world, from my point of view, and I have always loved it for that. Finding I can’t read articles or watch a video because I live in Europe terribly disappoints, so sometimes I use Windscribe. It’s free up to 2gb with an account, no credit card needed. I had used Tor in the past as a way to navigate privately, but it’s a browser and it changes the experience. As you see, I have no experience in VPNs but if you don’t need much, that one can be useful. I also downloaded an app for my phone, which I haven’t used really but looks fine enough : it’s Tunnel Bear, also free for about 500 mb and options to get more by sharing the app (or upgrading).
If you’ve seen my post My commitment to creativity in these lock-down days, you may remember that the first day I had a break down with my computer. I had to erase the whole hard drive and so I lost all my apps. As a consequence, I had to quickly get the ones I needed the most to start working. So when it comes to 3D software, I went straight for Blender. I had been using other apps, but it’s been a while anyway, so I figured it wouldn’t be so bad to use Blender. By the way, they have now plenty of lives everyday in here.
Well, it has surprised me in a very good way. The first time I used Blender I may have been 14 years old, maybe a bit older. I remember having the instructions printed at home for ages. I never followed all of them. I like modeling and 3D scenarios but I’ve never given it enough time to learn them. Now, I do intend to be able to do some basic things, as I have a purpose on mind. Blender has improved so much since then! And it’s free and there are plenty of resources and tutorials about it. I’ll show you how I’m planning to use it soon!
Now that we are spending so much time at home, working from home, what about monitoring the time you spend on your computer? I recently installed RescueTime, so I can get a register of the hours I’m on the computer. Not that I needed to know what I’ve done and what I haven’t, but it’s nice to see it in graphics and numbers. I’m a very visual person, so it helps me to know I have to focus. And it clearly states I spend too much time on Firefox. Maybe I’m blogging too much??
Oh my girl! I’m dying to watch these documentaries : “5 Design World Documentaries to Stream For Free” ! I’ve seen “Helvetica”, of course, but I just wish I got more time to kill (and more gb of Internet). Now that I’m thinking about it, I still have some episodes of Abstract to watch… 😁
We are staying at home and we are staying safe. But are we staying sane?
It is from experience that I say that being locked at home for long hours and days, even as a purposeful act to accomplish a higher level of productivity, never turns out as good as I’d hope not for me, at least). So, how are you doing?
We all need some routines and ways to get accountable
These are hard days for all of us. For the world, for society, for the economies… The truth is we don’t even know why or how we got into this situation.
Our routines have been broken, almost vanished. We are uncertain about many things. But we hold tight onto the hope that everything will be OK and that we’ll go back to normality. Maybe we will even be stronger and develop tools to better process similar events that may occur in the future.
Now we find our day to day to be total chaos. We go with the flow. It seems like we are all bored, refreshing our social feeds endlessly in hopes to see that everything is coming back to normality and seeing that we are all feeling the same way, sharing our boredom, anxiety and suffering. We are trying to stay connected when we have to stay apart.
But maybe we can have our say in how we all want this to develop.
We are building something new. We are finding new ways to do and adapt to what feels like a different world. And we will be building new routines, while taking further advantage of technology to fill the voids.
Striving for a better version
But can we choose to do it consciously? Can we use this moment to create that improved version of ourselves that we have failed to become every 1st of January? I believe so.
There are few things as powerful as habits. And if you add the right attitude, you can just crush it.
So, what now?
So, I’ll be trying to walk the talk. I have a strong drive to do more and become better as I want to prove myself that I can achieve all that I really want to and believe in. It’s not just a self-centered, selfish ambition, I want to share this feeling that mostly everything is possible, that where there’s a will, there’s actually a way. And the only way I know is by doing and creating. So that’s what I’ll be pursuing these weeks.
It’s a moment to reflect on our own personal and professional situation. Even those who are lucky to now have “time”, may confront the fact that there are actually many things that could benefit from our energy. This energy is not endless though, and this “time” will not be available forever.
So, it may be now or never.
We may have a choice. How will these events impact our lives in the areas that we have some control over?
Not ashes. Ocean. Water we are and we’ll find our way to the ocean. I much better prefer that mental image. And then, being a drop in the ocean makes a lot more sense. Or the ocean in a drop, like Rumi says.
I don’t think I’m the only one, but I feel a kind of obsession about the quick passing of time and the presence of death. Let me put it in a picture for you: I was flipping pages through a local magazine that my boyfriend had passed me. And I spoke out loud about a place in the cemetery for sale (I always find it funny that you buy a “block” for when you are finally dead or to Rest In Peace) and then I also saw an ad for funerary services and had to say “do someone who really needs them at the moment will be reading this?”. At which point my boyfriend pointed out how he didn’t notice any of this ads. I’d like to think that I’m just so amused at life that I always notice a threat to it, even if its just by naming the end of it.
About the passing of time, maybe it’s more noticeable because of having a clear routine. And, although it doesn’t feel comfortable to be thinking constantly about time running out, it clearly is a necessity and one that not everybody takes seriously enough. We all go around hoping and doing as if things won’t change any time soon. Until they do. And I don’t say we should be doing otherwise, at least not to expect what we don’t want, but we should think about it to gain perspective in life and about our priorities. Because when change does really break into your routine, we get a better picture of what we really liked about our past and we’d really like to change for our future. And then be able to break our patterns and beliefs to get the life we want.
And so, I had to share these summer photos, those stills that remind me of how free I can be and that are moments that can last forever even if they don’t actually do. Does it make any sense to you?
I believe you could divide the world into two types of people: those who are on time, always prepared and write the posts on time… And those who always run late. In the blogosphere at least. Ok, no, I just changed my mind: I believe we all do this thing off-time. Unless you are doing live streaming. That’s the real deal.
It all started with the title of this article. As you may know, I adore summer or maybe I just hate being cold, which happens most of the time in my life: be it indoors, outdoors, because of the AC, because of cloudy days… So I’m always a bit resentful of time flying by specially after summer has ended. Actually, I feel like I just skipped autumn altogether. I enjoyed warm temperatures (at least at middays in the sun) and now I’m just freezing, wearing some cut-off gloves while I type under the blanket. It’s cold in here and dark night outside. But let’s cultivate some optimism!
Why do I write?
I just recently thought, what if someone tries to write my biography when I’m dead? I know, quite an ambitious dream (not the being dead part, of course). I was just reading a biography of Diana Vreeland and there are many quotes in there from her diaries. The thing is, I don’t write a diary, and when I’ve written something similar to that I’ve made sure, like really sure, that nobody could ever read it. Although there was little on those entries that could help in a biography rather than have a psychological profile made of my inner conflicts and unresolved emotions, which are the only things that make me write in secrecy in the first place. 🤔 So, my only legacy, if I never get the chance to write a book (I have many books in my mind!) may be this blog. Until the day I (or someone on my behalf) stop paying for the hosting.
So, this blog does serve as my legacy, not only to showcase what I create (occasionally), but also share a small piece of my mind and vision of the world. And this, my friends, kind of serves me as a consolation for writing about my “average” life. I keep promising to myself that one day I’ll only write good, informative and inspiring stuff, but here I am again.
[Changing the subject]
How to keep motivated when it gets colder
Life has been quite good for the last months. And I felt really, really good. I practiced sport, I worked, I started lots of sewing projects, got great ideas I hope I’ll find the time to pursue… And now I have to be positive and embrace change. In my clothing at least. I adore doing sport in shorts, I can tolerate being too hot but I totally hate it being so cold until I’ve actually being active for a while. If you are like me, hold on. Let’s put our favourite tunes and … think about what we can control to make the transition to winter much, much easier.
1- Let’s get some nice winter sporty clothes!
I don’t want to promote consumerism but maybe it’s not the best of to the ideas to try and motivate yourself to go for a run wearing some old, boring and worn out leggings. And what about a matching shirt and running jacket instead of an old jumpsuit? (Remember fashion is our friend as long as you don’t fall for every fast-fashion trend and learn your own style)
Quick update: I did get some real “sport clothing” just for that, and it did work! It looks amazing on me (no modesty here) and gives me the same feeling that I used to get when wearing my wetsuit for surfing – that of empowerment and freedom.
2- Picture yourself having fun out in the cold
3- Picture yourself feeling so great in the hot shower afterwards
4- Think about the big goals you want to achieve for next summer. It won’t happen if you keep sitting by the fireplace
5- Oh, did I say to start with some good music to kick it off by moving that awesome body?
6- Last but not least, think about that great dinner or that glass of beer that will be waiting for you when you come back
One thing I realised not long ago is that I used to put on warmer clothing than I needed. So I was uncomfortable all the time, having my exposed skin so cold but then I was too warm where I was covered. Just saying, for those of you who also thought, how on earth can they be outdoors with shorts, in this temperature?
There’s no chance I’ll be going running these days just with a pair of shorts, but you won’t find me with gloves and an infinity scarf neither.
Now, let’s remember the good moments of the last season: (oh, yes, it’s an excuse to tell you that I got the chance to surf and finally tried scuba diving! It won’t be my last time!)
I don’t have much to say about Autumn though. But now I can get excited about Christmas!! Aren’t you already?? Decorations are on the streets already and Black Friday is coming fast. Will I be able to create something christmassy inspired?? I hope to at least get to style some cozy shots. Keep posted! 😉
UPDATE : fuck, nop. 😩 I didn’t even get to finish this post before Christmas, nor publish it before 2020. Let’s say I’ve kept pretty busy during this last quarter. Maybe next year? 🙏
But let’s remember and repeat our winter mantras :
Summer Autumn may be coming to an end, so let’s embrace this moment to share a couple of things I’ve been enjoying and digging in and that I want you to know about.
First of all, and this may be coming too late for those of us in the northern hemisphere, what do you use to avoid sunburning? Did you know that your suncream may be killing the coral reefs? I kindly and highly recommend you to read this article to learn a bit about this issue. You’ll realise it’s not a small issue: there are days that you get on a crowded beach, go for a swim and there’s no way to smell the sea as there are so many smells of suncream around you… Did you notice? How much suncream goes into the sea??
Some components in our sunscreens are endangering life in the oceans, so we should take that into account. Do we need to use all that solar protection? It’s far more beneficial for everyone to be aware of the time and hours we spend under the sun, to protect ourselves with clothing and the right accessories and avoid sunscreen as much as we can. Suncream should actually be our last resource.
My way of dealing with it? First of all, I don’t spend that much time under the sun. I’m not trying to get tanned either, but if I did, I would try to spend less time in a day laying in the sun but spending more days in a row doing so. The worst thing I did this summer was to go running at noon, on one of the hottest days 😅 So what did I do? I used a zinc solar protection, which should be safe for the ocean too, and I only used it for my nose area, as it’s my most delicate spot – I’ve sunburned it too many times. And, of course, I wore a shirt and shorts. This kind of protection is what I’ve seen surfers use plenty of times (though not in Spain) and it works for me too. And you should totally check it out. More info on the link mentioned above.
As I get back to the flow of sharing things around here, summer is getting to an end. And I don’t say that easily. It’s breaking me to see myself already wearing my soft pullovers and zipper ups indoors while the beach is still calling me with warm waters. Still, I’ll try to ignore all of those who already share pumpkins and fall collections. Ain’t giving up on summer yet, even if my clothing says otherwise!
Now, let me share a bit of what is going on around here. Did I enjoy summer at its fullest? I’d had to say no. I did get to the beach quite a few times, though I think what I did most was running. And snorkelling. Freediving and apnea are a growing interest for me this year. Anyways, I’m not a big fan of going where the crowds are, the surf hasn’t been much convenient (if there was actually any) and, of course, life is always busy.
Maybe you recall me talking about reading that much early in the year. Well, I’m not keeping up very well as I’ve been shifting my focus on trying to staying on track with practising my drawing/painting skills as well as trying to work a bit on my body, aka doing some sport or activities. And summer is great for that. I’ve felt so much more active during these last couple of months!
So, let me tell you about my morning routine. Beware, I’m not another blogger talking about the importance of self-care, those who get to spend three hours in the morning doing what makes them feel good… I’m just trying my best to make the most of my days. The days in which I go to my full-time job.
So, what do I do? Firstly, I try to wake up as early as possible (trying to sleep around 7 hours during the week though) which means that luckily I’ll get up at 5.40 am – but which also means I can’t watch any series before sleep. While I start clearing my mind and pulling away from the sleep in my eyes I spend a good chunk of time having my breakfast, usually while scrolling Instagram. I sometimes even make a post or start preparing one.
After that, I’ll go for like a half an hour of stretching/yoga/plank exercises to wake up the rest of the body while I listen to some music. I totally need that, even if I’m too tired, just some stretching makes wonders for my body. Especially, if you consider I’ll be sitting for almost the rest of the day! Then, it’s time for some art! For half an hour or so I’ll be sketching or painting, still with my music on and I use every minute available before I have to rush to get ready for work. And so here my secret revealed as to why I still get rushing to work when I get up so early.
Not all days go so perfectly, some days I’m too tired, some days I have something else to prepare or do, some days I exercise more and paint less, and otherwise. On lucky days though, I may even get 20 minutes of painting on my lunch break. And that, my friends, is why I’ve been able to paint these things below.
Oh, and this is me, trying to smile still sleepy, in those days when I could still go around with just a shirt in the early morning…
Internet is a great place for businesses and for marketing. We all know it. But why? Basically, because the internet makes it a lot easier to find the right audience for any product. Also, everybody is consuming a lot of content, which means that our behaviour makes it even easier for companies to reach us. So, advertisers will look for and find you on the internet. But, can you avoid them? And if so, how?
Yes, you can. That’s the short answer. But you’ll have to take action. And they’ll try to put you back on the ads consuming wagon at every turn.
You should be conscious that most services track you so they can get the right ad in front of you. Every time you accept the cookies of a new site, you should take a good look at which cookies are those. The most basic ones and the reason why most websites need to warn you is because of the social media cookies. That website that you are visiting may not be tracking you but as they use social media widgets and other third parties (and those do track all your activity) they must warn you. But I’ve found that many sites will even specify which services and companies work with them, which might actually be many more than we are used to and will share your data for a wider range of purposes and to far many companies. Unfortunately, there are some of these cases when it is actually not possible to deny accepting those cookies and to navigate the site.
How to remove ads (some at least)?
First of all, start by getting some tools. Aka:
Adblock (for your favourite browser)
Use a browser that doesn’t track you and blocks most ads
Then, accept that you’ll have to say no. Every time you say you consent to have ads better suited to your interests, you are accepting ads and trackers.
a gratuitous picture of my cat, depicting privacy 😆
How to get more privacy using google
First, check this(!) It freaks me out to see it. They just have too much information. Imagine you could access that info about any person. Or every person. You could know much more than where they work and live (which is not little).
Go to https://myaccount.google.com/data-and-personalization and pause all the services you don’t really need. I only keep the Youtube history to keep a record of which videos I saw, in case I want to rewatch any of them. Turn off ad personalisation (anyway, it is more fun to see new unrelated ads, and you won’t be seeing many either).
And now for the action that changes it all: go to these sites and turn off all the companies:
Last but not least, stay informed and keep trying to push off the ads. You may even find that you are not seeing ads on Youtube! I rarely see any and I can enjoy Youtube music for free without interruptions (most of the time).
And rest assured, the day you are actually on the internet looking for a product you want or need, you’ll be able to find it without the help of constant ads floating all over the sites.
Some days I roll around, some days I cruise around. This video is one of the rolling ones. There’s not too much to it, just a casual day. Thought I would get some footage and then decided to edit it to make a little video. I’m sure you won’t be enjoying it as much as I enjoyed the afternoon but… I’m sharing a piece of my life that hopefully will inspire you someway.
Check my youtube channel. There’s not much there yet but I’ll try to create better things in the near future!
Wanna see another very small part of my life? Meet (briefly) who I spend the most time with in this other post/video.
Coming today with a video I made…. in which I am not 😛 I could have made a vlog but I decided to try out my camera video options in a more ¿artistic? way and made my first edit in ages. It’s just a way for you to meet (briefly) my twin sister, my boyfriend and our pets, and the landscape that surrounds me. How nice were the warmer days! (and yes, I recorded this before the summer started… it’s embarrassing having to admit that I’ve neglected my internet presence for a year). Anyway, we are all on a never-ending quest for finding balance!
You can find this video also on youtube. And do follow me on Instagram to see my pictures more often or on Twitter to get spammed with links when I get some time to surf the net.
Here comes what used to be my “links of the month” post : Links and recommendations I found that (I think) are worth sharing along with some life updates.
YOU CAN SKIP THIS PART
The year started 8 months ago and I didn’t get to publish any post. So embarrassing and shameful. But here we are. So, let me tell you REAL quick what my intentions were when 2019 started. I decided not to focus on a list of goals for the year. Instead, I want to focus on the bigger picture and work on it slowly and steadily. That’s my only goal. To move forward. To lower my expectations over myself and all the things I should be doing and achieving and to acknowledge that I’m already working hard on balancing all the things on my plate and giving priority to building habits that will help me achieve my big dreams. And I encourage you to do the same. I can’t jump to a future life without being here right now and doing the things that need to be done right now. Taking care of oneself is not as social media lays it out to be (pink baths and cute pyjamas) but about being brutally honest with the self and starting to learn what those activities are that do you well but that you deny because, in your mind, you are not that sort of person. (I feel so mature now that I’m 26 yo LOL) Let me put better: I tend to avoid people and sports, not because I dislike them (maybe some people and some sports, but not in general), but because I don’t see them as a priority. As it happens, though, I do feel a lot more alive if I spend a good chunk of my free time engaged in both of them. And that’s hard to listen to, as I usually think I need to stay in when I most need to go out. You may understand this better if your personality type is 5 too. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check this. And you may also be interested in this (it seems I’m a logician). These are personality groups, with tests and information on every type. I’m not a fan of being put in a box like that but when it happens to be quite right and the texts become enlighting, I must admit it can be helpful. And I’m always up for some self-improvement.
NOW THE LIST
Here comes a mix of links I found on the interwebs with no connection:
– This video: ” In “Dream”—a harrowing video by Zombie Studio—critically endangered animals poignantly sing “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables.”
– Ever wondered about the beaches in South Africa? I did and I want to keep this article close for the day I get to go. You know, even though I’m not the cliché surfer who gets every surf break they can, I do like to travel to places where it is possible, so if I get the chance to surf the better.
– If you are a designer too, you may like this. How important do you think typography is for science fiction movies that picture the future? Well, quite a bit actually. You can see some case studies on this page.
– Here is a short guide to Instagram basics (characters related) that comes handy.
I started doing so well with my reading this year… And rapidly went back to the old habits. I love reading but I have to do it squeezing the small chunks of time I have left in my day and that means being focused on reading, while I still want to be thinking about so many other things, my projects, designs, illustrations… Anyway, here’s a list of what I’ve been reading this year (yeah, there’s a theme around here – I’m always up for a business/ marketing/ self-improvement book):
– TheSlight Edgeby Jeff Olson – This book sets the tone for the start of the year. The idea behind it is simple but that makes it just more powerful. I totally recommend it to anyone but to explain it in a sentence: there lays a great power on every small action you take every day and it will change your future.
– This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See by Seth Godin. You probably know Seth Godin as he’s a marketing guru on the internet and you have probably come across something he said already… Anyway, in this book he talks modern marketing in the era of online commerce and it’s a nice read, good to brush up on some ideas.
– Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis. I love how he talks about building and keeping a small business small and how that’s important. I totally buy into the idea that small businesses have a real future and the idea of not trying to grow bigger and bigger as a business should be pursued more broadly.
–The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay. This one’s a bit off-topic, but I really enjoyed it. Not in the way I would enjoy a novel, but as a book that knows how to clearly break down what it means to be a 20-something, the worries we have, the problems we face, how we feel about our lives. And it gives solutions or at least it shows us the path. How to grow up and keep going forward in the way that better suits and benefits us. I wish I had this book when I entered the twenties but at least I had it 4 years to go before entering the so cursed 30’s. Anyone else has noticed that all benefits of being “young” or “under x” end at 30? Is there something that they don’t tell us, like that we will be dead inside or something when we reach that age?
– As a man thinketh by James Allan. I had listened to/ watched videos with James Allen’s voice overs for a while and heard (actually read) about this book lots of times previously, so it was a matter of time I would read it eventually. It’s a short read and it teaches how to think, which is not a small feat.
– Rich dad, poor dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki. Did you miss having financial classes or some kind of guidance while growing up about money issues? Well, here you’ll find what you wanted and what you need to start progressing. I enjoyed it, was motivated by it and have to keep digging in that field (I have a full course on financial studies ready to study).
–When Coffee & Kale Compete: Become Great at Making Products People Will Buy by Alan Klement. How can you get a great idea for a business? How to prove it’s worth pursuing it? This book is full of good ideas, case studies and ideas on how to find a good idea, how we know it’s a good idea and how others have made it. Learn what you need to know to develop a good business idea – that what you can take from it. I loved the approaches taken in this.
I’ll tell you more when I’m finished. And probably the list will have grown longer, as my to-read list is endless (f***).
And here goes a video I enjoyed recently about this great surf artist and his path to it.
And lastly… A product that has saved me this year: glasses with a blue filter. I had my doubts they would actually work… But spending most of my day in front of a screen (retina screens and my Xiaomi’s) I had to try it, as I would have red eyes almost every day. And they do work. I still get red eyes from time to time and some days they even hurt, but it has now happened on occasion when it would be like this every day before. If you are thinking about taking the leap and trying them, go ahead!
Because I don’t want to feel like the drawing above, I end up looking like below. A bit too geeky for my taste.
Grab your backpack, fill it with your fav equipment and leave the house without knowing what time you are coming back.
What do I feel is the best thing about practising sports or any activity outdoors? Just being outdoors. That’s why sometimes I’d rather sit in the wild with my camera at hand and just look around, observing everything and noticing the details of every little leaf, rock… Maybe it is because of my childhood holidays spent on the mountains, allowed to spend all day on the outdoors, doing as I pleased, playing my own games and the ones I’d make up with my sister.
I dream of the day I’ll be able to spend time in my own garden, working under the sun, enjoying the breeze and letting my imagination wild.
Nowadays, though, I just enjoy going out. The sun always warms you, even on the colder days and the air is fresh. Natural light and different views will always be highly appreciated (especially after a week on the office).
As much as I can love routine, I love breaking it even more, or simply escaping from it. And those become the happy times, the moments to remember, the days I’ll remember in the future. Because routine, as good as it can feel sometimes, just gets lost in countless moments you won’t be able to tell from each other.
Nothing can beat outdoors time. It will keep me grounded and steer my imagination in ways a screen will never do. And it improves my sight and not otherwise!
The quietness lets your mind breath and all shapes, colours and feelings are an endless source of creativity.
Here below find some memories from a day out, being inspired by the late-fall feelings.
Oh these little beaches! White sand (at least before the winds blow and the sea rises) and blue, green and purple waters. Fluffy foam and funny waves… The beach is where I go when I just want to go somewhere. Where I go on my mind to think, dream and relax. I love where I am when I’m not at the beach and I love going to the seashore at the same time.
It is the place where I go on Summer to … just go.
It is where I go on Winter to walk the dog and breath the salty air when it’s flat. And surfing whenever the stars align.
Let me fly away underwater and listen to the sounds down there.
I dream of going to the desert and look at those endless mountains of sand, soft under the feet, slipping between the toes, too hot to step over for long.
In the water the world morphs, it’s more flexible, open… It seems reality isn’t as stiff as it often seems to be. I see more glimpses of freedom in the water, may it be because I get to play and be myself as we used to do when we were kids.
I like to remind myself that this is what can be home. I don’t need a place to call my own, I am home and the sea (and nature) is where I like to hang out. Not much else I need.
The shapes of on the water make me crazy (in a good sense). I find it so fascinating to look at the changing shapes, the movement and colours. It’s like a kaleidoscope. I always love waiting for the swell to come while I enjoy the peaceful landscape, the changing colours, the lights and skies, the surface of the sea… I’ve seen so many wonderful skies thanks to being chasing waves.
Most of these pics are courtesy of my twin sis. As well as this nice butt %$s Sorry, I meant legs 🤪. You can see (read) her stuff here. You should take a look (and not just because I helped with the brand-web-graphics).
My sis, you’ll see lots of pics of her on my insta. Don’t think that’s too bad, we are twins xp
PS. This post may have been published like some months after it was actually photographed and written. It may just be that I like to fake I live in Australia or that I’ve been busy with other business.
Time is so relative! So different from one time to the next. That afternoon hour in the office when you forgot to have coffee and you get so sleepy runs so slow… that day spent indoors cleaning and organising that flies away before you can put your feet up… those days you drive for several miles and have some fun outdoors…
And then there are those days you can stretch. When you get away to have a bit of an adventure. To go up to the mountains and then back to a new town, when you walk and you talk, and dream and walk and see new things non-stop.
These pictures are from one of those times.
Sometimes I even get the feeling that the surreal thing is our daily lives, so far away from places like these, walking only over concrete, having forgotten that we should be running wild and free a lot more most of the day.
After the hike in nature, we went back to meet civilisation but we remained on awe. We walked over ancient rocks and buildings, made so long ago, standing the pass of time while we pass by in a flicker.
I was marvelled stepping over these colourful cobblestones.
Oh, and this pattern of flowers! I could totally have that door in my dream house. Maybe not that tall though.
How fun it is to find old buildings in such colourful palettes! Every little adventure could keep me inspired for months!
Everything comes to an end and this was it. Roadtripping back home, seeing the sun shine, driving under a storm and getting home to a peaceful night.
PS : locations are the summit La Gallina Pelada, the town of Besalú and the city of Girona. There was so much we saw and have still left to discover!
I made a commitment to myself to not be so angry about it being winter. I chose to enjoy it like any other time of the year. I think I’m doing fine. Though, winter is really just starting. As it will not end officially until the twenty-something of March, I still have three months to put my new attitude to the test. I’m feeling positive, though!
Does it feel less cold and comfortable now? Indeed. But I’m at peace with myself, I make sure I don’t feel the cold that much and that I still do things I love. Even if it means going less and less to surf some waves. As you’ll see below, that doesn’t mean I stop going to the beach!
When mountains call
Does it feel like winter in the pics above? It surely feels cooler and the sun was almost gone when I took the pictures, so you can bet it doesn’t feel like summer. But it is wonderful as well, as always. Also, wherever you go, if you are in good company, there’s not much to complain about. And here we brought our dog and cat with us, while E. climbed and I entertained myself running around trying to keep the cat on sight. We even found some (lots of) mushrooms to take home for dinner. Win-win!
When the sea calls
I could stare at the ripples of the sea endlessly. Remember, you won’t see them ever again, not the same, not in all eternity.
And how wonderful is the beach? Much more enjoyable than in summer, where people are lying all around. We can bring our dog and have some fun while she runs and plays with all the other pups. I get to enjoy the salty air, enjoy the beach views and even watch some wild shrimps.
As much as I love taking a few good shots of the coastal life, I can’t ignore the beauty of the rural life I’ve got. Being those mountains and country sights my day to day, sometimes I also feel the urge to capture the beautiful lights and colours that shine all around on the peaceful moments I go outdoors, even if it’s just to walk the pets.
These pictures were taken on one of those days when the sun was setting and creating a warm palette of colours.
Now, enjoy some folk vibes for a change!
Water reflections are always a favourite sight. Though Pumpkin the cat doesn’t like them very much.
When I get to spend some time on the outdoors I always feel grateful to be able to enjoy our beautiful landscapes. And I’m especially grateful for not living in the heart of a grey big city where those peaceful moments and sights are even more precious and harder to find.
May we all find a peaceful walk for each day, one that brings us closer to the world, keep us grounded and frees our minds.
I have no green thumb but I’m lucky enough that plants outside home live perfectly without my help and I even get to enjoy their fruits! How gratifying it is to collect food from the woods and wild plants. During this year I’ve learnt about many more plants that are edible and it is eye-opening to discover that you can buy your groceries, grow them and even find some in the wild.
Summer doesn’t want you to be sad.
She is not going that far, and she’s coming back in 9 months. She’s just going on a trip, and you could even join her.
But the sea… ahhh the sea. She is not so kind. She’s that kind of girl who likes to play with your feelings. You never know when she’ll be ready to move forward or when she is leaving. She won’t give you waves when you are ready and will bring the best swell when you’re on duty. We forever chase her, like trying to catch the moon on the mirroring waters of a peaceful black lake. And she always slips away from our fingers and wetsuits.
She likes our salty tears as much as we like her salty foam. But she doesn’t want you to be sad, not specifically. You can cry with excitement and fun too. She’d be satisfied too, but who really knows with Sea?
However, we should cry with excitement indeed. We are lucky to be able to play where Summer and Sea hang out. Don’t you think? Will you join us?
There’s a special feeling when you get to the sea for a quick swim, with nearly no one on the beach, when the water’s still warm and the sun is strong on the skin.
Who else loves to swim close to the bottom sand? It looks like there’s another sea behind, with its sand dunes (or waves) and all the reflections playing around…
And what about the light rainbows? And the light shining on all the white shells looking like diamonds underneath your bare feet?
I have so much fun in the water, even when it’s for a short amount of time, even if it’s occasional and not a daily thing. It’s dreamy as well, and a very precious time I’ll recall for a long time.
Not picture perfect, but surely filled with joy[/caption]
Tides are a funny thing. When we think about the beach we don’t usually think about the tides. And surely we don’t take into account how beaches change with tides. D’you know those paradisiacal beaches you see in travel sites in those wonderful photos? They may not look the same on low tide.
But how do tides work and what should you know about them?
Tides are sooo important when going surfing. I’m used to not thinking about them because in the Mediterranean they are almost inexistent. But whenever I go surfing to a new spot, I realise how dependent we are of the tide.
Picture by a surf mate 🤙
Surfing spots are very different and tides are a key factor in creating the best moment to surf. With surf forecasts, it’s easy to know when the tides are changing but you must know what’s the best condition for that beach. There are beaches that work best in high tide, others in low tide, some in the medium high tide and some others in the medium low tide.
Tides are created as a result of the gravity of the Moon and the Sun on the Earth and their movements.
Every tide lasts approximately 6 hours and there are two low tides and two high tides every day. Between the two high tides, half a day it’s gone (12h and 27 minutes).That’s because the Moon takes almost 25 hours to circle the Earth. So every day the tides come an hour later than the day before.
How’s that there are two high tides (and lows) if the Moon only takes one trip around the Earth a day? Well, it seems weird, right? While the water rises when the Moon is overhead your beach, it has the same effect when it’s just on the opposite side of the Earth (just below your feet). This is because the gravitational force of the Moon creates two water bulges that also move contrary to the movement of the Earth as a result of a centrifugal force (created from the difference in the rotation of the Earth – it rotates around an axis that isn’t exactly at the c
enter so one side will rotate faster giving some inertia to the second bulge of water).
The bulge on the side of the moon will be the high high tide and the one on the other side just a high tide (but it’s more noticeable on certain spots, for example, on caves or narrow indentations of the sea).
What’s the role of the Sun? Well, because of its distance from the Earth, its gravitational force doesn’t affect the seas as much as the Moon does, but when it aligns with the Moon and the Earth spring tides happen (when the high tides get higher). Conversely, when the Sun gets on a right angle with the Moon, the neap tides happen (the lowest of high tides).
Also, the distance from the Moon affects those bulges differently (you know, it doesn’t go round the Earth in a perfect circle, it’s more like an ellipse). So, when it’s closer to the Earth (perigee), the tidal bulges increase and they decrease when it’s at its furthest (apogee).