Hello all! No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth, haven’t gone to live on some deserted island, nor moved to a secluded cabin deep in the woods. I’ve been busy! More about that in a moment.
Christmas is now in the rear view mirror. It was truly lovely. So very different from last year in Portugal…equally lovely, but so different. This Christmas, my husband and I decided to make up for missing out on the many Christmas celebrations and traditions so common to our past experience. The month of December found us exploring our own city, Kelowna, BC, Canada, and the many events it offered. Our hearts were filled while enjoying an uplifting concert by Spectrum, one of our amazing local audition choirs, were touched by the words and music from The Messiah, did the proud grandparent thing as our baby grandson had his first stage appearance as baby Jesus in a church pageants, celebrated local artisans as they displayed their wares at the many Christmas markets all the while walking around with a mug of locally made mulled wine. It was wonderful.
Then the cold hit! We literally went from -1 C, blue sky with sun shining on Dec 14th to -25 C a week later! Just reminding us we were back home in Canada. You can imagine how many conversations we had that started with, “Remember this time last year when we were walking on the beach in Albufeira?” While it did warm up for a crisp Christmas Day walk, we certainly weren’t running into the ocean for a dip as we did the previous year!
It is amazing how much you don’t know about your hometown unless you intentionally go looking. We have lived in Kelowna since 1987, but have never spent time exploring the downtown area with its unique shops and cafés. So that’s exactly what we did the week before Christmas. We still had a couple of gifts to purchase, so we got in the car and drove the short 5km to explore new territory. It was so much fun.
We started with coffee (of course) at a café I had been to a couple of years previous, but it was new to my husband. Pulp Fiction is a coffee shop with personality…you must go visit their website and check it out. Honestly, I have no idea why I never returned there! We loved the vibe; the place was full, some folks visiting, others reading, several working on their laptops…the hum of people doing life was delicious.
From there we walked across the street to Olive and Elle, another delightful shop worth checking out for their unique and high quality home decor, adorable baby ‘stuff’, among other lovelies.
The third shop we visited was down right dangerous…in the very best way possible! Textile Apparel, I had no idea what it was, sells clothes you just want to live in! Natural fabrics, Canadian made, funky but classic…and right on our doorstep! I had no intention of purchasing anything that day, after all, we were suppose to be finishing up our Christmas shopping, but I couldn’t resist.
Have you ever had a garment in mind that you knew you’d love but couldn’t find it anywhere? That’s what happened. A long, wool coat, forest green, my size…how could I resist! I tried it on and it was love at first sight. It is now hanging in my closet, ready for me to adorn every opportunity possible. It was a good day.
We explored and discovered more places that day, but I’ll leave it there for now.
Back to the start of this post and my busyness. This wasn’t necessarily activity based, but more creative. You see, I knew back in 2019 that I wanted to go on an extended study leave for 2021/2022. I also anticipated that it would be an adventure of a lifetime that would both inspire and stretch me. That’s when I started writing a memoir that would capture the journey from inception to completion.
For the past few months I have been focused on completing the manuscript, having it beta read, and finally, submitted to a publisher just yesterday. I’m sure you see what I mean by being creatively busy! This was a huge step for me…scary, exciting, and just unbelievable! It will be published, and I hope and pray it will also sell and be read…but that’s totally out of my control.
It will be a few months before it’s ready to promote and sell, I’ll keep you posted.
For now, I plan on continuing to blog and share my learnings from life and travel.
Hope you’ll keep joining me.
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*Ken Hagen linkedin.com/in/kenhagen Freelance Photographer and Videographer based out of Kelowna, BC