Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Life choices - lifestyles - consequences

This has been such a hard post to write. It's taken me forever to find the right words, expressing my feelings without a whimper.

This summer we had overnight guests from Australia. I thought they were staying with us for a couple of weeks. They ended up staying nearly six weeks!

During that time I discovered how different our lives have become.

My friend lives in the countryside, I live in suburbia. She has a small farm with lots of animals, I (now) have a dog.

Kaffesoester's Japanese Akita named Coco
Our girl Coco :-)

She only has one good friend, and she's lonely. Around me I have more than 20 great friends that I see frequently. Hardly a day goes by without one or two of them dropping in to have coffee and a chat.

She has severe money trouble, as a consequence of her life style choices as well as being unlucky with all the different jobs she's had over the years.

I'm not rich, but I do have money to give to charity, to pay for the dentist and the hairdresser, and for holidays abroad every now and then.

During her stay she revealed that she hadn't had an opportunity to wear make-up for the last five years. I buy a new mascara every 3 months. Plus new nail polish, lipstick and perfume.

She'll often be in her pyjama the whole day, I love dressing up in clean, colourful and fitted clothes, adding fun jewellery, shoes and handbags, wether I'm going out or not.

She claims that her neighbours and most of the people in the village are impossible to talk to, because she's too different from them.

I love having friends that are different from me. I love how we all have our own political ideals, religious beliefs and social background, but still manage to have fun, support each other and broaden each other's horizon.

No matter how my friends dress, I would never try to put them down.

On several occasions she mocked me for dressing up, wearing jewellery for no particular reason, for wearing such large and eye-catching pieces. She even claimed that a girl with nail polish is a silly goose! She even warned her 8-year-old son of that on several occasions.

For me it's really hard to find a bridge across our differences. If she appreciated our different perspectives on life, things would be fine. But I'm met with mockery and ridicule, and that doesn't feel very friendly!

Only one evening did she laugh, the rest of the time I only heard negative comments on everything.

Even though there's always room for improvement I do consider myself a happy person, not just lucky, but happy.

Before she moved permanently to Australia, we had some great times. Lots of fun evenings by the fire in the garden,  or exploring flea markets together, having a picnic in the forest with lots of friends and family...

There doesn't appear to be any room or desire for that kind of fun anymore.

What's left between us then? I can pity her for having spent almost all of her inheritance from 1998, so she will have to take a job, even a rotten one. I can pity her for having a need for unspoiled nature so she had to build her house far from the city, jobs and people that are her equal. I can pity her for marrying a man that doesn't have the same social needs as her, so he doesn't feel lonely. I can pity her for being such an artistic and free spirit that she can't talk to regular people. I can pity her for living in Southern Australia where it doesn't rain so she has to buy water.

 Or I can end it here.

She has really hurt me this time, to the point where I started doubting myself. Am I really superficial with my interest in style and fashion? Is my lifestyle wrong, spending so much time with friends?

I feel like she has taken me for granted, and exploited our friendship. To top it all of, she she gave me a present as thank you for staying at our place for free: A bottle of wine, a chocolate bar and a nice packet of coffee beans.

So, should I give her another chance for old times sake? Or should I just end it here?

Give me your thoughts and experiences, help me see things more clearly!

On Coco:

Some readers will remember that we had a dog called Congo, an Alaskan Malamute. He passed away in May 2014.

We have been searching for a new dog since, now wanting to try another breed with a lesser need for exercise.

We decided on either a Japanese or American Akita. Luck struck and we were unexpectedly offered to have Coco, a four month old puppy, at a reduced price (due to owners unexpected pregnancy).

Even though she's of a somewhat nervous disposition she's a lovely, curious and brave little dog. On top of that she's extremely beautiful and loves to cuddle. She has already made many friends here, mainly other dogs, and a few select people :-)

Here's Coco having a small snack :-) Like all puppies she's hungry all the time!

On gardening:

Finally I can harvest the results of all my hard work in spring and summer, and take a break in som comfortable seating too! My husband built the sofa :-)

Kaffesoesters garden with sofa

You see pumpkins, herbs, red rocket salat, Coco in the shadow and a mini lilac tree. The tree comes from a neighbour's balcony, where it outgrew the flowerpot.

I also have a few ripe tomatoes and strawberries. However, I do plan to grow a lot more vegetables next year. Soon I'll start preparing next year's vegetable beds.

Finally I have one last photo of Coco and our daughter, waiting for the train:

Kaffesoesters daughter with dog

My two lovely girls!

I hope you forgive me this long and kind of sad post. I promise the next one will show a few summer outfits, party food and the newest shopping from Copenhagen Jewellery Fair!

Lots of love to everyone - hope to hear from some of you?