One year has passed since I moved to my new home, in this new country. Many things happened, too many to individually recount and properly evaluate. But the fact that I can call this place "home" is a good sign.

The long-term future remains unforeseeable. Next year might find me in yet another place, or I might still be here. The country and its people have been good to me.

I was worried that I might miss my first home at first; never did I expect to find a second one.

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I used to keep track of my expenses in a notebook, but wanted to transition to an electronic format. A suitable software was quickly found, and today I finally carried over the past two months from my notebook.

As I was copying the entries over, they conjured images of moments deemed forgotten: The sandwich I had when arriving at the train station. Crossing the town at night to buy some plates. My first trip to the local market.

This ledger keeps track of value, in more ways than one.

@Siedge You're entirely right, Mastodon is but a small part of the bigger Fediverse. Alas, a single toot is far too short to mention everybody who worked on the various protocols and implementations (and that is not even mentioning the users themselves).

I'm also not sure when the Fediverse's anniversary should be. I can imagine more than one possible date exists, in line with its federated nature. That's the beauty of it.

A very belated, and very happy, second birthday to Mastodon! I've been away for some time, probably the longest since I opened an account here a little over a year ago.

A lot has changed within those months. But one completed military service, one Bachelor thesis and a move to a new country later, at least one thing remains the same; Mastodon is still the social network I feel the happiest about using.

Thank you Gargron, Milan, and everybody else for creating this nice place.

It's 6 in the morning, my flight goes in a mere three hours, and once again I spent the night packing, and trying to wrap ongoing things up.

It's not the first time I prepare for a life away from home; preparations for the Erasmus semester, as well as for the military service, were equally late. However, in both cases a clear ending was in sight.

Not so much here. Maybe this is the last day at my childhood's home, barring future visits. Or maybe I'll return after my Master's.

I'll miss home.

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Finally got back to some traditional painting with this gouache piece! I even brought out the airbrush; a lot of extra setup, but worth it for those lovely smooth gradations.

This was an adaptation of a digital piece I made, and it honestly doesn't live up to it, but I'm still calling it a win because I got to sit down and play with physical paint again. I also learned that gouache works really well on Bristol.

#mastoart #art #creativetoots #gouache #painting #traditional #fantasy

My previous studies are finished, and the next ones haven't started yet. Any outstanding bureaucracy has been dealt with, and for the first time in years I've run out of urgent things to do.

Of course, there's still a lot of things I could do - but being able to choose how to fill my time instead of being dictated by the circumstances, is new to me.

It feels like the equivalent of economic prosperity, if was swapped for .

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Watching the recent World Cup inspired my friends and me to, after a long time, play a game of ourselves again.

We gathered at the court of the old school we used to play a decade ago, and were greeted by a group of 13-year-old kids. With no other opponent in sight, we ended up playing against children less than half our age.

It was the perfect opponent for us after our long absence from the pitch. We obviously won - by two late goals, 15-13.

This was also one of the books I tend to buy every year at random, not knowing anything about them except the little that is conveyed on the back cover, and through skimming over a few pages in the bookstore - a surprisingly good strategy, that has gifted me many pleasantly unexpected reading moments, and helps to break my bubble.

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The I read in July was "Der ", from Stefan aus dem .

It's the story of a man who grows to become the tallest man in his country.

Being relatively tall myself, various passages resonated with me and reminded me of my own thoughts during my growth spurt. Maybe this is why I felt the character, despite his extraordinary circumstances, portrayed very realistically. A well-written which, notwithstanding its sad theme, feels rather uplifting.

Dank Internet reichen ein paar Minuten, um gute zu finden, oder weniger gute zu vermeiden.

Trotzdem fehlt mir manchmal die Freude der Entdeckung; das Gefühl, etwas Unbekanntes zu sehen, durchzublättern und zu kaufen, gespannt darauf was mich erwarten mag.

Ich versuche daher, jährlich 1-3 Bücher zu kaufen, von denen ich überhaupt nichts weiß. "Restseller-Kasten" eignen sich hierfür besonders gut. Nach 20' Suche findet sich immer etwas Interessantes, auf das ich sonst nie gekommen wäre.

The I read in June was , by Marc .

Europe's electricity grid stops functioning, and the ensuing chaos is described from the perspective of multiple characters. Only the major ones felt fleshed out, but they still were diverse enough to cover aspects of politics, engineering, the elderly, hospitals and many more, which gave a good overview of the situation.

And while the fiction was mostly okay, the science part seemed quite realistic, at least to my limited knowledge.

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Nearly 1,000 Paintings & Drawings by Vincent van Gogh Now Digitized and Put Online: View/Download the Collection

This semester I was looking for a suitable 's programme abroad and applied to several universities in Europe.

After a couple weeks of weighing each programme's pros and cons, I decided which one I'd like to attend, and today I sat down to decline the other offers.

It made me a little sad. After all, they were nice programmes, and they went to great lengths to make us feel welcome, even before we went there.

But each place I decline opens up for someone else, and that's a nice thought.

Besides not having water at home, our ongoing renovations are also causing frequent power outages. For the first time in many years I found myself at home and unoccupied, but without being able to turn to the computer.

Maybe it was a good thing. My book backlog was piling up anyway, and some days without a monitor would be good for my eyes.

I went with "Blackout", a book that - fittingly - describes a European-wide power outage. After a week, I'd read more than in the past two months combined.

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Not super happy with this piece, but it was a good learning experience. I spent a lot more time on the background mountains than the foreground and it shows :P

I really need to start working larger. Theoretically gouache is a good medium for small detail, but I get frustrated by how little paint the smallest brushes can hold at a time. Here I brought in colored pencil to help with those fine areas, with mixed results.

#mastoart #art #traditional #painting #gouache #learningexperience

Our apartment's water pipes are in need of a renovation, so everything inside the bathroom has to be torn down and rebuilt.

The first day it looked like a bomb blast site. The furniture and appliances were all gone, and the walls and floor completely broken, revealing the building's inner workings. The rubble covering the floor is being thrown into a container that's almost as big as the room itself.

It's a good reminder of how much work has gone into making the nice facade we see as houses.

Cultural exchange 

@Anna Regarding :
- WhatsApp and Viber are the most popular, with Facebook messenger a common secondary choice. However, (and probably thanks to the above fragmentation), calls and SMS are still common, even among the younger generation.
- The most popular is Souvlaki, a meat-tomato-onion-fries wrap (2.50 € ). Other than that, there's the usual stuff like hot dog, pizza etc.
- Android by far; about 90 %.
- Some people like to go out, others invite people over.

The broad appeal of has always been a mystery to me. I enjoy running outdoors, or hiking, or playing football with friends. What is it, then, that draws so many people to a closed off, crowded, static environment?

Well, I am about to find out. Through a peculiar twist of fate I came into the possession of a gym member card, and will be entering this fabled place for the first time. Will the stories I've heard hold true? It will be an interesting endeavour.

Wish me luck!

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