The True Sea

The human mind, old films, literature and podcasts.


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A New Chapter: How I Prepare For The New Year

A New Chapter: How I Prepare For the New Year | The True Sea thetruesea.comThe days between Christmas and New Year’s is the time for tying up loose ends, walking away from things that aren’t working and deciding what you want to bring into your life. 2016 was such a tough year for so many of us. Personally, I cannot wait to leave it behind. Let’s make 2017 amazing and make more room for the good stuff. These are the things I do to prepare for the new year.

Buy a beautiful diary and fill it with things I’m looking forward to
In mid-January, I’m off to see my best friend in Sweden for 13 days. The reason I’m going is not exactly a joyous one, but it will be so lovely to see her, my other friends and some family too. The other holiday I have planned is a 10 day trip to Japan with two friends in April. We’re going to my friend’s hometown Kyoto. On the way back, we’re stopping off in Dubai for 3 days. I haven’t even fully processed that I’m going to Japan yet. I also write down important Birthdays and publication/release dates for books, records and films that I’m excited about.

Set my intentions for the new year
Throughout 2016, I couldn’t shake the feeling of being forced to go with the flow which caused a lot of frustration. I want to live an intentional life that I love, and focus on what and who is important to me. Therefore, my mantra for 2017 is ‘Live and love on my own terms’. It’s a bit cheesy perhaps, but I need something that reminds me to live my life my own way and to not put myself in situations where others have power over what happens in my life.

Decide what I need to increase my happiness
As I’ve already mentioned on here, creating a home in my own place, spending more time with the people I love and changing day jobs to do what I’m passionate about are my top priorities for 2017. I’m intending to get rid of everything that has no value to me and keep focusing on taking care of myself better. For a long time now, I’ve been feeling a bit bored but hopefully, getting back into writing regularly and learning new things will cure that.

Unsubcribe, unfollow and uninstall
My dear friend Geenie wrote this wonderful piece on decluttering your digital life. It’s a must-read. Along with unsubscribing, I also unfollow people who I’ve never engaged with on social media, uninstall apps I never use on my laptop, phone and tablet, clean out my email inboxes and remove unused browser bookmarks.

Clean, declutter and organise my belongings
I find doing these things incredibly therapeutic. To me, there’s no other way to start a new chapter than with clean, tidy surroundings so I always do a thorough clear-out at the end of the year. Anything that doesn’t make me feel happy, goes. Marie Kondo, too, believes that we should only keep things that spark joy. And that’s why I picked up her book Spark Joy: An Illustrated Guide to the Japanese Art of Tidying on my Christmas Eve walk.

How about you? What things do you do to prepare for the new year?


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6 Things I Love These Days

6 Things I Love These Days | The True Sea thetruesea.comSafe bet books
Recently, I got out of the habit of reading every day simply because I didn’t feel excited about the books on my reading pile. So I got a few novels that are safe bets. I really enjoyed Herman Koch’s The Dinner. His new metafictional thriller Dear Mr M sounds like it will tick all my boxes. Japanese crime fiction and horror never let me down, so I also got Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama and Ring by Koji Suzuki which surprisingly, I’ve never read.

Preparing for 2017
I’ve started writing down my goals for next year. Creating a home in my own place, spending more time with the people I love and changing day jobs to do what I’m passionate about are my top priorities. My wellbeing is more important than anything else. I also want to focus on learning new things, relaxing better and establishing more healthy routines.

Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories
A beautiful life drama series based on the manga Shinya Shokudō. A chef referred to as ‘Master’, only opens his little restaurant between midnight and 7am. He has a very small menu, but he will happily cook whatever his customers ask for as long as he has the ingredients for the dish. This is a thought-provoking show about the interactions we have and the relationships we form over meals. You can watch it on Netflix.

Laughing every day
It helps me de-stress and take life less seriously. When I’m not working, I listen to comedy podcasts and watch fun stuff. I’m really enjoying Maron and Brooklyn Nine-Nine at the moment. Mascots is one of the funniest films I’ve seen in a while and I highly recommend it. It’s basically Best in Show, but with mascots instead of dogs.

Ruminations by Conor Oberst
I’ve been listening to Conor’s new album in bed with my eyes closed. Everything he creates evokes such a wide range of feelings and memories. There’s sorrow, nostalgia, happiness, melancholia, hope, comfort, affection, determination, acceptance and love. His music feels like home to me in a way that no physical place ever has. It makes me feel safe.

Making myself feel good
Doing things that I’ve been putting off. Sorting through and organising my belongings. Becoming a Cats Protection sponsor. Donating stuff I don’t use to a Mind charity shop. Selling clothes I never wear. Finally paying off my student loan.

How about you? What things do you love these days?


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6 Things I Love These Days

6 Things I Love These Days | The True Sea thetruesea.comMy mala necklace
Mala necklaces are traditionally used during Japa meditation where a mantra is repeated 108 times – one time for each bead. I couldn’t find quite what I wanted, so I decided to make one myself out of rosewood, turquoise and lapis lazuli beads. I’m so pleased with how it turned out.

Anything that makes me feel cosy and safe
Snuggling up under a throw with a big cup of cherry blossom or mango green tea and a Japanese crime novel in the evenings. Watching an old horror film in bed by candlelight with a box of chocolates. Taking a long Epsom salt bath while burning a rosewood scented candle. Writing my thoughts out while listening to Nine Inch Nails.

Spotless
A CANAL+ Création Originale genre-bending drama series about Jean Bastière, a crime scene cleaner who lives in London with his wife and their two kids. One day, his estranged, wayward brother Martin turns up at their house and asks for a huge favour. Things escalate really quickly from there. It’s dark, gory and satirical – everything I want from a tv show. You can watch it on Netflix.

Being alone with my thoughts
For a while, I haven’t allowed myself to simply sit and think. When I’m stressed out and my thoughts are racing, I use constant distraction as a coping technique to prevent my OCD from triggering thought loops. Even though I’m still under a lot of pressure at work, I’m back to normal now, allowing my thoughts to pass through as they wish, visualising the future and letting myself daydream.

True Crime Japan
A podcast about true crime and mysteries from Japan. To my delight, the hosts cover some cases that haven’t received much attention outside of the Land of the Rising Sun. My favourite episodes so far are The Suicide Website Killer and The Psychic Spot Disappearance (The Spirited Away Hotel). There hasn’t been a new episode in a while, but I hope they’re intending to make more.

Patricia Highsmith books
I can’t believe I haven’t read any of her work until now. So far I’ve read A Suspension of Mercy and This Sweet Sickness. The latter had a big emotional impact on me. Next up is The Cry of the Owl. Patricia’s exceptionally well-written psychological thrillers very much get under your skin and inside your head. Her characters blur the line between imagination and reality in such a fantastic way that even the reader isn’t sure which is which.

How about you? What things do you love these days?


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Taking Stock

Taking Stock | The True Sea thetruesea.comEnjoying: days of alone time.
Listening: to The Unresolved Podcast.
Wearing: my 2nd chakra symbol necklace every day.
Making: peace with my past.
Drinking: Clipper Green Tea with Raspberry and Ginseng.
Feeling: slightly blasé about this year.
Reading: Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball.
Looking: forward.
Wishing: I had more time to write.
Liking: how visiting Sweden always reassures me that I’m on the right path.
Waiting: for the next season of American Horror Story.
Snacking: on cinnamon almonds.
Learning: to be more patient.
Loving: wandering around a bookshop for an hour.
Watching: Stranger Things and Happy Valley.
Admiring: Rose McGowan. Always.
Getting: lots of blog post ideas.
Noticing: my negative thoughts and redefining them.
Giggling: at BoJack Horseman.
Bookmarking: Creepy Catalog articles.
Deciding: to be kinder to myself.
Wanting: to move into a house.
Thinking: about the connections we choose and the ones we don’t choose.
Knowing: that I’m conquering my commitment issues.

Taking Stock is a feature inspired by the lovely Pip of Meet Me At Mike’s.


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Simple Pleasures in Sweden

Simple Pleasures in Sweden | The True Sea thetruesea.comHello lovelies, how are you all? It’s been a while. I haven’t been blogging much lately because my outdated blog name was really starting to bother me. So, I spent a week doing intensive brainstorming and I finally settled on a new one. I wanted it to hint at the topics I write about, but I just couldn’t come up with anything I loved that wasn’t already taken. In the end, I went with The True Sea. It’s a Paul Dempsey song “about space – as in deep space, but also personal space”. I’m already excited about blogging again!

I’m back home in Brighton after 2 weeks spent with friends and family in Sweden. A visit to my home country never fails to make me reconnect with myself, but it also never fails to bring up conflicting feelings. As a visitor, I see all the good things. I know though, that I had very valid reasons to leave. It makes me sad to see how some things haven’t changed at all. Yet it allows me to appreciate just how much I’ve grown as a human being since I moved to the UK 6 years ago. The best thing about visiting Sweden is being around people who know me really well. It always reminds me that the little things are important.Simple Pleasures in Sweden | The True Sea thetruesea.comLittle things like:

Catching up with friends who I haven’t seen for at least 6 years over a drink.
Walks in the woods.
Trying new teas such as green tea with apple and rose.
Eating raspberry blueberry crumble made by my best friend when I’m feeling poorly.
Picking up a new kimono in my favourite shop, INDISKA.
My best friend’s cat falling asleep on my lap.
Reading Vertigo by paraffin lamp light.
Playing with my childhood best friend’s little baby girl.
Watching one of my favourite films, Bedazzled (1967), with my best friend.
Talking about life with my dad.
Swedish strawberries, cheese, black bread, strawberry ProViva and Onaka fil.
Crying with laughter.
Sitting with my thoughts while watching the waves on my brother’s tiny island.Simple Pleasures in Sweden | The True Sea thetruesea.comSimple Pleasures in Sweden | The True Sea thetruesea.comSimple Pleasures in Sweden | The True Sea thetruesea.comSimple Pleasures in Sweden | The True Sea thetruesea.com


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Taking stock

Taking Stock | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comEnjoying: being alive.
Listening: to Nine Inch Nails.
Wearing: my lucky elephant necklace every day.
Making: more time for reading.
Cooking: white miso ramen.
Drinking: orange and lotus flower green tea.
Feeling: hopeful.
Reading: Evil and the Mask by Fuminori Nakamura.
Looking: forward to the days I’m taking off work to write.
Liking: that the cat next-door at work comes over for cuddles almost every day.
Waiting: for slightly warmer weather.
Snacking: on Cocoa Brazil nuts in raw chocolate.
Coveting: Gyokuro from Whittard of Chelsea.
Hearing: lots of episodes of Those Conspiracy Guys.
Learning: things about myself.
Loving: my new Japanese cherry blossom perfume.
Watching: season 3 of Bates Motel.
Wondering: if it really is supposed to be like this.
Noticing: how important it is to always have things to look forward to.
Giggling: at Comedy Bang! Bang!.
Bookmarking: anything about Chip-chan.
Deciding: to start getting up earlier to get more alone-time before work.
Hoping: to visit my dear Geenie very soon.
Contemplating: when to visit my friends and family in Sweden.
Wanting: to go and stay in a hotel because I love hotels.
Thinking: about forgiveness and letting go.
Knowing: that all my dreams will be fulfilled eventually.

Taking Stock is a feature inspired by the lovely Pip of Meet Me At Mike’s.


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Delightful little things

Delightful Little Things | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comA list to celebrate the delightful little things in my life.

○ Treating myself to a bunch of Body Shop products.

○ Adding more David Bowie picture discs to my small record collection.

○ Falling asleep to true crime podcasts.

○ A colleague surprise lending me her copy of Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood.

○ Watching horror films to unwind after work.

○ Getting to know our fabulous new manager over tea and waffles at a Nordic café.

○ Taking long essential oil baths by candlelight.

○ Having friends over for tacos and tiramisu.

○ Waking up earlier to hear my favourite podcast before work.

○ Finding an organic flapjack bar made with agave nectar instead of sugar.

○ Making banana blueberry raspberry coconut smoothies.

○ Adding a couple of my favourite books to my book collection.

○ Meeting up with a friend for vegetarian lunch buffet and cheesecake.

What delightful little things have happened in your life lately?