When you invite guests into your house, you want them to see what kind of person you are. Typically, it’s not your long couch that tells them everything about you; it’s your strange rustic milking stool that sits underneath a vintage-style painting of a figure, perhaps happy or drunk.
This particular ‘little scene’ reveals more about you to people than any other object. For example, do you have a dream of becoming an “Olympic milkman” in your heart? Or are you simply inspired by a strangely shaped stool that looks like it’s from another era? You want your guests and friends to know where your interests lie. While you can gush about yourself, you’re better off letting your favorite objects and memorabilia tell the story about you.
I have to admit that people’s thoughts change a lot between renting and living in one’s own house. Looking back at the “minimalism” series of articles I wrote before, most of them were written in a state of “displacement” and moving around, and the state of life at that time was basically “as little as possible, no better”, all for the sake of moving more smoothly. I can’t help but reflect on the large amount of consumption I made to fill up my living space.
On a normal home office morning, after I finished washing up and cleaning up, I went to the coffee machine, thinking about today’s work plan in my head, weighing the beans in my hands, pouring them into the bean bin, and starting to grind them, listening to the noisy bean grinder in the quiet morning, and smelling the charming aroma of the beans being ground into powder in my nose.
The Story of Coffee
Like many people, I probably started my coffee journey with Nescafe instant. In high school and college, it seemed that the “red and black striped packaging” was inextricably linked to the need for refreshment and effort. In retrospect, the smell of flavored creamer will instantly pull me back to the days of “problem solvers” and I can’t wait for two more sets of mock questions. The smell is such a wonderful thing, the recognition inside will instantly extract a memory and let the mind fly away.
Later, when I was writing my dissertation in a foreign institute, I was impressed by the fact that the pantry of the institute was in a corner of the corridor on the first floor, and a fully automatic coffee machine was placed on the bar. Every morning the routine was to take a cup from the office on the second floor and go downstairs to get the coffee, then go upstairs and eat an alkaline bread and start working. At that time, because of my so-called “ambitions and aspirations”, I often stayed up late and drank a lot of coffee, so I basically used coffee as a gas pedal in a racing game.
After working, the demand for coffee began to return to normal, from French press to moka to hand brewed, all of which I tried. At this stage, I began to enjoy the beauty of coffee as a ritual in my life. I will also consciously control my coffee intake to keep it at the right state. Maybe it’s the maturity that comes with age. I feel more and more that “restraint” brings me more joy.
After moving, I finally have a place to put a semi-automatic (or finally a coffee machine that doesn’t need to be moved around). From the amount of beans to the grind to the extraction time to the powder-to-liquid ratio, coffee has turned from a beverage itself into a connection point between life and me. On a relaxing weekend morning, what wakes me up is not the horn of work, but the aroma and satisfaction of the process of weighing, grinding and extracting. And the quiet time in the morning when I can spend a short time with coffee is also the easiest time of the day for me to relax and empty myself.
When it comes to this coffee machine, I have to mention the handle. This wooden handle has been the third I received the goods to replace, perhaps the quality control, perhaps the northern climate is dry, this handle will be used once or twice to crack. This time the headache can not only the business, because of the epidemic, the courier is very slow, before and after nearly a month to replace the handle. Finally on the third time, I think I need to go to the handle first to do some treatment before putting it into use. Because the family does not have a special oil for wood maintenance, simply use olive oil to apply a few times, the effect is a pleasant surprise, not only to preserve the wood, but also make the rough handle wood grain becomes more beautiful, smooth feel. By their own hands to participate in the creation of objects, come will be extra people cherish some.
Can’t be pampered but is the most considerate pet
I went to a flower and fish market and bought two plants that I repeatedly confirmed with the shopkeeper were “newbie-friendly”. One was a native fortune tree and the other was a lemon tree. I was a little saddened when I took the two-meter-tall hair tree and the one-meter-eighty-five lemon tree off the top of the truck that night, and I wanted to say to them, “I don’t know where you two used to live, but this is your home now, so grow strong! The hairy tree trunk is relatively sturdy, I put him in the living room TV cabinet away from the window side, because he does not like direct sunlight; while the lemon tree is the opposite, like me is a guy who likes the sun and like to drink water, I put him in the window side of the most abundant sunlight position.
In fact, after they both moved in, I have not been paying much attention, the epidemic was not serious at that time, and I left early and returned late every day. Until the home office began, I began to have a great interest in these two guys. At that time, in order to match the streamlined style of the home, I chose a relatively clean branch of hair, not caring too much about whether the leaves are luxuriant. Recently I noticed that this guy has actually sprouted a lot of new shoots, and even a lot of new leaves have unknowingly covered the branches that could be filled. How nice, I thought.
On the contrary, the lemon came a painlessly alive, and my daily interaction with him was limited to seeing if his fruit had grown and if he could pick it off for my vitamin supplement. Recently, I began to observe the humidity of his root system soil began to water him more frequently, work is not rewarded, recently he has been full of flowers, full of fragrance, I even began to do artificial pollination for him, and now there are many more just from the flowers into tiny lemon seed players, as if in response to my careful care of him. A few days ago, I even noticed that he gradually started to have some pests and diseases called “red spiders”, so now I have the additional job of spraying him with water to wash the bugs every day.
These two guys make me think, plants are not a kind of family pet, a kind of pet that maybe you carelessly forget to take care of it is also strong and alive, a kind of pet that you give him special care he will also respond. On the plant side, time is slow, irrigation will bring real growth, but this growth also requires you to carefully observe and patiently wait.
It’s hard not to have a special affection for the refrigerator when you’ve experienced sealing control. It is a treasure chest, but also anti-aging elixir, so that the family’s food in the best possible condition for the home. In my eyes, the refrigerator can be said to be the most reflective of the family atmosphere of a household appliance, inside the pile is full of family years of warm supplies, outside is the world of souvenirs brought back. At first, I chose the refrigerator from three aspects: brand, appearance and capacity, but after I arrived home, it brought me much more than that. Thanks to Bosch’s “Zero Degree Vita Fresh” technology, I found that the vegetables could stay fresh much longer than I expected.
Music may really be the antidote
I remember I just got this guitar and I proudly sent a circle of friends, counting down, this is my seventh guitar, and it really fits the definition of “human vegetable addiction”. Shipped from Germany, it is an old buddy that has accompanied me for several thousand kilometers. For so many years has been intermittently in the interval of intense work and study to maintain this a hobby, will also take it to the spotlight from time to time, but always put it in the box, this time finally put it next to the hand can get.
In fact, I rarely drink tea. But since the home office, stay at home for a long time, and the desire to drink water after the winter activity becomes less, this small teapot is a special I bought to stimulate their own water. Brew a pot of jasmine, from noon to late afternoon, from the aroma of dense to tasteless, then I will know that the time to leave work.
For the attitude of decorations, I have always been adhering to a principle of “as little as possible”. Most of the existing decorations at home are also bought when buying other things to make up the bill, but this time at home has given me the opportunity to re-examine them. It turns out that the demand for this type of category reflects the fact that I spend too little time in the space of “home”, every day running outside life but have no time to stop and enjoy and experience. I am afraid that this wooden doll is one of the most familiar decorations in IKEA. The sunset on an unusual afternoon shines through the window into the bookshelf, reflecting his dancing shadow, which inexplicably gives people a sense of healing. A small egg-shaped aromatherapy oven can be used as a diffuser for essential oils and aromatherapy bricks, but it can also be used to bake freshly picked lemon leaves directly, so it can be put to good use. Of course, there are many unique and irreplaceable things, such as this stone brought back from a trip to Iceland and then Black Beach. After three years of epidemic and being trapped in the flesh, thoughts like this one are capable of giving hope to life. After the move, I also finally found an unbelievably suitable place to put it, which is held in this wooden hand. I think at this point, it’s not just a rock, it’s the cold rain, the hot sun and the crystal clear ice floating on the surface of the sea in Iceland, and me, who just got caught in a rainstorm and is lying on the grass in the sun.
Perhaps it is because of various restrictions that prevent the physical body from exploring outward, this year has been more of an inward exploration and inward search process for me. Through various objects in my home, I began to explore myself and understand my needs. This is the source of happiness, especially when these objects are either the result of my own efforts, or from a memory or a relationship, and can find a place in the space where I coexist with myself, and can touch them with my eyes and hands every day. As I write this article, we have entered the year 2023, and my hope for this year is to always have enthusiasm and hope for life.