Interesting Things in Freja’s Home

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As you guys know from my previous article, I’m staying over (for free!) in the home of a good friend of mine after she invited me over to teach private yoga classes. I haven’t been to Freja’s house in quite a long time and I saw some interesting things that weren’t here the last time I stayed over. She gave me permission to mention her home in my blog, so please don’t think of me as some creep who takes pictures and blogs about the homes of his friends.

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Freja has recently grown fond of growing and collecting cacti, which started off after she managed to resuscitate her 20 year old cactus plant from her parents’ home. She claims she has a “brown thumb” rather than a green one, which means most plants that she care for often end up dying. She really loves the hardiness of cacti because they’re the only plants that don’t succumb to her brown thumb. Cacti don’t really need much love and care, they just need soil and sunlight and can easily be left alone. What started off as one cacti ended up becoming a collection of multiple varieties of cacti of all shapes, sizes, and textures. I’ve never seen a private cacti collection as diverse as hers. It’s too bad none of them are blooming now.

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In fact she’s having problems with the “baby” cacti that constantly sprout out from her older ones. I told her to sell the baby cacti, housed in white, clay, “aesthetically pleasing” pots, to hipsters and millennials at an unreasonable high price since they would probably buy it for the sake of their Instagram “aesthetic.” 

Other cool things in her home include some of the food that she brought over from her recent trip to Barcelona. She bought artisanal jams, hams, and olives at various markets in Barcelona. She gave me a small bottle of strawberry jam and I absolutely loved it! It was no doubt one of the best jams I’ve ever tasted. They also bought fig jam, which was already opened and also tasted delicious (despite not being such a big fan of figs), but the others are still closed. She told me that the owner has a farm of his own, and they start the jam making process when the fruit is still fresh, rather than overripe. A Spanish friend of hers recommended that stall, but unfortunately she forgot its name. 

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She also gave me two different varieties of olives that she bought in the market. One variety was small and was pickled, and had an addicting sour-salty taste. The other one was doused in some kind of oil with spices (hence it’s red in colour), and had a slightly spicy kick to it which also complimented its saltiness. Freja told me that these are the first olives that she actually liked, since she doesn’t like the taste of the commercial ones that are sold in cans.  

She also has this very beautiful painting of a blooming cactus by Philippine-based Spanish artist Juvenal Sanso that she won in an online auction. I find it very fitting that the subject of the painting is a cactus, since Freja herself is a cactus collector. We’re both fans of Sanso and even visited his art gallery in Quezon City together last year. It’s a good thing that Sanso’s paintings aren’t as expensive as those by most artists, so his work is really good in value since they’re extremely beautiful anyway. The online auction was in support of UNICEF Philippines so it was for a good cause as well.

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My apologies for the bad quality

Her daughter also has these pretty cool Lego collections in her room. She’s a big fan of Lego so she constantly gets them for birthday gifts. I love that Lego statue of R2-D2! She’s addicted to video games and social media as much as most teenagers, but at least Lego is one thing that isn’t involved with technology and screens.

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The home is really beautiful, but unfortunately I won’t be able to take much photographs of it for obvious privacy reasons. I’m really most impressed by her cacti collection since she isn’t really someone who I ever really expected to ever take care of plants due to her brown thumb. Maybe I should start collecting some cacti as well to liven up my room.

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