Ways of showing gratitude to others. And how about yourself? List of the former, and my (probably biased) musings about the latter.

Gosh, what a wordy and clumsy title! But I didn’t have any more graceful-sounding ideas and didn’t want it to be too bland either.

A while back, I bought myself another book to work with for my journal, and also for blog post inspirations, about the existence of which, again, I learned from Astrid at

A Multitude of Musings.

It’s Listify, written by Marina Greenway, and as you can guess from the title, it focuses mostly on lists. The first part of this book is all about gratitude, and the first list idea is the following:

   Ways I can show gratitude to myself and others

It’s important to show others we appreciate and care about them, but it’s equally important to acknowledge ourselves and all we do. List the ways you can do so, and challenge yourself to do one from each list everyday.

As for the challenging myself part, I wrote the original list in my journal a few days ago and decided to indeed do these things to show my gratitude to people. So far I don’t find it particularly difficult as it’s mostly my close family, and of course I’m doing the MIMRA which is also one huge act of gratitude but also a whole lot of fun for me. I suppose though with people I’d feel less comfortable around I’d have more problems with some of these points, but I’ll try anyway when there will be an opportunity, as gratitude is a good thing, obviously.

Below is the list of ways of showing gratitude to others that I’ve come up with so far.

   Gratitude to others

  •    Simply say “thank you” or acknowledge in any other verbal way that I appreciate what they did.
  • Give them an appreciative hug or show them affection in some other way.
  • Compliment or praise them, or say anything nice that could boost their mood or confidence.
  • Help in any way I can.
  • Be attentive to their needs and show them my interest in them and that I care about them.
  • Listen carefully and actively.
  • Do something that may make them happier or even just make them laugh or smile.
  • smile to them.
  • spend time with them.
  • Do random acts of kindness for them.
  • Be there for them when they need it.
  • Do the same thing for them that they did to me, if applicable.
  • Give them something nice that they will enjoy, like a care package.
  • Give some of my free time and energy to them, even when I could use it to do something else that I may like more.
  • Be patient with them.
  • Offer advice if wanted.
  • Remember about them – for example, when doing shopping for myself I may do it for them as well if they need it, or if I see something that I know they like I can get it for them, or at least tell them that I saw it and where so that they know I often think about them and know what they like. –
  • Write something nice about them, or for them, as writing often feels easier than talking to me.
  • Give them their favourite meal or treat.
  • Find a book or music they could like, again, to show them that I care and know something about them.

Can you come up with anything more? Please do share in the comments, unless you prefer to write a separate post and pingback, whatever feels better. 🙂

   Self-gratitude

Now that was (and is) a tricky thing to me. Not just implementing it, but generally the concept. I don’t know, perhaps I’m seeing it in a very inflexible way, and most likely, just like I wrote in the title, my view of this is very biased, but I can’t really see much sense in self-gratitude. Maybe I just don’t understand it well. As I was preparing to write this post, after I read some things online about it, thinking that perhaps they will enlighten me (which they didn’t) I asked my Mum what she thinks about it, whether she has ever felt it, and if she has any ideas about how one could express it, and also how it’s different from self-care or taking pride in your accomplishments. My Mum had a similar view on this and actually started laughing and said that to her it also doesn’t make much sense, because according to her in a way it implies that there would be another self inside of you to whom you could be grateful for example for doing something you yourself wouldn’t think about doing, or wouldn’t be able. Like: “Oh, thanks, self, for reminding me that I should set my alarm at 6 AM, I don’t want to sleep in”. 😀 I mean, do any of you really think like this – say you’re driving somewhere, and instead of taking your usual route you have a gut feeling to take a roundabout one, and later you learn that on your usual route there was a huge traffic jam because there was an accident earlier – would you think: “Oh yay, thank me!”? If you would, it’s not at all that I think it’s wrong for anyone to do this and I think you shouldn’t, I’m just curious and would like to know because it’s certainly not my default reaction and I would probably burst out with laughter if I tried to force myself to it.

What I assume people understand as self-gratitude, is for example when you had an exam and passed it very well, you learned for ages until your brain got so swollen it nearly burst out of your skull and you mainly focused on this goal of passing this particular exam because it’s important for you, so perhaps you often refused yourself many things you liked and spent most of your time with your nose in the books despite you didn’t particularly enjoy it. But you did pass the exam and you’re euphoric, so now you can go for a huge dinner plus some very fancy coffee and an ice-cream dessert, then go to the spa and have a massage and then go shopping for things you really enjoy shopping for, because this is your way of thanking yourself for your perseverance, determination and for achieving your goal.

And that’s all good. But, just like I said earlier when asking my Mum, how’s that different from just regular self-care or celebrating your accomplishments? It seems like it should if it has a different name, and when I was thinking about a potential list of ways to show myself gratitude, I thought it was just a list of self-care activities.

Perhaps I don’t think in such a “Thank me” way, because I am a Christian, and rather than thank myself, a much more natural thing for me is to thank God. Like, when it’s a nice day and the weather is lovely and there’s a lot of crunchy, fallen leaves for Misha outside, I’d rather say “Thank you, God, for giving me the idea to go out and refresh my brain, and thank you for the lovely weather and that there are so many beautiful leaves for Misha here” than something like “Thank me for going out”. It just feels totally unnatural to me, and I’m not just talking about the “thank me” form which I’m mostly using in a humourous way to emphasise just how unnatural and awkward the whole thing seems to me. I may rather say: “Oh, I’m so glad I went out” or: “What a great idea I had that I got some leaves for Misha” (that’s still not my typical inner dialogue as I’m normally way more self-critical and sarcastic with myself but at least something I’m trying to aim for).

When thinking about any accomplishments, I don’t really think of them in a way that I’m grateful to myself for them. For example, I am quite proud of my language learning accomplishments but am not grateful to myself for them. It’s not my merit that I have good linguistic skills, I didn’t get to choose them at birth or program my brain to pick up languages easily. Neither is it really my merit that I’m learning Welsh now, because I wouldn’t be able to do it if the people who did the course wouldn’t create it, if my Swedish teacher didn’t show me how to learn a language on my own and didn’t always believe in me and that I can do it, if I wasn’t taught how to use technology and if my Dad wouldn’t be employing me so I could actually allow myself for paying for the courses, buying Welsh speech synths, Welsh books and what not without stressing myself about it. Thinking according to Christian faith, I wouldn’t even be able to take any action having all these things if I wouldn’t get the idea from Holy Spirit. Okay, I guess I could be grateful to myself for acting upon that idea and not wasting the skills I have, but in what special way should I show this gratitude to myself? Sometimes I also have a sort of self-gratitude feeling when I feel really euphoric about something so my self-esteem also goes up but that’s very much fleeting and not a mature, serious kind of feeling so the more I don’t know in what way I could act on it.

Going my Mum’s trail of thought, that it sounds like we should be grateful to some other self, well, perhaps that makes some sense when we think that our personalities are made up of different parts. There may be, speaking in a very basic way, a part of us that is more prone to do good things, and another one that makes us do things that we regret later. So we may be grateful to that “good” part. Perhaps that’s what it’s all about. Or I’ve mentioned on this blog sometimes how I have this part of myself that I call Bibiel, who is very childlike and humourous and eccentric and always talks about Bibiel-self in first person and who is like a mentally healthier sort of, less inhibited version of me whom I actually genuinely like. So maybe the clue is that I should feel grateful to Bibiel? Actually I sort of am, because without Bibiel I’m not sure where I’d be now, and Bibiel helps me with a lot of things. Perhaps I should be more grateful to my inner self-critic Maggie when she’s not as critical of me as she is usually, and maybe that will make her feel better?

My Mum goes as far as to say that all these self- things only make people more conceited. I think that’s a rather huge overstatement because it’s definitely important to be kind to yourself and love yourself, as much for your mental, physical and emotional, as spiritual wellbeing and even the wellbeing of others, though there is certainly a risk of this as these days we hear about alll things self- all the time and it’s easy to lose balance between what’s still self-love and what’s already conceit, in my opinion.

So my view of this is definitely strongly influenced by the fact that I’m a practicing Christian, someone who is not might think differently, as well as the fact that I have avoidant personality disorder, which has quite a strong influence on how I feel about myself. And it’s because of AVPD that I think I may be biased here.

So I’d like to hear your thoughts about this. Do you practice self-gratitude? If so, in what ways and how would you define it? In what ways would you say is it different from self-care and celebrating your accomplishments? Am I missing out on something huge here? Let me know. I may not be able to share your opinion, but that doesn’t matter as far as I’m concerned, and who knows, you may even convince me. 🙂 Oh yeah, and let me know if you can think of some other ways to show gratitude to other people perhaps ones that you use yourself that I didn’t list.

 

Question of the day.

What are you planning?

My answer:

Well, just like I wrote yesterday, my plans for the near future right now are mostly evolving around MIMRA. In even nearer future, I am planning to take Misha to the vet, because he’s due for deworming, but I don’t know when exactly that’ll happen, it must be also a good time for Sofi because she wants to take Jocky to the vet as well. Beyond that though, I’m not really planning a lot at the moment.

How about you? 🙂

Enya – “Loxian Gate”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I want to share with you a song from my very first faza, which is Enya. While I find the Loxian language in which it is sung very fascinating and intriguing, I never had any very special connections with this song in particular. But last night I had some really wild dreams, and when I woke up, I heard this song in my brain, and I’m pretty sure it was in my dream too, so I decided that this will be our song of the day. But let me first tell you a bit about this Loxian language thing first, as I’m pretty sure most of you don’t know what it is. 😉

Loxian is a conlang (constructed language) created by Roma Ryan – who is a poet, as well as Enya’s lyricist and close friend. – Actually Enya, while being the anglicised version of the name of the singer, should be seen as the name of the whole trio – that is Eithne ni Bhraonain (or Enya Brennan – the composer, singer, keyboardist and the main person behind this) Nicky Ryan (the producer and manager) and Roma Ryan (the lyricist) – that’s at least what Enya says herself. Enya is known for singing her music in very different languages, I believe depending on which happens to suit best to what she wants to express, and both her and Roma have a strong interest in Tolkien’s literature (Enya has after all sung two songs for the soundtrack of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring). In 2005, when Enya was recording her album Amarantine, she had a problem with one of the songs, she called it Water Shows The Hidden Heart. She attempted to sing it in English, Irish and Latin but none of these languages conveyed the message that she wanted this song to express. So Roma created, just for the sake of this song and inspired by Tolkien’s elvish languages, an artistic language, or more like a soundscape at first, that she called Loxian, and it turned out just right for its purpose. Enya liked it so much that in the end she wanted to sing two more songs for this album in this new language, and so Roma decided to develop it further, as well as the culture in which it would be spoken. I’m not sure I understand it exactly the right way (it feels a little bit abstractive to me the more that the language itself seems to be very much a visual thing, with six visual scripts that it can be written in, so I don’t really get the chance to bite into it properly and figure out for myself what it’s all about and how it works), but according to the creator, Loxian is the future language of the Celts who would have migrated through space to some other planet. Loxian is, as you’ll be able to hear, an incredibly vowel-rich language, and is based on bits of English, Irish, Old English, Welsh, Hindu and Siberian Yupik (quite an intriguing, diverse and beautiful mix!).

The song Loxian Gate (from her last album) itself is about how the Loxians (so those descendants of the Celts from another planet) view the seasons of the year, the ones that we have now, and the ones that they have in their world.

Question of the day.

What are you thinking?

My answer:

It’s MIMRA time on my blog now – well, at least MIMRA preparations time, it’s still a fair bit of time left until MIMRA sending time I think (for the uninitiated, MIMRA stands for My Inner Mishmash Readership Award and is a thing on here since last year, it is sent out every year around Christmas/New Year to three of my readers who I think are particularly engaged or provide some particularly valuable input into this little Mishmashy world, and it’s kind of like care packages) –
so I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately. It’s going very slowly this year because I’m sort of undecided as for what I want to do with it this year, at least as for some elements, I have some idea but am not really sure it’s right. But today I got the first items for it in the mail, and was very glad about that, especially that they look like good quality stuff and I was a little bit concerned about this because I feel like it’s something that can have really differing quality especially if you order it online and can’t have a first hand experience, and I’m not really an expert in the field as I hardly ever buy things like these for myself. But it looks really good to me and so I think it was a great choice for MIMRA. So yeah, my thoughts have been going around this topic quite a lot lately. 🙂

What about you? 🙂

Lisa Lynne & Aryeh Frankfurter – “My Lagan Love”.

I’d like to hsare with you another song by this mysterious and multi-instrumentally talented duo. This is a popular Irish folk song apparently originating in county Donegal. The first version of it that I’ve heard was by Celtic Woman and I still really like it, but I also really like this one a whole lot. The “Lagan” in the title seems to most likely come from the river Lagan in Belfast.

Song of the day (21st October) – Rachel Newton – “The Changeling Reel”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Here’s another piece from the great Scottish harpist, Rachel Newton. This was one of the first pieces by her that I’ve heard, I like the vibe of it. Also changelings are among the things in folklore that feel very close to me, so that’s another reason why I really like this interesting reel. Hope you will too. 🙂

Question of the day.

What was the first book that scared you?

My answer:

Again, can’t think about the FIRST, but the one I remember most vividly is Himmelsdalen by Marie Hermansson (the English title is apparently The Devil’s Sanctuary). It was a thriller about a guy whose identical twin brother lived in a luxury facility for psychopaths, and who got invited there for a short visit by his brother and then tricked into changing identities with him and trapped in there for an indefinite time.

In hintsight, I guess it wasn’t even the book itself that has such a power over me but I was also reading it in sort of wrong circumstances, it was recommended to me by a friend and I didn’t have much of an idea what it’s about exactly, and not the most fortunately picked it up at night when I couldn’t sleep and also happened to have a fair bit of sensory anxiety which makes me jittery and overstimulated in a general sense as well. So it did make a huge impression on me, but while it did feel very scary at times, overall I really enjoyed reading this book despite the accompanying circumstances, luckily somehow it didn’t make me feel muchh worse, and read it whole in one night, and also later I recommended it to my Mum and she read it as well. She read it in much more relaxed settings and over a much longer period of time, typically in the kitchen while having her morning coffee, but found it rather chilling in some parts as well and we talked about it a lot.

How about you? 🙂

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – Owain Lawgoch (Owain Red Hand).

I haven’t shared anything from any of my fazas for a while so time to change it! And because I’ve just shared with you Brian Boru by Alan Stivell, here is another great song about another great Celt. Owain Lawgoch (or Owain Red Hand in English) was a Welsh hero and a soldier, a very important figure for Welsh people. What he’s probably most known for is that he fought for the French against the English in the hundred years’ war. This song comes from Gwilym’s debut album “O Groth Y Ddaear” (From The Earth’s Womb) and both the lyrics and the music are his own (I love how much genuine feeling and involvement there is in them as well as in his performance of it). Below is a translation of the song from

Gwilym’s website.

Seven centuries went by since you came to this world,

And your destiny was to travel far and wide

Yes, you sailed to foreign lands

And fought against the English

And your name became famous, from the lineage of princes

You led your company of Welshmen to arms

In many a battle, in many a country

But your intent was to return

To your rightful land and to save it

And to take back your nation from the claws of a forgotten past,

Owain Red Hand

With your path calling to you, you set sail

With your brave band of warriors at your side

But before reaching that fateful shore

There came the frustrating news

Calling you back to the battlefield in a far away land

Owain Red Hand, Owain Red Hand

Your killer was appointed by the English king

To bring your life to an end in a deceitful and violent way

Yes, you were killed with a blade in your back

And thus our hope was also killed

In one traitorous moment our son of destiny was taken

Seven centuries passed on this earth

And it’s witness to the fact that we’re still here

So we’ll remember your cause and your sacrifice

And we’ll rise up in unity and strength

And now, Owain, we need you

To unsheathe your rebellious sword

On your patriotic spirit we call, let’s loudly cry in unison

Owain Red Hand, Owain Red Hand, Owain Red Hand.

Question of the day (19th October).

What was the first book that made you cry, or at least feel very, very sad?

My answer:

I’ve been thinking about this for a while but can’t think of a book that was the first. While books often affect me strongly and I may easily feel sad if a book is sad, I don’t cry very easily at all because of a book even if I fee like I’d like to be able to sometimes, it’s just a super rare thing, same with movies and music. While on one hand I’m glad I’m not an easy cryer and at least in some part it is the effect of my own considerable efforts over the years of bottling things up, on the other hand I actually envy people who can cry when they’re moved by things as it seems a very healthy mechanism and seems to be generally seen as a very sincere reaction by people. So basically because it’s very frequently that a book moves me very deeply and I find it very sad, but at the same time ultra rare that it would make me cry, I can’t think of one particular example that would be either the first or even just one that would stand out particularly. I remember that the last book that I was crying a little bit when reading it was Maggie Hartley’s book Battered, Broken, Healed that I read last year, when for some unexplained reason one specific thing made me feel particularly sad, namely when the mum of a baby whom Maggie was taking care of at the time was telling Maggie about how whenever her daughter cried at night, her abusive husband wouldn’t let her see to her and how difficult it was for her and for little Jasmine as well. I don’t know why it made such a very strong impression, it’s definitely not my typical reaction even when I hear sad things like this and it’s not the most difficult thing I’ve heard definitely, but it just made me feel so sad I suddenly started crying but only a little bit. I guess I must have generally been feeling down.

Oh, yeah, now I remember a book that made me feel particularly sad, but it definitely wasn’t the first one, actually quite recent, and it also made me feel a whole spectrum of all sorts of feelings and, despite a rather difficult topic of the book, quite a few fragments of it also made me laugh a lot and overall the experience was very positive. It was Room by Emma Donoghue.

So, how about you? Also, are you easily moved by books at all? If so, is it to such a degree that you just easily absorb emotions that are in the book, or does it also mean that you cry easily when you read something particularly moving, be it positively or negatively? 🙂

Song of the day (19th October) – Alan Stivell – “Brian Boru”.

Well, I thought I’d like to share one more piece by Alan Stivell with you, and this time it’s not just a solo harp. I believe this is actually his most popular song and is the title song of his 1995 album which is also called Brian Boru and is quite eclectic in terms of music styles and instrumentation on it.

If you don’t know who Brian Boru was, to sum it up shortly, he was a very famous high king of Ireland and the ancestor of the O’Brien dynasty.

The song is bilingual and, as far as I know, also features Maire Breatnach, and she sings in Irish and Stivell in Breton.

Here you can find a

translation of this song,

and this website credits someone with the username mhwombat as the author of the translation.

Question of the day (18th October).

What was the first book that got you hooked on an author? Do you still like that author?

My answer:

I believe the very first one would have to be The Six Bullerby Children by Astrid Lindgren. That’s where my love for Sweden, Swedish language and Astrid Lindgren’s books has started. And yes, she’s still one of my all-time favourite authors that I like to go back to sometimes. I haven’t read all of her books or haven’t reread all of those that I read because not all of them speak to me but the ones that do, do really strongly and I love the idyllic feel in them as well as Lindgren’s sense of humour and just generally the feel of her books.

How about you? 🙂

Song of the day (18th October) – Rachel Newton – “Jolene”.

Hi guys! 🙂

I have another harp piece for you, but this time a pop one. This is – as I think you can easily guess – a cover of Dolly Parton’s Jolene. Rachel Newton also collaborated with Emily Portman on her album from which I once shared a song called Two Sisters, with Rachel’s fabulous harp in it. I really like her harp play a lot.

Question of the day.

What was the first book that made you feel like you really identified with the protagonist?

My answer:

Don’t know if it was the first, but it was definitely the book that made me identify with the protagonist the most of all books, and it’s the Emily of New Moon series. Which I actually wrote about on here before quite often, for example in the context of my name change, as I changed my name to Emilia at least partly because of Emily of New Moon. We aren’t totally alike of course – that would be scary – and also have a lot of differences, but still it’s such an unbelievably relatable character to me – and the whole series really, not just Emily herself – and has been over the years, it’s crazy!

What was such a book for you? Do you still identify equally strongly with the protagonist, or has it changed over the years? 🙂

Declan Galbraith – “Carrickfergus”.

Hi people! 🙂

Today, I am sharing with you a song from my second major faza, or music crush – Declan Galbraith, also currently known as Child Of Mind. – But this song is much earlier than his Child Of Mind project, because Child Of Mind is his current stage name and also, as far as I’m aware, the collective name of all sorts of other activity his doing, while this song comes from his very first album. Declan had his very first album released in 2002, when he was 10. It contains mostly covers of pop songs (with most of them I believe that his versions are actually better than originals), and some traditional songs like Walking In The Air which I shared one year around Christmas or this song here – Carrickfergus. – Declan definitely has quite an interesting musical background, as his Scottish dad – Alec – listened to a lot of classic rock, exposing him to it, meanwhile his mum – Siobhan – comes from a large Irish family where folk music had an importantplace as her father, known as Poppy Ben, played in some sort of a Celtic music band and although he died when Declan was still a little boy, he has a strong connectioon with him, and through it, with Celtic music as well.

These days, when we see more and more children singing from an early age in social media, talent shows or even releasing albums, people often easily fall in love with and feel extremely moved by their music, but my subjective feeling is that it’s often just because they’re children, and this fact alone feels so moving to many. Meanwhile it happens rarely, in my humble opinion, that someone would be an extremely good singer since very early childhood. Declan was almost 11 when this album came out, so not that very little as many children we can hear somewhere online or in the TV these days, but still I think among all the famous singing children that I’ve heard he is the best. Obviously, I’m very subjective since he was my major faza so naturally I think so.

I like his later music much more, from after his latest full-length album You And Me which was released way back in 2007. Then he had a break for studying and other things, and came back with much more ambitious, but also mostly self-penned and quite intriguing repertoire. But I love to come back to these early songs of his.

Carrickfergus is a famous and well-known Irish folk song with long traditions that has been performed by many artists, also such like Declan who aren’t just focused on folk music. Ed Sheeran probably made it even more famous by referencing it in his Galway Girl. And in case you don’t know, the title of the song comes from Carrickfergus in co. Antrim, Ireland.

Here’s the song on Spotify, and for those of you who don’t have Spotify, the link to Songwhip where you can find it on your streaming service of choice. It is also available on YouTube, but the audio quality is not too impressive so I chose not to share the YouTube version.

Question of the day.

What was the first adult book you ever read? How old were you? Did you ever read YA when you were age appropriate, or did you jump from children’s books to adult books?

My answer:

I was thinking hard about it and it took me really a long time. Probably both because I read a lot, and I don’t really have memory for such details like which book was first and when exactly, I’ll typically remember the plot line of the book, or other things that happened around the time when I read it, what was going on in my life, what were my reactions to/associations with the book etc. But actually when I thought hard enough I figured the answer was much easier than I thought, because one of the first books I read was a proper, very adult, very difficult book. And I’m pretty sure I’ve even written about it on here not that very long ago. I just got signed into the school library and was reading my first, short children’s books, but they weren’t particularly interesting and too short for me to be enough between the times when I was able to go to the library. So I wanted to try something longer and something that I knew I’d actually like, and asked about brothers’ Grim fairytales. I got a huge book, but, to sum it up, because as I said I wrote about it earlier in more detail, there was a mistake and the book I got was nothing like brothers Grim’s fairytales! And the funny thing was that, despite as I read on and couldn’t get myself at all engaged into the oh so boring, dull plotline, and it wasn’t at all like the brothers Grim book my Mum had read to me, no alarm went off in my brain that, uh oh, perhaps I’ve got the wrong book. I thought perhaps it was some really long introduction (though why it was completely off topic I had no idea either). Finally, a young girl who was volunteering in our boarding school group at the time once came over to me and asked just out of curiosity what I was reading. I complained to her that I got brothers Grim from the library but it’s so much more boring than when my Mum read it to me and actually seems like a whole different book, and there’s a lot about animals. She wanted to have a look at the cover and we were both surprised to realise that it was actually some very fancy book about… white lions? if I remember correctly, something like that. Super geeky! I was still very much learning what the whole literature thing was about and how to deal with books, and while I could read the title page myself and did, it must have probably been too disorientating for me yet. I don’t think I’d be into something like that even nowadays, although I’m sure I wouldn’t keep on reading it for as long as I did, it wasn’t really very much like me, I generally get discouraged with books quickly and give up on them ’cause why read something that’s not particularly interesting if there are so many more interesting books out there, I hate being bored.

Anyway, I must have been about 7-8 at the time it happened.

As for adult book in the context of a book containing so called adult content, when I was maybe a preteen, I was a member of our local talking book library. I loved to read and I would happily to it all the time but I could hardly have enough Braille books at home even with all the different sources I got them from, so mostly I listened to talking books on tapes. The library ladies liked me very much and were very nice, but I don’t think they really knew themselves what they had in their library, what the books were about and what ages they were appropriate for. Because I got lots of books from them that, even though I was quite a smart kid, were often for one reason or another not really appropriate for my age either intellectually or emotionally, in hintsight. That particular “adult” book was about a 15-year-old girl, so actually it could probably classify as YA only it did have a lot of sexual scenes that I absolutely wasn’t ready for then, and found all of that quite shocking, together with that the protagonist’s family was very much pathological, and she herself had a sort of lifestyle that I didn’t realise a 15-year-old could live. I think I did knew the basics about the birds and bees by the time, but not much beyond that, and it was just something very new and very overwhelming to me. I don’t think there was anything pervert or anything like that, just very graphic and the whole book overall had a sort of rough feel to it the way I remember it which made it feel even more overwhelming. In a way though, this new world was even quite fascinating. But I felt very much disturbed and after some time I talked about all that with Mum, and she reassured me, explained some things to me that were in this book and that I was wondering about, and said that if I didn’t feel like reading it further, I didn’t have to, and so I left it. I don’t remember the title of it now, I only have a vague recollection that it was German but I’m not even sure of that.

And as for YA, oh of course I read it! A lot! Since quite an early age, and enjoyed it a lot. Moreover, I still do and read a lot of it.

How about you? 🙂

Chwalfa – “Disgwyl Am Y Wawr” (Waiting For The Dawn).

Okay, let’s leave the harp for now and listen to some less ambitious pop rock. But it’s still Celtic. Well, Welsh anyway. I’ve heard this song for the first time in Cymru FM, which is an online radio station playing Welsh-language music. I just like something about this song, though can’t specify why. The lyrics, as far as I can understand them, are rather ordinary, about some kind of interpersonal relationship for sure so we can hazard a guess that it’s supposed to be romantic. The guy’s vocals aren’t awfully impressive – though not too bad either, just very normal. – But I just like it for some reason. Maybe it’s catchy, but is it really? I guess it doesn’t have the kind of harmony suitable for a typical earworm. I like the guitars in it, so that could be at least part of the reason. Sometimes it’s just how it is that we like something for no clear reason at all, and it seems like I am having such a situation here. This is also the only song by them that I know that I really like.The band’s name is Chwalfa, which in Welsh means something like a crash or an upheaval, as far as I’m aware.

Song of the day (15th October) – Catrin Finch – “Migration”.

Since in the previous post I shared Changing Tides by Catrin Finch, I decided to share one more track from the same album by her (the album is called Tides). It’s also richly multiinstrumental as you can hear, but with harp having a prominent place in it. The atmosphere of this piece is very much different though. Which one do you like more? I can’t decide!

Song of the day (14th October) – Catrin Finch – “Changing Tides”.

Here is another harpist – Catrin Finch from Wales – whose music I had previously shared with you, including some that she has created in collaboration with the kora player Seckou Keita. I think this is an evocative piece with interesting instrumentation, pleasant to listen to, and I hope you’ll find it enjoyable too. 🙂

Song of the day (13th October – Alan Stivell – “Kloareg Trelemo”.

I thought I’d share one more solo harp track by Alan Stivell. It doesn’t speak to me as strongly as Marv Pontkalleg does, but I also find it very evocative and beautiful, but in a different way. I believe the title is in Breton, but since I don’t speak Breton and don’t know a reliable source for Breton vocabulary, I’ve no clue what it could mean. It’s very beautiful though, which makes it worth sharing in my opinion. 🙂

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