“Help!” – my short story.

Hi guys. ๐Ÿ™‚

I wanted to publish this story already a couple days ago, but I lost what I’ve written so had to rewrite almost everything. Interesting how when I write something, and then read it after a few days, I usually think it’s shitty and delete it immediately, but this time, I think that that first version I wrote was much better and vivid than this one. ๐Ÿ˜€ This one doesn’t feel quite as natural to me. I couldn’t rewrite it exactly the same way though because I didn’t have any plan or anything, the idea was very spontaneous and only based on the writing prompt from The Haunted Wordsmith.

This is the story about sleep paralysis. Mostly about the way I feel it, although the heroine is not me, I imagine her being quite different from me, and not all her experiences in relation to sleep paralysis are exactly the same. Most of them are though, or at least are based on mine, some things I made up because I thought they were very likely to happen in a sleep paralysis episode. My “Ian” is very similar to hers, although it’s not his name. Melanie’s dreams, hallucinations and thought processes are more logical and understandable and relatable for an outsider than mine are in sleep paralysis.

Also, while I have a lot of the same experiences with other people who have sleep paralysis, not all of them are the same – well, I guess that’s the thing with all conditions that everyone experiences them differently (is sleep paralysis a condition actually?), but some of the differences I experience seem to be a rare thing as I’ve never heard about anyone else having them, also I believe some other things I deal with, including, as I call it, my “sensory” anxiety (I don’t have a better name for it) seem to complicate my sleep paralysis. Many people who have sleep paralysis say they have a full consciousness during it and are often aware of their surroundings, their mind is fully awake, only their body is asleep and they have hallucinations. For me it’s usually different, I either have partial consciousness, or I’m only aware that I’m dreaming, or I’m conscious of what’s going on around only at some moments and not the other, or I have a wild mix of reality and dream which I am not able to distinguish, with dozens of false awakenings usually, which can be very very creepy and realistic as in Melanie’s. It’s not always that intense as melanie’s, sometimes I am able to wriggle out of there by accident, use my consciousness and evoke a more positive dream at least for a while, you know as in lucid dreaming but it doesn’t work long term and it’s still all pretty murky and creepy and I have to be in control of the dream all the time which is not always possible, or I can move my toe or something and then it’s over. But it’s very often very intense and I’m not quite as resilient as Melanie to get over it within a few hours if it is intense, the anxiety usually lingers for days for me and can be very bad at times.

My sleep paralysis is always very difficult to describe for me, first because it just feels so evasive and like it’s hard to find words that would make it comprehensive, but also because if I’m to talk about mine in details it can feel quite upsetting, for different reasons, so I’ve never really talked with anyone much about it other than that I have it or just had it or that it’s scary. So I thought writing that story would be an interesting way to share some of my experiences, and maybe spread some awareness, although I have no idea if it would be relatable for other people who have it. I am aware that it might feel a bit boring and repetitive at times, but sleep paralysis is no fun and you get sick of it even before it really starts, and there’s a lot of repetitiveness in it, so that’s how I feel it should be. When I was a child for a long time my sleep paralysis dreams would actually look exactly identical for years. I’m sorry for any potential linguistic shortcomings as I’m not an English native so they might happen.

If you are an easily upset and very sensitive person, or have sleep paralysis that causes you a lot of distress and you think reading about in detail could unsettle you, please be cautious or stop reading here. Hope it gives you some idea of what it’s like.

Help!

“Help!”

– Melanie shouted, begging her lungs to cooperate. But she could only hear it in her mind. Nothing came out. “Help!!! Help!!! Heeeeeeeelp!!! Help… me…!!!”. She shouted so much, that she didn’t know anymore, was it her real voice, or was it all just in her imagination? But she kept holding on to the hope that, finally, someone will hear her, they surely will, this time it will be different, someone will save her. Chris will see something is wrong, he will save her, maybe he’s right there, sleeping beside her, she just needs to wake him up, scream loud enough. Did she just hear him snoring? Or maybe it’s morning already? God, please, let it be morning, let me wake up. Lily will wake up soon, she has to go to school. “I need to wake up, I have to!” But nothing happened, except she fell deeper, and deeper, and deeper down, no matter what she did, down into the abyss of her mind, which she knew so well, but which always held so many new surprises for her. She was falling faster and faster with every second, unable to control her body, unable to stop or slow it down. Yet at the same time it felt as if she was falling like that for centuries, and was still to do that for many centuries to come. What if I never wake up? But she didn’t have any strength left, or so it felt, to shout more, or to try and go out of where she was. Besides, deep down she knew it all too well that no matter what she does, she won’t be able to stop it, if her brain decided to keep her trapped. Suddenly, the pace of her fall increased much more, and shortly after she reached her destination, falling hard at the bottom of the abyss with a spectacular thud. The fear gripped her throat even more tightly, and the grip tightened even more when she heard the familiar, heavy steps.

– “Aaah, so you’re already here! That’s fantastic… We haven’t seen each other in ages, right? You can’t ignore me like that.”. Before she would even manage to say anything, he fell on her heavily, pressing her to the ground. That was how it usually started. Ian wasn’t a very clever man, but he was certainly a master of suspense. Ian loved routine, but his passion was also to surprise her with something new every time, and everything she had to endure was planned to the smallest detail.

Melanie knew him since she was a very little child, but never told anyone about his existence, and the overwhelming influence he had on her and her life. He would visit her in dreams, scare her to death, leaving repugnant signs of his presence scattered all over her brain. Then he would sometimes leave her alone for weeks, months, sometimes even years. ANd just when she thought she’s cleared up her mind of him, and that she’s free from him, or that she has found a strategy to deal with him and avoid him, he would come back. And with time, she has just gotten used to it, even though the fear never disappeared.

One day when she was a young girl, one of her teachers said something that stayed with her: “We are most scared of what we don’t have a name for. Once we name it, we feel more familiar with it, it feels known, and we aren’t so frightened anymore”. And so, Melanie decided to name him Ian. But it didn’t change anything. The fear was the same.

And now she laid there, with him on top of her, strangling her with one paw and fingering, or rather “clawing” her skin with the other, breathing loudly and yelling insults in her face, threatening her in all the ways he could come up with. His “crew” surrounded them, making eerie, wailing sounds. Someone tied Melanie’s hands and legs so that she was unable to move at all, unable to fight or escape. She felt as if the walls were closing down on her, about to fall down right on her, and the atmosphere of this place was seething with fear, hatred and everything was covered in sinister, impermeable darkness. Ian’s “crew” presented her with all sorts of scary visions, sounds and sensations. In a blink of an eye she saw her father being killed with premeditation, and shouting for help, she knew he could see her, but she wasn’t able to help him out, she was grounded. She saw her house being bombarded in a spectacular way, and then her daughter, Lily, standing beside her mother’s bed and crying over her dead body. She wanted to tell her she’s not dead, she wanted to scream, to console the poor child, but she couldn’t. She could no longer recognise whether it was truth, “just” a dream, or maybe something yet different. All that, and countless other things, she saw as in a flashlight, yet each of those visions looked like in slow motion at the same time. she could hear the strangest and most scary sounds echoing in the abyss, sounding distant yet piercing her ears at the same time. Those were Ian’s “crew”. They imitated voices of people from her life, said scary and cruel things to her in situations that felt as realistic as it was only possible, so she didn’t know anymore what’s real and what’s not. They played with her memories, reviving them, editing them so that they looked sinister. Once in a while, a loud, crazy laughter echoed in the distance. Scary shadows creeped around the ceiling, was it the ceiling of her room, or of her mind’s abyss, she didn’t know. They danced before her eyes, whispering, singing and making unnatural, unhuman noises. Everything was spinning, her body felt numb and floaty, her limbs jerking, her mind foggy. Her mind was all covered in a black, smooth veil, that didn’t let her feel anything other than fear. Her rational mind was switched off and locked away, where she couldn’t reach it. Fear was the only emotion she was allowed and able to feel. And it consumed her whole, not knowing any boundaries. She had no control over it.

Despite being grounded, and unable to move, Melanie tried to fight desperately, to push Ian off herself. Deep down she knew it was a waste of time, because the more she fought, the deeper they both fell down, and the more she was sucked in the dream, but it was an instinct that was stronger than her, and driven by fear. Ian loved when she did it. “Fight as much as you want” – he said one time, with his unnerving grin – “I’ll always win anyway.”.

Somehow, despite being barely able to breathe, move or do anything, she managed to push Ian off herself. As soon as that happened, the ties on her limbs fell down and she got up immediately. Now they started real fighting. With Ian, trying to knock her off again, and herself, trying to run away, or at least keep herself up, to hurt him if possible. The ground beneath her feet felt unsteady, and she felt Ian’s breath on her back all the time. Everything was against her. She was exhausted, and knew she couldn’t keep like that anymore, her body was giving up, soon she’ll be on the ground again. Ian’s “crew” stood around, looking at the battlefield with their soulless, transfixed eyes, yelling “Ian! Ian! Ian!” on top of their voices, as if supporting him. As they fought, the ground under their feet started to transform into sticky mud, that was growing deeper and deeper. Wading through it, Melanie was barely able to move her legs. Finally… it had to happen. Ian knocked her off. She fell down, head into the mud, and as soon as that happened, the mud changed into a stormy sea. The waves crashed erratically, roaring deafeningly and throwing her around like a ball. She could hear Ian’s voice far away, his sinister laughter, silent, but carrying through the water. She fought against the waves with all her might, all the strength she still had. She swam, not knowing where, just to e far away from Ian, and not to sink. Yet it was increasingly difficult. The fear gripped her tighter and tighter, pulling her in the water. “I want an end to this. When will I wake up? Chris! Chris, please help me!”. She screamed and screamed, didn’t even know what, just screamed, in hopes someone from the outside world will finally hear her voice. “Lily! Lily! Come here! Someone help me!!!”. but soon her body succumbed into the water.

She lied there for a long time, her body covered by the water and washed over by the waves, that have calmed down a little. That was better than having to fight all the time. She wouldn’t even mind dying there, or so she felt, but somehow, despite she sank, it didn’t happen. After a while of lying there, she noticed that the water was flowing away, faster and faster. Not much long after, she realised that she’s now on a shallow, her hands touching the sand. From the overwhelmingly big, scary sea, or perhaps even an ocean, this strange body of water suddenly changed into something smaller than a lake. She stood up, and came out to the land, disoriented and weak…

“Mummy! Mummy! Did you call me? What happened?” – suddenly, she saw Lily standing by her bed, worried.

“Oh, nothing, sweetie. I just couldn’t wake up. – she said, laughing nervously, hystericaly, as she thought, at the ridiculousness of her own words.

“Don’t be silly mummy. You wouldn’t call me if you were asleep.” – Lily grinned. Melanie hugged her, breathing in her smell and feeling thankful for the dream to be over. But why did she still feel so floaty and foggy, and so fearful?

“I just had a very long dream.” – she said.

“Oh, Lucky you! I love long, long dreams! It’s so nice to dream and dream and dream, and dream, and dream, and dream… and dream… and dream… and dream… and… dream… dream… dream… dream… dream… dream… dream… dream… dream… dream… dream… dream… …” – Lily’s voice suddenly multiplied, echoing around the room, and sounded very unnatural. But where was Lily, actually? One moment she saw her daughter right beside her, and the next there was no sign of her at all. Or maybe it was Melanie who disappeared? It felt much more likely, as she found herself feeling floaty again. Drifting through something as soft as cotton wool. It would feel as a gentle fly, if not the fact that she could feel falling lower and lower, and she knew she would inevitably fall to the ground. With every “dream” her body lowered and fell deeper, and deeper, and deeper down, her mind fell deeper into some strange kind of trance, every single “dream” sucking her into one more eternity of sleep. Her body felt like a ton of bricks, and as if it was weightless at the same time…

Thud! “Yes, you bloody bitch. Now you’ll really have a very long dream. You like to dream, and dream, and dream, don’t you?” – Ian asked her, in his slow, deep, unnaturally calm voice. “He’s not right. It’s just a dream, I wil wake up. I will. I will. I just need to try hard enough”.

The story repeated again, with some additional surprises to the mix, just as Ian liked it. Tons of horrific visions, sounds and sensations that she no longer new to which world they belong – were they the reality, or “just” a dream – raced through her mind.

“Enough of it!” – she cried in her thoughts. “I have to wake up!”. “I need to! I don’t even know what time it is. Someone help me out of here.” In the midst of all the havoc she was going through, the ground started spinning even more under her, so did the ceiling. A big, dark hole opened a milimetre beside her arm, and started to suck her in. The crazy floating started all over again. Melanie yelled for helpfor all she was worth, yet again, no sounds came out of her mouth. She screamed, and screamed and screamed, and again, finally reached the ground, which felt like her own bed. Melanie looked around in disbelief. Was she finally awake? It did look like her own room. She tried making a sound, move her body, and succeeded. Or did she? She knew all too well that what feels true, doesn’t always have to be. It could be as well that her imagination was playing tricks on her. She still felt dizzy from the dream, and completely horrified and disoriented. “Chris?” – her hand searched for the pillow next to hers in the darkness of the bedroom. But Chris wasn’t there. There was only darkness around, but that Chris wasn’t there meant that it’s probably early enough to get up. “Lily?” – she called out, and immediately heard the sound of her daughter’s feet patting on the stairs.

“At last! You woke up, mummy. I’m already late for school. I was wondering why you’re sleeping so long.”

“Oh, really? Is it so late?”

“I guess very late. The sun is up.” – Lily didn’t know how to tell the time yet, and this was the only way she could do it. Melanie reached for her phone, to see what exactly the time was.ย  Although the relief has been rushing through her body, she still felt very strong consequences of her dream, her body still felt numb, her mind foggy, and the world was spinning. She was more tired than when she went to bed, and didn’t like the perspective of getting up and out of the house. And the fear was still crippling, she needed time to pick herself up. But she must have been felt even worse than she thought, because suddenly she realised she can’t unlock her phone. Well, she was sure that unless something happened to her brain, her password had to be correct, she was using the same gesture for ages, so maybe the phone was broken…? Phew, finally, the phone started to cooperate. Her wallpaper was changed, and some of the settings appeared to be different than how she usually had everything set up, but oh well, the phone was old, and yeah, Lily was playing games on it yesterday so maybe she did something to it accidentally. When she looked at the clock though, she was even more amazed and concerned about her sanity. The hour was changing! All the time. When she looked at it once, it would show 5 PM (way too late to go to school, let alone wake up), then 2 AM, then 6:30 AM, etc. etc. sometimes the hours were really out there, like 111:35, and weird things would appear on the screen next to them. Melanie panicked slightly – she knew all too well from her dreams that the numbers Ian seemed to always like were 111 and 35, they were symbolic for him in her dreams. “Really, Mel, pick yourself together!” – she thought. – “You have a nightmare and you go crazy. Something’s wrong with the phone, that’s all.”

“OK, darling, let’s have a quick breakfast then.” – she said, slowly getting up and battling the fog. Whatever the hour was, something to eat would be a good idea.

She got dressed, wondering when she’ll start to feel normal and more energised. She still felt like one leg in Dreamland. And the fear, the fear was still there. No smaller than at the beginning. She made breakfast for them both, which tasted like soap, still feeling unsafe and wishing that Chris hadn’t gone to work yet. She did a quick make-up, made sure Lily had everything she needed in her schoolbag, and they both went out. Melanie was a fit and healthy woman, an avid swimmer,and tried her best to live healthily. Therefore Lily’s school, being only 5 minutes away from their house, was never a problem for her to get to. Many parents having a similar distance would take their offspring to school every day by car, and were astonished seeing Melanie and Lily walking all the way even in the rain if there was a more comfortable alternative and taking less time and effort. But today, this short walk felt like an eternity to her. The ground under her feet was spinning, and felt as it was about to crack and consume her, she felt unsteady, barely able to catch her breath, fear rushing through her veins. Somehow she finally reached the school though, left Lily in the class, and slowly went back home. The way home was even more difficult, without a little, warm hand squeezing her hand. As she approached her house, she shakingly took out the key, warily opened the door, and not even thinking much about it, peeped in the house before coming in, as she supposed someone would be there. She couldn’t see anyone or anything, so came in, and through the dimly lit hall, not really knowing where she was going or where she should go. Her feet carried her upstairs to her room. She opened the door, and again, peeped in cautiously before coming in. She closed the door behind herself, and only then she saw…

There he was… Sprawled on her bed, with his legs stretched out, he laid on her bed, grinning appalingly at her. “God, I’m still dreaming! Or is he real”. The floor under her feet, feeling more and more unsteady, finally didn’t manage the pressure of her feet. She fell. ONce again. “God, can you help me? Will this ever stop? And if it will, how will I know it’s real? How can I know that when I don’t know when I’m awake, and when I’m dreaming? I already am not sure. Maybe it’s just a fucking psychosis.” – she thought in panic. Melanie was by no means a religious person. She didn’t have anything against any religion, and did believe that there is some God, although she never thought much about him, other than optimistically hoping he’s good, and doing all that He can to care for the world, and has a good plan to come out even from the worst things that happen to people, and that one day after she dies, maybe she’ll see Him, and be happy in some celestial, glossy new world with her family, and this enigmatic God being something like a good grandpa figure for her. She didn’t have a habit of praying though, and didn’t really feel it. And now, as she was trying to pray, so desperately, she couldn’t. She couldn’t find any words, neither of the prayers she learnt from her grandmother as a child, nor could she pray with her own words. Her mind was blank.

Let’s spare you the details of yet another episode of the neverending series of Melanie’s encounters with Ian. It’ll be enough to say that during that short time, she endured dying in a plane crash (by falling out of its window all the way through to the ground without a parachute), her legs being cut off by her own mother, who threatened to kill her if she’ll ever tell anyone who did it to her (no, Melanie’s real mother wasn’t a sociopath, just a tiny, cuddly, elegant lady, full of smiles and gracefulness, which made the execution the more spooky, to Ian’s pleasure), and seeing deformed corpses wandering around her kitchen and eating random stuff right out of her fridge. Melanie wasn’t a squeamish or oversensitive person. She was a very down-to-earth lady, working as a sales assistant, and, in normal circumstances, was always calm, collected and level-headed. In normal circumstances, she’d probably laugh it off, but with that black veil covering her mind, the atmosphere of the abyss of her mind, and Ian’s presence, which always freaked her out just by itself, the fear was unbearable.

“Mel! Mel! Wake up sleepy head, I’ve made pancakes for you!” – Chris called out cheerfully, standing in their bedroom door. “Have some good piece of news for you.”

Melanie felt a bit surprised. She couldn’t complain about Chris. He was always very caring and loving for her, but making pancakes for her, that wasn’t very like him. Suddenly, not thinking much about what she was doing, Melanie sprang out of bed, and ran right into Chris’s arms, who was now looking very astonished and worried, as she was sobbing and shaking uncontrollably.

“Oh dear, what’s happened?” – he brought her back on the bed, sat her on his knees and hugged her, running his fingers through her hair. Melanie desperately wanted to get rid of the fog sticking to her brain. SHe felt sluggish and weak, but wanted to share with Chris her dark secret. She never did before. “You know… I have those bad dreams…” – she said hesitantly. – “Yeah? And you had one now?”. – – “Yes. It was so… so creepy.”.

A weird thing then happened. Melanie felt as if at this moment, Chris could see what it was like for her. Look into her brain. See all the horrors she’s been through as clearly as if he experienced them himself, with the exact intensity. And she knew he understood. After a long while, he just said: “Now I see. I just wish you told me earlier. We will do something about it, together we’ll do that I promise.”. It sounded so reassuring. So doable. That she started sobbing all over again. “But I have a good news for you. A little surprise. I want to invite you to a ball today. My company is organising it and we can come with our family members. You remember? We were there last year too, weren’t we?” –

“Oh, really! Today? This is a surprise indeed!” – said Melanie, happy that something will distract her from what happened at night, and that her relationship with Chris suddenly looks so much better than ever, so much more harmonious. She was just a bit worried about her condition. She felt weak, wiped out and really not the best. Oh well, it will wear off until the evening, won’t it?

It didn’t, but as they were entering the exquisite hall, that was changed into the colourful and elegant ballroom for the night, Melanie tried her best to distract from the inner feeling of insecurity and fear lurking in every corner of her brain. She had Chris. There were loads of people. Many were their friends. SHe’ll have fun. It’ll be OK.

She danced with Chris, his one colleague, then another, then his boss, feeling more and more dizzy with each dance. The bright lights and loud music were really unsettling for her. THey felt really aggressive. “I guess I’m getting older.” – she said to Chris with a giggle, telling him that she doesn’tย  feel well. “You just have to relax. You’re too stressed out by your work. I told you many times you’re going to suffer from it.” – “Maybe you’re right”. – she sighed, unconvinced. And just as she did it, she felt her heart sinking. She automatically looked in the direction of the entrance. She could barely contain her fear. “How can a real person look like that… I must be going crazy.”. She came closer to Chris, who was now chatting to one of his colleagues. “Chris?!” – she said, and he must have heard the urgency and panic in her voice as he apologised to the colleague and took her aside. “What’s the matter?”

“Did you see that man, the one who just came in?”

“Which one?” – Chris appeared slightly confused. “The one in red. He’s all in red.” – she uttered feeling a lump in her throat. How come everyone didn’t notice him? He looked so overwhelming, so different, his eyes so evil, how could people not see it? And why was he here? Melanie desperately wanted to believe it’s just someone looking very similar. “Ah, yeah, I see.” – Chris said after a moment. “What’s the problem with him?” “What’s the problem?!” – Melanie thought in panic. “He… he looks like… him… you know… like… like him” “What him?” – asked Chris, a slight hint of impatience in his voice. “Him!” – Melanie felt tears filling her eyes. The connection that was between them not long ago has gone now. “The… the guy from my dream? Do you know him?” “No, Mel, I’m afraid I can’t read in your dreams, I don’t know who you’re talking about.” “I’m asking if you know this man!” – she said, exasperated. “Hmmm… guess not, can’t remember him, and he’s quite characteristic, but it’s possible I’ve seen him somewhere, there are so many people milling around here every day. Maybe you know him too, and that’s why he looks so familiar to you.” “Maybe. I don’t want to talk to him anyway. i don’t want to talk to anyone. Can we go now? I feel completely shattered” “Don’t be silly, honey, we’ve been here only for two hours, we can’t go out just yet. Maybe go out and get some fresh air in. I’ll be with you in a moment, I need to the loo”. Melanie thought it was actually a good idea. She’ll go out and won’t have to look at that man, whoever he was. She can always call a taxi and go home on her own if she feels really scared. But first of all, what’s the reason to be so scared? Just because he looks like Ian? It wasn’t like her, she tried to rationalise, but her mind wouldn’t listen. The fear rose with every second.

She gasped for air when she came out on the balcony. For some reason, she felt constantly out of breath since she woke up. Just like she did in her nightmares. She gratefully appreciated the cold, brisk wind blowing in her face. There were a couple other people on the balcony, whom she didn’t know, mostly smoking their cigarettes, and one woman whispered nervously to someone on the phone. As she stood there, looking at the sky, she suddenly heard the door opening and someone else came out on the balcony. She turned around, expecting that it was Chris who came out of the loo, but it was one of his colleagues’ wife – Ellen. – Both her and her husband were occasional guests at their house, so Melanie knew her a bit and although never particularly liked, always admired her for her style and wit.

“Oh, hello, Melanie.” – she said, smiling politely only with her mouth. “We were looking for you and I thought you may be here.” Only when Ellen said “we” did Melanie noticed that there was a man accompanying her, whom she just glanced at and thought it was Ellen’s husband. She wondered what they might want from her. The only contact they had with her so far was through Chris, with Jim being his colleague and friend, and there really wasn’t much apart from their social connections that Melanie and Ellen had in common. “Turns out we have the same friend, Ian told me he knows you.” Hearing the name “Ian” Melanie jumped up as if someone pricked her with a pin. “You know Ian?” – she asked, feeling all the blood going down to her feet

“Oh of course I do! He’s my long time friend! But I’d better go, Jim doesn’t like me to disappear at parties for too long” – she giggled, and went back to the hall with the click-clack of her stilettoes. Ian heavily placed his hand, or paw, or however he prefers to call his extremities only he knows, covered in a velvet, red glove on Melanie’s shoulder, which she felt like a flame burning through her skin.

“Do you understand it now?” – he asked, slowly, calmly, quietly, scarily, in his deep, low voice. “Do you understand that I’m with you all the time?”

“No you’re not! You’re just a dream!!!”

“I know Ellen. She’s not a dream. And I will gladly get to know everyone that will give me the access to you anytime I want. Now will you go back with me where you should be now, or do I have to convince you?”

“I won’t do anything you want from me!”

“We’ll see.” – he just said, and laughed cynically. “We’ll ask Chris if he needs you, and if he doesn’t I’ll take you with me. I don’t want him to be jealous” – he laughed again, it was a dry, unpleasant sound. He dragged her into the hall, and found Chris, who was just happily chatting away with Ellen. If Melanie’s ability to feel anything else than fear wasn’t muffled at the time, she’d probably kill Ellen with anger and frustration, not caring for the consequences. Not only had she now her dream enemy – Ian – but also Ellen, who was real, who was happy to leave her with this monster and then spend the time happily with her husband, who was unaware of anything.

“Nice to meet you, Chris.” – Ian said, trying his best to smile. “Would you have something against me taking your wife for a short walk outside? We are old friends and I’m so happy to see her here again, so many years have passed…”

“Of course you can if you want” – Chris said happily. Chris. The one who was always so jealous about her even simply hanging out with other men. Now, when she needed him, he was happy to leave her with Ian, and would rather spend time with Ellen. “Chris! Please, don’t let him!” – she said. But there was no Chris, no ELlen, no ballroom, only darkness and fear. And herself falling down… and deeper down… There was even no Ian.

She was falling like that for a good while, and then fell down with a thud again, but falling on to something smooth, and not as violently as usual, her limbs jerking at the same time.

She slowly opened her eyes. The morning sun was cheerfully peeking through the window, but to her it felt unbearably bright. She felt as if she had a hangover. The room felt hot, her whole body sticky with sweat all over her skin, yet shaking and feeling chilly at the same time. Her head was throbbing, her ears ringing, heart racing, lungs gasping for breath, she felt dizzy, foggy and floaty… a very familiar feeling. Now she knew. She had sleep paralysis again. She felt so exhausted, that she would most happily close her eyes and fall asleep again. But she couldn’t. He would wait right there to get her in his claws again. But was she truly awake? Wasn’t it another false awakening? How can she know that? Melanie looked around paranoid as if she expected someone to be lurking in the corner of the room or behind the courtain, holding her breath. She couldn’t see anyone. battling the feeling of drowsiness, she sat up in bed. And she sat there, staring in the ceiling and not knowing for how long, the scenes of her dream replaying in her mind. When she finally felt strong enough to get up, she looked at the clock. It was only 7:30 AM. THe hour wasn’t changing, so she could hope she was indeed in the real world right now. Deep down she knew it, but she needed time to believe in it and feel sure. She found a small piece of paper on her bedside cabinet. “I took Lily to school. I was awake and you seemed to sleep so heavily and blissfully I didn’t want to wake you up. Chris x”. Melanie flinched. How was it possible someone could think she slept heavily and blissfully? Once more she realised there was no one who could help her out of those dreams other than herself. And how long could that dream last? Maybe 30 minutes, not much more. And she had experienced so much in this short time. It felt creepy.She had experiences from her past sleep paralysis episodes where she could see Chris getting up, or going into the room, and she would yell for help, but he wouldn’t hear her.

She went to the bathroom right away, and had a very cold shower, to get rid of the sweat, the headache and the fog around her brain. Only then she was able to really believe that the dream was over, and she was safe now. She wanted to believe it, despite the dream felt so bloody real.

She went back to her room to get dressed and make the bed, then to the kitchen to make herself a cup of tea and something to eat, then back to the bathroom to brush her teeth and hair, etc… And everywhere she went, she turned the lights on, so that soon the whole house was lit up. She felt like a child, scared of monsters lurking in the darkness under the bed. She constantly looked around as if she supposed someone was observing her. This too needed time to pass. Despite that sometimes she felt that if she was going to have such dreams often enough, at some point she will truly believe they are real.

Thankfully, it was Wednesday, meaning that she wouldn’t have to go to work until the afternoon. She knew that until then, she’ll recover, she will have to. She can’t go around looking like a frightened hare at work. She has gotten used to her sleep paralysis dreams, this one was just long and particularly difficult, but she will get over it.

And – of course – she did. Melanie’s clients and colleagues would never believe that only last night she spent ages fighting her worst enemy, and never knew when she will see him again. Therefore, she was trying to make the most of all the time she had in between. And not to believe all the bullshit he was telling and showing her. because as long as she didn’t believe it, he couldn’t win.

 

Naomi Pilgrim – “House Of Dreams”.

And here is the second song from Naomi Pilgrim that I want to show you. I LOVE the lyrics, that’s the main reason I like this song so much. I’ve heard it for the first time only yesterday yet it’s still in my mind and I feel like listening to it over, and over, and over again. If I’m honest with you, at the beginning, when I listened to it for the very first time, it didn’t sit right with me really. I’ve said that I appreciate Naomi’s way with harmonies, the way she creates her music, the way it is produced. And I could see that the harmonies in this song were also really interesting to hear, very captivating, but I have that sensory thing with some sounds, not only with sounds, with harmonies too. Sometimes I just hear a song and it may be even beautiful, interesting, cool, but… ick, at some point there is something in the harmonies, that I guess other people don’t perceive the same, I’ve asked dozens of people believe me, that gives me a quick adrenalin shot, the dose depends on how bothering it is, and it just makes me feel kind of anxious… uncomfortable… I don’t know how to explain it… I guess as if it was incompatible with my brain. ๐Ÿ˜€ It’s not about disharmony, just certain types of sounds and harmonies, or maybe sequences of sounds I should say, I don’t know if there is any objective rule or a specific kind of things that can make me feel this way. It’s a weird feeling. But that’s just one of my sensory quirks. Usually, if I get that, it’s not passable, and I know I should avoid the thing that triggered this feeling in me, especially if it’s strong because it can get worse and make me feel just more generally anxious and unsettled. But I kept on listening to this song, because I was curious, and it felt like with time it actually stopped bothering me so much. Maybe because I focused on these great lyrics. And at this point, I can ignore the stuff that doesn’t agree with my brain, and now as it doesn’t bother me so much, it feels like it makes the song more intriguing. I wish I could do that with everything and with much more intense stuff. ๐Ÿ˜€ Weirdly, soul seems to be the kind of music that very often contains such harmonies and sequences that make me feel unsettled more or less. I do love this songย  overall, and I do love the dream-like feel of it and Naomi’s vocals and, as I said, the lyrics above all. Dreamers unite. ๐Ÿ˜€

Song of the day (24th May) -Naomi Pilgrim – “No Gun”.

Hi guys. ๐Ÿ™‚

Haven’t posted any music in a little while, so here is another Swedish stuff for you. Well, actually, Naomi Pilgrim is Swedish-Barbadian, if we want to be exact, and sings in English. She’s my brand new discovery, and, oddly enough, I’ve just found out that she used to do backing vocals on concerts for Kent, the popular Swedish band I showed you recently. Her own style is quite different from Kent’s though. She has a very skillful singing voice and I’d say her music is something in between pop, soul and R&B. Like her vocals are very soul-like, but her music is very R&B-like, to me. I’d like to show you two songs from her that have caught my attention, the first one is pretty interesting musically, and the lyrics are very intriguing and ironical. I also have an impression that Naomi Pilgrim has a way with harmonies, she knows how to make them feel unique and interesting. A bit like one of my Norwegian favourites – Fay Wildhagen – but in a completely different way, their styles are as different as they can be, which only shows how eclectic my style is, I guess, because I feel a conection with harmonies of both of them. ๐Ÿ˜€

Question of the day.

Hi guys. ๐Ÿ™‚

Today, my question for you is:

What is a genre you’re surprised that you like?

My answer:

As for music genre, I have to say folk. It might sound strange to those of you who know that I love folklore, and minority languages, and everything Celtic and Nordic, and music in languages that aren’t frequently heard, and just love folk, but I used to dislike folk some years ago, when I was a kid, maybe a preteen or something. I remember that I thought that it is granny music, or something like that, I called it this way, thought it was cringey, I had to do mostly with Polish folk back then. There was a radiostation I loved, well still love it even though it doesn’t exist, and I can’t get over it after all the years since it has transformed into another radiostation, it was called Polish Radio BIS (BIS stands for Very DIfferent Station – Bardzo Inna Stacja –
). They had all sorts of alternative/weird music, almost everything you could think of that wasn’t your average pop or that just wasn’t known, and a lot of good programmes from which you could learn lots of interesting things, they even had language learning programmes. So one of their music programmes was wholely dedicated to folk, and I never liked it, it sounded just boring and as I said felt kind of granny-like or cringey to me. It was folk from all cultures, but especially Polish/Slavic. Now I regret that I hadn’t paid much attention to those programmes, I was more into reggae and alternative rock music back then. Also, there is another radiostation, that my Mum likes, and that I now like to listen to as well sometimes, Polish Radio Programme 2, it is very similar to the British BBC Radio 3, with a lot of classical music, but also lots of good literature, stuff about art, kinda very sophisticated and calm station with high aspirations, and they also have some time for folk in their schedule. So back then when I was a kid, my Mum would listen to those classical music programmes, just because you know it makes a nice atmosphere sometimes, not because she’s such a fan, but both of us disliked the folk stuff there. Especially that it was even more “granny-like”, with very traditional Polish music, often literally sang by elderly ladies and having just a very specific climate that not everyone has to like definitely. It was only when I discovered Enya, thanks to my friend, and when Enya has become my first music crush, that I started to take a gradually deeper interest in first just Celtic music, and then folk and folklore in general. I still can’t say that I like all kinds of folk, and folk from all cultures or all subtypes of folk, I still think that some folk can be a bit cringey, but my love for folklore, especially Celtic and Nordic as I said has grown so much that now folk is one of my most favourite, if not my very favourite music genre in general. Also I’ve opened myself for some Polish folk, and so has my Mum, although my Mum likes different things in Polish folk than I do, in Polish folk I definitely prefer when it’s a combination of old and new, or neofolk, folktronica or such things. But it really depends.. So yeah, given my history with folk, I think it is quite surprising that now I like it.

And then there is jazz, which I generally don’t like, but my previous music crush – Cornelis Vreeswijk – used to incorporate some jazz into his songs, and somehow through him jazz became a bit more tolerable for me and I realised that sometimes it can be quite good. But it’s not like me that I would just consciously and purposefully choose that I want to listen to jazz, I don’t like it that much.

I think my music crushes do a great job of convincing me to new aspects of music, introducing new genres to me and making me see them from different sides. But then I also think that I am myself quite an eclectic person musically, but at the same time I am quite picky and won’t listen just to anything, just because. Not normally anyway.

So, what’s that genre for you? Music, literature, film or whatever? ๐Ÿ™‚

So You Know.

I guess I haven’t participated so far in S.Y.K – So You Know – a weekly series hosted by Candace of

Revenge Of Eve,

so here are her questions for this week, and my answers.

 

  • How long have you blogged? What is the anniversary? – I have blogged on and off since my early teens, at first I had a blog in a Polish online network for the blind, I had a few blogs on there, as I was restarting my blogging a couple times. Then I moved to Polish WordPress a few years ago, first because I wanted to reach a wider audience, and second because simply that network wasn’t working anymore. This was also when it slowly started bothering me that most people from that network, although I liked them and was friends with many, knew me in real life, and while I’d be happy to be open, even very open on my blog, and share things with like-minded people, I didn’t feel comfortable with all of them knowing me personally or knowing someone that knows me, or knowing people I was mentioning, so I couldn’t really be a very honest blogger. I also wanted to find my own niche, like people that would have similar interests or at least a similar way of looking at some things… But the Polish blog didn’t really work out, because after being on that network for the blind I was completely clueless about setting up my own blog, and messed it up, my stats were even lower than before and I was getting hardly any traffic, so I soon got discouraged. Another thing is that Polish WordPress, at least from what I can see, isn’t quite as active and dynamic as English, and people are much less interactive. Then I tried with yet another blog at another network for the blind that has been created, but I’ve been making myself some English-speaking friends and thinking more and more often about having a blog in English. It was more like my dream than something I would think seriously about for a long time, but suddenly it started to feel like something I would really really like to do, because I could find more like-minded people then, and I’ve started to discover some things about myself, including learning about or maybe accepting and defining my mental illness(es), moving on from some things, and I’ve also noticed that it’s easier for me to write about my feelings and just express myself in English, and my English started to develop speedily, miraculously and uncontrollably. So much so that now I am hardly ever in touch with any Polish people, and if I get an email in Polish I’m very surprised (or jumping up with fright because it’s either something formal or scary and means some problems ๐Ÿ˜€ ). So, that’s how My Inner Mishmash came to life! My Inner Mishmash is two years old now, soon will be two and a half. But I can’t tell you exactly for how long I’ve been blogging like altogether.
  • What was your original purpose for beginning a blog? – This one, like I said, a need to connect with people, to find perhaps something like my tribe, to improve my language skills – maybe someday I’ll make it a multilingual blog, we’ll see, – and expressing myself, because I’ve always had trouble expressing myself and writing is the easiest way I can do it, which doesn’t always mean it’s easy. ๐Ÿ˜€ As for my first blog, I guess it was just curiosity, I didn’t even fully know what blogging could be about, but it was within my reach and I’ve always loved writing, so just thought “Why not?”.
  • Did you research about blogging before establishing your own? – Before establishing both my WordPress blogs – yes, a bit. – As I said I was clueless about all the setting up and just creating your own blog in general, personalising it, customising, all that. I was especially careful with this one, because I didn’t want it to repeat the story of my Polish WordPress blog, and I also had to ask a few people for a bit of help at the very beginning. I also researched a bit about increasing traffic, but I’m far less neurotic about my stats than I thought I’d be.
  • Has your purpose evolved or changed directions? If so, what was the determining factor for the change? – With my Inner Mishmash, I guess my purpose hasn’t changed, although one thing that I’ve also decided that I want it to be an essential part of my blogging is being engaging with my readers. When it comes to my blogging journey as a whole, it has definitely evolved and blogging is so much more for me now than it used to be at the beginning. I guess what caused it was simply that I was changing, and changing my views, my situation was changing and I was growing up, learning things about people and myself, just quite a natural process I think.
    • What determines your measure of success as far as blogging is concerned? – Most of the time, I try to be laid back about my blogging. I just want it to be pleasurable for me, I’m also always happy to see that my readership is growing or that they enjoy my scribbles.

My most beautiful memory from last year.

A few days ago, there was a nice question at

Pointless Overthinking

: “Which is the most beautiful memory you have from last year?”. So in this post, I’m going to answer it.

From the top of my brain, what I can think of is the feeling when I finished my Polish oral exam last year. Overall, my finals were very difficult for me, not only because finals are always stressful, but also because I had quite a triggering situation happening to me on the first day, so it was all very tense and I can’t think of the exams overall without feeling my brain shuddering. I’m not going to go into details right now, but if you’d like to read about it, you can go

here.

The post is protected so just drop me a line if you’d like the password.

With the Polish oral exam though, it was a little bit different.

I came to the school just as stressed and sick as on all the previous days, mostly because of that scary situation, not the exam itself, although I was a bit jittery about the exam too. At Polish oral finals people usually are asked about obligatory readings. I found most of them rather boring, so only read detailed summaries of most of them, and did some online tests to see how much I know with that, but I was still a little afraid what if I get a very detailed question plus I get stressed and won’t know what to say. I may fail maths, and I did as you probably know, but failing Polish would be a real shame. I rationally don’t think I would, but I was so anxious then all the time that I didn’t think very rationally.

The thing with that being my most beautiful memory is that I had extreme luck that day, and could show all my potential and my possibilities. When I went to the class, one of the committee members very pompously led me to the desk, where I had a Brailler and a ton of paper, ’cause you know they assume you’d have to prepare for the oral exam and write some notes, which in other circumstances I’d probably find very merciful, ’cause I always prefer to write something down before I have to speak and be eloquent. I had to draw a question, and, despite all the anxiety, and how devastated I’d been feeling, at that moment, I felt just a wave of euphoria rushing through my brain. I’d imagine like when you just get to know that you are a billionaire, but not as intense of course. Because, it felt like that question was waiting right there, especially for me! My exam question was something like that, can’t quote exactly – describe the changes that have happened in the Polish language over the years, how has colloquial language evolved, what are some things that have influenced this change. – My notes were really, really, really laconic, it took me maybe a few lines, and a few minutes, definitely less than the time provided, especially that disabled students have that time lengthened (I hated it, it was always only problematic for me). So when I told the committee that I’m ready, they were quite clearly sceptical. But when I started talking, it wasย  a real logorrhea and their scepticism quickly vanished. ๐Ÿ˜€ I really don’t remember most of what I was saying, I know I was saying something about social media, and mentioning my favourite Polish book series “Jeลผycjada” as a literary example, but it had to be much more. So when I got out of there, I was over the moon. Most of the other poor people there got indeed questions about obligatory readings and didn’t seem as happy.I was really relieved and very appreciative and grateful of my stroke of luck, that was far more than I could imagine, my Mum couldn’t believe that. Well I’ve always had my brain set up for all stuff linguistic, so there couldn’t be many easier things they could ask me about.

So when they were announcing the results, not very surprisingly, I got 100% of it. Was even more over the moon, especially that it was that jerky lady (who was earlier insulting me and all that and triggered me as I wrote in that post I linked to) saying that, so she could clearly see it herself, and my Mum was very happy about it. That same woman had to ruin the experience to me, saying to me in a very sweet tone of voice that it’ll be interesting to see what my math results will be like, which immediately activated my Inner Critic Monkey Maggie again, and indeed, later on it did turn out that I failed maths – I knew it could happen so it wasn’t a shock to me and din’t have to hear that woman’s opinion anymore – but still, overall, I felt like it really was a triumph for me. Especially that then I got 100% at English as well. And then another great thing was the euphoria I felt when finally my exams were over, never mind that I was pretty sure I failed that math thing.

So, while it wasn’t exactly beautiful, with all that intense stuff going on, and I wouldn’t like to go through it all again, the thing with the Polish oral itself clearly showed that I’m actually damn lucky sometimes.

I’ve had lots of nice and beautiful memories last year, but that was simply what came to my mind first. ๐Ÿ™‚

Answering Carol Anne’s question.

Today, on her blog, Carol Anne of

Therapy Bits

asked the following question: “If you could pick one characteristic to change about yourself, what would it be?”.

Well, since I have AVPD my Monkey Maggie the Inner Critic is very active most of the time, coming up with lots of things about myself that I should change, so for her it definitely feels like almost everything, I can hear her snorting and saying that. ๐Ÿ˜€ So it seems like the best change for me would be to get rid of her. But that’s probably not possible by now, although I’m trying to control her, with varying results, and I guess it actually is necessary to have an inner critic, just maybe not so overactive.

But, more realistically, one thing I can think of immediately is to be less anxious, or not as easily, or not about so many things. ‘Cause being constantly anxious to some degree can be pretty exhausting obviously. And somehow limitating at times too.

So, that’s my answer, and one thing I can come up with.

What would you change in yourself. Let me, or Carol Anne, know. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Question of the day.

Hi guys. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s my question for you for today:

What’s a career that no one really thinks about or admires enough?

My answer:

Looking at the situation here in Poland, especially that I have two people of this profession in my family, I feel like it’s nurses. They do a whole lot of work, that requires a lot of skills because of how versatile it is and how different things they have to do, and also it is them who are very often closest to the patient, but they don’t seem to get much recognition, not as much as doctors, even though, no matter how competent a doctor would be, he wouldn’t be able to help his patients quite as much without a nurse. Especially nurses who are older and have only finished a nursing school, I am always confused by English education terminology, but you know, they’ve finished a school like on the college level that teaches nursing, but they didn’t study nursing at the uni so don’t have any higher education. Now I guess it is required, but still, in relation to how much they work, they don’t earn equally much, and they’ve been protesting a lot in recent years.

Also people who work as cleaners or in similar jobs, that most people look down upon, but that are important nevertheless.

And last, but not least, homemakers! Yes, I strongly believe it is a valid career option. Or like my Mum – a homemaker herself – likes to say, home manager. One day my Mum had a conversation with an official, something about some family allowance or something like that, and he asked her what her job was. So she said home manager and he was like: “Umm, do you work at people’s houses? I’ve never heard about such a profession”. “No, my own house is enough for me so far”. “Ah, OK, so you don’t work.”. “Of course I do. That I’m not paid for it and not employed by anyone doesn’t mean I don’t work”. So he was just laughing but in the end he said he has to write she’s unemployed. Sounds so daft and unfair when you think about how much she’s doing.

Which career is it in your opinion? ๐Ÿ™‚

My little gratitude list.

I’ve just thought I’ll do one so here goes:

A very warm weather in the morning. I woke up quite early, ate breakfast and then sat in the living room with Mum enjoying our drinks, with the balcony door open, and the sun was shining and it felt almost hot there, but not too hot. It felt very nice. In the afternoon it started to rain heavily and was stormy though.

Having a nice, low key day. Which I really appreciate today, as I’ve been having a headache all day long, so don’t feel particularly energised and am happy I don’t have to go out anywhere or do anything very important or stressful or whatever. It is not the kind of headache that would put me to bed and that I’d be completely non functional, but still it’s quite disturbing and painkiller doesn’t seem to work, but it doesn’t feel strong enough for me to take the stronger one for more migraine-ish stuff. I’ve had this kind of headaches prety often in the last couples of week. Oh but I’m digressing.

All my friends – penfriends, in the blogosphere, etc. all of them. I’m really grateful for having so many great people around me online!

A long, hot shower I had a while ago. Sometimes a long, warm bath or shower helps me with a headache or a migraine, which today didn’t happen, but it was cool anyway. It’s getting warmer, so my skin is not as dry, so I feel more daring with soaking in the water, no having to regret it later because of feeling dry and itchy.

Yummy food I’ve had today, and a lot of veggies. For breakfast I had sandwiches with my Mum’s baked pork chop, I guess that’s how you’d call it, and lettuce, parsley, spinach, cress, tomatoes, radishes and chive. We have loads of vegetables right now, thanks to my Dad’s gardening hobby, which my Mum looks down upon and laughs at, but I think it’s really good for him that he has some constructive hobby, and also that it’s so useful, as it’s nice to have your own vegetables. For lunch we had chicken soup with noodles, and also a lot of parsley – we can’t imagine a chicken soup without parsley, not a good one at least. And for supper my Dad made his artsy sandwiches especially for me. ๐Ÿ˜€ My Dad’s sandwiches are very special ones, because he always puts so much effort into them, making sandwiches for himself or anyone else is a bit like a ritual for him I guess, or looks so. A characteristic of them is that they are full of everything, especially when it comes to spices, his view is that the more you put on your sandwich, or to any dish actually, the better it is. I don’t always agree with this view but I really liked his sandwiches today, and it was cool that he made them especially for me cus he needed company while eating supper and everyone else were either sleeping or immersed in the TV/smartphone/observing the fish tank. ๐Ÿ˜€

Misha. I’m grateful for Misha every day. Recently I tried to think back what it was like back when I didn’t have Misha, or didn’t even know him, which wasn’t so long ago after all, but it was kind of difficult to even imagine, Misha feels like an essential part of my life, and I call him my personal bundle of happiness. He wasn’t particularly convinced when I asked him to go sleep with me last night, but instead he spent a good part of the day sleeping in my room during the day, first in the morning, and then in the afternoon, when I was doing my Welsh, and then watching the rain falling outside at my window. Nowadays, when I learn Welsh, it’s mostly listening, and today I had my 2,5 hours weekly marathon, so then I don’t do anything else but listen and read. So, as I felt exhausted because of the headache, I just laid beside him and we held each other’s upper limbs for moral support – I suppose the moral support was mostly for me as I was really frustrated with myself ’cause I still can’t make sense of what I’m hearing, and kept distracting. Perhaps doing the Welsh marathon with a headache wasn’t the best idea in the first place, but I doubt it’d be much different otherwise, and I had enough free time on my hands so I knew I would regret it if I wouldn’t use it when I had it ’cause 2,5 hours without external distractions doesn’t happen often to most of us.

My Plextalk, and that it is so small so I can actually lie on the bed with it and plug the headphones in and listen. And generally, I’m grateful for it because it saves me from boredom, silence anxiety as I call it, and so many other things. I’m also grateful for my laptop as otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do most of the things I do, and for my Braille-Sense, ’cause even though it is falling apart I’m still using it a lot and life would be harder without it.

That I slept quite well last night. Not very well, because I have blocked nose since a few days because of allergy to something I have yet to find out what it is, but reasonably well. And I am also grateful that it’s already evening so I can soon go to bed and hopefully will wake up tomorrow and will feel better physically.

That I feel pretty much on the baseline emotionally and moodwise. That’s of course my baseline, not like for most people haha, but I am glad it is like this anyway.

Blogging, writing, journaling. As I’ve said multiple times, it always helps me with expressing myself so is always very therapeutical, and just pleasant.

Reading a lot of interesting things lately.

That I am able to learn my languages, and, even if there is such a bit of a low like with my Welsh lately, i am mostly really good at it, and am lucky not to have to put as much effort into it as many other people. I’m also very grateful that I could do my Welsh learning today, and hopeful that I’ll soon see some progress.

What are things you are grateful for? ๐Ÿ™‚

Question of the day.

Fire, Earth, air or water elemental?

My answer:

I remember that I once took some sort of an elements-based personality test or something, and it said I’m most like water, and I would agree with it. But then I am an Aquarius and that’s apparently an air sign. I don’t feel much like an Aquarius though, maybe apart my curiosity. I feel some sort of a liking to all of the elements, but I guess water and fire most of all, hugely because they are my synaesthetic associations with a lot of things and people I feel a close connection to.

How about you? ๐Ÿ™‚

Question of the day (19th May).

Is there any random language you find interesting and would like to learn, that would have no relevant benefit to you personally, in terms of your career, heritage, where you live, etc.

My answer:

Well… do I really need to answer this question? I have a feeling that in my case, it’s pretty irrelevant. ๐Ÿ˜€ But, OK, in case you don’t remember, or don’t know, about all the languages that I find just flamin’ hot interesting and would like to learn, that, according to most people’s view, don’t have any relevant benefit to me, other than just satisfying my crazy brain, here’s the complete listonce again, excluding those I already know/am learning, of course, no specific order:

Cornish, Scottish Gaelic (and Doric too perhaps), Scots, (Ulster Scots as well and it would be cool to know all the Shetlandic/Orkney etc. dialects), Dutch, Frisian, Manx, Irish, Finnish, Sami (North Sami seems the easiest to do as it’s the most widely spoken and accessible, although I’m dreaming about Luleรฅ Sami) and Faroese.

Some time ago, when our Zofijka was in some sort of a counting-everything developmental phase, she asked me how many languages I like – like overall, with those I can already speak. – I never know/remember how many, because in contrast to her, I never care about such things, assuming that quality is more important than quantity, and my brain just doesn’t deal with numbers. So I told her all of them and she counted them, and then she was like “Wow you’re really nutty!”. ๐Ÿ˜€ So that’s the only kind of tangible benefit you’re gonna get from learning weird languages, people will start to think you’re a nutter, so I’d advise you to think it through before you pick your random language… Kidding of course. Nuts are good for your brain, just as language learning, so in the end it’ll be you who will win. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So what would be your choice? ๐Ÿ™‚

Question of the day.

Are there any hairstyles you love but would never have?

My answer:

I am pretty happy with my current hairstyle, although I think I would like to have longer hair, even as long as our Zofijka’s used to be not so long ago, so about waist-length, but I’d never have my hair that long because it’s really uncomfortable and just not practical at all for me, a shorter haircut is much easier.

You? ๐Ÿ™‚

Miriam Bryant – “Black Car”.

Hiya! ๐Ÿ™‚

Mainstreamy today. Mainstreamy, and from Sweden again, but in English. This singer is very popular in Sweden, and this song was song of the year 2016 in Sweden, so a real hit and you can still hear it quite often in the media. If I lived in Sweden, I’d probably be sick of it, but since I don’t, and haven’t heard it too often randomly, I still like it. What I actually like most about it is Miriam Bryant’s slightly husky and powerful voice. By the way, is it just me to whom it sounds a bit like Pink’s voice? I prefer Miriam to Pink though.

Question of the day.

Do you have any normal hobby that’s still a little embarrassing for you to tell everyone?

My answer:

I guess I don’t have anything like that, or even if I do, I can’t think of it now so very unlikely. I might have very geeky interests, geeky as in intense and unusual of course, not techy/science related as some people interpret this word, and I often am very laconic about my interests talking to someone in person because it would just take up so much time if I was to go in depth and even just list all of them, and I honestly don’t think random people really care about that even if they ask, or they often wouldn’t understand anyway, but that I don’t always go in depth about them definitely doesn’t mean I’m ashamed or something. I’d say quite the opposite, I just don’t let random people in because they – the hobbies/interests, and my inner world in general – are too important to me to let just anyone in.

How about you? ๐Ÿ™‚

Ida Redig / Alexander Rybak – “Visa Vid Vindens ร„ngar” (A Song At The Wind’s Meadows).

Here’s another kind of poetic cover sung by Ida Redig. The song was originally written and sung by Mats Paulson in the 60’s, and is quite a classic example of a visa, visa is a Swedish sort of ballad, it’s a bit like a separate Scandinavian music genre. This is a summer visa, and it has a very lullaby-ish feel to it, which I like. But apart from the version by Ida Redig, which is again quite different from the original, I’m also going to show you another one that I like even more than hers, and it is Alexander Rybak’s version. Alexander Rybak is the guy who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009, he has Belarussian parents but lives in Norway, he sings and plays fiddle, and he sang the song “Fairytale” at the Eurovision. I really like him, and even more so does Zofijka. Alexander’s version is more similar to the original, as well as longer than Ida Redig’s. It comes from his album, which is also called “Visa Vid Vindens ร„ngar”, and the album is entirely in Swedish, which is fun since his mother tongue is Norwegian. I’ve heard people saying that they don’t like that he has such a strong Norwegian accent on here, but I think it’s very nice! I also have the lyrics for you.

 

There goes a wind across the wind’s meadows

A curtain of tulle flaps

And I shall write a summer song

With sun and smell of flowers in the melody

I wanted to sing about Katarina

To wooden flutes and cymbal

But the tones of the wind become summer songs

I only listen in the birch leaves hall

There goes a wind across the wind’s meadows

A curtain of tulle flaps

And I shall write a summer song

With sun and smell of flowers in the melody

There goes a girl in the aspen grove

I have a yellowed photography

With the years she became a dream, a saga

A lonely wanderer’s sympathy

I wanted to write a little song

Where instants become eternity

But words become mute and tones deaf

And the song’s thought secret

There goes a girl in the aspen grove

I have a yellowed photography

With the years she became a dream, a saga

A lonely wanderer’s sympathy

There goes a wind across the wind’s meadows

A curtain of tulle flaps

And I shall write a summer song

With sun and smell of flowers in the melody

Question of the day (16th May).

Which animal species do you probably know the most about? Like describing varieties, behaviours would be easiest for?

My answer:

Hmmmm… mmmmm… I don’t know?… ๐Ÿ˜€ OK I have a cat obviously, and I find cats very interesting, and even more so, I find Misha very interesting, and I like to think I know a lot about him, but then Misha is our second cat, and for me he’s actually the first cat because the first one we really had, Kiki, wasn’t particularly close to me, and I was at the boarding school most of the time, and don’t even remember much of him. But I can’t say I’m an expert in cats or anything like that, I think my idea about breeds is just a little bit wider than an average person’s, and, as it turned out last autumn, my and my family’s knowledge about cat behaviours wasn’t particularly impressive – my loyal readers who’ve been sticking around since then probably remember the sad story of Sasha. – We’ve learnt a fair bit because of that experience, having to do with different cat behaviourists and such, but I still don’t think I’m that very experienced. I also probably know a bit more about horses than an average person would, from my horse riding instructor who is like a horse Wikipedia personified, and I really love learning from her, but I can’t say I know a lot about horses definitely.

How about you? ๐Ÿ™‚

Song of the day (16th May) – Ida Redig – “I Min Lilla Vรคrld Av Blommor” (In My Little World Of Flowers).

Hi guys! ๐Ÿ™‚

I have such a lovely cute song for you. It was originally written for one of my favourite films “Rรคnnstensungar” (Guttersnipes), only not for the version that I love so much, but the earlier one, from 1944. It was sung by one of the main characters, Ninni. You might know from my earlier posts why I love this film so much and why I love it in the later version from 1974, in particular, but chances are that you might not know, so I’ll tell you again. ๐Ÿ˜€ I love it so much because in the 1974 version, one of the main characters – the painter Johan Fahlen –ย  is played by one of my music crushes Cornelis Vreeswijk, who apart from being a very fertile and well-known musician, a lesser known but no less expressive poet, had also fantastic acting skills and was an actor in a couple films. I absolutely loved him in this role, it was amazing! Besides, the plot of the film is very interesting and moving too. When I discovered this film and that it is on Youtube, I watched it on my own for the first time, but then got frustrated because I had huge gaps because of course I couldn’t see, plus my Swedish wasn’t that very good. So then the next time I watched it I did it with Zofijka, who also loved it, and she still begs me quite regularly and wants to watch “the film about Ninni”. So when I watched it with Zofijka, we both were telling each other what we can figure out so we could understand much more, me with her vision and she with my Swedish. That’s why collaborating can be really useful at times. And since that day, we got really crazy on “Rรคnnstensungar” and watched them pretty much every day for a while. It’s definitely not typical for me to get so crazy about a film. Now I hadn’t watched it in ages so I did it today, without Zofijka and hope she won’t kill me for that when I tell her.

As I said, the film is about a girl called Ninni. Ninni can’t walk, and at the beginning of the film we learn that her mum has died. A friend of the family called Johan Fahlen, who is a poor and not well known painter takes care of her. Ninni’s biggest passion are flowers, and as she says herself, flowers are the most beautiful thing she knows. Both Ninni and Fahlen, whom she regards as her daddy, are hoping that someday she will be able to walk, and he is particularly determined, though it doesn’t seem like it could be possible. Ninni’s biggest dream is that she’d like to live in the countryside and live there, and see all the flowers in the world. Again, this doesn’t seem possible, because she lives in the city and they don’t have enough funds to make it true. But the ending is very very happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

I think the film is gorgeous, so you can watch it

here

if you wish, although I don’t know if it’s going to be as enjoyable for you as it was for me because there are no subtitles as far as I am aware so you’d have to speak Swedish. You can have Zofijka’s perspective then. ๐Ÿ˜€ And there is of course this song sung by the girl who plays Ninni in this version, it was Karin Falk.

And so some time ago, I was pleasantly surprised seeing the song “I Min Lilla Vรคrld Av Blommor” on Spotify, in quite an interesting version, by Ida Redig. I really like her arrangement of it, although it’s in a way quite different from how it sounded in both films from 1944 and 1974. I think her version is really beautiful. And I like the lyrics of this song, it’s basically about Ninni’s passion for flowers and her imaginary world that is full of flowers, where there is a place for everyone and children are playing, and she is dancing among the flowers. And there is no sorrow or pain, no one screams at you and people are always happy. Quite an escapist and idealist she is, ain’t she? ๐Ÿ™‚ So here’s the Ida Redig’s version, unfortunately only on Spotify.

Question of the day.

What is some food you recently fell in love with?

My answer:

Hmmm… I guess no very striking discoveries lately. Well I told you about that mustard the other day but I wouldn’t call that falling in love. One could say I’ve fallen in love with KFC hot wings, fries and chocolate shake, as that was what I had yesterday for lunch, and today Dad ordered Zofijka twice as big meal as mine yesterday consisting of the same, because it’s her name day today, and a shake for me too, and it was quite a spontaneous thing, we were both really surprised, positively, because, well, that’s a nice surprise, and because it’s not much like him, but also because neither of us was really hungry so we weren’t prepared. So when we ate all we could eat of that huge meal we were stuffed, and although it was like 2 hours ago maybe I still feel full. It’s not like me, normally, to have KFC this often. ANd I guess I’ll be fed up with it for a while. ๐Ÿ˜€ Or maybe it just feels so now. ๐Ÿ˜€ But seriously, no, I don’t think there were any recent food romances for me, can’t recall anything.

How about you? ๐Ÿ™‚