If We Were Having Coffee… #WeekendCoffeeShare.

The weekend is over, but Weekend Coffee Share at

Eclectic Alli’s

is still open so I thought I’d take part and have a coffee with you guys.

As you know, I don’t really drink coffee now since quite a few months as I discovered it doesn’t agree with my brain, except for some very special occasions, but you can have it, or you can help yourself to some tea, I have a lot of different teas, as well as orange juice, Pepsi, milk, water, or you can take your own drink with you and share it with others as well if you want. For those who – like me – love coffee but don’t drink it, I can offer you some Kopiko candy – Kopiko are Indonesian coffee-flavoured sweets that actually contain caffeine, but not enough to send your brain to Freakland, unless you eat really many, and they do taste like coffee, unlike so many -flavoured things which are not particularly convincing. I also have some chocolate that I can share with you guys (oh, and we have hot chocolate and cocoa as well if you wish), and also I have hazelnuts in chocolate. My Mum is really awesome, because Christmas is over but she made Christmas pierogi for us again. Well, after all Christmas period is actually still lasting until Sunday. Anyway, if you’d like to try them, feel free to do so. I hope everyone is sitting comfortably and has something yummy to drink, and eat if you want. I’ve just had a glass of orange juice and now I’m sucking a Kopiko.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask all of you how you are doing…? 🙂

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that it’s been quite a tough week for me. I am struggling with a lot of anxiety lately, and my anhedonia has been increasing slowly but steadily since a few months and these days it’s more noticeable for me. It feels strange because, while I’ve been familiar with feeling depressed and struggling with depression and depressive thoughts since forever, I don’t have as much experience with anhedonia. I’m kind of scared that it’ll stay with me, and I’m pretty sure it will if I don’t find myself a faza/crush very soon. Probably the whole transition process to my new computer and having to get used to it doesn’t help as changes hardly help me to feel better. I’m hoping it’s temporary. I’ve also had quite a bit of socialising to do this week.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that there was a bit of a party in our house on Monday. My uncle and his family came. I think I like him the most out of my Mum’s siblings because he’s quite laid back and often looks sort of different at things than the majority of mediocre people, and is funny, although he’s also very noisy and drawing lots of attention to himself, and goodness they all were making soo much noise that I managed to spend only a little while with them and then me and Misha escaped to my room! 😀 They were all partying until like 2 AM, which is longer than my family usually does, haha, especially that there were children too.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that we were visiting all my grandparents last Tuesday, because it was Grandma’s Day, and on Wednesday Grandad’s Day. We couldn’t really break it down somehow because on Grandad’s Day, we were having other plans. So there was a lot of riding around and sitting behind the tables and socialising and eating and that, and I wasn’t really doing well as my blood pressure was very low and my mood definitely not up to socialising, but I was trying my best. Sofi was in an even worse situation, because she had a headache all day long after not a very good night’s sleep and the party, and you know how awful it is to have a headache while having to travel or visit other people, I really felt for her.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that we had a priest’s visit on Wednesday. I don’t think it’s a thing in Catholic parishes in other countries but here it definitely is. It’s like, during the whole period after Christmas, that is until February 2nd, priests visit all houses in their parishes to consecrate them and pray with people, also talk a little bit, get to know the family a little etc. It’s a very short visit, maybe 15 minutes, but, in our case, usually the waiting for it is sooooo long and daunting. They usually start on the neighbouring street to us, go through it, and then along our street but from the opposite end towards where we live. So the visits start, say, at 4 PM, but ours take place at 8 PM or so. And there’s no communication between the houses really and you have to be prepared because you don’t really know how long it will take this time. This year was a pleasant surprise though, because we were one of the first who were visited on our street, so we didn’t have to sit in the living room the whole afternoon and get bored and frustrated. It went very quickly and we were free. Although such events usually stress me a bit, it’s usually quite awkward if I’m honest, no one really knows what to talk about, so it’s good that we have Zofijka.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I got another computer related scare on Friday. My antivirus informed me that I got some malware and that apparently it was a Trojan, which freaked me out mostly because I’d never had a major infection of a computer before, but also because as I said I’m still not fully used to it. Also I was very suspicious because this computer is still very new, and I had no idea how I could get it, because I haven’t really got to using anything else on it other than the apps I’ve always been using for ages, and same about websites. My antivirus “cured” the thing and then I made a full scan and now there seem to be no dangers, and I haven’t seen any weird behaviours of my computer or any issues that coould be down to a virus or stuff, so I believe it’s okay, and Olek actually says it probably was a false alarm and my antivirus must be just very hypervigilant, although I have no idea if that’s really possible. Anyway, it certainly didn’t help my anxiety as you can imagine.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that yesterday was my grandpa’s 16th death anniversary, and because of that, on Saturday we went to the Mass for him and after that, we had another family gathering, that was for some reason even more difficult for me to go through although I’m not sure why. Perhaps just because I don’t get along with my gran and the whole Dad’s side of family, or perhaps because of all the anxiety bubbling in my brain. Anyway, it was very difficult for me and there was a lot of food. I always find it more or less difficult to eat among many people or people I don’t know, but on the other hand I feel like it’s awful not to ever do it because someone may just feel offended or something, and it’s awkward when everyone else is eating. But this time round it was really difficult for me to eat anything at all. I caught up on that though when we got back home and I devoured a whole packet of crisps right away. It’s funny how much stress can impact you. For me it’s always like this. When I feel very stressed, I virtually can’t eat, but then when it passes away, I become ravenously hungry. 😀

I think that would be all from me for now in this coffee share. It’s not much, because I wrote a sort of smaller update post not long ago, and also because apart from some chaos in my brain and what I’ve already told you about, right now not much is happening.

Oh, Misha’s birthday is coming on Thursday! Hope things will be looking a bit better by then, although on the other hand I don’t suppose they will.

What would YOU tell me if we were having coffee? 🙂

 

Katarina Barruk – “Evelina”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I have a song in Sami for you! Sami music is beautiful, and, although Sami languages are all endangered, they are cultivated anyway and music is being created in them as well as other kinds of art.

I’ve come across this particular singer very recently in Sveriges Radio Sápmi, where they played this song of hers. I really liked it immediately so that it’s now one of my Sami favourites. When I then wanted to learn something about Katarina Barruk, I believe it was from the comments under the videos with her songs on Youtube that led me to thinking that she must be Norwegian, because many of them were in Norwegian. However, today I learned that she is an Ume Sami speaker (there isn’t just one Sami language but multiple ones) and Ume Sami is apparently spoken only in Sweden these days, so she must be Swedish. Also, what’s very intriguing that I learned today is that apparently Ume Sami has only about TEN speakers! It’s very sad and depressing, but isn’t that so amazing that they make music even in such rare languages?! I find it really wonderful and exciting.

My Bubba ft. Elsa Håkansson – “Uti Vår Hage” (In Our Garden).

This is one of Swedish folk songs I really like! I first heard it in the interpretation of Sofia Talvik, which is also lovely, then another one I like is Hanna Turi’s, but it’s something about My Bubba’s version that I love the most! The song is very joyful, but their performance of it quite melancholic which I think complements very well.

My Bubba is a Swedish-Icelandic duo consisting of My Larsdotter and Bubba Tomasdóttir, and the song comes from an album they’ve made together with Elsa Håkansson, containing Swedish folk songs, or visor as they are called in Sweden.

As for this song, I’ve heard that it’s frequently sung in schools, especially nearing summer holidays, and is generally very well-known by Swedes. I like the idyllic feel about it, and also, all the plants names that are mentioned in it, especially in the chorus – “Komm liljor och akvileja, komm rosor och saliveja, komm ljuva krusmynta…” – (“Come lilies and columbine, come roses and sage, come sweet peppermint…”) don’t akvileja, saliveja and krusmynta sound so lovely and evocative?! As a name nerd, I immediately thought that they would make such gorgeous names, although probably they wouldn’t in the real life, because I can imagine that Swedes would find them too fancy, while in most other countries they wouldn’t be too usable. 😀 But they are beautiful anyway. 🙂

Song of the day (25th January) – Monica Törnell – “Faster Fantasis Visa” (Aunt Fantasy’s Song”.

Hey guys! 🙂

I’d like to introduce you to a singer that I know quite well pretty much since I’ve become familiar with Cornelis Vreeswijk. Some of her music I like, some not so much, but for sure, her career and Cornelis’ were closely related, because Cornelis Vreeswijk was the one who discovered her in the 1970’s.

Monica Törnell is from Hälsingland, and enjoyed singing since an early age. As a young girl, she was singing at the opening of a restaurant of her father, and Cornelis was passing by and heard her. He liked her voice and somehow from there it has started, he helped Monica to develop her career and she also toured with him for a bit and featured on one of his albums. She was very popular in Sweden in the following years, until at some point, about 20 years after the beginning of her singing career, she started having serious health issues like myasthenia gravis so had to step away from singing. However she did release her newest album some… 2 years ago, I believe. Her voice is very characteristic, right now as she is older she doesn’t sound as good in my opinion, but there are people who like her nowadays voice even more. When she was younger, she had really wide vocal range, and her vocal abilities as well as the sound of her voice and also her style a little bit, remind me very strongly of Janis Joplin, though maybe it’s just me. Her music is a sort of blending of folk, pop and rock and sounds quite characteristically of 70’s-80’s. Monica has also been very good at drawing and painting since childhood, and she does paint still.

I was wondering for a long time which song of her I wanted to share with you because I have quite a few favourites, but I didn’t want the language to be too big a bareer – as most of her songs are in Swedish. – The one I chose finally is also in Swedish, but I think it shouldn’t be difficult for me to describe to you what it is about so you can have a clear idea.

The song is called “Faster Fantasis Visa” and I’ve always thought that it sounds like from some sort of an old children’s programme, and it seems like I had a surprisingly good hunch because, well, yes, it is! I couldn’t find much info on it other than the programme was one of the first children’s programmes in the Swedish television and started out in the 50’s, and was called “Humle och Dumle”, and I believe Faster Fantasi (Aunt Fantasy) must just be one of the characters, but, apart from what’s in the song, I didn’t find any info about her.

I like her because she’s kinda like me. 😀 From the song we know that her full name is Eva Britta Karin Katarina. She sounds like an extremely refined and experienced person. She’s been to India, China, Sahara, Italy (twice actually), London, Vienna, Argentina, Yugoslavia, England, Netherlands, Pakistan, New Zealand, Göteborg, Moscow, Copenhagen, Berlin… all around the world virtually as you can see… but – she adds – “I’ve never been outside my door, because I travel in fantasy”. Ain’t that so very cool?! 🙂

The hiatus is over.

So, as I wrote in the last post and as some of you could notice from my activity on your blogs, my blogging hiatus seems to be over. It’s so great to be back to blogging and connect with you guys! 🙂 I think I wrote you in my last post about all those strange issues with my new computer, which, again, turned out to be caused by the fan that was loose, so the computer couldn’t work properly. Interestingly, when I got it back last Friday, the fan was fallen off again, but this time I didn’t send it to that company again, but my Mum took it to a nearby servicing place. It seems to be fine now, although my trust for this thing has been broken very badly so, while it is a major and stressful change for me anyway, with all those complications along the way it will take me probably even longer to adapt to this new computer and feel confident with it. I have a lot to get used to, and I haven’t figured tons of things yet which is awfully stressful, and there are some that I might just never figure out and will simply have to deal with. I don’t have most of my speech synths – because some seem to have keys that don’t work any longer (including the Welsh and Swedish one which makes my language learning a bit more difficult), I also don’t have Jacek about which I was telling you earlier that I had had that speech synthesiser for years and out of all I’ve ever had Jacek was the best and most reliable Polish speech synthesiser and I simply had a sort of emotional bond with him so to say. After the last time I sent the computer  to the company who helped me get it, I also lost (hopefully temporarily) most other of my voices, because they were doing multiple system repairs, restorations and what not and in all that chaos there have been some licence issues that I’m not able to sort out on my own and will just potentially have to buy them once again which is so totally unfair, especially that I’ll most likely also have to buy myself some other Swedish voice. I can do without Welsh, but definitely not without Swedish. Thus, since I lost all those other synths, I’m also left without a decent English synth which I can deal with but which stinks really badly! Also I have to figure out why my computer doesn’t seem to like virtually any headphones, and they just don’t work exactly properly on it, because while you have them plugged in the sound output can just change at random back to the speakers, or the sound goes somewhere into the space and you can’t hear it neither on the headphones, nor in the speakers. This stinks too, because while my speakers are quite gorgeous, at least for listening to music, I do appreciate my privacy and don’t always want everyone around to know what I’m doing, or even listening to, and sometimes do things which you just need to use headphones for. I hope it’s not some major issue but I probably will not be able to solve it on my own because I simply have no idea what’s the problem here, and, as you can imagine, it can be quite a bit of a problem when you use a screenreader and can’t control whether you are actually able to hear it or not. And oh gosh I do have to get used to all that humming in the background! It’s a trivial problem but it’s really annoying for someone like me who has music on at night while sleeping and so far had only had laptops before. Obviously desktop computers are much noisier. Or at least mine is. I only listen to the music quietly at night, so I can hear it slightly but can still fall asleep and not wake up because of it or something, and it alleviates my sensory anxiety stuff, but now, this way the humming is what I hear predominantly then. I’ve been wondering whether there are ways to quiet it down a bit but I’m quite clueless and I suppose if I won’t get used to it after a while, I’ll have to look for some other ways to have my music on at night, because in this case I’m not up for any compromises. So yeeeah plenty of change and I’ve only mentioned the major things! 😀 Actually for now the whole adjustment process makes it hard for me to see any upsides of the situation, even though there certainly are some. Like, my files don’t get randomly damaged any longer, yaaay! That’s a huge positive, isn’t it? I believe you can get used to everything, and people definitely get used to much worse things which have no positives about them, but I’m really quite curious how long it will take for me, and while my adjustment process is lasting it’s rather daunting.

I thought that since I’m already writing a post I’ll base it on some writing prompt, or a challenge or whatever. And I decided that I will answer the question of Carol Anne at

Therapy Bits

which she posed to her readers yesterday in her series Carol Anne Asks, especially that her question is very general and I haven’t posted in a LONG while. The question is:

How do you feel today? 😀

So, today I feel a bit better than in the last days and weeks, which have been tough for me because of all those tech issues and the whole computer transition thing, but also there has been quite a bit of socialising and general anxiety and stuff. Today I’m still an anxious, stressed, a bit anhedonic and overthinking mess but to a slightly lesser degree I’d like to believe. 😉 I had a headache in the morning, but thankfully it was just very slight and didn’t develop into anything worse and it has vanished after a few hours which was great. I did some Welsh late in the afternoon, which I wasn’t able to do in a serious way for a good couple of months because of my laptop being glitchy and eating up or destroying my files including Welsh files, which felt kind of good but also more stressful than usual because, well, I had to get used to doing it without Gwyneth – my Welsh speech synth – and because I’m generally not doing too well right now which shows up in how well I absorb what I’m learning. I don’t know if I’ve told you about that ever before but my current dominant music crush, or faza as I call it in Polish – on Gwilym Bowen Rhys – is fading slowly but surely, and I am very worried because this has never happened with my crushes before, not before another one came into my life and dominated over the previous one. Now there doesn’t seem to be any other crush on the horizon to replace Gwilym onn the dominant position in my brain. As I’ve often said, crush is such a shallow word but for me a crush means more than it typically does to someone. My crushes/fazas inspire me, fascinate me, boost my mood, help me to develop in new directions, make me want to live, etc. etc.! They feel absolutely necessary for my mental wellbeing and self-development and make a huge difference, and I believe that a decent crush peak is actually one of the best natural medications for depression. So, this is worrying. All my crushes are still there, even when they fade slightly they are there, but they can’t have as much of an influence on me as a crush that is dominant. So I believe that explains why I’ve been feeling somewhat more mentally lousy and anhedonic in the last couple of months and it’s been slowly increasing, and when I feel better I frantically look for a potential new candidate for me to get a faza on, even though I know well that it never works like that when I want to have a faza on someone, I will, it just comes spontaneously. But maybe my brain needs some… inspiration, stimulation, or whatever. 😀 I would love my next crush to be called Jack! So, here’s my request to you lovely people, if there are any musicians, or even literary characters called Jack, or something similar that you know, that you think I might not know but might like, do let me know! If you have any idea, and by any chance that Jack will indeed become my next crush, you have MIMRA absolutely guaranteed! 😀 Seriously. Jacquelines and the like also count. Or if you know a Hamish…

So, yeah, that’s more or less how I’m feeling today.

I missed blogging awfully, so I’m glad I can finally get back to it, although I don’t know if I’ll manage to write daily for now, we’ll see. 🙂

How are you feeling? Let me know in the comments, and go over to Carol Anne as well, or if you want to make a post of your own let me know so I can read it. 🙂

Me and Misha are heading off to Sleepland. 😴

Myra Granberg – “Tills Mitt Hjärta Går Under” (Until My Heart Dies).

Hi people! 🙂

So I’m back, I will write more on that later. For now, I’m sharing a song with you, a song by a young Swedish artist Myra Granberg. When I first came across her and her music, I was quite surprised how her name could be Myra if she’s Swedish, since myra means “ant” in Swedish, so I was thinking either it must be her stage name or she’s a native English-speaker or something. It seems though that indeed she probably pronounces her name the English way, rather than like the Swedish word, because one of her other artist names has been Majro (the other one is Lvly).

Anyways, as I’ve read, she wrote this song during the summer heatwave in 2018 and it is a love anthem for her little sister, which I think is so very cool! 🙂 The song is very nice and I can understand why it was so popular in Sweden.

New year wishes, plus, you’ll just NEVER guess what happened today!

Hey guys! 🙂
So, first off, I’d like to wish you a very very happy new year! If you make any resolutions, I hope you can keep them for the whole year and achieve what you want, and in any cse, I hope this year will be better for you than all the previous years, and will be peaceful. I’m sorry I haven’t posted a new year post earlier but things are rather hectic, I spent all day yesterday with my extended family and it wasn’t bad but felt a bit overwhelming for my brain, so today I was sleeping lots in order to recharge. Here in Poland we have an old saying that says what the first day of new year is like for you, will show what the whole year will be like. So how’s it been so far for you?
On a bit different note, you guys will just NEVER, EVER guess what happened to me today… but maybe you fancy to try anyway? 😀 … I was just a bit sarcastic. It’s very predictable. Any ideas, anyone?…
I hope that if there’s truth in that saying, it doesn’t extend to the second day of the new year. The truth is, my dear Readers, that it is very sadly not the end of my irregular blogging, and of the troubles with my brand new computer which is supposed to last for 10 years even, but so far I don’t see any evidence of it being likely. 😀 As you perhaps remember, there were problems since the beginning – first it got damaged during the delivery and was not usable anymore, so the delivery company has covered the costs for me and I got the same but new one. Then when the new one arrived to the company that has been helping me out with this (they’re a distributor of specialised equipment for the visually impaired and while a computer is technically not a specialised device, they have also done some repairs for me in the past when there was something niche going on that “normal” technicians were too clueless about, and I’ve been buying various other things like Braille-Sense or Plextalk through them, so I asked them for help with this too) it turned out that the motherboard was faulty and the guy who was completing and setting it all up for me had to get a new one. It all took over half a year and caused me a lot of anxiety and after finally the computer arrived to me, there were plenty of issues with configuration many of which I absolutely wouldn’t be able to overcome and figure out without Olek’s help, and even Olek resolved most of them rather accidentally and after a lot of digging blindly.
Then more recently as you know, just a couple days ago, when I felt like things were finally settling down and I was slowly getting used to the new computer and new system, and all the novelty and changes in general, there was that major system issue over CHristmas which again rendered the computer unusable, about which I wrote in some earlier post. Olek took it to his friend who is apparently quite knowledgeable in those things and he managed to restore the system to some mrevious point, like before it crashed, and all was well. Until today. Because today it crashed in just the same way. At first, various programmes were going crazy, there were some strange errors popping up in both browsers I use and in my email client – well maybe not particularly strange, they just stopped working and needed to be restarted or had very random problems with opening websites but the amounts of those errors were rather suspicious and reminded me of what was happening right before my system crashed on Christmas. My screen-reader went crazy too, as every once in a while it kept crashing with no apparent reason, and then restarting, or just completely stopped working at random times, even when it wasn’t practically working, when it was just running but I wasn’t using it, so I had to reset it. Or icons on the taskbar were randomly disappearing etc. Finally, after an hour or so of all that random crashing of different things, which made doing anything on the computer a bit of a pain, it started to feel alarmingly similar to the situation from just before that last system error that happened over Christmas. I remembered that then, the last thing I did before it stopped working completely was opening a website in Google Chrome. I just experimentally opened Chrome and – here we go – everything froze in a very spectacular way, and after a couple seconds the damn thing switched off and then was trying to restart endlessly but failing at it. It felt so ironic that my first reaction was that I started laughing, and so did Olek when I announced the news of the day to him, but it’s not funny if you want to know my opinion. It’s freaking exhausting. I did not expect Olek to fix it and he didn’t, I think I’m going to send the thing to that company who got it for me, maybe they will do something, we don’t even have an idea what’s the root problem, what’s happening there. I suppose I could give it to any technician because it’s not something to do directly with screen-readers or any typically blind related things (I guess, but I’m clueless), and this way would be faster as that company is on the other end of the country, but I guess since they got it for me, they may know better what’s up, and I want to have it fixed once and for good, I don’t even care now about how much time it’ll take, I just want to have a clear situation. We could probably do the same thing again – restore the system to a previous point – but that is only a temporary resolution and not something I’d be keen on doing every week at all. The last time it happened, my Mum sent the guy from that specialised equipment company a screenshot of what’s showing up when you start up the computer and I described to him what was happening before, and he said it could be some programme not installed correctly causing system issues, but I have no idea what it could be, and especially not this time as I wasn’t installing anything since that last crash as all the apps were already set up, unless such weird things can start happening a week or more after the installation which would be rather odd.
So now that you know what’s up you can also figure out that I’m writing from my Braille-Sense, which doesn’t allow you to do much but at least is more reliable, and that it also means my blogging will still be very irregular if any, for an indefinite time. It’s just after 7 PM but my sleep/wake rhythm is in some hypersomniac phase lately, which is cool in a way especially at times like these, and I’m feeling quite knackered by all that chaos so I think the best thing I can do now is have a shower and go to sleep. Sleep is the best.