Song of the day (18th May) – Llio Rhydderch – “Breuddwyd Y Frenhines” (The Queen’s Dream).

Hi people! 🙂

Here’s a really beautiful piece from Llio Rhydderch’s album Melangell. I absolutely love it!

Question of the day.

What are your thoughts on ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response)? Have you heard of it/tried/experienced it?

My answer:

For those who don’t know at all what it is, ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) is a sort of tingly sensation you may feel, I believe especially on your upper body, when your brain is stimulated with sounds that trigger this response. It’s probably most known because of the popularity of YouTube videos with common ASMR trigger sounds, which help some people relax or fall asleep or just make them feel better, because this sensation is perceived as pleasant.

I think this is an interesting topic in itself, totally regardless of what I think of ASMR or whether it works for me. So interesting, in fact, that I already once wrote one HUGE blog post full of digressions on my old, Polish blog, all about ASMR – minus the multiple and long-winded digressions. – I actually just read that post, because my old Polish blog is still floating and drifting somewhere in the internet world all alone,even though I’m not doing anything with it anymore and am not going to. At the time when I decided I wanted to focus on my English blog and no longer wanted to continue the old one and felt the need to step away from the blind community, I decided to leave it be and not delete it because I thought I produced some quite interesting posts over the course of… I don’t know how long I was writing there, half a year I guess, so not long at all. And now, freshly after reading that post, I have to say that, despite I approached it with a lot of trepidation and despite (or maybe in part thanks to) all the digressions, I still find it a fun, enjoyable and thought-sparkling read. So I guess it was a good post, if I could read it without cringing after what feels like such a long time.

Anyway, I mentioned that old post because what made me write about ASMR there in the first place was that one of my UK penfriends at the time wrote me that I should check it out if I haven’t already, and she thought that this would be definitely something for me, because it’s a weird brain thing, plus I’m blind, and blind people, according to her, have “heightened sensory perception” so I’ll surely have ASMR. Later on she also said that she could picture me having a podcast or something like this and doing this myself. Which, in a way, isn’t a bad idea, and I liked the creativity of it, but I feel like something like this has to be high quality to work at all, in any way, for anyone who takes their brain seriously, and I’m pretty sure I don’t have the technical abilities for that, and talking isn’t really my thing. Still, on that other blog, I decided to write about ASMR as it being a potentially interesting field to work in.

I didn’t, however, write there in detail of what I think about the whole thing overall, so I’ll do it here.

I’m not sure what I think of the phenomenon itself, like, whether it exists or not, I’ve read that there’s been some scientific research on it but I don’t really know how much or how good, but there seems to be a lot of contradictions about it, or so it feels for me. Like, there’s this whole ASMR genre of YouTube videos which you have certainly heard of if you’ve heard of ASMR as a phenomenon. Considering that ASMR is rare as it’s said, why are these videos so popular? On the other hand there is frisson so perhaps ASMR is just a form of frisson? Or a tactile synaesthesia, but simply one that manifests in a different way than it otherwise does? Other than that, what’s the whole thing with meridians? I find their existence questionable in the first place, and what’s their role in ASMR, I just don’t understand and find it rather odd.

As for my own ASMR experience, my first time trying it was after that penfriend of mine mentioned it to me, and for quite some time I couldn’t quite figure out what’s the deal with those videos, why are all those people whispering, talking to themselves as if they were having a dialogue etc.? Until I started reading about it. It did sound like something I could strongly relate to indeed, but only in theory. In practice, common triggers hardly affect me. In fact, it made me discover that I may have some misophonia (which many people seem to think is like the opposite of ASMR) because I totally don’t understand how listening to a binaural, close-up recording of someone eating could give anyone any pleasant sensations! Aaaaaaarghhhhhh! I’ll never get it! I don’t have problems hearing people eat in real life, not usually, but binaurally it’s a bit of a different kettle of fish. But mostly, common triggers just don’t affect me. I don’t get the hype of whispering. Why is it even so necessary?

Later, I learned that everyone has their own triggers, and not everything will work for everyone, which makes sense because obviously our brains are different. Still, I have never managed to find a YouTube video that would give me proper tingles, the sort of tingles like I’m used to with stuff like intense frisson or braingasms that I can get with some sounds or words. I did occasionally get some small tingles for a moment, but, like I said, not what I’m used to. I know that my triggers are quite specific, but I thought that perhaps if there are more people with something similar, there would be some more overlap between my triggers and theirs and I could find more everyday sounds that would work for me too. Then again, if that was the case, I’d probably have discovered them a lot earlier on than that. Things that make me tingle, aside from music which is typical with frisson, are some fabulous-sounding words in my favourite languages, especially when I just learn a new word and feel how beautiful it is and then maybe a few more times when I hear it again, also people talking in my favourite languages, especially with an accent that turns my brain on particularly, or even just if I haven’t heard the language for a long time anyone will make me tingle I believe. My faza people make me tingle big time, and cat purr when I hear it from a very close distance like when I lean my head on Misha a little bit. The fun thing is that I often get tingles before falling asleep or waking up and am still a bit between the worlds. In such a state, even just a bit of one of my languages will do.

I don’t know if this is ASMR or if not what else it could be. I have auditory-tactile and lexical-tactile synaesthesia, and I know that some people (if not most people) with tactile synaesthesias experience such paresthesias and other such sensations. What I mean by auditory/lexical-tactile synaesthesia is something more concrete, because when I hear a sound or a word I can feel it as an object, or at least some more or less clear shape or texture, usually of something that actually exists. Also tingles come and go as they want, while my synaesthesias are relatively unchangeable, my associations may fade a bit over time but it has to be a really long time when somehow my perception of a sound or word or the thing I associate it with has changed. Also my tingles are not on-demand, I cannot will myself into that, ever. Meanwhile I can always clearly feel my synaesthetic associations whenever I think of a sound/word or hear it.

That makes me think, that, for me, the tingles thing is largely psychological rather than sensory. Just to be clear, I’m not making an assumption that ASMR is psychological rather than sensory, or any assumption at all, for that matter, because I don’t know. I’m talking about myself here. All the stuff that makes me tingle tends to be something I have a strong emotional connection to, and, after all, when I get this fab feeling, it’s always the emotional sensations that are key for me, not the tingles, goosebumps or whatever else there might be. This is only an addition enhancing the experience. I don’t know if it’s the same for ASMR people.

That all being said, I sometimes listen to a few ASMR YouTubers and podcasters whose content I like and come back to, when I’m in the mood for it (Sophie Michelle ASMR is my newest discovery). Not because of any sensory sensations, but simply because I like listening to cool sounding sounds even if they don’t have any spectacular fireworks effect on my nervous system. When it’s high quality ASMR that you can instantly hear and feel that someone put an effort into – not just some kid with painfully distorted audio whispering about everything and nothing, smacking, blowing and spitting into their poor, poor mic – it can be real fun, and a form of art, actually. I do find a lot of pleasure in a lot of daily life sounds. And I totally see how it can be relaxing or soothing for people, with or without tingles, or maybe even sleepifying.

What do you think? 🙂

Llio Rhydderch, Tomos Williams, Mark O’Connor – “Tair Dawns” (Three Dances).

Hey people! 🙂

I’ve shared with you some solo music from Llio Rhydderch before. Today, it’s time for a piece from a collaborative album – “Carn Ingli” – which she recorded together with Tomos Williams (trumpet) and Mark O’Connor (drums), the latter we won’t really hear here in this particular piece. In general, I have to say I far prefer Llio’s solo music, but it’s not like I don’t like this album, it’s definitely interesting, if not for any other reason than at least the combination of harp with trumpet and drums is quite unconventional and intriguing for me as a “harpophile”. Here is this piece:

Question of the day.

Are you going on vacation anywhere soon? If so, where?

My answer:

Not yet for at least a month, and later I don’t really know for now. My extended family, mainly my Godmother, are planning some trip I believe to Masuria, and I also believe that my parents want to go with them, or at least when my Godmother asked them they didn’t say no and I think they’d be happy to go. They originally wanted to go sometime at the end of May, but then it’s my cousin’s Communion, my other cousin’s christening, and Sofi’s gonna be Godmother for the little one, and my Dad didn’t even know when he could get some time off as his colleague with whom he works alternating shifts will soon need to be off for a good few weeks. Generally it’s too many people I guess to find a perfectly suitable time for everyone involved so I don’t think they’re set on when exactly they’d be going, but I believe in the end they settled that sometime at the beginning of June when things might be a bit quieter for everyone. Also I don’t know if I’ll actually be going with them myself. I like Masuria very much, but I feel like going with so many people all at once and mingling with them all the time would be super overwhelming and I wouldn’t really have fun at all. So we’ll see how it goes.

You? 🙂

Gwenan Gibbard – “Hufen Y Cwrw Melyn” (Cream Of The Brown Ale).

Hi people! 🙂

Today I have an interesting little piece of Welsh folk music for you. Interesting in that, apparently it is known from Startrek, because of Scotty singing some version of it in that movie! Don’t know which one, and can’t confirm it as I never watched it, but I think it’s really interesting that a piece like this has gotten a bit of attention in the mainstream.

The version I’m sharing with you is instrumental. It is a slip jig (that’s how they call Celtic folk tunes composed in this tempo and style and slip jig is also one of the Irish traditional dances) composed by the 18th-century Welsh blind harpist Richard Roberts. It’s interesting how the Celtic area had so many blind artists around that time – be it harpists or poets – who have contributed to what we now know as folk/traditional music. Think Turlough o’Carolan (the very famous Irish harper) or Richard Williams aka Dark Dick, who wrote

“Lliw Gwyn, Rhosyn Yr Haf”

whom I both mentioned on my blog before.

I find the title of this piece confusing. It’s literal translation would be “Cream of The Yellow Beer” which makes little sense, at least to me, I do admit though that I know nothing about beer, maybe some beer geek would see more sense in this. But I found out that it’s translated to English just as in the title. Still, don’t know if this is the name of some English version of this or indeed how it should be translated. In Welsh it’s also known as “Cwrw Da” (A Good Beer), so whatever beer it is, I guess we can safely assume at least that one thing about it, although I could argue that every beer is equally yucky, perhaps I just haven’t been lucky enough to try a good one so far.

The version I chose to share with you comes from Gwenan Gibbard, who is already known on this blog since I share her music quite regularly.

Question of the day.

Are you learning anything new?

My answer:

Of course I’m always learning new words and structures in, and new things about my languages, but this is the everyday standard. Other than that, one major thing I’ve been learning lately is, I’ve recently started exploring and also practicing a bit Christian/Catholic meditative prayer, which I was a little bit apprehensive to before for all sorts of reasons, both totally personal/emotional and more spiritual, and a bit confused by it, but now I feel like it could be both a good thing to encorporate into my life long-term for strengthening my relationship with God and becoming a better Christian, but also a very valuable alternative to secular mindfulness for my emotional well-being and healing. That being said, I still haven’t made up my mind whether it will be a regular thing in my daily routine and whether I’ll stick to it, I’m trying to get more of a feel for it for now and if it could work for me on a regular basis.

How about you? 🙂

Lisa Lynne ft. Aryeh Frankfurter – “Interlace IV”.

Hi people! 🙂

Some time ago, I’ve shared with you a piece from this duo called

“Interlace II”,

and I thought I’d share another of the Interlaces today, from the same album. I don’t know if it’s somehow imperative to listen to this whole album in the right order, since some tracks on it are numbered and whether it’s not intended to just listen to single pieces from it, I know that some albums work this way that listening one random piece or the album in a shuffle mode makes a lot less sense than when you listen to it the way it’s made to be listened to, but in this case I’ve both listened to the entire album in its order and all the pieces separately many times and I don’t see such a necessity, personally. So here’s “Interlace IV”, just because it was playing in my brain earlier today.

Question of the day.

Are you excited for the summer months?

My answer:

Meh, neither excited nor unexcited. I used to accord great importance to summer back when I was in school, especially at the blind school, ’cause summer obviously meant holidays and holidays obviously meant that I’d be at home for the whole two months, so I really looked forward to summer each year. Even later on when I was going to schools closer to home and was at home every day, I still kind of enjoyed the summer because of not having to go to school and deal with school work which I usually found rather boring and uninspiring and preferred to learn actually interesting things instead, and school socialising always drained me to some extend. Now I’m glad I don’t have to care that much about the time of year and actually summer is probably my least favourite season because my heat tolerance is not very high, I deal much better with cold temperatures, and the room I have now overheats in no time even with temperatures like we’ve been having this week, 19-25 C, because my window is west-facing. I got a blind put on it last year which helps to some degree, and this year I’m finally going to invest in some good AC, which I keep thinking of for a long time but now I’ve actually had an AC guy look at my room to figure out what will be the best location for installing it and I think I’ll have it in a few weeks’ time. This overheating thing is a real downside to our current house, and I’m not gonna change rooms any time soon. Even if I wanted/could swap rooms with one of my siblings, their rooms are east-facing instead, which is kind of better because they only heat up for the morning and then they cool down, whilst my room starts heating up in very early afternoon and normally won’t cool down until late evening, but at the same time the idea of waking up in an overheated room is not very tempting to me at all and I’d be afraid that it would trigger more migraines for me, or even if not, it feels so icky to wake up and feel like you’re roasting. 😀 I can see that it definitely doesn’t have good influence on Sofi as she’s lousy in the mornings now, has trouble waking and getting up, and when she has her classes online, she usually does the first hour from her bed, half-asleep, and I don’t think she retains a lot of what she’s learning this way. 😀 Other than that, I just don’t like the idea of changing my room because aside from the heat problem, it’s the best room in this house, for me anyway.

How about you? 🙂

Declan Galbraith – “David’s Song (Who’ll Come With Me?)”

Hey guys! 🙂

For today, I’m sharing with you a song from Declan Galbraith second album, Thank You, which he released at the age of 14. Just as with his first album, it contains a lot of covers of either pop classics or some popular Celtic songs, and some original stuff. This song was a hit in the late ’70’s in some European countries, all because of The Kelly Family, who performed it originally, with John Kelly singing the solo. The song became particularly popular because of being the theme song for the German TV production called “The Adventures of David Balfour”, based on the book “Kidnapped’ by Robert Louis Stevenson. The music to this tune was composed by Vladimir Cosma. On the same album by Declan, there is also another Kelly Family song – “An Angel” – which I shared with you before. I like both of them a lot more in Declan’s versions.

Fridrik Dur – “Fröken Reykjavik” (Miss Reykjavik).

Hey guys! 🙂

So I’ve been still listening a fair bit to Icelandic music (I guess I was pulled in a bit, but no, there’s no new language on my bucket list, even if I wanted that to happen I’m afraid this bucket wouldn’t manage to contain it). We had Daughters of Reykjavik a while back, and today we have Miss Reykjavik. I think this is really quite a cool song. I’ve found the

translation

which is below:

 

Who walks there along Austurstræti

And smells like spring flowers

With a bold face and a look of superiority

In amazingly red shoes

Oh, it’s a girl like no other

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

Oh, it’s a girl like no other

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

Who sits there with shining golden locks

In the grass by Arnarhóll

Such bright youth in new nylon stockings

And a new low-cut chiffon dress

Oh, it’s a girl like no other

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

Oh, it’s a girl like no other

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

Who glides there along the south bank of Tjörnin Pond

To meet with a young man

Who waits alone in a brown leather jacket

By the birch trees next to Hljómskálann

Oh, it’s a girl like no other

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

Oh, it’s a girl like no other

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

Oh, it’s a girl like no other

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

Who walks there along Austurstræti

In amazingly red shoes

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Min Polare Per” (My Buddy Per).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I have for you another song from Cornelis Vreeswijk, ’cause why not? The original version even comes from the same album as the song I shared with you yesterday (that is, his debut album from 1964), but I decided to share with you a live version.

I’ve introduced you before to some recurring figures in Cornelis Vreeswijk’s music and poems like Ann-Katrin Rosenblad or Fredrik Åkare, but so far I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned Polaren Per, who is like Cornelis Vreeswijk’s buddy or pal. Like the other two characters, he’s also supposedly based on a real-life person, namely Pär Hägg. And he features in quite a few Cornelis’ songs. This is the first one that was ever released.

This time round, I haven’t managed to translate it because I don’t even fully understand some pieces in it, especially the first verse. It’s about Polaren Per’s mysterious disappearance. He used to live with his girlfriend but something happened between them (this is the part I don’t understand fully, I believe she cheated on him but I’m not quite sure) that he couldn’t get over it, so he moved out and no one knows where he is. So, obviously, his friend is very concerned, and asks people if they’ve seen him, and looks for him himself all around Stockholm. He’s also worried about his – Per’s, of course – mother, who will miss her only son, and the fact that Per owes him fifty bucks. He has multiple theories as for what could be going on with Per and where he might be, like he may be at sea, drinking his problems away or may have moved into a cheap hotel, or maybe he’s just sitting in a pub, in which case there’s nothing to worry about at all. Luckily though, he must have been found, since there are so many other songs about Polaren Per that were released later on.

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Visa I Vinden” (Song In The Wind).

Hiya people! 🙂

Today, I have a beautiful Cornelis Vreeswijk song for you (or Swedes would say a Cornelisk song, Cornelisk is an adjective and I like it because it shows how he really is a huge and recognisable part of Swedish culture. I think this is one of my favourites. We could say nowadays that it is so beautifully emo. 😀

It is a very sad and beautiful love song, and if we’re talking Cornelis and love songs, of course we’re also talking Ann-Katrin Rosenblad, to whom he most often dedicates his love songs, and other of his songs often mention her too. If you’re not yet in the know, Ann-Kat(a)rin Rosenblad was his fictional muse, based on the real life one – Ann-Christin Wennerström. – This comes from his debut album – “Ballader Och Oförskämdheter” (Ballads And Rudenesses/Impertinencies) from 1964.

I even managed to translate the lyrics (go Bibielle!!! I guess it’s my fourth Swedish-English translation if I’m counting right) and they surely do tell you what the song is about, but I wonder if it’s just me who feels that the English lyrics are way clunkier than Swedish. Perhaps it’s because it can’t be otherwise, or maybe I could do it better, I don’t know. If you speak Swedish and read this, lemme know.

Also, honestly, ever since I’ve first listened to this song (which was like… 2016 I guess?) and then understood its lyrics fully, I’ve never really figured out what’s the deal with the “sieve” in the lyrics (see translation below). I thought maybe this word has more meanings in Swedish or it’s some idiom or something, but when I was translating this today I couldn’t find anything like that. So I still don’t know. Maybe it means that she was so selective in love or didn’t retain her emotions for long, meaning that she easily fell out of love, or something? I found out that sieve can symbolise virginity, because of a vestal in ancient Rome who proved her virginity by carrying water in a sieve and not spilling any of it. Cornelis read a whole lot and we could say that he was quite nerdy, and there are mythological references in some of his poems and songs. But here it doesn’t seem very likely to be the case. Yeah, I was the best in my class at poem analyses but have always felt like I’m not very good at it actually. 😀

 

I’m singing a song in the wind,

And hope the wind will bring

This song to my beautiful one’s cheek,

And sprinkle it in her ear,

And move her heart.

I have been to many countries,

And not been to many more.

I guess I could stop going,

If you ask me to do so.

And lovingly look at me.

But wish me luck on the journey,

When I now pull away from you.

And the reason, Ann-Katrin, is this:

I cannot stay,

Where I do not have your love.

I’m singing a song in the wind,

I’m singing a song in a storm.

My heart is like a granite,

My heart has lost its shape,

And my pain is enormous.

But listen to my march under the moon,

It swings in steady minor.

It does not fit on the gramophone,

It’s about you, you troll,

That your heart is a sieve.

Resirkulert – “Áddjá” (Grandfather”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Time for a song in Sami! I guess I didn’t share one on the Sami national day (February 6) so it’s really long overdue, but until now, I didn’t really have any specific ideas what Sami song I could share with you. I’ve known this one for quite some time but came across it recently in my music collection and thought it would be a good fit.

Resirkulert (which translates to Recycled in English) isn’t really a Sami band, in that, as far as I know, they have no other songs recorded in that language and most of the members are not Sami. They seem to be quite popular on the Norwegian music scene, although, while I listen to a lot of Norwegian music I don’t have a very good idea what’s actually popular with Norwegians and what’s not really because I don’t really know the language, only via Swedish, don’t listen to Norwegian radio stations and don’t know many Norwegian people. Still, Resirkulert seems like a fairly well-established band in their home country. They come from the very north of Norway, and only one of their members – the vocalist, Emil Karlsen – actually is Sami. This joik (a piece of traditional Sami music, usually with little to no lyrics, dedicated to, or should we rather say extremely closely associated or expressing the essence of, a person, an animal etc.) is Emil Karlsen’s grandfather’s joik. I find it so interesting that, from what I gather, it’s like Sami people each have their own joik which somehow describes them and who they are and is like an essential part of their identity, it’s so interesting to have a specific tune so strongly incorporated in yourself, that other people can’t sing to you (apparently it’s not the thing to sing it yourself, I guess it would be a bit egotistical). It’s quite abstractive but also very appealing to me, probably partly because of its abstractivity. 😀 What I also like about joiks is that they, despite being such an old singing tradition, can go extremely well with modern instrumentation and generally our contemporary music genres, which you could have already noticed from a few Sami songs I’ve shared before. I mean, obviously there’s loads of neofolk, electrofolk, folk pop and what not from around the world and it often sounds just as good as traditional folk, but something really clicks between joik and contemporary music vibes.

A fun fact I once learned is that Áddjá, while it generally means grandfather, can also relate to any older/elderly adult with whom you have a friendly relationship and who perhaps shares his wisdom with you or something like that. Moreover, Áddjá is apparently also used in the Sami land in reference to a BEAR! So I guess that shows what kind of relationship they have with bears, traditionally. As someone who loved bears as a kid very much, I like the idea.

Regina Spektor – “Genius Next Door”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Recently I’ve shared with you Obsolete by Regina Spektor, and I thought I’d share one more song by her, one that I really like musically and that I think has quite interesting lyrics, which, just like with Obsolete and I believe most of Regina’s songs, can be interpreted in many ways.

The way I understand it is, that it’s more symbolic than literal. I think the lake is some kind of serious life problem that people are experiencing and deal with it in different ways. Some – the neighbours – sweep it under the carpet and prefer to pretend that it doesn’t exist or at least it’s very much a taboo thing. Others – the kids – take it very lightly, make fun of it and don’t really care even if the problem gets worse, because of some fun aspect to it that they can see, so maybe this problem is drugs or something like that. – And then we have the genius, who I think represents anyone who is intelligent but also quite sensitive, who seeks some meaning in life but all he does is “wipingclean the ketchup bottle labels” instead. He actually wants to confront the problem head on and I guess also be somehow acknowledged for doing so, but overestimates his capabilities and ends up drowning under the weight of it because he can’t cope – commits suicide in the “lake”, I think. Perhaps he’s somehow too immature for that or something hence the “foolish child”? But has some feeling of fulfillment before he actually dies – the “orgasm”. Or maybe he actually doesn’t confront it but simply uses it as some sort of counter-weight to his dull and uninspiring life, which would make even more sense if we’re indeed talking about drugs or some other addictions.

I could be totally off with that, but since I don’t think we know officially what the song was meant to be about, I don’t really care, and I’ve seen both similar and different interpretations of it.

What do YOU think it is about?

Question of the day.

What’s your favourite food?

My answer:

This is such a difficult question, isn’t it?! At least it is for me because I think it depends on what category of food or when or other things, I don’t think I have like one MOST favourite kind of food. So I’m going to just say very generally what kinds of things I like. I eat quite a lot of dairy although at the same time I never drink milk as such. I used to, but at some point I just decided it was no longer fun and have heard lots of different theories on whether it’s healthy for people other than babies or not. I do drink kefir though and that’s still milk. I also eat a lot of things like pastas, rice, pierogi, one of my most favourite dishes are Silesian dumplings which are made mainly of potatoes and you can have them either savoury or sweet, we usually do savoury, with champignon sauce or as a side dish. I also eat a lot of soups. Chicken soup is probably my most favourite. I like most vegetables really, but usually I much prefer them raw rather than cooked or boiled or whatever. I eat a lot of green stuff. I also like the vast majority of fruits out of those I’ve ever had and could probably count on the fingers of one hand the ones that I do not like. I like things like almonds, sunflower seeds and most nuts. I do eat meat, but am not somehow in need of it so much that I’d have to have every meal with it, as some people need it to be. And I much prefer white meat over red. I think though that if for some reason I had to stop eating meat altogether, I would manage quite well. Usually if it’s just Mum, Sofi and me at home, we don’t eat any meat at all. I like a lot of spicy, hot things and salty things. Therefore I quite like for example Indian or Mexican cuisine, but for example Chinese not so much even though it can be very spicy too. And I love Mediterranean food as well. I do eat some fast food sometimes but I was not really raised with eating it regularly so I can live a happy life without it and I don’t even really like things like hot dogs or hamburgers or a lot of other fast food. But I really like chips/fries. Speaking of chips, I like chips/crisps too, and a lot of other similar snacks. Also a lot of sweets, but definitely not all of them. This is definitely not an exhaustive list of what I like though.

I am really grateful for the fact that I like a lot of healthy foods, because I can be also quite picky and if I wouldn’t like all the veg and other healthy food, I simply would not eat it at all and it would be super hard if I needed to be on some kind of diet or something, I really don’t like to force myself to eat things I don’t like, similarly as I would never force anyone else to do so and I totally don’t understand why some people force their kids to eat something they know they don’t like if there are other things they like and could eat instead, especially if they are healthy foods, or how some people who are on some restrictive diets manage to eat things they don’t like, often for many years. My Mum has always said I must have some kind of taste hypersensitivity or something, I don’t know if it’s a thing. I definitely have a problem with some textures though and I know it is a thing.

How about you? Do you actually have one single food item or dish that always springs to your mind when you think of your most favourite food? 🙂

Daughters of Reykjavik ft. Asdis Maria – “D.R.U.S.L.A.” (S.L.U.T).

Hi people! 🙂

On my recent quest to find some interesting Icelandic music, preferably in Icelandic, I came across Daughters of Reykjavik quite early on. They are a nine-piece female hip-hop group who are all, as you can easily figure out, from Reykjavik. The group has had a lot of changes over the years though so over time a lot more young women have been involved in it than just nine, but there is always nine of them at a given time. They’re known as Reykjavikurdatur in their home country, but they also aspire to achieve international fame (which seems to be going well for them) and thus are known as Daughters of Reykjavik abroad.

They have very strong views on things and I’ve found I don’t always agree with them or not fully. I haven’t been able to find a complete translation of this particular song, so I don’t know what exactly they’re saying, but the general message of it is something I definitely do agree with – they want an end to rape culture, and thus victim blaming and slut shaming. – Therefore, even if I don’t understand exactly what they’re singing and don’t know if we agree in EVERy single thing here,, I thought it could still be interesting to share this piece because of the general purpose it serves, as well as because it’s simply very well done musically, and – well, be honest with me – how often do you hear Icelandic female hip-hop groups? 😀

In this piece, they’re joined by Asdis, also known as Asdis Maria or Asdis Maria Viðarsdóttir, known for representing Iceland at Eurovision Song Contest 2014 with the song “Amor”.

Question of the day.

What are/have been your nicknames, if any?

My answer:

Well, I’ve had a lot of them. Most importantly Bibiel, which y’all probably know about already. Before Bibiel, there was Bisbis, or Biśbiś in Polish spelling. It was Sofi who came up with both. When she was very little, and I was 10 or so, I used to listen a lot to Polish Radio BIS which no longer is a thing (BIS was the acronym for Bardzo Inna Stacja –
Very Different Station – it was a radio station aimed at young people, with a lot of “weird” music like alternative, reggae, hip-hop, folk, what not… they also had a lot of educational programmes for example for learning languages). I really liked this station and I really liked the word Bis (pronounced like bees but with s in the end, not z, so that it rhymes with peace). I made tons of neologisms using it, with the word Bis itself in my “language” meaning either any child of any age, or anyone who was, to put it briefly, more or less cool and I liked them so that they deserved being a Bis. Naturally then, I often called Sofi Bis and I couldn’t wait for her to be able to speak so that she’d learn to say the word Bis. 😀 She quickly picked it up and associated the word Bis with me, so that when she started to say her first words and using different words to refer to all of us in the family, she started calling me Biśbiś (most children raised with Polish will say ś instead of s as they learn to speak, ś is like the English sh but a little bit softer). I considered it really funny and cool and it stuck for a really long time. Then I started using Bisbis as my username online so some other people started calling me that too, and even I started talking about myself in the third person as Biśbiś, when I felt like doing so, and later Bibiel, as you know. I’d already had a tendency for referring to myself in the third person sometimes, but not all the time, just when I sort of felt like it sounded better for whatever reason. Then when Sofi was older, and saying Biśbiś all the time felt childish and sometimes a bit of a mouthful (she said it like Bibiś most of the time anyway and so did I), she started contracting it to Bib (kinda like you’d say beep in English 😀 ). We considered it super funny at the time. We both always make up a lot of words and nicknames for each other spontaneously (and now for Misha too), so a lot of other things have also evolved from both Biśbiś and Bib, but they didn’t stuck quite as much. And when she was already going to school, she, spontaneously as always, came up with Bibiel. I didn’t like it at first ’cause it sounded almost like Bieber or something like that but then I ended up liking it a lot and started using it myself. And I still do. I tried to use Bibielka in Polish or Bibielle in English ’cause that sounds more feminine but somehow it never stuck permanently, but I still sometimes spell it Bibielle and sometimes Bibiel, however I fancy really, it’s not a real word so who needs a fixed spelling rule. My Dad also calls me Bibiel, and other people when they feel like it.

Some people also called me Bisia before, mostly at school, which is an actual name, or rather an actual diminutive from names like Sabina or Balbina or Bibianna (there’s even an Arabella in the book series by Małgorzata Musierowicz who goes by Bisia sometimes), for me though, obviously it was to do with the Bis thing.

I also had a lot of other nicknames along the way that I either wanted people to call me or people called me spontaneously, and an absolute load of nicknames that Sofi has come up with, not all necessarily being variations on the Bis/Bib theme.

As for nicknames coming from my name, typically people nickname it to Emilka because that seems to be the most default Polish nickname of Emilia. Only my parents don’t particularly like it, my Mum because she had a hard time getting used to it at the beginning when I changed my name and then she said it’s too “farting sweet” (farting sweet in my Mum’s terminology means that something is too sweet to bear), so she prefers to call me Emi or Mila or Milka and sometimes Emisia (which I think is actually even more sweet but okay, I don’t mind either way). You may or may not know that, since I’ve got Misha, I often use the name Emisha online ’cause it sounds like a legit name and it’s a fun combination. It was my Mum who originally came up with that and now when she knows that Misha and me are together she’ll call us “Emisha!”. My Dad doesn’t like Emilka because he says it sounds like e-Milka, as if there was such a thing as an electronic Milka, the chocolate. I think he prefers to call me Bibiel because he hasn’t fully accepted my name change, or rather, can’t wrap his mind around why I’d even want to do so. He usually also calls me Emi when he doesn’t call me Bibiel, but sometimes he also calls me Emil kinda sarcastically which is both funny and annoying. Some English-speaking peeps have called me Millie and Jacek from Helsinki called me Milla most often. And one of my penfriends calls me Milzie sometimes.

My Dad is another person who always has loads of nicknames for people, most of them don’t really mean anything specific or sometimes they’re vaguely inspired by Kashubian words or something like that, and if you doon’t know him, often from the sound of these creations you could assume that they are actually insults. 😀

And my grandad sometimes calls me X-ray because of my apparent skills at “reading” people.

And, of course, I’d had several nicknames that people called me back when I still used my birth name, but since I don’t share my birth name on here, I won’t say the nicknames either.

So yeah, I guess that’s it.

How about you? 🙂

Renaida – “Ett Andetag I Taget” (One Breath At A Time).

Hiya people! 🙂

Today I have a very beautiful and sad Swedish song for you which captivated me from the very first time I heard it. The singer – Renaida Braun – was actually bornn in Tanzania, before her parents emigrated to Sweden. She took part in the Swedish TV competition Idol, and also in Melodifestivalen (Melodifestivalen, commonly known as Mello, which is the biggest and most popular Swedish TV show and whose winner goes on to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest the same year). I really like how emotive and strong her voice is and I absolutely love this song.

The lyrics are really simple, so I managed to translate them with no problem, yay!

 

I feel the pulse in my blood

My heart beats again

I stop for a while

Can I smile again?

It was nothing I understood

I only wanted to go home

The thought of losing me

Before the dawn

When the sky falls to the ground

And all the trees are burning in the park

The birds fall to the ground

And all the words disappear

When the sky falls to the ground

And all the trees are burning in the park

The birds fall to the ground

And all the words disappear

I lose my breath in a dream

A kiss from nowhere

Everything falls apart inside

Can’t see again

When a memory arises

As if the fairytale never existed

The truth shall be revealed

Before the dawn

When the sky falls to the ground

And all the trees are burning in the park

The birds fall to the ground

And all the words disappear

One breath at a time

I take one breath at a time

One breath at a time

I take one breath

When the sky falls to the ground

And all the trees are burning in the park

The birds fall to the ground

And all the words disappear

Question of the day.

Do you prefer dogs or cats?

My answer:

I guess my answer’s going to be quite obvious for most of my followers, if not all of them. Yes, I prefer cats. I feel a lot more in common with them and I feel I can understand them better than dogs and interacting with them is a lot easier. That’s not to say that I don’t like dogs though. I absolutely do. We have Jocky, after all, and when I grew up we always had some dog, or more than one sometimes, which was not the case with cats. Well, okay, we had a lot of them running in the backyard, but only had one indoor cat before Misha for a while, with whom I didn’t have much of a connection because, a lot like Misha, he was more on the aloof side, and since I spent most of the time at the boarding school, naturally he didn’t have enough time to get to know me, nor did I know him well enough. Still, just like I said, overall, if I have to choose, I’d always choose cats.

You? 🙂

Regina Spektor – “Obsolete”.

Hey people! 🙂

Even though I don’t listen to Regina Spektor’s music very regularly, I like a lot of her songs, or simply find them interesting. I like her approach to music. It’s also thanks to her that I learned years ago about the existence of such a music genre as antifolk, and, later on, that I really liked it. I was quite amused by the name anti-folk, as well as the fact that, being a huge folk enthusiast, I also like a lot of anti-folk, although I don’t think that you have to either like one or the other.

I don’t think I need to introduce this artist, since she’s very successful and famous. I first came into contact with her music via Polish Radio Programme 3, and later on Last.fm recommended it to me, back in the day when I used it. For those whom her name doesn’t say anything, I’ll just say that she is a singer-songwriter who was born in the Soviet Union and emigrated to the US at the age of 9. She is classically trained in piano, which instrument she uses extensively in her music, and has a very strong connection to NYC.

The song I want to share with you comes from her latest album – “Remember Us To Life”. – I like the metaphor in this song of comparing oneself and the way one feels to an obsolete manuscript, and I think it could be a very relatable song for people in all sorts of difficult life situations.

I myself have found it very relatable, and have always thought that she’s referring to some kind of a general identity crisis or being kind of mismatched with your surroundings because of the manuscript just not being readable to them. I once decided to see though if I could find if there was something specific she had in mind when writing it. I didn’t find anything like that, but I found a comment about it on one website that really struck me and changed my view on this song dramatically. This person wrote that to them, this song is about something like Alzheimer’s or some other neurodegenerative disease. And it seriously makes sense! I’m creeped out by all things neurodegenerative because I value my brain very highly, yet at the same time I’m kind of interested in what it feels like for people who suffer with such things, what their lives are like. So while I don’t know if this was actually what Regina Spektor had in mind writing this, looking at this song from this angle makes it even more interesting.

Perhaps you have some other theory as for what it could be about? 🙂 I’m curious to hear about it.