Question of the day.

What’s 100% worse when wet?

My answer:

The first thought that popped into my mind was chips/fries. I don’t even understand how people like them with ketchup, especially if they’re softer and less crunchy to begin with. I know some people though, like Olek, who totally bathe their chips in ketchup, and that’s pretty gross imo. πŸ˜€ And he doesn’t even mind eating them cold! :O

What’s such a thing in your opinion? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

How would you like to die? πŸ™‚

My answer:

I’ve always thought that I’d like to die while sleeping, but also at the same time that I would know some time in advance that it’ll happen so I can prepare myself accordingly, especially spiritually. I know it happens for some people but I don’t really know how common or likely it is. In any case, I wouldn’t like to live too long, at this point I feel that even if I lived up to like 50 I’d feel dreadfully tired of living by that point. And whether I would die knowing about it in advance or not, I’d like to be prepared for it anyway, so that I could feel satisfied that I’ll be happy in my eternal life and wouldn’t regret too many things.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Kati Ran ft. Heilung – “Flamme” (Flame).

Hey people! πŸ™‚

Today I have a song for you from a very interesting, international music project, which is fairly new to me. Heilung are three people (Kai Uwe Faust from Germany, Christopher Juul from Norway and Maria Franz from Denmark, whom I was also familiar with from her other band Euzen and collaboration with Valravn/Virelai). Their name means healing in German and they make experimental Nordic folk music, using a lot of interesting instruments from the Old Norse period, as well as singing in multiple languages, like German, English, Norwegian, but also Old Norse or Old English. There’s plenty of references to Germanic and Old Norse mythology. Since it’s very much pagan folk, they didn’t make it to the list of my favourite Nordic folk artists, as I am Christian, but I think their music is very interesting simply because of their approach to it and how involved they are in this and in recreating this music as accurately as possible, it’s clear that they definitely know what they’re doing. This project surely has lots of character and I always like it. Kati Ran, in turn, is a Dutch solo singer who also makes Old Norse music. The second part of her stage name comes from the Norse goddess Ran – a personification of the sea, wife of the jΓΆtunn Agir who also personifies the sea, and mother of nine daughters who all personify waves. –

This song is sung in Norwegian, and below is a translation that I’ve found. In the lyrics mention Norns, who are the Norse deities of destiny, much like the Greek Moirai or the Roman Parcae. One verse is not in Norwegian and, to me, it appears to be Old Norse, but I could be wrong, perhaps it’s Icelandic or something.

 

Sing to my heart

Come onto the ground

The weave is my faith

When the Norns cry

Sing to my heart

Like a flame

Light up the threads

Burns down lovers

Sing to me

Closer than strings

Weave your way to me

Spread your wings

The creation wins

Skin on skin

Because when we meet

Fires burn

Madr hverr lifir at munom sinom

Sing to my heart

Come onto the ground

Question of the day.

What’s your biggest fear?

My answer:

I have such an abundance of fears that it’s hard to say which one is biggest. Social anxiety’s definitely huge, but it depends on a lot of things and sometimes it’s less scary than others, or more manageable anyway, for no apparent reason. Then there’s this thing I call sensory anxiety, which I’ve generally gotten used to live with and it can also vary immensely in intensity, but it can be absolutely creepifying at times. My sensory anxiety is kind of connected with sleep paralysis, so that counts in here too. What’s particularly scary is this sleep paralysis/sensory anxiety “friend” of mine, known as “Ian” on this blog, about whom I wrote a short story on here, but I don’t tell his real name to anyone. He’s extremely scary and I always have a sick conviction at the back of my brain that he’s actually real and that some day I’ll get to experience his realness properly. As for actually recognised specific phobias, out of those that I’ve had emetophobia (fear of vomit) has always been the worst, though it’s not nearly as scary as it used to be for me in the past, most of the time anyway. Another thing that I have a fair bit of fear around is all things neurodegenerative, the possibility that I could end up having a neurodegenerative disease at some point, like Alzheimer’s (well, it doesn’t have to necessarily be a neurodegenerative disease, a TBI would be scary too but neurodegenerative diseases sound like something that’s particularly difficult to have any control over), and lose my brains as a result. My brains are like my fortress or something, so it would be a hopeless situation for me. And while usually it feels like vomit is scarier because it happens to more people and is more likely to happen, plus I’m also scared of it happening to anyone else, not just me, brain damage, of whatever nature, isn’t something that happens to everyone and it doesn’t seem like I’m at a particularly high risk in any way, as there hasn’t been anyone in my family as far as I know with this sort of thing. Yet on the other hand the brain damage stuff has way longer and nastier consequences. So I can’t say which one is scarier.

How about your fear? πŸ™‚

Sian James – “Cysga Di Fy Mhlentyn Tlws” (Sleep My Pretty Child).

Hey people! πŸ™‚

Since it’s already early evening here, I thought I’d share a lullaby with you, and I picked this beautiful Welsh one performed by Celtic harpist and singer Sian James, whose music I’ve already shared on my blog before. Here is the lyrics translation that I’ve found:

 

Sleep you now, my pretty child,

Sleep you now, my pretty child,

Sleep until the morning,

Sleep until the morning.

The door is closed, and safely locked,

Lullaby, my pretty child,

Sleep until the morning,

Sleep until the morning.

All the birds are sleeping too,

Lullaby, my little one,

Sleep until the morning,

Sleep until the morning.

The wooden horse is by your side,

Lullaby, oh darling mine,

Sleep until the morning,

Sleep until the morning.

Question of the day.

We really haven’t had any questions in a long time, so let’s get into it! πŸ™‚

Whether you are single or in a relationship, why?

My answer:

I am single, and there are many reasons for that. I think mostly because I’ve just never come across anyone that I’d love and want to be with, as simple as that. πŸ˜€ I guess it’s quite weird for many people, but I’ve never been not single, have never dated, have never had sex, and have never even been in love. While that kind of reinforces my feelings of inadequacy since it seems to be vastly different for most people, I’m generally okay with that and don’t feel obliged to try to change it, any time soon, or any time at all, unless it comes naturally. Also I guess I still have quite a fair bit of time for it all happening, if it’s supposed to. My Mum considers herself asexual or something like that, she does have sex (obviously, since she has biological children), but has no physical pleasure out of it and no real need for it, we suspect that must’ve been the case with my grandma who has a giant repulsion towards anything even remotely sex-related, but of course back then no one knew about such a thing as asexuality and I suppose if anyone suggested that to her, even that would repulse her, and I guess this could be the case with me (without my grandma’s repulsion though πŸ˜€ ) the more that I was also born with some hormonal issues that often do affect such things. I’m not perfectly sure, because like I said I’ve never had sex so if I did perhaps I’d discover that that’s not the case, and then on the other hand I do consider myself a linguophile because I can get slightly turned on by a language that I love, especially right before sleep, haha, but it’s like I said only a slight thing and not extremely frequent, and generally I have an impression that for most people it takes waaaaay less to stimulate them, to the point where it actually often surprises me how little they need. That being said, of course by never having been in love I also mean romantically, yet I definitely do not think I am aromantic. Regardless of whatever might be the deal with me vs all things romantic and sexual, one thing I do know is that all that involves a lot of intimacy, and intimacy is scary as hell for me, whether it’s emotional or touchy-feely.

Another thing is that, aside from me having never found anyone I’d like to be with, I’ve never been aware of anyone who’d like to be with me. πŸ˜€ Which is fine as otherwise I guess I’d feel quite hemmed, even if he weren’t pressuring me or anything.

And then there’s also that I really don’t think I’m cut out for relationships anyway. I am very individualistic and, partly due to that, partly due to some experiences I’ve had, I still have a bit of an aversion to even mere words like together(ness) or common. I don’t like compromises, I don’t even know how to do them. If someone wants me to make a compromise with them I’ll usually either keep going my way or turn in the totally opposite direction where they want to go and go right after them. Same as I never knew and never liked to cooperate with people at school at all sorts of projects and stuff. If I knew that people at my group were either rather passive/submissive by nature or simply not good at the subject, I’d do everything for everyone as that was easier and faster than explaining and discussing everything, and I didn’t have much patience for that, plus they were happy, or if there was someone who I knew that they had it all together more than I did and had more of a personality, or a few such people, then I would barely do anything, I just don’t really know how to be in the middle with such things. πŸ˜€ Besides, like I said intimacy scares me and how usually people in relationship expect each other to be open. I know and have heard of couples where one person is pretty self-sufficient emotionally, and likes to have a bit of their own space, but the other not so much, and so this other person wants them to do everything together. It would suck if that would be the case with me and my potential husband, especially if we wouldn’t share a lot of hobbies to begin with. And I have a bad feeling, based on a lot of different little things, that if I went into it, I have all the necessary traits and more to end up with someone toxic, or maybe not properly, inherently toxic like narcissistic or something, but perhaps somehow difficult or damaged or something, which, since I have a very particular brain too, could end up making both of us intoxicate each other quite badly. I’m absolutely happy having difficult, weird, complex friends who have had a lot to deal with, but being such a person yourself and having to deal with another such person’s brain 24/7, seven days a week… I’m not this heroic. Also my last therapist, who for some reason was adamant that I need to be in a relationship (perhaps because she was psychodynamic and they’re obsessed with sexuality so she couldn’t help me if I had no sex life πŸ˜€ ) was very encouraging and told me that people “like me” usually have toxic relationships. A lot of her words and opinions couldn’t be taken seriously, but I feel she could be pretty right about that.

Then there are the little big things like that I am Christian, more exactly a (traditional) Catholic, and some stuff that is important for me is less and less important for other people, like such a trivial thing as actually marrying properly and not just going steady or however people call that in English. On the other hand, I don’t want to (and possibly cannot, due to the pituitary stuff) have kids, which on the other hand is usually what people with values similar to mine definitely do want.

Speaking of kids, I would be worried that I wouldn’t have much to offer the potential guy in question. I mean yeah, I have a lot of brains to choose from, people usually consider me interesting or fascinating or something like that, and judging from everything I seem to be considered a good listener, I am empathetic and I think I have a, weird sometimes, but still good for some, sense of humour, I seem to have the sort of shape that apparently appeals to males the most, being skinny and curvy and have reasonable looks, but generally, that’s about it. I can’t do a lot of practical things, I can’t cook, I can’t do a lot of other household stuff or can’t do it well, I don’t want to/can’t have kids, I don’t want to have sex, I can’t drive, I can’t get around outside by myself, I only have a part-time job with a minimal wage which will be over as soon as my Dad retires, I don’t do people… Yeah sure, there are interabled couples, but from what I observe, usually the disabled person is more autonomous than myself. Also when it comes to visually impaired/blind people, I’ve seen research claiming that there is a lot more couples where there is a sighted girl and a visually impaired guy than the other way around, which makes sense and is reflected among people I know. So, I just don’t see it (pun quite obviously intended). I could still be with someone blind, but I don’t want to for several reasons, plus I’ve spent ten years in a blind school where naturally a lot of people were dating at some point, and none seemed interested in me either, unless in the role of a relationship counsellor. πŸ˜€ Which is, actually, quite interesting, because a weird amount of people comes to me with their relationship woes, as if I had any idea about that. But I try to help as best I can. Maybe it’s actually exactly this that brings them to me, that I have like an outside perspective or something. Anyway, even if there was someone who would accept the downsides and want to be with me, I, knowing myself, would probably still have a problem feeling inferior in such an unbalanced relationship, unless I’d feel that there is some field(s) in which I could compensate adequately.

So, all in all, while the unquenchable Aquarius in me is definitely curious what it could be like being not single for a change, I don’t really feel like I actually do want to change it in practice.

Oh, and yet another reason! Dating sounds freakishly stressful from what I hear. I’d probably have to sleep two days in a row to recharge afterwards.

So how’s it with you, and, more importantly, why? πŸ™‚

Tiny Ruins – “Bird in the Thyme”.

Today I decided to share this very new to me artist. Tiny Ruins is the stage name of British-born (Bristol), Kiwi-bred singer Holly Fullbrook, but over time it has evolved into a fully formed band. This song is the only one by her I know so far, I heard it last week for the first time, but because I like it a lot and it makes me think I could like her music overall a lot, I keep wanting to have a proper listen to more of her music but still haven’t gotten to it. I think I will today, finally. I really like this song musically for its minimalism and I like the subtle word play in the lyrics.

Song of the day (27th July) – Y Trwbz – “Tic Toc”.

Hey people! πŸ™‚

We haven’t listened to anything from Y Trwbz in a while, so let’s do it today. This song was released in 2015, when Mared Williams was with the band as the vocalist. Sadly, I don’t really have much of a clear idea what the song is about, so can’t share that with you, but still I think it’s great musically.

Billy Lockett ft. Violet Skies – “Talk”.

Hey people! πŸ™‚

Last year I shared two songs from Billy Lockett, who was probably the closest of all the potential would-be’s to become my faza peep (but I’m so happy it didn’t happen, in the end, even though I really do like him quite a bit πŸ˜€ ). Recently I heard this song a few times on different BBC radio stations, and I thought I’d share it with you. Violet Skies is also a singer known to me whom I like, plus she’s Welsh!

Today, I…

Recently, I came across this simple, mini prompt in the PaperBlanks app, and so I thought I’d share with you what I am doing, thinking, feeling etc. today.

Today I… feel really tired and sluggish. My sleep has been fairly weird lately, lately meaning a couple weeks, I think. It’s like as soon as it’s night time, my brain suddenly gets a kick of energy and I just can’t settle myself down for sleep, whatever I do. I had a proper zombie day on Friday, having not slept for the whole night, then the next night I crashed as is usually the case with me after a zombie night and so got a lot of good sleep, but my sleep system didn’t reset, for some reason, as it normally does after a zombie day. Today it was back to where it was. Well, except that I actually did feel rather tired and in need of sleep this time around, but was at the same time kind of wired or something and it just wasn’t happening. Since I had to get up at 8 AM, I’ve only got like 3 hours of sleep and my brain’s not impressed. I generally don’t like taking my anti-anxiety medication for sleep even though it does work, but if this keeps up I’ll just have to resort to it for a while, I guess. Since I guess Jack the Ripper is about to visit any time, PMS coupled with little sleep means I’m having a rather shitty day mood-wise.

Today, I am finishing a sort of prayer challenge or whatever it could be called, that I’ve set myself. I promised God and myself that I’ll be praying for three weeks in July, until this Sunday, for someone that I sort of know and am rather concerned about, even though I don’t know him very well. He seems to be dealing with a lot of yucky stuff, multiple addictions being one of those things, and many years ago I’ve decided that I am always going to pay particular attention and have special dedication in my spiritual life to those people that I know or have come in contact with, with whom it seems unlikely that anyone prays for them, or at least not consistently and seriously, despite it seems that they might need it particularly much. I’ve learnt it well in my life that God loves creating what we’d usually call coincidences, and so this time, when I got into it I learned that July is actually considered a month of prayer for people who struggle with addictions. At the same time, addiction is a sort of… hmm, hot topic in my family currently, and my Mum is also praying for someone who has this problem who is our family member, so I felt a bit stronger having company and support like that, especially that my Mum really has been my best spiritual director and always has the strange talent to say or point me towards something that is exactly what my soul seems to need at a specific time. This whole challenge thing has been rather difficult, with a lot of ups and downs, and I wasn’t even sure if I was seriously going to stick to it, I mean, I really wanted to, but some part of me didn’t think I could manage with all that praying, IFing etc. for long. I also often had thoughts that I don’t believe strongly enough in that God could actually do for me what I was asking Him for, because from a human perspective, a dramatic change for the better in this person’s life doesn’t seem very likely and is even hard to imagine. But I tried my best to believe as strongly as I could, and even though I always experience a lot of hurdles with praying, in that I find it difficult to actually concentrate on it properly, I have a feeling that, while I don’t know if I could have put more effort into it, I’ve put a lot more of it than I thought I even could. I am so hopeful for some better, fuller, more valuable life for this person, whatever God considers that to mean in practice for this guy. Pretty much exactly at the time when I took up this little challenge, I also learned about a 30 day Gospel challenge that is a thing now on Hallow (a Catholic prayer/meditation app that I sometimes use). The goal is to read 2-3 chapters of a Gospel every day, so that we’ll be finished with all four Gospels in 30 days. And while I thought it wasn’t for me at first, because I’d never be able to stick to it, and because I’ve always been somehow apprehensive of reading the Bible in English mostly because then I tend to focus on the language more, haha, eventually I figured that the timing of this is very telling, and that I probably should take this up too. I have previously read all four Gospels chapter by chapter several times, as well as the whole Bible, but I initially thought it would be challenging to stick to it every single day and finish exactly in thirty days. But so far it’s going extremely well and I’m actually very surprised! It’s day 14 and I’ve never missed a day. The linguophile in me also manages to keep reasonably quiet, and I feel like I’m more actually engaged into it than I was all those times before, when, despite being Christian, I’d always read the Bible more like I would any other great work of literature, more intellectually than anything else. It is rather difficult for me to just sit down and listen to the Gospel for 20 minutes without doing much else in the meantime, I usually do several things at once and it feels more natural, but at the same time it feels weird to be listening to the Bible while doing something else very trivial in the meantime and give God only part of my attention. So this has been an interesting time in this respect and I’d never have expected it.

Today, I am a little anxious about living practically on my own for the next two weeks. You might recall that in one of my recent posts I was saying that I’m going for a trip into the mountains with my family on Friday/Saturday. The Friday/Saturday eventually was postponed until this coming Tuesday, because my Dad’s leave was postponed until then. Then Sofi decided that she’d like to take our cousin along, as she thought she’d be rather bored otherwise. As I’ve said, I’ve been feeling a bit off recently, very crampy and with rather little energy, and am pretty sure Jack the Ripper’s coming any time, and I started to feel kind of doubtful whether going for that trip is a good idea in my current hormonal and brainstate. So, as our camper isn’t very huge, I thought that was a good enough reason not to go, ’cause our cousin could go in my place. And so that’s what going to happen. Olek is also going to stay, as he always does, since he has work and stuff to do, but he’s out most of the day, so it’ll be mostly me and Mishmish. Which is fabulous, but, like I said, I’m a bit worried. I’ve never really lived on my own for this long, and, while Olek will be here in the evenings and he’ll also bring dinners for us both, so that at least I won’t have to deal with any delivery people or anything like that every day, I’m kind of scared, like, what if something goes wrong? I don’t even know what… anything could go wrong. From Misha choking, to Olek forgetting to clean his litter box, to me letting him slip out accidentally, or having some sort of an accident and doing something to myself, like in the kitchen or whatever, as usually if I do something in the kitchen Mum supervises me more or less, to needing an “eye” to help me with something asap, to having a bad sensory anxiety flare in which case I really don’t cope well with being totally alone. My sensory anxiety has actually been pretty bad this week, and it’s the sort of thing that is extremely easy to set off or exacerbated by thinking about it, more than any other anxiety that I have, so in a way that feels kind of unavoidable, especially if we consider my shitty sleep lately. Still, an equally big part of me is really looking forward to this, and, if things go reasonably well, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun for Misha and me to be pretty much only by ourselves for so long.

Today I am very glad that Misha has been with me all day so far, and not hiding under the bed or anything like that, but properly laying in his own bed, and he’s very cuddly. I hope this state of things won’t change soon and he’ll be like that once my family leaves for the trip.

What has been your day today like? πŸ™‚

Auri – “Night 13”.

Hey people! πŸ™‚

Today, I have a song from Finland for you. Auri is the after hours project of Tuomas Holopainen (most well-known as the leader of Nightwish), his wife Johanna Kurkela, who is a prominent folk singer and violinist in her homeland, with as it seems quite wide musical interests, and another Nightwish member and uilleann pipes player – Troy Donockley. – The three had plans to collaborate on something more folky and as they say they knew they had to do it at some point, but as they all had quite busy lives, the chance only happened in 2018. Their sound could be described as prog folk, or folk metal. Both the band’s name and a lot of motives in their music are inspired by The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss (where a female character is called Auri).

I used to listen to Nightwish years ago, and a lot of other symphonic/Gothic metal like that, now I no longer do, initially because my views on life and all sorts of things have changed and I considered it no longer congruent with my current beliefs and values system to listen to stuff like Nightwish, and then I guess I just naturally sort of grew out of that phase. But while I’m not like very hugely into Auri, I really appreciate their sound and I’ve liked and followed Johanna Kurkela for years.

This is one of their songs that I really wonder what it might be about, I’ve had countless ideas, haha. I guess though most likely it’s inspired by something I simply have no clue about (perhaps The Kingkiller Chronicle as well which I’ve never read). Anyway, it is an interesting song.

2002 – “Cariad” (Love).

Hey guys! πŸ™‚

So yesterday I wrote about how this group’s music very often sounds kind of sensorily creepy to me, but the song by them that I’m going to share with you today sounds anything but creepy. What drew my attention to it is that it’s quite obviously inspired by the Welsh language, and as it seems especially the Welsh concept of cwtch. This enigmatically looking word, as you’ll figure out from the song, is pronounced cootch, and if we wanted to say what it means in English, we’d say a hug or a cuddle, except it’s something more than that. The situation here is very similar as with the Welsh word hiraeth, which is usually translated as longing, but the real feeling behind it is a lot more difficult to convey through English. If I understand it correctly, cwtch is a particularly safe, yet unreserved and containing type of hug, one you really invest yourself in. The cosy feeling behind it is kind of similar to the Danish hygge concept. But also, cwtch is a word that is particularly tied to the Welsh identity. I may well be wrong about it, and if I am and if there are any Welsh people that are gonna read it feel free to correct me (I don’t even live in Wales, after all), but I have a strong impression that while it’s both Welsh speakers and English-speaking Welsh people who use this word, it seems to be more frequently used by the latter, as a way of connecting with the language as part of their national identity even though they don’t speak it fluently or in daily life. I tend to hear it a lot more often when someone is speaking English, especially people from South Wales, so I have a feeling it’s more like a Wenglish word, especially that it actually comes from the Middle English word couche, meaning a resting or hiding place. The “tch” cluster is also not common in Welsh. Yet, somehow the cwtch is almost like a symbol of being Welsh, an essence of Welshness, and also one of the Welsh words that people from outside of Wales are most familiar with, if they’re familiar with any Welsh words. I guess only popty ping, meaning microwave, is more famous, except it doesn’t seem to really be in use, because the actual Welsh word for microwave is meicrodon. πŸ˜€ Kind of like with this village in Anglesey called Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, which everyone calls just Llanfairpwllgwyngyll or simply Llanfair PG, and the sesquipedalian official name, from what I understand, is only used for the sake of tourists.

Anyway, as a Welsh learner, I thought it was really cool that this American band embraced even just these two Welsh words, cariad (love, sweetheart) and cwtch, because this is such a small, plus endangered language, so I figure it’s always somehow heartening with languages like that when someone knows even a word. I also really like the angelic vocals of Sarah Copus in this piece.

2002 – “Lady of the Moon”.

Hi people! πŸ™‚

Overall, I can’t say I have a lot of love for this band. They’re way too new age-y for me, that’s the first thing, and also while some of their songs are really nice, quite an astounding amount of them just doesn’t agree with my brain, so to say, in a sensory way. They often sound properly sensorily creepy to me. And, actually, this song is no exception. Everything about it – the melody, the harmonies, the different single sounds in it and it overall – it just sounds kind of creepy even though I know I’m probably the only one and that generally it’s supposed to sound relaxing. But, unlike most of their other music, despite I still feel this way about how it sounds, after having known it for many years, somehow I also do like it and can appreciate its beauty. Sometimes that is the case that even when something sounds sensorily scary to me at the same time it’s still very beautiful and appealing on some level. In the past, the creeped out feeling was the main thing I felt when listening to this, but now it’s the appreciation for it that wins.

2002 are wife and husband Pamela and Randy Copus, and their daughter Sarah. They live in Texas and, as I said, they make new age music, that could also be classified as neoclassical. There is yet another song of them that I like (I only like two, and that other one is not creepy at all) and I think I’ll share that one tomorrow.

Trollguten – “Skogen” (The Forest).

Hiya people! πŸ™‚

For today I thought I’d share with you one of my recent discoveries when it comes to Norwegian music, which I’ve found very interesting. Even though I don’t speak or learn Norwegian as such, only Swedish, I do seem to feel some kind of affinity with Norwegian music, and a lot of that music happens to be somewhere on the electronic music spectrum. This also is the case with this artist.

Trollguten (which means the troll boy in English) is Norwegian producer and singer-songwriter Kristoffer BjΓΆrntvedt (or maybe it’s with the Norwegian ΓΈ, I’m not sure as I’ve seen both spellings), who has also made music under quite a few other aliases, playing around with different kinds of electronic music, from electro pop to what they call russ music in Norway which is like a dance subgenre I guess we could say, often with easy-cheesy, cringey or downright obscene lyrics, particularly associated with russefeiring, or russ celebration, that is when high school pupils (russ) are in their last semester of school and celebrate the fact that they’re finishing high school and are now adults so they can drink and apparently often do a lot during that time, but from what I understand it’s also just generally party music, regardless whether you’re a russ or not.

I’m not going to mention all the different names/alter egos/whatchamacallit he’s known as, because with at least one of them (the one that’s most successful and under which he makes the aforementioned russ music) he’s anonymous and doesn’t want people to know who he is. Actually, I wonder if it isn’t a bit of a Pulcinella’s secret because, while I myself happened to come across his less well-known music projects first (which is very fortunate because otherwise I’d probably not be encouraged to delve deeper), there seem to be a lot of people in the interwebs who know only this russ music activity of his, and are wondering who he is, and it doesn’t require any special detective skills to figure that out, there’s even a thread about him on what seems to be a pretty popular Swedish forum. Still, I believe privacy is a crucially important thing so I’m not gonna reveal the secret. πŸ˜€ I suppose if any young Norwegian/Swedish folks, will be reading this, they’ll guess whom I’m talking about anyway. Also if I wrote the sort of lyrics he does under that particular pseudonym I think I’d also much prefer to stay anonymous, hahah, although for him it’s apparently not this that’s the reason.

Anyways, the first project of his that I’ve heard of, about a month ago, and that also took off quite well in his country as it seems, was Travelle, and I liked it a lot immediately. It’s maybe not what I’d typically listen to, even when it comes to electronic music, but something about it really spoke to me, and also I really like when people are raw and real with their music like that, expressive but without being overly exalted. And then I learned about his other musical activity, and even though definitely not all of his music spoke to me, I really liked his versatility, I always like that in people, whether it’s in music or whatever other area. And I like it when people who do music solo do everything themselves, as then you can get quite a consistent picture of the mind behind it. Another thing that I always appreciate in musicians that he also is is that he’s really prolific. Sadly, the project he’s most prolific in is that russ one, and he hasn’t done anything as Trollguten in ages, and nothing new as Travelle in couple years either, but I suppose he invests himself most in the russ stuff because it’s simply what people want the most, and so it pays off the most, as he hasn’t got quite as much attention with all the other stuff as with that.

And then I also happened to learn that not only does he make music in Norwegian, Swedish and English, but he also apparently loves languages and can speak German and Spanish. Somehow I would never have thought that this could be the case. Moreover, he tends to speak in quite a peculiar mix of Swedish, Norwegian and English from what I’ve noticed. Mixing languages is fun! And I think it must be all the more fun when you live in a country where people can actually understand you when you do so. πŸ˜€ I wish I could do that, but everyone around me is monoglot and they’d think I’ve gone even more crazy than ever. On the other hand, I always used to mix up languages spontaneously and involuntarily when I still used to drink alcohol, so maybe it has this sort of effect on him as well.

I think I might share some of his Travelle music in the future as well, but since Trollguten was an earlier thing and it’s also really really good, I thought we’d listen to this first. He’s originally from near Stavanger in the southwest of Norway, although is currently based in Oslo, and as Trollguten, he sang his lyrics in the Stavanger dialect.

I’m not good at understanding Norwegian by ear, and even looking at the lyrics I don’t get everything so wouldn’t be able to translate it for you, but from what I gather, he/the lyrical subject’s on some trip in the forest with a girl, that would have been nice, except she’s being in a quarrelsome mood or something like that, and wants to leave him, so he’s trying to convince her how bad an idea it is, because they’re deep in the forest and because she’s afraid of the dark, and allergic to birch, on top of that.

Ask me anything about blindness.

I had this fleeting but reoccurring thought for quite some time already, to make a post where I’d give people an opportunity to ask questions about all sorts of things to do with what it’s like to be blind. My Mum and some of my penfriends also strongly encouraged me to do this, but I’ve always felt like I’m not really the best person to do such a thing. I felt that if I was to answer such questions, then I would be kind of representing the whole big community of blind people, and I am not really a very typical representative of it, or at least not in all aspects, so I was afraid that it could be potentially harmful to the community at large if people were to consider my answers something of a general standard for blind people, or that in order not to be harmful, I’d have to constantly explain in which ways am I different and try to answer the questions from as broad a perspective as possible, rather than just my own, which I feared I wouldn’t always be able to do in a competent way. For example, I don’t live on my own, but there are a lot of blind people who do, and I was afraid that by hearing that I do not, people are going to assume that no blind people do and that they cannot.

But I guess that over these almost four years that I’ve had this blog, I’ve finally realised that I have no obligation to represent the blind community if I don’t feel like it, just because I am part of it. I can just represent myself as an individual. If I don’t believe that all sighted folks like K-pop just because Sofi does, why should sighted people believe that all blind people read Braille based solely on the fact that I do? I think I must have gotten the idea from school, where one of our staff told us that we need to be able to eat with knife and fork so that sighted people won’t think that all blind people are not able to eat this way. πŸ˜€

In general, I see that people tend to be either very in-your-face or very fearful of asking disabled people and their families any questions pertaining to the disability. As much as the in-your-face attitude is bad, because I don’t live to answer people’s questions and I may choose not to (not because they hurt my feelings or anything but just because I don’t have to, and even if disability isn’t a sensitive topic for me, it’s still generally quite personal), the fearful attitude, though very often coming from good intentions of not wanting to offend someone, is just as bad because the brain doesn’t like emptiness, so in place of the unanswered questions you create your own conclusions, which might be incorrect, or even quite harmful.

So that is why, in the end, I decided to do this. Perhaps you’re a regular reader and you’ve always wanted to know something but were afraid to ask or simply had no opportunity to do so. Or you’re a total newbie here and just want to know what it’s like being blind. That’s what this post is for. Ask me your questions in the comments and I’ll reply there, or if any questions will require some particularly detailed answer or I decide it could be interesting to expand on I might do a separate post on it.

As I said, I’m not going to be answering collectively as a blind people’s spokesperson or anything, but rather from my own perspective, so what you’ll be getting here is simply one Bibiel’s personal experience. Some bits of my blindness experience may be the same for the majority of blind people, others not necessarily. Still, I know a fair bit about blindness and a lot of blind or visually impaired people, so if you have a more general question I’ll also try to answer it as best I can, even if it may not always be exhaustive. As I’m blind since birth, I’m really not easily offended or hurt when it comes to blindness questions, as I have no idea what it’s like to see, haven’t lost my sight in any traumatic circumstances, and therefore I have a distance to it.

Oh, and I’m going for a summer trip on Friday/Saturday for at least a week, so if you ask me anything during that time you might need to wait some time for a reply, as I’ve no idea if I’ll be able to reply on the go and how regularly.

Alan Stivell – “Plijadur Ha Displijadur”.

Hey people! πŸ™‚

Today I chose to share with you this short, solo harp piece played by the Breton Celtic harpist Alan Stivell, which I think is a traditional tune. I only know that it originates from Brittany, but since I can’t speak Breton, I don’t even know what its title means, and don’t know anything else about it. Still, it sounds really nice to me.

Enya – “Boadicea”.

Hi people! πŸ™‚

This song of Enya’s is one of my most favourites and one of her first songs that I grew to like. I always found it very soothing with all the humming, even though in fact its inspiration is anything but soothing. Boadicea, as you may or may not know, also spelled as Boudicca, was a Celtic queen of the Iceni tribe located in what’s currently known as East Anglia, who led a revolt against Ancient Romans. Despite the meaning of her name (“victorious) she was eventually defeated, but didn’t want to accept being humiliated by her enemies, so she decided to poison herself instead. This track was sampled an infinite amount of times by different artists, including once without her prior permission, so it sounds familiar to many people, even those who aren’t really into Enya as such.

Mared – “Over Again”.

Hey people! πŸ™‚

Today I decided that we’d listen to a really stunning piece from Mared Williams, also known just as Mared. This is definitely one of my most favourite of her songs. It deals with the topic of moving away from where you grew up and used to live, but coming back there and trying to keep in touch with friends. Mared is originally from Llannefydd in north Wales, although as far as I know she now lives at least some of the time in London. She is also the vocalist in the Welsh rock group Y Trwbz, as has been one of my faza people – Jacob Elwy. – She’s also in a relationship with Morgan Elwy, Jacob’s brother, with whom she sometimes collaborates also outside of Y Trwbz. This song was produced by the Drwm recording studio, and people like Osian Huw Williams from the well-known on the Welsh-language scene band Candelas, or Branwen Haf Williams from Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog were involved in the recording.

If we were having coffee… #WeekendCoffeeShare

Wow, it feels like I really haven’t done a longer post in a long time. I mean, I published the mini series about emetophobia quite recently, but writing that took me a REALLY long time, a good few months, so that’s probably why it feels so to me, and this is also largely why I haven’t been posting anything longer lately, as I wanted to be done with those vomit posts. πŸ˜€

Anyway, I love coffee shares, so thought I’d join

#WeekendCoffeeShare

today. Thanks so much to Natalie for hosting the link-up. πŸ™‚

There’s not a whole lot going on here at the moment, but there are still things that I feel are worth mentioning and filling y’all in on. But first off, let’s get ourselves some drinks, and maybe something more than just a drink. As you may or may not know, I used to be an avid coffee drinker but can no longer drink it quite so carelessly as it seems, however, my Mum was grocery shopping yesterday and she bought loads of iced coffee as both Sofi and me love it a lot, so I’m just having a cup of it right now and it’s delicious. Iced coffee like this one is okay with my brain though, as it’s very weak, which I’m fine with for an iced coffee, but not when it comes to regular, black coffee. Plus I’m having a low-key day and decent anxiety levels so even if it will end up screwing me up a little it wouldn’t be a big deal. So I can make you a cup of this too, if you wish. Otherwise, we have black coffee (also a Swedish whole beans coffee that is actually my Mum’s but I’m sure she wouldn’t mind coffee sharing), loads of different teas, cocoa, and I guess there’s also some orange juice left. We also happen to have loads and loads of Swedish yummilicious candy and other goodies, so there’s lots of good stuff to share. So essentially we can say we’re actually having a proper fika (that’s very basically how you call a coffee break in Sweden, that you take together with friends or colleagues, where you have something small to eat to go with it, just a way of socialising). But how come we suddenly have so much Swedish food around here? Well, come fika with me and you’ll find out. πŸ™‚ Oh, wait, there are also muffins! These are Polish, but I’m sure they’ll work for fika perfectly, if you’d like one.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask each of you how you’ve been doing…?

If we were having coffee, I would fill you in on what’s currently going on with Misha. Misha, as many of you will know, is a very adventurous type, and despite being an exclusively in-door cat, he still has high hopes of conquering the great outdoors someday, and never misses a chance to try and make it happen. If he somehow manages to escape, he’ll then cry his poor little heart out for days or weeks to come because he wants out again. Sometimes we’ll let him out just to make him happy, because we know that this is what he loves the most, but we regret it almost as soon as we do it, because of that endless crying that we all find both excruciatingly annoying and heartbreaking. A couple weeks ago, somehow it had become more difficult than usual to keep Misha outdoors. There were several instances of him sneaking out so that no one even knew when that happened, and we seemed to have little control over it. What surprised us though was that Misha always came back without having to be made to do so, and never left our backyard, which is quite huge so definitely enough for him. That was interesting, as previously, whenever someone would take him out for a little while, it would be really difficult to get him to go back home and he’d run away and could be rather unpredictable. After each of those escapades the crying was even worse, so at some point my Mum decided that, actually, if he’s always been coming back from his adventures so far, we could take the risk and let him go wherever he wants. Misha was very happy, he sniffed the flowers, laid in the sun on the grass, and walked around like a lord examining his property, with Jocky jumping behind him like his faithful servant. As always, he got all magpies agitated and they yelled at him as loud as they could, but he didn’t even bother. That was again a surprise, because normally when we go out with him, he’s a lot more fearful and makes an impression like he’s quite overwhelmed with all the sounds and movements, whereas now he was very majestically placid. Once he even fell asleep on the grass. And then he came back, and slept through the rest of the day, probably totally exhausted with all the stimuli. When he’d wake up, he’d cry again, so we’d let him out, and the whole cycle would repeat. Only, what was quite easy to predict, each time Misha would go further and further. He would still stick to the backyard, but was becoming more and more courageous by the day, and took longer and longer every day to come back. Meanwhile, at home he would only sleep, and very soundly so. If he wasn’t asleep and wasn’t outside, he would cry, louder than before. Finally one such day Misha just spent the whole day outside, and couldn’t be seen from any window, so Mum went out to get him back. The problem was that he flat out refused to go anywhere with her and wanted to run away, but somehow she managed to catch him.

From then on, we became rather apprehensive of letting him out. As a result, we were constantly tortured by his wailing. Day and night. Sometimes the sounds he would make would be so mournful and pitiful that you could cry with him, while at other times it sounded very deliberately rude, annoyed, or plain manipulative. It never ceases to impress me how he can convey such an extremely wide range of emotions with what could seem as just one, wailing sound. My Dad started to threaten that he’s going to kill him someday, Sofi would yell at him if he came near her even if he wasn’t crying, because she was so fed up with him, Mum started to close him in the laundry room for the night, where he likes to be and where we’d hear him a bit less, and I was reluctant to have him in my room, as the only reason for which he seemed to come in here was to keep wailing. Yet we all felt very sorry for him and wanted to help him somehow. Letting him be outside just didn’t seem like the right way to help long-term, and we were short of any other ideas.

Mum and me, however, had been considering for quite a long time to take him to a cat behaviourist to talk about some of his problems, like the constant grooming. So finally it seemed like the time was more than right. Mum already went to that behaviourist with Misha and Sasha (the little kitten we had for a while with whom, or should I say due to whom, we had some problems), and he was very helpful and insightful. So I guess both of us were hoping for something similar this time around. Some insight, about what we might be doing wrong, and what we should do etc… Maybe he would help us understand this little Mish brain a little better.

Yet he didn’t offer us anyy insight. Looking at it in perspective, I don’t really know what he could say and this really doesn’t seem like the sort of thing where talking would help a lot. He simply concluded that there are two ways for Misha to live. One option is that we make a compromise and let Misha go in and out precisely as he pleases. But this isn’t really an option, even by his – the vet’s – standards, as obviously Misha is totally inexperienced when it comes to the outdoor life, while on the other hand he is used to sleeping on and in beds, or wherever he fancies, and it would be difficult and quite cruel to now tell him that he cannot do this anymore and I’m not quite sure how we’d go about making him adhere to this rule. And our house would get real filthy in no time, my pedantic Mum wouldn’t survive that. So there’s just the second option left, that is medication. So what we were ultimately offered was a supply of Prozac, which Misha was to take half a pill daily and he told us to come back in two weeks for a follow-up.

I really didn’t like the idea on so many levels but… what else can you do? As expected, Misha’s appetite worsened a lot, so I had to stock up on his favourite foods so that he’d eat anything. He also became really drowsy, which I didn’t realise was a thing with Prozac nor did the behaviourist tell us that it was possible. Like, he slept ALL the time! He’d hardly wake up to eat or pee. He was also very apathetic. In the short moments between his sleeps, I sometimes picked him up and cuddled. He doesn’t always love to be picked up, but now it was like he didn’t care either way. He didn’t object or tense up as he does when he’s not in the cuddly mood, but neither was he cuddly and affectionate, he would just lay in my arms completely still. But I thought, oh well, his body probably must just get used to it.

But things just continued like that, with no change at all. Both Mum and me tried to give him his favourite foods, both where regular meals and snacks were concerned, but a lot of food just went to waste because he’d just take a bite and would no longer be interested in it. Giving him the pills, which is never an easy thing, was becoming harder every day as he would protest against it more every day, it’s really unpleasant for everyone involved to give him any kind of medication. One day he threw it up almost straight after Mum managed to get him to swallow it. When Misha slept like that all the time, he would never slept cosily as usual, on a bed or in his own bed, or in some other comfy place. Instead he’d usually hide under a bed and clearly didn’t want anyone to see him. One of those days, when he was sleeping under Mum’s bed, she took a peek down there and found him lying there still but his eyes were actually wide open, plus his pupils were still very dilated so apparently it looked quite creepy. The next day Sofi told me the same thing, very surprised, that he’s not sleeping but simply laying like that all the time.

We didn’t go full two weeks, but as the situation wasn’t any better after over a week, I got really frustrated and decided that I don’t want a zombie here, I want my Misha back. I’d rather have him cry twice as loudly and obnoxiously than be just an empty shell of himself. I’m not sure he’s happy with this kind of existence either. Mum told me she was afraid that one day she’d just find him laying somewhere dead. So we wanted to go back to the behaviourist earlier and tell him that yeah, it solved the problem, but now we have no cat. Like, I literally haven’t seen him for a week as he was in that comatous state, even though on a few of these days he actually laid under my bed. There was also no “Hhrrru?”ing, no purrs, no nothing. But since we are now kind of afraid of testing other drugs on our Mishball, in the end Mum simply stopped giving him the Prozac and he isn’t taking anything else instead. He has almost fully recovered by now. Surprisingly, the crying’s not that bad at all either. He does cry a little bit, especially when he sees someone going out, but he also did cry a little bit during his waking minutes on the Prozac, and he’s been crying ever since he’s been with us. But it’s not the same, desperate kind of crying and he isn’t so quick to go out as he was for a couple months prior to this. We decided that we’ll only try some new medication if things go really bad again. Misha is also a little more sociable now, of course within his norm, which is so delightful. It’s really sad that there doesn’t seem to be any good way of lessening his distress.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that we’ve had quite a heatwave lately. The last two days have been a bit cooler, but I’m not expecting this to be the case for very long. It’s also very humid, especially that we live by the river, it’s like even the walls are sweating. πŸ˜€ I’m just so very grateful for finally having the AC in my room, as it makes it noticeably easier to function.

If we were having coffee, I’d finally share about where I’ve got all these Swedish sweets from. When Sofi had her birthday in May, I shared with my Swedish penfriend that I ordered a package from Scrummy for Sofi and me. Scrummy is a Polish online shop selling all sorts of sweets, snacks, drinks, instant desserts and what not from other countries, I believe mainly from Asia. And she kindly suggested that she could send us some Swedish ones to test. I had some Swedish candy in Stockholm and also in Ikea, but I still felt rather inexperienced in the matter, and I thought Sofi would be particularly happy, so I jumped at the chance and offered that we could do an exchange and we could send her some Polish sweets as well. When I later told my Mum about it, she asked if my penfriend could send her “that delicious coffee from Sweden”. She drank some whole beans coffee that she considered really great at the hotel where we stayed in Stockholm, but didn’t know the name of it, unfortunately, so I just asked my penfriend if she could find some whole beans, low acidity and high intensity coffee, because these are the sort of coffees my Mum likes. Our post office is really snail-paced with packages both from and to other countries, so it took almost a month to arrive, but we finally got it on Thursday, yay! πŸ™‚ Since we were only talking about “testing”, rather than gluttonising hehe, we were really surprised that it was so huge, even for the two of us, so you can imagine we were really excited! πŸ˜€ I actually never got to it any licorice candy in Stockholm, and was always curious if I’d like it or not. Turns out that not really, and Sofi isn’t a fan of it either, but it was very interesting to finally try it. And my Dad, true to his alleged Nordic roots (which as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before I personally don’t really believe are truly Nordic, that’s what my cousins say though) discovered that he really does like it. I’m very curious if he’ll like the salty one as well.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee, or fika, for that matter? πŸ™‚