Question of the day.

What is your favourite dessert that is not baked?

My answer:

I don’t think I have a one go-to dessert that I’ll always choose over others, it typically depends on what I feel like eating so it’s not something fixed. I can say I really like good ice cream though. The word good, however, is important here, as I have a strong feeling that, where ice cream is concerned, there’s a real imbalance between quantity and quality. Well, I don’t know about other countries, but it’s definitely the case over here imo. You can get tons of different ice cream particularly in summer but most is just meh. So if you want good ice cream it’s better to avoid the multitude of cheap meh ones and then you’re more likely to find something that’s actually worth all the calories and other stuff it has. I am a huge quality person regarding most things and also a fair bit of a hedonist, so I’d rather pay a bit more for some better ice cream than have whatever ice cream for the sake of eating ice cream. 😀 It’s not something I eat regularly, so at the moment I can’t think of a single type of ice cream that I’d just love so very much that it’d be on the top of the list, also it changes quite a bit over time.

What’s your favourite? 🙂

The Harriet Earis Trio – “Take 5/The Unsquare Dance”.

Hiya people! 🙂

For today, I chose a set of two pieces from an album from which I’ve already shared some music with you and which I really like for its creativeness. The album is called From The Crooked Tree and comes from the Wales-based group The Harriet Earis Trio, with the very Celtic harpist Harriet Earis at the centre of things.

Question of the day.

What’s something people don’t worry about but really should?

My answer:

There are lots of such things that come to my mind but one that I thought I’d write about is extincting languages. On one hand it’s totally subjective because I love language and it’s so sad to think that we’ve already lost so many languages and so many are on the way to be lost and discriminated against or something that it’s kind of weird for me to think that most people don’t really care. 😀 But second, our languages are part of our heritage as humans, part of our history and our identity, so that’s why I think we should really be more concerned about it collectively than we are, because with each language that dies it’s like a piece of our collective history as humans sort of falls off and then it’s quite difficult to put it back in place even if you try, especially in a way that looks natural.

What’s such a thing in your opinion? 🙂

Question of the day.

What are you currently worried about?

My answer:

Surprisingly, I don’t seem to be having a lot of worries at the moment, usually my brain’s a lot more loaded with things like that so the current state is a rare occasion so I guess I should seriously celebrate it before things change or something. The main thing I’m worried about at the moment isn’t really something I can write in detail about on here as it’s awfully personal and not so much for myself as my family and something that we’re sort of struggling with and I’m not really sure how this whole thing will actually end. It’s getting a bit exhausting as it’s been dragging for months now and nothing makes it look like it’s going to be resolved any time soon, as the person who could have very easily resolved it with one word just doesn’t seem willing and long-term this may have all sorts of effects which are pretty scary to think of. That’s why for now I’m trying to avoid thinking long-term about this, and thankfully so far have been rather successful, which is also a pretty rare thing with my brain. More short-term, I’m worried because tomorrow I’ll basically have to spend the day one on one with this charming individual and how I’m gonna handle it, I mean, how I’m gonna handle being pissed and not showing it for the whole freakin’ day with no other people around. Moreover, I’m supposed to pretend that I don’t know about all the shit they’ve created. If I’ll make it I’ll be really proud of myself, or in any case I probably should be. 😀 Even without all that stuff going on right now, this individual can be really annoying and difficult when you spend a lot of time with them individually, so all my stifling skills will certainly come in handy tomorrow and hopefully won’t fail when they’re actually needed.

How about your worries? 🙂

Jacob Elwy a’r Trŵbz – “Drudwy” (Starling).

Hi hi people! 🙂

I haven’t shared any music by Jacob Elwy, one of my faza peeps, in what feels like ages. So here’s our song for today, one of last year’s singles recorded by Jacob and Y Trŵbz, the band established by him, his brother Morgan, whose music from his most recent album I shared quite recently, their cousin Tomo Lloyd and their friend Gruff Roberts. This song has been written by them in remembrance of Jacob and Morgan’s father – Bryn Williams – who passed away some years ago and although I don’t know any details it seems to have been a premature death. They have actually released a few songs last year that in some way are connected to their father which I think is really great that they are able to channel their grief in such a creative way and I find all of these songs very beautiful each in its own way. He himself wasn’t a musician, but from what I read in one interview with them he did like jamming, and wrote something that’s called penillion in Welsh, which, if I get this correctly, are verses of poetry, traditionally set to some familiar tunes and sung accompanied by harp, except in this case Y Trŵbz created more folk rock arrangements for them. I’ll surely be sharing those pieces written by Bryn Williams in the future. The piece I’m sharing with you today is called Starling and talks about how still despite he’s no longer with them physically, he actually still is in spirit every day and will be forever, and continues to ignite the flame that inspires them, and that they can see his smile among the stars and that he is their hero, although the song is written in singular rather than plural. I don’t understand it in its entirety but these are some of the bits that I do understand.

Question of the day.

What social stigma does society need to get over?

My answer:

As someone who is disabled and mentally ill, the most instinctive answer for me is disability/mental illness stigma, but since many of my readers also have mental illnesses and/or disabilities, I figured I’d leave that in case someone would like to write about this and I’d write about something else. Recently we’ve been talking with my Mum about stigma that mothers have to face, and if I were a mother, I’d be pissed off big time about it. Even when I’m not, I find it very annoying. Being conservative, Christian, traditionalist in a lot of ways, albeit an open-minded and quirky one, and all sorts of things like that I’m not necessarily a feminist the way feminism is typically understood these days, and neither is my Mum, but I think both of us still are, just in a different way. I suppose though that in this case the more modern feminists would probably agree with me. What I’m talking about is, when a man who has children goes out for a beer with his friends, no one investigates where and with whom he left his children, no one makes a tragedy out of it that a dad went out on his own without dragging his kids along. When a woman goes out with her friends clothes shopping and happens to come across someone she knows in the meantime, she’ll very likely be questioned about where her children are, as if her sole function was being a mother. Many will even procede to make such a “cruel” mother feel guilty or something. I’m not saying that a father can replace a mother, and there are definitely things that mothers tend to do better than fathers, and that fathers tend to do better than mothers, hence I believe that it makes sense that their respective roles in the family should be different, but their responsibility for children, and the right to have other identities and not just one of a parent, is something they both should share.

Also in the family department, the childless/single people stigma bites. I know a lot of young single and/or childless people and it’s crazy how often I hear people talking to them or about them how they should start looking for someone, how it would be super cool and cute and amazing and delightful if they became a mummy or daddy, how it would be good if they found another half to make them happy, ask them if they already have someone, or when they’re gonna have kids etc. etc. etc. Probably the most of that stuff that I witness is directed at my brother, who has no plans of finding a girlfriend any time soon and thus of having children either. I’m in a similar situation, but luckily I get way less of such bullcrap because duh, I’m blind so in most people’s brains it’s probably not even possible for me to be in a relationship and have children. 😀 Even my Mum, who is a very open-minded thinker and doesn’t like going with a life scheme and all that, and always tells us that she doesn’t want us to feel pressured to do any of the normal stuff that people do, she’ll still sometimes sigh how she’d like for Olek to “settle” and “find someone”. Thankfully she always has me to remind her of her no schemes philosophy lol.

The main reason why I’m so opposed to people imposing their relationship/children views on other people is not even so much because I don’t like schemes, but more so because I think not everyone is a good fit to be a parent. It’s a great thing to have a great family if you can and if you’re a good parent, but I think it’s a really bad idea to make it seem so that it should be the majority’s vocation to have children. My Mum and me have come up with that idea many years ago that people should be tested in all sorts of ways whether they’re fit to be parents and then be allowed or not allowed to have children. Obviously in practice there would be loads of problems and controversies around it that would be super difficult to handle in real life, and especially if you look at it from our Christian perspective, but in any case, parenting is a very difficult task, probably the most difficult in the world, and few people at the age of 20 when they’re often emotionally still much like children themselves are ready to start raising children of their own and the whole social pressure is an awful idea.

What is such stigma in your opinion? 🙂

Question of the day (26th September).

We haven’t had any questions of the day for quite a while, so let’s do some now. 🙂

What do you think is the most annoying piece of current slang?

My answer:

I’m in no position to make any particularly meaningful statements about English slang, given that I’m not an English native, don’t live in an English-speaking country to be able to immerse myself in slang regularly and know what’s current and what’s not, and I don’t really mingle with people who would use a whole lot of slang. Despite I’m very much into language(s) and linguistics and that definitely includes slang, even in Polish I don’t mingle with people who would use loads of it and I’m sure I’m very much behind as I’m quite an alien in general. These days I mostly get an idea about current slang from Sofi and if I like something I incorporate it into my own vocabulary, but Sofi herself doesn’t use a lot of slang and often doesn’t have much of a clearer idea what things are supposed to actually mean. Besides, a lot of what I’m introduced to by her is actually English words or English calques or some other Ponglish stuff, so to me that’s not even slang but normal English words. That’s why I don’t think I can say much about the most current Polish slang either. I guess one thing that annoys me a bit is that overanglicisation of everything that I mentioned. I mean, I absolutely LOVE English language, and for some kids (like Sofi) this way is one of very few of actively learning and actually retaining any English vocabulary, and English has SO many expressions and words that Polish doesn’t have so I too very often have super strong urges to use English words even with monoglots because otherwise it feels like there’s no way I’m going to get my point across and it’s frustrating. I’m not a purist, I don’t hate loanwords when they serve a purpose, and I believe a language is supposed to evolve or otherwise it’s dead, it’s also impossible to have a language with no loanwords perhaps unless it’s a conlang or something else rather artificial like that. But what I’m not a fan of is when the entire nation who has their own language suddenly starts replacing their own, perfectly functional words with foreign words that mean exactly the same, I guess just because the English words sound more trendy or something. Say there’s the word fame, which Polish youth tends to spell fejm which makes more sense with Polish phonetics. And that doesn’t make sense to me because we have our own words which express the same thing, and I’m a bit worried that in more long-term perspective this is gonna do a fair bit of damage to our language and many other languages as obviously it’s not like this process is limited to Polish. It can be funny mixing languages like that, I also often like throwing some English or other words into a Polish utterance for fun or expressive effect or because I like their sound more or because my brain sometimes just makes me do it for some not easily explicable reasons, but when it’s something more permanent and on a more collective level and we all speak like this ALL the time, like I said, gets slightly worrying. Also sometimes I have an impression that with some words those kids don’t even exactly understand the English meanings of those words, so I wonder if it isn’t a bit like that for every kid or teenager those English words mean something a bit different. For example Sofi claims that the word cringe (or krindż, as she prefers to spell it, which spelling always makes me cringe when I see it ’cause it looks so weird lol, and she pronounces it with an ee as well of course as that’s way more natural in Polish) is not so much about something being embarrassing in a disgusting, awkward or uncomfortable way but more in a hilarious way. I think something cringey certainly can be hilarious, but in her definition it’s a primary thing. Or maybe the Polish definition of krindż just really is different than the English definition of cringe.

Another thing which I guess could be classified as slang is acronyms and more exactly what I find grating is using them profusely in spoken language. Like, why?! I understand not having enough space or time or brain capacity to write in lengthy paragraphs, but when you speak in acronyms all the time it feels like you don’t really care about your interlocutor. Even when someone does that all the time in writing, I don’t like it. Sometimes when Sofi reads to me for some reason her texting interactions with her friends, to me it could just as well be some beat box exchange or something, there’s hardly any vowels. 😀 When she overdoses on acronyms while writing with myself or talks to me in acronyms I just go all the way like: “Y dnt u wrt lk a hmn?” (Why don’t you write like a human?). With other people, especially such that I don’t know too well, if I see that they use loads of acronyms without any particular purpose that I could figure out, my brain tends to quite automatically jump to the conclusion that they either don’t really like/struggle to write or aren’t particularly smart unless I have some evidence that challenges such conclusions. Too many acronyms can sometimes really affect the aesthetic feel of a language for me, and as both a linguophile and lexical (among others) synaesthete language aesthetics are important for me.

What’s such a thing(s) that annoys you? 🙂

Song of the day (26th September) – Georgia Ruth – “Cloudbroke”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Catching up on yesterday’s song of the day, as I had a migraine so couldn’t do that in the right time, I’m sharing with you another song from Welsh singer, songwriter and harpist Georgia Ruth, namely from her 2016 album Fossil Scale. This is something slightly different from most of her music, more electronic and with a bit of an R&B feel and I came across opinions that it’s the worst track from that album, but I like it nonetheless and while there are songs by her that I like more, I definitely don’t consider it bad.

Rachel Hair – “Marie’s Tune, Art Okeefe’s”.

Hiya people! 🙂

Yeah, another set of tunes from Rachel Hair, cus why not? These two pieces can be found on her album called Hubcaps and Potholes – Scottish, Irish and Original Harp Music. – The first piece – “Marie’s Tune” – is Rachel Hair’s original composition, whereas Art Okeefe’s is a traditional one, arranged by her for harp.

Rachel Hair Trio – “My Darling Fair One”.

Hey people! 🙂

Last month I already shared with you one tune, or actually a set of tunes, by this Scottish Celtic harpist – Rachel Hair – which she played together with the multi-instrumentalist Ron Jappy. – Rachel Hair is a very active, prolific and versatile artist who does all sorts of things with the harp and also has her own record label called March Hair Records. Among the things she does is she’s also a part of a trio, simply known as Rachel Hair Trio, and this song that I’m sharing today with you comes from their album Tri, released by the aforementioned label. I don’t know who else is in this trio and haven’t been able to find out, but the song is a traditional one and I really like this minimalistic arrangement.

Clannad – “The Last Rose of Summer”.

Hi hi people! 🙂

Since summer has just passed, I thought this would be a very appropriate song to share at this particular time of year. There are several versions that I like, but, at least for today, I chose Clannad. Perhaps some time later on I’ll also share others that I like.

The Last Rose of Summer is a poem written by the Irish poet Thomas Moore while he stayed in Jenkinstown Castle in Kilkenny, where he was said to be inspired by a flower of rosa old blush. It has later been set to a traditional Irish tune called a Young Man’s Dream in English and has been interpreted gazillions of times as it seems, classically and folkily.

This poem starkly reminds me of my little Misha and how he often is concerned about leaves being lonely, like when they fall from trees and one leaf is blown away from the other leaves or is blown on to the heap with leaves from other trees that it doesn’t know and doesn’t feel well with, or when all leaves have fallen except one who is still on the tree and is alone and cold. I think he has even written about that on here at least once back when he did regularly. This song has a very similar feel to that imo. I’m not sure if Misha has had similar thoughts about flowers during transitions between seasons, but he definitely has an affinity with them too and likes to nibble on them and smell themm.

Travelle – “Sweden”.

Hiya people! 🙂

In the last couple months, I've shared with you a few songs from the Norwegian singer, songwriter and producer Trollguten. I've also mentioned that he's also been more or less known under several other aliases, one of them being Travelle and that I'd like to share with you some music that he's made under this name as well because I actually like it even though I don't really often listen to stuff like this in general. So I figured I'd finally share something by Travelle today. He achieved some popularity  (apparently to some degree in the US) with his debut single Nobody Else in 2016 and since then had been quite prolific until like 2018, but as we haven't heard from him as Travelle since that year I suppose in the end he must have decided that he'd rather focus more on his more cheesy, russ music activity, as he's become popular as russ musician under a different name around the same time,  and his russ stuff is way more popular with his fellow Scandinavians as it seems which is rather sad imo, I'm always saddened to see talented folks wasting their skills. 

Like with his early activity as Trollguten, I like his Travelle music because it feels very genuine. I really like music where you can actually get the idea of the mind and the person behind it and that's what I feel is the case here. And despite, or actually perhaps because of, his lyrics often seeming quite personal and even quite a bit raw sometimes, I guess they still have a lot of potential for being relatable for people and some are even for me. They draw one's attention and they sound very direct and candid. 
The song by him that I want to share today is all about Sweden, so it's little wonder that it drew my attention. 😀 More exactly, it's about shopping in Sweden, from a Norwegian perspective. You may or may not know that life is generally quite pricey in Norway, particularly, as far as I’m aware, stuff like groceries, not to mention alcohol which is heavily taxed. As a result, a lot of Norwegians travel to Sweden to get groceries and all sorts of drugs fand stuff used for gradual, hedonistic self-destruction of human beings, om booze to snuss (the Scandi snuff) to chocolate at cheaper prices. The phenomenon is widely known as Harrytur (Harry trip) in Norway. Every nation has such names that are very strongly linked to some stereotype, like Karen is in the US these days. That's the case with Harry in Norway. So the Norwegian Harry is I believe typically  a middle-aged guy, although I suppose age doesn't really play much of a role here, what's more important is that he's rather unsophisticated and, among other things perceived as unclassy that he does, drives grocery shopping to Sweden. It can also be used as an adjective so you could say that Norwegians shopping in Sweden are very Harry. The female equivalent is apparently Doris, and obviously as a name nerd when I first learned about these Norwegian stereotypes some years ago I was curious why Harry and Doris. Turns out that, just like I believe was the case in Sweden, in 1920’s, Norwegian lower-class parents would give their kids English names, which distinguished them from their upper-class peers whose parents preferred to stick with all the classic slike Ole and Sven. So the upper-class kids called the lower-class kids Harry, kind of collectively I guess. 

When I first heard this song it seriously made me laugh, I like how graphic it is that you can actually imagine the whole thing vividly and I like its humorous feel.

Enya – “Dark Sky Island”.

And after sharing a song by Maire Brennan for yesterday, for today I chose a song from her younger sister’s most recent album, the opening title track from it. Dark Sky Island takes its title and inspiration from Sark, one of the Channel Islands, which was designated the first dark sky island in the world and where its entire small population has an interesting way of living, adjusted to the sky, for example cars are not allowed there. Enya’s lyricist, Roma Ryan, clearly has a keen interest in all things relating to astronomy, so it’s no wonder that it has become a huge source of inspiration for her, and for Enya as well.

Song of the day (20th September) – The Chieftains ft. Maire Brennan – “Lullaby for the Dead”.

Hey people! 🙂

I thought I’d share this beautiful, very sad, Irish lullaby with you. I like a lot of lullabies and I love how Irish Celtic folk music is so full of lullabies. This one is soulfully sung by, probably well-known by now to the readers of this blog, Maire/Moya Brennan from Clannad, Enya’s sister, who is accompanied by the very popular Celtic music band from Dublin – The Chieftains – who were formed in the 60’s during the Celtic music revival in Ireland and often collaborate with other well-known Irish folk musicians.

Saara – “Superpowers”.

Hi people! 🙂
Today I have for you a song from a very interesting, Finnish (or actually half-Finnish, half-Swedish) singer and YouTube personality. Saara, born Sara Maria Forsberg, previously also known as Smo(u(kahontas, grew up travelling a lot, due to both her parents being Baptist missionaries. That’s why her English is so good. Since I love Finnish, I know well what it sounds like and I know what Finns sound in English and I would never have guessed that she’s Finnish based on her accent. Currently she is based in LA.
I’ve known this song in its acoustic version for a long time and have always liked it a lot. But since lately I’ve shared a lot of acoustic versions of songs, and here I like the standard, electronic version just as much, that’s the one I’m sharing.

Maire Brennan – “Big Rock”.

Hiya people! 🙂

For today I chose to share with you a Christian song from Maire Brennan. A lot of her lyrics feature more or less strong Christian themes, because she herself is, if I remember correctly, a devout Evangelical Christian. This song’s chorus is in Irish Gaelic, and as you can find out on

this great website,

they translate to:

 

Christ, cover me

Christ, guard me

Christ, keep me

Christ the King

|Christ, deliver me

Christ, guide me

Christ, teach me

Christ the King

CajsaStina Åkerström – “Är Det Så Här Det Känns Att Komma Hem?” (Is This What it Feels Like to Come Home?).

Hey guys! 🙂

Today I’m sharing with you the second, and the last, song from this Swedish pop singer that I like. Just like with the one I shared yesterday, I don’t really know why I do, because as I said overall her music isn’t very much my thing. Perhaps it’s because of the time when I first came across it, and that due to this I have some nice associations with it. It also has quite interesting lyrics, which I was even able to translate for you. There probably are some things wrong with this translation or things that perhaps could have been phrased better or that I haven’t understood myself for what exactly they’re supposed to mean, but as I always say these translations are only to give you a reasonably good idea of what the song is about and in my opinion this one is good enough to do just this. There is one word in it that I absolutely wasn’t able to figure out what it might be called in English, the Swedish word is sly and I thinkit’s some kind of either lower vegetation layer or an individual shrub.

 

Led lights from a window

through layers of haze

A smell of freshly baked rye bread

traces of solicitude and life

Summer-bleached sheets

In a nice, freshly made bed

Is this what it feels like

To come home

Years and miles of longing

Have brought me to your door

I inhale this freedom

That lifts guilt off the back

The song is playing on the radio

With a beloved, known chorus

Is this what it feels like

to come home_

Days come go

The despair lasts for years

In mould that died the spring is blooming

A sigh for every step

I was ready to give up

But then you came

Like a long awaited, beloved friend

Is this what it feels like

To come home

The air after thunderstorm

Like starting over from scratch

The mask I once wore

Has now played its role

With you a circle has closed

Now that time becomes too long ago

Is this what it feels like

To come home

Days come go

The despair lasts for years

In mould that died the spring is blooming

A sigh for every step

I was ready to give up

But then you came

Like a long awaited, beloved friend

Is this what it feels like

To come home

Remains of a closed down track

With fireweed and sly

A deserted building plot, a thicket of nettles

Once the world was new

What caused the hope to escape

Led lights from a window

through layers of haze

A smell of freshly baked rye bread

traces of solicitude and life

Summer-bleached sheets

In a nice, freshly made bed

Is this what it feels like

To come home

Days come go

The despair lasts for years

In mould that died the spring is blooming

A sigh for every step

I was ready to give up

But then you came

Like a long awaited, beloved friend

Is this what it feels like

To come home

Like a long awaited, beloved friend

Is this what it feels like

To come home

CajsaStina Åkerström – “När” (When).

Hey people! 🙂

Today’s song of the day is from a Swedish singer with whose music I’ve been familiar for quite a few years. If I remember correctly, it was around the time she took part in Swedish Eurovision preselections Melodifestivalen when I was starting to take deeper interest in Swedish popular music, and was relying on Last.fm for music discovery, and as a result Last.fm often recommended her music to me since I believe she was particularly popular at that moment or something. I don’t really love her music, but there are a few songs by her that I like, like this one. I don’t know why, as they’re not really very much my style, but I just do.

CajsaStina Åkerström is a well-known artist in her home country. She also sounds quite versatile because not only is she a singer, but has a degree in archaeology and since I believe quite recently has gotten some attention as a painter. She is the daughter of the famous Swedish vissångare (visa is a typical Swedish/Scandinavian folk song) Fred Åkerström, who was particularly known for interpreting the works of the 18th-century Swedish poet Carl Michael Bellman, which is why I always think that she should have been called Cajsa Lisa rather than CajsaStina, because there’s a poem by Carl Michael Bellman called Glimmande Nymf (Gleaming Nymph) where the nymph’s name is Cajsa Lisa. Lol yeah, my inner name nerd/baby namer never sleeps. 😀

Fred Åkerström collaborated a fair bit with Cornelis Vreeswijk (one of my faza peeps) especially at the beginning of Vreeswijk’s career and helped to promote his music. I’ve never really felt Åkerström or his music quite as much as I do Vreeswijk despite all the similarities between them.

CajsaStina wrote her autobiography, which I haven’t read, but even looking at it’s title – “Du och Jag, Farsan” (You and Me, Daddy) we can assume that a lot of place in there has been dedicated to her relationship with her father. Later on she also toured together with Jack Vreeswijk – son of Cornelis. – These two definitely must have had very similar childhood experiences – having had larger-than-life, talented or even ingenious (certainly the case with Vreeswijk, don’t know enough about Åkerström to say that) fathers, who both struggled with addictions, were both quite obsessed about Bellman and other such people, and, from what I gather, were really cool fathers when they were around but more often they were not present or at least not in a secure way. – Both CajsaStina and Jack also lost their fathers in their twenties so that’s really early.

The song of her that I want to share with you comes from her album Vreden och Stormen (The Anger and the Storm). I really wanted to translate it for you but the results were rather meh, so I’ll just tell you what it’s about. The way I see it it’s about how the time of the lyrical subject’s life is passing, and she still doesn’t feel like she’s truly living the life she wants and like she doesn’t know who she exactly is or is playing some role that’s not really her, it’s about not having some deeper meaning, or truth, to her existence, and I guess it all feeling quite empty and she expects and longs for something more from her life than what she has.