This or that (name game with different spellings).

I thought we could do a little name game today, to have a bit of fun. In case the post title isn’t self-explanatory enough, below there are pairs of names, which are essentially spelling variants of one name, and I’m curious which of these spellings you prefer. Are you more traditional, or more creative, or a bit of both? Feel free to just list your preferred spellings, or comment on your choice as shortly or extensively as you wish. Here are the names:

Violet or Violette?

Juliet or Juliette?

Katelyn or Caitlin?

Adeline or Adalyn?

Amelia or Amilia?

Louisa or Luiza?

Isla or Ayla (EYE-luh)?

Evelyn or Evalyn?

Cecilia or Cecelia?

Maisie or Maisy?

Mae or May?

Aria or Ariyah?

Wren or Ren?

Emmeline or Emmalyn?

Lucy or Lucie?

Lily or Lillie?

Claire or Clare?

Jane or Jayne?

Lila or Lyla?

Elizabeth or Elisabeth?

Amelie or Amalie?

Seraphina or Serafina?

Sofie or Sophie?

Ariel or Arielle?

Caroline or Carolyn?

Sophia or Sofia?

Zoe or Zoey?

Finn or Fionn (FINN)?

Felix or Feliks?

Greyson or Grayson?

Lucas or Lukas?

Martin or Martyn?

Oscar or Oskar?

Phillip or Filip?

Michael or Mychael?

Emmanuel or Emanuel?

Callum or Calum?

Alasdair or Alistair?

Eric or Erik?

Paul or PΓ³l?

Glen or Glyn?

Tommy or Tomi?

Stephen or Steven?

Mine:

Violet or Violette? – I don’t care for this name either way, even though I like a lot of floral names and most people with more or less similar tastes to me tend to love it. But I think Violette makes this name look more sophisticated and I much prefer the French pronunciation over the English one.

Juliet or Juliette? – Again, don’t care for it either way but Juliette looks more complete.

Katelyn or Caitlin? – Actually, I have a little bit of a dilemma here. I tend to favour traditional spellings because they’re… well, traditional, they usually have more history to it and often just are more aesthetically pleasing. In this case, Caitlin is the original, Irish Gaelic spelling of this name and yes, I really like it, especially when pronounced the Gaelic way. Katelyn, on the other hand, looks very modern and, I’d say, seasonal, which is to say I don’t think it’ll ever be trendy again. And I tend to dislike names that are seasonal like that and look modernised. But I actually like a lot of names with the -lyn ending, despite my classic/traditional leanings, and while Caitlin has more history and sounds better, Katelyn looks better imo. Caitlin is just not impressive in the way it looks in writing. Plus, I like the nickname Katie, and it’s much more obvious for Katelyn than Caitlin. At least I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a Caitlin that would go by Katie, it seems to be Cait most often, which I don’t like at all in this spelling. So yeah, I think I’m voting Katelyn.

Adeline or Adalyn? – Adeline for sure! Adalyn’s not too bad, but Adeline has a lot more character and looks beautiful and refined. I like the frilly Adelina even more.

Amelia or Amilia? – Amelia. I don’t dislike Amilia but it looks a bit like someone couldn’t quite decide whether it should be Amelia or Emilia. πŸ˜€

Louisa or Luiza? – That’s super difficult, I really like both. Luiza is the Polish (and apparently also Portuguese) variant and is pronounced pretty much the same. I think I choose Louisa though, it looks a little bit nicer.

Isla or Ayla (EYE-luh)?- Definitely Isla. It’s lovely, even if very popular right now. Ayla meanwhile… I never know how to pronounce it. It can be EYE-luh but it could just as well be AY-luh I guess.

Evelyn or Evalyn? – Evelyn! It looks nicer, is more vintage, plus I don’t really like Eva. I don’t like Eve either, but Eva- feels a lot more prominent in Evalyn than Eve- does in Evelyn. To me Evalyn looks like you deliberately want it to be a combination of Eva + Lyn, rather than a variant spelling of Evelyn whose etymology is totally different from Eve/Eva.

Cecilia or Cecelia? – Cecilia, I think. It’s a lot more graceful. I don’t mind Cecelia but if I wanted to go the -celia route I’d rather use Celia alone than Cecelia.

Maisie or Maisy? – Absolutely Maisie. Maisy is very unattractive aesthetically imo.

Mae or May? – May. It looks a lot fresher and more natural, as in, it makes me think of the month of May, of the plant may, of nature in general. Mae feels bland and boring and rather dated and just like a filler middle name.

Aria or Ariyah? – It feels like I’m seeing Aria in all birth announcements from the English-speaking world these days and I’m a bit tired of it. Ariyah’s not really my thing but you don’t see it everywhere, plus lately I’m liking a lot of -iya(h) names for girls very much.

Wren or Ren? – Wren. Ren looks like a nickname to me and is so short that it doesn’t feel very interesting. I don’t like Wren enough to use it myself or anything, but it looks lovely as a middle name with something longer and frilly haha.

Emmeline or Emmalyn? – I like both but Emmeline looks better, and here it’s a bit the same as what I was talking about regarding Evelyn vs Evalyn – Emmalyn looks like Emma + Lyn and Emma is SO popular for babies right now in SO many places and I’m quite fed up with it.

Lucy or Lucie? – It’s nice to see Lucie because it’s less common and always draws attention, or that’s at least how it is in my case, but I guess I’m more attached to Lucy.

Lily or Lillie? – I like Lily, but I also see Lily everywhere in the English-speaking world where newborn babies or people’s future naming plans are concerned, I guess especially in the UK, and it probably feels even more so to me because in Poland we’ve been having a bit of a Lil-
names epidemic (Lilianna is particularly popular). So neither feels particularly breathtaking at the moment, but Lillie stands out a bit more so I’m gonna pick Lillie.

Claire or Clare? – I think Claire looks fuller, but I much prefer Klara from either of these.

Jane or Jayne? – 100% Jane! Jane may be plain and boring but to me it’s actually a lot more interesting than Jayne.

Lila or Lyla? – A lot of girls with Lil- names in Poland are nicknamed Lila so it’s also everywhere, but I’m still choosing Lila over Lyla because it looks better. Also, even though it’s so popular here, I much prefer the LEE-lah pronounciation over the LIE-la one, and Lyla isn’t so flexible where pronunciation is concerned.

Elizabeth or Elisabeth? – I love both, but because Elizabeth is so common in the English-speaking world, I always appreciate seeing Elisabeth more. It also looks more elegant to me and has a strongly Scandinavian air.

Amelie or Amalie? – Amelie. I also prefer Amelia over Amalia, for no specific reason I guess.

Seraphina or Serafina? – Serafina. – I almost always will prefer a name spelled with an F rather than Ph. Also Serafina lends itself a bit easier to the nickname Fina that I find adorable.

Sofie or Sophie? – Well, today I feel like I’m more inclined to say Sophie but ask me tomorrow and the answer might be different. I can just never decide which one is better!

Ariel or Arielle? – Arielle. Here in Poland Ariel is viewed as pretty much exclusively masculine (and very rare) name and while I myself don’t see it as either exclusively feminine or exclusively masculine, I prefer Arielle or Ariela for a girl. Also I don’t know where it’s produced, sold and wherever else it might be known under the same name but here I think Ariel is more commonly known as the name of a type of detergent than actual people.

Caroline or Carolyn? – The Carolyn as such is a lot less interesting than the Caroline spelling, but I much prefer the -lyn pronunciation over the -line, so I pick Carolyn.

Sophia or Sofia? – Sofia, I think. Sophia is too popular. Not that Sofia is not, but in the English-speaking world it’s slightly less than Sophia, and I am less exposed to the naming trends of the countries where Sofia is currently in like top 10. For me Sofia is very distinctively Swedish.

Zoe or Zoey? Undisputably Zoe.

Finn or Fionn (FINN)? – Maybe some of you expected me to choose Fionn, because I’m a Celtophile and Fionn is the original, Irish version of the anglicised Finn, but in this case I think I prefer the look of Finn.

Felix or Feliks? – Felix has more character and is kinda zippier, I like it more. Feliks feels a lot more serious.

Greyson or Grayson? – Greyson, just because I’m more used to this spelling, but I don’t like the name either way.

Lucas or Lukas? – Lukas, I suppose, but I like both and my preference isn’t very big at all.

Martin or Martyn? – Martin. Martyn makes me think of the Polish feminine name Martyna, which I don’t like.

Oscar or Oskar- Definitely Oskar, although that doesn’t mean I don’t like Oscar.

Phillip or Filip? – I prefer the way Filip looks, I’m actually really fond of it, though I don’t like how popular it is here among children and teens. In the English-speaking world, it would be really cool and refreshing to see a Filip though, I think it could give Phillip a younger feel, although perhaps Phillip itself will be ready for a comeback in a while, I’m not sure.

Michael or Mychael? – Michael for sure.

Emmanuel or Emanuel? – I think it looks more full with the additional M but I don’t mind it with one M.

Callum or Calum? – I guess I’ve been exposed to Callum a lot more because Calum feels glaringly incomplete.

Alasdair or Alistair? – Alasdair, the properly Scottish way. –

Eric or Erik? Neither is interesting, but I think I have a very slight preference for Erik. –

Paul or PΓ³l? – PΓ³l is the Irish spelling and I really love it. I’m rather neutral about Paul. –

Glen or Glyn? – Glyn is amazing, Glen is meh. –

Tommy or Tomi? – Actually, I don’t care for Tommy, but I’ve seen Tomi used as a legit Cymricised (Welshified) version and when I first came across it I was like “Well, it’s actually quite nice”. So yeah, Tomi.

Stephen or Steven? – I don’t like either at all, but if I seriously had to choose, I’d choose Steven. I know the ph was the original spelling but it doesn’t make sense. πŸ˜€

Okay, now over to you, which spellings do you prefer? πŸ™‚

Robin Huw Bowen – “Ymadawiad y Brenin” (The King’s Departure).

Hey people! πŸ™‚

There’s quite a strong stereotype going that harp, whichever kind of harp that may be, is a very feminine instrument and I’ve even heard people say that it’s somehow strange when a man plays it. I don’t really understand why we need to consider it as such an almost exclusively feminine instrument, and I think it’s interesting to learn about men who choose to play the harp as well. So for today I decided to share with you a piece of music played by Welsh triple harpist – Robin Huw Bowen – who is one of the most influential people in his field currently. This version is the only one of this tune that I’ve heard so far but from what I understand it does have lyrics and it was written by John Thomas. I’ve heard it described as a Welsh war song and I’d love to know more on its history, like what exactly it’s connected to, is it about any of the actual Welsh kings etc. but wasn’t able to find much. Still, it sounds great and I love its majestic feel.

Question of the day.

What took you an embarrassing amount of time to figure out?

My answer:

Maybe not as much as embarrassing, but it took me quite long anyway and now I consider it funny, namely all the weird assumptions I had about some things in English. For example, even when I was already a reasonably good English speaker, I thought some words were pronounced different than they actually were, or that some words or phrases mean something different than they actually do. I can’t think of very many such things at this very moment but there have been quite a few and some pretty hilarious. I’m thinking maybe I’ll have to compile a list of such things whenever I’ll be reminded of them and then I’ll share it on here. πŸ˜€ Like, for ages I had no idea how the word queue is pronounced, and I pronounced it like CUE-wee. πŸ˜€ I think even some five years ago I still pronounced it like that. And I think I already wrote about it on here that, for the longest time, I thought niche was pronounced nee-SHAY, much like cliche is pronounced in Swedish and also apparently in English. πŸ˜€ As for cliche, I’m still not perfectly sure what syllable should be stressed in this word as I’ve heard both people who pronounce it as CLEE-shay, as well as such who say clee-SHAY, maybe it’s an accent thing, dunno. Oh, and now I’m remembering that it was only when I started having lessons with my English tutor before finals, he enlightened me that deaf is pronounced DEF rather than DEEF. πŸ˜€ At that point I was already immersing myself in spoken English a lot, nearly all the time, but must have not heard that word actually spoken before but now that I think of it it’s kind of weird that I wouldn’t have figured that out earlier since dead for example is also pronounced with a short eh rather than an ee. As far as phrases go, I used to think that if you’re cracked up means you’re depressed, kind of as in, you’re quite sad to begin with and then something else happens and it “cracks you up” and you’re properly devastated, something along these lines, when in fact it means to burst out with laughter. And like I said there have been many more things like this but I just can’t think of anything else at the moment.

You? πŸ™‚

Floraleda Sacchi – “Jack”.

Hey people! πŸ™‚

What a beautiful title this piece has, doesn’t it? πŸ˜€ Obviously the Jackophile in me really likes it. This piece comes from the Italian harpist Floraleda Sacchi’s 2008 album Minimal Harp, and is originally a composition of Michael Nyman, from his 1999 soundtrack album Wonderland, as in the film Wonderland in which it was used. I haven’t watched the film and I don’t know if there is any Jack in it and what the title of this track refers to, but I really like its sound on harp.

Question of the day.

What tastes good and is good for you?

My answer:

This is of course an extremely subjective question, but I think there are lots of such things. Still, I wouldn’t mind if it was more of a pattern that good things taste good, rather than the other way around as it so often is. So, as for the good-tasting and healthy things, I could mention things like olives and kefir for example, which lots of people hate, but I love. Speaking of olives, I like most fruit and vegs, so that I won’t even be listing them or anything because it would be a lot less time consuming to write just the ones that I do not like. And speaking of kefir, I like pretty much all dairy, though whether all kinds of dairy are healthy seems to be quite a moot thing especially with stuff like milk.

Other than that, I love cocoa and it’s healthy, but of course we’re talking about the actual cocoa, not instant like Sofi prefers, that’s too sweet for me and not so healthy anyway. I like strong cocoa because you can make it taste almost like coffee and now that I can’t really drink coffee as regularly as I used to, it’s a nice alternative. People also say it has stimulant properties due to theobromine and can work like coffee in this respect, but it doesn’t really do it for me or not quite to this extent.

I like most kinds of nuts and almonds and they’re good for your brain. Speaking of nuts, I guess a good quality peanut butter isn’t pure evil either…

Oh and then there is all the spicy stuff – ginger, turmeric, chilli, Cayenne pepper, kalonji etc. – I love them! Also garlic, I love to eat it when I’m sick and feel the heat explosion all over my mouth, but it’s a shame with the smell. If it wasn’t the case, or if I were a true hermit, I’d probably eat garlic even more often than just when sick. Onion is decent too, but I only like it raw, and not quite as much as the other things I mentioned. Ginger seems to be good for all sorts of things, I especially like it fresh as it’s more gingery, although powdered is also good. But what I love about it when it comes to its health properties is that it can alleviate nausea and is an antiemetic, and is all emetophobics’ best friend. I like to suck on ginger root or drink ginger tea. Also, I haven’t tested this enough to say anything conclusive yet, but it seems like sometimes ginger can alleviate my migraines a bit, and it certainly can alleviate the migraine nausea. And as for chillies, I’ve heard that they speed up metabolism, which may not necessarily be something I need particularly badly at the moment but it’s really neat that there are foods with properties like that.

And salt, yay! I think I quite recently also wrote about salt and how I could just eat it on its own and lick it when I was a kid. I no longer do as much as that, but I still really like salt and salty things. It’s no longer like I need to have salt with every single thing that it fits in with, unless it’s something that really is yucky and tasteless without any salt, and I’m also happy to have herbs with some things instead of salt, but I do love salt. You hear everywhere how it’s super bad for your blood pressure and kidneys, and I’m sure it can be, especially if you don’t put much thought into choosing a good kind of salt, (we use KΕ‚odawa salt which my Mum claims is a lot better than your average salt and better for people from our part of the world than Himalayan salt) but it’s still an important thing for people to include in their diet in moderation. I’ve always tended to have pretty low blood pressure, and when I was a child many people suggested that I eat more salt, which I was most happy to do, and my Dad always salted my meals generously, probably to compensate for the fact that he couldn’t do that for himself because his has been too high for a long time now. Although I’m not sure if it’s seriously helped in any substantial way long-term. My Mum has a theory that perhaps my childhood love of licking salt and eating it without anything else and salting everything had to do with that, that my body instinctively knew that I needed it or something. So yeah, while these days I don’t feel the need to use it SO much, and I try not to overdo it because I definitely don’t fancy finding myself on the other end of the blood pressure spectrum – low can be a real pain in the ass in various situations, but doesn’t have quite so many scary complications – I do really love salt!

Honey is another thing that comes to mind. I don’t eat it regularly, but I like it nevertheless.

What are such things for you? πŸ™‚

Georgia Ruth – “Cosmos”.

Hi people! πŸ™‚

This year I’ve shared with you a few songs from Georgia Ruth’s latest album “May” already, and today I thought I’d share yet another one. The whole album feels very fresh in a spring-like way to me, which is no wonder as it’s dedicated to the spring month, but this song, as well as In Bloom which I shared earlier in the year, are totally filled with this air. Perhaps spring-like is not necessarily how most of us feels right now, but since this time of year can feel a bit gloomy for a lot of people, I thought that a spring- and floral-themed song like this will feel refreshing.

Question of the day.

How do you deal with harsh criticism?

My answer:

The short answer would be it depends. But generally not well. I’m more likely to take it better if it’s more or less constructive and comes from someone whom I know well and generally have a more or less good relationship with , although it will typically take me a while to digest it fully. And it may motivate me to improve what I’ve been criticised for, but sometimes it can discourage me from trying to do anything about it altogether especially if criticism is repetitive even if it’s well-founded, because what point in trying if I can’t do it well anyway, I could direct my energy into something else which I can do better. Whether it is or is not constructive and/or well-intentioned, I very much don’t like showing it when it affects me in a negative way. And I guess a lot of the time I am very successful at hiding it, because I’ve heard from several people how “indifferent” I am. I’m far happier being considered indifferent than hypersensitive. It’s a bit more difficult to hide a reaction if the criticism is about something that I’m extremely insecure and constantly critical about myself, or if it’s very sudden and I haven’t expected it at all. But while criticism is problematic for me – after all, that’s also one of the features of avoidant personality disorder which I’ve been diagnosed with – there are times when I can’t be bothered with it at all. I’m not sure what exactly this depends on, seems like a couple different factors, but one of the more important things is probably how good I myself feel about something.

You? πŸ™‚

Sian James – “Llef” (A Cry).

Hi people! πŸ™‚

Today I’d like to share with you a beautiful song from the Welsh singer Sian James, this time with her vocals accompanied by piano rather than harp. I think this is her original song, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a translation or even written lyrics to try to translate them myself. As for the title, I said it means cry, but it’s not crying as in shedding tears (that would be cri), but rather as in a scream.

Question of the day (27th October).

What do you wish was easier?

My answer:

All things round peopling/socialising. I seriously don’t know how most people are so efficient at it when it’s so damn difficult.

You? πŸ™‚

Delyth Evans – “Ysbryt Kilvrough” (Spirit of Kilvrough).

Hi people! πŸ™‚

Today I have for you a piece played by the Welsh Celtic harpist Delyth Evans, better known as Delyth Jenkins these days, from her 1991 album “Delta (Cerddoriaeth y Delyn Geltaidd/Music of the Celtic Harp”. I suppose that the Kilvrough in the title refers to Kilvrough Manor, a country house near Swansea. And the spirit should perhaps actually be translated as ghost? I’m not sure, I haven’t heard anything about this place being haunted or the like, but then I know next to nothing about it in general.

Question of the day.

What is something that you refuse to spend money on?

My answer:

There are probably tons of things that I either consciously refuse, or just for whatever other reason don’t spend my money on that a lot of/most people do, but it feels so natural that I can’t even think of many such things at the moment. πŸ˜€

One such thing that does come to my mind though is films streaming services like Netflix or whatever else is out there. There are several reasons for that, but the major one is simply that I’m not all that much into movies. Or even regular, traditional TV, for that matter. Something has to really, really, really interest me for me to want to watch it and for my interest to keep going. Most people assume that this is normal, because duh, I’m blind. While I don’t care about how normal it is, it’s probably not the entire reason, because there’s quite a lot of content with audiodescription now on such streaming services and it’s growing. Plus, even without that, I know quite a bunch of blind people who enjoy watching TV or movies regardless, with someone being their personal audiodescriber or just things that are possible to follow more or less without audiodescription. Moreover, I’ve even came across a blind movie critic from Sweden. I guess I have something weird going on because, whether it’s with audiodescription or not, I find it quite difficult to follow movies, I get distracted or plain bored very easily. And this is very selective because I don’t have this problem with anything else really. Perhaps in some part it’s because when I was a small kid, Olek and me watched a fair bit of children’s television or cartoons, but no one really described everything for me in a very detailed way as is apparently the case with a lot of other blind folks and their families. And I didn’t really mind that, I didn’t think much of it and I’m not perfectly sure if I even understood it totally that other people take something else in other than the audio bit. πŸ˜€ And I think it just might not have crossed my parents’ minds that a blind child might need that. I usually don’t mind it these days either if someone isn’t up to describing, unless I’m really really really interested in something and totally can’t make sense of some scenes or a movie as a whole, then it absolutely can be frustrating. I suppose it’s difficult to do audiodescription while watching the movie yourself, especially for the first time, and describe things in a way that makes sense, and especially when a movie is fast-paced. In our family only Sofi can do this reasonably well, but will often get so engrossed in watching that she’ll forget to describe things when the plot gets more dense and it tends to be rather inconsistent. My Dad tries his best, but has no knack for describing, plus the same problem as with Sofi, and my Mum doesn’t do it nearly at all unless I explicitly ask her to. But like I said it’s not a big deal usually, it only helps me grow my deductive and analytical skills if I am interested in a movie, or if I’m not so much, then I don’t really care, I just zone out to my Brainworld which is always interesting, until Sofi’s back in multitasking mode. πŸ˜€

If I do watch things for some reason, it really has to engross me, or I watch for social reasons, that is as a way of spending time with my family, or for linguistic reasons, as a way to expose myself to a language or a particular accent in a language, which happens rarely these days because I can think of tons of more interesting ways of exposing myself usually but there was a time in my life where I’d be jumping out of my skin with euphoria at a possibility of watching a Swedish movie just to hear the language. πŸ˜€

So, as you can see, it’s not really worth it for me. Plus, Olek does have a subscription to Netflix, which Sofi also uses when she’s allowed and my parents use occasionally, so if I want to watch something specifically from Netflix I can watch it with Sofi. We watched Anne with an E, for example, which Sofi loved, and I had super mixed feelings about but mostly didn’t like it because I never like how movies based on the books change, simplify and cut out SO much of the original book plot line. πŸ˜€ We also watched Wonder, based on the R.J. Palacios book, which was amazing for Sofi who didn’t read the book, and pretty cool for me who did read the book. But, while I was kind of interested in how much both movies would differ or not from their book counterparts, there was a lot more of Sofi’s initiative in it, haha.

My Mum also subscribes HBO and a couple other things that I can’t remember now and sometimes we watch stuff from there, usually documentaries that we both find more or less interesting. Or one time we watched a whole Czech thriller or crime series or whatever that would be classified as in one night, that I originally only watched because there was a girl called Misha in there and I had nothing more constructive to do at the time, but it ended up being fairly interesting overall, even though I’m generally not a huge thriller person.

What’s such a thing(s) for you? πŸ™‚

Llio Rhydderch – “Ffarwell i Gymru” (Farewell to Wales).

Hiya people! πŸ™‚

For today, I’d like to share with you a piece from the Welsh triple harpist whose name you’re probably very familiar with from my blog already. This hiraethful (or hiraethus in the actual Welsh language; if you don’t know what hiraeth is, you can read

this Wikipedia article

although it’s very far from exhaustive, but is always something to start with) piece is definitely one of my favourites by her, though of course nothing can beat

Gwenllian.

Question of the day.

What’s the worst ice cream flavour you have ever tasted?

My answer:

I’m not sure if there has been one that would stand out particularly much, so I’ll write about a few that I didn’t really like. I am definitely not a fan of salted caramel ice cream. I don’t hate it, but definitely don’t like it and totally don’t get the appeal that a lot of people seem to find in it. One ice cream flavour I strongly dislike and that I had a few times as a child is yoghurt, which I guess is a little weird, because I have nothing at all against yoghurt as such. I like different kinds of yoghurts, especially with some yummy additional stuff like fruit or cereal etc. or drinkable yoghurt. But literally every kind of yoghurt-flavoured ice cream that I’ve had is just gross and I wonder why. Perhaps they don’t use actual yoghurt in it or ice cream and yoghurt don’t make a good combination.

Some years ago I also had an alcohol-flavoured ice cream for the first and only time, a whisky-flavoured one, and that was quite impressively yucky too. Not that I expected it to be otherwise, I hate most if not all sweets that are alcohol-flavoured or contain alcohol, but my Mum just went to the shops and decided it would be cool to get one for herself and one for me. She didn’t like hers either, haha, but that was back when we enjoyed drinking whisky together, hence her idea.

Last year in summer I had some peanut butter ice cream, which was a lot worse than I expected it to be. I like most things that have to do with peanut butter, including ice cream, but that particular one was surprisingly bad.

You? πŸ™‚

Sian James – “Cariad Cyntaf” (First Love).

Hey guys! πŸ™‚

Like yesterday, today I thought we could listen to another Welsh traditional song, also played on the harp, but this one has lyrics. This is a fairly popular love song from a male perspective and has been sung by a lot of folk musicians, the version I myself was first acquainted with was from the band 9Bach, whose music I’ve also shared on here in the past. I guess the most well-known contemporary version of this song has been sung by Bryn Terfel though. The translated lyrics are below, andI’ve taken them from

here.

There is beauty only second to Eden

In your warm bosom, fair maiden.

Dear loved one, bright and happy;

Beautiful star, hear this lovesick one.

Promise your love to me tonight,

We’ll make vows before we leave

To engage, come what may.

Place your trust, and say you’ll come.

Bright happy one,

Love of my breast

Fairest that I ever loved

I will take you as a partner.

In your eyes I have truth

That shines like stars

Of Grace and virtue;

To see you is to rejoice.

Question of the day.

What makes you instantly lose respect for someone?

My answer:

First off, I try not to lose respect for people. I believe that this is something we all have an unconditional right to due to the fact that we’re humans. At the same time though, because we’re humans, we’re flawed, and having respect for everyone can be difficult. I may find it very hard to show respect to someone if they seem very deliberately rude and jerky and cocky, this really irks me, or if I know that they can be cruel, or do things that I consider totally morally unacceptable, or don’t seem to make a good use of their brains despite there not seeming to be any major obstacles for them to do it, or when people are simply disrespectful of me or my beliefs or opinions or values, either trying to aggressively shove theirs down my brain, I suppose in an attempt to convince me that theirs are objectively superior or something, or ridiculing my perspective based on stereotypes or some one-sided view they have. I mean, it’s obviously totally okay to try to make someone see their perspective, to discuss things, even fiercely discuss things, and I try to be flexible-minded and when I hear about something someone believes in that is new or illogical or crazy or just not right for me I try to put myself in their shoes and think of what might appeal to them in it, just out of curiosity. But when it gets aggressive, I feel like it’s no longer fair play because I try my best to be respectful, and the other side doesn’t, so it feels like the only way to go is either for me to get down to their level and kick them back, which I’m usually not the one to do and which would probably end up in a proper fight or something, and respect would be difficult not to lose in the meantime, or stop playing with them and go home play with Misha. Still, I’ll try my best to respect people regardless. I don’t think there has been anyone I’d know that I could say I have NO respect for. In any case, even when I struggle with this, it hasn’t ever happened that I’d lose respect for someone instantly. I suppose they’d have to do something really really atrocious that my brain just wouldn’t be able to cope with.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Nansi Richards – “Wyres Megan” (Megan’s Granddaughter).

Hi guys! πŸ™‚

For today I chose to share with you another traditional Welsh tune played by the amazing late Welsh triple harpist and Celtic harpist Nansi Richards (aka Telynores Maldwyn). This is a lovely little waltz, which apparently is particularly often played on fiddle though I know no other recordings of it than this one. There’s also another tune that seems to have some association to this one though I never heard it before, it’s “Merch Megan” (Megan’s Daughter). That makes me wonder if there’s a tune dedicated to Megan herself and what Megan that was, though the latter would probably be difficult to find out, unless folk music experts and nerds bigger than myself know it and it’s just me who does not.

Question of the day.

What are you thinking of right this second?

My answer:

My main thought right now appears to be that we haven’t had a question of the day in a while. I’m also stressed about lots of mundane things which I probably don’t need stressing about but it feels like if I won’t, nothing will go right. I’m also thinking about Misha who is on the wardrobe, tossing a little bit right now. And that I’m feeling quite chilly for some reason so I think I’ll have a real warm bath in a while, I haven’t had one in a long time as we only use the shower most of the time. And I’m thinking about Sofi, who has started volunteering in a local stud last weekend (not the one I’ve gone to but an adjacent one, a kind of more mainstream/normal one I’d say, where there are healthy horses, or horses of private people, and mostly able-bodied kids and Sofi says they seem quite snobbish, meanwhile where I go there’s mostly traumatised, elderly, sick horses and people with all sorts of disabilities, but mostly with things like severe cerebral palsy and while some people do things like dressage or disabled riding competitions, most just do hippotherapy alone). My instructor had also offered Sofi that she could come to her stud, but for some reason Sofi doesn’t seem to like her, I guess their personalities are too strong for each other or something, and my instructor is certainly quite eccentric. Sofi goes there on weekends and she can’t ride, at least not for now, but she takes care of the horses or helps out with other things like acquainting new kids with the place and she loves it, especially the directly horses-related part, of course. She’s there nearly all day every weekend day and so far is loving it. When she was starting this, I was thinking that it would be a shame if Sofi was in a stud and I wasn’t, so I thought that perhaps I should try coming back to horse riding and maybe my anxiety around this would be more manageable now again, it also appears that my instructor’s life is a lot less hectic at the moment. Except, a few days before Sofi was to go volunteering for the first time, I got that yucky, recurring skin infection on my calf which heals for ages and can hurt like shit when it’s in full bloom, and from my previous experiences I know that it’s not the wisest thing to ride while this is going on because riding irritates it and makes it hurt more. So no riding for me still, at least for now. Part of me is relieved that I don’t have to confront this just right now, and probably for quite some time, but another part of me is like “THIS IS FLIPPIN’ UNFAIR!!! Sofi has way more horse time than me!” So I’m processing what Sofi has told me about her day at the stud, and how they were celebrating early st. Hubert’s day (which is actually November 3 and he’s something like a patron saint of equestrians and horses). This makes me also think of all the memories of my own that I have of this day across many years during which I was riding and how cool that was. Oh yeah, and some part of my brain is registering that my leg’s hurting, though it’s just in the background, at least when I’m not walking a lot. Also in the background, I’m listening to Swedish radio and trying to figure out where the guy who’s currently speaking might be from, because he has a really weird, quite intriguing accent. πŸ˜€ Doesn’t sound like foreign, but more like something Swedish that I just don’t think I’ve heard before.

You? πŸ™‚

Sara Parkman – “FΓ€lt” (Fields).

For today, I’m sharing with you a song from a very interesting Swedish contemporary folk singer, who is inspired by a lot of Scandinavian traditional folk acts that I love too, like Garmarna or Lena Villemark. As for Sara Parkman’s music itself, some of it I really like, some of it I’m totally neutral about, and some of it I dislike. But she’s a very interesting artist nonetheless who draws inspiration from and is influenced by a lot of different music, from things like the above mentioned Garmarna to st. Hildegard von Bingen. She is from the north of Sweden and collaborates with a lot of artists, not only folky ones. I find this particular song of hers very powerful. I found a good translation of it

here.

The days bellow, promise, and lie,

Cry and blink, blink and stop.

A thought at the end, made from ember.

I practise at night, the sky swells,

the sea is in me, the roads grow.

It is like you say: we still exist.

Come if you want to.

Come if you want to.

Come if you want to, to me.

Come if you want to.

Come if you want to.

Come to me, now.

Lichens that burn, firs that protect,

the sky in the moss, Sweden darkens.

The forests grow where I stand,

feelings that grind, outwardly.

Song of the day (22nd October) – Travelle – “Diving”.

Hey people! πŸ™‚

Let’s listen to another song from the Norwegian singer, songwriter and producer Travelle. Last month I shared his song called

Sweden,

and earlier also two of his songs that he released under the name of Trollguten –

Pell Deg Ut

and

Skogen.

Since I found Travelle very interesting when I discovered his music, I’ve analysed it a fair bit as I always do with interesting artists, and it struck me a bit how the lyrics to this song feel so different in a way compared to most of his other Travelle songs. I wouldn’t be able to say exactly why or put my finger on it but these particular lyrics just have a bit of a different style and look like someone else might have written them. I’d say these lyrics are kind of more sophisticated, for lack of a better word. And then later on I learned that this is actually the case indeed, because the lyrics to this song have been written not by Travelle himself, but by Grammy-winning songwriter who has apparently worked with a lot of famous and successful artist – Paul E. Phamous. – That makes sense, and makes me proud of my analytical skills. πŸ˜€ Travelle has described the song as “simple and shy”, and it clearly is both of these things indeed. I really like it.

Floraleda Sacchi – “Temple of Sound”.

Hiya people! πŸ™‚

Today I’d like to share with you another piece from Floraleda Sacchi, from her 2017 album Dark Light, from which I’ve already shared some tracks before. This album showcases in such a creative way how the harp is not just an instrument for classical or folk music, but electronic music too. This piece has been composed by Italian innovative pianist, merging both classical and electronic music, Roberto Cacciapaglia. I really love this piece and the title feels so adequate to the way it sounds!