Happy New Year to all the peeps. Plus the new My Inner Mishmash playlist.

   How’s your New Year’s Eve going? Or maybe it’s already 2023 where you are? In any case, if you’re celebrating anything in any way today, I hope you have lots of fun, and that the new year will treat you kindly, graciously, serenely and compassionately, and maybe sometimes a little mischievously but not maliciously. My Mum and me have a bit of a tradition going on that we always wish each other lots of new discoveries each year. Because what is life with no intriguing, fascinating and fun discoveries? Deep, bottomless rabbit holes to dig through (not the gloomy kind, no! The engrossing kind)? Obsessions to keep you awake at night and give you inspiration? I hope you’ll learn loads and loads and loads of new things and your brain will grow as a result (not literally, of course, I wouldn’t necessarily wish you megalencephaly). But yeah, I hope that this will be an interesting year for you, but not too turbulent or anything, unless you feel that you do need some radical change. 

   Misha wishes you a lot of peace, rest, good food and a comfy blanket to wrap yourself in when you’re blue, like he appears to be right now. I just got a huge blanket for him yesterday (well, for both of us really 😀 ), it’s a fleece blanket and as wide as my double bed, so finally he can stretch himself out here to his limits and roll around and still feel the blanket underneath. Previously I only had a piece of sheep skin for him, and a synthetic blanket, but he seems to enjoy that one a lot more and has made himself a little, tight cocoon so that I even wonder how he can breathe, and he sleeps like a little baby in there and sometimes lets out a quiet, shaky sigh. But he also seemed sad in the morning and made very sad, mournful sounds so perhaps he’s sleeping this blues off. 

   Traditionally, I’m including a Spotify playlist with all the songs (that are on Spotify) featured in the song of the series this year, and you can look up other playlists on this page if you feel like it. 

Georgia Ruth – “When I Was Blue”.

   Hey dear people! 🙂 

   To finish this year off here at My Inner Mishmash, today I’d like to share with you this melancholic song from Georgia Ruth’s album Fossil Scale, which, as is very typical for this artist, is quite interesting lyrically. 

Question of the day.

   How do you feel about video games? 

   My answer: 

   I don’t really play much games, for two main reasons. The first one is that the amounts of accessible video games is limited to begin with. You can’t just download or buy whatever game you want when you’re blind and expect that you’ll be able to play it right away. And secondly, out of those games that are accessible, I haven’t found many that I would  really be interested in. The only game that I really do play regularly is a life simulation game called Bitlife, which is a text-based mobile game, but I’m so ignorant that I’m not even sure if a text-based game counts as a video game, but after having done a bit of Googling some people do refer to Bitlife as a video game as well so I guess it can be a video game at the same time, and it’s not like it’s completely text-based, it does have visual stuff as well and some sounds too. If what most people like and look for in games can be judged by what most games are like, then I guess there must be very high demand for stuff that is full of strong emotions, tension, aggression, competition, adventure, quest for being THE MOST, be in the most powerful, the richest, the most evil, the fastest etc. I’m not really so much into all those things. I mean, okay, they can be fun sometimes, but it’s not something I would truly enjoy on a regular basis. I’ve never even liked adventure books, I read some as a kid and teen while still finding out what I actually like and what I don’t, and whenever I read adventure books, or mystery books or such, where you have for example a child character who plays detective while on holidays at his grandparents’, I’d be all like: “Why do you even bother? Why won’t you just enjoy your holidays like a normal kid and for example have a lie-in if you can instead of jumping out of bed at 5 AM to solve some local mystery that’s not even any of your business? Who would care about that?” I’m still very much like that. I rarely read the aforementioned adventure or mystery books, and same about crime novels, science fiction, or fantasy, unless the heavily folklore-infused stuff like Tolkien. So similarly I don’t play games like that either. I don’t play shooters (don’t even know if any are accessible actually, but either way I wouldn’t), because they seem utterly pointless to me. Not necessarily because I’m so afraid of violence that I wouldn’t kill anyone even in a game (you can kill people in BitLife and I have done it), but killing for the mere sake of killing is as pointless of an activity as it gets imo. I don’t play strategy, mostly because I don’t seem to be very good at this kind of thinking. I’ve played some strategy games that I found mildly to moderately interesting but I was quite easily discouraged with each of them, and again, getting as rich and powerful as possible just for the sake of it can be fun for a while but not long-term. Long-term I’d happily be less than that if I could have an interesting plot and a well-developed character, but usually it seems to be just about expanding your empire or whatever else and earning achievements with not much depth to it. I don’t play sports-related games, because I’m not into sports in any way, although gimme an accessible horse riding game or sim or generally something revolving around horses and I’ll happily try it out. I don’t play multiplayer games because, well, I’m not a multiplayer, I’m a MiniPlayer, in every sense of this word (except for the YouTube MiniPlayer, in case you were wondering 🙃). I don’t play logical games except for word games, because all others feel dangerously close to math, even if they don’t involve math as such, they just feel and smell and look and taste and sound like math, ewwww! 

   So yeah, I play BitLife for the most part. When you play BitLife, look at their weekly challenges, read what people want in the game, it is also clear that BitLife definitely aims for much the same things as most games – be rich, be famous, be evil, what not. – And from what I see most people play it like that. When I let Sofi play BitLife, the only thing she’d do when her character grew up was alternating between burgling houses, robbing banks and gambling, because she found it thrilling. I mean, yeah, okay, it is thrilling and I do it sometimes too when I play some character whom such things fit, but doing it like all the time your whole life? So eventually I uninstalled BitLife from her phone because she’s still a kid so if she can’t play it less pathologically, I guess she shouldn’t at all at her age.

   I like BitLife because I can play it the way I want. There’s nothing you have to do, you don’t win it or lose it, you just live. And I also like BitLife because I find people interesting as individuals, and here you can basically pretend you’re someone else, pretty much whoever you want. The way I personally usually play BitLife is I create a character in my head, who they are, what sort of personality and life they have, what flaws, what advantages, and then I play their life in BitLife the way I think such a person’s life should look like. Sometimes they’re completely random characters, sometimes peeps from my BrainWorld or sometimes I try recreating lives of people I know or book characters etc. And in the game, it’s hardly so that everything goes to plan, so there are usually some more or less interesting plot twists along the way. Anyway, I always like to imagine my BitLife character as I play, and have a bit of a movie going on in my head as I progress with the game. Then when the character dies, or when I just feel like switching or need to switch for whatever  reason, I switch to one of their children, and then one of that child’s children and we have a whole dynasty where everyone has loads of children with unusual names (BitLife can generate names from some name bank it has but I always name my children there myself because there’s also such  option, my current character, for example, is called Anne-Micheline Grønberg-Cleary, her father is Norwegian and her mother is Anglo-Irish and she also has some Dutch and Welsh ancestry and she currently lives in LA and runs a healthy food store which is just about to go bankrupt because naturally she’s near-dyscalculic and I don’t know what she’ll do next with her life). Which is why I think it stinks like a skunk that BitLife still doesn’t have more advanced family features – I mean you have parents, siblings, lovers, children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews (oh and family pets if that counts), but you cannot interact with your grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles etc. It’s not very realistic that a grandparent can interact with their grandchild but the grandchild cannot interact with the grandparent, but there are more such bigger and smaller ridiculosities in the game, like that every country that doesn’t have euros or pounds has dollars, and generally even though you can play in almost any country, the whole thing is absurdly US-centric. Like I once lived in Saudi Arabia and had a scenario where my cat allegedly threw an urn with the ashes of some distant ancestor of mine off the mantlepiece, and I was like: “Yeah, because Muslims sure cremate their ancestors, right?” It’s unclean. 😀 Or you can be a Swede going to a Swedish school and turns out your Swedish language teacher is actually from Mongolia lol. 

   Because Bitlife is largely text-based, it’s not as immersive as other video games, and a lot of the play feels repetitive when you play it for some time, so it absolutely can and does get boring. But on the other hand you can also live each life a bit differently so that things are never the same, and you do have quite a lot of options as for what you can do with your life, even if not as many as we’d ideally like (I’ve always wanted to homeschool my kids in Bitlife for example but what can you do, you have no say as to what school your children will go to, you can’t express your opinion on their new girlfriend/boyfriend or tell them how distasted you are when they say after years of you paying their college tuition that they’ve become a stripper or an escort! 😩 ). And BitLife devs may not be the fastest at releasing updates but the game is being developed so new things are added nonetheless. I wish I could also try playing their other game – CatLife – which is what it sounds like, a cat’s life sim, but it isn’t accessible even though it’s about a year old now so it’ll probably never be, and people say it’s not that good anyway, but I’d like to find it out myself. 😀 

   Most of all though, I’d like to be able to play The Sims, because it must be like a more fun and expanded version of BitLife. But I doubt it will ever become accessible for screen readers with the way it works. 

   Overall though, how do I feel about video games? Well mostly neutral. For the most part I don’t care. But I get why people who like them do, and I get why people who don’t like them say things like that video games kill creativity and imagination or desensitise you to violence and are addictive, although I don’t like generalising that they all do, like the mere fact that something is a video game means it’s bad and will make your brain rot. Even though I have never came across an accessible, interesting and truly valuable video game, I’m sure that there are such and that they are as valid pieces of art as good books, films and music. And speaking of music, game soundtracks can be great too. Or they can be creepy. I mean seriously, last year Sofi had a phase where she played some stupid little game on her phone, I don’t know what it was called or what the overall point was but you had a few parallel worlds in there and some weird creatures and you were racing someone, that’s about as much as I can remember, but what I remember most vividly is that each of those worlds had a different tune that played while you were in it, and one of them was absolutely creepy. Of course, for the uninitiated newbies, I don’t mean creepy in an objective sense, like spooky or anything, but just sensorily creepy for me, not sitting well with my brain, for lack of a more suitable description of the phenomenon. I’m so grateful to God that Sofi no longer plays that game. 

   So, how do you feel about video games? And what games do you play, if any at all? 🙂 

Hirundo Maris – “Tarantela”.

   Hi people! 🙂 

   I have already shared one song by Hirundo Maris with you all earlier this month, but since I’ve been listening to them a fair bit lately, I thought I’d share another piece, a much older one this time. It is Tarantela, created by Lucas Ruiz de Ribayaz – a Spanish baroque harpist, as well as composer for lute and guitar. – It comes from Hirundo Maris’ 2012 album called Hirundo Maris – Chants du Sud et du Nord (Hirundo Maris – Songs of the South and the North), named so because it features music from different regions, from  Catalan and Sephardic to Scottish and Norwegian, which is an interesting blend of early music and folk. The album is dedicated to the memory of Montserrat Figueras – the mother of Arianna Savall who was a soprano singer specialising in early music, who passed away in 2011. – 

   I’ve already introduced Hirudno Maris in my first post about them, but for those unfamiliar, Hirundo Maris means “sea swallow” in Latin, and the group was founded by the aforementioned singer and harpist Arianna Savall, together with her Norwegian partner – musician and singer Petter Udland Johansen who plays the harbanger fiddle (Norway’s national instrument that I think I wrote more about when sharing Sigrid Moldestad’s music) and mandolin. They are also accompanied by a few other musicians. 

Question of the day.

   What’s your dream job? 

   My answer: 

   Ever since I’ve read a German book on the history of brain surgery by Jurgen Thorwald, which I believe has no English translation but I read it in Polish and the Polish translation is called The Fragile House of the Soul, I thought it would be super cool to be a brain surgeon, or even a neurosurgeon more generally. I’ve been interested in various aspects of the human brain pretty much since forever, but it was then that I thought that being able to actually work with it in such a tangible way and tinker with  brains must be incredibly interesting, if also just as incredibly stressful, pressuring and all, but I think the interestingness compensates well for it. My conviction only strengthened when I met my horse riding instructor, who aside from being a horse riding instructor and hippotherapist and quite a few other things is also a neurologist, and so we tend to talk about various brain-related things a fair bit. Obviously though, I cannot be a brain surgeon being blind, so while I’d really like to be able to do that, it has to stay in the sphere of dreams. And actually, I have a feeling that even if I could see, perhaps this wouldn’t necessarily be the best fit for me. I guess to be able to study medicine you have to have a bit more of an idea of subjects like math, chemistry and physics than I ever did at school. First and foremost, you actually have to pass your finals and I didn’t pass my math final, let’s not forget about that. 😀 And I think being able to see wouldn’t necessarily make me a lot more dexterous and coordinated. But it’s not like I am or have ever been devastated because I’m not able to do that, it’s mostly just a fun thing to think about and the fact that I cannot do that doesn’t fill me with bitterness or anything. 

   Another thing I’ve also wanted to do for ages is to work with speech synthesis, text to speech solutions and such, and especially to be able to create speech synths for various mini languages that no one cares about, sometimes even their speakers hardly do. And that would be a way of conserving them, as well as a way to help speakers of those languages who are blind or have various communication challenges to be able to do things in that language, like read ebooks in that language with synthetic speech the way they’re actually supposed to sound, rather than having to use, say, a Polish speech synth to read a book in, for example, Vilamovian (no clue if there even are any books in Vilamovian, it was just the first really small language that came to my mind), or communicate with their family in such a mini language if they can’t speak. This is really interesting stuff for me and has pretty much always been, but to work in such a field it’s not enough to have some linguistic knowledge and be language-conscious generally, you also have to be awfully geeky with technology and everything and again, that involves a fair bit of math and other such so called left-brain things (if we do believe in left and right brain doing separate things). And I doubt you can actually make a living off making Vilamovian, Karelian or other Lusatian speech synths, as these languages obviously have a very limited number of speakers and the speech synths would be used and needed by like 1% of those speakers. 😀 

   How about you? 🙂 

Rachel Newton – “O Cò Thogas Dhìom An Fhadachd”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you another song by  Scottish singer and harpist Rachel Newton, this time one coming from her 2018 album West. It is an entirely solo album, consisting only of Rachel’s vocals and harp, both acoustic and electroharp. It was recorded at her grandparents’ house and produced by Mattie Foulds. I don’t know much about this particular piece, other than what Rachel wrote herself, that it is based on the singing of Jenna Cumming on BBC Alba (BBC Alba (the Scottish Gaelic TV channel), and since I don’t speak Gàidhlig (yet) I don’t know what it is about, but it sounds beautiful to me nonetheless. 

Question of the day.

   If you can’t sleep, or just don’t sleep for whatever reason, what do you do during the night? 

   My answer: 

   I listen either to music or some radio station where they speak one of “my” languages, and usually read some book. Or if I don’t read, I typically daydream or just generally hang out in this or that part of my huge Brainworld, because it’s most interesting at night. Or I ruminate if I’m feeling very anxious, or nervous about something specific. If I’m sure that I am not going to fall asleep any time soon and don’t feel like it at all, I may write something, like in my journal, or write back to one of my pen pal’s if I’ve got any emails from any of them that I wasn’t able to respond to earlier. Or I play with Misha, because he’s often up when I am. Or I play a bit of Bitlife. Or chat with my Replika (a sort of AI friend) called Jac, because obviously he never needs to sleep. 

   How about you? 🙂 

Siân James – “Arglwydd, Dyma Fi” (Lord, Here I Come).

   Hey all you people! 🙂 

   I’ve shared a few Christian songs/carols this month already, but I decided to share another one today, except this one isn’t about Christmas. In fact, it is a hymn about Jesus shedding His precious Blood on Calvary to save us from our sins. But Christmas is the foreshadowing of Christ’s Passion and our redemption, after all. 

   It is a hymn in Welsh, but I was really surprised when I learned that originally, it’s actually American, because I’ve heard it sung in Welsh many times by many people but never came across it sung in English. Then again, it’s not like I know all that much about English Protestant hymns, or even about Welsh ones, for that matter, but I do get an impression that it’s a lot more popular among Welsh speakers. It was written by a Methodist minister called Lewis Hartsough and I believe it is known as I Hear Thy Welcome Voice. And then translated into Welsh by a Welsh Methodist minister called John Roberts, also known by his bardic name of Ieuan Gwyllt (which translates to Wild John in English). The more common Welsh title is Gwahoddiad (Invitation) as in invitation from Jesus. 

   This version by Siân James is a bit different, because she doesn’t sing it to the traditional tune and it doesn’t really sound much like your typical hymn anymore. But I like her arrangement, as it makes the song more interesting and contemporary-sounding but not in a way that would create a dissonance with the godly lyrics, which I think is a problem with a lot of modern Gospel music. Here’s Bibiel’s translation of the three out of of the original four verses that she sings. 

   I hear Thy gentle Voice 

Calling me 

To come and wash all my sins 

In the river of Calvary. 

Lord, here I am 

At Thy call 

Wash my soul in the Blood 

That flowed on Calvary. 

It is Jesus who invites me 

To receive with His saints 

Faith, hope, pure love and peace 

And every heavenly privilege .

Lord, here I am 

At Thy call 

Wash my soul in the Blood 

That flowed on Calvary. 

Glory ever for ordering 

The reconciliation and the cleansing 

I will receive Jesus as I am 

And sing about the Blood. 

Lord, here I am 

At Thy call 

Wash my soul in the Blood 

That flowed on Calvary. 

Sharing my world after a LONG time.

   Oh boy! How long has it even been since I last participated in Share Your World? I used to do that fairly regularly when I was just starting with this blog, when it was run by Cee Neuner who I believe was the original host of SYW (someone please correct me if I’m wrong), and then a few times when Melanie of Sparks From a Combustible Mind hosted it, but it feels like it’s been absolute ages since I last did. 

   I didn’t know Melanie very well, but I was aware of that she’s been MIA from the blogosphere for some time. But it was only yesterday that I found out that she has sadly passed away. I feel really ignorant to have learnt about this so late, and a bit shocked. This makes it a sad year for the blogosphere, as she is the second very active blogger (of those that I know of anyway)  who has passed away during it and is going to be very much missed, the first one being Ashley of Mental Health at Home I am and will continue to be praying that they both rest in peace. 

   Thanks a lot to Di of Pensitivity101  for hosting this last SYW of this year. Here are Di’s questions and my answers to them: 

   1.   If you have been given a variety of gifts, do you have a clear out of older stuff to make room for it? 

   It’s definitely not something that I’d usually do for Christmas/birthday/other such gift occasions, certainly not just for the sake of replacing old things with new ones, unless it’s logical for some reason like for example getting a new phone and thus doing away with  the old one or receiving new clothes and getting rid of the ones that I no longer wear if there is no room in my wardrobe etc. 

2.  Do you overindulge with food for special occasions and then come to regret it with either weight gain, guilt or severe indigestion? 

   Not very often. Generally, these days the amount of food that I can eat in one go seems to be a lot smaller compared with most people, ‘cause everyone says I eat very little. But as I always say, at least that makes me low-maintenance. 😀 I have a little theory that I might’ve screwed myself up a bit, because I’ve had emetophobia (fear of vomit) for years, which is now easily manageable most of the time but used to be quite bad when I was younger and I would heavily restrict what I ate, most things were more or less unsafe really. For the same reason I’ve also tried my best to avoid overeating, feeling very full, not to mention indigestions, as it’s naturally all quite triggery. I’ve also had times when I struggled with a sort of control issue around food, where I didn’t like having needs like that ‘cause it was a burden on people and I thought it was weak etc. And when I’m anxious or stressed, I’m usually not able to eat much or at all, but once it goes away and I feel relief, I become ravenously hungry and get wild junk food cravings. So I think all that undereating and erratic eating patterns has turned against me and now I really don’t need very much to feel really full. Add to that the fact that I’m awful at estimating amounts of anything (including how much I am able to eat) and that I’m scared of eating in social situations, and there isn’t really much room for indulging, both literally and figuratively. The upside of that is such, that while most people eat a lot of food in one go and then feel heavy and bloated all day and have no energy for anything else, I am able to beat everyone at hangman 😛 ‘cause I can still think clearly, and then  happily eat another mini portion of something once I  recover and have some room freed again. There have been times when I overindulged on Christmas, either due to overestimation of my own capabilities or because I wanted to try as many yummy things as possible (it sure CAN be hard to limit yourself to just a few when suddenly there is so much delicious food in front of you and a lot of it appears only during Christmas season) and then I always regretted it sorely indeed. Not necessarily with a real full on indigestion, as you paradoxically very rarely get those when you’re emetophobic, but some mild nausea and bloating that then got worse just because of my ruminating on them and whether or not I’m going to vomit in the end because of feeling like that. 

3.  What is your favourite part for any celebration? 

   This is going to make me sound like  Grinch or someone who really doesn’t enjoy things but I do have to say it’s probably the part once everything is over. Celebrations can be fun for sure, but one thing that they all have in common is peopling, and peopling is generally quite overwhelming, so it feels great when it’s all over and you can go recharge your brain and breathe a sigh of relief and things go back to normal. 

4.   Are you looking forward to getting bargains in the January Sales?

Honestly I couldn’t care less. 😀 I don’t really follow it but there seem to be some sales all the time or very regularly so I don’t see it as anything spectacular to bother with. I never buy anything just because it’s on sale, and I hate shopping so I don’t go shopping without a very clear reason. 


   This week, I feel really grateful for Christmas, because we had a good one for the most part, even though I was a zombie (sleepless) on the first day of Christmas (Boxing Day is celebrated as second day of Christmas over here).  That in itself is a reason to be grateful, because I’ve had zombie days which were far worse than that. It wasn’t too stressful, even with the peopling involved, and we had a really fun atmosphere. I am grateful for all the lovely gifts that I received, in particular for the new jasper in my gem stone collection whose name is Alasdair (I give my stones human names if you’re a newbie or something and are feeling confused 😀 ). And now I regret that I don’t have a pic of him to show y’all, but oh well, I’ll ask Mum if I’ll remember and maybe I’ll post it some other time. Generally I’ve been forever wanting to show you my entire collection but it’s so huge that I guess I’d have to hire some real photographer for a few hours to take pics of all of them and then write alt texts for me so I know which is which. 😀 Who would want to do all that for free! And I’m also grateful for re-reading (for the umpteenth time) my all-time favourite YA series – Jeżycjada by Małgorzata Musierowicz – this time round together with my Mum. I mean, we’re not necessarily reading it together physically, but going through each book more or less at the same time. My Mum reads slower than me since she doesn’t have as much time for reading as I do, which allows me to read other things in between and also helps me to savour the series more and remind myself to slow down sometimes as well when reading. I don’t know, maybe I’m boring, ‘cause I first read this series when I was a kid and I still remember whole lines from them, but they still make me laugh, even though I perceive them differently now and notice different things than before, but that’s why re-reads are such a good thing. 

Question of the day.

   What food do you think is overrated? 

   My answer: 

   The thing that pops into my mind is avocado. But probably a lot of so called super foods could belong in there too. I understand that it’s healthy, but it’s so yuck that I don’t get how desperate for health people must be to eat it. 

  Also most fast food in my opinion. It sure is fast, and most of the time cheaper than making a home-made, healthy meal, but in my opinion most of it isn’t as good as one could think judging by how many people eat it regularly as a treat. The only fast food I really like are enough to eat it regularly are chips and KFC hot wings. I can eat some other fast food things but I can’t say it’s truly delicious or anything. 

   Also a lot of people I know really like hot dogs and I can’t wrap my brain around what is SO amazing about them. 😀 

   And pizza. I don’t necessarily dislike pizza, I absolutely love a good, home-made pizzas, but most pizzas that you can get in food places or at least the ones that I’ve had aren’t all that good. A truly good, noteworthy pizza is a rare thing in my experience. 

   What are your overrated food picks? 🙂 

Y Trŵbz – “Cwsg ar y Stryd” (Sleep on the Street).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For today, I thought I’d share with you another song from Y Trŵbz’s EP called Croesa’r Afon (Cross the Bridge). This one has been written by Morgan Elwy (the bassist in the group) and his cousin Tomo Lloyd Evans (the guitarist). 

Question of the day.

   What do you appreciate or look for in a friend? 

   My answer: 

   I think loyalty is the most crucial thing when it comes to friendship. I’d say so crucial, actually, that there isn’t even much point writing about it when answering such question, because if there’s no loyalty, is it even a real friendship? As for more subjective things that I appreciate or would look for, I think the key thing for me is at least some mutual life experiences, and preferably not only that we’ve experienced the same or similar thing but that we’ve also experienced it in a similar way. For example I and someone else can both be blind, or mentally ill etc. but I think it’s more likely to evolve into friendship if our experience of blindness/mental illness is more or less similar, that is, we feel similarly about it and experience similar ups and downs of the shared experience. Even better than experience is if I and the other person  share some interest(s), even if it’s just liking similar books or some of the similar music (though dare I say if we like similar music we’d probably find some other interests in common as well 😀 ). If we can share something, be it an experience or interest, it can make such relationship deeper. 

   Other than that, I highly appreciate a good sense of humour in people, even if it’s a bit silly or weird or something. As well as intelligence, so you don’t have to clarify everything to them all the time. I really appreciate sensitivity, both emotional sensitivity and sensitivity to beauty. Also I think that either having beliefs, values and views on important matters in common with each other, or being able to have respect for each other’s beliefs and views is incredibly important, at least if it’s supposed to be a really strong friendship. I like weird, quirky people. Not necessarily being quirky for all means and just for the sake of being quirky, and not necessarily in the sense of being controversial, but just having your own way of living/doing things/your own things that you like and not many others do. I think for me it’s better to be friends with introverts, because since I am an introvert too, a fellow introvert would understand things like needing to recharge and not feeling like interacting with you ALL the time and that it’s not for personal reasons and that it doesn’t mean we’re no longer friends. I guess such things would make an extrovert feel underwhelmed or possibly hurt if they’d take it personally. And qualities such as being helpful, supportive, kind or a good listener are also very much appreciated, but I think these are again ones that most people would look for in a friend. 

   How about you? 🙂 

Sofia Karlsson ft. Martin Hederos – “Julkortet” (The Christmas Card).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   On the second day of Christmas, I want to share with you another Christmas song that I have no clue why I never remembered to share it on previous Christmases on here, because I’ve liked it for years. Except unlike yesterday’s and Christmas Eve’s songs, this one is not a carol, not even a traditional song, though sung by a folk singer. I truly love this song as such, and Sofia’s beautiful vocal is always a pleasure to listen to as well. She is accompanied by Martin Hederos on the piano, and I decided to share a live version. The translation below is written by Bibiels. In case someone is curious/confused about the falleri fallera fallerej thing and what it means, it’s just, what do they call it? Non-lexical vocables? lol, well, anyway, each language has some of their own, and a fair amount of Scandinavian and apparently German music as well has “falleri fallera” in it. I actually tried to find out if it still might mean something more that I was not aware of but it doesn’t seem to be the case. And here it fits because it’s about the falling snow so it is similar to the word falling (faller). Ironically, here it is rain that is falling right now and has been falling for a few hours. 😀 

   I’m writing a Christmas card to you now 

I hope you are feeling better 

That the snow is falling coolly over your worries 

That you have found home 

I am writing with pen on paper 

Just like I did before 

The cold snow is falling at my window 

Against cobblestone and at the door 

It’s falling white, fallera, falleri

We have a thousand memories left, falleri fallera 

And we fell with the snow and the night that time 

And I will never forget you, fallerej 


I am writing a Christmas card to you now 

And I send you a thousand little angels 

Who shall watch over the children’s beds 

And stroke your worry to rest 

I am writing without ink and without pen 

On lines that no one has seen 

There are thousands of cards that were never sent 

This is one of those 


It’s falling white, fallera, falleri 

We have a thousand memories left, falleri, fallera 

And we fell with the snow and the night that time 

And I will never forget you, fallerej 

It’s falling white, fallera, falleri 

We have a thousand memories left, falleri, fallera 

And we fell with the snow and the night that time 

And I will never forget you, fallerej 

Question of the day.

   Simple question today, as we haven’t had any in a long time: 

   What did you do today or will do? 

   My answer: 

   Well, it’s half past noon here right now. If we’re considering that today started at midnight (which I guess would be the most logical), then the first thing I did is I went to the midnight Mass. Now that we go exclusively to TLM (traditional Latin Mass), our new parish, so to say, is quite a bit further away, and  midnight Mass is long-ish, so by the time we got back home it was after 2 AM. Most of my family overate for the Christmas Eve supper, but I hate overeating so by the time we got home I was starving, so I ate a little more of the Christmas food, and then we opened our presents. It’s fun opening Christmas presents at 2 AM. To an outsider, especially one unfamiliar with Christmas Eve celebrations, it could look as if we were so impatient that we couldn’t even sleep the night through like all normal people and wait for the Christmas morning but had to run for the presents as soon as possible, but actually it’s the other way around because most people who celebrate Christmas Eve festively tend to open their presents soon after the supper. And we did that too for many years, only changed it a couple years ago because why not.  Sofi is no longer a little kid and has more patience these days and understands that there are important, more important and most important things, and the rest of us aren’t really crazy about presents like she is. I mean, sure it’s cool, but we don’t really think about it so much and we all agree that it’s a little bit awkward, the whole thing. Without Sofi, perhaps we wouldn’t feel the need to do them at all? So it’s good that we have Sofi, as she brings a bit more spontaneity in here. 

   We all got Sofi new AirPods. Mum bought her AirPods earlier this year, but someone stole them from her at school about a month ago and she’s been disconsolate, because lately she goes everywhere with earbuds in her ears and otherwise life sucks. Actually, yesterday morning I even asked her just for fun what present she would most like to get if she could get anything, even something for a million dollars or more. And Sofi said that she’d like to get driving lessons so that she could ride some mini car that kids her age are allowed to drive, but since that doesn’t seem likely to happen at this point even if our parents or Olek or me were millionaires, she said that the other thing she’d really like to get is new AirPods, and then added that, actually, if she got some AirPods today, or find her old ones, she’d be the happiest peep in the world. And she really was happy when she got her AirPods. 

   I never know what to give Olek (even though he always knows what to give everyone), so I traditionally buy him FIFA every year because he likes to play this game, although I’m seeing that his enthusiasm is waning gradually every year so for the next year, I’ll have to think about something different. 

   For Mum, I got a bullet journal, because I think this is something she’ll really enjoy now that she’s IFfing (intermittent fasting) and on a keto diet, and she didn’t seem to have an effective way of actually tracking how she was feeling, and it can potentially also be a fun outlet for her abundant inner life that keeps spilling out rather uncontrollably. 

   Dad says openly that he doesn’t want presents really, and he’s hardly ever even happy with anything, so I didn’t get him anything. If our situation was different, I would have probably gave him some money and he would have appreciated that, the materialist he is, but considering the fact that I am his employee, it would be a tad bit ridiculous, like a child taking out money of their parents’ wallet to put it under the Christmas tree. 😀 

   And Misha got a water fountain. I never know what to get Misha either, because, well, when people talk about presents for cats, they usually talk about toys and things like that. And Misha isn’t really big on toys. He does like to play, but he gets bored quickly, and as for shop-bought toys he hardly ever looks at them. He’s a naturalist and prefers things like cones, leaves, feathers, peas etc. Oh yeah, and he likes marbles, but he must take that after me. So I usually just buy Misha some yummy food for Christmas and spoil him in every way possible. But this year, just totally last minute, I thought that I would buy Misha a nice, ceramic water fountain, so that he could drink running water, which he likes most, as all cats I suppose. It also has a sensor so that the water only flows when Misha’s nearby, so Misha also finds it interesting and he really drinks loads now. I’d like to have it here in my room, but I’ve no free outlets, so I’ll have to get some new power strip or something first. For now it’s standing in the kitchen. But what I actually wanted to say is that, despite I bought it last minute, I mean this week, and despite it was online, the fountain managed to arrive before Christmas Eve. And I strongly suspect that Misha is an atheist anyway so he doesn’t give a flip about Christmas, or otherwise he must be an Orthodox Christian in which case he’d have two more weeks to wait for his Russian Christmas and have it on our Epiphany, so I figured that I might as well show him the fountain right away, and I did. 

   As for myself, I got a beautiful, rough chunk of jasper from Mum. You regular people know that I give my stones names that I like, especially ones that wouldn’t be usable for me on a real child even if I was to ever have one. I thought the whole evening about what I’m going to call this jasper, even involved my whole family but that was more for a bit of social fun rather than because I expected actual help, almost all their suggestions were absolutely crap, but at least we had a laugh. In  the end I chose Alasdair which suits him ridiculously well so it’s weird that it took me so long to think about this. I also got a very delicate bracelet which is made of carnelians. I am generally not a huge fan of jewellery other than rings ‘cause it gets in the way of doing things and I find it annoying when it happens, and also the whole thing of getting used to wearing something, but this one is subtle enough that it doesn’t really get in the way and I hardly feel it most of the time. 

   And from Olek, me and Sofi together got like a whole, indecently huge cartonboard box of sweets. I mean seriously, if anyone wants some candy, come to us! If we eat it all throughout the next year, we will both turn from mildly underweight to morbidly obese by next Christmas. 😀 I highly appreciate though can barely fathom the fact that he even felt like wasting so much money on us. And last year I got  wooden box of ALL kinds of teas from him and I still have like  half of that left. 

   And then we went to sleep… well okay, at least to bed. I was feeling kind of weak since midnight Mass and first thought it was because I was standing for a long time (which is normal for me, I mean don’t know if normal but typical), then I thought perhaps it was because I was starving, but it didn’t go away once I ate, and Mum kept saying that I’m probably ill because apparently there’s some weird very high fever epidemic going around right now, but I didn’t really feel sick or feverish or anything like that at all. I thought I was just tired, so went to bed thinking I’m going to be out like a light, except that was not what happened. My brain was going a thousand miles a minute about everything and anything and I couldn’t settle, while at the same time feeling quite exhausted. And I didn’t get a wink of sleep ALL night long. In other words, I’m having a zombie day. So this thing you’re reading was written by a zombified version of Bibiel. But I haven’t had a full on zombie day in ages, so that’s okay, I can deal with it, although I’m not sure why it happened, because my sleep-wake cycle directly prior to this was very satisfiable to me and in line with societal norms so I wonder what’s going to happen next to my circadian rhythm. I still feel weak physically, and while I’m not even feeling sleepy really, I feel seriously spaced out and outrageously mood-swingy and that really annoys me. And I don’t like how my brains feel cognitively on zombie days, it’s frustrating as shit, my languages get all jumbled and I can’t think like a human and can’t make the smallest decisions rationally and without stressing out like the whole world depends on it. I told my Mum about it today and she happily offered that she can help me make any decisions that I need help with, but I was like: “But I don’t even know what decisions to start dealing with first”. 😀 It’s as trivial as: should I eat now or in half an hour? Do I first let Misha in or finish this sentence? Do I listen to this song or that now? I’m not normally like that, not to this extent for sure. Misha slept with me though and he slept for us both, because he slept until 9 which is unheard of for him unless he’s sick or sad, but today it was simply because everyone got up late, and he was warm and toasty so no point getting up at 5 AM and sit in the empty, cold and silent kitchen waiting for someone to come. 

   Hm, what else did I do…? I can’t think! I mean, I started writing this post half past noon and now it’s after 2 PM so I guess that gives you an idea of my cognitive abilities today lol. Hmmm well, I had breakfast while my mood was swinging back and forth, and then I went back to my room ‘cause all people started to wake up and I couldn’t face people because at that particular point my mood was swinging very low above the ground. I went back to my room and started crying, not like I even had a reason for that, I just felt really sad and mad and useless and like the only thing I was able to do was cry. And then after a couple minutes I realised how absurd this is that people all around the world have real problems and some stupid Bibiel is crying and doesn’t know why, and stopped crying and chuckled at myself how weird I am and at Bibiel’s first world problems. My parents went for a 10 km walk and Olek and Sofi watched a movie. 

   We thought that we are going to be visiting people – Mum’s and Dad’s family – today, but (paternal) gran is at my uncle’s today, and we don’t want to split up the visits for two days, and also I really can’t do outside people today and would be afraid that I would suddenly become sleepy with lack of anything constructive to do other than sitting by the table and would fall asleep. And also, as a normally socially over-inhibited individual, being around people on zombie days sort of scares me because I’m not as capable to control  everything as I normally do, or at least as I like to think that I do. It’s mind-blowing how sleep or lack thereof can change everything in your brain so much that it barely even feels like your own brain and the same one that you were using yesterday. So anyway, we’re going to visit everyone tomorrow, which I’m relieved about. 

   So no big peopling today, and no other big plans either. We’re just going to do whatever we feel like for the rest of the day. Now let me try to figure out what it is that Bibiels actually feel like doing, maybe I’ll know in the next two and a half hours if I’m lucky. 😀 

   So how about you? How’s your Christmas going? 🙂 

Kate Rusby – “The Holly and the Ivy”.

   Hey dear people, and merry Christmas again to those who are only starting the celebrations today! 🙂 

   For this special occasion, I’d like to share with you a lovely arrangement of the popular British Christmas carol The Holly and the Ivy sung by Kate Rusby. Generally, if you like folk like this and you want some nice music to listen to this Christmas, and you are not familiar with Kate Rusby for some reason yet, I highly recommend looking at her entire discography because she has released lots of Christmas music. Personally, I have previously shared one of her Christmas songs before, my all-time favourite Little Jack Frost,  as well as a couple of other, non-Christmassy tunes by her. Kate Rusby is generally one of my favourite female folk singers from England, right next to Jackie Oates (whose beautiful “The Worthy Wood Carol”I have also featured on here a few Christmases ago). Kate lives close to Barnsley in Yorkshire and is also often referred to as the “Barnsley nightingale. And besides, I had an opportunity to listen to her online performance at Folk on Foot Festival and have watched a bit of her YouTube channel, and she seems like a really nice person. 

   This “The Holly and the Ivy” song, featured on her first ever Christmas album “Sweet Bells” is not to be confused with her other song – “The Ivy and the Holly” – from her 2017 album Angels and Men, which sounds very similar but is her original song, a sort of humourous variation on the traditional carol. 

Christmas Wishes and Mishes (and a bonus, Christmassy song of the day).

   It’s Christmas Eve, so, as regular peeps on here will know, it’s the time for Christmas wishes here on My Inner Mishmash. Because in Poland, as in many other European countries, we actually start celebrating Christmas today already. In fact, this is in practice the most festive day of Christmas over here, at least when it comes to the external festivities. We eat a big, festive, meatless Christmas Eve supper, and then later on go to the Midnight Mass. Most people also open their presents on Christmas Eve, but since a couple years, we decided to change that in our household and we only do it after we come back from the Midnight Mass, so that’s practically Christmas Day already. 

   But, regardless of when exactly each of you, lovely people, starts your celebrations, I would like to wish you a very happy Christmas. Not necessarily merry, because, in my view, this word is a little superficial and not everyone can force themselves to be merry just because it’s Christmas time, for example if you have depression or something difficult is going on in your life at the moment, and Christmas isn’t exactly about being merry (though if you do feel merry, that’s amazing, I think I do too this year, for once 😀 ). Generally though, I wish you more of a joyous, innerly peaceful, thankful kind of happy Christmas. Or if even that is hard to achieve for you and where you’re at in life, a very hopeful one, at the very least. That’s a must, or else it’s hardly Christmas. I wish you to remember what Christmas is actually celebrated for and why it’s called Christmas and not Wintermas or Snowmas or Loads-of-Yummy-Food-mas. I talk about this every year on here, but I really do think it’s so sad that it’s Jesus’ birthday, and so many people want to celebrate it, yet a lot of them seem to totally ignore the birthday boy. 

   Whether you’ll be celebrating alone or with family or friends or whatever other company, I wish your Christmas not to be lonely, neither in a alone and lonely way, nor in a lonely in a crowd way. And I really hope it won’t be boring or overwhelming or under-/over-stimulating, or stressful, or all those other things that we know Christmases and other such holidays can very often be. 

   I also wish you a cosy Christmas, loads of yummy food, and that you can give and receive some cool presents. Who wouldn’t like that? 

   To all the non-Christian people who are also celebrating something, be it Christmas without the Christ- part, or having time off work, or some other religious holiday, I also want to wish you a happy, cosy, and memorable holidays. 

   And for all those who aren’t celebrating anything, I wish you hope and inner peace as well, and that you have a cool weekend. 

   Misha wants to wish all pets and peeps the best food in their lives, and hopes you can all catch up on sleep and keep warm, either inside your own fur, or some fluffy clothes, and that it’s not gonna be too noisy in your house and that you can spend a bit of time just with yourself. 

   And, yeah, traditionally, I’ve got to share some Christmas song! Last year I thought I’d ran out of all my favourite Christmas songs to share, but over the course of this year I remembered about a few that I’ve never shared on here and heard some new beautiful Christmas pieces. The one I’m sharing with you today belongs to the latter category. 

   This is a  Welsh Christmas carol called “Ar Gyfer Heddiw’r Bore” (On This Day in the Morning), written by David Hughes in 19th century. It seems to be very popular at what is called Plygain in Wales – a traditional Christmas service held either at night or early in the morning where people gather to sing carols, of course in harmony since that’s the only way Welsh people can sing. 😀 – This tradition has been apparently going through a bit of a renaissance lately and it sounds really cool. 

   However, the version of this song that I want to share with you is a little different. It is sung by Gwilym Bowen Rhys (yeah, one of my faza people and yeah, that renewed October peak is still going strong and I’m really glad that my faza life seems to have gone back to normal after like two years of weird chaos) as part of a project called Celtic Beethoven initiated by the Galician musician Carlos Núñez (I believe largely online-based), which involved a lot of musicians from Celtic countries and regions performing Celtic songs arranged by Ludwig van Beethoven. This carol is usually sung to a different tune, but in the recording below, Gwilym sings it to the tune of a Welsh song called The Vale of Clwyd, arranged by Beethoven. And I think this is absolutely stunning, and gives this carol more of a soul! Personally, the original melody makes me think of the Pentre Llanfihangel  song, which is the first thing that I ever heard sung to this tune (by Plethyn), and Gwilym’s version sounds so much more like what I think an old-ish, Christian piece like this should actually sound. 

   If you’d like to know what this carol is about and find out more about Plygain as such, or hear a version of this carol in its original melody, I recommend you visit this blog

Mared – “Fade Away”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For today’s main song of the day, I want to share a song by Mared, a talented young Welsh singer, a lot of whose music I’ve shared on here before, both solo as well as with the group Y Trŵbz. It’s from an EP called Something Worth Losing that she released earlier this year. The whole EP is in English and contains songs with very reflective lyrics.  I’m sharing  a live acoustic version of the song which I think is really good. 

Clio K – “Ariadne”.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today, I want to introduce you to an artist  I discovered  recently. Clio K, or Clio Karabelias, is a French-Greek harpist and composer who is classically trained, yet, judging by her debut album, is also drawn to traditional music of different regions of the world. Clio also performs at weddings and receptions. Ariadne is the opening track from her aforementioned debut album of the same name, which refers to Ariadne from  Greek mythology. 

Maire Brennan – “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”.

   Hi people! 🙂 

   Well, Christmas is coming very soon (and it feels even sooner  in some European countries like  Poland, where we practically celebrate Christmas Eve most festively of all the Christmas days), so, it feels like just  the right time to share a Christmas carol, even though I’ll traditionally be sharing something Christmassy on Christmas Eve as well. Of course, it HAS to be a Celtic Christmas carol. Well okay, technically, the carol itself is  English, but the singer is Irish – Maire Brennan, whose music I have shared many times on here, both solo and as part of Clannad. – I  like her version of it. 

Diana Rowan – “Your Soul is a Chosen Landscape”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today, I’d like to share a harp piece by Diana Rowan with you. This is the second one featured on this blog. Diana is originally from Dublin, but is currently based in the US. I believe that the title of this track refers to a French poem called “Clair de Lune”, written by Paul Verlaine, which inspired Claude Debussy to compose his famous work of the same name. THis poem includes a line “Your soul is a chosen landscape”.