Question of the day.

What is one old piece of technology you can’t bring yourself to part with?

My answer:

For starters, it was less than a year ago when I finally decided to take the risk and part with my good ol’ Nokia E66 with Symbian. For most people, that’s really strange. Even many blind people don’t understand things like that because, yes, smartphones can be a very helpful assistive technology, and many think that the only explanation for when you cling on to your old phone must be that you’re afraid of new things. Which, admittedly, was partly true in my case, as I typically dread change, but that’s only part of it. I would often tell people, and also here on my blog, that the reason I was still clinging to it was my loyalty to Finland (Nokia is Finnish, in case you don’t know). And, honestly, we’ve been through so much together during those ten years. And she was working perfectly fine, so why fix what ain’t broke. Although in those last few years I didn’t use this phone very extensively as I hardly ever talk to stranger people on the phone and don’t feel the need to talk on the phone to people I know ’cause we either see each other IRL or can email, and emails are also way better and more interesting than texting. But mostly, what held me back was that I didn’t think I could deal with a touch screen, and that’s not because of my lack of sight, but more the associated stuff. As you likely already know, I also struggle with coordination and dexterity, and have a hard time with spatial orientation be it on a big or small space. My previous experiences with other people’s smartphones (usually with Android, which is a bit less accessible, and its free TalkBack screen reader) weren’t particularly encouraging either. I did know that you can use a Bluetooth keyboard with iOS and there are various accessibility features that can make it easier but didn’t think that would be enough for me as you can’t do every single thing on iOS via the keyboard because it’s just not made this way really. But then as I’ve already written on here, Sofi got her first iPhone and let me use it, and while I still wasn’t convinced that I could find my way in the world of touch screens, I felt like perhaps it would be interesting to just try. I could buy myself an iPhone and if it won’t work out, I can simply sell it and come back to my old Nokia. Also I would need to find myself some other phone sooner or later, as even if my Nokia will keep going for the next 50 years, it soon won’t be supported and won’t have service, so it would feel safer to experiment now than last minute. Now that Sofi has an iPhone she could help me figure it out and maybe it’ll even work somehow. Then I came across a review of iPhone SE 2nd generation by some blind guy who also has dyspraxia, where he also mentioned that he uses a keyboard and, while in his situation it’s not ideal either, it works way better than the screen. Based on the review, he was a rather advanced user, so that really made me think. I do not have dyspraxia, my difficulties aren’t as severe as that, so if a dyspraxic person can manage an iPhone with a keyboard and use it efficiently, perhaps I could too. I definitely should try, that’s for sure.

And I did, and, as you know, I didn’t sell my iPhone. In the end I decided to use it in combination with my Braille-Sense which is a Braille notetaker which can work as a Braille display plus keyboard with the iPhone, although I do have a little keyboard as well which can be useful as it’s more portable and less clunky, and I can do most things this way. I do find it quite laborious to use the screen itself, but can do it if I have to and have gotten used to the laboriousness. I’m not the speediest iPhone user for sure when I have to do things from the screen, and I have to take my time to do some things, but because I theoretically know how to do most things on the iPhone, I can practically do pretty much everything I want to do, as long as it’s doable with the screen reader and as long as I have the time and patience, which I typically do. Well okay, my pics are still quite bad and I know some blind people do better, but that’s a bit of a different kettle of fish, and sometimes I also manage to take a decent one without any assistance. I still have the Nokia though. Just so it can work as an exhibit for future generations. ๐Ÿ˜€

But there’s still one old piece of technology I’m holding on to, despite I theoretically don’t have to now that I have the iPhone because the iPhone could do that job. It’s not quite as ancient, actually the current one I have is only over a year old, but generally the technology in it isn’t particularly cutting-edge for our current standards, so much so that many features it has that rely on external services are no longer supported because its firmware is a bit outdated and I guess no longer developed even though the device is still sold. It’s basically a specialised device (with a very specialised price, as with most of them) for reading books and playing multimedia. You can read ebooks on it with a speech synth or audiobooks, listen to music, podcasts, radio, record audio, it also has a calendar, alarm and other such little gimmicks which you wouldn’t normally expect from a multimedia player. Now that smartphones are being very widely used as assistive technology and many expensive, special assistive devices with limited capabilities have a hard time competing and don’t even try, book players like that are seen more and more as something for elderly blind people, say, such who have lost their sight late in life and don’t necessarily feel like dealing with an iPhone, especially if they wouldn’t even feel like having a smartphone if their sight was good, and currently sold “dumb” phones don’t do screen readers.

Why would I use an outdated and pricey thingamajig about which even its own producers forgot when I have an iPhone which can do its job just as well? Well, comfort is key when reading books. PlexTalk is smaller than my iPhone and easier when you want to read for example while commuting. It doesn’t have a touch screen, which could be accidentally activated while you go about your business with it in your pocket or bag. It’s faster to use for me personally. And, what Bibiels like best is reading in bed for a while before sleep or after waking up when I have the time. At the same time, Bibiels don’t do silence at night, so there has to be some music quietly in the background, or a radio station where they talk some fabulous language, it’s good to have a soundtrack to your dreams as long as it’s not too loud or intrusive. The music for a long time used to go from my computer, but my current computer is super noisy and that’s very uncomfortable for sleep, makes me feel like I’m having a sleep study in a lab rather than sleeping in my own room, and my speakers are also weirdly noisy in themselves, making the weirdest sounds, and I can’t seem to be able to fix that in any way, I guess it’s something electrical, which is okay during the day but not at night. So now the way it works is I have my lovely little B&O speaker which I connect to the phone, and it plays. iPhone, as you may or may not know, only supports one audio source at once, so I can’t possibly both listen to music and a book at the same time from it, and then maybe even set a sleep timer for the book, but not for the music. Not doable. Even if I could have two audio sources play at the same time, I think it could get quite overloading if they were both playing from the same device unless you could manage the volume of both separately.

So yeah, there’s an amazing app for reading ebooks, or texts in general, called Voice Dream Reader, which has speech synthesis for many more languages than the PlexTalk which only has, in my case, Polish and English, there’s even the Jacek voice on Voice Dream Reader, the one that I really like but have lost and which is no longer produced in the form in which I had it, so you’d think I’d be super happy to use Voice Dream Reader and have Jacek at least in there. But no, reading on the phone totally doesn’t go along with my habits.

One of the secondary reasons which finally led to me getting an iPhone was that the support of Audible audiobooks had ended for PlexTalk last year. That was super dramatic, as I had only started using that feature extensively and the only reason for why I decided to buy PlexTalk again after my first one broke, instead of another, fair bit cheaper, device of the same kind was the Audible support. I wrote to the Audible peeps describing my situation and asking them if they could have some mercy on people with assistive devices so that their users can somehow still use their audiobooks despite the old format being ditched. They wrote me very diplomatically that they don’t really care, and I guess they couldn’t even do much about it if they did. I wrote to Shinano Kenshi (PlexTalk) peeps, asking them very diplomatically if they could finally update their flippin’ dinosaur firmware so that it could perhaps support the newer Audible format, which, in fact, sounds way better in terms of quality and has been around for a long time before so it’s not like it’s super new. They didn’t even get back to me, which wasn’t a surprise, as I had a feeling they have limited their activity around PlexTalk devices to only what’s absolutely necessary. Then, months later, when I almost forgot about that email, I got a response from them, diplomatically saying that, um, yeeeeah, maybe it is possible, but it really doesn’t pay off, too much bother.

Now, I have Audible on my phone, but I hardly ever use it, for the reason I wrote about above. The good thing is I now have pretty good access to English ebooks instead that, with a little playing around, I can easily read on PlexTalk, so it doesn’t feel that bad not to have Audible on it.

Do you have such an old device? Why is it so difficult to part with? ๐Ÿ™‚

Penny Police – “Mostly The Same”.

Hey guys! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve heard about Penny Police quite some time ago, but only recently have really started listening to her more. She’s compared to people like Agnes Obel or Emiliana Torrini who are both artists that I like a lot, so I guess it was inevitable that I’d have to start listening to her at some point. ๐Ÿ˜€

Penny Police’s actual name is Marie Fjeldsted, and, just like the aforementioned Agnes Obel, she is Danish (but you, well, at least I, and I guess I’m pretty decent at accents, wouldn’t guess with 100% certainty that she’s Danish. Danes usually have such a distinctive, quite cool-sounding accent in English, but the only thing that to me clearly says she’s Scandinavian is that she doesn’t do z’s). And this is one of my favourite songs by her.

Question of the day.

What small change could the world make to become a better place tomorrow?

My answer:

People could make sure to get some proper, good quality, long sleep tonight. A lot of people don’t get much sleep around the start of the new year, so if they finally did catch up on their lost sleep tonight, tomorrow we’d have less car accidents, and many other types of accidents, more happier people, smarter people, and people’s immune system would work better.

Your turn. ๐Ÿ™‚

Question of the day.

If you could change three things about your country, what would you change?

My answer:

While I think that our current government (United Right) is way better than what we had for years with the previous party (Civic Platform) which was in power, it could still be a lot better and there is lots of room for improvement, and I feel quite sad that for now, there doesn’t seem to be any better option. Lately in particular, I’ve noticed that our foreign politics/diplomacy is totally crap and if only I could, I’d change that asap, somehow. I don’t know if it’s that we have no luck for ministers of foreign affairs or is this seriously intended but it’s really bad, if not ridiculous sometimes.

Another thing I would change is I’d improve the situation of disabled people, but in particular of those who are mentally ill or have some rare diseases. Not that other disabilities don’t need help or it’s less important or anything like that, as a blind person I know that there is a lot that could be done to the blind community, which I’m sure is true of any country, and other disabled communities also have their often more than fair share of problems, but also being mentally ill I feel like the mentally ill community has much less support, and there’s an awful lack of awareness. I’ve heard that there’s especially some huge problem with children with mental health issues and that they frequently don’t get the level of healthcare they need. I once had a conversation with someone – perhaps even here in the blogosphere, can’t remember –
about personality disorders and how they’re stigmatised. And I said that here in Poland they aren’t even stigmatised like they are in the US, because people don’t know enough about them to form some strong enough stereotypes or something. Yes, it is also a thing here that when doctors don’t know what to diagnose someone with, and a patient is somewhat “difficult”, they’ll happily go with BPD, it is overdiagnosed, but an average person who hasn’t had much to do with the field of mental health in their life won’t have much of an idea about what borderline personality disorder is in practice, unless they know someone with it and know they have such a diagnosis. People here don’t say they’re so “OCD”, because while OCD is certainly not unheard of, people aren’t familiar with it enough to just use the term casually like Americans do for example. Stigma is a huge problem, but I personally feel like lack of actual awareness is a bigger problem. Most people know something about mental health and mental illnesses in theory, but in practice not much. There aren’t a lot of resources for mentally ill people, online for example. Or communities, whether offline or online where people could receive some support, unless they’re in psychiatric institutions, or there’s also no support for their families. There are charities, or individuals who are trying to do something on their own, but their outreach is often limited so there’s only so much they can do. It would be great if there was more initiative higher up.

There even seems to be some lack of awareness among professionals, or so it seems to me as a mentally ill person and as a keen observer of people. Since I’ve joined Carol Anne’s of Therapy Bits email support group for people with DID, as a supporter, I’ve been wondering and trying to do some, any, research about the situation of people with dissociative identity disorder here in Poland. There are some basically informative pages on health-related websites geared at patients, some a little more indepth but theoretical articles on psychology-related blogs, but other than that… nothing really. The term “split identity/self” is familiar to people and some people say they have a split self when they are of two minds or feel kind of internally conflicted. When I dug deeper I found some trauma specialists touching very briefly on DID in their works or during lectures but I couldn’t even find someone who would specialise in this. Later on, I remember I found some sort of a map or something if I remember correctly, I’m not good with maps and diagrams but generally it was about in which countries this disorder is diagnosed and I did manage to figure out that Poland wasn’t on there. Later yet, I briefly mentioned it to my last therapist that I am part of such a mailing list and trying to support people somehow, and she immediately was all like: “But you know it’s not a real thing, DID? It’s only a sort of psychosis?” I said that it doesn’t seem so to me, but it’s her who is the professional here after all so she should know better, but I didn’t want to get into a discussion on this during my therapy session which should be about me, not DID. That was really sad and kind of upsetting to hear to me though.

Our country isn’t free from traumatic events occurring to little children. And so I feel for all those Poles who do have or might have DID and either don’t know about it or no one really cares, and I’d like it to be different.

Speaking about mental health that would also include the autistic/other neurodivergent people and making things easier for them in our society, especially adults and more “high functioning” children. I’m not autistic myself as you probably know but as you may also know I do have some connection to the autism world, having been assessed for it twice and “accused” of having it many more times, and have a bit of an idea what it looks like here with it. Similarly I feel like we need more awareness of rare diseases, as much as possible given that they’re rare, as I know a lot of rare disease patients here struggle with access to their medications and funding for them.

And lastly, culture, yay! We have such great, Polish culture. So many Polish artists who are undiscovered and often very poor. I’m not talking celebrities, who often got famous because their mummies or daddies had just the right views during the communist period, which helped them reach the fame in some area, or just get enough money, and then their children inherited the fame along with the surname, even if they aren’t all that talented at anything in particular. I am talking actually talented people who don’t get to promote themselves anywhere significant enough. One thing our government really did wrong was with the public media. I’d like to believe their intentions were originally good indeed, as they wanted, and still do, to repolonise our media (because the majority of media in Poland are owned by foreign companies). They concentrated their efforts on the public media at first, pretty much right away after they won the Parliament Election, and changed people in charge of Polish Television and Polish Radio. That’s pretty much all they did really, only now they are kinda, sorta trying to do more and repolonise the press, and it’s been five years since that election if I’m counting right. Anyway, what they did back then wasn’t really a gamechanger at all, because the people they chose to manage the public media are very incompetent for their roles, as it seems. Especially the chairman of TVP (Polish Television) has earned himself a very bad reputation, both from those on the left, and on the right. He’s a real king of cringe to put it shortly, but what saddens me the most is that his name is Jacek, and I really like Jaceks, and he is making a bad reputation for all the cool Jaceks out there, I’m afriaid. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Well no, I’m just kidding obviously, I’m sure a cool Jacek can defend himself, but it’s just sad to see such a cringey guy and know his name is Jacek… The King of Cringe is particularly well-known for supporting disco polo artists and their music (disco polo is essentialy Polish disco, very cringey and trashy). One disco polo artist who is quite well-liked there in TVP once tweeted that disco polo is like new folk music. That Polish composers like Chopin or Moniuszko were once strongly inspired by folk music, so maybe there will be a time when future Polish composers will be inspired by disco polo. You can imagine that really made me – as a folklorophile – go nuts. Anyway, you can hardly see any higher culture in TVP now.

Now that we have Covid and artists all around the world have financial problems, I’ve heard that for example our Polish painters, or independent musicians, have been struggling a lot more than before. Meanwhile, our Minister of Culture and National Heritage had magnanimously decided to help out the artists financially via a culture support programme. It was quite controversial, because some of the beneficiaries were meant to receive absolutely huge amounts of money, and all of them were the famous celebrities, who, totally in my own opinion, aren’t really all that talented in their area as their fame, and even more so the compensations they were meant to get, would suggest. (There were four millions Polish zlotys in total in the whole support programme). People got ragin’, one singer guy – Kazik – who is quite known for strong views even said that he doesn’t want their stolen money, and the Ministry decided to “verify” the list of the beneficiaries. Don’t you verify such things in the first place before anything else?

Aside from the unfairness of it all on average people, which another huge problem, does it really have to be so that it’s somehow decided at the top who should be famous/popular or not? Whose music we are supposed to like and listen to? Can’t it be just people who will choose what they like, rather than have shit shoved down their mouth and be told that they find it delicious? I think there should be more equal chances for artists to emerge, more support in times like these for those who are independent, either because they want to or because there isn’t any other option for them really. I want to hear more diverse Polish music, more young Polish musicians. I want to hear people talk about more ACTUALLY good Polish films. Or Polish visual artists who are actually alive and doing quality stuff. I want to hear about contemporary Polish composers, not because I had to hunt for their music myself, but in the media, or from other people (and for them not necessarily to be composers influenced by disco polo :D). I want a properly Polish talent show on the telly, I mean, we have The Voice (of Poland) and the like, but these are all practically foreign, which is not a bad thing in itself, but why can’t we have one of our own? It would be cool if the contestants, if they’d be making music, could share their own music rather than only cover what someone has already created which is the most common formula of such shows although I do realise there are exceptions, and then actually have some support, whether financial or in whatever way it’s needed for such newly emerged people, that would help them exist in their field in a substantial way, not just for a while after they release their debut album. It would also have to be something good quality, not necessarily somehow super sophisticated because it should be digestible for an average person but something where you could actually find some objectively aesthetically pleasing art of some sort. So yes, I would love to be able to promote Polish people who are talented in some way, but have some external obstacles which make it difficult for them to show it off in front of their nation more widely.

I know it’s all probably incredibly idealistic if not utopian, but oh well… why not?

So how about you? ๐Ÿ™‚ You can dream big if you want like I did. And, aside from the main question: besides those three things you’d like to change about your country, do you like it overall, or do you feel like you’d be better living somewhere else? I definitely do love Poland! ๐Ÿ™‚ Just felt like saying it because it was quite a negative post and I didn’t want anyone to think I’m dissatisfied with my country overall, there just always are things that could be better, some a lot better.

Testing, testing!…

Hey people! ๐Ÿ™‚
I have news of the year for you! Bibielโ€™s got an iPhone. ๐Ÿ˜„
Itโ€™s been hanging in the air for a while already, because Zofijka got an iPhone recently too, and as my ten-year-old Nokia wasnโ€™t getting any younger, I had to think about something new at some point. You may already know that Iโ€™d been very reluctant to have a smartphone because of my coordination and orientation difficulties and that it felt sort of surreal for me that Iโ€™d ever be able to use a touch screen, and all my attempts on other peopleโ€™s phones in the past were miserable, so I was always joking that Iโ€™m sticking to Nokia due to my undying loyalty to Finland.
Itโ€™s been one heck of a change, as you can imagine, but somehow Iโ€™ve been able to keep my stress and rumination at healthy levels so far, and am even a little bit excited about the thing. I have a whole lot of things to get used to and would definitely be lost if not my Bluetooth keyboard, as I can do barely anything on the screen, and so far struggle a lot even with the keyboard, but hopefully itโ€™s just the matter of getting used to everything.
I just wanted to let you know about it and test how the email thing works, as Iโ€™ve just set up my emails in the Mail app and am sending this via email. This is actually my second attempt as something didnโ€™t work out the whole time. So far Iโ€™m pretty sure itโ€™s not going to become my default way of blogging, itโ€™s really arduous.

Post share – Blocking the Block – Cyranny.

So, have you guys already heard about this new WordPress block editor thingy? How do you feel aboutit?

If you feel similarly to me and much prefer the classic one, go over to

This post by Cyranny

and speak up about it, share the post with your readers so that we can have control over our blogs.

They say that we’ll be able to switch between the old and new editors, and if so, it’s great, but the message from their post on this seems to be a little contradictory imo, and I wonder for how long we will actually be given the choice.

As I already commented on the Cyranny’s post, I’ve just tried the new editor out to see what I should brace myself for and if it’ll be as bad for me as for many others, and found it really unfriendly and not really particularly cooperative. It took me about half an hour just to get out back to the classic editor, and it seems like the fact that I did it was only a sheer accident, haha.

I know that there were huge issues in the past with this block editor’s accessibility for screenreaders, and I have to say that, while it isn’t particularly user-friendly and intuitive, the accessibility with my screenreader (NVDA) isn’t bad, as much as I could tell from just testing and not writing an actual post and not being a huge tech savvy, which was a positive surprise, however I’ve heard that apparently there are some significant problems accessing it with another popular screenreader (Jaws). I can’t see for myself if that is the case and to what extend it is unusable as I don’t have Jaws (and even if I could, I’m not keen on the idea of voluntarily interacting with that thing again ๐Ÿ˜€ ) but if it really is, something seriously must change here.

 

Question of the day.

Hey people! ๐Ÿ™‚

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My answer:

It’s really hard to say, I don’t think there’s one thing in me that if I had fixed, life would be much different. I could say my personality because there are a lot of things in my personality that are difficult for me to deal with daily but then on the other hand I would not like my whole personality to change because first, that would be such an awfully huge, scary and awkward change and second, there are things that I do like about my personality and ones that I simply have gotten used to perceive as parts of me and would feel weird if it would suddenly be otherwise, and also the difficult things have their upsides as they usually do in life. I think it would be useful and way easier though if I were less of a ruminator.

You? ๐Ÿ™‚

Moddi – “Little By Little”.

Moddi is Pal Moddi Knutsen, a singer from Norway, who is quite folksy but also draws inspiration from many different genres. I like some of his music, and some I don’t, mostly because I simply don’t agree with some of his views, and he’s very vocal in his music about them (pun intended). This song however I find really lovely and positive and just like it a lot, so thought I’d share it with you. ๐Ÿ™‚

Nina Nesbitt – “The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change”.

Hey people! ๐Ÿ™‚

I have another song by Nina Nesbitt for you today, and another British pop song after Jack Vallier’s, that I like. It’s topic is something very trivial and obvious, but sometimes, especially when life gets a bit hectic, or perhaps boring, we tend to forget about it, that things in our lives are constantly changing, and next year on the same day, we may be in a completely different place and state of mind. I’m just re-reading a fabulously written biography of Bronte family, by a Polish writer, she has translated Bronte sisters’ books as well, and there’s the same motif. Anne and Emily Bronte have that tradition on writing birthday notes on Emily’s birthday every three years, and they write on what has changed in their life since the last note, and muse on how life is changing and where they will be in next three years’ time. For some reason, I found the way they do it quite hilarious. Okay, so here’s the song.

 

Maja Francis – “The Last Days Of Dancing”.

Maja Francis is a young Swedish pop singer, and this is a song from her debut album. It’s in some way relatable to me, and I think to many people – not only at my stage of life which Maja Francis had definitely in mind when writing this song, as this is based on her own experiences, but also those who are at any point in life where things are changing in any way and they’re moving on to something different. – Because this song is about changing, or more exactly, not being ready for a change, and for the “last days of dancing” to come, despite you see people around you changing and growing and blooming. But you’re giving in to it anyway yourself as well. I like Maja Francis’ light vocals.

Answering Carol Anne’s question.

Today, on her blog, Carol Anne of

Therapy Bits

asked the following question: “If you could pick one characteristic to change about yourself, what would it be?”.

Well, since I have AVPD my Monkey Maggie the Inner Critic is very active most of the time, coming up with lots of things about myself that I should change, so for her it definitely feels like almost everything, I can hear her snorting and saying that. ๐Ÿ˜€ So it seems like the best change for me would be to get rid of her. But that’s probably not possible by now, although I’m trying to control her, with varying results, and I guess it actually is necessary to have an inner critic, just maybe not so overactive.

But, more realistically, one thing I can think of immediately is to be less anxious, or not as easily, or not about so many things. ‘Cause being constantly anxious to some degree can be pretty exhausting obviously. And somehow limitating at times too.

So, that’s my answer, and one thing I can come up with.

What would you change in yourself. Let me, or Carol Anne, know. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Question of the day (20th January).

Hi guys. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything lately, have been doing lots of things with my languages and was just disorganised with it all. Here’s the SUnday question.

What did you always want to try but never found the courage to do?

My answer:

Lots and lots of things. I have different kinds of anxiety which all make it difficult for me to do different things. I know that overcoming ALL of them, and all the limitations they put on me is likely going to take me the entire life. One of the biggest and most courageous steps I’ve made in recent years was going to Sweden. I’ve always wanted it, I’ve always wanted to visit all my countries very very much, but at the same time I dreaded it so, so much. My Dad kept promising me for years that one day we’ll go to Sweden. We could realise it only two years ago, but before then, every year he promised me that, and then when we couldn’t go, on one hand I was very disappointed, but on other, probably equally relieved. Going to Sweden, or any of my countries, would mean facing all of my strongest anxieties. Because of this, it could also turn out disappointing, I definitely wouldn’t like if it was so that I would go to Sweden and then something would go very wrong, I rather preferred not to go there than have forever some very bad associations with this trip, I was also worried that I might be simply disappointed with myself, either with my social skills, or facing other anxieties, or even language skills, or that I could disappoint my family perhaps. Not to mention all the small fears I had, but in overwhelming amounts and relating to very different things. I did enjoy our trip a lot, but it was also exhausting for me, because of all the anxiety I had to face and cope with all the time. It was also rewarding because I saw that I can do some things I thought I can’t. THe frustrating thing though is, although I now have this experience under my belt, and know how it feels, I feel that if I’d go to Sweden, or any other of my favourite countries, for another time, the story would repeat. Despite all that I know already, that I can go through this. Maybe I’m wrong, but I can assume so after last summer when my Dad (I guess he must have gotten used to doing it) told me again that this year we’ll go to Sweden again, and would I like to. I said I would, ’cause I would, but as soon as I heard that, I knew my anxieties, despite I faced them back then, haven’t died and it would still be like for the first time for me.

I talk about this to show you that trying new and different things is pretty much always scary for me, even if they are good things that I in fact want. Same about most major changes in life. It feels very scary.

But Ok the question is about something I have never tried so far. One of such things is playing harp, especially Celtic harp. I have learnt to play some instruments in the past – piano and guitar, – though although I do have an ear for music, I wasn’t particularly good at it. One thing was that I didn’t enjoy it that much, just sort of did it because I felt I should, that I was expected to do it because of my “ear for music”. another was my shitty coordination which made it simply hard for me physically or technically to play well and it was always an effort, especially that as I said I didn’t have much motivation, and another thing was my anxiety and all the related stuff, I think they were also getting in the way. Finally, after some years of learning music I decided it’s not for me, and I just feel much better as a listener than a performer. Because I definitely do. And I started to use my musical skills for languages, which are also music of its own kind, in my opinion. But I’ve been always in love with harp, especially Celtic harp as I said, and loved to listen to it. And I’ve always had that dream about playing harp myself. Just for myself, to have fun. I’ve always been OK with having it just in the sphere of my dreams. Having in mind all my fruitless efforts with piano and guitar, I’m not even sure whether I’d seriously want to devote myself to studying it, after all harp is at least equally if not more difficult than guitar or piano, requiring a lot of dexterity and other things that are hard for me. Also Celtic harp is a niche instrument, quite expensive, the more that I woouldn’t be able to just teach myself how to play it, and would have to have a tutor. As I think about all my and my Mum’s trials to find language tutors for me, of whom the vast majority ran away screaming just after hearing that I’m blind, finding a Celtic harp tutor sounds ridiculous. So, I’d have a lot to dedicate, and I’m just not sure whether I’m really up to it. Whether I really want it seriously enough. I guess not, but if I had a chance and nothing to lose, I’d try, even just once, to feel how it is, as I’ve never even seen a harp, so if not because of anything else, than just out of plain curiosity. For now though, I think in this sphere my dreams give me enough satisfaction. What would I dream about if I could even play harp? Or if I learned that it’s something not for me because of my physical limitations? Dreaming about it probably wouldn’t be as pleasant then. And I love my dreams.

So, how about you? DO you consider doing it in the future or leave it in the sphere of dreams?