Question of the day.

   What’s a question we should never ask? 

   My answer: 

   My Dad has developed a really weird and kind of annoying habit over the last couple of years. If he’s gone for some longer time and only sees me when he comes back home, like after work or something, he’ll often come into my room and ask: “Are you alive?”, or if Misha is with me he’ll ask about both of us. I mean, obviously not. Which is often how I respond to that, or say that I’m just trying to figure that out myself or that I never was alive to begin with, he’s been just hallucinating, or that I’ve already started rotting so he’s extremely perceptive, but I’m starting to run out of ideas. And this has been, like, every single time for several years, like some weird, obligatory script! 😀 And it’s only something that he says to me/me and Misha, thankfully it’s not like it’s his standard, general way of greeting people, just a privilege for Bibiel. So that sometimes I start to feel suspicious. Perhaps he puts some mini doses of various poisons in my food and testing which one will finally do its job effectively but not too dramatically. 😀 

   What’s such question in your opinion? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   What irritates you the most? 

   My answer: 

   People who are so extremely touchy that almost whatever you tell or ask them is considered attacking, stupid, or otherwise inappropriate or whatever and react in a way that feels aggressive or oozes with huffiness. It’s hard not to get irritated in response to something like that so it can start a vicious cycle. Both my Dad and Sofi, for all their virtues, are like that. Sofi in particular. Like, when it’s the “wrong day” you can’t tell or ask her about pretty much anything at all ‘cause everything will be interpreted as personal attack and she’ll respond with an eyeroll and almost yell at you in a very unpleasant tone, or with emphatic silence. If you don’t know Sofi well, you may be tempted to try and be even nicer to her, thinking that perhaps she’s just had a bad day at school and, you know, puberty and all. But the nicer you’ll try to be, paradoxically the worse it gets. My Mum is a huge people pleaser by nature, so am I I suppose but I guess to a lesser extent, so even though we know about it, we often try to make her feel better anyway, but that just never helps. And no, unfortunately it is not something that has come up now that she’s a teenager, she’s always been touchy and moody and easily irritated like this even as a toddler. We can only hope that it changes as she gets older, because overall Sofi is a very cool and likeable girl if she’s in a good mood or if she wants something from you, with a lot of good traits, but this particular trait makes her quite a difficult person and potentially even toxic, especially over time if she doesn’t grow out of it, because such stuff can get worse with age. My Dad is a bit different in that it doesn’t always take so little to set him off, but once you do succeed (which usually happens to my poor Mum), it can even end up almost like a proper tantrum. And it’s always everyone else who is to blame for everything, never him, and the whole family and everyone at work and their dog is plotting and siding against him. I dunno, I’m also quite easily irritated, and most definitely touchy (thanks, AVPD), but what I don’t understand is spilling it out so much on the other people. For me it would kind of feel humiliating if I just broke down like that and started yelling at someone just because they dared say “Hi Bibiel” and I have a feeling that they hate me and are laughing at me inside their brain. If it wasn’t true, I would only make someone feel awful, and if it was, it certainly wouldn’t make them hate me less or would give them more of a reason to laugh at what a freak Bibiel is. 😀 

   You? 🙂 

My most cherished childhood memory.

   I thought that I would write another journal prompt-inspired post, this time based on a prompt from a book called 412 Journaling Exercises and Prompts for Personal Growth by Meredith Lane. I’ve actually already sort of used this prompt in my private diary in the past, but thought I’d also write about it on here, and the prompt goes as follows: 

   Describe your most cherished childhood memory. 

   When I was writing about this prompt in my diary, I found it more difficult than I would have thought it could be to think about the one, MOST cherished memory from my childhood. I could think of a lot of happy and pleasant and all sorts of positive moments from my childhood, but it wasn’t like right when I saw this question something would spring to my mind as being the MOST. I of course eventually did come up with something that felt like it could come up this criterion, but I assumed that the fact it took me so long was due to my brain being at fault, because apparently our brains are a lot better at retaining and remembering the yucky stuff that happened to us – provided it’s not so very yucky that the brain would rather get rid of it and suppress it – rather than the good stuff. Before I wrote this post, I decided to ask my Mum about her happy childhood memories. Partly because that’s what I very often do before or during writing posts like this, because we usually end up having long discussions on the topics of my posts and I end up seeing it from an additional angle, but also because I was just curious. My Mum has often told me that she feels like she doesn’t remember a whole lot out of her childhood and has a lot of gaps, and while I don’t think she would call her childhood unhappy and I don’t think one could call it so objectively, most of what she has shared with me about it sounds just a little bit unpleasant to me. The times in which her childhood happened to be – communism – her extreme timidity and anxiousness as a child, and her dad, who in all her stories, especially the ones she told me when I was a child, sounded extremely stern and even a bit scary to me – an ever-looming presence of someone who is physically present most of the time yet hardly speaking to his children at all, and if so, usually to scold or punish them. – It was all the more scary for me that he is so different now as a grandfather, and a better father to his adult children as well, and that extreme difference was unfathomable for me. So when I asked her this, she ended up having the same problem and couldn’t come up with anything specific for a long time. So I asked her whether she thinks it’s because she doesn’t have a lot of happy memories from her childhood. She said that no, it’s probably just that she doesn’t really dwell on her memories so much and has always lived in the moment for the most part, and also that while she has many nice memories from her childhood and remembers it fondly as a whole, she couldn’t really think of anything that would particularly stand out. So I told her that I had the same problem when trying to answer that question in my diary and that it took me a long time to come up with something, to which she reacted with: “Oh, but what sort of childhood you had, it was a nightmare!” Well, I don’t think so at all. I definitely couldn’t call it happy if I were to be truthful, but I think a nightmare would be not only a huge overstatement and taking all the good things for granted. And that was when it dawned on me that the reason why we find it so difficult to think about the best memories from our childhoods is exactly this – that our childhoods weren’t a nightmare. – If they were, it would be easier to think of the few situations that stood out as a lot better than what we’d be used to our life being like as a whole. From what I’ve noticed, people who have gone through extreme poverty, extreme trauma or other major adverse experiences in childhood, often tend to have a handful or even just one memory from their childhood that stands out in their minds as being a lot better than everything else what they’ve been used to. Having a full, warm meal, or someone treating them better than what they’re used to at home, or having a fun outing at school etc. For us, most people these are normal things! Still much appreciated, but absolutely normal. So even though we have many experiences of happy times in our childhood, they naturally don’t stand out so much, because it was normal to have a lot of yummy food, presents for every birthday, playing silly games etc. Etc. Whatever an average kid does. My Mum agreed with me and said that rather than having any particular memories that would stand out very much, when she looks back at her childhood she just collectively remembers all the fun she had with her siblings, the constant presence of her mum at home and how cosy it was, spending time with her best friend etc. Nothing spectacular. It’s quite similar for me, and I wonder how it is for you. 

   Nevertheless, as I said, I did manage to come up with a memory, well, a few memories, that I guess kind of do stand out, or at least based on some things I’ve later experienced and little cues I’ve had in relation to them I believe that they must really stand out for my subconscious for some reason, and in this post, I’ll reminisce a bit about them. 

   They are memories of  the few times when I got to ride home from school in my Dad’s tanker lorry. That was not something that happened often or regularly,  because  generally tanker drivers are not supposed to have passengers, unless it’s a fellow driver and they work shifts. Or at least that’s the case with delivering fuel which is what my Dad does. Officially, anyone who is to ride a tanker has to go through some kind of training so that they’ll know what to do should there be an explosion or something. However, the hours and days of my Dad’s work were always rather unpredictable, and he couldn’t always organise it so that he’d be off work to pick me up from school together with Mum the, hm, conventional way. Especially if something unexpected came up like I was sick or whatever. And Mum was back then too chicken to drive four hours to my school and back on her own. So what they’d sometimes do was they’d take me from school a bit earlier when it fit Dad. Or other times Mum would ask someone from our extended family to go with her and drive, and people often very kindly did it. But there were a couple times when the most viable option was for Dad to take me in the lorry, when he happened to be working somewhere in the area or driving nearby anyway and could logistically squeeze in picking me up. I also think that the restrictions around that must have been a bit different when I was a young child, or perhaps for some reason there was a difference between how different companies where he worked handled it, because when Olek and me were little it would happen slightly more often that he would take us and/or Mum for rides when he had to go somewhere nearby and one time he even took Mum and Olek for quite a long trip. 

   I don’t remember now how many times exactly I rode with him from school in the lorry, maybe three or four, but each time it happened I remember being extremely excited and euphoric about it. In my mind, it had a whole lot of pros to it, though I’m pretty sure that if I had to ride back to school with him in the lorry, I wouldn’t have quite so exciting memories from it, as that would likely mean that we wouldn’t even be able to say goodbye to each other properly and he wouldn’t be able to stay there at all and would have to leave right away. As it was, it was absolutely thrilling. It was usually something that was organised last minute so was a total surprise for me, and while I generally am not a fan of surprises, I was always happy to hear about one like this. Most of the time, particularly if you left school for some official holiday break rather than for a weekend or some personal reasons, the whole procedure of leaving could take really long and I really didn’t like it. Sometimes there were parent-teacher meetings, or parent-group staff meetings or other stuff like that, sometimes if it was something like the end of school year or Christmas break or something like that there would be a school play, and loads of talking and peopling and what not. Especially that my Mum often did feel the need to talk with my staff or teachers a lot, even without a special opportunity, and it was very much mutual because most people really like my Mum and could talk for hours with her. But if I left with my Dad in his lorry, it didn’t matter if it was the end of a school year or whatever, my Dad had a schedule that he had to stick to, so I had to pack in advance, he would usually inform everyone, including myself, at very short notice that he’s going to pick me up and I was to be waiting for him and as soon as he arrived we’d leave. Even if he didn’t have to count his minutes at work, he values his time very much and is a rather impatient person, and he doesn’t have the gift of the gab like my Mum does, nor the gift to listen. And it was just so unusual. No other kid, at least of those that I knew, had a dad who would pick them up in a lorry. So I felt super proud. 

   The first time it happened, I was in the nursery/preschool/whatever you’d call it, so I could have been around six or seven (yes, that blind nursery worked a bit differently and children there were older than you’d normally expect in a nursery, otherwise you’d have to send three-year-olds to a boarding school 😀 ). I believe I had to have an endocrinologist’s appointment and the easier way for my parents to organise transportation home for me was for Dad to pick me up in the lorry on his way back from work, so he didn’t have any fuel in there anymore, as he was meant to go through Warsaw anyway and my school was near Warsaw. He was only able to do this at night though, so I was to wait for him to come. I was usually excited at the mere thought of going home, but being able to stay up very late (which was something I was very much used to doing at home but not really able to do at preschool) and then drive through half of the country in the middle of the night had me properly thrilled. As a kid, I really loved riding long distances, learning about names of different towns and villages, the funnier the better, and, most of all, finding out what different radio stations were out there in different parts of the country. I remember that it all felt very unusual, when I was allowed to stay up, even after our regular staff left and the nightshift lady came  and all the other children fell asleep. I was quietly playing on my bed, with all my bags already packed, and listening to something on headphones and the wait felt really long, but at some point the nightshift lady came in and told me that my Dad had arrived. To my surprise, there was also some other guy there who turned out to be his colleague whom I didn’t know before, and I got a feeling that he ended up really liking me. I also remember that he gave me loads of oranges along the way and kept asking me if I wasn’t sleepy, as I suppose he found that weird that a kid my age wouldn’t be at such time. My Dad was driving, his colleague was sitting in the passenger seat, and I was on the bed. I kept chatting to them about all sorts of things that happened to me at school and whatever my weird Bibiel brain made up and they were laughing. At some point Dad told me that he had a surprise for me and gave me a chocolate bar called Jacek, this is a Polish chocolate bar which I believe is no longer even produced, but as far as I remember it was a type of nougat-flavoured bar. That was the first time I had it and before that I didn’t even know that  such a chocolate bar called Jacek existed and after that I only had it twice. Anyway, those of you who know about my Jackophilia can probably imagine that my euphoria was sky high at that point. I was all like: “WOw, world, people, hear me! There’s a chocolate bar called Jacek, have you ever heard anything more interesting than this?!” At some point though I guess I did end up feeling sleepy ‘cause the next thing I remember my Dad’s colleague had magically disappeared and we were quite close to home. We arrived very early in the morning and Mum was still asleep. Dad told me that it’s a surprise for Mum and that she doesn’t know I’m coming, which I’m pretty sure wasn’t the case but he just wanted to make it fun or something. So he went to load our furnace and told me to ring the doorbell so that Mum would think I came home by myself, and initially she was indeed quite surprised to see me there. 

   The second time I don’t really remember much about, other than I rode with my Dad alone and I think I was in primary by then and I sat next to him for some part of the journey and we were listening to Radio Bis. One incident from that journey that I remember clearly was that at some point the police were checking Dad’s car and I had to hide under blankets and duvets so that they wouldn’t see me. I found that extremely exciting and fun, far more than my Dad for sure, and I remember that it reminded me of how my gran told me that her siblings hid her in some sort of a container full of potatoes during WWII when she was four so that a German soldier wouldn’t see her and when they ended up not seeing me I felt like some sort of great hero. 

   The third time happened much later, I think when I was in my early teens. I remember I was having a properly rotten time at school in all sorts of ways for several weeks as well as a lot of anxiety and when I was coming back to the boarding part, or  however it’s called in English, after classes, and was thinking how could it would be if my Mum could make me a surprise and visit me this weekend or something. Well, then I had lunch, went to my room and was about to start doing my homework but looked at my phone before that and saw that I had several missed calls from Mum. When I called back she said that she and Dad are in his lorry and that I should pack my most essential things because they’d be for me shortly and take me home for the weekend. For a while I really couldn’t believe it. But they did come and I went home with them, despite there wasn’t really such need as there weren’t any holidays approaching and I didn’t have any pressing reason to come home like a medical appointment or something. That trip home was a bit less unusual and surreal because there was Mum, but still, I really enjoyed it as a whole. 

   And the last time that I remember riding back from school in Dad’s lorry was almmost at the end of my stay in that school, I guess I could be around sixteen or something. I can’t remember what was exactly the reason for that, but it had to be something important because I stayed home for a really long time. It was March-April time so it could be Easter, but our Easter breaks weren’t normally particularly long so perhaps I got sick or something, but I don’t remember getting sick during that break and I certainly wasn’t sick with anything when going home. I just remember that, again, I was having a really shitty day at school, though I don’t remember why exactly. I only know that there was some goalball tournament going on  that day or other sport event (goalball is a team sport for the blind) which I didn’t take part in myself but everyone was watching it anyway, and I was quite bored and it was dragging on for ages, and I was making use of all that time by ruminating on whatever shitty stuff was going on. Then I come back and go with my life as normal and at some point when I was in my room talking to my roommate my Dad called me. It was rather unusual for him to call me on his own accord because it was me who had free unlimited calling time set up with him so me calling him paid off more, and we rarely talked in the middle of the day like that unless I was either really bored or had some difficult Geography assignment. So I answered, a little surprised, and he said he’s going to be here literally in five minutes so I better get ready. I was absolutely euphoric. I went to one of our group staff to share the good news and asked her to help me pack but she wouldn’t even believe me. 😀 But I somehow managed to convince her that I was not making it up so she helped me and as soon as I was packed, my Dad was waiting downstairs. AFter the boring and extremely understimulating morning at school, now I was all super giddy and jittery and extremely happy. I could sit next to my Dad high up in the lorry and we chatted about all sorts of stuff. It was already after our relationship has started gradually straining more and more so we weren’t getting along anymore as well as we did when I was younger, but we could still chat about a lot of stuff and still can despite the strain and stuff. I was at first a bit stressed when he told me that we’ll actually need to sleep in the lorry overnight, as I didn’t know how I’d manage with stuff like showering and the like, but in the end I decided, oh well, I don’t even have to do it, I’ll shower when I’ll get home. I would much rather go home straight away than sleep in the car and wait SO long to get to my beautiful little Bibiel room, but in a way sleeping there was also kind of exciting. Dad slept on the passenger’s seat and left his bed for me. But while his sleeping conditions were probably even less enviable, at least he was sleeping, because I guess my Dad can fall asleep anywhere if he’s sufficiently tired. I meanwhile, couldn’t sleep almost at all. I kept wondering how anyone can manage to sleep on such narrow, small bed, if I, being fairly small and thin myself, felt like I was being squeezed between the bed and the ceiling and could barely move comfortably. I wondered how my Dad’s current shift colleague, who is quite obese, can get in and out of here and doesn’t get stuck. All sorts of vehicles were either driving past us, or standing near us with their engines running and once in a while people would be yelling something to each other. And, of course, my Dad was snoring, as if he was competing with all those engines or something. I’ve always liked some background noise while sleeping, but perhaps not SO much. I was also stilll fulll of beans and excitement. So rather than sleeping, I was reading Emily of New Moon, or just thinking about all sorts of things and generally feeling quite happy about life at that very moment. I think I did eventually get some sleep but felt very zombified when Dad woke me up. Which, with help of a few coffees, didn’t last long. (Gosh, I wish I could still have a few coffees in the morning and feel normal afterwards, I miss coffee so much!) We had some quick breakfast and then drove homeward, but first Dad had to tank a barge (it’s entirely possible that I’m using wrong English words here in relation to the whole fuel delivery stuff btw, I’m clueless about it even in Polish). So once we got there, he took me inside of it, and I got to wait for him in a room while he was filling it up and what not. I had my Braille-Sense with me and was reading something on it, and one guy who was working on the barge came over and started chatting to me and wanted to know what this thing was and how it worked, so I kindly explained to him the workings of a Braille-Sense for like half an hour, surprised that he has so much time on his hands at work, and ever so slightly annoyed that he won’t leave me alone to read in peace. He seemed quite impressed though. And then when my Dad was done we drove to where Mum was supposed to pick us up and she picked us up and we rode home. 

   I also rode many more times in my Dad’s various lorries for much shorter distances, but still long enough to feel thrilling. Now however I haven’t done it in years, despite he sometimes asks me, I guess just for the sake of asking, whether I’d like to, when it’s possible for him to do so. But I never do it, as we no longer really have the sort of relationship we had when I was a small kid. Things have changed a lot, and both of us have changed a lot, and the prospect of it no longer feels exciting at all. 

   When thinking about home rides from school with my Dad, however, one more thing always springs to my mind, despite it has nothing to do with lorries, but is a nearly equally pleasant memory. Namely, there was one such time in our family history when my Dad came to take me home from school by train. Unfortunately I no longer remember why exactly he had to do it by train, why not by car. Perhaps it was broken or something? What I do know is that my Mum had to have kidney stones removed and was in hospital, and that was why she, or they both, couldn’t take me home. That was a year before Sofi was born so I must have been nine years old. Ironically, it was Mother’s Day, and our boarding school group staff was planning some sort of meeting with parents and some sort of Mother’s Day celebration I suppose as well. I knew about it in advance that my Dad would come for me on his own and I found the whole idea hilarious that he would be sitting there in a chair, eating cake (he hates cakes and almost everything sweet), watching some sort of Mummy’s Day play and listening to ALL the stuff our boarding school staff had to say, when normally he could barely keep track of in which grades me and Olek were and how old we were and stuff. 😀 Also the idea of my Dad picking me up on his own by train and me coming back home with him by train felt absolutely weird and kind of funny, as I’d always only seen him as the driver, the one who is in charge of things, and you’re hardly in charge of things on a train. So he came, and I’m pretty sure that his patience was put to a great test, because, at least as far as I can tell, that whole meeting thing was really long. Until the last minute, I – who, as you already know, also don’t like such long-winded stuff – was hoping for his temper to break and for him to have a mini meltdown like he often does when Mum’s around and sulkily grumpily leave with me because he ain’t got all day or at least hastily explain to someone that he has to go to be in time for his train, but no. He sat there like a proper daddy, or should we rather say mummy, perfectly calm and collected. I was really relieved when we finally got to go, and I’m sure so was he. The journey wasn’t as very exciting as all the lorry ones, but it was really fun nonetheless. I just remember feeling very excited and happy about it and that I could travel by train with Dad, but no clearer details really. The only thing I remember more clearly was that at some point there was a guy going round selling light beer and I asked my Dad if light beer is anything different than just beer and if not than why call it light beer, and we ended up having a whole discussion about beers, not just light beer, and how different beers are called, and then for some weird reasons we went on to cheeses and their names, but I have no recollection of how the transition from beers to cheeses took place. 😀 Sadly, Dad was not able to provide me much information on what the differences between all them cheeses were in taste. 

   So that’s it, these are my most cherished childhood memories, at least those that I remember and that came to my mind first. 

   How about yours? Do you have any that stand out, or is it also difficult for you to come up with anything? Do you agree with my theory that people with more or less normal or at least not extremely traumatic childhoods have less of an ability or perhaps need to cherish good childhood memories because they have loads of them compared with people with very traumatising childhoods? Would love to hear thoughts, and memories. 🙂 

Enya – “Athair Ar Neamh” (Father in Heaven).

Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you another song by Enya, one that really resonates with me, mostly because of how it sounds. It’s just so extremely beautiful. It’s inn Irish Gaelic, and the English translation, which I’ve taken from the Enya Blues website but which I believe come from the album notes or something like that, is below: 

 

Father in Heaven, God help us.

Father in Heaven, God help me.

My soul, my heart, my voice

praise to you, oh God.
Long is the day, and peaceful,

long is the night without gloom,

happiness, joy, love,

praise to you, oh God.
I praise you from day to day.

I praise you night after night.
Father in Heaven, God help us.

Father in Heaven, God help me.

The moon, the sun, the wind,
praise be to you, oh God.

 

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

Hi hi people! 🙂

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

Question of the day.

What is one thing that your parents taught you, that later turned to be totally wrong?

My answer:

For me it’s generally so that it’s my Mum who is more of an authority for me than my Dad, and our views on a lot of things are generallyy very similar, which is extremely fortunate since we live together and do a lot of things together so it would be tricky if we were clashing a lot more, and it’s not as smooth for a lot of other families I know, but also when I want to talk to her about something that I don’t agree with her on or confront her about something she’ll be able to have an open-minded discussion, and she’s also not the type of person who would insist on always being right and never was, she is capable of saying things like “I’m sorry, I really thought it was like this but now I know it’s not”, or we’ll simply accept that we’re on totally different pages about something and move on. My Dad, meanwhile, is more of an authoritarian type, rather than authoritative, he has generally a problem with admitting anything wrong on his part in any relationship, so he always insists on being right, but because like I said I’ve always seen my Mum as more of an authority, and Dad wasn’t involved so much in our upbringing and was more the breadwinner, even if he did tell me things that I was supposed to somehow learn or believe in, I would usually take it with a wee grain of salt from quite early on, because Mum was always more right, and sometimes what they were saying was right down contradictory. 😀 It’s not that I didn’t take my Dad seriously, I do for example consider him my go-to expert in geography or the history of WWII, he was just simply a bit less of a role model for me. I remember that my Dad would often say very generalised, stereotypical things about people, from a very narrow point of view. For example, I can vaguely recall asking him about what does a philosopher do exactly, and he said something like that nothing really, philosophers just think all the time, about things that don’t need that much thinking anyway. I think I found it interesting that someone would do nothing but think all the time and about meaningless things and consider it a valid job, so I guess I must have been asking some more questions or something, anyway what I can recall very clearly is that at some point he said that a philosopher is someone with whom it’s really difficult to communicate. I don’t think I know any philosophers, but whenever I think about it now as an adult I find it funny, where did he even get that from? I’m pretty sure it can’t be the case or even if it often might be, it certainly isn’t the fact that someone is a philosopher that makes them difficult to communicate with, or maybe it’s just difficult for the other side to communicate with them because they have a different way of thinking. Anyway, things like these, my Dad has a lot of such assumptions. Often, when you’ll talk to him calmly without trying to impose your point of view, and try to get him to think on his own, he can see beyond them, but some are really deeply ingrained, and yes, that has a harmful potential, because stereotypes can be very harmful, but usually the main reason why I think it’s such a pity is because it makes his thinking quite inflexible, and his view of people must be rather uninteresting, while I think that people, as much as they are a pain to socialise with and totally regardless whether I like them or not, are interesting as such in their diversity and complexity.

How about you? 🙂

Billy Lockett – “Covered In Chaos”.

So, guys, I’ve planned in advance what I was going to share with you today as part of the song of the day series, but just now, after posting Jack Cullen’s song, him being one of my most newly considered faza candidates, I had a sudden realisation. I’ve never showed you the most promising faza candidate so far. I mean, he’s no longer an actual faza candidate, he was a potential one back in March, but he used to be a very strong one and I haven’t had a better option ever since.

His name is Billy Lockett and he is from Northampton. He is a classically trained pianist, although he makes pop, mostly acoustic, music, (mostly sad songs about love 😀 ). Yeah, super normal, I know. But I really liked him. Actually, I still absolutely do! He just never ended up being my next faza subject, although it was very close to that. After all, although I really desperately need a new faza, I am kind of glad it was this way.

Of course I came across Billy on Spotify, and what first made me interested in him was his bio, which I think was written in an interesting way – it’s not bragging about yourself in third person but is actually quite raw and seems very natural. I’ll actually paste it here, hope it’s not illegal or something, just like I mentioned it’s from his artist page on Spotify so you can’t find it there as well:

 

Hello I’m Billy Lockett. I’m a piano man. I grew up in Northampton with my crazy hippy dad. He encouraged me to have a career in music. Things started to happen, I was playlisted on Radio 1 and went on tour supporting Birdy, Lana del Rey and KT Tunstall.

Dad died. I stopped everything and came back home. Went off the rails a bit. Got a cat. Spent the next 2 years in the cellar of my dad’s house writing songs. Grew an afro accidentally.

Moved to probably the smallest room in London. Played every open mic night in the city for a year. Sold out my first headline show. Got signed. Cut afro off. Went off the rails again. Got help. Performed on Made In Chelsea as Josh’s baby shower gift to Binky (obviously).

Toured with Lewis Capaldi and Electric Light Orchestra. Put my own tour on sale. Sold it out. Broke up with my label. Broke up with my Girlfriend (well, she dumped me…on WhatsApp).

Moved back to my dad’s old house (with cat). Wrote and recorded Reset EP. Became mates with James Corden. Performed live on the Late Late Show. Got new managers. Self-released a modern classical piano-only album. It charted and got played on Classic FM. At the same time a DnB track I sang on was getting played on Radio 1. Made History as the first artist to do that.

Put Reflections EP together. Loved every song. Felt empowered. The songs were written during a darker time. But now I’m feeling really good. This EP is me reflecting on how far I’ve come, and to celebrate where I’m going..

I listened to him and thought his music was really good and very emotional and, even though it’s all about love, mostly romantic love, which is something very foreign to me, it somehow struck a chord with me and I thought it would be super cool having a faza subject like this, and also who has a cat. I also really like the name Billy, so, well, why not?

The song I’m about to show you moved me particularly much and I thought it must be about his late dad. I read somewhere that, again, it’s to do with a breakup or something, but I am nevertheless sticking to my theory that it must be about his dad and saying that it’s about breakup is just more mainstream-friendly, it just doesn’t make sense as a breakup song. Then again I’ve never been through a breakup, and, based on how many songs about it and similar topics he has, he must have a lot more experience, which I feel deeply sorry about.

What I liked about him next was that I saw something he did on YouTube. He went on the streets and asked people anonymously what do they think of Billy Lockett’s music. I thought that was so brilliant and did requite some distance to yourself, and he seemed to even handle the criticism well although some of it was rather harsh to me. I also found some interview that was made with him, which was all about things to do with sleep. And he mentioned a very relatable quote there: “Sleep is like a cat, it only comes to you when you ignore it”. It is from “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. I didn’t know neither the quote, nor have ever heard about Gillian Flynn, but thought if he even quotes something like this, he must be some sort of an akin soul to me. 😀

Even though I find love the most boring and unrelatable song topic in the world, I also quite liked the melancholy of his music, and his piano play.

But I felt really ambivalent for the first few days after learning about him and didn’t really know whether I am going to have/having a faza on him or not, so that’s why I didn’t write about him on here right away, and later on it all just really faded.

In the end, just like I said, I guess it’s actually a good thing I didn’t end up having a faza on him. With all my respect and liking for Billy, I think it wouldn’t last all that long anyway, as it wouldn’t be all that inspiring and brain nourishing as my previous ones have been.But such small, short-lasting or even not fully developed fazas are useful, pleasant and fun too, and can be helpful with some self-exploration. Also it was nice to have such a light in the tunnel during the time without major fazas.

Anyway, here is this song of his that I find the most moving, it is definitely my most favourite song of his and I love that it is about a different kind of love, or so I think it is. 😀

Question of the day.

How big is your family, immediate and extended? Is one parent’s side of the family bigger than the other?

My answer:

I guess my family is pretty big, even my immediate family, for today’s standards. Apparently, families with just 3 children or more are officially recognised as “big” in Poland, and we have something called Big Family Card, which entitles members of big families to discounts on public transport or cultural institutions tickets and such. There is my Dad, Mum, me, my brother Olek and my sis Zofijka, and our cat Misha and dog Jocky, but they must cope somehow without Big Family Cards as they don’t travel at all so I guess that’s why they didn’t get them. As for my extended family, well my Dad has four siblings, and my Mum has three, and only one of my uncles on Dad’s side doesn’t have children, all the rest of their siblings do, so in total, on both my parents’ sides, only their siblings’ children/grandchildren, I have… let’s do some counting, it might take a while……… 23 cousins, if I’m thinking right, 27 if you count their spouses since they’re colloquially called cousins too. I think though that my Dad’s family is bigger overall, as his parents have both had many siblings, my gran had like 10 I guess. Or maybe I just have that impression that there is so many of my Dad’s relatives because I don’t know them quite as well as my Mum’s family. I lived with my Mum’s family for most of my life so naturally I’ve seen lots of her aunts and uncles and cousins and all visiting, if not us, then my grandparents, at least so that I know who’s who in theory, but if I’d meet my Dad’s cousin on the street, I don’t think I’d even recognise them, let alone know what their name is or what exactly is the familial relationship between us or what they do for living. My Dad knows all of them though and where they live and what they do, and all the complex affinities. They tend to have kinda unobvious nicknames that they go by, which adds to the confusion, I mean usually Polish nicknames from names are very obvious, but in my Dad’s extended family’s case, their real full names are often quite different from what they’re called, they have a talent for making up very harshly sounding diminutives and spoiling names that are quite pretty in their original full forms. 😀 I guess in a way this must be a Kashubian thing, as my Dad is Kashubian. Somehow though, I have an impression that while my Dad’s side is bigger, it consists largely of middle-aged to elderly people, unlike my Mum’s side where there are weddings and births happening relatively frequently all the time and there are children of all ages. But still, despite being smaller, my Mum’s family is big, quite interesting and spread all over the country, and a little bit abroad.

How about your family? 🙂


Question of the day.

Here’s another childhood/family related question I have for you.

Were you closer to one of your parents than another? Has it changed in your adulthood?

My answer:

It was differently at different times. I had a long time as a kid when I was closer to my Dad. He was, and still is, though not to such a degree as in the past, getting along with me the best of all of his children, which, as I later learned, was largely due to the fact that I was blind. I hated it so now I’m no more as close to him personally because I find it a weird reason to favour one of your children more than the rest because she’s blind and not at home most of the time. 😀 But before I found out that little piece of info, and especially when I was a little child, we used to spend a lot of time together, he even played with me, went to the beach just with me, we had quite a lot of things to talk about and were almost on the same wavelength. My Mum was more neurotic at that time, and while I definitely loved her, I wasn’t as much into being around her as she was easily irritated and not as fun to talk to. Then things somehow changed, and that thing I learned did influence it too, and our relationship with Dad became somewhat distant and still is a bit. But I think even without that thing about my blindness, it’s really hard to interact with my Dad, he is a good person, but has a really difficult character, gets incredibly suspicious easily and is very hypersensitive and now it’s him who is way more irritable than Mum, you just have to tiptoe around him, never criticise and always do what he wants if you want things to stay calm, so sometimes it’s better to not interact at all for a while. My relationship with my Mum has deepened a lot since my adolescence but especially in the last 5 years since I got out of the boarding school and we’ve both opened up a lot to each other and, well, are just spending more time with each other now when it is possible. We are in a lot of ways like friends, or in any case best listeners for each other haha, even if we don’t really understand each other in all things. And we always have stuff to talk about. I don’t know if something with me has been going on or if my Dad’s bad traits and annoying habits have worsened over the last year or so but recently our relationship has been really suffering, at least from my point of view. I feel really annoyed by him most of the time, he just pisses me off, so I prefer to avoid him sometimes in order not to let my irritation show too much. I frequently catch myself feeling relief when he’s going to work for a few days, or looking forward to him leaving for longer, and then I feel like a monster for feeling so, because it doesn’t seem to have any particularly strong reason other than he gets on my nerves, sometimes just with his presence.

How about you and your parents? 🙂

Karolina Czarnecka ft. UV – “Ronja”.

Hi guys. 🙂

I thought I’d share with you another song by this Polish singer, from her last album. The rest of her music is much less widely known than the song I showed you yesterday, which I think is a pity, but on the other hand I guess it’s better, good things shouldn’t fall into the same bag with all the mainstream, or usually shouldn’t, as it doesn’t do much good to them. ANyway, if you’ve ever read “Ronja The Robber’s Daughter” by Astrid Lindgren you can easily guess by the title itself that this song is inspired by the book. Because I really like Astrid Lindgren, and because I think Ronja, just as all Lindgren’s character, is very inspiring, I really like this song. And it just sounds good.

Janice – “Answer”.

Hi guys. 🙂

The song I have for you today is from Swedish singer Janice Kamya Kavander, known simply as Janice. She’s becoming very popular in Sweden, and there is something powerful in her voice. I am generally not like a big fan of very soul-like sounding voices, except for Amy Winehouse and maybe a couple other people, but I do like Janice and her expressiveness. And I must say this particular song really moved me when I heard it.

It is about, or to, Janice’s dad, who died five years ago. For me, when I first heard her, she sounded rather mature, as her voice is so strong and expressive, but turns out she’s only 24, so she was 19 when her dad died. That’s very early and no wonder it affected her even more than it would affect someone later on in life. And this song is so full of expression, I think it’s hard to not feel even just a little bit moved. There are lots of versions on Youtube, but I like it particularly in the acoustic version, which is only on Spotify, so, again, I have to only give you the link to Spotify.

Squabble.

There’s been a lot of squabble

in our house lately.

Zofijka’s friend’s been coming a lot to us to play with her this week. They can play well, but they are both completely diffeerent and they’re often arguing. They literally change their minds about each other every minute, which can be both funny and annoying for an outside observer. Everyone around needs to be engaged in their squabbles, and that can piss you off at times, however we’ve learnt to look at it with some distance now.

What worries me much more is that my Dad is recently in a very squabbly mood. Usually the person he argues with is Mum but now he can literally find a reason for a squabble in anything, even things that he liked before are now wrong, all is wrong, every reason for complaining is good and every reason for starting an argument is good for him, and he is generally very conflictive, shouty and irritable. Don’t know what’s going on. I do know though that it pises me off greatly. Recently whenever he gets back from work the atmosphere in our house becomes heavy and unbearable, and I’d say rotten, if you can define atmosphere this way in English.

What pisses me off even more is that today is Father’s Day. Couldn’t he hold back his moods just for today? Why are we supposed to accept it? Zofijka runs to him – “Daddy, Daddy, happy Father’s Day!” – and he stands like a marble statue and only mumbles – “Uhm, tanks”, which honestly sounds more like, “F… off” (well, maybe I’m exaggerating, but it certainly felt discouraging).

I’m particularly mad because of our Mum who is mostly dealing with his moodiness and with whom he argues most often and says hurtful things without thinking much. I guess he doesn’t mean most of them, but I know it hurts her. Since I got back home four years ago my Mum is very happy because she has someone who can listen to her different dilemmas. And I am happy to be her listener, I like to listen to people, unless they’re not too boring. And because she tells me a lot about how she feels I know that his grumpiness is hard for her to live with sometimes. My Dad isn’t always like that, but can be pretty often and then Mum feels it the most, everyone would feel very uncomfortable in such situation. I’m just so frustrated with him, so I’m making use of the fact that no one of my close family knows English so I can get it out of my brain.

Zofijka has finished her school year yesterday. She has very good grades, as for her. But he didn’t care a bugger about it. I asked him by the way whether he’s seen her grades, but he just mumbled that he didn’t, in a way that showed his lack of caring more clearly than the words would. Again, it’s not his normal attitude to Zofijka, but imo he should at least pretend the interest. That’s shitty. I mean, if he likes being grumpy and not happy with anything, than OK, it’s his choice, he has the right to feel however he wants, but why others have to deal with it too? Such people really drive me crazy.

I hope he will be so kind to consider changing his attitude to others soon, or maybe they’ll send him for a longer route and he’ll come back more communicative. He really annoys me right now and if it wasn’t Father’s Day, I think I would just tell him something abut it, though maybe I shouldn’t. But on the other hand in some way I have more influence on him than the rest of us because he’s always liked me the most of his children, God knows why, I guess because I was his first child, and because most of the time I was away from home so when he missed me, he idealised me or something. I think his irritability is passing on to me a bit, also because I’m having a Zombie day after no sleep at all. I think I’ll cool down soon, anyway what I surely wouldn’t do, I definitely wouldn’t let it out on people around me.

OMG what a rant! That’s normally so not like me! :O I didn’t plan it to look this way.

 

Amason – I Want To Know What Love Is.

We have Father’s Day today. And I thought we need a special song in this mishmashy world to celebrate it. And actually I had quite a dilemma what to pick. Thought about something from Vreeswijk’s repertoire about his relationship with his son, I couldn’t think about any song in all my extensive music collection that would talk about fathers, fatherhood, at least not in the way that I could relate to. Also, my Dad’s music tastes are COMPLETELY different than mine so while me and my Mum can have some common favourite songs or even artists, it’s definitely not possible with Dad. And the purpose of My Inner MishMash is to share with the world things that I enjoy, or that move me in any other way, so there was no way I could share my Dad’s favourite piece. But then I realised there is that song, but, um, how were they called… The F… yeah! The Foreigners! and my Dad likes that song they’ve made, that was such a hit – “I Want To Know What Love Is”. I will forever associate it with him. He says it’s his favourite song. I am not big on the original, for me it’s nothing particular, like it’s not bad, but nothing I could really like.

But, the Swedish band called Amason, have made a cover of this song. And it is beautiful. In fact, I like it enough that I put it into my Swedish playlist on Spotify with my most favourite Swedish songs. I think what makes it so good in their version is the vocalist – Amanda Bergman’s – voice. I really like it. I like how a bit husky and dark it is, but also that she has quite a wide vocal range. So this is my choice for Father’s Day. A sort of compromise between our tastes! And because I listen to this song quite a lot, I often have my Swedish playlist turned on silently at night, my Dad has heard this song a few times before. He says it’s not as good as The Foreigners’, but it’s cool, as for a cover.

Question of the day.

Which is your favourite holiday of the year and why?

My answer:

Honestly? I don’t know if I have any really favourite holiday. I always liked when any bigger holidays came when I was at school, firstly because I could go home, and secondly because I didn’t have to go to school and do all those boring things. But at the same time I’ve always kind of disliked any holidays because then it meant I’d have to be in front of many other people – my family, but still, a lot of them – visit them very often, eat in front of big groups of people, sit behind the table and be so damn bored hearing them talking about the same things every time. Nothing exciting. And now, I have another reason to not like holidays, I feel. My Dad, he’s going just insane recently. I always knew he has paranoid tendencies and is this kind of pessimist who is simply toxic to their surroundings, wanting everyone else to feel what he feels, so not be happy of anything, think what he thinks, like what he likes and do what he does, and very egocentrical at the same time, but I’d never think it would become so strong in his personality. He is just toxic to all of us, of course my Mum suffers the most. And, since we moved to our current house more than a year ago (we lived with Mum’s family on one backyard before) our holidays are just so listless, languid and sluggish and mournful as my Dad is recently. He was resentful for all the world for some reason that only he knows and was either grumbling at everyone, or complaining about anything and everything, or sleeping in front of the TV, or poluting the atmosphere in any other way. I mean, we, or at least me, and I know my Mum too, tried to not care about it and other than that my Easter time was very nice overall, but he just pisses me of so much and, if I’m honest, scares too, and this is the way our holidays look always since we moved here. And not only holidays, but holidays in particular because he doesn’t go to work then, so the only people he can intoxicate are we, although I don’t know if he does it to other people too, or just reserves it for his family. I also don’t want to say he’s all bad when I say he’s more and more toxic and seeing himself as perfect and everyone else as the worst and wanting to harm him, but things are getting worse and worse and he’s getting on my nerves pretty much lately, so that I consciously avoid him all the time, which I didn’t do even a year ago. I’m afraid to think what it will be like in let’s say 10 years, or even sooner…

So yeah, holidays are nice, but I don’t have any most favourite and I am as much glad when they come, as when they are over.

What is your favourite holiday? 🙂

Suspicious.

My Dad is very suspicious

by nature. So suspicious that I often even call him paranoid. He was suspicious as long as I can remember, always thinking that all people around are cheating – on him, on us, on the whole world. Of course, especially media, politicians, health services, Mum, Internet… but in fact, more or less, everyone. He has always had a very hard relationship with Olek – my brother. I’m sure he loves him, but he always treats him like kinda black sheep and whatever he would do is automatically perceived as absolutely wrong. It was always a significant issue and a reason to worry for my Mum.

My Dad isn’t a man you could have a really deep discussion with, as much as I love him I have to admit he has his views, prejudices and so on so any deeper conversations usually won’t make much sense or even may cause an arguement. But even though sometimes it happens that we talk about more deep stuff, as he likes to talk to me. And sometimes I talk to him about what I’ve read in a speciffic topic we are chatting about. And then he is usually like: “Why do you think they are right? Maybe they just want to manipulate people. Maybe they have paid to write this and not anything else?.” And such thinking makes me feel helpless. I mean – sure, there are lots of manipulative people, manipulative strategies in media, some form of manipulation is probably almost everywhere, not necessarily to make us any harm, but if just everyone is manipulative, what should we believe in? Or why actually should we believe in anything? Why does he believe in God? Maybe it’s just one big cheating? You know, I’m not assuming it is indeed, I am Christian as well, but, thinking the way he does… everything looks so pointless, doesn’t it? Just think, everybody is a total cheater, there’s no one to trust in the world, you have only yourself, well, I wouldn’t even be so sure if he actually trusts even himself. It looks so depressive. And thinking about it, about what my Dad’s reality looks like, makes me depressive, even if it’s not really my reality. I am sorry for him that he chose to live in such an unsatisfying way. But I can’t change it. It is only he who could change it and although he’s grumping so often, he doesn’t seem to really want it.

I am also a pessimist although I think my pessimism is more of a defensive kind, you know, I prefer to be ready for the worst even if everything looks like it’s going to be all good, but that’s how different life circumstances made me and I like to think about myself I still have have the ability to be happy and appreciate even pretty small things and I don’t really like to complain in front of other people, I just find it pretty weakish, anyway when I do so. But my Dad’s pessimism, for me, seems to be only all about grumping, complaining about others, about other people’s dogs peeing where they shouldn’t, not doing anything constructive with his life and thinking almost only about bad things that are happening to him. What frustrates me, he never seems to be really glad of anything, or, more exactly, I suppose he must have some moments when he’s at least a bit happy, but he can’t show it and it really can piss off people around him if they try and do their best to make him happy or at least to make him appreciate what we do for him. Personally I feel like he always kinda favoured me the most in comparison to my siblings, so I didn’t feel it that much directly, but I’ve observed my Mum and my siblings who have  tried a lot to satisfy him and no one and nothing seem to be good enough which makes them discouraged, and me frustrated for them. Now as he is getting older, although he still isn’t old, all these traits seem to deepen, and he doesn’t even see it. I really do love my Dad and with years I’ve learnt how to act with him, but he’s going more and more annoying and challenging for us. As my Mum put it recently while talking with me – he wants to be mentally old. He is in quite good condition physically, but mentally gets old extremely quickly. He’s not even yet in his fifties, but looking only at his personality traits, I doubt anyone could guess it.

But what exactly did I want to say in this post? No, its main purpose isn’t complaining at my Dad, not even letting out my emotions related to him and his difficult and challenging way of being.

What sometimes concerns me, when I think about him, about what he’s like, is that although I think I can’t say I’m grumpy or really overly demanding for people, I see a lot of his traits in myself. actually more than in my siblings. I think, characterwise I am more similar to him than to my Mum, whereas my siblings are rather more similar to her. She says so too. And although of course he has also a lot of good traits, sometimes I am afraid. I am afraid because as far as I can remember I had issues with trusting people, not as he has, but rather in the way I’m always pretty distant to people, even those I want to be close to. I have always had the tendency to be depressive, to overthink, to feel hopeless. I am often very stressed out about small things and always very unsettled by any major changes in life, no matter if good or bad. I am slightly obsessed about my privacy. And I often feel ridiculously suspicious about people in some situations, which can be really mentally exhausting. I know that lots of situations in my life, often very early on, helped my to develop all that and it’s not only the case of just genes or the thing that I wanted to be like this, and my suspiciousness differs from his, but I’m afraid. I’m afraid that someday, when I’ll be let’s say the age he’s now, I’ll realise that I am like him. Overly suspicious, cautious and not letting people to like me. That my life will be as hopeless and empty as his is, or seems to be for me. That I will clinge to my stupid daily routines like he does now in fear of just any changes. Luckily I don’t have such temper as he has so I think having such impressional tantrums won’t be my domain. 😀 It is Zofijka’s. 😛 and actually I always try to avoid this thought because I really don’t like to think about it and I feel like it’s a bit ridiculous to be afraid about such odd things which could only happen in very distant future, , but I can’t help I’m afraid about it. isn’t it a total paranoia to be paranoid about being paranoid in thirty years? 😀