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 – “Anywhere Is”.

Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you this quite cheery song from Enya’s 1995 album The Memory of Trees. It originated as some staccato piece with a marching feel to it, only with backing vocals, and Nicky Ryan (Enya’s producer) and Enya herself rejected it from this album at some point, but then Rob Dickins from Warner Music had a listen to it and really liked it, seeing the possibility of commercial success in it, so they ended up including it on the album. As is often the case, Roma Ryan’s lyrics were inspired by the music and written later on, and are about finding your home. Which, as Enya said in an interview, resonates with her a lot, because she only feels like she can compose music in Donegal, where she’s from. 

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

Hey guys! 🙂

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

 

Led lights from a window

through layers of haze

A smell of freshly baked rye bread

traces of solicitude and life

Summer-bleached sheets

In a nice, freshly made bed

Is this what it feels like

To come home

Years and miles of longing

Have brought me to your door

I inhale this freedom

That lifts guilt off the back

The song is playing on the radio

With a beloved, known chorus

Is this what it feels like

to come home_

Days come go

The despair lasts for years

In mould that died the spring is blooming

A sigh for every step

I was ready to give up

But then you came

Like a long awaited, beloved friend

Is this what it feels like

To come home

The air after thunderstorm

Like starting over from scratch

The mask I once wore

Has now played its role

With you a circle has closed

Now that time becomes too long ago

Is this what it feels like

To come home

Days come go

The despair lasts for years

In mould that died the spring is blooming

A sigh for every step

I was ready to give up

But then you came

Like a long awaited, beloved friend

Is this what it feels like

To come home

Remains of a closed down track

With fireweed and sly

A deserted building plot, a thicket of nettles

Once the world was new

What caused the hope to escape

Led lights from a window

through layers of haze

A smell of freshly baked rye bread

traces of solicitude and life

Summer-bleached sheets

In a nice, freshly made bed

Is this what it feels like

To come home

Days come go

The despair lasts for years

In mould that died the spring is blooming

A sigh for every step

I was ready to give up

But then you came

Like a long awaited, beloved friend

Is this what it feels like

To come home

Like a long awaited, beloved friend

Is this what it feels like

To come home

Question of the day.

How many times have you moved house?

My answer:

Two. The first house we lived in was built by my parents and grandad some time after my parents married. My Dad didn’t really have the best job situation and it didn’t look like it was about to change any time soon, if ever, he also worked a lot abroad, and my Mum was studying before I was born but she didn’t really have the heart for it to begin with. After I was born, she felt she needed to stay at home with me, she started getting the benefits because of being my caregiver, but the strange thing with caregiver benefits in Poland is that they think once you become a caregiver, your only identity and your sole life purpose is being a caregiver, and if you even start working part-time or from home or something, your whole benefits will be taken away from you, even if you make a lot less than what you receive from the benefits. When I went to school the authorities did take the benefits away from her because apparently I was no longer under her care, but, with no higher education aand Olek being born, it would be even more difficult for her to find a job then. So my Dad, me and my siblings got used to the state of things, she accepted the situation and never ended up finding a paid job and has become a home manager as she calls it, and holds this position to this day. Thus, at the beginning of their life together, my parents struggled financially, so it was just a small house, with a kitchen, a living room and a very small bathroom downstairs and one big room upstairs which was my parents’ bedroom, and after my and Olek’s birth it was ours too, there was enough room for three beds, each in a different corner of the room. So I didn’t have my own room until I was 10, which I remember really amazed some of my school friends. 😀 My parents still considered themselves lucky – well, at least I know my Mum did – because they got to live close to my grandparents, they had help with the house building, a huge backyard they could use, they didn’t have to pay any rents etc. just for the heating, which would probably still be a lot less than if they had to move somewhere else and live in a flat or something like that. – My Dad’s financial situation improved drastically after a few years – my Mum often says she brings people luck and here it definitely sounds like it must have been the case, because I’m sure it wouldn’t happen without her intervention. – My parents were thinking about moving somewhere else entirely, but then my grandparents encouraged them that they could just build a new, bigger house on top of theirs. That sounded like a good idea to them so that’s what they started doing, but the whole process got complicated by several things, and also in the end it turned out not to be such a great idea. The family dynamics – with my Mum’s family – have changed in some respects, my Mum’s sisters started their families and decided they’d happily live on the same backyard as well and the more people, the more conflicts y’know. – Also the plan of how my parents wanted this house to be like didn’t fully work out. The whole building process was dragging on forever from what I remember, my parents were very stressed out and I was convinced that it would just never be built. 😀

Finally we moved in there shortly after Sofi’s birth, although we were basically forced to move out of our previous house asap so the new one wasn’t fully finished yet. Olek and Me had our rooms downstairs, mine was huge, and my parents had their bedroom up in the attic and after some time a small room for Sofi was added next to it. Sofi, however, didn’t spend much time there beyomd sleeping, as she much preferred playing downstairs close to Mum, and even if she napped during the day both she and Mum much preferred if she was somewhere closer so that Mum, or anyone really, could hear her crying. When she got a bit older Mum was also concerned that she would fall from the stairs or out of her crib when no one would be up there. I don’t remember if that was the ultimate reason why, but eventually, after about four years, we switched rooms with Sofi, to both of us’ euphoria and delight. I actually preferred living up there a lot more. This room had a nicer atmosphere to me for some reason and I made friends with it right away. I liked how it was so small and quiet and friendly and seemed more my style in terms of design, while my previous room was much better suited to Sofi in this aspect. I liked that I had practically my own loo up there – it was a small room inside my parents’ bedroom but they only used it at night, and it was perfect when there were a lot of people downstairs and I didn’t want to have to deal with them just for the sake of ging to the loo. The only downside was that the ceiling in there was very low so for the first few months, the first thing I’d do after getting up was hitting the ceiling with my brain, and sometimes even later on if I’d be too sleepy and forget about it being so low and get up quickly. So I’d often use that with people as a reason for why I’m so weird. 😀 Sofi, meanwhile, was also very happy to live downstairs and have enough space for all her toys and a huge wardrobe for all her clothes, which she always loved acquiring and changing as frequently as possible, or just having them for the sake of having.

The situation with my Mum’s family kept getting hotter, perhaps no dramatic arguments or anything like that, but all of us started to realise that, while family is a great thing to have, it’s also good to have more space between each other, or things can get quite unnerving and people get each other in the way, trying to be the one in charge, lecturing each other’s children and “borrowing” each other’s things indefinitely without the “lender” even being present at home. Such small things, over an extended period of time, can get extremely frustrating, especially if you’re the type of person my Dad is, with a heightened sense of individuality and need for territorial sovereignty. So my parents started thinking about finally buying a house elsewhere. Well, actually, they did almost ever since we’d moved to this second house. At some point they found a house in the town nearby that they kinda sorta liked, nothing special in itself but, in my Mum’s opinion, who is very interested in interior design and people has always envied her the skills in this area that she has and how differently our houses always look from everyone else’s, said that it could be made into something a lot better than it is. This is where we currently live. The whole process of moving here was never-ending as well, due to a lot of formal and familial issues, and rearranging a lot of things inside and out. We would probably also linger with this a lot longer, if not the fact that the furnace in our previous house broke suddenly in late autumn, and we knew we’d be about to move in a few months, so my Dad didn’t feel like buying a new furnace, therefore we used a… gosh, I think I knew how it’s called in English but now I can’t remember, either a compressor or a supercharger I think, anyway, we used that for space heating and that obviously wasn’t ideal as it couldn’t go on 24/7, and even if it would, we’d probably go deaf. 😀 So most of the time it was quite interestingly freezing and that definitely made us move out sooner, after about a week I guess. There is no tradition of naming houses in Poland, but my Mum did call our house Acacia River, since we live by the river, it’s flowing through our backyard, and our street is named after the acacia trees, which inspired my Dad to plant a lot of them here. This is definitely my favourite of the three houses we’ve lived in, although at the beginning I was sure I wouldn’t be able to love a house that other people lived in previously, and it wasn’t just me feeling this way. But of course over time we’ve made it feel ours and I guess it likes being ours too since all the people who’d seen it the way it looked before, when the previous owners lived in here, vs now, they say it’s a lot more beautiful. I like that it’s spacey and has its own spirit, and I love my room very much, and that we don’t have to share the house or the backyard with other people, not even family. I like that we live in a town so it’s close everywhere, yet because we live in the outskirts it’s really quiet here, no traffic, and actually feels fairly rural because it’s very green and there’s a park close to us, plus a lot of people actually do either some kind of gardening or farming here, so we didn’t feel like it was a major transition moving here from the countryside. 😀 But I also think I simply like this house the most because so far, living here has also been the best time in my life.

If you wanted to be exact, you could probablyy say that I moved around a lot more, because I was going between home and boarding school for many years, plus at school I’d also moved buildings in which I lived a couple times while staying there, but, while that contributed very strongly to my feeling that I was constantly on the move which I definitely didn’t like, I don’t think any of that counts for proper house moves.

You? 🙂

My favourite place.

Today, I decided to do a post based on a writing prompt that I got from the PaperBlanks app which is the following:

“One place I always feel happy is…”

I don’t know if happy as such (I’ve generally got a bit of a dilemma with the word happy), but there is definitely a place which cann often make me feel happier, because it is a place where I feel safe and where I know I can be myself and do whatever I feel like doing, and which my brain associates with happy things generally. This place is my room. It’s a place where I always recharge after peopling, where I go to when I want to be alone, where i do most things in fact that are important to me, from writing to learning to working to sleeping to daydreaming. I have a real connection with it and lots of good memories, even though I’ve only been living for four years in here.

I have no pics to accompany this post, but I thought I’d describe my room a little for you, so that you could have a bit of an idea.

Both me and my siblings live upstairs. When you go up here, the first door to the left is the bathroom, and then, next to it, there’s my room. One thing that I don’t like about it is that the walls here are rather thin so that I always hear people in the bathroom, which is particularly annoying when someone is showering as there is a whole lot of noise.

It has a green, flowery wallpaper and is quite girly in terms of the design I’d say. I have a double bed – which used to be Sofi’s because Sofi is taller than me and it was clear years ago that she was going to end up taller than me so Mum wanted to get her a bed that would serve her for years, but I don’t even remember now why it ended up in my room, anyway we switched beds with Sofi and I love double beds so I’m happy with that. – Sofi now doesn’t sleep on the sofa that she got from my room anyway, because she has like two rooms, one inside of the other, and recently she has arranged her bedroom in the smaller one, on the matress, it feels more atmospheric for her and she actually has a more comfy bedroom now. Anyway, I’ve got the double bed, which means I have the space for Misha’s bed on top of it as well, and all my many pillows and other things, and can toss and turn as much as I wish, which I tend to do a lot. Misha’s bed is in the far right corner of my bed – it is a basket –

Right next to Misha’s basket, there is my bedside cabinet. There is also my power strip that is fixed to it, which is more practical because this way the cables don’t get tangled too easily and I can use my devices more freely when I’m in bed which I do a lot. My bedside cabinet has three drawers, where I have some of my clothes and things like PJ’s, meds, cosmetics, important documents that I use regularly, Misha’s treats etc. etc. it’s real messy in there. On the cabinet, there is another, more fancy cabinet where some of my gem stones reside, as well as my gem stone figurines, and some other knick-knacks that I have and that just look representative in there because this cabinet has a glass so people can see what’s in there and often get very hyper about my stones if they see them for the first time. Others are in a sort of cassette that my grandad made for me for this purpose, or in boxes. On the sides of this cabinet there are little shelves and I often also put some things there, but what is there pretty much permanently are some saintly statues that I have, a little picture of Our Lady of Ostra Brama, a statue of st. Hyacinth, and of st. Michael Archangel, and I have my rosary on there as well, while on the other shelf there are cards that I got from people over the last couple of years. As for religious stuff there is also a picture of The Last Super on the wall above my bed that I got for my First Communion. Up on the gem stone cabinet hangs my Bluetooth speaker, which I now always use at night to play some music or radio from my iPhone, which is so much better than listening on the computer which I used to be doing for years and it was okay, but my current computer is quite loud, and it’s not particularly pleasant at night really to sleep in so much hum, it feels like in some sort of a laboratory or something. 😀 On the bedside cabinet I’ll typically also have my water bottle there, right now there are hyacinths that I got for my birthday and a mug and a pot of tea.

Right next to the bedside cabinet there is my desk with an office chair. On and under the desk there is the computer (I have a desktop one, Braille-Sense, and a salt lamp, just to make it look nice, I think salt lamps are really cool. There is also a hand-made box that I got from Sofi where I keep some things that I need to have in close proximity but don’t want them necessarily to cluter the desk space. There’s also my Bluetooth keyboard for the iPhone although I use the Braille-Sense to navigate the iPhone screen far more often, and my Bluetooth headphones are there as well. There are also drawers where I keep all sorts of work documentation of my Dad’s or other papers, tons of Braille paper sheets which I don’t really use because I don’t use a Brailler all that much anymore for anything but Braille paper is expensive so it would be a shame to throw it away especially that it does come in handy sometimes when I still do need to write something, or sometimes Sofi uses it for something when she needs a thicker paper, some stationery supplies and ready-made Christmas cards that I got from my Mum when I started sending out cards to people but before I came up with MIMRA, I usually use these when I send cards or something to people outside of MIMRA, loads of cables, pen drives, SD cards, and currently also a lot of candy that I got for my birthday.

To the left of the desk, there is a window. I have both curtains and external blinds, which can be quite helpful in the summer, because my window is west-facing and my room heats up super quickly even when it isn’t hot but just very sunny outside, and it also helps when it’s very windy. On the windowsill is Misha’s observation point, you can see a lot of interesting things from here. When he gets weary of the outside world, he can go to sleep in a little basket that is standing there.

A brand new addition to my room is a big armchair which is standing between the window and the cupboards, which my Mum got somewhere last week because she liked how it looked, but didn’t really know where to put it, and eventually decided it would fit my room best. Previously I used to have a very old armchair that used to belong to my grandma decades ago. It was mostly used by people like my Swedish or English or math tutor when they used to come here, or anyone who would be visiting. Because I no longer have tutors or anything like that, and don’t have much of a need for using the armchair myself, I’m perfectly happy sitting on my bed or on the desk chair, its purpose will probably be mostly decorative, as it apparently looks really well, and my Mum likes to sit in here when she comes to my room to vent about life, which she does regularly. 😀

Then I have cupboards where there are all the other of my gem stones, another energy strip which is fixed on the inside, which I use for charging devices that I either don’t need to charge very regularly or don’t use all the time. There is also my OCR scanner, different documents of mine, some only archival like from schools, some that are actually useful sometimes. Up on the cupboards are my books in standard print, the ones that were able to fit in my room. I don’t really have a good place for storing books in here, and there isn’t really a good place for a proper bookshelf apparently either, so most of my books are on Sofi’s bookshelves. The books that I have in standard print are mostly either Swedish children’s books that I got in Stockholm at Junibacken, or books about names, and some books with fairytales and myths from all around the world – – and my Polish-Swedish and Swedish-Polish dictionary, and some other Swedish and even Norwegian books that my Mum got in a second-hand clothing shop (yes, you read that right, that’s where my Swedish tutor found that you can find ridiculously cheap Scandinavian books and my Mum had a look and found loads of them that no one was interested in, only she never could figure out which were Swedish and which Norwegian so I’ve got a lot of both, and I’ve never read the Norwegian ones or even scanned them in full, even though I think if I set my mind to it, I could, it just sounds like a lot of hassle, and I’m not motivated enough).

To the left, there is a wardrobe where there are all my clothes, and on top of it are some cartboard boxes where Misha likes to go to sleep, particularly when he’s somehow overwhelmed and doesn’t want anyone to see him. There is also myy old Brailler up there.

What is a place that you feel happy, or just safe in, and that you like? 🙂

Question of the day.

What is the best holiday you’ve had without having to travel very far?

My answer:

Most of my holidays turn out good, and I hardly ever travel very far. I like to travel once in a while if it’s not too draining and not too much socialising meanwhile, and if I’m not forced to walk aimlessly around places like museums which usually hardly interest me, but I like to stay at my own home even more. I don’t feel the need to travel often, and, while it’s often a lot of fun to travel, it’s usually very stressful for me as well. I am hardly ever bored in my own company and so I don’t really need loads of special events or changes around me to have a nice holiday, often it’s actually the other way around and I feel overwhelmed by too much adrenaline. And I love to braintravel, it’s just as much fun! So I think, overall, all my holidays so far have been good, though of course there have been fantastic and dreadful moments.

How about you? 🙂

My ideal home.

What would my ideal home look like?

I really like our current house, and I think I’d like to have a lot of things the same way as here.

I’d like my ideal home to be in Wales – it could be in any of my favourite countries but I think as for living long term, I’d choose the UK, and most willingly Wales, particularly north Wales, especially if it could be somewhere in Gwynedd, perhaps in the countryside. I’d like it to be rather bigger than smaller, but not very huge, definitely not bigger than my current house, and this one is rather big. I’d like it to have the “feel”, you know, that you just want to be there, I’d like it to be atmospheric. My Mum is the best interior designer I know so I’d ask her to arrange it for me. It would be a vintage house, with a mix of old, kind of retro things, and new ones. I’d like it to feel cosy. I think I’d make my room in some calmer colours, it could be green as my current bedroom. I wouldn’t have ANYTHING red in my house, but kitchen and living room would be in more warm colours, just to make it more comfortable and homely. I would like my house to be as natural as possible – stone, brick and wood, no artificial stuff or as little as possible. And I think a more natural house would fit the place much better. I’d like it to have a big terrace on which I could go from my room, and from the terrace you could go into the garden, as we can here. Yes, I’d like to have a big garden. If my family would move with me, my Dad wouldn’t be able to exist without a garden, as gardening is his newly discovered passion. That’s all I can say at the moment, but I am sure that if I was building my ideal home, I’d have much more detailed picture of it.

 

Question of the day.

Where do you get most of the decorations for your home?

My answer:

Sometimes in secondhands, sometimes in various shops with some interesting trinkets, sometimes in our nearby Indian shop, and sometimes my Mum makes decorations by herself. It also depends in which room, cos for example Zofijka has a very typical teen room and all is from Ikea, or my brother has hardly any decorations.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

Which of these describes the average state of your home/room/place of residence? (no judgment attached to these, not from me anyway).

a) very neat and clean, with minimal stuff

b) reasonably neat and clean, but with plenty of stuff c) clean but messy

d) just messy

e) other – pls expand.

My answer:

Definitely C right now, and most of the time. I like it this way though. I am not a perfectionist and I like to be messy if it doesn’t disturb my life in any way and if I am a creator of the mess ’cause otherwise it’s annoying obviously ’cause when someone else makes a mess it’s much harder to get inside their brain and figure out where they could put something I need right now, So, well, my room is just like me. 😀 It’s fairly clean though because living in the dirt doesn’t seem as appealing as living in the mess, lus my Mum is an OCD (colloquially speaking, but wouldn’t be surprised if seriously too) so everything has to be clean, otherwise she’s unsettled and life is pointless. When someone was coming to me though, like my maths tutor or my Swedish teacher, my room was always at least B, but it was my Mum’s work.

How about your space? 🙂

Home again! (whew)

Hhrrru?

Misha here. Does anyone of you have a present for me? It’s Cat’s Day! My humans didn’t have anything, hence my question. But I’m pretty sure you won’t have either, so will be glad enough if you’ll send me your best wishes. Even my humans wished me all the best and lots of yummy food. Btw, isn’t it genuinely vicious to wish a cat “lots of yummy food” and not have anything for him? ‘Cause, literally, I didn’t have anything today besides my usual cat’s food. Heyyy people, Lent isn’t for cats! And they don’t seem to fast a lot either, they had chocolate ice cream today. But I didn’t get my Mishy ice cream, not even any cat crisps. They constantly say I’m selfish, but they are far more selfish and not empathetic at all. If I am selfish, they are malignant narcissists, I don’t know what it really means, it’s not a cats’ thing, but I think it sounds very selfish-like and my human Mum called someone this way recently on the phone and Zofijka asked Mila what it meant and Mila said that basically that someone is selfish and malicious. So just like my human family. Does anyone of you guys have a cat? If so, please wish them happy Cat’s day and all the best in their lives and all the afterlives from me Misha Hhrrru? . And please, don’t mistreat them. I’d love to meet your cats. I’ve already told you I don’t know any cats in person, only my Russian blue Mum and a few siblings, but I almost don’t remember them, so at least online relationships of any kind would be a nice idea.

But actually I wanted to tell you about something positive that happened to me yesterday. I need to start from the morning though, which wasn’t particularly nice and I was in a very meowy mood. And my mum was in a bad mood too. You know that although I love people and sometimes can be very cuddly and feel people very well, I am also very wild as for a pet. I like close contact with people only when I allow it and feel like having it. But it’s hard when you’re the only cat in the hous of 5 people. I don’t like when someone picks me up and holds in their arms or snuggles for too long or touches me for too long or sometimes I may even feel scared when someone reaches out to me. And I felt this way yesterday when I came closer to my mum, but didn’t feel ready for a very close contact with her yet and she reached out her hand. I freaked out and ran away. And she got mad at me. She kept asking me if she ever did something wrong to me, if she ever harmed me in any way. Of course not, but I think I can’t help my reactions sometimes, sometimes they can’t too. But obviously I couldn’t explain it to her. So she said I annoy her and that she doesn’t even want to look at me. Yes, I don’t like close contact, I don’t like when it’s too much fuss about me, but such frosty indifference was too hard for me – a Russian blue tsar – to stand. So I was sniffing her and jumping around her and meowing at her and looking very emphatically, but she either didn’t react at all or just kept saying “Go away you bloody lone wolf I don’t like you anymore”. And I was sad.

Everyone did their own thing, but I didn’t have anything to do so was just walking around aimlessly meowing. I’ve told you that not so long ago I had my cartoonboard house on Mila’s table. It was my safe place. I could always slip in there and sleep through even the entire day and no one cared. Mila’s room is very quiet and I like it, she’s there most of the time, so although I’m alone in my house, I still aren’t at the same time, because she often strokes me and we hear each other and can talk to each other when we want to. It stood there for a really long time and although I have many hideouts allover the house as you know, this was my favourite. You know, like you may have lots of favourite places that you like to visit on holidays or whenever you have some free time, but there’s no place like home. And there’s only one place you can call home. But at the beginning of the winter Mila started to have some allergy and she is theoretically allergic to me, but it never really showed up, so she says she’s allergic to all the cats’ fur besides mine. But when she started to have that allergy, she and mum were wondering what’s causing it and tried to eliminate different things… And as nothing seemed to help, mum thought that maybe my house may be somehow a reason. There was a lot of my fur after all and my saliva and it was collecting a lot of dust. So, mum took it away. And put it somewhere high in the cellar. But even if I could climb up to it, it wasn’t my house any longer. Mum put out the textile that was inside and cut off the door, so it was no longer cosy and private and safe.

And if you think I forgot about that house and found my home somewhere else, you’re very wrong. It was traumatising almost for me. I had my soft and warm basket on the radiator in the living room, another basket on Mila’s window where I had my observatory and research station, a basket on Mila’s bed where I could sleep at night, different baskets on the wardrobes where no one could see me, but none of these felt like a real, lifelong home. So I often felt like I don’t know what I want or where I should go, I was literally homeless. And those stupid people didn’t know what’s going on, I had to live that way for months.

And, when I was walking so aimlessly yesterday, not knowing what I really want and longing for my home, Mum got even more pissed off, went downstairs to me, picked me up and threw to Mila’s room and told me to sit in my basket and sleep. I was sleepy and tired, but no, I won’t sleep at anyone’s order, definitely not. So I ran out and kept crying. Mila asked mum what’s going on and that I’ve never cried so desperately and whether I am maybe sick or something. I heard mum saying that she will lock me in the cellar if I won’t stop meowing. That wouldn’t make any difference for me. I would keep crying, but they are so selfish and didn’t want to hear it.

Then finally… mum started to wonder. Maybe he’s so unsettled because of that house, maybe he wants it back. Mila said it’s surely not the case, but then my heart jumped high from excitement. Mum went down to the cellar and… took my lovelly little house out! I was so thrilled. I was sniffing around as she stood it on its place. And I couldn’t believe it. I slipped in, and fell asleep.

And I am still lying here. Of course, not all the time. I went out a few times to eat something and to see if they have something special for me today. I am so happy I have my old new house back. Now it’s even more fresh and cosy, ’cause mum washed my sheets and made new door, that old one wasn’t tight enough, I think now.

It’s so great to be home again. Only I’m wondering. Was it really so difficult to guess?