The Birthday Weekend Share #70

It’s weekend share at Trina’s, and a very special one. Her birthday is tomorrow! If you feel like mingling a bit, pop over to her and don’t forget about a present. 😉

Its good to be crazy Sometimes

It has pleased me that this weekend share has landed on the 70th anniversary. For those of you who have forgotten its my 21st birthday (again, I have forgotten how many times I have celebrated 21 now) on Saturday. There is still time to send all your cards and presents 😉 I have very little planned, but thats the way I like my birthdays.

blog party1

If you have never done this before, give it a go, you lose maybe 30 seconds of your life adding a link and you never know who might see it, I will, my mum probably will, so its well worth it.

As everything is life there are rules, if you are new or just need reminding here they are

Rules are very simple,

  1. You can share up to five links
  2. They can be a post, your blog, someone elses post or blog
  3. You can comment on…

View original post 189 more words

Question of the day (20th January).

Hi guys. 🙂

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

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

My answer:

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

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

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

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

Let the light in – Lucia morning in Sweden

I’ve always thought that st. Lucia day celebrations in sweden are such a beautiful and interesting tradition, I think we should steal it and have in Poland too! Anyway, I thought I’d reblog this post for you my readers so that those of you who might not know about this holiday could learn a bit about it. We don’t have any particular celebrations of saint Lucia here in Poland as I said, although she is quite well known as a patron saint of the blind. And we do have gingerbreads at many homes at this time of year because Christmas is coming, but we are more restrained than Swedes and no one eats them yet. 😀

Watching the Swedes

A Chinese proverb says this,

‘It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness’.

Never was this more true than today. Lucia day. At the darkest time of the year, when we all are drained by the black mornings and afternoons in Sweden, Lucia pays us a visit. With candles in her hair and surrounded by her handmaidens and boys in a procession, Lucia shines light into the dark depths of our spirits. And slowly, slowly, the day awakens.

I love Lucia. Long live Lucia!

Lucia traditions are celebrated in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Malta, Bosnia, Bavaria, Croatia, Slovakia and St. Lucia, West Indies. But where does she come from and why is she one of the few Saint’s days celebrated in Sweden?

Santa Lucia is believed to have been a Sicilian saint who suffered a martyr’s death in Syracuse, Sicily around AD 310…

View original post 338 more words

Question of the day.

What is an art form you admire/respect, more than like?

My answer:

Quite hard to say. I think I pay more attention to details like how a piece of art is done and who did it and for what kind of purposes than just simply to what kind of art form it is. I love books, but I can’t tell you I love all kinds of books, right now I am at the stage when I’m pretty picky about what I read, despite I read all the time. And I love writing but can’t say I just love writing for the sake of just writing, I prefer some forms of writing over others and I’m better at some than at others. But well I think I could say I love books and writing and I definitely respect people who are good at writing and have a real gift for it.

Another kind of art I generally like is music. But I also wouldn’t rather say “I love music”. I’m pretty versatile as for what I like to listen to, but still, I won’t listen to all kinds of music with the same love/admiration. And I almost hate doing music on my own, my fantastic school discouraged me from it by constant encouraging or actually forcing, so even if I have some gift for it, I no longer care about it and as I’ve told you before I feel much more in the right place as a listener (or let’s say critic, as it sounds so sophisticated and wise :P) of music. But OK, overall I can say that I love a lot of kinds of music, it definitely does speak to me, so maybe I can generalise it and just simply say I love and admire music and people who make it.

Then I have a bit of a soft spot for sculpture and it’s because of my grandad who has sculpted quite a bit in his life in stone and wood. He’s a very versatile man, you know, he seems to be a jack at everything – from medicine, to fishing, to building houses, economy, farming, philosophy and science, nutrition, to sculpting. He’s kinda intellectualist, but also very practical and a bit artsy. And since we’ve always got along pretty well, he often showed me his sculptures which he doesn’t do for many people and I always loved them. Visual arts aren’t very accessible for the visually impaired, but sculpture is a bit more as we can at least feel it, if not recognise what it represents. So I’ve always felt like sculpture is something I am a bit fascinated with, but at the same time is still kind of enigmatic for me.

What I also can say I admire, going back to music for a while, is playing harp. Gosh, when someone can do it, I just love them! I love harp so so much, no matter if it’s a classic harp, Celtic harp, or even Finnish kantele, I like many kinds of harps, although Celtic harp rules. So yeah I absolutely love to hear it and I’m a bit jealous about people who can play it but admire them a lot at the same time.

What art forms do you admire or respect?

Meinir Gwilym – Hen Gitar (Old Guitar).

Hi all! 🙂

Yes, again, Meinir. I hope you aren’t bored. Actually, honestly I would be a bit surprised if you were because it is just sooo beautiful! I really feel like I need to share some of her music. Hope you’ll enjoy this as much as I do. 🙂

Meinir Gwilym – Pa Loches? (What refuge?)

Hi lovely people! 🙂

Thought I’ll show you more of this fantastic singer, Meinir Gwilym, because I just love her music and my love seems to grow. Only yesterday I decided to buy her whole discography. When I decide to buy someone’s whole discography, it’s an honour, 😀 I do it very rarely.

This song is just so beautiful and stunning, one of my favourites from Meinir. Hope you’ll like it too. 🙂

Meinir Gwilym – Y Funud Hon (This moment).

Hi! 🙂

Time for sharing some Meinir Gwilym’s songs with you, I like her so much, I think she’s one of the best Welsh language musicians of this time. She is also a broadcaster. This song is just lovely, the video has the lyrics in it.

Friendly Fill-Ins.

This week I am also participating in Friendly Fill-ins, hosted by 15AndMeowing

and

MCGuffy’s Reader

Here are my fill-ins:

For Easter (or Passover), I… spent time with my immediate family.

2. My favorite Easter (or Passover) treat is… my Mum’s pierogi with cabbage and white sausage.

3. Lately, the song… “Grey Is All” by Elin Bell, is stuck in my head.

4. The A-Z Blogging Challenge… is something I’ve never taken part in and heard about it for the first time this year. I observe how this challenge goes for a few bloggers and it looks like fun.

 

Alys Williams – Glory Box.

Hi all! 🙂

I decided I just need to show you another song by this fabulous girl. Remember her from my previous posts? I showed you guys her singing a song in Welsh with the rock band Candelas and then also her blind auditio on “The Voice”. I just think she’s so brilliant.

Here’s the cover of the song “Glory Box” by Portishead she did. I love it!

Frida Ånnevik – De Dagene Jeg Mister Ting.

Hi! 🙂

So the song for today will be in Norwegian, for the first time. Norwegian doesn’t belong to my most most favourite languages, but is close to the top 12 or something like this, of the languages that I love the most, mainly because it’s so close to Swedish and so intelligible if you can’t speak Swedish. My Swedish isn’t perfect definitely, but still I can communicate and I can understand more or less in Norwegian. I really like this song. Frida Ånnevik is a daughter to a Norwegian singer Tor Karseth. Hereäs the songÖ

Callum Beattie – We Are Stars.

Happy Easter everyone! 🙂

Yes, happy Easter, I’ve just come back from Holy Saturday celebrations so actually it’s Easter. We had Zofijka’s Easter muffins already. They’re so yummy. But that’s not what I’m going to talk about in this post. Wanted to share Saturday’s song of the day before the day finally ends.

It is brilliant. I like Callum Beattie. He is a new-ish artist, comes from Edinburgh and although he’s pretty young, his music is ambitious. Here’s the song “We Are Stars”.

Calfari – Gwenllian.

Hi! 🙂

Today I have a song for you made by a young, popular Welsh language rock band called Calfari, called Gwenllian. I really like it. Plus Gwenllian is one of my favourite Welsh girls names, and girls names in general. It originates from a word gwen which means something like “white”, “fair”, “blessed” and the word llian, which means “flaxen”, and it was borne by a couple Welsh medieval ladies who have become more known for various reasons. I like songs with names in them and this one is really cool.

Billie Marten – Ribbon.

Hi guys!

I discovered this artist pretty recently and am a bit surprised why not earlier, because she’s so much my style. She’s great. And this is her newest song, as far as I know.

Billie Marten (Isabella Sophie Tweddle), comes from North Yorkshire and makes acoustic/folk music. As so many other famous people these days, she started with her own Youtube channel. It was mainly dedicated to her grandparents who lived in France, but many people started to watch her, singing covers of various songs. Now she’s 19, and she was born on the same day as my Zofijka, only that 8 years before Zofijka. And her middle name is Sophie! 😀 For those of you who didn’t catch it, Zofijka is actually Polish for Sophie. A propos names, isn’t it cute that she goes by nickname Billie for Isabella? I mean, I love Isabella, as well as Billie on its own is very charming for a girl, but it’s very nice and creative to make Billie a diminutive of Isabella, I wouldn’t think of that honestly. So here is her song, “Ribbon”.

Cadi Gwen – Nos Da, Nostalgia (Goodnight, nostalgia).

Hi! 🙂

Today I have for you a debut single by a Welsh artist Cadi Gwen. It’s very popular in Welsh language music world all the time, and I like it too.

Karine Polwart – Daisy.

Hi people! 🙂

Did I ever told you I always have some music turned quietly on while I’m sleeping? I do. Either some music on Spotify or just some radio in one of my favourite languages where they talk as much as possible in this language. It is because, although I’m kind of a loner, like having me time, love my peace and quiet etc. I also have some weird and creepy fear of silence which most often gets in the way at night. I guess that’s an equivalent of sighted people being afraid of the dark, although I don’t know any blind people who’d have it the same. So I need at least some friendly sounds around me. Not too loud, ’cause I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep at all obviously, but just enough to feel a bit safer. Plus I’ve heard years ago that if you listen to the language you’re learning while you sleep, it apparently helps your accent. I wouldn’t believe it, but I tried, and, although I generally pick up accents quickly, I suppose it is also a bit helpful.

And sometimes when I have Spotify on it happens that when I wake up I instantly discover something new and beautiful so that’s good as well.

But this night I didn’t discover anything new, instead I reminded myself about a song which I’ve loved for years and which I really do resonate with. I mean, maybe not now, but I used to. So I thought I’ll share it with you.

About a year ago or so, I was talking about different things with my Mum and then she asked me in context to what we talked about before, if I had an opportunity to meet my younger self, or just tell her something, what would it be. I wondered for quite a while and I said I didn’t know at all, but then after a few days I thought I know what I’d do. I’d show her this song, because it’s like especially for a very young me. 😀 During the years that passed I’ve changed quite a lot, well, radically, I was a rather talkative and very open kid, a little bit shy, especially with many people, but generally I loved meeting new people and quickly attached to them, although I preferred to talk to people older than me than my peers. And I loved to be the centre of attention, well, anyway I was the centre of attention in many situations. Many people who know me and who heard about me back then, or even look at my pictures or stuff, can’t believe I was this way. And although I haven’t associated this song with me before, as I thought about it for the first time, I just knew the lyrics are just about me from the very past and I still think so.

But they might also be about many more people, so maybe you’ll resonate with it too.

Karine Polwart is just so great and versatile. She is a Scottish singer and songwriter, she’s a folk singer. Her own lyrics are usually tough, or rather, they regard tough things. She writes about things like alcoholism, genocides, people dying in Auschwitz, among others. Or just simply, like “Daisy”, about some darker shades of the world.

She’s just brilliant and so is “Daisy”.

Maxida Märak & Downhil Bluegrass Band – The Mountain.

Hi guys! 🙂

I still haven’t written about my favourite music from Lapland, so today it will finally happen. I love Sami language and I love Sami music. The song I want to show you is an effect of colaboration between brilliant Maxida Märak – singer, actress and human rights activist from Swedish Lapland, and Dowhill Bluegrass Band, who are a Swedish band making bluegrass music. Maxida is good both at doing contemporary music as well as traditional Sami yoik. She is particularly interested in Sami people’s rights. Actually, Sami people have quite a lot of famous activists, but that’s no wonder for me, their rights definitely seem underestimated by some. “The Mountain” is actually a cover, but Maxida made it a protest song. It is a protest against exploiting Lapland’s teritory and it’s resources and against threatening the industry of reindeer herding by opening mines in the areas where these animals are grazing. It is actually surprising how Maxida – always associated with hip hop and club music and Sami yoiks – found herself in bluegrass. I am not a big fan of bluegrasss, like I have many more favourite genres, but I really like the album that is the effect of Maxida’s cooperation with Downhill BB.

Here’s the song:

Capercaillie – “Fear a’ Bhàta” (The Boatman).

Hi all! 🙂

Today will be something in Scottish, Scottish Gaelic. I think it’s not very difficult to guess if you’re around here for a while that Scottish Gaelic is also one of my favourite languages, the more that I’ve mentioned it a few times already. 😀 It’s such a beautiful language. My first contacts with this language took place when I was about 12, just exploring Celtic folk music, mainly Irish and Scottish then, and, as I never heard this language before, I was greatly astonished that people can talk/sing this way anywhere in Europe, it sounded very weird to me and me and my school friends were laughing at the lyrics, which of course we didn’t understand at all, but we heard lots of funny Polish words or phrases in them and we were wondering what they really sing about. 😀 Now I’m a little bit more conscious, otherwise I don’t think my love for Celtic folklore and languages would survive this long.

So Capercaillie is a Scottish band founded by Karen Matheson and her partner Donald Shaw in 1984 and it still exists. They make folk Celtic music, but in the way I like about folk – mixing traditional instruments with more modern like electric guitar, bass or synths, and generally mixing old and new. Their music is both in Scottish and Englis, also Karen Matheson did a few solo albums. The name Capercaillie comes from the name of a native Scottish bird which is western capercaillie.

The song I’m sharing is a typically traditional, very famous Gaelic song in Scotland, caled Fear a’ Bhàta, which means The boatman. It is a love song, written by Sìne NicFhionnlaigh, or in English Jean/Jane Finlayson (literally daughter of Finlay) in 18th century. She was in love with a guy who was a boatman and looks like the times when she wrote this a bit maudlin song I’d say, were hard for their relationship. Nevertheless, apparently, things got settled down not very long afterwards and the couple married happily.

Although I know a couple more or less common phrases in Gaelic, I definitely didn’t know what’s this song about, so here’s the translation from Wikipedia

:

O Boatman, no one else
O Boatman, no one else
O Boatman, no one else
My farewell to you wherever you go
I often look from the highest hill
That I might see my boatman
Will you come tonight, or will you come tomorrow
Oh sorry will I be if you do not come at all
My heart is broken, bruised
Often tears are running down from my eyes
Will you come tonight, or will I wait up for you
Or close the door with a sad sigh?

I often ask of the boatmen
If they have seen you, if you are safe
But they all tell me
That I was foolish if I gave you love.

My darling promised me a gown of silk
That and a fine plait
A golden ring in which I’d see a likeness
But I fear that he shall forget.

Although they said you were flighty
That did not lessen my love for you
You are in my dreams at night
And in the morning I ask for you.

I gave you love and cannot deny
It’s not love that lasts a year or a season
But a love that began when I was a child
And that will not wither until death do take me.

My friends say often
That I must forget your image
But their counsel is as unfathomable to me
As is the returning tide.

I am all too sad and tearful
Like a white swan that has been torn
Sounding her death-call on a small grassy loch
Having been forsaken by all.

Here’s the song:

Yr Angen – “Revolver”.

Hi guys! 🙂

As long as I know this band Yr Angen, I really like them and they occupy quite a special place among the Welsh musicians I like. Why? Who knows… Hm… actually, there might be a few reasons. First of all, I love their alternative style. I love their guitars, I don’t know, they just are a young band, objectively probably not that very very different from other rock/indie rock bands besides that their lyrics are Welsh, but whenever I hear them, it always awakens something inside me. Even when I didn’t have a clue about their lyrics (and I’m still far from advanced and don’t even feel like intermediate in Welsh yet so my knowledge in this topic is still limited) I resonated somehow with their music. Another thing is their vocalist. That’s a weird thing really. People who know me well and whom I’ve told something about my recent crushes can notice that they sound and are masculine, I’d say. They voices are quite rich and expressive and they’re everything but androgynic as people. So if you know this and hear this guy’s voice, you could easily assume he’s not my style at all ’cause, being honest, he sounds a little bit childish, doesn’t he? Honestly he reminds me a bit about the vocalist of another Welsh band, to which I don’t listen that often, but my friend used to like them a lot, namely Budgie. But there’s something… hm, I’d say charismatic, in this combination. These wonderful guitars and all and his voice. It’s very speciffic, but I just like it. I especially like him in more rock-ish songs, like this one, I like him screaming for some reason. But oh well, his name’s Jac! 😀 Doesn’t it explain everything?! For those of you who don’t know, since I was a little girl I’ve always liked people named Jacek, Jack, Jac, Jackie, Jacqueline, almost whatever with Jac, even if not related etymologically with each other. I think they are cool names and all the people I’ve known with these names are (usually) cool, and even if not really, there’s always something about those of them I know to admire or like. This is probably because my Dad’s name is Jacek. So yeah Jacs rule! 😀 and his Welsh accent (this Jac’s from Yr Angen, I mean) is cute. I suppose, which doesn’t mean I know it, that he isn’t a first language Welsh speaker, because when I heard him talking he and his band colleagues seem to have rhotic r before vowels in Welsh and sometimes he has typical English o like in go at the end of Welsh words. And although there’s nothing more appealing in the Welsh language than a northern accent (especially my crush Gwilym’s 😀 ), it really is cute, although not heard so much as he sings.

Yr Angen means the need in English. They are from Swansea in South Wales and members of the band are Jac Davies, Jamie Price, Gareth Jones and David Williams. The song I want to share with you – my favourite song by them – is called Revolver. There are a few live versions on Youtube, but in this case album version is definitely the best and it’s not on Youtube, so I’ll link to Spotify. I only wonder why didn’t they release more than that one album years ago and I really hope it will change. Let me know what you think, whatever you think about it.

Bryn Fôn – Y Bardd O Montreal (The poet of Montreal).

Hi guys! 🙂

I’d like to share with you the second song from this singer, Bryn Fôn. It comes from the album “Abacus” and I really like it although it’s been some time since I’ve heard it for the first time. The video on YOutube has the lyrics so I think I won’t go into this.