Music Monday Care & Love – Elaine Mai – Enniscrone.

Hi lovely people. 🙂

A bit late this week, I’m taking part in Bee’s

Music Monday Care & Love.

As a self care suggestion, this week Bee invites us to start a journal, or generally focus on journaling, which I find awesome, because I find writing a fabulous way of caring for myself.

I’ve been writing my diary for years and years, in very different formats, depending on circumstances. Right now I’m having a big folder with a collection of files written in Word, and that’s my diary at the moment. Also I tend to write some journaling posts on my blog which I also love and find very helpful, and I am so happy I have this blog.

If you’re interested in journaling, or plan to start your own journal and need some suggestions, I greatly recommend Bee’s post to you, it’s great and it shows that writing yourself out is really a good and beneficial self care idea.

What I found quite inspiring of what Bee wrote about, are Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages. While it isn’t manageable for me to write my journal by hand obviously, I find the idea of stream of consciousness writing very good and helpful, and I think I’ll incorporate it into my writing, because so far, although I am pretty spontaneus in writing, I’ve always tended to filter my thoughts more or less. I think if I started to use stream of consciousness writing, it’d help me more to clear my mind of things easier. It sounds a bit hard to achieve to do journaling as a first thing in the morning, I don’t think I’d be ever able to do it, firstly because morning is part of the day when I’m most busy and secondly because I just find writing in the evening more suitable for me, and I am a night owl, so writing 3-4 pages is not an issue for me in the evening, while it can be in the morning sometimes.

So I’m gonna go deeper into journaling this week, focus at it more. I’ve ben planning since quite a while to start some new sections in it, so that it looks more journal-like, and not too chaotic, and so I think this week is the best time for it. And I’m going to try how the stream of consciousness writing will go, I’m very curious.

I’m really looking forward to all that, because I love writing, and I hope that this week I’ll be able to make my journaling even better, even though I think I can already now be proud of my diary, my consistency with it, and my writing.

As for the music, the Bee suggests that we share a song that describes our lives.

Now there are so many songs I can relate to, more, or less, or a lot. But it was hard for me to come up with something that would describe my life as a whole. The song that describes a huge part of my life is “Evacuee” by Enya, but, first, I shared it at the very beginnings of my blog so I don’t want to be boring and repetitive while there is so much other music out there to explore, and second, that was mostly a negative experience (even if the song is utterly beautiful) and why focus only on negatives.

Instead, I decided to perhaps go on an easy way a bit, and use the song I’ve planned earlier to share with you today. Or actually, it is a track. So there are no lyrics, but I still feel that in a way it does describe my life. A tiny little part of it – this day. When I was at school, I used to have music therapy, where we often interpreted various pieces of music in lots of interesting ways, for example, to what kind of activity they are most suitable, in what surroundings they would sound the best, what is the sort of “personality” of a certain song, etc. etc. etc. The song which I want to show you today was released a couple of years ago, and in Autumn, but if I had to interpret it and say what it fits, I’d say for me it is filled with summer chill and serenity, and is so pleasantly hazy. And my day today feels just like it. It’s a holiday in Poland today, we’re having a barbecue in a couple minutes, just the five of us, so chances are it could be fun, we’re all home and are chilled out, and I feel pretty stable overall. The only thing that doesn’t fit in is the rain, this song definitely sounds like a sunny day.

But anyway, I think it’s very nice, and that’s what counts, I think. 😀

It is a track from Elaine Mai, who is a Dublin-based electro musician. I’ve heard this song in an Irish-language radio station for the first time, and I liked it a lot, and then I saw it i my Spotify, and I think it really knows what I like, even though my tastes are so eclectic and picky at the same time.

The title of the track is “Enniscrone”. It didn’t ring a bell in my mind, I couldn’t figure out what could it be, so I asked my good and wise friend Google if he maybe knows what it means, and he did. Apparently Enniscrone is a seaside town in country Sligo in Ireland. With sandy beaches and such. So another thing to the picture of a chillaxed, holiday afternoon – the seaside. 😀 Makes for a very chill combo in my opinion.

OK, so there you have it. And as always, I strongly recommend Music Monday Care & Love for you to take part in, it’s great, music and self care is a great combination and can really make you feel better if you start your week with it, or even if you jump in in the middle of it as I did, music and self care are always good things, if used in appropriate amounts.

Music Monday Care & Love – Curly Strings – “Miks Sa Murrad Mind?” (Why DO You Break Me?).

Hi guys! 🙂

And so I am taking part in another

Music Monday Care & Love

maybe a little late, but I think it’s much better late than never, especially since it lasts until Sunday. 😀

Last week, Bee encouraged us to just being and sitting still, to do it as a self care activity. That was a fabulous idea for me, but also a bit of a challenge as I’ve always been struggling with it quite a lot. Surprisingly, at the first day when I tried to do it last week with a little help from Misha, it went really well, I mean, much better than I expected. So I continued throughout the week, with the exception of Thursday when I was just too anxious and messed up and wired that it actually wouldn’t work out at all. But even during the weekend, which was also full of anxiety for me, I managed to do it for five-ish minutes everyday, always with invaluable help of Misha. it definitely wasn’t always easy, but I tried, and will continue if I can, because I feel like although it’s so hard, it often indeed helps my brain to shut off for a while. Music helped me with it hugely as well. When I was in so much anxiety at the weekend it was very hard for me to stand the silence so I listened to Enya’s music, to my favourite album “The Memory Of Trees”, which always soothes me a lot, well Enya is generally like an antidote for me. I am lucky to live in the town, but have all of the charms of the countryside as well, as we are on the outskirts, so I could also, like Bee, listen to the nature. On Sunday we even went to the beach, not for long as it started to rain just after we arrived, but still, we were able to stay there for a while and relish the sound of the sea combined with the rain and storm.

And this week, Bee invites us to not only be still, but also to focus on our breath. That sounded a bit easier to me when I read it, as I already had some more experience with just being, and now as I could focus on something, it seemed like even more doable. Turned out it doesn’t necessarily have to be like this, it is also a challenging thing for me in a way, as my attention constantly gets distracted by some other thoughts, but I try not to care about it too much. When I finally did focus on my breath fully, doing it yesterday night, I felt like it helped me significantly with my anxiety. I mean it was still there, but not eating me up, like a while before, and didn’t occupy the central position in my mind any longer. I hope I’ll get out of this anxious episode completely soon and that then it’ll be much easier for me to focus on things. Yesterday as I was doing this, Misha was accompanying me as well, and I was also feeling him and his deep breath, which in turn made me realise how shallowly I breathe when under a lot of anxiety. That’s generally not anything particular as it is normal that people often don’t breathe properly while stressed, but it helped me to see the difference between how it is, and how it should be. SO I tried to in a sense imitate Misha, in how deep his breathing is. It felt really good and soothing to be with him and just breathe together, I wouldn’t think it can be so much fun honestly, he seemed to be very contented too. 😀 He’s very slowed down by this kind of weather we’re having now, so he seemed to like this very simple activity.

Today I was very lucky because I could again be and breathe by the sea. This time not in the rain. I always find the sea very relaxing, soothing, healing and just fun, so I thought it would be a fabulous idea to do it by the sea. I sat on the sea shore and focused only on my breath and the sea around me, all its sounds, the water, sand and waves, and suddenly I just felt literally that my anxiety has washed away. At least for the time I was by the sea, but anyway, I was very happy to notice this, and it was such a lovely experience.

So yeah, really, if you’re gonna do this, if you want to do something for yourself this week, also do join us on the Music Monday Care & Love, and try to just do nothing except for breathing and focusing on it for a little while every day, but what I would myself greatly recommend you to do, if you can do it, is – to go to the seaside, and do it there. You’ll see how wonderful it can be then. Or if it can’t be the sea, let it be anywhere you feel really really safe and soothed.

OK, so on to the song I want to share with you today.

As some of you may know from my last Weekend Coffee Share post, on 29th July was my friend Jacek’s first death anniversary, and that I still can’t fully get it. I decided, or rather I didn’t decide, it went very spontaneously, anyway I spent almost the entire day listening to Finnish music. And no, it wasn’t Finnish metal, although I listen to quite a lot of it, but usually when I am very depressed, and this time I wasn’t. It was mainly folk, pop, and some lighter shades of rock, anyway, the music that I discovered via Jacek, that I recommended to him, that I associated with him. Because what always united us was the love for Finland, Finnish language, Finnish people and Finnish music. Swedish as well, but that’s another story, Jacek’s kinda main domain was Finland, while mine was Sweden.

Anyway, so I listened to all that Finnish music I knew, and lots of new stuff, mainly on Spotify, which resulted in Spotify overflowing me with tons of Finnish music, because I hadn’t listened to it to such a extent in a while before that day. And so I was happy, discovering lots of new things, and then I discovered a band called Curly Strings. I listened to one of their songs, then another, and yet another. Cool. Really cool, but… wait… sounds familiar, but… is it actually Finnish?

What can an incompetent human being in 21st century do in face of such an unsolvable dilemma? Only ask uncle Google for help, and that’s quite obviously what I did. And my instinct turned out to be right because it wasn’t Finnish! It was Estonian!

Maybe an average Finophile would then just shrug and go away in an opposite direction – I don’t know, but I am certainly not an average Finophile. I just love good music in interesting and not very well known languages. And this was quite a discovery for me and I was like YAAAY! because I can count on my fingers of one hand all the Estonian language musicians I know. All of those I knew so far were from a programme we have in Poland called “Strefa Rokendrola Wolna Od Angola”, (roughly Rock & Roll Zone Free From English). There is so much good music and so much of all the excentric music I listen to, I know from there.

So yeah, now I am exploring the world of Estonian music. Generally, Estonian isn’t among my VERY BEST FAVOURITE languages, but I still do like it a lot, and if I’ll ever learn all MY languages, Estonian might be one of the first ones I’d learn afterwards.

So here is the song, and there are also lyrics under the video, I think they’re very interesting, in a way they speak to me.

What do you think? Have you actually ever heard Estonian language before? 🙂

Once again I highly recommend you to go visit Bee and take part in the Music MOnday Love & Care, and start to love yourself a bit more.

Music Monday Care & Love – song of the day (23rd July) – Hilde Selvikvåg – Allt For Deg (All For You).

Hi guys! 🙂

I’m so happy to participate in Music Monday Care & Love (formerly Music Monday Blog Party), hosted by the Bee at The Bee Writes.

Music Monday Love & Care is all about appreciating yourself, caring for yourself, celebrating your life and loving yourself more, all the while sharing music we love and that helps us with doing it all.

I think most of us would benefit from being more caring and loving for ourselves, so if you think it’s you too, I really encourage you to take part in it as well, and do some special self-care activity to be better for yourself, and do listen to some good music meanwhile, it really helps in boosting your self-esteem.

The activity that Bee is suggesting for us this week is to “just sit and do nothing”.

An extremely hard thing for me to do, I must admit. 😀 I’m not like hyperactive or anything, but my brain certainly is, and I don’t like, or am not used to, doing nothing for a long time, when I read it in the Bee’s post I actually wondered for a while whether I’m capable to do so. 😀 I don’t like feeling bored, and my brain is constantly overthinking, analysing and stuff. So, here’s the challenge for me!

This week (excluding Monday because it was just to busy), every day I’m going to sit still doing nothing – maybe besides listening to some not very brain-engaging music – for like 5 minutes, or more if I can. Just switch my brain off and exist. 5 minutes isn’t long, but that’s always something for a start, and, who knows, maybe until Sunday I’ll be able to increase it? Maybe to 10 minutes? That would be cool, wouldn’t it?

I was always kinda jealous, but also kinda surprised seeing people who don’t have any issues with doing nothing. Like on the beach – you see lots of people just lying, sunbathing, and doing nothing else. I was often thinking that if I’d do it for longer… I don’t know what would really happen, but the thought of it just scared me! And no, I am not any sort of workaholic or anything, it just seemed, and still seems in a way, kinda odd to me to do just nothing. My Mum is a master at it, so I’m gonna take an example from her. She is a very productive person, but she seems to be an expert at herself and her own needs and always knows exactly when to stop.

Because of these issues I have, it’s also often hard for me to pray or meditate, and I often find it disheartening, I need to be really determined if I really want to do such things right and succeed. Not because I can’t focus my attention on what I need to do, but because at the same time I focus my attention on a thousand of other big and little things, and then any prayer or meditation just can’t go right, you need to immerse your whole mind in it.

But, yeah, today I tried, for 5 minutes, 5 and a half almost, Misha was with me and Misha was the only thing I tried to focus on. We just lied together and I felt his fur, his slightest movements, listened to his breath, the gurglings in his tummy, felt his smell… We do it very often with Misha, just lie together, but usually at the same time my thoughts are racing like crazy, and today I did my best to stop them. It went surprisingly well. It was hard, but not as tough as I thought it could be. I think the weather we have now here helps people greatly in just existing, it’s really hot and it always makes me feel kinda sluggish, so it’s easier to do such things.

So I think I have the reason to be quite proud of myself, that’s always something. and also yesterday evening I ended up with sky high levels of anxiety and was feeling very low because of something that sort of triggered me, I was feeling better in the morning, but still rather not stable, and I feel like switching off my brain and turning my attention only to Misha helped me to feel more stable and grounded, which is really good.

So, I’m curious how it’ll go for the rest of the week, and if you can relate in any way to what I wrote, I would recommend you to try doing it too, I’m curious about how and if it will help you.

OK, so let’s go to the song. As you could notice I didn’t post anything yesterday, including song of the day, so it’ll be the song I planned for yesterday, in Norwegian.

It is a Norwegian version of John Legend’s song “All Of Me”, (Allt for Deg in Norwegian so actually All For You), sung by Hilde Selvikvåg. I really like it, and Iäm curious if you will too, and which version you prefer, the original, or this one. Enjoy. 🙂

Music Monday Blog Party – Cerys Matthews – “Calon Lân (Pure Heart).

And another week has passed. Which, traditionally, means,

Music Monday Blog Party

which is held every week by Bee. If you feel like going to a party today, plus if you’d like to celebrate your life, yourself and your achievements over the last week or your entire life, go  over to the Bee’s blog and join in. 🙂

Yesterday I was at the Hel Peninsula, we had a family trip, and it was fantastic. We were at the beach, among other things. However, I’ve made one CARDINAL mistake. I got sunburned. Which is a tragedy for me – almost a Goth – not only because it can just hurt, but because even sunbathing is completely against my “religion”. Like, I don’t mind getting the vitamin D from the sun, it’s necessary for our overall wellbeing, but usually I use raspberry oil which is a very good and natural sunscreen, so you can get your vitamin D without bronzing, or burning, your skin, I also usually wear a hat or something. My skin is naturally very light, so I get sunburn very easily plus I just like having light or pale skin, maybe only besides my legs which I tan a little every summer if I have an opportunity. But I didn’t think it would be that sunny as it was, and I didn’t take my raspberry oil. And, as we were at the sea for a long time, and I spent a huge amount of that time in the water, I didn’t even feel anything alarming. And of course when I felt it was already to late for any action. 😀 I wonder what my gothic friends would say if they saw me now. 😀 chuckling a bit, but still, I don’t like having the consciousness of having red, or even just brown, skin. But my poor Dad who has the nickname Viking not without a reason, is even more poor. He doesn’t care about his skin, which is even lighter than mine, and he LOVES being in the sun and sleeping on the beach, and today he’s all hurting, poor thing. But, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, so we can be sure he’ll do the same next year, or even next month, if he gets a chance. 😀

So today, I’m celebrating my life by trying to somehow get my skin to its normal state, although not much hope here, I guess the only cure is time, and recovering my feet, which I chafed quite badly yesterday ’cause we’ve had a lot of walking. But still, the trip was awesome, even though I had quite a bit of anxiety, especially while commuting, and apart from my body image not being the best today, I feel pretty good and even positive, as much as I can feel positive in my current condition. 😀 I’ve also did one challenge of my Welsh course, I had only one left to the end of my current level (YAAAAY!) and it went great too. Although last week I was pretty bad with my Welsh and haven’t done much, but this week I’m gonna get back into some more structured and routine plan with  it.

And as we’re talking about Welsh, the song I picked for you guys today is also in Welsh. And again, in fact they’re two. But this time not because of my indecisive nature, but because I wanted you to have a comparison and pick which one you like more. It is a very popular, traditional Welsh song. It used to be a hymn, but nowadays it’s more of a rugby anthem as far as I know. When I was starting to learn Welsh, and was deeply frustrated with the lack of resources that wuld be good and at the same time accessible for me – as a blind person and not living in UK – my Swedish teacher told me that one of the things I can do is to learn as many things as possible by heart, which was actually also what I did wITh Swedish and it seemed to work because I was able to understand lots of peculiar or not that often used words thanks to different weird songs, nursery rhymes and poems. So I gave it a try with Welsh too and as a folklore lover I started with traditional songs, and “Calon Lân” was one of the first. And I still remember it, and have learnt quite a few words that you rarely get the chance to learn as a complete beginner. This song, as most of traditional songs in most countries, has dozens of different versions and interpretations, some are good, some aren’t, depending on the listener, but I wanted to show you the two versions of this song made by a popular Welsh singer and celebrity, Cerys Matthews. I’ve showed you a bit of Cerys before, with her band Catatonia, and solo as well, in Welsh and in English.

One of the versions, is her solo performance, and the other is featuring Fron Male Voice Choir. I am not big on choirs, regardless of in what language they sing, but, surprisingly enough, I definitely prefer the version they did together to Cerys’ solo version. I like her solo version but her performance with the choir is just better. What is your opinion?

Here are the English lyrics, they’re a direct translation. You can find them, as well as alternative translations on

Wikipedia

I don’t ask for a luxurious life,
the world’s gold or its fine pearls,
I ask for a happy heart,
an honest heart, a pure heart.
A pure heart full of goodness
Is fairer than the pretty lily,
None but a pure heart can sing,
Sing in the day and sing in the night.
If I wished for worldly wealth,
It would swiftly go to seed;
The riches of a virtuous, pure heart
Will bear eternal profit.
(Chorus)
Evening and morning, my wish
Rising to heaven on the wing of song
For God, for the sake of my Saviour,
To give me a pure heart.
(Chorus)

 

Music Monday Blog Party – Fairport Convention – Fotheringay.

So now as I wrote all the belated posts from yesterday, time for the Music Monday Blog Party

at the Bee’s, which is a lot of fun, so do join us if you’d like to.

As for my celebrations, I’ve had a rough couple of days recently with lots of anxiety and stuff, so today I’m recovering. And feeling better so far. I did have only one hour of sleep though, which is extremely weird because as I went to bed last night I felt incredibly sleepy and exhausted and I dozed off immediately, but woke up after an hour and that was it. So I got up very early, had coffee with Mum, we had a very yummy breakfast of shortbread with some creemy cheese. I spend the day just chilling out, well you don’t feel up to much after an hour of sleep, I actually feel quite groggy already and would most willingly go to sleep but try to be disciplined and think that if I’ll do it now I’ll be awake at night and get another Zombie day. My Mum has made split pea soup for lunch which is spicy and very yummy and we also have some cocoa yeast cake and Zofijka and me had a little piece of it and it’s yummy as well, so today I’m celebrating with chilling out and eating yummy things. And that would be it.

As for the music, the song of the day for today is by the classic British folk-rock group called Fairport Convention. I am a big big fan of their former vocalist Sandy Denny who unfortunately passed away way too soon, just in her early thirties. I got to know Fairport Convention and Sandy and other bands with whom she collaborated during my crush on Vreeswijk and I must say I was really sort of concerned that she’s gonna dominate him and become my strongest musical crush, same situation was with Emilie Autumn back in the day but none of them succeeded finally to get there and replace him at that moment. 😀 But I still absolutely adore her music. I’ve first heard about her quite a while after I’ve become familiar with the world of Celtic music and British folklore and British folk music so I was deeply surprised I still didn’t know her and then even more surprised to realise that it was she who wrote the lyrics to many songs I’ve already known from other artists and really liked, and I was happy it was she who made them, she’s just so fantastic. Sandy was one of the first British folk-rock musicians. She was the vocalist in Fairport Convention, also founded the band Fotheringay, and released a few solo albums. As so many other great artists, she didn’t have a good life, poor thing, she was oscillating between manic and depressive states so guess she was bipolar, and abused drugs and alcohol. She tended to self harm by falling down the staircases and stuff like that which indirectly led to  her death, she had some very severe brain injuries.

To be honest I looked at all the other albums of Fairport Convention and of Fotheringay, without Sandy, and I don’t like them at all. I mean I like a lot of British classic rock or folk-rock or folk, but they’ve just become colourless without her.

The song I want to show you was written and composed by Sandy and it’s called “Fotheringay” after the Fotheringay Castle, or actually about Mary Queen of Scots who’d been imprisoned there. And Sandy’s band – The Fotheringay – was named so after this song.

I think it is so beautiful and moving, and I like it also because I find the history of Britain fascinating, and because I am always interested in women figures from the past like queens for example, and I find Mary Stuart a very interesting character, well most people do I think.

Music Monday Blog Party – Emmelie De Forest – Hunting High And Low.

Hey guys! 🙂

Time for another Music Monday Blog Party

at the Bee’s and celebrating our lives and achievements.

Today is still pretty hot here, we haven’t had any rains or storms during the weekend, but at least it’s a bit more windy so you don’t feel the heat so badly. Today I’m celebrating my life with Misha, who is very sleepy and lethargic. I’m sipping ice coffee which is very yummy and very cold. I love ice coffee. Zofijka has made a sponge cake with jelly and whipped cream and strawberries before school, she had school pretty late today, and we all had a piece of it, it is so yummy. I love when Zofijka bakes something. It always tastes so zoficiously.

As for the piece of music, I have two for you today. It’s because it’s often so hard for me to decide, which version of the song I like more. And there are two versions of the same song I really like and would like to show you both. And I’m curious which one do you like more. Also it is a cover, so I’m curious whether you prefer the classic, original version, or this girl’s.

Emmelie De Forest is half Danish, half Swedish, and the song I want to show you comes from her newest album which came out this year. She took part in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013, representing Denmark with the song “Only Teardrops”. The song I want to show you is “Hunting High And Low” originally performed by A-ha. I am not crazy about the original version, it’s pretty popular, often on the radio, and such songs rarely are my favourites, but it has an interesting harmony so I can say I quite like it, but Emmelie’s version is just great.

The first one is from her Youtube channel and the next one is from the album.

Music Monday Blog Party ath the Bee’s – Elin Bell – Grey Is All.

Hi guys! 🙂

So it’s Monday again and another opportunity to celebrate our lives and take part in the Bee’s Music Monday Blog Party🙂

Yesterday was Zofijka’s 11th birthday. Unfortunately, the skunk slippers which I mentioned last week that I bought haven’t got through yet, but hope they will very soon. We still have some leftovers from Zofijka’s birthday and from Mother’s Day that is always on 26th May in Poland, so today I celebrated my life with the last piece of sponge cake with mascarpone cheese, jelly and strawberries, which was delicious, and with my favourite raspberry tea. Before I did it though, I did the Tibetan exercises. I thought I’d be stuck on five repeats for a while, but I’m doing 7 of which exercise now. I still don’t do them perfectly because of my Achilles tendons being messed up so that I can’t straighten my legs fully, but thought I’d increase the numer of repeats because I didn’t feel tired at all after those 5 repeats of each, so thought I can do more. And it’s going relatively well, anyway better than I would assume it could go with my legs and coordination, however I’m not experiencing any of these magic effects that my Mum seems to have.

And the song I’ve chosen for today is one that I fell in love with last autumn. It’s my favourite song by Elin Bell. Elin Bell – or actually Elin Petersson – is a Swedish artist making kinda electropop music. I think she’s really good.