Question of the day.

Is there a place you like visiting that isn’t very popular with people?

My answer:

Yes, but not because it’s so unlikeable, only because (thankfully) few people still know about it. It’s a beach in Smołdzino in north-west Poland, in Słowiński National Park. Smołdzino is a very small village, but it’s really beautiful, quiet, peaceful and clean and not quite as touristy as in most other seasides location I know. These days it’s a bit more popular with people than back when we discovered it and used to go there for holidays very regularly, and when on the beach there were literally no other people except for us a lot of the time, but it will never become crowded or touristy as much as other beaches are, because it’s within a nature reserve. So even to get there, you have to park your car quite far away and then go two kilometres to the beach on foot, which not everyone would be keen on.

How about you?

Question of the day.

Hey people! 🙂

Is there a food everyone hates, that you like?

My answer:

Oh yes! I love olives, and a lot of people seem to hate them. It seems to be definitely one of those things you either love or hate. I can well understand why people would hate them as they have such very strong and characteristic taste, which is also quite different and unlike anything else. I also love capers, and even more people hate them. Admittedly their taste is even more unusual and even people who love them like me can’t eat a lot of them at once. I normally do not like things which taste vinegary but capers are definitely an exception. I also looooove love love kefir and people hate kefir. Especially people who aren’t Polish/Slavic/Balkan as they aren’t used to it, and even many of these people who are Slavic or Balkan hate kefir anyway because as far as I’m aware even though it’s a common or even traditional drink in many countries it’s not something everyone grows up with and drinks every day since childhood, a lot of Polish people I know have never tasted kefir. Similar situation is with buttermilk, although I guess buttermilk is a bit easier to like.

I’ve no idea if this is more international a thing or not – I only know people around the globe hate Brussels sprouts and so do I, they are absolutely gross – but here in Poland loads of people hate spinach. And there’s actually an interesting sociohistorical reason for that. In the 80’s, and I guess 70’s too, Polish nurseries/kindergartens were really obsessed about spinach. I don’t know what the exact reason was, but suddenly there was one big boom on stuffing kids with vegetables, and probably because spinach was easily available, they would eat spinach all the time. It can be really yucky and tasteless when not seasoned properly so, there’s like a bit of a collective trauma around that. And it doesn’t only affect millennials/gen X, because they pass it on to their offspring, and I’ve also heard older people saying very unfavourable things about spinach for no apparent reason and not being able to give some real arguments why they thought it’s so bad. So it’s a bit like everyone hates spinach by default and spinach is evil. But when you ask an average person if they ever ate spinach, they will either say that they did in nursery, or not at all, because, duh, it’s yuck and everyone knows it so why would anyone want to eat it. When you ask them why it’s so bad, chances are great that everyone will tell you only that it’s bad when unseasoned or overcooked or that it’s difficult to make it right. Fair enough, but so is also with lots of other food. Who likes unseasoned meat? How about overcooked pasta? Yet no one is screaming that they are evil just because they can be unseasoned or overcooked. And who says you have to cook spinach? It seems like not many people realise that there actually was such a spinach propaganda around the country and not just in their nursery. There especially is a default opinion in people’s minds that children hate spinach, even though children these days aren’t bombarded with it like their parents were, but they still do hate spinach because everyone sort of tells them they should. Recently it’s a bit better, people are more conscious and of course there’s the whole fit lifestyle trend going on, all the different diets, more and more people are vegetarians or vegans, others want to lose weight, so spinach is slowly gaining some more favour and positive attention.

I also was one of those kids thinking I hate spinach just because. And indeed I remember hearing a lot about how all children hate spinach. I think the first time I ate spinach was at my aunt – who wasn’t exactly my relative at all, but I always called her aunt and she was extremely helpful to me, she lived near my school and I often visited her in her house. – She once had spinach with some meat and rice for lunch and I was like: “What? Spinach? Why would anyone normal want to eat spinach?” She told me that it’s really good when it’s well-seasoned and that most people don’t know how to cook it well and that’s why they don’t like it. I tried it but wasn’t impressed, not because of it’s taste, which as far as I remember wasn’t bad, but I didn’t like the texture of it particularly much. Then we had quite regularly lasagna with spinach at school, and I actually really liked it, perhaps because you couldn’t really feel the spinach in it very much. And some years later, my Mum has become a proper lifestyle geek, she’s always had such tendencies but it was then that it really progressed, at the same time she had just started to wear braces and wasn’t able to eat a lot of hard food and one of her obsessions at the time were veg smoothies, and she often added spinach to them. I hate veg smoothies, but since due to that, we had plenty of spinach at home, I tried how it tastes raw and… surprise, or not, I thought it was really cool. I usually tend to like raw vegetables more than cooked, baked etc. These days I often eat even sandwiches with spinach instead of lettuce. These days my Mum no longer makes those veg smoothies, as they make her feel very bloated, but we have spinach in our garden here where we live now and we still eat it raw. But even the texture of cooked spinach doesn’t bother me that much anymore and I like for example pierogi with spinach. I mean, I’m certainly not a spinach lover or a die hard fan, as I am with kefir, olives or capers, but I just like it, I don’t see anything wrong with it, I think people are being very unfair to spinach.

What is such food for you? 🙂

Question of the day (2nd June).

Hey people! 🙂

Do you prefer pie or cake? What kind?

My answer:

I’ve asked that question on my blog some two years ago and answered it so in case you haven’t seen that post, I’ll copy my response.

It really really depends on what cake or pie it is. Plus, for me this difference isn’t really that important, because in Polish we usually call both the same name, which is ciasto. Of course, you can call a pie placek, but it’s rather rarely heard nowadays, placek is actually in some regions more like a pancake, so just no one cares what is a cake, and what is a pie. 😀 How about you? And what are your favourites? 🙂

Question of the day.

Do you follow your country’s politics? What do you think about the current political climate?

My answer:

I do have an interest in it and it matters to me, although it’s not like one of my main interests or something that I’d give a lot of thought to every single day or be regularly very worried about the state of things like some people are. I like to be up to date and oriented in the most important things or those that matter to me particularly strongly, and I like to be able to have concrete views on them, but I don’t get FOMO if I sometimes am not up to date and I don’t like to overwhelm my brain with too much news or political speculations every single day because I generally tend to overthink things, and politics is not something I’d have a direct impact on so it’s pointless to ruminate on that overly. My Mum and grandma tend to care about politics so very much which is great in a way, because it’s important to care about your country I think, but on the other hand it’s awful to stress so much over things you cannot really change and catastrophise like my grandma does. I don’t like though when people go for the other extreme – are not involved at all in what’s going on saying that they no have any influence over it, don’t vote and have no real views of their own, but still complain about all that’s going wrong in their country according to them, and selfishly take for granted all that is positive.

As for the political climate, I am really happy that, since the 2015, the party I’ve been supporting ever since I’ve gotten some clearer idea about politics (PiS, or Law and Justice in English), has been in majority government, and that our current President (Andrzej Duda) is of the same political option, as, to put it shortly and simply, since the fall of communism until the above mentioned 2015 Poland has been ruled by “former” communists (from parties like Civic Platform or Polish People’s Party or Democratic Left ALliance), or their children or close relatives. Actually, the first Polish president after the communist period – Lech Wałęsa – who was given Nobel Peace Prize and whom people glorified and authentically perceived as a true statesman and someone who was going to make a real change, was a pawn in hands of the communist government and spied for them, but of course that came up officially only recently. Our current government is far from flawless, as is the situation in Poland, but I don’t think there are flawless politicians anywhere in the world, just as there are no flawless people in general, and, at least for now, I don’t think there is a better option, and they do a whole lot of good, and actually visible, change, even though it’s going slowly, because it takes time to rebuild the country after so many years of inefficient reigns, and some people are complaining about that, including those who actually have voted on them, like my Dad for example, because they seem to think it’s such an effortless process.

How about you? 🙂

Reasons why I’m learning English.

Nearly a month after starting up this blog, I wrote a post about all the

Reasons why I’m learning Welsh

and a year ago, I wrote a similar post concerning my

Swedish.

With each of them I felt like they got quite a bit of interest, so I’m going to continue it this year as well, and write about English. Let’s see how many reasons I can come up with

1.

Isn’t it obvious? English is obligatory in schools in most countries, I guess. Or at least in all countries in Europe. So, you could say I didn’t have much choice. 😀 Before I went to school though, I was already subjected to English thanks to my Godmother, whose English was on a pretty good level for a person growing up in the 80’s (communist period – learning Russian as a second language at school) and not needing English for professional purposes. I guess it’s more common for people about her age or older to learn English now even if you don’t need it for work, but I guess back then in early 2000’s there wasn’t as much pressure yet. I believe she started learning English around college and took private lessons and while she wasn’t and is not fluent, as I said, the degree to which she knew English could feel a bit unexpected, plus she’s very communicative by nature so such people don’t need a whole lot of vocabulary to be understood. Anyways, she taught me a lot of things before I went to school, and one of them was some very basic English vocabulary and a bit of fondness for English, which probably helped me more than I normally realise to remain positive about the language itself even when I started to see that English as a school subject is MEH, and pushed me to learn it anyway. So by the time I reached school, I remember I was actually euphoric when I heard on my first actual day of school that our next lesson is going to be English. I associated it with home and with fun things and I liked it as I said, so I was super happy that I would be able to learn it at school. Sadly, I didn’t have particularly much luck with good English teachers throughout my education. I’m not saying they weren’t competent or anything like that, probably some were more, and some were less, some were very nice, some were very unpleasant, some rather bland, but the great majority of them just didn’t do anything to me more than help me prepare for the necessary tests and exams. Of course I had to learn basics at school and I did, but after that, although I was learning English throughout my whole education, I feel like school didn’t give me much in that respect and I taught myself the most. Neither did school motivate me to learn English, in fact, my first English teacher wasn’t particularly likeable person and I don’t think she cared much if we liked her subject or not. I became disillusioned quite quickly and realised that, while English may be a cool language, the subject is just deadly boring. And my view on that became even stronger when I started to seriously learn on my own and became actively interested in learning English and not just ticking off exercises in the textbook. I don’t think it is solely that I just happened to have bad teachers. I think it’s the case with most people here, and that simply the way language learning and teaching is perceived in our country and the level of English education in our schools is terrible. Basically, unless someone has some extra English classes, or wants to learn on their own or something like that, most people go out of education being barely able to communicate. And since Polish language is way more complex than English, the problem cannot be with people”s brains. People get out of schools with the mentality that they are supposed to speak perfectly, with no grammar mistakes or otherwise someone will kill them, and if they can’t do that, they won’t speak at all, even if they do have enough vocabulary to speak decently. And English lessons are not interesting, or at least they are rarely as interesting and fun as language learning could be. My Sofi writes down tons of words and rules she doesn’t understand, and when someone in her class is thinking independently enough to ask the teacher for some explanation and say that they don’t understand something, the only thing she’ll say will typically be: “*sighs theatrically* Oh my, what do you still can’t understand? It’s easy. You have to practice more at home. How many more times am I going to have to explain it?”. Well, the majority of Sofi’s class go to extracurricular English at a language school. Those who do not, have very bad grades. And I assure you that Sofi’s school is not an exception. But OMG I could rant about education system and terrible attitudes of people towards language learning for ages. 😀 Anyway, I did get the basics of English at school and I’m grateful for that, but that’s all that any school or individual teacher did for my foreign language education. There also was that teacher who was having conversations with me for a year in preparation for my final exams, and admittedly he helped me to feel a bit more confident in speaking, and most certainly contributed to the fact that I got 100% from oral English,but not much else, although I hoped he would be able to teach me some new things. He was most keen on talking about himself though. 😀

2.

Because English is everywhere. That’s why I kind of feel for English natives. On one hand it’s so cool when you can go almost anywhere in the world, read almost anything you want and not have to make the effort of translating, understanding or learning another language. But on the other hand, people miss out on so much when they don’t learn a new language, and when everyone speaks your language, what motivation can you have to do that? So it’s a bit unfair on the English-speaking folks and only for their sake I wish we had some artificial or dead language to use internationally, rather than deprive a certain group of people – a large group of people – from the benefits of learning a language and developing their brains even more. Anyways, the rest of us does have to learn English if we want to have a somewhat broader perspective on the world. Internet is huge and you can read a lot in it, do a lot with it and learn a lot, but Polish-language part of the Internet seems so mini mini compared to English. I wouldn’t be able to do so many things that I do if I didn’t speak decent English. I wouldn’t be able to restore my synths, to give you a recent example, haha. My Mum tells me that about once a week “You’re so lucky that you speak English” or “I’d like to know half of your English”, so I am constantly reminded that I should be grateful for that, and that I was given enough determination to learn it myself, and, more than determination, just plain luck, because I don’t really feel like I made some huge effort with my English, from some point on it just came to me on its own, I guess via a lot of exposure. But perhaps not everyone can be that lucky, or not everyone can make use of it or realises it. Some people like my Mum constantly complain that they can’t speak English but when you actually confront them about it “So why won’t you try to learn it?” they will have tons of arguments, including that they are too old, too stupid, too busy, too lazy, don’t have a talent (there’s no such thing as talent for learning languages unless you want to have a native accent, you just have to find the right method for yourself and that can be tricky) to name a few.

3.

Because I plain like it. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I didn’t like English though. Would I still be so keen on learning it? My experiences with other languages show that not necessarily, because my effects at it seem to be strongly correlated with my feelings for it. I can’t quite imagine learning and being good at Esperanto for example, even if it was the international language. Of course I would learn it at school if need be, and would continue it if I really needed it, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be anything more than average. I was learning German at school (and I like German more than Esperanto, because I don’t like Esperanto at all) and, unless I put a lot of conscious effort into learning it, I was just having rather mediocre results, and forgot most of it very quickly after finishing my German education, even though I did have an ambitious plan to continue learning it on my own, but that just went out the window before it started properly.

But I do like English, and I do like the culture surrounding it, the diversity of its accents, which we don’t have in Polish, and – what I’ve mentioned in both Swedish and Welsh posts, I feel a kind of bond with the nations speaking my favourite languages. English is also the most boring of my languages because it’s so mainstream-y and it’s everywhere and it spoils the experience massively, but still, it’s so cool and so rich!

4.

Because it can serve as a bridge to the whole Celtic world for me. Of course English is used in Britain and all its Celtic regions, and as a Celtophile it’s very important to me. It helps me to develop my Celtic passions and discover more about all the Celtic stuff, the folklore, the languages, the people…

5.

Because it enables me to meet interesting people whom I wouldn’t be able to meet otherwise. As well as like-minded people. Actually, the most development of my English skills is largely due to all of my pen pals. With some of them I’d onnly written for a while, more or less short, but with some I have developed great connections and friendships and I am so thankful for that.

6.

Because it helps me with blogging, and generally expressing myself. I used to blog in Polish for years but it wasn’t quite as fun as it is now. I feel like I can be more candid about a lot of things on my English blog and that it was one of my better ideas in my whole life to start an English blog. It works both ways – my English learning makes my blogging better, and my blogging stimulates my English learning in an incredibly effective way. – As for expressing myself, since my English skills have improved so dramatically over the last few years due to a lot of exposure, penpalling and blogging, I also write my diary mostly in English. I’ve written frequently about that I find each language useful for different kind of writing, and that it also corresponds with different kinds of emotions for me. I will write about the specific emotions of English in a while, but first, I want to say more generally that I find it much easier nowadays to express myself emotionally in English. Where feelings are concerned, but also more specifically, any kind of mental health difficulties, especially more complex stuff, somehow it’s much easier to put it in English. I’ve come to the point where sometimes it’s easier for me to find words describing some things in English, rather than in Polish, and what I want to say sounds more clunky in Polish. 😀 The emotions that in my synaesthetic view correspond particularly strongly with English are especially love, pain, sarcasm, playfulness, sadness, emptiness, anxiety, comfort, passion, euphoria and loneliness.

7.

Because it has enabled me to build a more stable support network and become both more aware of my mental health struggles, as well as deal better with them. Again blogosphere and penpalling have helped me immensely with that. Previously, I couldn’t really say I felt free to talk to anyone about what I was experiencing. Partly because I didn’t really understand it myself but also because I simply either didn’t feel like I could trust them, or I knew they wouldn’t understand. Now, thanks to my English, I have found a lot of people who have similar experiences to me or even if they don’t, they are still very supportive and I want to support them as well, and I feel like I’ve made more meaningful connections with people even though they are just online. All this keeps me motivated to develop my English further, and actually makes it develop on its own because obviously the more you use a language, the more it develops.

8.

Because there’s lots of great music in English and I want to know what it’s about.

9.

Because then I can be helpful to my immediate family who are all practical monoglots and sometimes need to translate something from English. Especially my Dad who is a tanker driver, and it’s hard to be a tanker driver and often supply foreign ships with fuel and speak no English. I often don’t have the vocabulary that he needs anyway, but some vocabulary is better than none. At least I can help him how to describe the word he needs to use and then because they are oriented in the field, they understand quickly what he wants to say, unless their English is poor too. 😀

10.

Because there are so many cool accents. I’ve already said that, but it deserves a separate mention. I LOVE that feature of English that it’s so rich in dialects and accents! You can tell where someone’s from just by their accent, and here we can’t really do that, or at least not to such an extend as you! Polish language is much more universal. There are several major dialects that are commonly recognisable, but they aren’t many and not many people choose to speak them on a daily basis, and our dialects are mostly different because of specific words that we use in different regions, rather than accents as in pronunciation differences. That doesn’t mean there are none, but an average person who is not a language geek and has no interest in such things will not hear those subtle differences or at least certainly won’t be able to tell someone’s location by them, unless someone’s accent is really super strong and very commonly associated with a specific area which mainly concerns eastern accents that are influenced by languages like Russian or Belarussian or Ukrainian or perhaps Lithuanian. My grandma has roots in all of the above mentioned countries and despite living in the north for years people can usually hear her long and soft vowels and identify correctly and always ask if she’s from the east or something. But that’s a rare case. I consider myself a language geek and the only things I can recognise are those Eastern accents, some subtle things that are specific to Silesia or Lublin area, and some stuff specific to the highlands and that’s it pretty much. This is due to the fact that after WWII people were massively migrating from countryside to towns and moving around different regions, so the accent has unified a lot. I think it’s such a pity. That’s why for some people the whole concept of an accent is a bit out there and they don’t really know what it is in terms of English. For example my Dad asked me not long ago what that whole accent thing is in English, is it about word stress (because that’s what we call akcent in Polish), or that people have some speech deffects or what, hahaha. And for a long time I didn’t get that either. Like how can you hear that someone is from Sheffield or New York or Glasgow or wherever unless they tell you? 😀 I didn’t hear those differences for a long time either. Only at some point one of my earliest English online friends started to teach me about accents and then one day something clicked in my brain and I started to gradually hear them and now I think for a non native I’m pretty good at distinguishing at least the British ones and of course between which one is British, which Australian and which American, though I have a very hard time distinguishing American accents from each other or I can barely recognise English US from Canadian or New Zealand from Australian. With understanding it really depends on how out there someone’s accent is and how quickly they are speaking. I also like to think that my own accent is very good for a non native, and that’s what people have been telling me, both natives and non natives, though I’m sure I do have to have still at least a bit of Polish accent, not that I can hear it myself (I can’t, but you can’t be a good judge of your own accent I suppose), but because I don’t know many people who have just gotten rid of their accent, and also it is not something I am aiming to in itself, because I guess it would feel weird if people couldn’t tell at all that I’m Polish, as if I was a bit less Polish or something and I don’t want that, and I like to imitate different English accents though, while I can speak some kind of US English (or so I believe) I am much better and more comfortable at British and I have more clue about how to imitate different British accents than American ones, especially the of more or less general southern-ish/Rp and more or less general northern-ish. The only British accents that I know that I cannot imitate convincingly are Geordie and Scottish. But being able to fake different accents has come to me much later on and after a lot of immersion and listening, before than my accent was just kind of Ponglish. Now the only Ponglish I can make is the very extreme one, I believe I can’t speak sort of in-between any longer like I used to – with not overly strong but definitely audible Polish accent – it’s either hardcore Ponglish or normal English (with a possible little bit of Polish as I said), and the extreme Ponglish one I use either for making fun of some kind or with Poles who can’t understand my normal, English English otherwise like Sofi. 😀 Playing with accents is so fun.

11.

Because English is so rich in colourful phrases, idioms, sayings and words. I believe that must come from the very wide variety of influences on this language. Polish is a very rich language in this too, but English seems much more than any of the languages I’ve learnt and sometimes it overwhelms me how many brilliant and fascinating words I don’t know how to use yet. Every language has its words that are untranslatable, but English has just so many! Or maybe it’s just my impression? It’s so flexible and you can do so much with it. Swedish is also flexible and you can make a lot with it, but I guess not to such an extent. I really lack some of the English expressions in Polish these days, especially when talking to someone who speaks only Polish. 😀

12.

Because it lets me read more books, and because reading in English is fun. And because I want to read even more in English. I already read most of stuff on the Internet in English, but with books so far the majority of what I read is still Polish, even thoughh there are more and more English ones thrown into the mix.

13.

Because it lets me learn more about my music crushes/fazas. Even if they aren’t English natives. Usually, especially at the beginning of a faza, it’s easiest for me to find info on my crush in English.

14.

Because, apart from helping me to develop my already existing interests, it helps me to build new ones.

15.

Because I can learn other languages through it. Like I do with Welsh right now. It has its upsides and downsides, but if not my English skills, I wouldn’t be able to access Welsh resources that I can.

16.

Because it shares a lot of similarities with other languages. Swedish for example – when I first started it, I was told it’s just a blend of English and German. – It’s very simply put but it’s true to a large degree, and my English and Swedish definitely help each other. Also while English is a Germanic language and Welsh is Celtic, they influence each other so that helps to some extent as well. And I’m going to learn some more Germanic and Celtic languages in the future, so I am sure English is going to be helpful with those too. Both because I am most likely going to learn them through the medium of English, as well as because they share more or less similarities.

17.

To develop my brain. I’ve written on my brain paranoia and wanting to avoid cognitive issues especially in the Welsh post. It’s hugely important to me.

18.

So I can talk to Misha in English or to myself. If you want to read about my experiments with Misha and foreign languages, I recommend you reading the above mentioned posts. Of all the foreign languages, my English is the best, and so I can communicate with Misha the most easily, if I want to talk to him in a language other than Polish. I also think he responds to it the best except for Polish of course, but that could be due to many reasons, including my autosuggestion.

19.

Every language makes your perspective broader, and kind of adds you a new personality. This is just interesting to observe, but is also great in some self-development, or just self-discovery. It’s interesting to see your thinking pathways in Polish vs in English vs in Swedish, for example. It’s interesting to see in which moments and in what kind of situations my thinking switches from Polish to English or back to Polish or to Swedish, or when it’s a mix of all that plus Welsh. I definitely tend to think about more emotional stuff in English, the same as with writing. Recently I’ve even started automatically praying in English. 😀 The first time when that happened, I only realised that I’m praying in English a few minutes after I’ve started, and that was so hilarious. But obviously God is very multilingual so I let my soul and brain pray in whichever language it’s convenient as long as that doesn’t get in the way of prayer itself because for example I think more of how I should put things rather than focus on praying itself and on God. My dreams have been a linguistic mix for years now.

20.

Because it’s fun to have more than one language to swear in. Even though Welsh or Finnish is better for that than English, English is quite bland and cliche I don’t know why, and most people here know the basic words like fuck or shit so it doesn’t feel the same.

 

21.

Because it can help me with anxiety, as well as with depression, see the posts above for details.

22.

To be able to understand at least some slangs to whatever extent possible, as well as dialects and other such interesting language creations.

23.

To have access to English-language media, like radiostations, and actually understand what they are saying, and not just immerse myself in the language as I’d been doing for years.

24.

To challenge my social anxiety. See the posts above for details.

25.

Because it’s easy. So why not?

26.

Because people wouldn’t treat me seriously if I only were learning some endangered, minority languages. I wrote more on that in the Swedish post. But also, even if I spoke Swedish, I guess that still wouldn’t look as serious if I didn’t speak any English. 😀

27.

Because, just like with Swedish, I hope it will be also useful in a more practical way, occupational for example. Who knows.

Yay! I thought there will be less reasons for English because it’s so obvious but there are even more!

If you are a native speaker of English, what do you like it for, or why do you not like it? If you are an English learner, what are your reasons for learning it? 🙂

 

Ten Things Of Thankful.

I haven’t participated in

Ten Things Of Thankful

in ages, I saw the post by Astrid of A Multitude Of Musings last weekend and only realised I haven’t linked up in a long time or so it feels. So I’m very happy that I’ve managed to do that this week, although I doubted I will be able to do it in time. I’ve been feeling rather crappy emotionally and moodwise the last few days so a bit of gratitude will be a good thing.

  • Because it is Independence Day in Poland, the first thing on my list is just that – our independence! That we have been an independent country for 101 years now, that we have had such difficult history yet are thriving, and in the recent years it’s visible more than ever. I’m grateful to and for all those people who sacrificed their lives for it to happen, who went through all sorts of horrific experiences or personal losses during WWI. As I said in the song of the day post I think we so often tend to take it all for granted. I’m also so extremely grateful that I’m Polish. I love many countries, and even more languages to pieces, but I often feel like I wouldn’t like to be born any other nationality than Polish, and it would be such a flippin shame if I wouldn’t speak Polish. I probably would never learn it because it would be too difficult, so my brain would be so much poorer, and would I want to learn languages as I do know, my start with it could have not been as easy with a less complex mother tongue. 😀 Living in Poland has its downsides just as anywhere else, but there are so many things that are just non-existent in all other countries and that are absolutely great.
  • That I won’t have to pay for the repair of my new computer. As you may remember, it got damaged during the delivery, so the company through which I bought it appealed to the delivery company so that they would cover the cost of the repair, because it was actually not working at all. In the end they said they’ll cover the cost of a new one. I’m also grateful for that somehow my laptop is still functioning. I really don’t know what’s going on with the drive, it’s not working properly and I really don’t like this limbo phase lingering on forever, especially that getting used to a new one will be even more stressful, but at least I do have a (more or less) working computer. Otherwise my brain would stop working. 😀 Okay, maybe not straight away, but not long afterwards. So I hope I can keep it (the computer) alive as long as it’s necessary. And I’m doing something on it most of the time so I bet it’s exhausted.
  • That my airways are doing better. This time of the year is allergy time, and then it’s very easy for me to get my seasonal bronchitis. It felt like I was going to get it very soon but to my relief I’m feeling much better, and hope that doesn’t mean the bronchitis thing is just going to be delayed, but that it won’t come this year.
  • (mentioning self harm and other stuff, nothing graphic. Please skip if you feel it could be triggering) My bed. I spent all morning in bed and got out of there long after noon. I’ve been in a shithole and just didn’t have the mental energy to drag myself out of bed whatsoever, and the perspective of having to interact with people was overwhelming. So, when you can’t get out of bed, it’s good when you have a comfy, double bed like I do. I’m still rather shitty though more functional, generally that doesn’t happen often to me that I seriously can’t get myself to do things, I often struggle with it but can do it in the end, so today was pretty hard. I’m just feeling emotionally overloaded lately and my inner critic Maggie is having a hyperactive phase or something, she’s hyperactive most of the time but sometimes more than ever and then I feel like annihilating us both. Oh and another thing I’m thankful for that is related, I’m thankful for not cutting at all lately! I’ve managed to go no cutting since July which is not my life record but at some point this weekend I was sure I’m gonna do this but I didn’t. I guess apart from my will-power what held me back was that now I have that weird sore thing on my leg I’ll have more than enough scars on my legs, and I usually cut my legs because it’s not very likely to be noticed. I guess the cutting crisis is over for now so that’s good. I’m not sure why I’m having this overload thing right now, I guess just because I haven’t had for quite long so my brain decided it’ll be the right time, and I suppose a lot of small things triggered it.
  • painkillers. I’ve had a bit of a headache today, not a strong one but annoying enough for me to decide to take something for it as I had a hard time focusing on my writing. Luckily it helped as now it’s lessened and hopefully will go away completely soon.
  • My Inner MishMash Readership Award. I’m so excited about making it. It’s a long weekend now but hopefully tomorrow I can get the last things I need for it and then will be sending it out and revealing the winners.
  • Misha. Misha is such a tremendous support for me. For the last few days he’s been very moody, but he has his cuddly moments now as well when he wants me to cuddle him for like 15 minutes and is so cute then. It is rare for him so the more I appreciate it.
  • my Dad. I’ve been having a bit hellish times with him but that makes me feel like the more I should include him. I’m very grateful that he employs me, and helps me in a lot of practical ways, though being around him is a real test for my patience more and more, gradually and when I’m having those emotional overloads and all that self-loathing stuff I’m particularly easy to get angry with people as well.
  • my mum. Just like my Dad, she is very practically supportive of me so I wouldn’t manage without her, especially that she is my proxy when dealing with people, which I appreciate hugely and can’t imagine what my life would be like without a “peopling” proxy hahaha.
  • All my blogosphere friends and penfriends. They make it a bit lighter in the shithole. As I said, my family is brilliant but I can’t really talk to them about most of the stuff that is going on in my brain, except for with Mum about some of it that she can relate to in any way, and it’s also extremely hard to reach out to people when I’m feeling like I do right now. So it’s good that I have people online these days. Even when I can’t or don’t know how to talk about my mental health struggles it feels good to just be able to chat with someone who thinks similarly, and it makes a difference when you know you’re not alone.

If this list feels a bit forced to you it’s because it was, haha. But I just felt I needed to write something and I guess we should be grateful for even the smallest things, shouldn’t we? 🙂

Hungarica – “Burzliwe Stulecia / Viharos Szazadok” (Stormy Centuries).

Hi guys! 🙂

You know it’s Independence Day today in Poland? Yaaay! It’s 101 years since Poland regained its Independence, and, while you can hear so much about it in the media, especially on a special occasion like this, I have a feeling like we still so often take it for granted a bit, and that so many people had to die and suffer their personal losses for it to happen. Sofi is having a concert tomorrow at her school because of that, and she is going to sing solo one verse of a song, as she is in a choir. I’ve always thought that, while she loves to sing, her ability to sing in tune is very questionable, but it seems like her music teacher’s opinion is different, so hopefully it goes well for her, she’s very stressed now so any and all crossed fingers will be appreciated! 🙂

Last year on this day I shared with you a song “40:1” by a Swedish band called Sabaton, sung in Polish, about the Battle of Wizna. You know I’m into language so I like to kinda incorporate this holiday into the overal feel of my blog. So, there is such a radio programme on Polish Radio Programme 3, called “Strefa Rokendrola Wolna Od Angola” (Rock&roll Zone Free of English), where you can hear a lot of good rock music and some related more or less closely genres, and it’s in all possible languages but not English. Not because anyone has any problem with English, but because English in music is definitely overrated and it’s unfair for all the other languages. Polish is also rarely heard, because you can hear Polish music in Polish media on a daily basis. The only times you can hear Polish in this programme is when it’s on air on Independence Day, or on May 3, when we celebrate the anniversary of proclaiming the Constitution of May 3, which was the first modern constitution in Europe. I really like to listen to it then, because you can hear foreign bands and musicians singing in Polish, or making any kind of Poland-themed music, it’s very interesting. And the song I have for you today is from there as well.

Hungarica is a (surprise!) Hungarian national rock band, whose songs usually are on the topic of Hungarian history, and from what I’ve read they are one of the most popular Hungarian rock groups. They had a concert in Katowice in Poland some years ago and from the band’s history it seems like they feel a strong bond with Poland, which is not much of a surprise, as Poland and Hungary have a history of quite close relationship, and have a lot of similarities in our histories. And one of this manifestos of their bond with Poland is the song “Burzliwe Stulecia”, “Viharos Szazadok” in Hungarian, which means Stormy Centuries. The group’s vocalist sings it entirely in Polish and does it really wel. Better even than Joakim Broden from Sabaton, who said he struggled with Polish very much and needed frequent breaks throughout the recording, but suppose Hugarian (as weird and enigmatic as it sounds to Poles, and not belonging to the same language family) has paradoxically more in common with Polish phonetically than Swedish. Though you can see that the word accents work much differently in Hungarian, as he does them rather funnily in Polish sometimes.

The song is great. It is a short retelling of Polish history, accentuating what a brave and strong nation Polish people are, despite, or maybe thanks to, all we have been through over the ages.

I managed to write a very rough translation, I don’t think it’s very good this time round, but it’s just so you know what it is about.

   Since a thousand of stormy years
Courageous people are lasting by the Vistula river
Misery and glory
Partitions and occupation
Fake transformation
Despite the storms, Poland has survived
Hey, hey, forward!
So brave for centuries
Hey, hey, forward, Poles!
Hey, hey, forward!
So brave for centuries
Hey, hey, forward, Poles!
We didn’t disown our motherland
We raised the banner of Poland
Though our freedom was taken away from us
We were sold out at Yalta
But we have survived that too
We ended communism
Hey, hey, forward!
So brave for centuries
Hey, hey, forward, Poles!
Hey, hey, forward!
So brave for centuries
Hey, hey, forward, Poles!

If We Were Having Coffee… a midweek coffee share.

Anyone up for a cuppa coffee at 9 PM? Or probably it will be even later by the time I finish this post. But perhaps it’s earlier where you are so if you want a coffee, grab a cup of it and join in. Or drink whatever you feel like. I can offer you a coffee, or an iced coffee, green tea, black tea, some herbal teas, or raspberry tea, kefir, Pepsi, or water. Or you can bring something yourself so that it’ll be more diverse.

I have a lot of snacks this time that I can share with you, I’ve made a big big shopping last week, thinking I’ll be alone for a week so will need a lot of yummy stuff to munch on. A lot of sweets, like biscuits, chocolate, some hard candy, gummybears, lots of stuff that it’ll probably take me weeks or months to deal with myself so I’ll need people to help me out! But you can still bring in your own food. We don’t have much serious food here right now, no yummy dishes or anything like that, as Mum is the one who cooks those and she’s just come back from my uncle’s funeral, but I’ve also stocked the house with instant soups, pasta sauces and all sorts of cereal and yoghurts and such.

I won’t be eating anything this time, actually I only ate a little today, a late breakfast and some cookies with Zofijka, I feel kinda weird physically and don’t even have an idea why, I’m tired and a bit nauseous and lousy and I felt like not doing this coffee share today, but I need to catch up with you and tell you about an idea I had, so I don’t want to delay it all the time.

So, grab something you feel like drinking and eating, find yourself a cosy and comfy place to sit, and let’s start our coffee share properly.

If we were having coffee I’d ask all of you how are you doing and how has the last week and this week so far been for you?… 🙂

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I was on a very unexpected trip to Masuria last week. my Dad just got kind of a suden idea that he’d like to go to Masuria because he’s on holidays for over two weeks now. Masuria is a sort of go-to, traditional place for some longer holidays for us. My Mum has family there, and my Dad is very much into WWII stuff so there’s a lot to explore for him. The food is heavenly there, and so are the views and just the general atmosphere. We didn’t have much time to spend there, as they were supposed to go on another trip with my Mum’s family to the Bieszczady mountains, so we left on… Thursday, I guess, and were meant to go back home on Saturday if not earlier. We didn’t do much there though, because the plans regarding their other trip were changing constantly, and my Dad got cross about it, so in the end we were home on Friday early evening. Still, I mostly liked the trip, despite my Dad’s constant irritability getting on my nerves and my own moods shifting quite a bit which was difficult to contain but I think I succeeded at it very much. It helped me to sort of get away from my anxieties, clear my mind a little, and, while the depression was still echoing somewhere in the background, my anxiety and rumination had significantly lessened while I was away, which was actually surprising, normally I’m one big nervous wreck when travelling for longer than a day and sleeping in a stranger place and all.

We went to one small town called Mikołajki and were just wandering aimlessly around it, I bought myself a cat figurine made of porcelain, it’s blue, as in the Russian blue Misha. 😀 Oh yeah and I mised Misha terribly! I guess I’ll always have that messed up in my brain, when longing for someone, it feels like I’m never going to see them anymore or will have to lose them again very soon, it feels much more of a loss than it is, no matter what I tell myself, no matter that I know I’ll see Misha in 2 days, which is ridiculously short, it’s so stupid and shitty, I hate it. My Dad really wanted to take a ship there, around the lake in Mikołajki, but I flat out refused because it was very windy and I was afraid my vestibular system won’t cooperate, so he was enraged, but couldn’t have any discussion with me. The next day Mum wanted to go somewhere by ship, and it wasn’t that windy so I gritted my teeth and said OK, but to my surprise Dad said we don’t have to and he doesn’t want to force me. Not quite like him, but while I would deal with that, after all we’ve sailed to Sweden and such and I dealt with it, I was happy I didn’t have to go through it again without a sound reason. 😀

After we’ve seen almost the entire Mikołajki, we went to Ełk where we very supposed to sleep, but my Dad – always planning ahead and even a bit stiff – went all wild and spontaneous this time and hadn’t booked us a place anywhere. He doesn’t have a debit/credit card, I left mine at home and Mum was almost skint so couldn’t pay for us, while all the online booking stuff only accepts cards obviously. So he was all raging, until we finally found a hotel that he could plain phone and pay them directly with cash. 😀 I was starting to think that we might end up going back home at night, so fumin he was.

I had really weird, like really weird and rather creepy dreams, some in a cool creepy way and very creative, one was gloomy-creepy and even more odd, and involved me having ECT. Only that if ECT really looked like that… it was even worse than in “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”. I don’t know what I had that for, was it depression or whatever, I just know I was seeing a very authoritarian doctor there who said something is definitely very wrong with my brain and I need ECT to get it working properly, he was the kind of person who knows everything about you before you even get a chance to say anything. It was a really gloomy and awfully depressing hospital, I felt sick just being there, and I guess it was quite a long distance from my home, because when he announced to me that I’d have to come there I guess every month me and my Mum were very unsatisfied. He first wanted me to sit there and wait for my turn while there were like a dozen of odd, metal beds with people on them, who had all something wrong with their brains, they had some stuff connected to their brains, I don’t know, wires or electrodes or whatever it was, something was beeping all the time like in a trashy medical thriller movie, the doctors were doing something to their brains, like manipulating with them with their hands, they were bound to their beds, and they had awful, like horrible, horrifying seizures, it looked gross, heart-wrenching and creepy and their dignity was taken away from them. I guess they weren’t unconscious but in some altered state of consciousness. And then I had all that stuff too, only that I didn’t have the seizures, instead I felt awful and woke up with no memory. And I know I talked with some of those people who were there, one of them was very much like my friend Jacek from Helsinki, and he told me he’s been having that for 5 years every month and he feels less and less like himself and that I should run away from there. I came back home and my whole extended family came to me to wish me speedy recovery but I didn’t even care about anything and it felt really strenuous to think. And then slowly, life would just go back to normal, and as soon as I’d start regaining my colourful brain, feeling OK, getting back my memories and was less scared of what happened, it was time to go back to that prick. It was weird that I couldn’t even just refuse, everyone was saying I have to, they were very sad about it but were saying it will help me in the end. I often have dreams when people force me to do things and no matter how hard I refuse or fight, or how diplomatically I’d try to persuade them out of it, they have to have it their way. I wonder does that mean something? 😀 So yeah, that was my dream, in a nutshell, I was going back and forth from there and seeing all those people and having it done to myself and recovering, until finally when I came there and he put me on the bed I just woke up. First I was creeped out and wondered why the hell I had such a gross dream, and it haunted me for a while, but then I started laughing at how creative my brain is. Guess I really could write thrillers based on my dreams, only I don’t like thrillers! 😀 Would like to have a talk with my brain and ask it where it got it from, during your average jolly family trip. Maybe something was wrong with that hotel! 😀

Anyway, as I told you, the next day we had to go back home, but before we did that, we visited Augustów and I had the yummiest iced latte there. And both on our way to Masuria and back home we stopped for a dinner in a lovely restaurant where I had absolutely scrumptious pierogi. Apart from my Mum’s and perhaps my grandma’s, I don’t think I’ve eaten better. Not in a restaurant for sure, and most often we eat frozen which are rather dull, so it was a great surprise! But pierogi in Masuria usually tend to be very good. So as I said my parents were supposed to go for another trip on Sunday, and they did, but had to go back, because my uncle died that same day from cancer. They normally probably wouldn’t go back, but grandma was going with them and she wanted to take part in the funeral. Coincidentally, my uncle lived in Masuria, so yesterday in the morning my family were heading back there and have just come back. I was at home with Zofijka and Misha, and Olek, but Olek’s mostly at work. For those of you who read my “Some Random Questions” post, if you’re curious, no, our house didn’t catch fire, Misha didn’t choke and Zofijka didn’t bring a norovirus home from her swimming camp, although I’m feeling really interestingly today so actually who knows… (no, brain, don’t think about that now!), instead, Zofijka came home sobbing hysterically, but didn’t want to talk so I asked Mum as for how I should handle it and Mum said I should ignore it and that means she really enjoyed the camp… Yeah, I see… No, seriously, I get it. There’s a whole long school year until another camp. I hated camps but still, I know the feeling. She’s better now, and has been out with her mates for most of the day. But my parents are going for another trip yet (my Dad’s determination to challenge the  fate is pretty admirable) only not to Bieszczady but somewhere nearer, so hopefully the smaller distance will help in making it a success finally. 😀

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that Misha is being really sweet to me lately, which helps me a lot every day. I suspect it’s my little secret bottle of Mish ice cream (his favourite thick sauce) that I’ve got that made him feel so amicably towards me. Those sauces come in little tubes, so you squeeze them out and if we want to have fun Misha can lick it like ice-cream, but it gets messy and I don’t wfind those tubes very user-friendly. So Mum came up with an idea that for the time when they’ll be away she’ll put a few sauces into a bottle so I’ll have it easier to give it to him and dose properly, it’s like an oil bottle. The thing is you of course have to store those sauces in the fridge, or at least in a dark place, so I had to use up that bottle quick. I used up most of it, but sadly, some of the sauce had turned sour, I was afraid not to overfeed him. I still have his normal snacks, but the sauce effect hasn’t worn out yet and Misha graciously spends most of his very precious time with me and sleeps in his bed next to me at night, as well as has his longest day nap always here. It’s really so lovely! 🙂

If we were having coffee, I’d share my idea with you, which I think is great, but I need your feedback, as it has to do with my blog and with you as my readers! I’ve been thinking about it loads and it’s not a very new idea, but, as is most often the case with me, I needed to thoroughly think it through. The idea is such – I’ve been thinking about doing something like a yearly My Inner MishMash reader award – don’t know what its actual name could be yet but that’s a secondary thing. – There are tons of awards in the blogosphere, some people like them and find them nice, for some they’re annoying, so I wasn’t thinking a blog award, like write a post and nominate people etc. Especially that, as far as I am aware, those awards tend to be connected with badges, or other banners or pics, as a way to emphasise and show that someone’s blog has been awarded and I have no idea about that. My idea is more about expressing my gratitude to my readers, having fun blogging, and just connecting with people in a fun way, and also it’d be like a small giveaway. Every year, I would pick three readers of My Inner MishMash that I think have been most involved, that come here regularly, comment etc. and that I feel particularly grateful for having them around. That would be based on my own judgment and feelings, but also on the comments stats. Then I would send out small packages to those folks, with mini things like some typically Polish yummies, T-Shirts with Misha, Mish-themed Christmas cards (as that would be sometime around Christmas and New Year) and such, I’m open for suggestions here. I’d also make an official post announcing the “winners” (although it’s not about winning and losing, obviously I’m grateful for all my engaged/reglar readers who enjoy being here at My Inner MishMash, whether you comment a lot or just read my posts, but I can’t send gratitude packages to all of you every year 😀 ). Or maybe that post would go before I’d send the packages, and it could have a bit of an award form, that part needs deeper thinking. But what I need most at the moment is for you to say what you think, if you like the idea, are you up for it? Any ideas for a name for this invention? Right now I’m considering My Inner Mishmash Involvement Award (MIMIA) or My Inner MishMash Readership Award (MIMRA), it’s not really an award but it looks better in the acronyms than giveaway, but that feels a little stiff, or maybe it’s just me. My other idea is just simple EMisha’s Christmas Mini Care Package. Yeah, could use some feedback… I love baby names, but titles and such aren’t my ground as much.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m getting lots of new equipment soon! I’m happy not happy. I’ve got the maximum funding for my new Braille-Sense and Plextalk, so I really don’t have to pay much myself compared with the original price especially of Braille-Sense, which is good. I also decided to get a new computer, the one I have right now is about 5 and just seems to feel like retiring soon. My current computer is a laptop, but the one I’m going to get is a desktop, simply because it seems more logical for me, I almost only use my laptop in my room anyway. I’m happy because the change is really needed, especially re Braille-Sense, which is a geriatric, but I’m not happy and all anxious and fidgety because I hate hate hate changes and seem to have some internal problem with tech stuff and changing it, arrrghhhh. It’s not because of the sentiment, I just hate change, I’m afraid something will go wrong, or I won’t be able to transition and adjust, I won’t learn to handle the different things, which is quite unlikely. I guess I’d never had that strong anxiety with tech related transitions before, I guess before most of them I was very happy most of all, I don’t like the intensity of it at all. I’m gonna have my new stuff in the end of August.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that, although I’m not sleepy, because I woke up at about 11:30 AM today, I feel very tired for some reason and kind of weird so I’m going to bed soon.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee? 🙂

 

What did I do for my Easter weekend?

I’m a little late to the show, but I wanted to give you a bit of a life update on my Easter, as I haven’t posted any proper one in quite a while, and I saw this question on Carol Anne’s blog,

so I thought I’d answer the question and write the update in one go. 😀

So, my Easter? Nothing too unusual. We were invited for two dinners, on Sunday and Monday, to my Dad’s family. I was very nervous about that but some time before the holidays I decided that I’m not going to any of them and no one will make me go there, especially that Olek wasn’t going either. I’m so glad I didn’t go. Gatherings with my Dad’s family always feel even more boring than any others, with my Mum’s family I have at least a little bit of common ground and they are more communicative. Also, on Tuesday it was my grandad’s name day, my maternal grandad, I only have one grandad anyway, and if I had to choose I’d definitely prefer to go to him rather than to those yucky dinners, and I felt like that would be impossible for me to do to go for three days in a row socialising (especially that it turned out that there was fourth in stock for me too, but that’s another story). But other than my personal feelings, there is currently very bad atmosphere at my Dad’s family. The uncle who invited us on Sunday is freshly after divorce, and the uncle to whom we were invited on Monday has been drinking even since before Easter, he’s an alcoholic. And apparently both those dinners were quite unpleasant. Besides I’m feeling depressed lately and just not into that, even more than usual.

I don’t know if there is such a tradition in any other countries, but in Poland, on Easter Sunday, we have a resurrection mass very early in the morning. I’d never been to one prior to this year, we’d usually go for the Easter eve service at night or however it’s called, as it’s nowadays usually celebrated together with the Easter liturgy in the end. But my Mum really wanted to go, and I was curious too how it feels. Only that I got very little sleep that night. I usually get very little sleep at night or none at all if I know that I have to be somewhere early. This time, I fell asleep like a baby, quickly and early, but woke up at 1 AM and was wide awake since then. My sleep cycle is in a messed up phase since almost two weeks now though. We were meant to get up at about 4:30. So at least the only advantage to the situation was that I wasn’t groggy in the morning, while my whole family were all yawning and one brain hemisphere still far away in Dreamland, while the other having to face the brutal harshness of the real world, yes waking up at such early hours especially if you have to go out is a yucky state to be in. But it’s just a few minutes and then everything’s OK. So we went to the mass and it was really beautiful, I always like the late night services like the midnight mass on Christmas more, but in the early morning it’s also very atmospheric. We had a yum yum yummilicious Easter breakfast. I wanted to get Zofijka Flips for Easter (Flips, or Flipsy actually, are a kind of vintage, unflavoured Polish crisps that Zofijka likes, there are flavoured too, but for some reason our usually fussy Zofijka prefers unflavoured), but she expressed her wish very late and I didn’t manage to get hold of them before Easter. I also got perfumes for Mum but they haven’t arrived yet. I got some sweets from Mum and Zofijka.

A while after breakfast, Mum, me, Zofijka and Jocky went for a long walk which was very nice and helped to clear out my brain a bit and I felt a little better emotionally. The most of the rest of the day I spent just with Misha, and Olek in his room, and we all were just chilling out and stuffing ourselves with food and sweets.

Easter Monday is a weird day in Poland, because people pour water on each other. Or in practice, anything they can put their hands on. Just a tradition. So I was woken up by Mum, splashing the water from a bottle at me. At least Mum is more human-like, when Zofijka came in with her bottle, my whole duvet got soaked, not to mention myself. I’ll have to use Olek’s strategy next year. Before he went to sleep, he got himself a big bottle and placed it beside him. And whenever anyone even opened the door to his rom, he’d splash the water at them immediately. Dad and Zofijka tried to outsmart him, Zofijka opened the door quietly and Dad wanted to quickly pour him over, but Olek was quicker. And everyone was shrieking and screaming and the water was all over Olek’s walls, bed, TV, all over Zofijka and Dad. And believe me, at our house it’s really low key and decent, my Mum is actually afraid of going out on the streets on Easter Monday, because people don’t always seem to know where good-humoured fun ends, and stupidity begins, or my aunt likes to greet all her visitors on Easter Monday by soaking them from head to toes. 😀 We only have a bit of splashing around in the morning and then it’s over.

So the rest of the day was calm for me. After we came back from the church I was sitting on the terrace with Mum and we were chatting about lots of things. It was very sunny. They weren’t long at that other dinner, probably because of my uncle being, hm, poorly. I was feeling pretty blah emotionally most of the day but tried to distract myself by catching up on the correspondence with my penfriends.

So, nothing unusual, as you see. But overall, even with me feeling low, it wasn’t as bad as Easter last year was for me, with my very grumpy Daddy not being satisfied with anything. Most of all I’m glad I didn’t go to those flippin dinners.

How about your Easter? 🙂

Question of the day.

What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been?

My answer:

The most beautiful? Hmmm… I’m sure I’ve been to many beautiful places, although it’s hard to recall them now. I consider Stockholm very beautiful, because I just love Sweden, even that little piece of Sweden I’ve been to. Also when I think of beautiful places I think about one of the beaches we’ve been to, it’s in one of national parks and it’s really beautiful there. The village is called Smołdzino, and it is a very small, poor village, but very clean and quiet, and the sea and the beach seems cleaner than anywhere else I’ve been to, even though it’s the same sea as anywhere else in Poland. It was a very nice place. I also consider my room a beautiful place simply because it’s a safe space for me. It’s a bit messy though so I guess I’m not objective. 😀

How about you? 🙂

Sabaton – “40:1”.

Hi guys! 🙂

Today is Independence Day in Poland, and it’s a special one because it’s 100th anniversary of Polish Independence. So as you can imagine we’re having a lot of celebrations, both on a national, as well as personal/familial level, and all the others in between.

I wanted to make something special on my blog because of this, like something in connection with Poland, but somehow I was very short on ideas, thought about making a little q&a like on 1 August, but thought it doesn’t really make sense now as my blog is private.

Well, turns out that even if I came up with something, I probably wouldn’t do it, because I spent most of the day in bed with a nasty headache and stuff, and then when I finally dragged out we watched the INdependence March or parade or however you call it on TV, and I had that yucky headache until a few hours ago.

Anyway, instead, I decided to celebrate this day with music. And I wanted it to be particularly interesting, so I chose one of the songs that I know that are sung in Polish, but not by Polish people or Polish speakers.

I know quite a lot of such songs because there is such an awesome programme on Polish Radio called “Strefa Rokendrola Wolna Od Angola” which I’ve already mentioned a couple of times, via which I got to know lots and lots of music, particularly rock music, in other languages than English, sometimes really bizarre, but really cool stuff. And once in a while in this programme there is a separate one for music in Polish, but by non Polish people, and another one for music made by Polish people but in other languages than Polish, and than English of course. And oh my God there are so many brilliant songs by non Polish people in Polish! And I admire their courage so so much, and it is just interesting to hear!

But this one that I want to show you is absolutely particular.

Sabaton is a Swedish metal band, which is fairly popular here, which is no wonder because they are fascinated by Polish history, and very often sing about it. I am not particularly crazy about them (even though they are Swedish 😀 ), but I do like them, and I love the fact that they are so fascinated by our country and history!

This song is called “40:1”, and has two language versions, one is in English, and one is in Polish, and I’ll show you both.

It is not connected with Polish Independence as such, it tells the story of battle of Wizna in 1939, but still I think it has the feel that is appropriate for this occasion.

The thing is: the vocalist of Sabaton doesn’t speak Polish, I guess at all. Swedish is generally an easy language for Poles, but definitely NOT vice versa! I wouldn’t exaggerate, as many Polish people like to, that Polish language is so very difficult, even the most difficult in the world as some say – no, or at least, not as very very much, I suppose, but for Swedes, it may be a bit tricky. All those z’s, ź’s, ż’s, rz’s, and so on and so forth… Swedes do not have the letter Z in their language, I mean they do but only in some loanwords or surnames and now it seems to become trendy in baby names when you’ll look at rankings. But even in the words that they do have Z, it’s very difficult for them, usually, and they pronounce it like S. Even in English Swedes very often tend to say “amasing”, “lasy”, “crasy”, which, in my opinion, is SOOOOOO cute. I have a Swedish friend, she currently lives in Poland and has married a Polish guy a while back, she has been almost always interested in Poland and has been learning Polish since years, longer than I am learning Swedish, and she has still some difficulty with those sounds. And there are other sounds, or combinations of sounds, that are incredibly hard for Swedes too.

And this guy did it! I mean of course he sounds very Swedish, and there are parts that Polish vocalists are singing, but still, he did it, and he did it really really well! I’ve heard that apparently it was very exhausting for him to sing this song in Polish, and when they were recording it they had to take multiple breaks and eventually put together small bits of it together, or something like this, because it was too hard for him to do in one piece! I was just in awe when I first heard this song, and I still am, no less. So yeah, chapeau bas
for him! And, as we are at it, even more so for all those who fought for Polish Independence!

Here are the two songs. 🙂

Ask me anything about Poland.

Today is the anniversary of Warsaw Uprising during the WWII, which is quite an important date for Polish people.

Because of this, I thought I should celebrate it on here as well, in a way that could be both fun and educating.

Is there anything, important or just trivial, or in between, that you’d like to know about Poland, or Polish people, or Polish language?

Ask me in the comments, and I will be happy to answer your questions. I can’t promise you I know everything about Poland, Polish people and language, because I don’t, but I am Polish, so I know a lot, plus being Polish I know very many Polish people I can ask, so that way I’ll be learning too.

If there will be any questions that I’ll think deserve some more in depth answer, or that would be particularly interesting for me, I might do a separate post with the answer, we’ll just see how it goes.

So yeah, don’t be shy, just ask me. 🙂


Ta wiadomość została sprawdzona na obecność wirusów przez oprogramowanie antywirusowe Avast. https://www.avast.com/antivirus

Question of the day.

What was the last book you purchased/borrowed from the library?

My answer:

I wanted to read a book by the Polish positivist writer Eliza Orzeszkowa called “Marta”, so I downloaded it from our online library for the blind. Actually, some of the books of Orzeszkowa are compulsory readings at Polish schools, so I’ve never had particularly warm feelings to her works as I found most of compulsory readings unbelievably boring, but I wanted to read that particular book, not for anything particular, just because I thought it could be interesting and thought provoking. It was, I read it in two days. It describes fate of women in Poland at the time of positivism, their occupational situation, how all the fields were dominated by men, to put it very basically. It is described on the example of a woman called Marta, who has been just widowed at the beginning of the book, and although her financial situation in her marriage was very good and stable, and she led a happy life, from now on she becomes poor and is forced to look for a job for herself to be able to feed her little daughter. She is an educated gentrywoman but her education turns out to be not enough to find a job just anywhere, it’s just what usually young ladies were taught, a bit of everything, but nothing deep enough to be really useful in life long term. It is a very dramatic book and it describes how Marta is slowly forced by life to beg to provide at least basic things for her daughter, and finally when her daughter becomes ill with severe bronchitis because of the incredibly poor life conditions and Marta isn’t able to give her what she needs to recover, she commits suicide. So as I said it’s very dramatic, but also incredibly thought-provoking, and Orzeszkowa has definitely a talent for describing people, their emotions and stuff, which made it even more pleasant to read, as I really like detailed descriptions, if skillfully written. So I devoured the book much quicker than I thought I would. I supposed it can be very interesting as I said, but I thought it also can be much harder to actually get through, so was quite surprised.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

Do you prefer cake or pie?

My answer:

It really really depends on what cake or pie it is. Plus, for me this difference isn’t really that important, because in Polish we usually call both the same name, which is ciasto. Of course, you can call a pie placek, but it’s rather rarely heard nowadays, placek is actually in some regions more like a pancake, so just no one cares what is a cake, and what is a pie. 😀

How about you? And what are your favourites, btw? My Mum is just making mole cake, I’m curious what it will be like, as she has never made it before. She is making it with blueberries, not bananas, as most people, because all of us absolutely hate bananas, well maybe except for Dad, but he doesn’t like cakes at all hahaha.

Question of the day.

If you HAD to vote for any celebrity to be president right now, who would you vote for, and why?

My answer:

A very very tricky question for me to answer, simply because I don’t trace any celebrities with a particular interest and I don’t know anything about their political views. Being a rightist with a liberal mind, I think I wouldn’t mind to vote for a celeb to be a president unless our views would be similar and they’d seem trustworthy, and I wouldn’t care if our president would be a celeb, unless they’d be serious about the role they have in the country and wouldn’t be more focused on their celebrity career instead of duties they have towards the society. We have one celebrity who is a well-known politician in the Polish parliament and he has his own party. I can’t say I liked him as a celeb, he was a pop musician and his music was as colourless as so much other pop music, nothing particular. His party is in alliance with our currently ruling party which I voted for and agree with their views overall, so his party shares some things with them, but sometimes I have an impression they’re incredibly labile with their views and I think their popularity is mostly because of popularity of their celebrity, or ex-celebrity leader.

I think, if I really had to choose, I’d choose him, because as I said most of his party’s views are reasonable and matching with mine, and he is the only one celebrity I can really see ruling here without making a full-blown nation wide drama. 😀 However I’d be concerned about unstability of his views as I said and it definitely wouldn’t be a great material for the president imho, just the best among the celebrities I can think of.

What would be your choice for your country? 🙂

Question of the day.

Do you have any Easter traditions?

My answer:

We do have some, but they’re nothing very special, just common things in Poland or at least in our area, don’t know much how about other countries, but I guess pretty many of them are rather exclusive to our country or Slavic regions. One of them is the Easter basket, but it’s not the kind of Easter basket people have in the US, or at least so I guess. On Holy Saturday we prepare the Easter basket with bread, salt, eggs, easter eggs, pieces of cakes, and some other basic and not so basic food we’ll be eating on Easter, we decorate it and go to the church with it to be blessed. Usually children do it, as they really like it. You don’t put all the food you’re having on Easter to the basket, although some people do so, to show off, it’s just a symbol. We are quite a religious country, so Christian celebrations occupy quite an important place in our Easter traditions, but actually, I think it’s rather logical because Easter is a Christian holiday after all. So early in the Easter morning people are going for the resurrection mass. Not all people do it, some go late in the evening, or actually at night, for Holy Saturday celebrations linked with the resurrection, so do we, we’re too lazy to jump from the beds at dawn. 😀 And some people go later during Easter for a less festive mass.

And then of course we have the Easter breakfast. Although my family is pretty large, we’ve always eaten Easter breakfasts at home, just my parents and siblings and me, and Misha of course. Honestly, as for food, I much prefer Christmas food, I guess there are more Christmas traditions related to food than it’s on Easter. I guess most people have żurek soup for Easter, usually with an egg and white sausage. Overall, I’m not a big fan of żurek, I wouldn’t eat it at a restaurant or anything like this, but my Mum’s is very yummy. Also, most people have the cake called Easter bab(k)a, made in many different ways depending on the region and other things. Also people tend to have eggs made in different ways or different dishes with eggs. My Mum always makes a salad or a few, and our family loves pierogi to pieces. Generally there aren’t any traditional pierogi for Easter, only for Christmas. But we love them so much, especially my brother, that a few years ago Mum finally came up with the idea she’ll make Easter pierogi, with white sausage – which people associate with Easter here – and cabbage. They’re absolutely delicious, although still, Christmas pierogi are better. 😀 Lots of people make a cake called mazurek, it can be made in many different ways, flavours, with different ingredients, but we’ve never had it and actually I’ve even never eaten it myself. What my Mum does every Easter is a yeast cake called drożdżówka, with different fruit in it, this year we’re having apples.

Another tradition, which is now held only by Zofijka at our home, is decorating Easter eggs. She’s so very good at it. There are many different regional ways people do it, so it’s actually like art for some people, but Zofijka does it in just her own way. I’ve also heard about people playing some games with Easter eggs. People often have the Easter lamb to decorate the table, it’s often made of butter, sugar, cake with icing… but no one eats it actually. 😀

And then of course there are presents, which I guess don’t differ that much from anywhere in the world where Easter is celebrated. We also have a bunny, or a lamb, which as children believe leaves them presents. Many families do so that before you get your present, you need to find it, and they often hide the presents all around the backyard, but I guess now it isn’t so popular as for example when my Mum was a kid. Many people tend to think Easter presents must be more humble, simply and logically, because bunny won’t be able to carry as much as Santa Claus, but because children don’t like it and terrorise their parents, I don’t think many people care about poor bunny’s muscles. So that’s about the Easter Sunday, usually when we have any bigger holidays, people tend to eat a lot and very often meet with the ffamily. We visit my grandparents on Mum’s side and my gramma on Dad’s side, the rest of the family often comes over then too.

Easter Monday is rather funny, although a bit annoying for some as well, ’cause people soak each other. We call Easter Monday śmigus-dyngus. People are going around with bottles of water or other things you can have water in and just pour it over each other, some more gentle people will just sprinkle you, but that’s not a rule. You can have a nice start of the day being drowned in your ow bed lol. No I’m joking o f course, but people really like this day and take advantage of it as much as possible. So it’s better not to go out on the streets, ’cause lots of people are overexcited and take the symbolic holiday too seriously. 😀 But if you know how to have fun, it’s fun. It’s one of Zofijka’s favourite holidays.

And I guess that’s all I could say about our family’s Easter traditions and Polish traditions in general.

How about your traditions? Do you do something special at home on Easter time? Is there something you do in your country that not many people abroad do? 🙂

Question of the day.

Do you have plans to travel? Where do you want to go?

My answer:

We as a family don’t travel that much, our lifestyle or life circumstances or however you want to call it doesn’t really let us travel very often or far, and we are rather homebodies, at least most of us, but still we do like travels, especially my Dad who is a tank driver. Every time summer holidays are coming he tells us he wants to go there and there or tells us this year we’ll go there, but it doesn’t always come true. He even has been romising me for about seven years that this summer we’ll go to Sweden, but it happened just last year. It’s not like he didn’t want to make it true or like I have any claims about that, that’s just how the life goes and I’m glad we finally did it.

So yes, we do have plans to travel. But now it’s more my Mum who started them, not Dad. My Mum is at least as much knackered by this school year as I am, ’cause she has a double trouble, with me and my brother, as we are both finishing this year. Plus Zofijka’s school affairs and dramas aren’t helping. So she (my Mum, not Zofijka) is dreaming that finally when we’re finished, we’ll go somewhere far away, or at least will visit many places. She even suggested to me that we should both go to Wales straight after my exams, just we both, but for various reasons I don’t think this is going to happen this year, although I would love it to happen. Some of our realistic plans include going to some thermal pool. We visited one in Oravica in Slovenia years ago and we were chuffed, it was so brilliant. Then there is festival of minerals somewhere in Silesia where I’d like to go and my Mum proposed it to me. And at the end of August there is a whisky festival somewhere nearby and I’d like to go there too with my Mum, as we both like whisky and for me it is the only kind alcohol I accept, of course not like I don’t accept drinking other kinds of alcohol by other people around me or anything, just this is the only kind of alcohol I drink. 😀 I am not a big big enthusiast and actually now I drink very rarely because even after just a glass of any kind of alcohol drink I’ve ever had I can get nasty side effects and my Mum too so I guess we’re kind of allergic or something. Plus I don’t drink outside of the cosiness of my own home as it makes my anxiety higher. Anyway, the main reason I want to go there is I want to see if they have Welsh Penderyn, I’d love to taste Welsh whisky. My Welsh friend told me he’ll get me a bottle when he comes and visits me, but since sadly we aren’t in touch anymore it’s rather unlikely to happen. :// And I’d love to get some Grand MCNish to have it for some special occassions. Mmmmm… 🙂

As for where I want to go in general, like in some more distant future, there are countries speaking my favourite languages. Or dialects, or accents, whatever. I’d love to go to the UK. I like Britain very much in general as well as the British people and British accents and lots of other things about this country, I have quite a few pen pals from England and would love to meet with at least some of them. Then there is so many Celtic stuff in Great Britain. And there is Wales. So I could practice Welsh language, hear more of Welsh accents, and see how it is in the north, pick up some Wenglish. My Mum loves Great Britain and Wales too, because it’s beautiful, so she could see some of the views and castles and all. And there is my current crush, Gwilym Bowen Rhys. Don’t think I’d meet him, but anyway, he lives there, you know…

Then there is Scotland and all that Scottish stuff, Scottish whisky, Scottish accents (maybe I’d finally learn how to at least imitate it a bit more convincingly, I am an accent freak and like to mimick different accents and pick up the differences pretty quickly, but I feel like my Scottish accent is particularly poor). And oh gosh I’d love to go to the highlands, hear Scottish Gaelic, my Mum could see some more views. And there is Scots language as well. It’s funny, well I consider it funny for some reason, but it’s beautiful. And then there is Northern Ireland and all those Northern Irish accents and Ulster Scots language (I’m curious whether actually there is anyone using it there in Ulster) and Irish Gaelic and everything Celtic. Oh, I almost forgot! The Isle of Man. I’ve heard so little about it. People say it’s boring, but I think if it was under the influence of both Vikings and Celts… how can it be boring!? I definitely need to hear more Manx, get to know more Manx music. I don’t know much of it sadly. I want someone kind and competent to tell me what does the word “mish” mean in this mysterious language…

The next country I’d like to go to is Ireland. I love it too, for all the Celtic things they have there, and for Enya, who was my first crush, etc…

Another country I’d like to see are the Netherlands. This is the home to my last crush Cornelis Vreeswijk, I’d like to hear more of this fantastic language, to see the areas where Cornelis grew up. And there is Friesland and their underestimated, beautiful language.

Then I’d like to visit Finland. Their language is so fabulous. They are so fabulous people. I like their way of being and can relate to it at least as much as to Brits’. Swedish Finnish accent is so cute and funny, yes, that’s how I perceive it, 😀 if Finnish wasn’t so beautiful, I could talk to them only in Swedish, but as Finnish is so great, I’d at least try to use my poor Finnish skills and grab some more Finnish expressions, plus not everyone talks Swedish there, so English would be necessary as well. They have Lappland, I wan’t to see it too. And hear more of the Sami language. I’m sure it would be so exciting. Also I’d love to see how that Finnish harp – kantele – looks like. It sounds so different from “normal” harp, or Celtic harp(s), that I have an impression it must look very different.

And Faroe Islands. I wanna know, is it true what my uncle says, that actually there are so few people there that they are all family or know each other through their family members? My uncle is a saylor, his chief is Faroese and he often sails to Faroe Islands, but I don’t believe it. What a pity he isn’t more eloquent and more curious about the world so he could tell me more about this country. 😦 And Faroese language obviously. Plus, I love their singer, Eivor Palsdóttir. If everyone knows each other there at least through their family members, maybe I could meet her? 😀

And last, but not least. Sweden, again! I want to see more of Sweden, not only Stockholm and its neighbourhood. I wanna see Luleå. More of the places associated with Cornelis Vreeswijk (he migrated from Netherlands and lived in Sweden). I want to see more of their fabulous nature. There’s so much to see there!

So that’s the end of my list, I suppose.

How about your plans, for near or more distant future? 🙂