Question of the day.

What are three foods you would eat every day, if you never, ever got tired of them?

My answer:

I absolutely love olives. If I had something good to match them with every day, I could surely eat them every day. I looooove Silesian dumplings! But not the kind you can get in any grocery market over here, it is a mash and pulp of something poorly imitating potatoes and it is just a total profanation, only real, homemade Silesian dumplings. I could eat them every day, but I feel for a person who’d make them for me because they’re laborious, and I feel for myself, because I’m sure I’d be severely overweight after such a gorgeous diet. So if we want to stay realistic, no, thanks, if I had to choose between the extremes I’d rather prefer to be underweight as I’m now than to be so overweight as I predict I would be as a result of eating Silesian dumplings every day. But if it doesn’t necessarily have to be very realistic, I go for Silesian dumplings, yay! And the third food… hmm… well, it maybe isn’t a food itself, but my life would be definitely much more boring without spices. So they’d be my third food choice. Especially Cayenne pepper or chilli.

Yours? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Recommend to us a lifestyle change.

My answer:

It’s a little hard, I think, because everyone of us can have a completely different lifestyle, has different needs etc. Something pretty universal would be I guess drinking more of healthy drinks. I have an impressionn that we, people in general, drink too little and if we do, these are often fluids that are paradoxically dehydrating like coffee or other caffeinated drinks or fizzy drinks, different very sugary juices, or alcohol, or other stuff like this. I know not all people like drinking just water, although I love it and think it’s just the best thing to drink, but if we’d at least drink some healthy teas, like green tea, or some natural juices, or other fresh and natural drinks that could really help us stay hydrated, that’d still be cool. My Mum, who as I told you multiple times is a lifestyle and health geek, found out a few months ago that actually the best thing to do is to drink water with a little little bit amount of… salt. You can either melt it in the water and then it’s yucky but you can be satisfied when you drink it that you are a total hero, or you can just put the salt in your mouth and then drink the water so it would be less yucky and will melt sooner. But it needs to be healthy salt, like Himalaian or something like this, it is pointless to drink it with your normal salt that you can get in every shop, you’d rather destroy your kidneys this way, or something else. Anyway, apparently if you get in the water with the right kind of salt you get more natrium this way as well as some other things that help your overall well-being, and, what may be a bit paradoxical for some, you can even drop down your blood pressure if it’s too high. Actually it’s quite logical thing if we’ll think that salt keeps the water in our body, although it doesn’t change the fact that this combination is pretty yucky so I myself rarely managed to drink it. My Mum has heard it works for many types of migraines, because they often happen when your natrium is low, and probably something else, and I have migraines very often and tried it, and it actually helped me. But this migraine can’t be full-blown, ’cause then I don’t think anyone would be able to drink water with salt, you’re already nauseous without it, so you need to do it before it fully develops if you want to see the effects. So that would be my vague recommendation for you guys. I can share more details with you as for that my Mum’s discovery if you’d like to find out more and din’t know about it before.

What would you recommend to me and other of my readers? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Name one thing you must do more of and one thing you must do less of.

My answer:

Lately I noticed I need more physical activity. It’s been a little bit hard recently. For most of my life, my main physical activity has been horse riding. But this year things have changed slightly. I am taking my final exams this year and preparations consume quite a lot of time, and also money, as I have the tutor who helps me with maths, which is obligatory to pass the exam from and I simply wouldn’t be able to achieve this without her help, I’d say it’s even doubtful with it, but anyway… I needed to stop horse riding for some time as it also consumes a lot of both things. Besides my horse riding instructor and hipotherapist is a very busy person, she is also a professional rider, a doctor – working as anasthesiologist, neurologist and now also on A&E, ER or however you call it – and a mum, and has a lot of both children and adults she works with as either hipotherapist or riding instructor, so sometimes she just doesn’t manage to crowd everyone in her schedule and as I am one of people with less complex needs of those she works with and don’t necessarily need constant therapy/stimulation, it’s more of my hobby, it often happens that I may have breaks between my riding. Also my horse has been not in the best condition lately. I think I”ve told you about my horse ŁoΕ› who is quite an old guy with lots of stormy and not the nicest life experiences and because of that, he’s having more and more health troubles, recently something’s going on with his bronchi. I have my “emergency” horse – Rudy – but he has a lot of people who ride him, mostly children, on a regular basis, so it isn’t always possible for me to ride him. ANd also I’ve been through that awful skin infection which I had on my leg this year which was too painful to ride with. So actually the last time I rode was sometime in December. That’s such a pity. I feel like I’ll forget how to ride! That would be scary, but I hope I won’t and that I’ll be able to come back to riding soon.

Anyway, I’m out of riding for now and it’s a little hard to find some replacement activity. My spacial orientation and related stuff are rubbish, I’m barely able to navigate through our backyard and I don’t feel very confident about it, not to mention anything outside, I need someone to guide me. So I can’t organise much for myself. We do have some walk from time to time with Mum as we have some time on our hands at the same moment, but we both feel like it’s too rarely. At least I do some muscle exercises for my legs to not go out of practice when I’m back to riding, but I’m not that very systematic about that to be honest, especially now in all that mishmash. Hope I’ll be able to take it more seriously after the term session, maybe then I’ll have some more spare time, if the stress before the final exams won’t eat me completely.

The thing I think I should do less is overthinking. This is something I’m really an expert about, I could be a PHD in overthinking really lol. I feel like it’s a bit pathological and often very overwhelming so that I can feel absolutely insane just because of my thoughts overwhelming me. It’s damn hard to have any control over this, but I need to try and try and maybe someday I’ll succeed?

Now it’s your turn. πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Now we’ll start a bit of a lifestyle questions series, hope you’ll like them. πŸ™‚

Name three things you consume because you believe them to be beneficial to your health.

My answer:

Olives, black and green – I love to eat them (I NEVER eat anything strictly for health purposes if I don’t like it, unless I’m somehow very ill and it’s like the only option to help myself) and I’ve heard they are helpful for our brains, which is very important for me, as I am a freak in this matter, both because I’m simply interested with the brain and am afraid of neurodegenerative illnesses like Alzheimer, Parkinson and others, any dementias and anything capable of destroying human mind. I eat quite a lot of almonds, nuts etc. for the same purpose.

Kefir – as much as I believe milk isn’t the right choice for other people than babies and I don’t like milk and often feel a bit weird after drinking it even though I don’t have any allergy to it, I do like many other milk products and believe they are good for people. Kefir is my favourite. I just love it. It has a lot of calcium apparently, as well as probiotic bacteries. I always use it as a probiotic when I take any antibiotics and it really does work for me. Plus it’s just yummy and refreshing so you can just drink it when you’re thirsty on a hot, summer day and not have any water with you and it quenches thirst really well, just like water.

Lots of spicy things, like chilli, Cayenne pepper, piri piri peppers, garlic, onion, ginger, etc. I’ve heard it all, or some of these products have in them something called… capsaicine? I hope I spell it right, actually I only know for sure how it’s spelled in Polish so just guessing, but it can’t be much different. Anyway, this capsaicine or capsaicin or capsaicinum or whatever it is, is very popular recently, I guess especially amongst people struggling with overweight, because it apparently speeds up the metabolism. I’ve never struggled with any extra weight, actually, I’ve been pretty much underweight for most of my life, but I have hypothyroidism and hypopituitarism which are generally said to slow metabolism down pretty much. Other than that, I love garlic for its antibiotic properties. I hate antibiotics for one reason – actually there are a few, but they all come from one major thing – I’m emetophobic. And if you are emetophobic and on an antibiotic, you might have quite a few reasons for being anxious, the biggest one is simply that vomiting/nausea etc. are one of the most common side effects of such therapy. So any time I feel like I might be sick with something more than a cold, the first thing I do is eating deterent amounts of garlic. Deterent both for the bacteries – at least in some way – and for people around me as well. πŸ˜€ Well it may not cure me totally if I’m particularly sick, but it does help usually. Another reason why I love to eat healthy spicy things is that they help our bodies get rid of extra mucus. As you may know our so called modern lifestyle and modern diet affects us in many negative ways, among others we eat a lot of mucogenic foods and too much mucus isn’t good for our bodies. I have an issue with it after my Mum that I have a tendency to have a lot of mucus in the respiratory tracts whichi is a bit shitty in combination with allergies and asthma and which I definitely don’t want, so I need to somehow clean of it and spicy foods, along with some others, are fantastic for it. I eat especially much of them when it’s winter, ’cause it’s my life long ritual to get some nasty bronchitis in early winter, it can linger for weeks or even months at times and a few years ago I saw that when I eat a lot of spicy things it helps my bronchi to clean more effectively. But even if spicy foods wouldn’t have all those fantastic properties, I’d still love them, I couldn’t live without them, at least since I got out from the boarding school and can eat whatever I want, people even often look at me like I’m crazy or frenzied when they see how much of them I can eat at once, but somehow I can tolerate it and my limit seems to be higher than most of people around me. πŸ˜€

What are your three things? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What were you doing for the Easter holidays?

My answer:

Nothing very special. Apart from my Dad trying to intoxicate the atmosphere, which didn’t go very well for him, we had a very yummy Easter breakfast. Zofijka surprised us all, because she had presents for all of us. It was so nice of her. I got from her a rabbit made of a sock with rice in it and she wrote “Bibiel” on it. Bibiel is how she often calls me for fun. I also got from her TOffifee and a bath salt. Then we went to the church and then just chilled out, in the evening we had guests – my grandparents from Mum’s side, aunt and uncle and my three cousins – but I just was only for a while with them. In the evening I watched a bit of my favourite Welsh language series, which I try to do regularly to extend my vocabulary. On Monday there was of course Śmigus-Dyngus (when we pour water over each other, I’ve told you about it a few posts ago), but we didn’t particularly celebrate it. My Mum hates it. πŸ˜€ And actually no one besides Zofijka is cazy about it. We were at church, had a big dinner and did just usual things. Mum helped me to fix my PayPal account as something weird were going on with it, luckily we fixed it as it could be fixed and it’s OK. Zofijka was invited to our cousins to stay for the night at theirs, so there was only my Mum and me at home for the afternoon and we had a nice time together. And that’s all about my Easter.

How was yours? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Which is your favourite holiday of the year and why?

My answer:

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

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

What is your favourite holiday? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Is there anything at all from natural world which has the ability to affect you mood in a positive way?

My answer:

Sure! First of all, obviously, Misha. Misha affects my mood and me in general in a very positive way. He helps me stay calm, lessens my anxiety, makes me more relaxed, makes me smile, keeps me company or even helps me come back to normal with my sleep cycle if it goes crazy for a while. Plus he’s beautiful. I think everyone would agree that beauty affects us in a positive way and influences us a lot.

Next thing, horses. I love it how the horse and the rider can be actually like one while riding and how strong the connection is then. My horse – and riding in general – is capable of making my mood significantly higher when I’m depressed, but I guess that’s also the thing with endorphines and such.

I love muscari, I guess that’s how these lovely blue flowers are called in English. There is something sweet about them I just love.

I find rain calming and helping me to concentrate, plus I like it also because when it falls, most of my allergies go to sleep.

And, since my early childhood, for some reason I’ve always felt something towards ice. I can’t explain it. I just like to feel it. I remember that I’ve even had a small dream to have a piece of ice that will never melt so I could feel it as much as I’d like to and have it in my room. πŸ˜€ I was just fascinated by ice, I guess, and still am in some way.

Another thing are gem stones, even though maybe some people wouldn’t classify them as part of the natural world. I love how beautiful they are, I really like to feel them and also in some way I do believe in their healing properties, and so I like working with them as I can, and I have a lot of admiration for gem stones.

Oh, and the sea! How could I forget about the sea? It just make me feel in such a very special way. And generally, being in contact with nature always makes me think about God and how perfectly He made all this. And when I’m by the sea, I tend to feel it particularly strong. And I think it’s also a positive feeling. I feel so grateful for Him he created all that beauty for us.

And I think I might have many other things in nature I feel a strong connection with, although these are the ones that came to my mind at the moment.

Question of the day.

What can you produce from scratch? Whether it’s a wood carving, a cocktail, home grown cucumbers, painting, cake, piece of writing or the best barbecue for miles?

My answer:

I guess in my case it would be writing, writing and writing. πŸ˜€ Generally my manual skills suck completely, so anything else I attempt to produce turns out to be a perfect example of failure. But I love writing.

Your turn. πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

If you could bring to life one type of fantastical entity, be it a fairy or a dragon, what would it be?

My answer:

I think I’m gonna be a little bit predictable, for those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while, so I think I’ll give you a chance to guess lol. Do you have any ideas, what entity am I thinking about?

*** *** ***

My actual answer: πŸ˜€

The answer is… Jaaaaaaaaaack Frooooooost!!! πŸ˜€

For any newbies who probably are a bit confused, I’ve always had a weird liking for people named Jack, Jackie, or Jacek, or Jac, or almost anything beginning with Jacek, or names related to the name Hyacinth. Being a very socially anxious being, very often i somehow end up getting along with Jac- people, sooner or later, and most of them really do deserve my liking. There is just something very special about them. Can’t explain.

So yeah, Jack Frost… Fantastic topic for Easter time, huh? But we had snow a few days ago, so I feel kind of justified. πŸ˜€ As long as I know about Jack Frost, I like him. My contact with Jack Frost started with hearing Kate Rusby’s song “Jack Frost” which I really liked and wanted to get to know who Jack Frost is. So as I found out, my first thought was something like: “Wow, he sounds so cool. I’d love to meet him. He’d be so interesting and funny and cute, why don’t we have him in Poland?” Or actually, why so few people here know about him, as he isn’t our tradition? Yeah, I just like Jack Frost for his mischievousness and how artsy he must be.

But I also have another idea. I’d love to bring Selkies to life as well! I love Selkies! Again, my relationship with Selkies started with song – this time with Aine Minogue’s “The Selkie”. I loved the lyrics but i was curious what this Selkie actually is and it took me quite a while to find it out. I guess Selkies are much less popular than Jack Frost, so let me tell you a bit about them.

Selkies are mythical creatures of Celtic regions and Scandinavia. They are told to be seals, which can shed their sealskin when on the land and then become humans. There are legends about female selkies that were forced to marry a man who then was hiding her sealskin, not wanting to let her go back to the sea. Apparently, Selkies were very good housewives and mothers, but as they were seals primarily, they still wanted to go back to the sea and missed their true home. When such unhappy Selkie finally found her sealskin, she came back to see and to never leave it again, only to play or breastfeed their children. I don’t actually know why I like Selkies so much. Apparently there are also male Selkies, but I don’t know much about them. And I also love hulders, which are similar beings, but living in the Scandinavian forests and only females, and I would also bring them to life willingly.

And there’s still one more entity… The Sandman! OMG Sandman is so inspiring for me. I am generally easily inspired by dreams and stuff like this, so I just love everything about the Sandman. I would really, really like him to be real, maybe if I could bring him to live, he would take all those scary dreams from me and my fantastic friend named Sleep Paralysis who decided to visit me last night and make this week even more of a shit for me than it already was. Awww it would be so great… And I love that Enya’s song – “Song Of The Sandman”, too.

So, as you see, I can’t decide. I’m too in love with folklore and different mythological beings to pick just one, I could talk about them for ages.

And hence I’m very curious what your choices would be. πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What is the worst book to movie adaptation you’ve ever seen and which movie was much better than the book?

My answer:

Don’t have much to say here really, at least not about movie to book adaptations. But as for book to movie, I’ll pick “Emily From New Moon”, because the movie is gross. There are some weird sexual scenes or allusions, which you WON’t find in the book at all, and generally, being a huge fan of both “Emily…” and Lucy Maud Montgomery’s other works, I felt like this movie was pretty much ripped of that moving beauty the book has. Just very crappy.

Which book and movie would you pick?

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. πŸ˜€ 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 ΕΌurek soup for Easter, usually with an egg and white sausage. Overall, I’m not a big fan of ΕΌurek, 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. πŸ˜€ 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 droΕΌdΕΌΓ³wka, 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. πŸ˜€

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 Ε›migus-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. πŸ˜€ 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? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Here’s the last question from the series about reading:

Did you like reading as a kid, love it or detest it?

My answer:

as I wrote a few posts ago, I had a period very early on, when I didn’t like reading, but it was very short and passed quickly, and then I started to absolutely love reading. Books were my main source of knowledge about the world, about the people etc. as well as one of my forms of escape from the reality and I’ve always found it very therapeutic. as far as I can remember, words were always very important to me, I could feel them in so many ways, since I guess I have some kind of synesthesia related to words, I’ll probably post about it in future, I liked to play with them in different ways, learn new ones, I just loved the language in general, so reading even increased it. I loved the fact how it extended my vocabulary and still does and I loved it when I noticed it how flexible the language can really be. So I definitely loved and still love reading a lot.

How about you? Did the situation changed since your childhood? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

If your school separated you by reading groups which level were you at?

My answer:

Neither of my schools did that, or anyway it wasn’t something casual. But in school for the blind where I was for most of my education we often had reading contests – class, school or interschool, in the Central Library, and I kinda liked to participate in them and pretty often was winning some leading places. Also, I don’t know how it is in other schools around the world, but we usually had so, that if we were reading in class, usually the teacher picked a person to read a bit, then another to read another bit and so on, and the rest just followed the text. Because I read quite well, teachers often picked me, just to have it done a bit more efficiently than most of other students would do it and not waste too much time. And I know many of my classmates were annoyed by me, because I usually read pretty quickly and they were lost easily. πŸ˜€ Also later on I had a very lazy Polish language teacher who used to take an advantage of the students whom she perceived “more bright” and so she often wanted me to read stuff to a classmate who was dyslexic. So I guess that all says I was pretty good at it.

How was it in your case? Also, do you think separating students by their level of skills is actually good? Are you one of those who think it makes children less self-confident, or do you think it helps children on a higher level to develop quicker, while also helping children on a lower level to go up, but in their own pace and with the support adequate to their needs?

Question of the day.

Did you learn [to read] through phonics or memorisation?

My answer:

Completely through memorisation. How it started for me was that we were getting a text to read, as easy as possible, but not only with the letters we’ve learnt, and before we even started to analyse it as for which letters ae which and stuff, we had to memorise (at least partly) the text, and then we read it multiple times without even recognising many letters consciously. it was a bit weird, and I think pretty boring, but apparently that had to help us accustom to reading in general. There was such a funny situation when I came home for holidays and had my book with readings with me. And we had some guests – grandparents, some aunts and uncles, mostly family – and my Dad wanted to show off with me and that I am starting to read. So I opened the book on one of the readings that we had to practice, and followed the text, but just was saying what I memorised and remembered. And they all were like WOOOOW! You can read such a complicated thing! In fact, it wasn’t complicated at all, I guess, but just much more than you’d expect from a child in first grade lol. My Dad was astonished too. and I was very proud of myself, because I didn’t really differentiate between memorising and reading yet, I was also sure I am reading, just like them. πŸ˜€ The only conscious person in that chaos was my Mum.

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Was it easy for you to learn to read, or was it difficult?

My answer:

Apparently, when one of the staff at my nursery showed Mum how I’m going to read and write, she felt it’s impossible for me to achieve it. She already knew I have issues with coordination and sensory integration and she thought it would be just impossible for me to manage it. However, that turned out not being true at all. Although my coordination and sensory integration still is poor, and I mean actually very poor, it went relatively easy. At the beginning, I had a period when I didn’t like to read, it was just very exhausting for me and boring and all. But it changed very quickly and suddenly when I started to make some real progress, I started to love reading. And I learnt it very quickly. I remember my class teacher was making some additional readings for me, I know they were about a boy named Jacek and a girl named Fifi (I asked her to write about them for me, I don’t know why I came up with Fifi though). And I remember that one of them was about Jacek breaking his leg and walking with crutches, the scenario was also mine. πŸ˜€ I loved these readings so much and they were much better than what we had in our text books. Back then I was able to only read in Braille, I wasnn’t very familiar with technologies in early primary school as I had to teach myself about them, so I didn’t have anything to read at home and that was the only thing I really disliked about being at home, because I quickly realised that life without books is quite boring. So my poor Mum was desperately looking for some libraries or other stuff around our voivodeship (voivodeship is like a Polish province), but it didn’t help that much, so finally she signed me up for the Central Library for the blind and they always sent me just literally packages of books. It was quite an interesting view for our neighbours πŸ˜€ (keep in mind that Braille books are always larger than standard ones) and they were wondering why we get such an extensive mail all the time. Sometimes Mum sent me some books to the boarding school, but it didn’t work out practically. I also used to steal some old books from the attic. πŸ˜€ Things got more severe when I left the boarding school for two years for the integration school, I couldn’t cope emotionally at the boarding as you probably already know, so we thought maybe integration school will work out for me. At this time I had a legs surgery and I was rather immobile for months afterwards and, besides it being awful overall, it was also just so incredibly boring, so the only constructive thing I actually could do and enjoy was reading. I was literally able to devour anything readable, now I’m much more fastidious. πŸ˜€

How about your experiences? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Today, my question for you is:

When did you start learning to read?

My answer:

I was prepared to it long before I actually started to learn to read, it started sometime when I was in the nursery. They basically prepared us how to read Braille, using different things that imited how it works and we were taught how to use, but not to write yet, different Braillers, it was more of a play than actual learning though, we didn’t actually know why are we doing this. Well I was actually interested why because it seemed boring for me and a bit pointless when I was 6 yeas old or so. And there even is a film about us, I mean our nursery and I was going to it when it was filmed, and they filmed me doing all that stuff with one of the staff’s assistance and all of the sudden I asked her “Why am I doing this?” Everyone who was around then or watched it found it very funny, but actually, I think it’s very important to have some sense behind what you’re doing, isn’t it? πŸ˜€ And she answered that it is because it’ll help me to read in future and that I will read lots of fairytales and all and she thinks I will love to read books and maybe write my own lol. And it all came true more or less and my family is making laugh of her that she was a prophetess, I even read fairytales pretty often to this day. πŸ˜€ So yeah, that was about my reading preparations and then I went to the reception and it was then I started to read. I really liked to learn it and truly always looked forward to learn new letters, I considered it a lot of fun. That was when I was 7-8, I know normally reception is earlier, but I went to the nursery when I was five, I don’t think it would do me much better if I went earlier, plus most of children there were even older than me. SO it was rather late on. I remember that we went to the library with our class teacher and were drawing books for ourselves and the one I drew and that was my first longer read was “God And Mouse” by Angela Toigo. It was rather boring, at least so I thought then, but I think my opinion wouldn’t change that much if I’d read it now, although I read it in one afternoon.

When did it all start for you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Any goals/plans/things you’re excited about for the rest of March? My answer:
Nothing spectacular. Maybe I’ll be able to pass at least most of my school term exams until Easter, although that’s highly doubtful. As always I hope to develop all my languages, I try to not miss any opportunity to it, although I think I should work more on my Swedish, it’s been my most neglected child lately in all that storm of blogging and writing in English and learning Welsh. And that’s it, I suppose. You?

Question of the day.

When you are with your family, immediate, or extended, do you feel like you belong?

My answer:

That’s a hard one. I’ve always had issues with that sense of belonging thing, for two reasons I think. First is related to my being far from my family for most of my childhood. I am actually just starting to understand these things about myself and didn’t fully realise it all even a year ago. When I was at the boarding school, I felt like I don’t belong there at all, but that if I belong anywhere, I belong only to my family. I think I had a strong sense of… hm, distinctiveness? individuality, don’t really know how to call it best in English, anyway my Dad has it very strong in his character and looks like we all, his children, have too, and my Mum has it as well. I’ve always felt like I’m an individualist and was glad with it and I always needed to have some private, just my own territory where no one else would interfere, which was almost impossible at that boarding school, especially at the beginning when we all (girls from my group) lived together in one room. Our staff always wanted us to talk about everything (including our feelings) with everyone and wanted us to feel the sense of unity with the others, share as much common as possible, they kept saying we’re “like a family”. I think it was with good intentions, but then it only was making me more and more rebellious and the more I’ve heard about all that unity, commonness and “togetherness” the more I hated everything about these words and the more I felt like vomiting whenever I heard them. I liked most of the girls in my group, but, no, thanks, I already have my family and I don’t need another one, I don’t feel close enough with them, that was more or less how I thought about it. So yeah the only community that I felt like I belong to was my family. But then when I was coming home, I was treated like a guest by everyone, and felt like one in some way, it was usually like a big holiday for all of us and I didn’t get that much of normal, everyday family life, besides longer holidays or stuff like that, and the two years in between my stay at the boarding school when I was experimenting going to integration school which didn’t work out in my a bit complex case. It was impossible to catch up on everything that happened during my absence so I didn’t know about many things and in some way felt like a stranger and had an impression that some people in my family perceive me a bit this way too, not in a bad sense like that I wasn’t welcome, but my life was just so different from theirs, you know. And then I was going back to school and had obviously very idealised picture of my family and of family in general and experienced a lot of this hiraeth feeling I described like a month ago or so. So as I grew up I gradually realised that actually I don’t feel anywhere like I’m at home. I mean, I loved coming home obviously and always was willing anything possible to stay longer here, but quite a bit of the sense of belonging to my family has disappeared with time. Btw I suppose that’s one of the reasons why I like Cornelis Vreeswijk so much, one of my musical crushes whom I mentioned already a few times. He was Dutch, but emigrated to Sweden at 12 with his family and lived and created his music and poetry there for most of his life and became famous in Sweden. When he was in the Netherlands, Nederlenders called him a Swede, while in Sweden he was Dutch, hence in one of his poems he called himself “a man (…) without motherland”. You know, birds of a feather flock together, right? Just my a bit detached reflection. I think there are many people who experience such feelings for their entire lives though, due to various situations.

And the second reason is that for almost all my life I’ve felt more or less inadequate to other people, or like I couldn’t connect with them, which can be at times quite frustrating and can make you feel like you belong hardly anywhere. My anxiety in social situations also gets in the way so it makes for quite an interesting mix.

These feelings have lessened in regard to my family as I am enjoying my life with them since more than three years now, although they are still present somewhere in my mind.

Like I’ve never developed a normal sibling relationship with my brother and we have hardly anything in common to talk about, which is so weird and uncomfortable for me, because he is only younger two years than me while with Zofijka who is ten years younger, I have plenty of things to talk about and we have a very close relationship, though also very dynamic, as we are so different and getting on each other’s nerves, as siblings usually do. I still have these feelings of not belonging sometimes when we all are together, but overall I think now I feel much more in place in my immediate family.

It’s worse with my extended. It’s hard for me to open up to them, there are so many of them and I know they all like me and I like them, but… all the holidays and stuff when we gather as a whole family are quite overwhelming for me, especially with my Dad’s family. I get on better with my Mum’s family, probably because we lived very close to them before we moved a year ago to where we live now, so I was seeing them much more often, and I just have more things in common with them, I feel. But it’s also improving and when my family and I are somewhere where there are more people who aren’t my family members, I feel like I belong and am a part of my family. And I am always proud of my family as a whole and of all the people of my immediate family as individuals and I think I’m very lucky for having the family I have. I am also gradually learning that although you’ll be always alone in some way as my Mum says, this is a really good thing if you belong somewhere because of your own choice, or because you’re emotionally attached to the community you’re a part of. and I am a part, and I feel like I’m one, of some other communities than my family, and I am very glad I belong to them and now I know it is so great to have something in common with other people.

How about your sense of belonging? I must say I’m interested about how it is with other people and do they always feel like they belong even if they didn’t have such or similar experiences to mine. πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Who is the oldest living person in your family?

My answer:

My family is quite big, all of my grandparents have a lot of siblings, cousins and all, so I also have a lot of aunts, uncles and cousins, many of whom I’ve never seen or only a few times and wouldn’t recognise them on the street, I’m in awe of my Dad who can remember all his aunts, uncles and cousins names, well maybe except for his cousins children as there are more and more of them and many of them have already their own children so it’s a bit hard to be up to date with everyone. πŸ˜€ But as for my immediate family, the oldest person is my paternal gramma, she’ll be 83 this December. Actually, you wouldn’t guess it, I think. She is quite a lively person for her age. She attends various meetings for seniors, leads pilgrimages, knows lots of jokes and stories and her jokes are very long, so she has to have quite an excellent memory, I think. My maternal gramma is much more of an intellectual type and much better educated, but now as the years passed I think my paternal gramma has more bright memory and mind, although she’s older. She’s very sociable and likes going shopping. My maternal gramma is younger than her, but although personally I’m more attached to her and like her slightly more, honestly I must say she looks older. She was always very sentimental and melancholic and now it is even exacerbated to the point I could call her depressive and hypersensitive, which doesn’t help your overall health and she doesn’t have that zest for life my gramma on Dad’s side has, for which people are always in awe. Actually I wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me my dysthymic tendencies are the heritage after my gramma, I think she’d also fit to the cryteria od dysthymic disorder. So yeah I think if I wouldn’t know how old my grammas are, I wouldn’t know which of them is older.

How about your family? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

How far back can you trace your ancestry?

My answer:

Not very far, especially on Mum’s side. My grandpa knows names of his grandparents and their siblings, while my gramma only knows first names of her grandparents on her mum’s side and says she isn’t even sure if she remembers them correctly. I think it’s highly likely they aren’t correct, because she says they were named Teofil and Teofila. I don’t think it happens often that a couple has such similar names, though of course I don’t claim it’s not likely at all, just doubtful. And that’s all for my Mum’s side. On my Dad’s side my gramma knows a lot both about her own family and my grandpa’s and she always has a new story to tell. I remember when I was in primary and making my family tree for school she has told me about my great great great grandfather, not in details, but she was able to recall some things about him from what she was told. So I think she knows a lot and if someone would work really hard on putting it all together, we could get quite far back.

How about your ancestry? πŸ™‚