My first holiday/vacation.

As you guys know or may have noticed, I’ve recently been very big on all sorts of journaling prompts. Particularly in my private journal but on here as well. You also know that I know about most of my journaling prompts’ sources thanks to Astrid of A Multitude of Musings. One such source that I haven’t used for a blog post yet is an app for iOS called Paperblanks that I’ve been using for a while now in my personal writings and really like. So I thought I’d do a post loosely based on one of the prompts from this app on here today. It asks about the first vacation that you remember taking.

I said it’s going to be loosely based because I’m not sure what was exactly the first vacation I remember taking in my life, but one of the earliest holiday related memories that comes to my mind is about a little seaside village called Smołdzino, that we used to visit very regularly, pretty much every summer. I don’t remember the first time we went there and discovered that place, I don’t even know how we discovered it because it wasn’t a popular holiday destination then, and it all blends together in my brain, but I thought it could be fun to write a bit more in general about my memories from there and give you a feel of that very lovely place.

Smołdzino lies by the sea in Słowiński National Park, and is part of a nature reserve. So you can imagine it’s a very clean, quiet and peaceful place. I live in the north, and we have many more beaches closer to where we live, but since we’d discovered Smołdzino, for a long time, whenever we would have some more time on our hands, even a few days, we’d go there. It’s about 90 km (over 50 miles) from us, so it was always a longer trip than what me and Olek were used to going to the seaside. For me, that was both good and bad. I always found longer travels exciting, and the longer the better, but at the same time my vestibular system had a different view on this so I was generally rather ambivalent about the whole thing. 😀 I always looked forward to summer mostly for that particular reason, because I hoped we’d go to Smołdzino, as I really liked it there. After over an hour in the car, since it was a nature reserve, you had to leave it about four kilometres from the beach and walk the rest of the way with all your belongings, of which we usually took a lot with us, on foot. It was typically mid July or so, and thus could be very hot (one year I remember it being about 35 degrees C or 95 F which is considered unusually hot here) so it could be rather exhausting, dire and boring, especially for us kids, but when we finally got there it also felt so extremely rewarding! And over the years as we did it every year or almost every year, sometimes more than once every year, we all got used to it and considered it part of the overall unique Smołdzino experience.

From our first few times being there I remember me and Olek making sand mountains and sliding down from them. There were always hardly any people, if any at all except us. No madly screaming, splashing kids peeing in the sea and their parents shouting at them to get out of the water for now and possibly their dogs running around, no people selling pop corn and yelling about it through the whole beach, no stray bottle caps or cigarette stubs or other surprises – an ideal place for hermits! 😀 – As a child, I loved collecting seashells and these in Smołdzino were always particularly good quality so I loved doing it there. I grew to love Smmołdzino so much that after some time going to any other beach was just so blah and boring, only Smołdzino had real value for me. The sea was always so clear there. We – but especially our parents – were always marvelling how come people not know about this place, and how great that naturally is for us. – We often bragged about this summer hideout we’ve found to others or recommended it to them but somehow no one shared the degree of our enthusiasm, perhaps because people didn’t think it would pay off for them to drive for an hour to get to the sea when the nearest beach is 15 km away. The village itself though, with its inhabitants, made an impression of a very poor, socioeconomically neglected and kind of grim place. When I realised that when I was a bit older, I found that a very jarring contrast with all the beautiful nature and the sea and the idyllic associations of Smołdzino that I had. The people there lived mostly from fishing and tourism but I wonder what sort of tourism if there were so few people on the beach, and aside from the sea and beautiful nature and views, there wasn’t much more in Smołdzino so it wasn’t like the tourists had many more alternatives as for where to go, unless they used Smołdzino as their base and from there drove to bigger towns where there are more touristy beaches and more things happening, but because these towns are also by the sea they have a lot of accomodations for tourists of their own and they are much better from what I’ve noticed.

That year when it was so extremely hot and Sofi was already part of our family and starting to speak her first words, my aunt and uncle expressed an interest in tagging along with us and Mum somehow got in touch with a woman who lived there and had one big room for rent, so we decided we’ll stay there for a few days rather than just go for a day trip. I thought it was a brilliant idea but I didn’t end up liking it quite as much as I did the day trips, perhaps because of the heat, which was particularly aggravating in our room, and that when we weren’t at the beach, I was deadly bored in there with not much to do. The woman at whose house we lived was extremely chatty and sociable and would make barbecues for us almost every day or want us to spend a lot of time with her family which was very nice and friendly but rather annoying and obtrusive long-term for all of us, and I just didn’t feel as comfortable there with my Dad’s family around as I did when there were just us. I remember one night particularly clearly. Usually when we were there, we the kids would be sent to beds much earlier than the adults, and my circadian rhythm was cooperating for a few first days. But one day, when we were already in beds, I couldn’t fall asleep and the adults decided to go to some local party that was taking place there and see what it’s like. I was still not asleep by the time they came back which was about 1 AM. They all went to sleep and fell asleep pretty quickly as it seemed, but not me. And then suddenly my uncle started snoring, and it was SO freakishly dramatically spectacular and loud! 😀 I was used to unbelievably loudly snoring people (not like used to in the sense that it just didn’t phase me, but more like I was very familiar with the phenomenon from an early age and accepting of that sometimes it just happens and you may end up having a rotten night as a result if you don’t fall asleep before the snorer does 😀 ) because my Dad is a super loud and passionate snorer and when me and Olek were younger we didn’t have our own rooms but rather one huge bedroom where our beds were in one corner and our parents’ bed in another. But I’d never heard before –
and haven’t afterwards either – someone snore THAT loud, like my uncle did, and I wondered how everyone else managed to sleep in such conditions. In the past, when Dad’s snoring would go crazy before I fell asleep, I would cover my head with a pillow or something, but it was way too hot for that then. I found the situation kind of hilarious at first but over time I grew more and more frustrated to the point where it became rather dangerous and I was starting to have some homicidal ideations. I think I finally did manage to fall asleep some time before everyone else woke up, but was the most frustrating night ever for me, hahahaha. I didn’t tell anyone about that, until years later, when it was a great source of amusement for everyone including the snorer and myself.

Also when Sofi was already with us, I spent a lot of time in my Brainworld which was my most powerful coping strategy with life which was yucky at the time. I always had a very rich brainlife but at that time my Brainworld became much larger and more developed. Among other stuff, I made up a sort of submarine or generally aquatic world with sea people ruling it. The king’s name was Akrofil back then (it wasn’t supposed to mean anything specific, it was just a name I made up and liked the sound of but I later changed it to Magnus when someone told me that Akrofil sounds like some kind of pervert and I looked it up and acrophilia apparently is a real thing, a paraphilia, that is 😀 ), and I don’t remember what was his wife’s original name, something sort of oriental, but currently her name is Nerissa, and they had two children and a lot of subjects and they all lived in a castle under the sea but they also felt at home in any other body of water and not necessarily deep down. You could call Magnus or anyone else of them up if you knew how and they would appear if they would consider it necessary, and they could help people with a lot of things. Naturally they always helped people who had something to do with the sea in the first place but they were also very eager to help people who were struggling with anything else a lot and just unhappy. You could talk to them and typically they would take you down to their castle and you could spend some time there in their happy world and just relax and have a lot of fun. They always had a lot of feasts and led a very sumptuous life. But you couldn’t stay there indefinitely so after some time Magnus would send you back on to the land, but he would give you some magical things that could help you cope with the situation that made you call them in the first place, for example such items would enable you to call upon them wherever you were so they would help you in a specific situation, or he would give you a drink that would make you feel better or a special vehicle that could transport you wherever you wanted etc. etc. etc. Sometimes though, when he decided he couldn’t help you practically, he’d just let you stay in there forever, and you could just become one of the sea people. They make up just one section of my Brainworld and aren’t as important a part of it as they were back then, but I still love hanging out with them. And back then when I did that a lot, it made me feel especially close to them and like they were real when I was by the sea. I wasn’t particularly eager then to share things like these with people, but funnily enough, for some reason I did share the whole Akrofil thing with my Dad, and although he’s generally not particularly imaginative and not very flexible-minded, he seemed to love the whole idea almost as much as I did. Perhaps because he loves the sea so it spoke to him somehow. So in Smołdzino I taught him how to call Akrofil/Magnus and we would play sea people together. 😀 Or I would do by myself. Either way was super fun and very nourishing for my escapist brain.

After some time, somehow we stopped going there. I guess life just went in a different direction and we always wanted but never really did. Until last year, when my parents decided to go there for a quick day trip, this time with another aunt and uncle from my Dad’s side of the family. I decided not to go for a mix of different reasons, and turned out that it was a good idea. They arrived there about noon and were hugely surprised to see a long line of cars, all waiting to be let in. And because there are limits on how many people can be at the beach because it’s a nature reserve, only some portion of them were allowed and my parents who were quite late to the party weren’t among them, so they came back. The guy who let people in told them that things have changed a bit over the last couple of years and more people come there regularly, and from what they’d seen the village seemed in a better state now and there were more people. It also had a more touristy feel apparently, with more shops and other such scattered around, which I found worrying when I heard about it, but it’s apparently not very bad and it’s not obnoxiously touristy,, it couldn’t be when it’s a nature reserve, so that’s a good thing, in the grand scheme of things, and for the village it’s good that it’s more prosperous, as it really made a rather sad impression on me all those years ago. Good for them that they are developing.

So there you have – my one of the first and the most favourite holiday destination. – What are your earliest holiday memories? 🙂

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 (5th March).

Hi people! 🙂

Would you rather live underwater or in space? Why?

My answer:

Definitely underwater! I’m just not that interested in space at all, I don’t find anything particularly appealing about it to be honest and there are much more things about it that we don’t know than we do, I wouldn’t like to live in such a place. But I love the sea and being in it, even though I can’t really swim that well. When I was younger, one of my imaginary worlds was underwater, it was very fairytale-like with a lot of folklore motives, there were sea people in it, and sometimes they could appear to people if they believed that they existed or if they felt like someone needs their help. There was like a whole family of those sea people and they had different powers and different ways to help people, different personalities, attributes and stuff, I loved them, there were also many secondary characters. They could also show themselves to people in other bodies of water but their main residence were seas and oceans. You could call them when you were by a body of water and felt unhappy and focused hard enough on that you wanted to call them, and then if they felt that was necessary – or rather the father of that family did, who was also the ruler of the seas and I originally called him Akrofil just because I liked the sound of it, but then renamed him to Magnus because AKrofil sounded too much like some kind of a pervert, I guess there actually is such a thing as acrophilia though I have no idea what it’s about 😀 – they could take you to their world, usually just for a while, so that you could have a break from your actual life and world but it felt like a really long time and during that time you could do lots of fun things in that world and they would discuss how they can help you. – They had a castle there, and it was very beautiful inside of it. Whatever they would decide to do specifically for you in the end, you would always also get a special, huge sapphire ball with which you could call them and ask them to do something for you that they could do, not just on your whim but when you felt really unhappy or couldn’t cope with something, they could take you back to their castle or make you invisible or do something to other people if they were bad to you or influence people, like tell them what they shoould do, or just comfort you or whatever and you didn’t have to be by the water to use the ball. It was as you can guess my way of coping with things and I had many such imaginary worlds and a whole Brainworld of them, and I still do, though that one, although it existed for a very long time, as well as many others, doesn’t really exist any longer or isn’t so grandiose any more, most of the time I have a hard time seeing it or accessing it. Nowadays I only have three imaginary worlds in my Brainworld but it used to be many more and there were really complex structures that I could build but usually didn’t really have to think hard or very consciously about it, a lot of that happened very much spontaneously as long as I had some concept to begin with that it could be based on, and I loved it, there were worlds, and then sometimes worlds in worlds or other such creations and now I don’t really get how I was able to manage all that and have some control over it and not get drowned in all of that even though it wasn’t that long ago. I really loved them all and they really helped me or simply made my life more interesting. Most of them had also faded quite spontaneously, because I either grew out of them at some point or didn’t need them any more and started to forget about them. But I’ve always loved Magnus’ kingdom and found it fascinating and so I think I would like to live underwater, as long as I could actually survive there.

How about you? 🙂

If We Were Having Coffee… or whatever else you fancy. #WeekendCoffeeShare

#WeekendCoffeeShare at Eclectic Alli’s.

Welcome to another coffee share, quite an early one, especially as for me, but I haven’t been too regular with posting lately and I might not be for a few more days so I thought we’d have another coffee share as some longer, catch-up post.

I’ve had my green tea already in the morning as I woke up early and needed it badly so I’m now having sparkling water with lemon, and very yummy Polish biscuits called Delicje – they are round sponge biscuits covered in chocolate with a jelly filling, mine are with orange jelly and as much as I love Delicje, the orange-flavoured ones are the only ones I find acceptable, OK, raspberry ones are OK, but just OK. – Help yourselves! I’ve also made a cake earlier today – a sponge cake with jelly and raspberries – (wow I’m kinda monotematic today with sponge, fruit and jelly, perhaps someone has an idea why? :D). It’s my name day on Sunday, hence I made it. And Mum made yummilicious croquettes (I don’t even know if that’s exactly the same thing in English, but oh well) with rice and mushrooms. I love them, and so does Olek, so if you’d like to sample, you need to hurry as he’ll soon be back from work and there will be nothing left. 😀 And I guess that’s all really yummy food (in my opinion) we have today, and you can bring something you have to our coffee share to make it more diverse than just sponge with jelly. 😀 Get yourself a comfortable place to chill and let’s start our chat, shall we? 🙂

If we were having coffee, or not coffee, I’d ask you how things have been going for you and what has happened in your life this week…?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m feeling like rubbish today. Not the most optimistic note to start a coffee share and a weekend in general but what can I do. I don’t even know why. I woke up feeling OK, like near the baseline, but things have started spiraling down since early afternoon. I can’t get to why that is really. I feel depressed, and even a bit anhedonic, which is not my usual definitely, even if I am badly depressed I can often still feel the pleasure from things I love to some degree but I just feel kind of apathetic and sort of disconnected and don’t care about things too much, I also feel lonely because I feel disconnected, and don’t know what’s going on with my brain. Not like it would change a lot if I knew, and like it matters to me at the moment very much, but it’s always nice to be able to have a clue at least about your brain. I’ve also been having extremely sad and emotional dreams for a couple days which I don’t get either. I mean, scary dreams – yes, – intense, in whatever way – definitely, – strange – all the time, – but I don’t normally have plain sad dreams in which I’d feel all emotional and vulnerable, and yesterday I actually woke up crying. Today I had a sad dream too but it wasn’t quite as unsettling and I mostly remember the emotions of it, not the plot, so I didn’t think much about it, but the phenomenon of such an abundance of sad dreams is interesting. I get emotional dreams like this sometimes around the periods of time that used to be difficult for me in the past but now it’s not the case. Sometimes I wish my brain could speak, or write, or something. I’m so used to bottling up stuff that now I often don’t understand what it’s trying to tell me, ’cause I suppose it must want something from me if there’s no straightforward explanation.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you we’ve had another hot week here, but thankfully today it’s very nicely fresh and chilly, apparently only for a while, Dad says we’ll have another hot day on Sunday. But it’s a relief for all the people I think that at least now it’s cooler.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that at the beginning of this week, my router died. I had to get a new one and installing it and configuring was quite a pain, and I had a whole long boring day and a half with no Internet and not much to do, but now things are back to normal.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that Misha has a new hiding place, and this time, it’s a really good one, ’cause we still can’t figure out where it is, after over a week. He just disappears every day for a good few hours and then suddenly comes back out of nowhere. It’s amazing how after 3 years of living here, he still hasn’t ran out of ideas! 😀

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I’m going to another meeting – like the one I went to earlier this month, in that sort of foundation or association that Zofijka’s friend’s mum works in – this time with a woman who used to live in Ireland, she’s Polish. That’s going to be very interesting for me for sure, since I love Ireland! I’m quite anxious again, even though I’ve already been there and it went well. It’s going to be on Monday.

If we were having coffee I’d also tell you that Zofijka’s friend’s mum was supposed to visit us yesterday, and then today, or on Sunday, but it seems like nothing will come out of it. While I’m happy for her to come over, I’m also secretly relieved that she won’t be coming today, as I’m definitely not in the mood for socialising whatsoever and wouldn’t be able to do it right the way I’m feeling now, just normal smalltalk feels so depressing and exhausting at the moment. As if I ever was good at smalltalk hahaha.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that we’re most likely going to the beach on Sunday, which I’m quite glad about, the sea usually makes me feel very good and I feel a strong connection with it, and I love being by the sea. We have our very special beach that is quite far away from us, it’s situated in a village in Słowiński National Park, and it’s really clean and tranquil there, there are few beaches that are that quiet and clean. And we had a plan of going there, but because it’s apparently going to be rather hot, and the ride is long there, and then you have to walk 2 km through a nature reserve back and forth it would be quite tiring and time consuming compared to how much time we’d actually spend on the beach, so we probably won’t be going there and somewhere much closer and filled with people. 😀 In any case, I hope it’ll be cool and I’ll feel less depressed by then. Also as I said it’s my name day on Sunday so that’s going to be a nice way of spending it I hope.

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

 

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? 🙂

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. 😀 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.