When you look for sth here

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

La beaute

Freedom is my favourite song. Everything about that song clicks. The lyrics, the rhythm, and the coolest video ever: with beautiful people lip syncing, letting the singer hide, and sort of flipping the whole idea of a human body being not at all about the looks. Even the kettle boiling on the radiator. Everything clicks.

It is sad to see beautiful minds go. It is sad to realise they will never create another wonderful piece. While it was a sad late night last night for me, and thoughtful and sad day today, the youngsters made it bearable.

I was putting my darkest lipstick on this morning. In sync with my mood, and a with small mirror in one hand, the rich red wine colour in the other. This is how my mini man saw me. He came, looked and said 'let me see', pointing at the mirror. So I handed it to him. He looked at the reflection in the mirror without concern (unlike his mum did for quite some time until quite some time). After all 3 seconds of thorough examination he said 'beautiful' quietly, handed me the mirror back, and walked away. Secure and confident. No second thoughts. Beautiful indeed.

'That is the problem with being beautiful', said LMSP, now 8, few hours later, when we were watching a movie (low key and quiet approach to Xmas this year, out of necessity but turned out good; calm and peaceful but good). 'Everybody likes you. And you get a lot of attention. Which is silly. You're not nice just because you're beautiful. You're nice when you're kind. It's all about the behaviour'. While my NLP course tells me it is not necessarily true (we are much more than our behaviour), I managed to keep the 'I know better and you are wrong, missy' approach shut.

Beautiful means full of beauty. All sorts of beauty. Among other things.
And it is great to know you don't have to be old to realise that.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Humbility, really?

There is a thin line between being modest and annoyingly shy. To the point that it is no longer sincere, rather theatrical.

Yet, I keep hearing how humble you should be when you are leading. When you are mentoring. When you are listening.

That is wrong. When you are trying to fight back your silly habit of devaluing yourself, getting advice to stay modest is the worst one can give you. Trust me, I know:)

Snails have this amazing ability to hide when things don't go their way. For as long as I remember, I was finding that feature fascinating. Starting from cosy little house carried around with them at all times, to the fact there was no unnecessary accessories (never my thing, I like pretty little things however impractical they might be, but trying to stay below the clutter level, which is not so easy sometimes:), to the fact that snails to me are this mixture of lazy self-awareness and powerful self-confidence. Time is not their enemy.

And in that sense, I feel that leaders should be taught how to be snails rather than how to be humble. To know that slowing down is good. To get rid of unnecessary gimmicks. To respect others and go their way. To feel that hiding sometimes is the best you can do. As long as it is your environment and your people you are hiding with, creating that bonding and appreciation of skills gathered in one place.

Snails are cool:)

Thursday, 8 December 2016


They were all there: a group of semi-related, semi-friendly people, stuck with each other against their will at the Christmas table, keeping up appearances, pretending to be a one big happy family. 
Awkward silence seemed the be the only companion for all.
Suddenly, a 4-year old Nick pointed at the window: 'Look at the moon! Can we please go and see the moon?
In an instant, that sounded like the best idea ever. Even the 85-year old Matilda went outside, not bothering to look for a pair of matching gloves.

They were all there: staring at the huge satellite, not talking, waiting for magic to happen.

And it did.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Change is the only constant

So why am I so afraid of it? When does the fear stop? Does it ever?

Last evening the sky looked like if some promising impressionist laddered herself :) up and splashed a perfect combination of blue, purple, and pink right above. Amazing. And it made me think how colours differ from one minute to another. And we don't really see that unless we stop and look up.

We have been looking up a lot, lately, my kids and I. Which is a good thing. The best, really. It makes all of us think about what we are doing here, why are we here. Even the little one seems to be in the thoughtful mood sometimes, provided that there is a secured supply of chocolate cookies available at short distance and in no time. 

They say when you love someone, you should invest in your feelings, or the love will stop, and bitterness will come instead. And I guess that is true no matter who your loved one is. While we still fight from time to time, while we are in the process of constant learning about each others, while the neighbour sends us polite letters informing he can indeed hear little feet thumping from as early as 'six am in the morning' (the double effect there shows how truly disturbing they feel, and rightly so...), in the middle of all of this we are constantly changing, growing, and improving (or this is just my inaccurate version of the real things happening, but that is another story - who can truly say one's version is the real one anyway).

So there is no need to fear. Unless you are that guy from Amelie who could crack into pieces the minute he would let go of any of his hundreds of pillows installed on every possible corner of every single piece of furniture, equipment, and tool available in his flat. I hope and wish you are not.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

21 + 6

Apparently, that is the lucky number. This is how many times we will be spreading love, joy, smiles, and hopefully 'awww' moments around Xmas time this year. This is the amount of stamps a kind post office assistant will put on the cards this year, asking me kindly how I've been, and equally kindly calling me darling (this is that casual darling people say that means nothing more than 'hey, I recognise you, you're here often'; still it's nice of them)...

Is it too little? Is it perhaps too much?

If you think about the number of times we have been packing things up, it's probably brilliant. One of the greatest way of de-cluttering the place you live in is to move out; if it happens to be in another country, the better for you.
If you think about the number of times I failed to stay in touch with friends, like real friends, its pathetic.

But that is how things are. Sometimes it is better to leave them as they are. However important it is to keep relationships, nourish them, and cherish them, sending a seasonal card once a year won't help. It may in fact annoy the recipient: not her again, what does she want from me, and so on.

While the most crucial person in the world to me should always be, you guessed it, me:), the following question is when I am closest to happiness. In other words, what would I like to have happen (:))) Is it when I am drowning in my own thoughts, on my own, hopefully with a book (hey, that doesn't sound so bad:). Or is it rather when there is another human being who is willing to (dis)agree with me on any subject, from tree lights to the next step in my ever glowing (hehe) career path...

I guess this is the question anybody should ask themselves. When they are on their own, actually. In their own thoughts. With a book nearby, to act as a reward when the answer is found, cherished, and nourished. Right before the call ones make to a friend of theirs. To discuss the tree lights, for example...

Saturday, 12 November 2016

77 minutes

Not so typical Saturday evening.

Sitting in a sort of a bar waiting for a concert to start.

77 minutes. I've been waiting here for 77 minutes. Apparently, it's that magical amount of time one needs to wind out, chillax, as my friend advises me on an almost regular basis, and just cherish the moment.
No stress, no trouble, no issues.

Just sitting back, letting the thoughts pass.

A large glass of red wine definitely helps.

And, I just realised last time I was sitting in a sort of a bar on my own, waiting for a concert to start, feeling completely at ease with myself was never.

There's a first time for everything.
Glad this very time is now.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Not yet broken

Everything seems to be wrong these days. Not in sync with the vibe I am desperately trying to create and stay tuned with. Which is probably the reason why right is beyond reach. Trying too hard but putting little heart or effort into actions, ironically.

Being a not so horrible parent is more challenging than ever. Writing, ha, when was the last time I did that? Ages ago. To the point that FB tells me I haven't posted in XX days... Even baking. All is not enough.

While it would be of benefit to break things down and get to the source of all this misery,  looks like that same old tempting I'm miserable tell me I'm great or I will drawn us all in tears approach is winning. Not helpful. Short-sighted. Pathetic.

There are people out there who would give anything for my 'problems', if only they could see the world again. Or walk again. Or be able to have a child on their own. Or live each day without a constant fear something, or someone is going to kill them.

They say attitude is everything. Look beyond yourself, don't be so selfish, they say. Stick to the positive.

Appreciate that. We are all changing so staying in any state for too long is never a good thing. But being nothing then positive is equally unnatural. One can't be constantly happy unless they are on something. And I would assume even then the body adjusts, so after a while that something is not enough.

Maybe that is exactly what should be driving anyone. Not enough. Rather than sticking to 'not', or to 'enough', one might just acknowledge not enough is fine when noticed. And try to move on. 

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Mispronounciation... or maybe not

We were waiting for our early lunch to bake. Pizza getting ready in the warm oven, with light from within putting glow on our faces, full of smiles and excitement.

Little things that give you joy.

We discussed the concept of timer. Which went onto the concept of time. There were 3 minutes left, so Mini Man pointed at the number and said: 'Three!'. Actually, it was more like: 'Threeeeeee!!!!!!!' which just makes me think how understanding one's neighbours can be. And whether we're already past the limits or just dangerously balancing at the verge of initially polite letters and semi-friendly smiles when passing each others on the corridor.
That doesn't seem to bother him, though. Especially when he says his three more like if he was saying 'free'. With me, of all the people being least skilled to correct someone's pronunciation, just genuinely smiling. Wanting to say something but pushing that teacher of mine deep down inside. Maybe he is right after all. Actually, he might as well be as free now as he ever will be.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Holding - the chills the laughter the sigh

Norton. Graham Norton. The man who makes me smile each time I have a chance to watch his show.

I knew he wrote up to two semi-biographical, semi non-fiction books, so a world of written words - which happens to be 'mine', too - is nothing new to him. This one though, 'Holding', is a crime mystery. Fiction to the fullest, basically.

One has expectations when reading a book. When you sort of know something about the author, you get into assumptions. I was therefore expecting funny. And met my expectations right at the beginning. There seems to be this vibe of sarcasm, irony, and deep observation of the world that cuts through. Gives laughter and joy. And brings back any memories one may have about Ireland. Or reveal discoveries one may not have been aware of up until now.

I thoroughly enjoyed the plot. Twisted as it should be in a decent crime story. Not so obvious and fooling a reader as it should, in a well-planned crime story. Giving you both chills and hope, and making your jaw drop as it should be - but rarely is - in a long-remembered crime story.

What took me completely by surprise though, was a collection of thoughts that made me think. And smile. It was that sad smile, the one I have when I sigh and remind myself of situations I have been through. Experiences that touched me and shaped me.
'Some marriages combust, others die, and some just lie down like a wounded animal, defeated.' Wasn't expecting that. Kudos.

I would recommend it to crime mystery lovers. I would definitely buy a copy as a present to anyone who is struggling with their everyday life. Finally, I would give it to anyone who needs some joy on a gloomy day.

I had an opportunity to ... Actually, no. I had a pleasure to read an ARC of this book via NetValley.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Silly little thing

It can happen to many. White it happened to me though?:)

I was restocking grocery items. You know, the essential stuff: milk, cereals, crackers, chocolate...:)
Food for brain and food for feelings basically.

And then, on my way back, I noticed the sticker happily accompanying one of my shoes. Anyone could see it as it was one of these neon green labels they sometimes put on shelves.

'Sorry, temporarily unavailable.'

No comments...
Just... no comments:)

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Fear and love

Is it possible to be afraid of someone and think it's love?

You would think not.

But, I heard few stories of women who thought exactly so. They were just not aware of that.

They say embrace your fear. Get to know it, it's the best way to confront it.
What if your fear is exactly the opposite? It is that fear that is confronting you. Getting to know you. Set boundaries for you. Confronts you daily. Controls you and shapes you as it pleases.

May happen more often that you think.

September is September and so be it

Honestly (and I mean it, it is not that honesty I believe I mentioned once, where you say that word just to follow it with a collection of lies, otherwise unjustified...)

Honestly then, if I come across another 'September is your new January' exclamation I'll write about it, I thought to myself last evening.
So, here it is ... :)

Since when we got the calendar so confused in the first place?
Christmas starts right after Halloween, which lasts at least 2 weeks in October. Spring cleaning is being advertised since February, courtesy of desperate all-purpose-bacteria-killing powders, mousses, and liquids manufacturers. Not to mention Valentine's Day which is no longer a day, rather a week slowly turning into a month.

I have nothing against spreading love. Let it last as long as possible. But calling September a January? That's gross. I'm sure it took September a while to get used to its name. Taking it's been quite a long time since Gregorian calendar is in place (426 years is quite long even for a turtle), I'd reckon it's ok now. September likes to be called September. I mean it took me less time to get used to my name. And I wouldn't like to be suddenly called a different one, unless it's my choice.

So, why don't all just stop. And leave September to its own name, well familiarised with it by now.

If you really want to start doing something new in your life, or tweak something you already started, just do it. Don't look for outer justifications. It won't do you good. It will be fake. It must come from within, from your heart. Or not come at all.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Follow but spice it up

It was a gloomy day. First of many September days, I believe. No problem. We have lots of books to read:)

The older one came in the middle of a point-turning chapter and proclaimed: 'I want yummy scrumptious sweets!' And immediately went back to their room. Maybe for the best, I must have had that 'Are you talking to me?!' look anyway.
3-2-1... The little one followed and said: 'I want yummy sweets, mummy. Can I please?'

She's winning by surprise, yet politeness and cheekiness can get him places, too ;)

Monday, 29 August 2016

Comparison makes the world a worse place

I like this book. 'As weekends go'

It touches on universal truths which is something I find really valuable and which definitely places this read among one of my favourite so far. Definitely makes the top 3 in the so called chic lit category.
(By the way, I feel like there is a lot of misconception about literature for women. Almost similar to the ones in the sci-fi movies. We need good and decent plot lines. We need interesting dialogues that bring the stories forward. Any action is something extra, an add-on that spices things up rather then works as a replacement for enchanting tales...)

There is a 21st century version of Babette, a 31-year old Rebecca and a famous athlete, 2 years her junior. Unlike in Balzac's story though, she is married. There is her 'in a relationship' friend. Her ruthless husband with overly ambitious female 'friend'. And a loving and caring family. 
So there are questions around fidelity, loyalty, care and love. How much we need all of that. And how much we fiddle around that. And what price we pay when we do. And finally, what price we pay when we don't...

Thinking about the title I think it doesn't reflect the story at its best. Wold rather go for something in the lines of 'It's (not) all about the score'. 

I just wish the ending wasn't so 'rushed-through'.

At the same time, I wish there was more in the to be continued department. Looking forward to a sequel / 'threequel', and so on:)))

I was given the opportunity to read the ARC of this book, courtesy of NetGalley.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Not a shriek to me

The title intrigued me.
The Whistler...

Since I am a fan of crime and mystery in general (so much of that is happening in everyday life, on a various scale obviously... that it's fascinating, really:), this book by the John Grisham made me think 'Hmmm, I'd like that."

Yet, the sample I had a chance to read, disappointed me.
Apparently, borrowing a title from radio crime drama, broadcasted in the US in the 40s, doesn't guarantee a gasp of delight. Not with me, at least.

The plot was interesting but for me there were too many distracting details, and too long in-between periods before the next sudden turn in the main storyline was revealed to the reader.

While I don't recommend the book, appreciate the fact it deals with grey area where law, security, and lust for wealth come together.

I was given the opportunity to read a sample of ARC of John Grisham's new book, The Whistler.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016


- My life is ruined - she said, cupping her face in her hands. Then she looked at the ceiling, almost as if expecting it to nod in approval. I looked up, too.
It didn't.

- All my life - continued my LMSP - I have been waiting for the perfect day. And it never came... - she sighed deeply, completing her announcement, looking at her little brother. Apparently he was a suspect in the case.
But then I noticed her half smile. And then she winked at me.

- I'm finished! - said the little one.
Smiling and showing me his empty bowl.
- Can I have more, please? - he said.

You see, we were fast breaking. Sitting together at the table, and actually talking; something that didn't occur for, well, some time.
And if there were only words, no situational context, all that transcript from our morning feast would be some kind of a pre-crime scene: you might expect daggers in our eyes, anger, and unhappiness.

But there was love instead. Sort of:)

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Remember Me

It is a title of a movie. A great one. No, not because that Twilight guy is there (never saw these movies, had a chance to read first book of the series, and a pleasure to attend writers' evening with Stephenie Meyer, a reserved extrovert, combination I sometimes wish I possessed. While I don't necessarily follow the fans trail there, definitely admire her style...).

Not because that Twilight guy is there. Because the plot is there.

One could expect I little or no resemblance between a life of 18-year old male and me. Yet, the feelings he has, the mixture of doubt, perseverance and hunger for warmth: that's universal. Can get anyone.

Friday, 19 August 2016


Running long distances was never my 'thing'. I was getting tired very quickly (still am, actually, but that's not the point:), heart was pumping at a pace beyond belief, any other activity sounded so much funnier... I thought that's the way things were, and gave up. Read a lot of articles praising walking, to proof my point.
Until one day, at the 37 years of age, I had to chase my toddler. Who casually jogged away to the other side of the park. And I almost failed.
That was my wake up point.

And so now, I am taking part in the MyMarathon Initiative from the British Heart Foundation. Which is a laid-back (serious!:) approach to 26.2 miles as all you need to do is make sure you make it over the month of September. 4 hours (I wish!), 4 days, or 4 weeks.

If anyone out there reading wishes to contribute, a huge thank you already:)
And a link to my fundraising page.


Thursday, 18 August 2016

The Girl In Between

An interesting story of a girl who sleeps.
A lot.
Like, 4 weeks non-stop, for example.
And in between these unexpectedly long naps she rediscovers herself.

While there is a mysterious story behind, driving the plot forward, I am actually more interested in what is happening inside her mind when she wakes up and doesn't really know how she'd look like. So image and appearance are no longer important. It's her that matters.
Being strong enough to understand that is another story.

Another aspect is confidence.
How much trust you need to put yourself into hands of people around you. While you have no idea and no awareness whether they are your closest ones, or completely random strangers you've never met in your life before.

And finally, control.
You cannot control others. Fortunately, I discovered that although only recently. The way over-controlling others can limit you is striking. When you finally get to the point where you know that you are the only one responsible for your own behaviour, good or bad, it is then that you open yourself to the world. And see how beautiful it is...

Back to the book though:) There's a story of her dad who left when she was 7... That gave me shivers. And then, there's her mother. She is worried like most mums are. Considering her daughter's unusual condition one could say she is actually carefree. Not in her daughter's eyes, obviously. Which puts an interesting universal view and can make all the mums who read the story feeling very much related...

And finally, there's her uncle, her dad's twin brother. I wonder what it must be like for her to see his face every now and again, so similar to the face of her father. Who left.
Her uncle's attitude is all about a glass half full, which is adorable and lovely:
“So what if you live life on a different schedule?” he says. “You’re still living it.”

She is obviously quite grumpy. Again, that gave me shivers.

She has that interesting ability to analyse things and see them at a different angle. Something I respect, not always understand but respect nonetheless, and sometimes disagree with.
Like this, for example:
'That was one of the worst things about being sick. Someone was always waiting on you, which meant disappointing people was inevitable.'

No it isn't. It's not the worst part.
Having someone you could potentially disappoint is actually one of the greatest things that can happen to you.

Having no one to disappoint. That's the worst that can happen to you...

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Single = lonely?

It has been on my mind for some time now. An interesting theory that language, being a mean of communication, aiming at revealing someone's intention, belief, or opinion, can actually influence these intentions, beliefs, and opinions more that we think.

Take single parent for example. While the definition is pretty universal (OK, there might be nothing pretty about it, in general), the actual wording differs significantly from one language to another. 
In English, it simply means someone who is taking care of their children on their own.
And is back from a 'in relationship' status to the one from beforehand. One step back for some, huge step forward for most.

In Polish, however, this is totally different. The notion could be translated into English as 'lonely parent'. 'Lonely mother' or 'lonely father'. Incredible how much negative reference is there.

How come? Because of social life patterns? Because of mainstream acceptance? Because of zero, or little tolerance to life choices people make?

I don't know. But it makes me kind of sad.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Keeping Up Appearances 21 years later

- She can't help the way she looks. It's not her fault - she says when we are watching the replay of gymnasts twisting, tumbling, doing anything I could do if there was no gravity. And no chocolate.
- Yes, but I what I meant to say was ... - I try to explain
- Let me finish first - she raises her hand and continues - it's life's fault. You should blame life for the way you look.

And I wanted to say that what I meant was one of the gymnasts had daggers in her eyes and that unpleasant look on her face. Like if she hated all. Or ate something which made her tummy hurt.
And I wanted to say that I agree it is not about the looks.
I wanted to say I meant the way you are as a human (or sometimes as not human at all), that behaviour finds its way to end up on your face.

But then I stopped.

And thought once again about what she told me.

And said nothing.

Because that little philosopher of mine was completely right. If there is anyone to blame for the way you look, it is indeed your life.


Monday, 15 August 2016

Control, command, and rule... in leopard heels

Insightful, clarifying, and informative. One could say that about that book. But I can refer these words to the main character as well: Theresa May.

While her portrait here remains professional, some details about her private life were cleverly sneaked into. Which makes this non-fiction a true page-turner.

Like her personal situation. Like her passion for outstanding quality footwear. Like her health issues.

Highly recommended to anybody living in the UK, or interested in recent history.

I just wish the book ended in a less cut-through, no-summary way. 

Then again, this is a life story of a woman who recently became UK's Prime Minister. Life story. With events being written in history right now. So it's life that is part of this book. And that's what makes it even more interesting to read.

(I read ARC of this book)

Friday, 12 August 2016


It was one of those days when Facebook said to me I should complete a sophisticated test, one in the lines of 'if you think you are funny, this is the most laughs-provoking quote you could post in 20 years' time...'. Or something equally silly. As all you need to do is click. Once. In the rare case of a particularly multi-level analysis you do it twice. And you are presented with a result. Bang! This is what you will say to your so called friends in 2036. Your welcome.

I don't like the word 'should'. It plays tricks with my mind which instantly, instantly produces that voice in my head that says: 'No'. 'Don't do it.' 'It is you who decide, no should-teller has a right to tell you what to do.' And only now, when I look at my no longer-aspiring philosopher, the 7-year old mirror of my stubbornness, only now I can feel the pain my grandma must have felt when she was finding the ways to get around all the 'shoulds' in the world to make me do things.

But that day, it was different. I obeyed. Clearly, clicking on the link Facebook suggests you and letting an online application rule your mood means you are in trouble, or something is not quite working on some levels in your life. Or both.

So I did it. I let this blue time-consuming tool tell me what would be the first sentence of my autobiography book. Which only proves the point. I wasn't myself that day. Otherwise I wouldn't let anyone and anything write words for me.

If you ever come across a biography written by me and by popular free social networking website, you might expect it will start like this: 'In life, I've often found myself standing in front of locked doors. Thank God for sledgehammers.'


Tuesday, 9 August 2016

And now... something completely different

Kazimierz Wierzynski
Zielono mam w głowie

my very inaccurate English version ...;)

I'm carefree and lightsome
My head full of violets
Grown in the flower-beds of thoughts
Under the never-setting sun
That gave me my bright blue soul
I spread smiles around
I give them away in bunches
I'm this joyful wind-storm of awe and happiness
That poets sometimes feel
When they know they shouldn't be human
They should be Spring itself...

Friday, 5 August 2016

Weather conditions explained - the Rio way

If anyone is wondering what is the weather like in the Americas today (perfect timing, considering the Olympic Games are just about to start:), just read on...

'It is really hot in America', she said, in one of those 'come on, you know I'm right, just admit it' kind of voices. 'Everyone should be using their sun cream. If you are in America, and you're not sweating, something is wrong with you.'

So, now you know. Enjoy the Games:)

Monday, 1 August 2016

Pulling out a rabbit

'Sometimes, if you expect nothing, you get something, right?', she said, casually, eating her fancy breakfast (biscotti and water... I know. Fancy;) and reading a book, which probably triggered the question she sort of asked.
All I could do was nod. And sit there, in awe of capacities a young brain reveals sometimes.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Just a day

Started quite early. Not too early according to my standards, but early enough. 6:47 says my phone.

Still can't get myself to start using a wrist watch again. It's been 6 months, and still it doesn't seem to be enough to get back to me from the past. Ah well, maybe I don't need it that much then.

 '2 minutes', I think to myself. 'Maybe 3, but that's about it.' And yes, it is 6:49 when the Mini-Man storms into the bedroom, owning the bed, the duvet, and me, really. If he's like that for the next 20 years, he's sorted. Not with me. That would be creepy. In general. Perseverance, they call it. Or cheekiness and loveliness. Or all of these things.

10 minutes and one glass of water with lemon juice later, we're fast breaking. It's cool. The door to our balcony is open, bringing fresh breeze and making the blinds whirl and swirl. It's nice.

It's one of those nursery days today so 2 hours later we're on the go. What a rush!:)
Summer shines, making everything look a bit hazy and faded, just like it's supposed to be when you're on your holidays. Even when technically you're still at home.

It's not about the place.
It's about the feelings, attitude, and emotions.
You could be miserable in the perfect place.
You can, however, be at ease and in peace in the least expected holiday destination...

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Eight is my favourite number today

I love short stories, so had really good feelings about this set. And still feeling good, very good in fact, when I just read the last page:) so, it's definitely not the 'burn after reading' alley for me...

When you read a story about a girl meeting a guy, you have certain expectations. Mine were all around stronger female characters (ticked), trying to play it cool (ticked), while having their own insecurities and feelings which they not necessarily wished to expose, yet failed to some extent (you guessed it, ticked again). While some talented psychologist is looking for logic behind my definition of a good rom-com read, let's focus on the content of this particular anthology.

They say things come in threes. Well, here they did in eights. And what an entrance that was!:) Humorous, satisfying, easy to digest, but thoughtful at the same time. Like this very bit from one of them, Out of Order by Dee Ernst:
'I need to be brave.'
'Yes, you do.'
'What makes you brave?'
'Isn't that the same thing?'
She took a much longer time to reply.
'Being brave is an action. It's something you do at a particular time yand place. Courage is the thing in your soul that allows you to get up every morning and face the world, even when you're not feeling brave at all.'
'Did you just make that up?'
'No. Fortune cookie.'

To all the readers out there: these eights here won't leave you disappointed... You will feel - well yes - uplifted:)

This honest review was provided in exchange for a free book.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Leaves whirled

We're walking from school. It's warm and sunny, and summery wind starts to blow, gently at first, but getting stronger and stronger by a minute.

I almost feel like in the middle of that American Beauty scene, the one with plastic bag flying in the air, backed up with sweet sounds of music.

All of a sudden, like if she knew exactly how I feel, she says:
'And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the show of dancing leaves!' 😎

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

I am flying

And here I was, 11300 metres above the sea level
('Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Once again apologies for this one-hour delay, this summer we're experiencing the busiest air traffic ever. Since we are slightly higher than usual, our speed exceeds the usual one, too. We're flying 900km/hour at the moment. Enjoy your flight.').

Realising who I love. Identifying all the ones I really care about. One by one. It happened to me once, before, when I was on my own on a plane, too. Different times, same destination. Almost the same people in my thoughts. One which I should have included in my group wasn't there. Like if they didn't exist. I ignored it back then. Now I think I probably shouldn't have.

Why do we need to be at a distance to see? Why can't we notice the most important things, and admire our own, unique and personalised bigger picture, when we're in it?

Looks like it's difficult to see beyond and above while being surrounded with things.

Looks like everybody should fly. Once in a while.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016


'To truly support people in their own growth, transformation, grief, etc., we can’t do it by taking their power away (ie. trying to fix their problems), shaming them (ie. implying that they should know more than they do), or overwhelming them (ie. giving them more information than they’re ready for).'

And that's exactly what I do. I take people's power away as often as possible.
Not intentionally; all is done with nothing more than an intention to help.
Solving other people's problems: there's nothing wrong about it, right? But I kill it. Every time.

Becoming aware of how wrong you are is very disappointing. And sad. Especially when you think of yourself as a rather good type of person, in general (with several cases of being mean-spirited, malignant, and genuinely despicable; all well-deserved).

Then again, maybe it's just a process, where you get a chance to realise you can improve if you want to. Or pretend you haven't notice. And keep doing what you're doing. With a bit of luck, you may even forget about it after a long while. Since we tend to remember only the good stuff (it's cool, it's natural; otherwise all would be completely insane. And that would be too much competition. Even for me:)

Sunday, 19 June 2016


We were reading a story about a dragon; it's an old tale describing smart little boy from Cracow who defeated a ruthless creature; a non-biblical version of David and Goliath, in a way.

We're at the scene where the little boy made a real-size puppy of a sheep, covered with sheep skin, filled with native sulfur and tar. While I was preparing an answer to a possible question on where did he get sulfur from, she asked what is tar. So I explained as best as I could it was used to make rooftops tight and more waterproof. She got that ('oh, so that's why men wore masks when working on top of the houses!').

And then I got to a part where the dragon noticed the fake sheep, swallowed it in one gulp, and felt extreme aching, followed by desperate need of water. And then she goes:
- Still, it's kind of a rude thing to do to a dragon.
- Yeah, but don't forget how many cows and sheep he ate without asking their permission first...
- Well yeah, she replies instantly, but the only reason he did that was that he was hungry. He didn't know they were theirs. How could he know that.

... 😎

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Heart brain waves

Yes, there is such thing as the heart brain. Apparently, heart contains dopamine, adrenaline, and oxytocin, which would typically be found in your brain.
Now, there is probably nothing shocking about that. Both brain and heart belong to one body, with blood and lymph floating and nourishing both organs at all times. One depends on the other. Logically, they connect.
What if you face a heart transplant though?
What if heart being transplanted still contains some hormonal remains from their original 'holder'?
What if that goes into new place, where there are already some strong hormonal relations created?
How that redefines the transplant refusal risk?

Sometimes I wish I followed footsteps of many of my relatives... I could be a doctor by now, or a qualified nurse, or a genetics expert. I would have so much more knowledge at my disposal...

Ah, well...

Friday, 17 June 2016

Running from myself no more

I really like that song.
The lyrics are uplifting and inspiring, to the point that they made me sign up to the run a mile event...

Few days before my longest race ever (I know! People run marathons and say nothing... But it's a huge thing for me; I'm living the moment:) I told my little miss smarty pants aka LMSP (my friend came up with this well-earned title for her, and it captures quite well the overall personality she kindly shares with the universe) she would see me running (hopefully), and possibly even completing the race.
When I mentioned it's in the city centre, it didn't mean much, but when I said it would be all around St. Paul's cathedral, she was all excitement.
I said I didn't prepare much (let's face it: a couple of runs around the park can hardly count for a solid workout...), but I would do my best... And then wanted to say something about the need to challenge yourself, and being really interested to see whether I could make it.
But I didn't say any of such things.
Since she, wishing me well, I know that, she said: 'I hope you won't be the last. Cause it's really embarrassing when you're last...'

 I guess some people don't buy the 'it's not about the winning' approach... Maybe it's for the best...

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Clean it

Few months ago I heard of Clean Language for the first time. And before checking what Wikipedia has to offer on the subject, I thought it is a tool for linguistic freaks who wish to avoid any colloquialisms, keeping the language pure and unchanged. Think French trend to standardise modern language to extreme, but 200+ years later.

I couldn't be more far from the truth.

It is nothing like that! And if anyone wants to find out what Clean Language has to offer, and how it is present everywhere, in everyday lives, across the globe, regardless of gender, race, language spoken, norms and beliefs, the best way is to reach for this book. Written by Judy Rees: 'Your Clean Language Questions Answered'.

In a crispy clear, systematic, and simple way you learn that it is all about metaphor. Which we use all the time. All the time. Any idiomatic expression is a metaphor. Any story contains a metaphor. Any conversation, any set of questions and answers is nothing but a metaphor...

It is also all about questions. The right questions. Not intimidating, judgmental, or criticising. The opening ones, the unbiased and respectful ones, the ones that can get you to amazing places in one conversation.

I used to think negotiation skills are the ones you use all the time, in any interaction with another human being. And yes, when you have a chance to discuss important matters with a 3-year old, who recently acquired ability to build simple sentences, you feel like a title of the master negotiator is your key to staying sane. Which is probably true. Yet, asking right questions, listening to answers, and peeling the truth is a wonderful experience. Read the book, and see for yourself:)

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Explaining the world to the old one

- I am still wondering how the first person got bored. If there was nobody around...
- Do you think you need another person to get bored? - I say.
- No! I never said that! If you were only listening...
- I'm listening, just trying to understand what you're saying.
- Well you're not going to understand if you keep looking at your phone...

(Fair enough...)

- So - I say - what's the story with this getting bored thing?
- Born! Not bored... - she corrects me with this 'seriously, mum' look on her face.
- Oh. Well that's different. Although you can't get bored unless you're born. 
- Yeah. But you can't get bored if you're inside your mum's tummy. Cause you have to swim all the time. But the question is how you swim if you don't know how to swim.
- So, apparently you just know it. It's like breathing. Nobody told you how to breathe but you can do it. - I try to explain.
- Come on! I'm breathing now and I don't even feel it. Can you feel it?
- That's an interesting question. - I say; it really is btw:) - You can feel your breathing if you want to. If you sit and think of your breath and how air floats in through your nose, and how it gets out through your nose again, or through your mouth...
- Well, yeah but if you don't think of it, you're still breathing.
- True - I admit; there's logic in what she says. - So it's the same with swimming in your mummy's tummy. Unfortunately you forget it short after you're born. 
- Well, that's because when you're born the water disappears. Right, mum? - said my 7-year old, in between spoons of couscous ('I don't really like it, I would rather eat pasta. It's pasta, too? No, it's not! Is it? Really? It doesn't look like it...')

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Bamboo Stick

I'm reading. Again. But this time it is a long read, as I come back to it when possible, usually at night time, or in the early morning hours before all the usual rush starts ...

(and let's face it, however irritating that rush may be, pulling me away from a book, it is one of these life-defining elements, the one I know I will miss when it's gone, and feel truly good that I can witness it now, and be a part of it nearly every day... As once in a while it happens that they sleep longer, giving me an extra hour which I waste almost completely anyway, staring at them in their sleep... typical:)

Anyway, I stumbled upon this book one day. Since it was raining. And sun decided it was better to wait the weather out behind the clouds. I followed the example, my clouds being bookshelves at my local bookshop. And then I saw the cover, with bamboo stick on white background. And the title: 'Bend, Not Break. A Life in Two Worlds.'

There is something utterly refreshing and invigorating in white&green combination. It has this springy vibe and appeal that it is going to be better, whatever the weather.

The book though: it is a story of Ping Fu, a woman who was taken away from her family when she was 7 years old, told by the soldiers few years older than her that she was another people's child (awful way of finding out but that was the least of her problems), and taken to a sort of education / work camp. Where she not only had to survive, minding her newly identified little sister (completely on her own! At 7! That is incredible even by Medieval standards!), but worked at a factory. Learning electrical circuits, compiling radio transistors, polishing metal pieces until they looked like mirrors, spotless and clean... Only to become computer engineering student in the US years later, and a co-founder of a successful engineering software company.

I look at my 7-year old when reading this story and think how life can twist and twirl. Our lives have made a huge turn, too, but on a completely different level. Yet, I feel so many connections with that read. It's extraordinary.

Here is a story of a woman, like me, who grew up in a communism era, like me, who had incredibly difficult childhood, unlike me. Yet, I feel for her with every single page I turn.

And the thoughts she shares about ethics of work. Incredible. Like this one, from her early US working experience:
'There was no explanation of why we should perform our tasks or that the end product would look like. I was stunned. My approach to work had always been precisely the opposite. I had sought to understand the why before what and how. It was as though we were masons constructing a magnificent cathedral, only without the vision being communicated or an architectural plan presented. How could we be inspired if we received nothing more than instructions about how to lay bricks?'


Saturday, 11 June 2016

Paris Mon Amour

Today, I spent most of my day reading. This hardly ever happens these days; let's just say a combination of My Little Pony, Bubble Guppies, and the the Paw Patrol contributed largely.

It appears you can carry on with your household duties, including cleaning the floors and cooking, while being glued to a book. But any book won't do. It needs to be the one you find lots of connections with. The one clicks with you in an instant. The one you find lots in common.

Like this one.

It talks about love. About solitude. About relationships we have with our mothers. About choices we make, and how they influence us even if we avoid them as much as we can. About life.

It is astonishingly profound. At first I was expecting 'just' a love story. But it goes deeper.

'so much of who we are is an infinite mystery.'

Just when I was about to write this post, I found out about Christina Grimmie, a 22-year old singer who I happened to listen to, and was amazed with her beautiful edgy voice. She was killed yesterday by a guy few years her senior. Why? We won't find out since he shot himself shortly afterwards. That incredibly sad story shades yet another light onto the book I wholeheartedly recommend reading.
'An infinite mystery'

(I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley.)

Thursday, 2 June 2016


Just came across that beautiful word. It describes me most of the time... for my first 23 years of age and for the last 10 months, at least...

So, what happened in between? Could say nothing, since these days / moments never existed and you're reading notes from a 24-year old who happens...OK, that's enough. Not true and noone is buying that.

I went through this funny period many other people experience: you loose someone you really were strongly attached to, never realised that until they were gone, since they were always with you, or by your side... And all of a sudden, you have no idea what to do. Getting through the next morning, and next day seems impossible. You think you want to die, but that's not true either. Checked that, doesn't work (Nothing spectacular; just happened to be sitting on a window frame on the 3rd floor of this newly built not yet finished and not very much protected building on a frosty December evening... To make it slightly dramatic, it was New Year's Eve... But even though I was sitting there, jumping was not an option; not only because there was no way I could easily end my existence and would rather get severe joints fractures and great pain, and probably even greater embarrassment at best... But that was not an option. I got to know then that you need a lot of courage to jump. And since then I strongly believe most of those brave - stupid, lost but brave people who ended their own lives - that most of them regret their decision in that very last moment when all is sadly irrevocable...). You do live, and have to get through that awful time when you wish you weren't there. When you remind yourself all these moments you could have been better, smile more, hug more, say how happy you were with them. But you didn't.

Someone may ask what is funny in that period? It is dramatic, may look funny to those who see you mumbling to yourself and looking at others with extremely hostile look... But it is not funny...
Well, actually, it is. While you need that time to reconcile, to get back to harmony, or even discover the harmony in you you never really thought about before - it is the most selfish period of your life. However cruel that sounds, you whine about your misery and lack of sense in your life (not true but you think you are 100% right) because you lost someone important to you. And while you whine you didn't tell them that you liked them, or loved them, you whine about you. Not about them. You whine about your own feelings.

And that is completely normal.

Since the most important person in your life is you.

When you realise that, you start to see other people again. And realise you need to be a better person because it helps you feel better about yourself. And helps you keep going.

Love is everything. Start from yourself...

(That was loquacious:)))

Wednesday, 1 June 2016


Kids have this amazing ability to use their body like a screwdriver, make you hug them however tiny spot left there is... Which simply pays off for every early morning when it's barely any daylight (so these days I'm talking 4:00am for example)...

In case if you're a lazier type of mum - high five - you'll probably substitute 'every' with '3 to 5', since you need more incentives than the devoted one...

All these are memories. Which you carefully collect. To keep you warm and make you smile. To help you feel that sometimes, you're not so bad after all:)

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Your destiny is in your past

Watched a very interesting interview with breathtakingly beautiful Penelope Cruz (this one).
While it was all meant to be funny, and yes, it was, one moment struck me there. Completely.

They talked about their childhood photos and how she was always posing, as apt as only a professional model/actress can. And then, the interviewer, comic and TV host, mentioned he was always making funny faces... And ended up in comic business (double meaning here fully intended;).

So, to discover your destiny... Just flick through your photos of you, when you were a child... It will tell you who you are deep inside.
If you think of how children's minds work (no one really knows but there's a direct link to sincerity and honesty, that's a given), that's a great starting point to discover who you should be to sync with inner you best...

So, who were you, as a child, when there were photos of you taken???:)))

Monday, 23 May 2016


that moment when you realise despite all the books you managed to read so far, you still use the same words in every second sentence... like 'actually'... wrrr...:)


I started to listen to an interview with Tom Hiddleston; like his voice, and the way he speaks, and plays with words in such a clear and rich way. In short, something really mindblowing would have to happen to drag me away from the speakers.
Yet, after half a minute (!) I find myself scrolling through mails, deleting the ones I no longer find applying, checking whatsapp, oh and yes, I was supposed to see where I am with my monthly mobile data usage... Hang on. What's happening? When so many people, and clearly me included, lost the ability to focus on one activity for longer than few seconds?

I know, having children helps. I am in the middle of reading a book, for example, and the main character is about to do something extraordinary... And then I hear call for help. And usually get a bit angry, as here I am with this book and I wish I could just put ear plugs on, and keep me in the zone... But then I recall that thought, the one that keeps me going for quite a while: in 10 years time I will miss these calls and that need for help, I will miss that like crazy. So I sigh, put the book away, and go...

Then again, I strongly believe children do make a great excuse. And sometimes it is just a sort of lazy line you come up with: I cannot do this / I cannot go there / I am not able to focus because I have children to attend to... Yeah, right. You are just on your well-worn, and well-known path, which is equally boring and cosy.

So maybe that's it - we are not challenging our minds enough? And they just get stuck and fit into ever-shrinking option? Where time is precious beyond extreme so we rather count seconds but in fact loose years on counter-productive activities?

Sometimes I honestly wish I had no phone...

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

What is your backing track?

Just listened and watched the mini series entitled Inside the music. With Gary Barlow explaining what it's like to be a musician and song writer.

Regardless of whether you like his music, or find it not necessarily right up your alley, there is no question about his talent, motivation, and ability to deal with what life brings you, and how you can turn obstacles into opportunities.

I particularly liked the second episode, a 4-minute insight into Inspiration.
Really think it is something any creative person, or business person should watch.

Two very important things to do then:
  • get out (no, I am not trying to be rude here, very happy if you are reading this, and I am not - by all means - suggesting you should leave; just go outside and see the world:), 
  • put your backing tracks on.

So, the real question is, what are your backing tracks? What makes your business, your creativity inspired? Is it a tune? Is is a voice? Is it a picture? Is it a book? Once you have that question answered, you can gather several backing tracks that are relevant for you, and tap onto them whenever you need inspiration.

Really interesting podcast that is. And really interesting to see how it applies to so many different aspects of creativity, or business ideas...

Monday, 9 May 2016


That feeling when you meet someone for the first time in your life, and you are to reveal something you don't feel OK with, to say the least... Not nice, at all. You almost wish you could do the toddler trick: cover your eyes with your hands, convinced no one sees you. And actually, not being seen.

Yet, you do what you think is best, and go on. Guess that is part of choices we make in our life. Sometimes just for us. Other times, for us and the ones we really care about.
As in the end, it is the best for them, too.

Monday, 2 May 2016


Some days are all about failure. And it is really hard to refrain from blaming all for that.
Like today.

After over an hour of discussion about why should we go for a trip (full 75 minutes; why I measured this is probably a hint for another story...), I officially gave up. I just gave up. I didn't raise my voice, which is a little bit of an achievement. I didn't show my anger, which might be seen as a small success. I didn't even whine, well, not too much at least. I just gave up.

What is the point of dragging someone to see something they don't seem to be interested in at all? The whole idea of trying something, and experiencing to be sure you like it or not, rather than just assuming you don't - it went completely unnoticed. Maybe it is for the best.

So, some days I fail. Some might say, most days. But they wouldn't be right, would they?:)

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Information power

'Do you know where we are?' asked this guy, looking like a combination of Sting and Christian Bale.

What a wonderful question is that! Answers coming to me from so many different angels. Starting from Ellen lip syncing Diana Ross song, this one. Then, moving on to a psychological aspect: what is the sense of our being here. To astronomical aspect, where the Earth actually is, and how big is the universe we are in. To geographical aspect, how to find me and him on the map he was holding. Which, sadly, is the aspect he was referring to. I helped him, and he went along.

What a wonderful question though... :)

Wednesday, 20 April 2016


Have you ever done something silly, that was funny at the time but after you think about it... It's very very irresponsible? I did. More than once.

I remember being 10, or 11, and answering phone calls at home. Many of these would be the wrong number calls, probably because of the fact that our home number was quite distinctive, with lots of repeated digits. People make mistakes when dialing, especially when using landlines, not mobiles. Copying and pasting a number, or clicking on it and confirming the call option was not so popular X years ago:)...

After several: 'No, you've got the wrong number... No problem... Your welcome' phrases I used, I got bored.
And therefore I recall confirming, at least once, that we do indeed have 200 meters of magnet wire in stock, available for immediate purchase in packs of 40 meters. And yes, they can come and collect it straightaway, which is highly advisable as the item is very popular among our customers today.

I was also making up names. Well, sort of. When someone was calling, and rather than saying hello and introducing themselves, was simply asking whether Jen's there, I would be replying with something in the lines of: 'No, but we have Stephanie, Julie, and Elizabeth (the last one being actually true) here, so maybe you would like to talk to any of them instead?'. Alternatively, I was using line which technically was absolutely correct: 'No, she's not here, but whenever she is here, I will tell her you called'. Hardly anyone was leaving their name for reference then.

Which just proves the point: we assume a lot. Assumptions can limit our world so much sometimes.

And having fun should never ever disrespect others. However funny it might be.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016


Hopefully, someone else may relate to this: solving a sudoku when they feel there is nothing else their brain could process.
It happened to me several times over the last few years. I still do that now, from time to time. To get that feeling of accomplishment from little things.

Now, crosswords are another story. Specially when it's not in your mother tongue. All of the sudden, simple words challenge you and finding an answer is trickier you may think. And then, when you do find an answer, the feeling of accomplishment is much greater, even though things are still relatively little.

Finally, there is a wordwheel. Where you are supposed to find at least one nine-letter word composed out of nine letters available. Together with a bunch of shorter ones, no less then three though, and always containing the central letter. That, done in the language you were born with is simple enough. With a second, and subsequent, it is different. And the feeling of accomplishment is much much greater.

Today, I felt that. When I discovered, funnily enough, that the nine-letter word is 'departure'.
Sounds good to me...

Saturday, 16 April 2016


'Feel the rain on your skin,
no one else can feel it for you,
only you can let it in.

No one else
no one else
can speak the words on your lips'

Only when I heard it few days ago, it occurred to me that this song, and these lyrics in particular, are the anthem for anyone trying to write something. Anything. Be it a 700-pages novel, or a shopping list.

Thursday, 14 April 2016


Up until I was 20ish, I strongly believed it is sight that is the most important of all the senses. Which made me wearing glasses with a combination of embarrassment and fear, when I finally agreed to put them on at the age of 13. And gladly put them away 11 years later.

(11 years later. Again. There is something significant about 11 year-period then. Interesting...)

Then the touch came as the crucial one. All the hugs and cuddles I was getting, and - most importantly - all the ones I was no longer getting, but missed a lot.

But at the moment, it is more about smells. The one of freshly cut grass brings back the breezy memories of time spent with my dad in the garden. Including breaks from collecting all the leaves and hay and cutting old branches. When we sat on the grass, watched the sun and the sky, and talked. Or didn't speak a word, just stared at the neighbour's cat following a mouse.
Then there is the one of the apple pie my grandma used to bake. Which would then be left to cool down in the pantry. And tasted heavenly.
And now, there is the one of the pillow I sleep on.

So, Proust was right...

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

No Harm Trying

- Sorry, excuse me - this guy flashes me with the whitest of teeth.
I return the smile automatically. Is this normal to have such bright teeth though? He probably never had a cup of coffee in his life. And apparently doesn't know how to use a map. As his next line is:
- How do I get to a Tiller Road?
"Looser", I think. I fight the wicked need to make a silly remark about his over-confidence and proper use of articles (who am I to judge anyway?)... Instead, I smile politely and say:
- It's not too far away, all you need to do is follow that path, and then... - using the usual "reassurance, followed by a light smile, ended up with a short set of directions" technique which always works.
So it did this time. He thanks me and goes away. I instantly feel like a better person. Isn't helping others fun? And only after a while I realise what he actually said. "Thank you, ma'am."Ma'am?!" I quickly check my outfit for today. No, it's not the uniform day, I have my casual clothes on. So it's the age. I'm screwed. And visibly old. All of a sudden, helping others sucks.
10 minutes later, while I'm still in my thoughts on aging, a lady approaches me on the street. I am not even trying to guess her age after this ma'am incident of mine; but she is most likely older than me; much older in fact...
- Excuse me, would you be able to help me, dear?
"Now, that's better. Dear is better. Pretty much everything is better than... you know what." I think, and want to say "Yes, of course".
That doesn't happen though. She doesn't really need my reply. She just goes on:
- Do you think I look better in pink, or in blue? - she asks, holding both scarves in her hands, one in the boldest magenta colour one could imagine, another in cobalt taken directly from Vincent van Gogh's paintings of Auvers...
- Blue, as it compliments your eyes and brightens your face - I answer almost automatically, without really thinking why and how she got to asking me that question. In the middle of the street. How odd! Then again, I act weirdly sometimes. So does anybody else then.
- Thank you, dear - she says and goes away.
What is happening though?! I look at my phone screen and suddenly come to a conclusion that I haven't used a watch since... I mean, for 11 years now; taking somebody else's habit of not wearing a wrist watch and using a phone instead seemed natural back at the beginning, and something I got used to - ironically - as time went by...  But now, it's me again... I should buy myself a watch! That announcement is nothing when compared to the shocking fact it is 10am. 10 sharp! Which would be nothing unusual if not compared to another fact: my Mini-Man and me, we're on our way back from school. Where the Easter Bonnet parade took place. We watched it all; it ended at 11am! I looked at my phone when leaving so no mistake here... What is happening???
I check how my Mini-Man is doing: all seems to be OK there; he's in the buggy, having his favourite cookie, one of many favorites (a proud sweet-tooth owner, just like his mum), wearing his sunglasses whatever the weather; apparently he listened to that shocking report I had on last month, about the UV protection to be applied 24/7 to any human being, toddlers included...
I'm confused but not beyond norm. Maybe it was 9:30 when we were leaving... Which makes no sense since the parade started at 9:45 but then again... I didn't sleep well last night. Meaning, the 'I'm Gucci with one coffee' rule doesn't apply today...
- Excuse me - this time it's a man. With the most sunny face I could ever imagine. OK, this one's going to be interesting...
- How do you find the newest discoveries on the Moon? Curious, isn't it?
I'm starring at his face, and probably look like that looser I met earlier, the one wanting to know his own personalised way to get to that street, I forgot now which one it was. Nor can I remember why he was a looser in the first place. I definitely look stupid.
- What? - I say. That is all I can say.
- The Moon. You know - he says and smiles.
That didn't help. But I do my best to collect the leftovers of me.
- What I was meant to say, why are you asking me this question? I mean, I live near the 0 longitude, but... - And that's about it in the "let's make a stunning first impression" department. "Longitude". Seriously. Who uses such word in a conversation anyway? Not to mention, I probably mispronounced it heavily...
- You really want to know my opinion? - That is me desperately trying to make a stunning second impression. Helpless. "Helpless in London", what a great title that would be...
- Well, of course, you're the expert on everything, aren't you? - he says, like if I said something really smart. And smiles even more.
And then it gets to me.
- It's a dream! A beautiful dream! - I say. And smile back. - It must be! That is exactly what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be all my life. Advise people and be Ms EOE: Expert on Everything!
He looks surprised, but doesn't say anything. That just proves I am right. Which is usually the case, by the way. I even wear this T-shirt today to prove it: "I am not always right. I am just never wrong." It is true.
All I need to do now is don't wake up. Ever.

No harm trying...

Saturday, 9 April 2016

The Day - part 4 out of 4 :)

We watch an episode of the Strawberry Shortcake, my SuperSpiderGirl and me. Where the girls get a glittery manicure which releases sounds and melodies whenever you move your hands. Beautiful at first, annoying and hard to bear later on.

I know, it sounds so shallow: watching a cartoon with your 7.5-year old, tucked in your arms like if it was 4 years ago. But the fact is, we both missed it and both needed it so much it is actually a shame I haven't noticed that earlier.
Also, choosing a more girly tale would be quite challenging... But it tells a story of disappointment, 'white lies' and how you suffer when you tell them while in fact you're much better off being honest... It explains friendship where you feel comfortable criticising something because you know they appreciate getting to know your true opinion.

So, we talk about it.
Out of talking comes the love. I kind of forgot that. Happy the Strawberry Shortcake acted as a gentle reminder:)

Dreams are very powerful. They can soothe you, or they can haunt you. They can give you weird feeling of uneasiness during the day, or they can make you sleep like a log. But if the day was the one to be appreciated, and you have someone to dream about, it's ok. That ok you hardly ever get. While, sadly, many people never get. Worth reminding. And being grateful for. And smile, even if just to self, when you wake up. 

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Weather light

- It's a storm, it's a storm!
We're all excitement. Running to the balcony door; looking for the thunder, like if it was that magical spectacle one shouldn't miss.
If you think of it for a while, it kind of is...

All of the sudden, she's holding her breath really loudly.
- Is it a thunder? Did you see it?!
- No - She says, with slight disappointment in her voice but only for a fraction of the second, back to enthusiasm; it's clearly much cooler - A mosquito... It's huge! Look, like this - She is showing me a 2-inch long, invisible string between her fingers.  - Huge!

I guess nature is amazing. Every single part of it...

Friday, 1 April 2016

Complicating things

Why not visiting a playground which is far far away, and probably not half as nice as the one located 5 minutes away from home? Why? Because I like to complicate things.

2 changes later, and no buggy - stretching my definition of perfect motherhood to the extreme here - we're there. Queensway station.

The park is slowly getting people's attention; still, you can identify your kids even if they wish to
explore. The playground is cool, with lots of places to hide - not so good when you have strong control instincts. It is fenced, and the gate opens only when the operating guru clicks the button, unreachable for anyone with a height of 5ft and lower - genius!

With coffee in my hand I'm soothed. Just learned I could have 5 1/2 lattes a day if I wish to reach caffeine's limits. And half of energy daily intake I guess. Not going there. Love for food is bigger:)

It's a really nice place, the playground, and when we're there, I'm learning something new about us. SuperSpider girl is the one who initiates things, but gets bored quite quickly, and needs some enthusiastic remarks to keep her going. MiniMan happily follows her, but when he finds something interesting, it keeps him occupied for longer than anyone could expect. Like pouring dry sand through a fake mini mill wheel, and checking how it freely flows down. Her, in the meantime, she is on a slide 7 times (to match her age, clearly), and comes back to suggest leaving. But then, they discover a sort of obstacle course, and manage to complete it. So there is clapping, and dancing, and laughing.

I think when there comes a day I am no longer clapping to admire everyday achievements, that will mean I aged. Emotionally, as I hope I would already have been very old physically.

That is the reason why I complicate things then. To discover something new about them. And me.

The Day - part 3 out of many :)

'So, are we making cookies?' I ask. 'No', she says at first, as she is in the 'no-phase' at the moment; I need to wait until she actually gets the message. 'Yes, let's do this', she says, after a while. Ok then. It's rolling time. And then her hands choose the cutters, and make one even surface separated, with eggs, chickens, and bunnies. It's exciting, more than I expected. Then he joins in, standing on tip-toes but not letting go, following his sister's moves as best as he can. As a result, rolling is repeated several times. Doesn't matter; what matters is, we're really having fun.

3 baking trays later, we're full. Yes, I admit being guilty as charged of eating barely cooled butter cookies. I am not the only one here to blame; that doesn't make the energy intake lower though. Booty challenge, here I come.

If you follow a 35-step procedure (sometimes more like a 40-one), and show extreme patience and consistence throughout the day ('No, I will not pick you up, you have to walk, sorry, yes, I know you will make it, it is not that far away, well done!'), the miracle happens. Mini-Man is asleep before the clock strikes 8. It's like our version of the Cinderella story, adjusted to any mum's evening of her dreams. Shh, don't wake the guy-to-be:)

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Breaking the news

People go away this year more than ever. I know it sounds silly, and just means I'm getting older, but really...
Almost as if there was a limited space available for awesomeness in the world...

Everyone is unique and awesome. Just not everyone gets a chance to see that themselves. And not everyone gets notice. That doesn't mean they are less exceptional.

Last year, a colleague from primary school, who I barely knew and never passed the 'hi' phase, died out of a serious disease. While, sadly, it was not the first death I faced, it was the one that made me extremely sad. For longer than usual. And then it was one of the reasons I woke up. Because it is up to me what I do with my life. Even when, and especially when, I have no idea when it ends.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

The Day - part 2 out of many :)

All is fine. They were just playing in their room, using old changing board as a mini slide. An idea both me and the SuperSpiderGirl accidentally implemented on a gloomy day about a year ago. Saved by inventive spirit...

We're on our way to the shops to get few things before Easter. The crucial ones: milk, bread, apples. Milk is for the younger, bread for the older, apples for all really. As we go through the university, we pass many visitors, not discouraged by unfavorable weather conditions, bravely pretending they can fully admire the work of Christopher Wren, while wind blows their heads off, and rain slowly soaks their spring attire. It's almost April. It's supposed to be warmer.

Home sweet home... I haven't thought of the place we live in now as home until recently. Which is by all means weird. Apparently you need to feel like at home to call a place home, like this, where I can fully relax, and feel positive vibrations from every corner of every room. It's not about the place, it's about the people, and yet...

I have daffodils in a vase. Put them in 3 days ago, and they are in full bloom since yesterday. They are not the usual yellow ones, rather a slightly twisted version, white ones with light lemony middle. 9 out of 10, that is. Cause the 10th one is different. It's yellow with orange bits in the centre. Like if the sun was shining on that particular one, the late afternoon rays warming and embracing. It's nice:)

The Day - part 1 out of many :)

I raise my head and see shiny whiteness of kitchen cupboard right in front of me. Making pancakes at this insane hour is nothing new to me, but after just few hours of sleep everything seems to be less exciting, and more energy-consuming. Yet, there is something soothing about pouring milk into whisked eggs, adding clouds of flour and have all the mess transforming into one consistent mixture. Just a touch of olive oil, and another cloud, of cinnamon this time... Ready. Waiting for the pan to give that right temperature, not too cold, and not too hot. The right one. Wondering how many coffees will get me through the day...

Apparently, I'm Gucci with one (for anyone who has no idea what I just said, like me until few days ago, Gucci means good... Seriously? I'm not even in Italy... Been to Florence once, but... Seriously? Why not I'm McQueen with one? Then at least I would fit into local 'proud to be British' campaign. Even though I am neither British, nor proud. Ok, I am sometimes. Proud, that is. I am... So I'm McQueen with one...). Reading a book about the fashion in Poland after World War II, when the centralised system and unification of clothes scarcely available in shops led to manifestation of one's own style and approach to life in general through their dresses, scarfs, coats, usually second hand, usually recreated to fit better, and therefore unique and unrepeatable. 'Fashion is a way of fighting.' I would say that was and is and will be the case everywhere. Just another form of creating something, expressing oneself, and enjoying oneself. Which is what life is meant to be, after all.

There is this silence all of the sudden. Still being Gucci, or McQueeny, it took me only 3 minutes to notice that. What are they doing? Is something wrong? Stop. This doesn't help. There's two of them, If something is wrong with one, the other will come and tell you. Then again, what if both of them need my help? Awful, awful mother. So I go. Only to see...

Friday, 25 March 2016

My new invention

It hit me today. What I need, and what all need is Patience for Parents in infinite containers.

Even when you're not the one with the kids, it helps. A lot. It makes you see things differently. Enjoy the moments. See through.

Patience is something that can change time. Incredible but true: if you find the time in yourself to get to know what is behind yet another tantrum, yet another moaning, yet another angry conversation... If you're patient, you will get to the bottom of things. You will get to the truth.

And then it is up to you to decide whether you want to help, or leave it all. And go.

But at least you know.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

The power of sounds and music

Recently, I listened to this amazing TED speech from a conductor who managed to create a choir of up to 4000 people from more than 70 countries singing their hearts out at the comfort of their own homes. The first ever music performance with no commuting required from any person involved; talking about remote working at a completely different level...
Yes, it took a lot of time, and included a lot technical tweaks, but the end result was absolutely amazing, touching, and uplifting.

Surprisingly touching to me, at least.
Usually, there has to be deep sound (sometimes quirky, and dark, like from a friend of mine, this one) and lyrics (meaningful, syncing in with my emotions and feelings). Only such combination gets to me. This time, words didn't play any part at all. This time, the combined power of sounds made it all an astonishing experience.

Which is not a surprise. Looking at this study alone, it is clear that sound is important to people. To communicate. To feel. To be. What fascinates me most though, is the fact that even those with hearing problems can still feel the vibrations created by sounds. And while it is a different type of 'sound' experience in their lives, it is still there. Amazing.

I just wish I could have a better speaker system in place, to be able to feel that emotions and coziness, and sudden reassurance that everything is going to be all right, that people can do great things, so I can do great things, too. Something like any of these, for example, from Panasonic Wireless Speakers range. With children in place, and strong aversion to cables and wires used to haunting me from every corner of the room (something one gets acquainted with, and not necessarily is extremely at ease with, when in a relationship with an IT geek), it sounds - yes, it does sound, indeed;) - like a perfect solution.
Plus, when something is wireless, it all of the sudden makes me feel more free, less bound to, and touches upon quite a strong sense of independence I seem to always have had, but developed quite well over the last year, or so. Even if it's clever marketing doing its job here, it works. Making me feel more free, less bound to, and good.
Besides, I like the idea of connection, synchronization, and availability regardless of place and time. And it's all there. Great for someone like me, who appreciates being wrapped up in different genres of music, whatever the need is. Great for someone who organises a party at home, and desperately flicks through their not so impressive collection of 4 CDs at the very last minute, almost panicking (that would be me as well:). What they should be doing instead, is breath in, breath out, relax, and reach for thousands of great songs on their Spotify, or Soundcloud accounts, easily accessible with a clever tool like this. Great for someone with children who seem to calm down when they hear soothing tones of classical music, poured gently but efficiently into their sleepy heads at night (yep, me again:).

Looks like I have found my dream Easter present:)))

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Love Somebody

It's the title of a song I recently fell in love with. If anyone is looking for a meaningful lyrics packed with great sounds and presented by a beautiful voice, check this out.

And there is that very interesting concept of a feeling so overwhelming you loose yourself in it completely. To the point that you care about someone totally. Leaving no protection for you - all is booked for them, nothing is left for you.

I would say it depends:) sounds like the safest answer ever, but: yes, it does. In any kind of relationship there is usually one person being more emotionally attached than the other, one caring more than the other, one being - to put it straight, and slightly bias - less selfish than the other.

Still, there is this instinct to survive. Which allows you to indeed keep a bit of your heart to yourself.
There is experience, which vary; usually comes with age, but not necessarily in a good way... Sometimes it takes a lot of time to get to the point you are strong enough to  decide for yourself, and yourself only.

Each decision around feelings and emotions brings pain and release. It's life. No need to mourn, no need to celebrate.

In short then (yeah, right!:), I think there is never the case someone is totally OK with being totally driven by a feeling, and submit everything they have / desire / plan, just throw themselves into whatever life will bring.

Another thing is, are we ever in love with somebody else? Isn't it rather the case we are in love with our perception of the person we 'love'? And, since that is the case, we never really love that person? Just our collection of assumptions, our interpretations of their words, our understanding of their actions?

Tricks our minds can play. Blindness our desire may give us.

Not that I complain. It is always nicer to feel something rather than nothing.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Patience, conformity, and good luck

Patience is a virtue I lack.
Still find myself on the strong end, and I can endure a lot - otherwise my whole parenting experience would be nothing but a nightmare, truly. Yet, the inevitable feeling of guilt comes now and again when I cannot stand another moaning, cannot hold back raised voice, cannot force myself to count to 101, if needs be, and just give a hug.
As a result, the hug comes later, after I said what I felt, or after I just turned and left the room, coming back after 5 minutes. Anything beyond 5 would be disastrous from health and safety perspective (one cannot imagine what a nearly 3-year old is capable of doing when left unattended for 300+ seconds; personal studies results include a sink filled with water to the very brim, with whole toilet paper roll floating carelessly, making the bathroom look like a mini waterfall - adorable).
But the hug always comes.
And apologies.
One should respect another, no matter the age.

I had a fascinating conversation recently with my long-time-no-see friend from high school. We've never really got along in our teens; not deliberately, we just happened to be hanging around different circles. And when I accidentally met her last year, it was incredibly simple and effortless to talk for an hour. She talked, I listened. I talked, she listened. So much stuff was discussed, so many deep thoughts, it is almost unbelievable.
We met again, few weeks ago. This time we took the things seriously. One coffee, two teas, two pumpkin soups, and 5.5 hours later we were still not done with talking:).
One of the things we discussed was the duty we all seem to feel, and what my friend finds quite detrimental to one's individual thinking. The need to do things because you should do them. While I agree following the mob is not a good idea, I get desire to receive simple information, shortcuts to reassurance, and feeling of being sociably fulfilled when you follow the crowd. Rather than think on your own. It's practical, it saves time, and it keeps you cosy. But yes, it makes your thinking process rather limited most of the time. You shouldn't show your emotions, so you usually hide them - that's bad for you, too.

Last Saturday, we went for an experimental trip to the city centre. No buggy, so it was challenging right from the start. But it was so great just to use stairs rather than desperately looking for lifts, or using escalators in the most awkward and hazardous ways, with a buggy angled weirdly, and the Mini-Man getting interested in every single piece of technical equipment, making the whole experience a true survival story.
This time, the curiosity was there, but walking all the time payed off. Superspider girl was a bit disappointed - they didn't have her favourite cookies in a cafe (going to the cafe was a must-have; clearly only because they were tired; clearly my coffee addiction had noting to do with it; clearly). Mini-man was grumpy as mummy should be with him at all times, like the luggage you shouldn't leave unattended at the airports. He needs a grown up to raise his complaints to, to show his disapproval of things, and to hug when needed. Fair enough. So when I was paying for their snacks and drinks, and for my coffee, the lady at the till looked at both of them, waiting for me at the table; then looked at me, and said: 'Good luck'...

Wishing well is always good; I should do that more often to others, it definitely makes a day more bearable. Every time:)

Friday, 11 March 2016

The centre of all the attention

Recently, I found myself watching a crime TV series. Nothing unusual, I was raised on western movies, loved by my dad to this day. You could call them a combination of a crime story and a fairy tale, with distinct division between the good and the bad. And there was Steve McQueen, who I adored, and still do - great actor...

Anyway, that crime story I saw recently, it was taking place in Hawaii. Beautiful scenery, even more beautiful women (well, there was at least this one, really good-looking; and I like the fact I can honestly admire beauty in other females, and don't feel that stupid jealousy; just be in awe like if looking at a particularly interesting painting... like to think it is me being emotionally mature;) rather than feeling devastated, and in pieces, fully resigned, just accepting faith of the one in a much worse league;), and pretty obvious plot. Who cares about the plot, though, really. 

There was a non-related scene, the one which adds humor and a bit of distraction, with a happy and chubby amateur-cook, who happened to create marvelous food, but stressed when being verified by a professional 'master-chef'. That chef told him it is all because of one thing that needs to be switched back again, and then everything will be ok. And it turned out to be as he said.

That one thing he said, it was: it is all because you are cooking through here - pointing at the chubby man's forehead. You should be cooking through here - pointing at him again, but where his heart is.

I guess that is exactly what we all should do, with anything we do. Just do it with our hearts on, not with our brains on. And then, we're all sorted.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

International Women Day

There's always this almost bipolar twist to it for me: I appreciate being put first (rarely ever happens, but when it does, I like the feeling:), yet I tend to think of me as a strong (ekhm), independent (ekhm, ekhm), and bold.

If I was a book character, I would rather be closer to a Wonder Woman than a Cinderella - nowhere near any of these two in terms of beauty, but I'm talking personality types. In reality, I am a mixture of both.

Therefore, my International Women Day this year was full of daffodils, bashfully starting to bloom all around me. With a touch of self-reliance from Legally Blonde, followed by Legally Blonde, part 2.

My presents to self. Theoretically the best, since I know the donee quite well...

And today, I had a great day. The one I hadn't had in weeks:)

Friday, 4 March 2016

Reading genes

It would be so nice, wouldn't it? If there was such thing as reading genes.

I love reading. It has been part of me for as long as I remember (and now, if anyone is reading, they just roll they eyes / yawn / go back to do anything they have been doing up until now, since it's now less boring and more uplifting; I can't help the truth though...:). Since I was 3, and started getting an idea about letters put together, an amazing world opened for me.

I believe it is such a shame that there are so many human beings who don't find the idea of reading equally amazing. It's like travelling and going places without moving anywhere - all cozy and comfortable:_)

So when I see my kids sharing my passion for books, I can only smile. And think, that there is that much you can do to pass good things to them. Happy this is one of them.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

All about giving

There is this nice feeling of accomplishment, and inner pride when you give something to someone. Better still, if they like what you give. If you don't, there are ways to show it: nastier and mean, or gentle and nice.
Shamefully, I did both - receiving something I was totally not happy with. I got bitter aftertaste after being mean, and felt good about myself after being nice.
I thought I got it all explained in my head.
Recently, however, I got the best explanation ever. From a person with over 7 years of experience in receiving presents, and a bit more than 4 in giving them.

- Do you know why you feel good when you give presents? Because when you give a lot of them, you get a lot of them, too.

Logically, that is the case.

I should have figured it out sooner.

Then again, it wouldn't be half as sweet and lovely as when hearing it from her...

Tuesday, 1 March 2016


People in the play

- I like feeling relaxed at home, and wearing nothing. It's so liberating. I wish I could do that more often.
- What stops you?
- Daylight. Neighbours. English appropriateness.
- Never thought any of that matters to you.
- Hehe

- Went window shopping last night.
- Sounds upsetting
- Not at all; it felt liberating actually - no need to spend any money with all the freedom to flick through clothes.
- That's ok then

- Finally! The spring is here. Why are you wearing that turtleneck today? It's really warm!
- Oh, it's just that... I felt chilly this morning...
- You? Chilly! You're the one wearing T-shirts all year long! Chilly?!?
- Yeah, well, it's... it's complicated...
- Meaning? What's happening?
- Everything is fine. I need to go.

- That dress is beautiful! But I cannot wear it.
- Why not? It will suit you!
- It's too... too... revealing
- No it's not, there's just a T-shirt neckline, nothing more.
- Yeah, but the colours, I don't think they suit me.
- You will look lovely, just try it on, you will see.
- I can't!
- What is going on? Will you tell me? I can help you, if needs be!
- Aha. Ok. Thanks, no need for that.

(reading a newspaper)
' A 22-year old Alice G. was discovered dead at the Cwrwrrwwmhn Inn in Wales, alongside a note with just one word: "Closet". It turned out she has been severely wounded, and strangled several times, with 4 facial bones fractured as a result of physical abuse...'
(stops reading)
- If only I wasn't so selfish... If only I didn't let her go...