When you look for sth here

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:)