Sunday, April 29, 2007
My friend and I had a quiet Sunday today. We talked and watched some pics together, among other things. It turned out we were taking pictures near the Morrison's Island on separate occasions and that we, most probably, "caught" the same bird. It likes spending its time by the bridge. I saw it there a good couple of times. When I was walking with my camera on a Sunday some time ago, it decided to take a rest on a life ring buoy and was posing for me like a star :)
My friend and I wondered what bird it was.
My knowledge of birds species is really poor. It is a cormorant (the Internet is invaluable).
wildlife of blue flag beaches
Carlingford wildlife page
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Here goes a picture I took while lying in the grass and relaxing - doing almost nothing.
I wish I could do that some time very soon. Sooner than when I am in Poland. There I can use my parents' huge garden.
My best friend fell from a horse today. She is in hospital and I do not know what to say. It has been a long, long day. I just arrived home a few minutes ago and I am going to bed now.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I used to live in a small town, then in a big city (university times) with loads of parks and loughs. Just before I came to Ireland I would live about 500 yards from woods where I could go for walks, spy on birds with binoculars (I shared a house with an ornitologist), and relax. Woods were also an escape from the noise of the school where I used to teach.
I have been thinking about moving out of Cork city for a long time now but ... easier thought than done. Especially for someone who is single, lives alone, and does not want to share with strangers. For someone who has friends but none of them is planning any move any time soon. Well, for someone who is a bit of a free spirit too.
I will move for sure though - sooner or later.
This pic is from times when I used to live in a house with a garden (Cork's south side). I moved just because the atmosphere there was unbearable and the garden was not much of a help or escape.
Here it goes. I am not sure what species of bird it is.
I would ask her but I no longer keep in touch with my ex-housemate.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Yes, it is a study time - big time. The final countdown has started: 12 days left till my exams (excluding today as today is ... nearly over). There is less Internet browsing now and less blogging. It is good that there are still two weekends left for studying (Bank Holiday weekend included). To give my brain a break and some more oxygen, I am going horse riding this weekend too.
Animals in the city series starts by the way. Yesterday I saw the pheasant in the grass while riding in the countryside. You need to imagine it as I don't have a photo. Tonight, though, here it is - a photo of a bird posing against the grey pavement slabs.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Very good I say.
Imagine a quiet evening close to a stony beach
Grey, calm water stretching far into the misty distance
Green trees refreshed by the rain that has finally started falling
Green grass that looks so soft and inviting you want to walk on it barefoot
Bird singing sweetly and incessantly while hidden somewhere between the branches
A pheasant ... against the background of lush, long, and thick grass, moving majestically around
White and blue flowers along the path, fragile, beautiful, and tiny, looked at from a horse's back
This time I rode on Blossom :-)
It was perfect in the sense that I could really distanced myself from the entire world out there
being at that moment in that place enjoying riding on Blossom, patting him on that long, warm neck from time to time, playing with him as well and feeling that he was enjoying himself too :)
I love horse riding - especially right after work.
Unbelievable - how different it can be and relaxing.
Good before going to sleep too.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
I have just finished another chapter of the book "Y: The Descent of Men" by Steve Jones. After the initial 30 pages or so I got into the rhythm of it and I find it quite fascinating. I must say it is hard to put this book aside.
I had to, though, to go to a Cork Garda Station.
(As I mentioned a few times in my previous posts, I am an interpreter for Garda Siochana.)
This time there was a Polish guy arrested under section 49 (nothing new to me; I know the entire procedure so well I could quote all the sections and requirements in my sleep. Obviously, the Garda designated doctor is no strange face to me either).
Well, anyway, this Polish guy was so pissed that he had some problems understanding his native language and kept saying "Okay", "No problem," nodding "yes" to almost everything I was saying. He is going to have no recollation of what he was doing or saying when he sobers up. If someone tells him he tried to pick me up, he's gonna deny. Yeah but that's what happened.
I did not like it. I know I have lots of anger deep down in me at people who, when drunk, try to pick up girls. I do not care when it happens at Garda Stations; when this guy started calling me "his darling", "love", in a harsh tone I simply told him to give it a break. I do my job and I do not care about what a drunk guy may say. I only care that he is caught and cannot be a threat to anyone.
But in a pub it is different. I used to go to pubs a lot to enjoy myself and have a pint or two. Now I do not go out at all. I do not drink much either when I do go out. Last time I went out was a week ago and only because a good friend asked me to join her as she was going to a farewell party.
Drunk guys are what discouraged me totally from visiting pubs. They cannot talk about interesting things. They either stare at you, they give you this bullshit of "I'll text you", "Yes, you are a great girl","I like you" etc etc. They pretend all the time to give a shit. All they want is to get drunk and then have sex. Obvious. A one night stand. What else?
Thanks but no. I have had enough of this attitude, this shallowness. I have enough of the guys who do not understand a simple word "No." Enough of those who do undestand this simple word and then lose all interest. Enough of idiots who think it is funny when they lie down on the floor to take peek under my not-that-short a skirt. Enough of the guys who insist on dancing with me when I really prefer doing that alone. Or of some who when texting me at 3 am tell me how many beers they had overnight. How impressive.
I keep my phone silenced at night and at 3 am I am fast asleep unless I want to work. Then I can either be found at a Garda station or a hospital (CUH most often) or well - in bed when there are no call-outs.
I am not a vengeful creature but something my blood boils when I think about what happened in that one pub for example.
I used to wonder what would happen if I kicked that peeking guy on the floor in that stupid drunk face. Or just called the security.
In reality, I could not kick anyone - in the face or anywhere else. I regret I did not call a security guy. I do not condone any violence just my anger creates various images in my mind. I am venting part of this anger here.
Now I feel I am just "too old" for pubs and I am too fed up with the whole Saturday town thing. Nothing ever changes.
I mean I was not born yesterday. I know what pubs are like and I know what guys are like. I was not a saint myself before and I am not a saint now either.
I am a normal girl who is really fed up with immature men. I have never met anyone in a pub who would deserve the term "mature." Really, never. Pubs are definitely wrong places for looking. Since no one could prove me wrong, I stopped visiting them a good few months ago.
Well, sure, you may say I was naive. Overly optimistic - I would say. After all what can I expect when I go to a pub? Respect - no. Some good conversation - no. Drunk people - yes.
Anyway, now I find the Saturday night out-goers' behaviour is totally obnoxious to me.
Now what I do over the weekends is reading books, watching movies (last night the turn came to see Good Will Hunting), having a beer or wine from time to time, browsing the Internet (I still have not found out in which constituency I live so I am only guessing at the moment; is this info classified?), studying (at least in theory), riding horses, and doing some other things. I prefer spending time in more constructive ways.
Maybe I will go to a gig sometime soon if I find something worth my time.
P.S. I realize they are exceptions out there. Maybe I could name one or two persons I know but this would be a very different story. (One of them had interesting things to say but was too self-centred). But in general I have a very bad idea of Irish pubs and the people you meet there.
I just took part in "Cork talks back" programme on RedFM. Not bad. Thanks Victor. I may be phoning in more often from now on.
The photo presents me in the Heineken brewery in Amsterdam (a few years ago). By the way I still have one Heineken in my fridge. I will have it now I think.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
It was an interesting read I must say. I know what things look like in Poland. After all I spent there 20+ years and even after 2 years and a half here I know what must be done over there. The part of the article on Ukraine was more interesting. I am sure they are facing even a bigger challenge than the Poles.
I have never been to Ukraine myself; I can imagine what it is there like from stories heard and if this country is in any way comparable to Lithuania... well then it is going to be a tremendous task ahead of them. I hope no Lithuanian or Ukrainian will take an offence here at me comparing their countries...
Anyway, the reporter who wrote this caption under the photo on the right made a mistake...
"Ukranian Football Federation Chairman Grigory Surkis(L) kisses his Polish counterpart Michael Listkiewicz after both countries were chosen to co-host the Euro 2012 tournament at a ceremony in Cardiff, Wales.
(AFP)" (source: TurkishPress.com)
The thing is Listkiewicz is the grey-haired, taller guy! His photo (on the left) was taken from here.
I can understand when reporters mistake the Polish president with the Polish prime minister. They are identical twins after all; though not to know which one visited Mr. Blair in UK and which one went to Germany to pay a visit to Ms. Merkel... well... was not very professional.
But then ... to mistake Mr. Surkis and Mr. Listkiewicz? A bad reporter's day to say the least.
A little note on Lithuania:
One of the things I was really impressed by in Lithuania were trains. I went from Vilnius to Riga on an overnight train. It was old, huge and black with steam coming out of the chimney. Inside an employee was putting coal into the furnace. This was the nicest train trip I had - in a warm, relatively comfortable compartment. It was better than a Polish train and it was incredibly punctual with the arrival at the destination not one minute late or one minute early. It will not be much of a consolation though for a football fun travelling between Poland and Ukraine - 22 hours' trip would discourage anyone and make attending most matches simply impossible.
Source of this photo - here.
Someone must do it though. Maybe Ukrainians will immigrate to Poland to help them out down there...
Polish government complains there are not enough people to work in Poland but they hardly do anything to encourage their citizens to come back.
The situation of the Poles in Ireland is both complex and complicated and would merit a separate post. Or posts.
Still, here I want to mention something else.
Because EURO 2012 will take place in Eastern Europe, the English published a quick guide for English fans. Below are some excerpts and here is the source.
Ten Polish Phrases You Might Need
Dzien dobry - Hello.
Do widzenia - Goodbye.
Na zdrowie! - Cheers!
Piersi - Breasts.
Ile kosztuje befsztyk? - How much is the steak?
Ile to kosztuje? - How much does it cost?
Gdzie jest toaleta? - Where is the toilet?
Jaki jest Twoj numer telefonu? - What's your phone number?
Jestem w ciazy - I'm pregnant.
Wyjezdzam jutro. Powodzenia - I'm leaving tomorrow. Good luck
Five Famous Poles
- Nicolaus Copernicus was the first European astronomer to formulate a modern heliocentric theory of the solar system. But who would have guessed he was Polish?
- Marie Curie, born Maria Sklodowska in Warsaw, was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity, the first twice-honored Nobel laureate (and still today the only laureate in two different sciences), and the first female professor at the Sorbonne.
- Pope John Paul II reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City from October 16, 1978, until his death more than 26 years later. He is the only pope to have come from Poland, and was the first non-Italian pope since the German Adrian VI in the 1520s. He was also a decent goalkeeper.
-The North Pole is the northernmost point on the surface of the Earth, where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects the Earth's surface. Father Christmas lives there.
- Lucyna Cwierczakiewiczowa was a Polish writer, journalist and author of the first Polish cookery book, in 1858. Doesn't ring a bell? That's probably because you know her by her more commonly used name of, erm, Lucyna Cwierciakiewiczowa. No? Ignoramus"End of quote
My opinion? I am mad at English people's ignorance and lack of good taste. I do have a sense of humour and I love laughing but I feel offended here as a Pole. Have they intended this to be funny? Or informative in any way? I do not see anything funny here or informative, really.
No more comment on my part.
England - out of the pitch please.
Source of the image.
Source of the top image: here
Se la corda e lunga l'aquilone volera in alto
Se o cordel e longo o papagaio voara alto
Si la soga es largo la cometa volara mas alto
The longer the cord the higher the kite flies
More on sweet stuff:
here comes a story of Baci chocolates... I never kissed anyone from Italy or from France but I say, Italian kisses are very good... ;-)
Hello all visitors - from down under too :-)
Finally - another weekend.
This has been an eventful week I must say.
First there has been this move and cleaning of the office area. We are going to have a new canteen soon and everyone is looking forward to it being opened.
Second, we have a new supervisor. Let's say his name is John (although his real name is different of course). He has a hands-on, no-nonsense approach and has a huge drive to change things. He has a strong personality ... well just like me. I hope there is going to easy going co-operation between us. I see some potential area for personality clashes already and it is good I do; then I will act to minimise the risk. As it is weekend, I do not want to write about my boss too much but the next few weeks are going to be very interesting. Some update will be coming soon.
Third, I got my car sorted. The window was fitted last Tuesday in my company parking lot.
My car was fully serviced on Friday. Then I took it to a car wash and vacuumed all the glass from the floor and the seats. I had it washed too and then went for a ride around the city. I went to see a friend too and I cleaned the interior then too. I live in the city centre and it feels kinda awkward to run between my apartment and the busy street with some water in a bowl. It is easier to do those things in a private parking area.
So ... after I finished that and said good night to M. I drove to see my other friend A. We went shopping together. I was starving after all this cleaning and driving I must say. I had to buy just the regular stuff like but there was one treat as well - a pack of three DVDs: GoodFellas, True Romance, Heat. Criminal masterclass, says on the cover. So I will enjoy watching those soon.
I remember here I wanted to add something more on All the King's Men and The Good Shepherd but I cannot find time to sit down to that. I am always busy and tonight I am simply very tired. I will try to make some effort and May sounds like a good month for updates - I am going on long holidays.
I hope though I will have a job to come back to. Over the past 4 weeks my company laid off more than 100 staff. have my job for now and my project is one of the busiest in the office. There will be overtime coming too I imagine. Still I had a dream I was to be fired and I could not sleep last night for it. So I better wind it down now and say good night. I hope to have better dreams tonight.
I took this photo in Yellowstone NP. This bird was just behind my window and I could observe it, its eggs and then its little offspring. During the time I lived in that room, this offspring learnt to fly and by the time I moved the nest was empty.
Monday, April 16, 2007
This bin is going to be removed soon. I managed to do a quick pic with my mobile phone camera.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Real friendship can be enjoyed in silence
A word of explanation here: I decided to start a new series on my blog.
I was in Milan at the beginning of February and, following my friend's advice, I got some good Italian chocolate sweets. They are called Baci. Baci means kisses and those chocolates are really as sweet as good kisses. Each sweet "kiss" is individually wrapped and around it you also find a little piece of paper with a proverb in five languages. The one about friendship I found today.
I always look forward to having a Bacio [singular of Baci] just because I am curious as to what I am going to find when I unwrap it.
To illustrate this proverb about friendship I decided to use the photo I took just at the beginning of a trip to Milan. We were flying over the Alps.
My friend invited me to go with her to Italy and it was the best birthday gift I could get. We had a great stay and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. This invitation really made my day or even more than just one day :-) Thank you again ...
Second reason why I wanted to use this particular photo is because it reminds me of "Touching the Void". This movie is both about male friendship and one man's fight for life in extreme cirmustances of Peruvian Andes. Recommended viewing.
Another post from this series coming soon.
In this photo, we were just about to start countering.
I lost my right stirrup as you can see but it did not really matter then;
I know how to stay on.
Good job, Rafael! This was not exactly the end of the riding but my photographer went missing. I do not want to say where ;-)
We finished some time after so I unsaddled my horse, led him back to the stable and took off the bridle and reins. I enjoyed doing that too - seeing the horse off, giving him some hay and saying "till the next time" :-)
I promised him I would bring some carrots as well.
Friday, April 13, 2007
The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint - Exupery.
... this is the chapter when the little prince meets the fox ...
... here are some sentences i find so brilliant ...
Beginning of quote
'Come and play with me,' suggested the little prince. I am so terribly sad...'
'I cannot play with you,' said the fox. 'I am not tame.'
'What does "tame" mean?'
'It is something which is too often forgotten,' said the fox. 'It means to establish ties...'
' "To establish ties"?'
'That's right,' said the fox. 'To me, you are still just a little boy like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you have no need of me, either. To you, I am just a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, we shall need one another. To me, you will be unique. And I shall be unique to you.'
'My life is monotonous' (...) But if you tame me, my life will be full of sunshine. I shall recognise the sound of a step different from all others. The other steps send me hurrying underground. Yours will call me out of my burrow like the sound of music. And look yonder! Do you see the cornfields? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. Those cornfields don't remind me of anything. And I find that rather sad! But you have hair the colour of gold. So it will be marvellous when you have tamed me. Wheat, which is also golden, will remind me of you. And I shall love the sound of the wind in the wheat...'
'One can only understand the things one tames,' said the fox. 'Men have no more time to understand anything.They buy ready-made things in the shops. But since there are no shops where you can buy friends, men no longer have any friends. If you want a friend, tame me!
'What should I do?' asked the little prince.'
'You must be very patient,' replied the fox. 'First you will sit down at a little distance from me, like that, in the grass. I shall watch you out of the corner of my eye and you will say nothing. Words are a source of misunderstanding. But every day, you can sit a little closer to me...'
'You should (...) come back at the same time,' said the fox. 'If for example you come at four o'clock in the afternoon, I shall start feeling happy at three o'clock. As the time passes, I shall feel happier. At four o'clock, I shall become agitated and start worrying. I shall discover the price of happiness. But if you come at just any time, I shall never know when I should prepare my heart to greet you... One must observe certain rites.'
'What is a rite?' asked the little prince.
'It is something which is all too often forgotten,' said the fox. 'It is what makes one day different from other days, one hour different from other hours.'
Thus it was that the little prince tamed the fox. And when the time came for his departure, the fox said: 'Oh! ... I shall cry.'
'It is your own fault,' said the little prince. 'I wished you no harm but you wanted me to tame you.'
'Yes, indeed,' said the fox.
'But you are going to cry!' said the little prince.
'That is so,' said the fox.
'Then it has not helped you in any way!'
'It has helped me,' said the fox, 'because of the colour of the wheatfields.' Then he added: 'Go and have another look at the roses. And you will understand that yours is indeed unique in all the world. Then you will come back to say good bye to me and I shall tell you a secret as a gift.'
'It is only with one's heart that one can see clearly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.'
'Men have forgotten this basic truth,' said the fox. 'But you must not forget it. For what you have tamed, you become responsible forever. You are responsible for your rose...'
End of quote
[Italics are mine, I must add]
This picture of the rose at the beginning of this post is not a very good one. It is blurred. Out of focus. Still, this is the pic I took and that is what makes it and the flower unique. Yes, yes, this could be just an ordinary rose but because I liked it and wanted to take a photo of it, it has become unique. Simple.
Anything we encounter, touch, or tame, becomes unique. Anything we decide to "tame" , we become responsible for even if sometimes we fail to acknowledge this responsibility.
To Be Continued
Thursday, April 12, 2007
7.30 AM - this.
I called 112 and the Mayfield gardai arrived at c. 7.45. Very quickly. This is the first time in my life that I had to call the gardai because something wrong happened. Having an empty wallet stolen - laughable. Having a car window broken is bad enough though.
Sickening morning I must say. There was glass all over the pavement. There is still broken glass inside the car - everywhere: on the dashboard, by the meter, on the floor, in the glove compartment, and on the seats apparently. On the pavement there were also remains of a vodka bottle that was used to break my window. On the floor in my car there is the neck of another bottle I think. As you can see on this pic, there is a blood stain on the door. There is a little amount of blood inside too. There was blood on the pavement as well. Ugh...
My car was towed away this morning for Technical Examination. The gardai took the finger prints; hence the dust on the door and the roof. They took the blood samples too and said they would keep in touch. I doubt they find anyone though. Mind, there are no CCTV cameras. It is the very heart of Cork city!!! There is a camera over one shop - facing in another direction. There is another camera directed at a nearby ATM. But there is nothing to record what is happening between the ATM and the shop. Disgrace.
I took a bus to work but was late only 3o minutes. Probably I will put it down on my timesheet as Force Majeure leave or just costly holidays.
At work - more news of a different kind. One of the people I supervise will be assigned to a different team so no more conflict at work!!! Good. The another person ... hmm news is not that good for him, he is not going to show up at my company at all some time soon. Well, that's the Irish job market. One company pulling out from it and here is its knock-on effect.
That news came at 17.30. I already left the building by that time. I was told about it later by my work colleague. As we commute together, she asked when I was going to get the window fixed. Bad question. I phoned tens of places today and right-hand side windows for this car make are out of stock!!! She does not care though. I should fix it ASAP so that she does not need to spend 1.35 euro for a bus each morning and each evening (excuse me here if I made mistake with bus fare in Cork. I was too shaken this morning to notice how much change I got). After all she has her plans, doesn't she? She has a loan to pay off so bus tickets are too expensive. She had squash classes and I can always give her a lift after work, right?
How cheeky can you be to ask me a question like this? Her voice implied: "there is a demand for your car so when will you get it fixed?" Feck off I could say. Such a window costs what it costs. She has not even paid for the fuel this month. Grrrr.
Anyway, straight after work I went to Mayfield. As another of my work colleagues was heading to the same garda station, I managed to get a lift. I collected my car and well ... went to my friend's to leave the car in a quiet area. I do not want anyone to get into it, drive away in it or some boy racer to take it for a ride and then burn it. After all, since I cannot get a window, I would be able to claim damage if anything else happened. After all my car is an easy target now. Nothing will happen though. I do not really think so.
I must say the thing that happened this morning is not a big deal. I am alive and well. I still have my job. I have good friends who care. Friends who showed today that they do - asking how it was going, wishing good luck, asking around for car windows, and giving me all the helpful phone numbers, or giving me a lift. I may need some more lifts this weekend still.
Tomorrow is Friday and then there is another good weekend coming. I will study toward exams (unfortunately today I could not but it was due to some unforeseen circumstances). I am horse riding on Saturday. There is some feeling of disappointment down there though.
Disappointment at some drunk person who did it. Disappointment at the work colleague who proved to be very selfish. Disappointment that the windows are out of stock and I feel vulnerable. I feel grounded as well and frustrated a bit. There are some strange feelings I cannot quite name yet. I am not yet sure what the balance is going to be but I want to think it will be positive in the end.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I am sitting in a new office – very close to the window. I regret I cannot have my desk out there in the parking lot but most probably that would not be a good idea.
The documents would be flying all over the parking area… but this room is so much better and brighter. I do have a window and a view; before there were only some ugly partitions.
Then, the view I have is lovely. I can see blue sky, a few white clouds here and there, and lots of green trees. Maybe that does not sound like something too special; after all behind my window there are no mountains, or a lake, or a beach. Still, it is enough. I can hear birds singing too. Me sitting here … can be quite bad for my company’s business ;-)
I am in a very good mood today. Once, we finally moved to a new room. Second, I love horse riding and yesterday we had a great lesson; it was a great laugh too. There were only four of us so we could practice more and jump more too. It is so relaxing to go horse riding right after work – all the stress is gone from the system. I just enjoy the experience and I do not think about anything else. Last night was totally brilliant. I know it may sound cheap or exaggerated but it was brilliant. The evening was warm and the wind very mild. We rode outdoors, very close to the beach. The view of the water, the sun setting had a soothing effect; on the other hand, the physical effort associated with horse riding and the sheer pleasure derived from it were most invigorating and energising.
Then I went home and took a warm shower … applied body butter … and got wrapped up in a warm bathrobe … a divine feeling of total relaxation …
I had a wonderful time.
I am having a good time now as well. I am working away at my project. The system connection is rather slow today so I manage to add a few words to this post every now and again; the job gets done anyway.
Besides the nice view from the window, there are nice job prospects too. For my company I mean.
For example, this does not look bad, does it?
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Maybe I will write a post later to say why.
Here it goes - photo from Garretstown beach. I feel the way I felt when I was there; well, kind off that way.
Or maybe better still, I feel as if I just walked on grass with my feet naked.
I feel energised and it is a great sensation.
Monday, April 9, 2007
I hope you enjoyed your long Easter weekend :-)
I enjoyed mine a lot. It was a very quiet and relaxing one, spent bathing in the sun, reading (a book on genetics - very interesting and entertaining) and studying toward my exams a bit.
I finally managed to see a movie I had intention to see a long time ago - namely The Story of Sin (Dzieje Grzechu). It was quite an interesting choice of movie to watch over Easter period... Just messing here... In fact, this is a drama about unrequited love ... and the title is very pertinent to the story. I enjoyed watching it though I thought at the beginning it would be just boring and not worth it. My praise here goes to the cameraman too - good job, great sensual images! Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and Johann Pachelbel is so well chosen too.
NB. The movie is based on a novel by Stefan Zeromski.
I am listening to Bach's Brandenburg Concertos now. A real treat to make my day as recently I had so had little time to do anything else but work, study and sleep. I hope to enjoy more things soon. Of course tomorrow I am horse riding again :)
Talking about horse riding...
In one of the Eastern European countries, on Easter Monday a special custom can be witnessed. C. 60 horse riders from the Upper Silesia proceed through their village of Ostropa and the nearby fields praying for good crops. This custom is thought to be pagan in origin and was later christianised. Here go some images (the source is GW):
More images here.
This custom has been preserved only in Ostropa and two other places in the country. Still, another Easter Monday custom is widely spread in several Eastern European countries and way too well preserved. This one is not nice - especially for the fairer sex. On Easter (Wet) Monday men pour buckets of water on women. Supposedly this has something to do with rebirth and fertility and has its roots in some pagan beliefs but who would think about it now? Youth takes it as an opportunity to have "fun" and catch as many (sometimes unsuspecting) victims as possible. For me there would be nothing nice in getting wet while on a walk or a way to the church (water is easy to get as in the town where my parents live there is a fountain in a park close by).
Good that I am in Ireland now. The weather here was better and no crazy youth with buckets in sight. I was in Grand Parade park and there were loads of teenagers - good they have no clue about this custom ;-) mind there is a fountain there as well!
Here go some images of "smingus dyngus":
Women are supposed to do the same to men on Tuesday following Easter Monday but then everyone goes to work and it never happens...
More images - here.
Source - GW
Saturday, April 7, 2007
All the best to everyone on this gorgeous, totally summer-like weekend.
Do all the things you best enjoy doing.
I just got back from horse riding lessons ( 2 hours this time) and now I am out in a few minutes - to soak in the sun and relax.
The pic is of the magnolia that grows in my parents' garden. I am going to see them in May and I am counting down the days. I expect the magnolia will be in full bloom then.
By the way, Easter is not the same when you spend it alone. It is the same with Christmas or any other holiday. I do realize here it is a commomplace but...
It's good I have friends; without them ... I cannot even say. Immigrant life is not bad when you think about it but, at times, it is not easy either .
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Hi again here.
I am sitting in my warm room in front of my laptop. It's quite quiet - except for a plane flying over Cork and the radio playing.
Today was a very strange day. It was yesterday on the radio that I heard the news on Amgen plant 2 years' delay. I realized what it might mean only today though. I was very busy at work all day, I had to attend a long and important meeting, prepare lot of stuff for posting etc, etc so I did not have much time to dwell on the news but I could sense the uneasy atmosphere in the entire office with people moving around, gathering in rooms, and vividly talking.
I talked with some of my work colleagues and started worrying a bit myself. We have been all waiting for some news and growing more and more uneasy about our jobs. It's so weird and new to me to think about a job loss but since we do not know much yet, it is better not to worry too much for now.
I hope we learn something more tomorrow. Then there is Easter break and sure we need to know as soon as possible what is going to happen. I have some ideas already; I have had them for a longer time now so it may be a good moment to let them resurface. I am being positive.
Here go some links to articles on Amgen:
RTE Finfacts Ireland in-Pharmatechnologist
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
First there is that long and unresolved conflict at work that has been going on for about 4 months. In other words - since I was promoted to a lead position. Yesterday (I really hate Mondays at work) it reached its peak. I will not go into details here; the story has its twists and turns and would be too long-winded. The point is - either I go or the other person goes.
Today it was quiet but my manager is back tomorrow so something is bound to happen. Still, with the Amgen putting its plan to build the pharmaceutical factory in Carrigtwohill on hold, there is less work in my company too. So I don't know what is going to happen.
What I know is that tomorrow there is a crucial meeting with one of our clients. The pressure is definitely on the rise. I still must prepare some things for that meeting still.
My mood is quite bad now. I have a running nose, I could not sleep well last night. Even horse riding went bad today. It was a brilliant evening, sun was low and the views were lovely - with the beach and water so close. The clouds were low and dark, with the sun rays streaming through them. Great weather for riding. Still my horse was as nervous as I was. Once I got her going right but then she got scared of something and started going in circles like a mad animal. I almost fell as I lost both stirrups but I held on by wrapping my legs tightly around the horse's belly.
In the car I must have been so nervous that my car did not want to listen me either! Well, almost. I let go off the clutch too soon ... screech was terrible ... no comment here :-(
Now I am safely at home. I am going to bed now. Good at least that I managed to finish one written translation for tomorrow.
I hope tomorrow will be a better day.
Friday is a day off for me. That's real good.
So till later. Bye for now.