Monday, 21 December 2009


Like all things, winter is also relative.

Right now, we are having real winter, with as much cold and snow as can be expected. Or close, since there is no wind today. The toughest winter around here also means strong wind in gusts which makes us feel much much colder than it really is.

This abundance of snow I'm talking about... well. I took a few photos of it - see for yourself:

Look! It's snowing!

And some of the snow is actually on the ground! Wow!

Don't laugh now! I did say everything is relative, didn't I?

I remember different winters, though. You see, I'm not from around here (a friend of mine, an American lady, finds this phrase hilarious) - I'm from over 40 kilometres away! (almost 25 miles)

The thing is, it means that I cannot use my home dialect or people would have a hard time understanding me where I live now. And you should see the ascent between this valley and the basin I come from! From this town, 106 above the sea level to my home town, 314 metres above the sea level I climb this mountain (drive in a car, that is) about 1000 metres above the sea level. And while this valley is still affected by the Adriatic Sea, this influence cannot be felt in that other town.

I remember a metre or two of snow every winter when I was little. And we had sleighs. And then skis. Our ski boots were modern enough for those days, at least for us. They were automatic, you see. If you were wearing those ski boots, tied tightly with laces, with two pairs of warm socks inside (knit by my mum or aunt) and had an ugly fall, you were very likely to end on your back or butt and barefoot. And laughing. Or not, depending how well you could take it when others were laughing at you. Most of us laughed with the rest of them.

We had to stamp all the slope and make our own ski slope. Not a small job for 7 - 10 year-olds. And then we had to come to the top wihout any help each time we wanted to ski down. Slalom? Sometimes, but my favourite was downhill. As long as it wasn't icy. Going too fast could be dangerous. I remember racing down the hill once missing a tree by a few centimetres (okay, two or three inches, maybe).

I don't have to mention we were really really fit those days, do I? Knee injuries? No way. You know how much exercise our knees got? Those ligaments must have been extremely tough and flexible at the same time. I can't remember any injury AT ALL. Not on skis. And very few otherwise.

We went out in the morning (not on a school day, of course) if we could, went back for lunch and out again. It was quite near our house and it was great. I remember waiting and waiting when I had to go until I could wait no more. Absolutely no more. Then I went in, to the bathroom, changed my wet mittens and socks - sometimes I had bleeding blisters on my soles, but it didn't matter - and off I went again.

Snow, cold, great exercise, great company... geez! those were wonderful days!

And now I live in this place whre snow hardly sticks to the ground (if at all). But if I were still living at home, winters would probably make me just as nostalgic.

Winters are not what they used to be.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009


Can you imagine trying to walk when something is pushing you back? Trying to run and it looks like slow motion? Trying to open the door and an invisible force is pushing it against you and slams it right after you move away? Sitting alone in a car that is rocking without any activity of yours? Driving when it tries to change direction every now and then?
This invisible force is the wind. Some road signs can hardly resist and they just bend a little, others don't and bow with respect of the lements right to the ground.
And some bigger participants in traffic around here... well.. they don't just rock a little. They are ready for a total tyre inspection. See?
(Not my photo - it comes from here.)

Yep, the wind did that!
Oh and the title - that is the name of the wind (bu:ryah).
I think it comes from the sea and breaks against the mountain above our valley, hence its force.

I have just been reminded of something similar in June when there is a festival in our town. Two days (or three?). Anyway, only one day was
approved and allowed by higher forces. This was the second day:

Njoki festival

Monday, 14 December 2009


It rains, it snows it... whatever expressions you use for weather, I don't think you say that it smokes. Well, it does around here.

It means there is snow in the air - tiny snowflakes, rather dry and you hardly every see them land, because of the wind that keeps them swirling and make them look like smoke. And even when they do land, it picks them up again.

No pictutre, sorry. I mean, I'm really sorry I didn't take a photo of it. But it's morning, a quarter to seven. And minutes are scarce and precious in the morning. Maybe another time, then.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Weird Day

My son and I have to leave around 6.20 for us to catch his train. I take him to a train station 6 kilometres away because the ticket is cheaper and it's on my way to work anyway.

-Wake up, it's six! I call my already-dressed-and-showered-but-dozing-under-the-blanket-son.

I go to the bathroom, not too worried, he was almost ready after all.

Hey, get ready, it's twenty past six!

He jumps up and runs to the living room and looks straight at the clock
-What are you talking about? Twenty past six, right! It's not nearly that late.

He was right, you know. It was only seventeen minutes past six. There! Although he says now it was only six and eleven minutes.

A little running here and there, going back from the stairs, remembering he had forgotten something and we were almost gone. I left my keys hanging from the door for him to lock up, so I could go ahead and start the car (we were getting late after all) and when I stepped out, the cold bit my nose and fingers and I knew we were in trouble. It's no big deal to clean the windshield, but it is time consuming. It doesn't take a huge amount of time, but in the morning, every minute counts.

Take a wild guess: did I or did I not know where those scrapers for the windshield were?

When my son dig them (there were two) from the trunk (there was some junk over it), take another wild guess: were they good or good for nothing?

After finding out how good they were (not), we just sat in the car and waited for the heating to do its job. Which was soon. But to be honest - soon wasn't soon enough.

Take another wild guess: did we or did we not catch that train?

Of course not. So we discussed plan B on our way and decided I would drive him another three kilometres so that he could wait for two of his classmates and go to school with them - in the car of one of them. Problem solved.

So I left my don't-want-to-leave-my-warm-and-cosy-bed son in -2 °C (28.4 °F) to wait for about fifteen minutes and went for work.

As Iparked in front of the school, I soon realized one thing: He had my keys. So I didn't have the key to the staff room or to my classroom. I had to ask my colleagues to lock and unlock the doors I would usually lock and unlock myself.

But that wasn't all. What do you think - did those keys include the ones to our home? Well, of course they did! And of course my son comes back about two hours after I do!

I wasn't worrried though. I figured my Main Squeeze wouldn't mind to come to their doorkeeper (in the factory where he works) and lend me his keys.

One of these days (but I forgot which day exactly) they were going to have this trade union meeting which can last for hours - with his cell phone off, of course. You guessed it right - that was TODAY.

So I really had no choice. I went shopping. I bought something for lunch, something to snack on right away, some sweets for my colleagues (St. Nicholas in two days, but that's Saturday) and wasted time. I even bought a lottery ticket. I haven't for a while.

But then I ran out of ideas and energy and went home and just sat in the parking lot. When I called my son for the fifth time or so, he was only a few steps from the door.

Quite an unusual start of he afternoon, not a pleasant one. On the other hand, I got some good news about the student exchange next year - so I still feel the day was good.

Is good. It's not over yet.

You have a good day, too!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

No shade...

Rain and dusk almost all day, then fog.... And me - sleepy and yawning... I actually slept more than enough and am still yawning... I've had my morning coffee and am still yawning. The soft sound of raindrops out there is starting to get boring... No, it's been boring for days now (yawn). It reminds me of that verse that I learned in primary school, I'm sure you know it:

No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, no fruits, no flowers, no leaves no birds - November!

Hey, November's over - wake up!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

You know what?

I'll just go to bed and that's that!

I panicked a little the other day because the very easy texts wich are short anyway and can be translated in no time turned out not to be so short or too easy so I started it right away and have almost finished by now. Almost
- because the biomass heating systems have some weird components
- because I googled and googled those tablets that make that fizzy sound when you put them in water and even wrote an e-mail for help from a nati
ve speaker and finally found out it's called (surprise surprise!!!) FIZZY TABLET! There!

Fizzy fizzy! Click for fizzy!

- because even when I sit here to do some work, I might not be doing it. I don't always feel like translating
- because I make bout a zillion typos per page and have to go back and make them right - sometimes they remind me of that poluceman in 'ALLO 'ALLO
- and, for sure, also because I overlooked one of the documents. How could I? Fortunately it's only four and a half pages about some measuring of different things about water - like the velocity, the water flux and temperature.

Otherwise, it's been quite a nice weekend. I must consider myself lucky: the girl who needed some tutoring actually understands a lot, she only needs some "tidying of the attic" to do as I call it. And a thousand exercises so that what she knows really sits in her brain and does not run away any more.

I went shooting last night and a surprising number of arrows ended in yellow! Yaay! Not that I was good, butI was definitely relatively good. But I'm still doing a few things wrong. My forearm does not get blue and purple any more, but my nose definitely needs a bandage for protection now that it has finally healed from what the bow string did to it - repeatedly. I must fix that and learn to do it the right way. You see, a bandage on the nose is not a regular part of archer's equipment and looks kind of silly.

My MS (Main Squeeze, remember?) completed another stage of his archery education and is now an apprentice referee and as such he went to his first competition today. Well done!

Now what? Should I continue translating this water stuff? Or just go to bed. When I look at it, it's not so bad. I might just sit here for another hour, finish it and still go to bed earlier than usually. So why not.

This post - it's messy, I know. And what's wrong with messy?

Have a good time!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Crazy week

Was it really? Aren't they all kind of crazy these days? The weeks, I mean. People, too, sometimes.

I gave many grades these days, most of them good (am I nice or what?) mainly because most of them "happened" in the sixth grade where things are still somewhat simple and the kids wonderfully motivated. Are these kids different or will they spoil in a year or two? Because I don't see the same in the ninth grade. We have grades from 1 to 5 - 1 meaning "fail" and 5 being the best (excellent). I was almost worried with all those fives in 6A and 6B, but went through the tests carefully again, making sure that I had put everything in them I was supposed to and the kids actually knew all those answers. Yaay!

Can you imagine what the most difficult task was to those eleven-year-olds? Spelling! Yep, English is weird that way. They had to write down a first name and a last name of a person - spelled out by a recorded voice - and it was sooo hard! But since it was only worth two points (out of 64) they could still be very successful without it. And we will revise and repeat and exercise spelling again.

My ninth graders, however, are kind of out of control. Not having anything to hold on except for rules with more or less no consequences when disobeyed (notes to the parents are not considered consequences by these kids, nor is having a serious talk to anyone at school), the class gets very loud and I feel ignored, so I spend plenty of time trying to establish order of some sort with little success. I'm honesty surprised sometimes when I find out that we have actually done something at the lesson.

But how do you speak to someone who cannot listen? Who does not understand he is not being fair to others who do not want to hear his high-pitched noises all the time about this and that, mostly motorcycles and football.

This time I did it. Yay for me!! Even if I say so myself. To be honest, I was hoping for a little bigger success, but still.

On Wednesday there was this football game. Football, because this one is actually played with feet, but you dear Americans out there will understand it better if I say soccer, I guess :) A very important match between Russia and our tiny country Slovenia (population 2 million). Size doesn't matter, LOL! Slovenia won and qualified for the world championship in South Africa next year. Russians are not going.

I don't particularly like football and I hate all the fuss about it and I knew these ninth-graders wouldn't talk about anything else. And yes, their first question was: Did you watch the match? So I gave them two options - either do an exercise on what we are learning at present (IF-clauses type 1), or use the vocabulary I gave them (projected on the white board) to describe the match in past tense. The loudest one was the only one that chose the second option, but he did it. His text was, well.. not excellent, but very good as for him. He even wrote down that our Prime Minister had to clean our football players' football boots. I didn't know that. But he actually promised that if they qualified and was happy to do it.

The Russians, however, didn't take it well. They are demanding a parliamentary investigation on how it could happen, claiming that the game must have been sold. Both presidents watched the match, you know, and cheered for their teams. Medvedyev from Russia and our Danilo Türk.

And our politicians also talked about it. After the parliament session on Tuesday, our Prime Minister said, jokingly, that they had decided that it would be 1:0 for Slovenia. After the game he said he was glad that the footballers respected the government’s decision.

If you want to see how euphoric some people feel, maybe you should watch this: I feel Slovenia (Youtube)

The partying, drinking and all that stuff - well, 'll leave that to your imagination. Not too difficult, I guess.

The week… well, I’m still not sure why I felt it was crazy. Maybe it wasn’t. maybe it’s just me.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Busy busy

You know how easy it is sometmes to say that you haven't had time to do this or that? That you were busy? Either it's true or not?

Well, that's not one of those cases. I have actually been very busy lately. Not too busy to drop a line or two on this blog, but when I have a lot on my mind (a lot of different things or a lot of one and the same thing, doesn't matter), it can easily happen that I have no idea what towrite and I don't want to push it and write nonsense (like this is something different... I know I know).

Our Danes have different plans for next year (but will hopefully still cooperate with us in the following years).Our eighth-graders, however, can't wait when it's their turn for the exchange. That would be in the ninth grade, but as I said... no Denmark next year. And they are such great kids! With so many ideas and great energy! So I made our school's profile on two different portals and wrote a ton of e-mails and did quite some clicking and again and again.... not to mention all the times I checked for new messages ("Stop it, mum, they can't be writing at all times, some people actually have work to do..." dear Poppy!) Got some good and serious replies, only to learn later that the teachers changed their minds, for one reason or another. Sigh. Then I wrote more e-mails just to take these kids somewhere next year (no, I'm not that selfless, I like going, too) and received a reply about half an hour after I had written one of them, saying "Actually, we are kind of looking for a partner school right now..! Yaaay! So at the moment it looks like we're going to the Netherlands next year. Keep your fingers crossed, will you?

I even translated a video. Did you know scientist are writing equations of the movement of the fish? Or jellyfish? Or making new materials from the atom up, planning their quality - like ability to feel, to remember or heal? Materials, yes, not machines or robots. Imagine tearing trousers or a blouse and seeing it whole some time later, or crashing with your car and not needing to have it repaired?

I'm writing some tests these days. Yep, we need grades. The law says so. I don't like tests. And I hate oral grading even more. Can't do anything about it, though. I'll live, I guess.

I'm working on a project dealing with learning difficulties for which I should write some reports and some other material. Haven't yet. Today, maybe.

My 11-year-old students started corresponding with sme kids from New York. They love it, but they've just started. I hope they won't get tired of it (What should I write...). I guess we'll just have to send different things to keep it interesting. Still, it takes some co-ordinating, meeting them, creating accounts, things like that. And it's just corresponding! What if we started a project with some serious work to do!

In our eighth grades we're having crosscurricular lessons this week: Librarianship-English, dealing with dictionaries and translating. So I have to prepare for that, too. And my head is kind of empty, only ready to do a little thinking, just enough to let me go to work tomorrow with some realistic chance to survive without embarassing myself too much. I'll do better than that. I'll make my brain try a little harder. Hopefully.

Among other things, we'll be reading verses by our poet Tone Pavček. There is this book, full of them, each of them in Slovene and English.

I have plenty more to do.I have some tests to grade and some articles to translate into English. And prepare for tomorrow.

So I'll stop whining and get back to work, leaving you with a short verse by Pavček:

You're in this world to watch the sun,
you're in this world to follow the sun,
you're in this world to be the sun
and chase the shadows away.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Wanna rest a little?

(Playing with Candid Carrie today)

Tired of walking? Want to sit and enjoy this nice day of autumn? Stop a little an sit down and get some fresh air while you're contemplating what's going on in your everyday life. Here's a very nice place for you:

I know, I know, it's a bit far away (in Denmark), but otherwise it's perfect, isn't it?

Okay then, find a better place yourselves, but be sure to stop a little once in a while, living in a hurry isn't nice or healthy! Take care!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009


Okay, Skye, after thinking a lot about it, I hope I can put something together that will actually make sense. Let me see now.

First of all, THANK YOU for giving me this award, saying that my blog is fabulous. I'm not suure I deserve it, but if you say so... well, I'll take your word for it.

The thing is, I have to tell you about five of my obsessions now. It's not difficult to find five. It's more difficult to CHOOSE them. See? One obsessed woman sitting by the computer.

If I number them from one to five, it doesn't really mean that number one rules my life while number six has hardly any affect on me. Noooo, that totally depends. One day this, another day something else.

1. Food. I love eating and I'm aware of it. What do you like? they ask sometimes. Khmm, EVERYTHING... more or less. I'm nuts about potato crisps with sour cream and onions. All kinds of pasta, dumplings.... sour cream on my pizza (weird family, I know), bread can smell like old days and even tripe wih some good sauce... Name it, I love it. Thinking of food alone brings memories back - of what they used to make when I was little. What I used to eat at my grandma's and what my dad was a specialist for. He used to make very good chicken rissotto and could cut the finest cabbage salad - I have never eaten it like that since I ate the last one he prepared.

2. Coffee. Too much of it. And not watery coffee American style (no offence, pleeease, maybe I just watch too much TV). Two coffees before work, another one in the morning and one after lunch - around two or three o'clock. And then I decide to be a good girl and not have another one. But sometimes I do. Not today. But I'm sooooo sleepy right now. And it's not 8.30 yet. Coffee is my poison. Totally. I'll have to cut down and avoid that terrible headache that I get if I don't drink it. And they say you pee your bones with all that caffeine in your blood stream. And then I'll whine in my ols age - about ostheoprosis and stuff. Yep! I'm earning it in these days. I'll drink less of it.

3. Spelling and grammar. You may think otherwise, but hey, it's not my language I'm writing in. But grammar mistakes, spelling errors and bad translations give me the creeps. They make my blood pressure jump high (got an idea right now - maybe it could be a substitute for the third and the fourth cup of coffee?) In Slovenian, for example, we don't say 13 hundred, but always a thousand and three hundred, so our clever translators tend to make the mistake of changing hundreds into thousands. I'm sure they know what 13 hundred means, but still happens. Time after time. And in some cases it's ridiculous. Then prepositions, words from dialects... I can't explain well enough, I'm afraid. But it must be because of my job, but also something in my genes. You see, my aunt is a retired Slovene teacher, so she did this for a living. My dad was an undertaker, but things like that drove him mad, too. And HIS grandfather, well, I was told he marked grammar mistakes in the newspapers he was reading. That, I think, speaks for itself.

4. Geez, I've only done three! Okay, number four: TV. I watch too much of it, as I told you. I can probably name more detectives and forensic specialists than our politicians. I sip my coffee in the morning, half commatose, watching miracolous animals or people helping some of those that were not so lucky. This morning, for instance, Simon got two more volunteers to help him catch a mamba after a really frightened woman called him and they found out it was a mamba indeed, but made of rubber. Not a bad way to fully wake up.

5. I'm obsessed with order. Sometimes. It's like being really keen on having an ear for music. I know a thousand ways of keeping things in order. How to do it? Just ask me. A notebook for this, a notebook for that, a file here, a chart there... good for schoolwork as well as for household economics, I'm sure. They just don't work for me. I'm probably one of the most disorganised people I know. Trying to improve, but... I don't know. Maybe I'll learn how to keep things in order before I die. If it happens soon enough, I might even write a book about it.

The obsessins that were left out? Well, computer, blogging, comments (yes, yes write them, lots of them..:D ), teaching (in more than one way)... things like that. One obsesed woman, I'm tellin you!

Right. Enough about me. Let me choose five fabulous blogs, shall I?

1. Let me think on it for its descriptions of trips and everday events. A kind of joy shines through them which can also be seen in all the photos. Fabulous!

2. Empty Nest Evolution - well, empy nests are our future, but this girl describes it in a way that doesn't make it sound too errible. It's about letting go these days. Fabulous!

3. Is There Anyone Else Up There? - I always enjoy reading this one. I don't always comment, true, but sometimes there is just nothing to be added. Mary Ellen says it all. And adds some pretty pictures to what she says. Fabulous!

4. Stuff From Ellen's Head makes me wonder, laugh and admire. Depends on the day. Fabulous!

5. Candid Carrie with the positive energy coming from her posts and the way she makes other people play together with her and her photos - Fabulous!

Hope ou like my choice, together with my obsessions.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

From Denmark

As promised.

I cannot describe how wonderful it was to take these 14 young people to Denmark where they stayed with host families. The families of their Danish friends, that is.

They need some "icebreaking" time if you know what I mean. Well, they usually do. This time the exchange was organised in a short time, almost in a hurry. The school in Denmark only confirmed the interest on their part in May. We end school year in June. We travelled there in September. See? Not much time. But I have learned now that they were a little confused by what was going on at OUR school. The principal's leaving and a new one taking his place - well, they jut didn't expect we would be doing an exchange on top of everything. Understandable, isn't it?

Anyway, the teachers not having enough time to prepare the students somehow (enhancing writing e-mails and snail mail and so on) we were a bit worried about how they would connect well enough. The students, probably also seeing there was not much time, jumped at the opportunities that modern technology offers them and found the Danish students on Facebook and MSN. And came to me, telling me about thm. About their families, pets, houses, school... I was really glad.

But I only realized how well they felt they knew each other when we got there. When we met and they took us to their hometown from the airport. And they chatted and laughed in the van. Used English more than they are willing to in class. Wow! And when we arrived and met them all, some of them just hugged like friends meeting after a long long time. It usually happens that they get tired after a while, using English all the time which obviously isn't their mothers' tounge. But this time they just wanted to be together and do things together all the time - whether it was on the bus or at workshops - didn't matter. Facebook rulz, I'm tellin you!

Some interesting observations:
Danish kids (the ones at THIS school at least) are much much quieter than ours. In other words: our studens are LOUD.

Same thing, probably: they spend more time talking to students, teaching them just to listen than we do. Then they don't have to hush them down when they want to actually teach them what they have to at different subjects.

They call their teachers and principal and everyone BY NAME. Not last name. No "Miss", "Mrs.", "Mister"... nothing. Sounds quite natural. We, on the other hand are supposed to be addressed as "Mrs. teacher" or "M;r. Teacher" ( sounds ridiculous in English), but we simply go by "teacher". Sounds fine to me and most of us.

They are so connected with nature! Doing things in the nearby woods, calling it classes. And they are, I'm sure. And good ones, too!

As cosy as everything seemed, many of our students told me of divorced families. Quite a few of the hosting students lived with one of their parents, with different combinations of step parents, step or half siblings... Seems it happens everywhere.

The students at this school are mostly quite serious about their schoolwork and homework and so... I bet it has something to do with their parents' paying for their tuition, so that they can go to this particular school, but also the result of the teachers' hard work to make the students understand what they're doing and why.

One teacher can teach several subjects and not always the same ones. Teacher training must be somewhat different from ours, but we didn't go into details. Here you "specialize" in one or two subjects and that's it. You can obtain some more qualificaitions later, but not jump from Maths to Language or Civics or P.E. Seems kind of funny to me, but working just fine. Becaue if it weren't, you see, the parents would complain and change the situation, get the teacher fired or something. As long as the teacher does good work and the children show good results, it's more than fine. Sounds good to me.

Alll in all, we had a wonderful time with our host, the students and their hosts, seeing things, ding things, tasting things....

One day, for instance, we went to "School in nature" where we had to catch some crabs, clean some fish ("You cut off its head like this, see.... cut here and clean this stuff out...") you can imagine the noises the students made while looking at that, screaming, many of them, like little girls, boys not being much better than the girls, the Danes not much better than our kids...

"We are not going to cook the fish, we are going to smoke them..." and you could hear some giggles, probably imagining (like I was) rolling a fish in a paper or without it, lighting it and inhaling that incredible scent. Smoked fish are not something we're used to.

Another thing which is so not Slovenian: treasure hunt, halloween style. Walking miles, getting scared, solving puzzles and doing tasks - like counting graves, looking for problem-causing items in someone's intestines

until they found the toothbrush, glasses and a nail clipper that did not belong there... The treasure was a box of sweets - one for each team. The parents prepared all that. They did a wonderful job and had loads of fun themselves.

"And this is the mountain" my host, the principal, told me about the village to which you had to drive just a little bit up, realizing herself, how funny that must sound to us. This is not it in the picture - just an image of the rather flat Danish landscape. Did you know that they, too, have taken some of the land from the sea, like they did in the Netherlands?

I do not usually publish photos of people without their permission, but I guess I can publish a picture of two of my friends I made in Denmark. They wanted to play all the time, greeted me every morning and at all times we met, only frightening me ones. And that was the younger of the two, exercising his right to be himself:

I'll stop here. Sorry it took me so long to describe our trip a little (our one-week stay, that is), but even now I'm not sure I have told you all I wanted to. But then, that would be too much, wouldn't it?

Skye, I'm still processing what you have written in your last post, trying to put something together. I will. Until then: THANKS!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


What do you do when the keys of your car disappear, together with your son who has no driving licence? Not for a day, only an hour or so - an hour of worrying and fear. Not worrying about our only car, but about my only son. If something goes wrong, it can go wrong big time! If the police stop him and fine him, that could be serious money. What's more - he would not be allowed to obtain a driving licence for some time (two years or so). If something goes more wrong than JUST that, consequences could be more serious if not tragic, affecting all of us. Sigh.

But then, what do you do if your darling, good (nerve wrecking!) only son gets that driving licence without even telling you he was working on it? And it takes a lot to get it! A first aid course, traffic safety course and tests and thirty driving lessons and two more (the "official ones - with the jury) to prove you are ready. Not to mention well over thousand Euros.

And how should you feel if you realize EVERYBODY knew what he was doing except you? His girlfriend knew. Okay. My daughter knew as well as her boyfriend. My nieces knew. My sister! My mum! Stupid stupid me! The bright side (if it is really): his dad still doesn't know, lol.

Congratulations, my dear son! Take care and drive safely!

(Next time - impressions from the wonderful wonderful stay in Denmark)

Saturday, 19 September 2009


Tomorrow morning I'm leaving for Denmark. Yaaay!

My colleague and I are taking 14 of our students there.

I probably won't be posting for a week.

I wish YOU a good time, too!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

New Hobby and Side Effects

Bad photo quality today, sorry :(

What do you appreciate in people? I'm sure many people think of goodness of the heart first, and honesty, diligence and these are very important virtues indeed. But there is another one I really appreciate: good sense of humour. Not just telling jokes, but the humour in ordinary things. But let me get back to it later,

I've acquired a new hobby. My Main Squeeze has been taking part in it for some time now.

My Main Squeeze and his friends bought a few bows and arrows, joined a club and then founded their own. Took the kids to the national championship and brought quite some medals back. Yes, I know, there are 2 000 000 of us and not everyone takes part in archery. It couldn't be done in any country, but it was still an important achievement. More than anything, they became a team and felt like one. Local community support, family support, you name it.

I wasn't so much into it at first. But I did build their website. I still like doing that.

It has been only recently that I joined the actual archery activities, meaning shooting those arrows into the target,

right in the middle of it (I wish! :) , quite a few flying over it and so, but we have a good time up there.

We even took my niece there when she was visiting and she liked it so much we are trying to organize something for her to be able to practice at home and visit more often.

And it went on and on. It came so far that last Sunday, among other people, there were the following people at the practice: my niece, my sister and her husband, my MS, MY SON with HIS GIRLFRIEND and MY DAUGHTER with her BOYFRIEND. I mean, am I blessed or what? Can you say I'm not lucky? How many people can do a sport in such a company?

My son has bought some arrows, me too, now he has switched to a stronger bow, bought some stronger arrows and will give the old ones to his girlfriend. Poppy's "husband" is also making similar plans. In short, everyone loved Sunday afternoon. Everyone, that is, except Poppy. She was fussing all the time like a baby. Geez, Poppy!

But then, I must admit, it wasn't that interesting to somene who doesn't do archery. And the stuff that archery requires, does make a mess at home:

My nieces arrow case with a belt that will be replaced with a black one...

A whole bag with a bow inside (borrowed for now) and arrows (mine mine! :) two more cases for them and some small stuff...

Arrows in the niece's and my son's...

Some small stuff... and I don't mean the anti-tick spray, it can be important in such an outdoor activity, though...

Some more small sruff... feathers and arrow points...

The fletching tool and glue in the middle of the table and mess around them...

Then you have enough and go to the balcony and what do you find... someone is growing arrows! They are still featherless at this point...

The missing picture here is the one I decided not to take some ten days ago - that of a big purple-blue-yellow-black bruise on my forehand, caused by the bow string. It simply looked too ugly. It's fine now and I have almost learned how to hold the bow properly.

Anyway, my dear Poppy didn't decide to fuss about all this (and I know she could, it WAS terrible). Instead, she put THIS on the fridge:

You want to see it a bit better? Here:

A perfect message from a promising university student of English to her English-teacher-mother!

Need translation? I can translate it for you, but first, let me just tell you this is our way of communication - from time to time - she knows how to write it properly. But isn't it jus... cute! THIS is what I'd call a sense of humour. Wouldn't you?

(Translation: I would appreciate if there weren't arrows all around our house. Thank you.
And other archery things. Please! Thank you. :P ).

Monday, 14 September 2009

Difficult to write!

It's difficult to write when thoughts run about your head and jump up and own, chasing one another. And what thoughts might that be?

What shall I cook for lunch or dinner or whatever? They always tell me I make too much fuss about it, but in general they always have different ideas from mine that I should consider whether they tell me aboout them or not.
What would you like to eat?
Yes, but what?
Something good. Stop asking, just make something, I don't know why it should matter so much.
Would you eat pasta?
No, not steaks.
Chicken, mashed potatoes....
Yea,h right, meat, potatoes, salad, always the same.
What then?

It could just go on and on. Or I order pizza. Or avoid this in the beginning and not ask t all. Then it's either a lucky guess or long faces. Or I other pizza. So this "cooking thought" rambles in my head all the time.

Another one:
What should I buy? What do we need? Can I stay away from the shops completely for the day?

How about this one:
I wonder what I said that I shouldn't have - I talk too much and don't think as fast as my lips move and let the sounds out. I also wonder what I should have told someone but didn't because I forgot. My memory tricks me on daily basis.

And what about that kid that keeps breaking my nerves every time? I wonder how other teachers deal with him!

When will I have time for shooting again? Yep, I took up a new hobby. Archery is cool, but this bruise the string left on my left hand looks pretty nasty. Should I buy some powder or something?

The computer gives me some more to think about:
-I wonder how I would do my work without you,buddy!
-I hope it will go on working without breaking down for some time now! What was it the last time? The motherboard? No, that was the time before the last. Last time it was power supply unit. When did I last backup my files?
-What rank am I now at tetris?
-Should I write a post on my blog? Naaah.. nothing interesting going on....
-Any mail? Got a few more millions of dollars in Nigeria? Won in the lottery in UK? Yaaay!

And the favourite this week:
Anything new about Denmark? And I must say, nothing new is good here.

Let me explain: Our school is doing an exchange with a Danish school. So a colleague of mine, fourteen students and myself are flying there on Sunday to meet some Danish students and teachers and stay with their families for a week. I accompanied the students there last year as well, REALLY liked the experience, not to mention all the nice people and can't wait to see some of them again.

News could be trouble, though. As long as nothing is new, everytjhing is going smoothly. Cross your fingers for me, will you - may it stay this way till Sunday, without any unpleasant phone calls, no medical problems or forgotten documents, God forbid!

I feel fine. I'm excited. A bit nervous. But as soon as I see our Danes, evrything will be good. I know nothing will go wrong. Right? Right?

(Can't write everything - it still wouldn't make a decent post, anyway - it just goes on and on and on.... but I'm sure you already know that.)

Friday, 4 September 2009

Happy New Year!

For some of you it's been a few weeks already, (two, three?), others are just finishing the first week of school in this school year like myself. We started on Tuesday, had some real lessons on Wednesday, so this is really the third day when we have them. All good things come to an end, so do the holidays, but that is just another good thing, isn't it.

How should you start the new school year?

Be lazy. Just go through the stuff you learned at school today and do your homework. That will do for all that hard work you will otherwise have to do. If you leave your books and notes in your schoolbags, you'll forget most of it and then you'll have to do some serious studying.

Be naughty, but not too much. Most teachers can deal with a reasonable sense of humour. They can even laugh with you. It's the ill humour they resent. Expressing yourself is fine as long as you let the people around you do the work they have to do.

Have fun. Find the good things about school. Your friends are there (I know many of mine are!) and you can chat with them to your heart's content. Just don't do it during the lessons. Hugging forbidden this year, sorry, says the ministry of health.

Make plans. Plan your next holidays. Make sure you enjoy them. Do the work before that so that you have no "debts" in that field.

Read. Reading is learning. Even if you read magazines. It will be easier to read school stuff if you read anything else. Go now and find that trivia/football/car racing/music magazine you love and enjoy it!

Good luck, lots of common sense and plenty of success - these are my wishes for all you guys and gals out there that go to school - and to your teachers!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

You're Crazy!

It was last Thursday.
Our (then still) headmaster was sitting outside a pub with an elderly man. (We'd never seen him there before.)
"So, you're retiring, I hear" said the man.
They sit and drink and one of my young colleagues drives by, going home from school.
"Just look what you have at this school of yours, how can you retire?"
They sit and another young female teacher drives by.
"You must be crazy, I really don't understand you" the old man goes on and on.
The headmaster doesn't say much, maybe smiles a little.
Finally, another colleague goes by on foot. She's fifty and something, but very elegant. Her thin legs are nicely tanned, she's wearing this cute minnie skirt and a lovely blouse and high heels.
"You know what, I think you're insane!" the man says, ending this conversation after he has clearly made his point.

(Told by te headmaster himself at the dinner thsat night.)

Monday, 31 August 2009

A Fake Conference And a New Era

What do you need me for on Monday?

Our headmaster kept asking that.

He is retiring now. Today is the last day he is the headmaster. The new principal takes her position from tomorrow on. But she insisted: "I still have tons of questions I need to ask you. I'll make a list." Later on she realized that probably won't do and he just might go home too early, so she decided to have a conference.

Fake conference, I wrote, but it wasn't really. There were some things we needed to talk about and it came really handy to keep our principal at school by one o'clock.

Then he thanked us in a short little speech, we thanked him, there were a few thoughts said and so on. Finished at twenty past one.

He must have felt odd, leaving the staff room, no one trying to stop him.

Not for long. There were some fifty people waiting for him. We knew they were coming and we had to make sure he would be there. His "Why on earth do I have to be at the conference?" became needless and everything became clear.

The clear voices of some eight girls filled the lobby, greeted him and let him know there was something else prepared for him.

There were the representatives of local communities - the smallest units, smaller than the municipality - like from almost every village, some twelve of them. They ASKED us if they could come and thank this man whom they described as an upright, but modest Person with a capital. A Man. Someone who knew what people needed, cared about every young life, worked hard to do things right, but not to build a career, but to contribute. And I must say, they did not say a single word too many.

Evry five years he needed to be re-elected and for that he also needed the support of the staff. It is common that principals, even if there are no other candidates, get some 70, maybe 75 or 80% of votes. The really good ones maybe more. But I don't know any other principal getting 100% time after time. For thirty years. Can you imagine?

Each of the representatives had some thoughts, written on a scroll, they put it in a wooden chest so our principal can read it at home, on the couch in the evening. So they said. Handshakes and some tears.

And there was wine they brought with them. Bottles, chosen from their own production. From their vineyards, and yet, bottled in a manner that would fit any fine restaurant.

More songs, sung by the girls and by everyone present. we have this nice toast, saying "as many drops so many years, may God give us to live in ths world... "

We spent the evening together on Thursday, that was a much bigger event - he invited us all (some seventy of us) for dinner and we prepared some programme and presents. But we were careful to make him laugh rather than cry.

This time it was too emotional. He got the recognition he deserved, coming sponaineously from the local community.

Anyway, as soon as we knew he was going, we also knew it couldn't happen quietly. I'm just sorry I can't put the atmosphere and the emotions into words and write them here. Impossible.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

First Date

Here I was, sitting by my PC as I am right now, writing another e-mail to my online friend. I could hardly wait for each of his replies. I tell you: the guy knows wht do do with words. And I totally loved it. No empty talking, though (writing, I mean), but letters that actually told me something and intrigued me to write something back to express myself which obviously had a similar effect on him. Lovely!

He had invited me for coffee before, but I was reluctant to accept the invitation.

My friends (colleagues that is, but still - good friends!) half jokingly said sometimes that I should go out more: "We'll pick you up sometime, go for a drink and find you a nice decent guy!" "Yeah," I said "but why shoud I, who do not go to bars look for someone who does? Besides, how many such guys do you actually know?"

She had to admit I had a point there. I decided to accept what life brought to me and not rush anything. But then, five years after my divorce, I actually joined a website to meet someone. I didn't feel like I belonged there, but then, I thought, some other people might feel the same.

And there they were: his enchanting letters. And now, after two or three months of corresponding, I decided to go for that cup of coffee.

I came to the bar, looked around, seeing the man who fitted the description and remembered I had seen him before. With mixed feeling I approached the table, we greeted and ordered that coffee.

I don't remember well what we were talking about. Just getting to know each other, I guess, but we knew quite a lot already, from the letters. Which was good.

A few minutes later, there came tis woman, plunging into the room, greeting him loudly, asking him how he wam, adding: "May I join you?" Not waiting for the answer she grabbed a chair and there she was, sitting at our table.

I was wondering what was was going on, but said nothing. My MS, you see, doesn't quarrel. Or hardly. I guessed he wasn't pleased either. Her name was Leila, I told her mine, pleased to meet you (NOT!), she had coffee, too, exchanged a few sentences and left.

"I'm sorry about that, she should have known better, but that's just how she is." he said.

"That's okay," I realized he had nothing to do with that. She was an aquaintance, really, not even a friend. I got to know her a bit better later, and learned her behaviour that day was nothing exceptional.

When the day of the anniversary is approaching, we always say we should go for a cup of coffee to the same cafe. And we always ask the same question: "Do you think Leila will have time?"

But we never really ask her. We didn't today, either. Eight years after that first date.

Monday, 24 August 2009


Look what my dear daughter sent me this morning! How did she know I listened to these guys for years, singing along - No, I can't sing, why? - and just loving them so that they make me feel nostalgic every time I hear them? Except that I must have told her that a couple (hundred) of times? Thanks, dear! Love you!

Now, how do I embed a youtube video? Can't be that hard! Okay, got it!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Some More Pics

I will not be describing much more, I'll just add some more photos from the window and from our walks and a short text for some missing ones. My MS (Main Squeeze, remember?) had a problem with his ankle and so we couldn't pursue our usual mountaineering (we are so not like that!). But seriously, we would have walked more otherwise.

My walk with my favourite toy...

We wanted to know what "žlinkrofi" look like - the local specialty. It wasn't on the menu, but the chef said, they had some and we could try them. The dough is similar as for noodles or lasagna, the filling is made from dry pears. Yummy!

While we were eating, wearing T-shirts on a nice warm, day the snow was actually quite near. When I tried to catch it with the camera, I felt I could touch it. Look:

That night we also wanted to try the other "žlinkrofi" (no, you don't have to pronounce it), filled with meat and with cracklings on top, not crumbs.

I only tried one of those, I chose this for my dinner:

Not the best photo, but the food was delicious: mushroom soup (with freshest mushrooms, I tell you!) and hard-boiled buckwheat with cracklings.

Another cute wiew from the window:

See? Too small? Here:

And as they went, so did we. Full of impressions. And some plans.

We decided to stop at a spa on our way and go swimming a little. And those are the missing photos. My MS and I were swimming and being bubbled in whirlpools (MS: I told you last night you shouldn't eat those beans :), water was pouring on our heads and shoulders and my MS went on the slide quite a few times. Loved it. Now THOSE would be some pictures. Not taken, sorry.

Country road, take me home...

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Sunday, 16 August 2009

The Valley

Not the Vipava Valley this time, where I live, but the Logarska Valley. Here is where we stayed:

Both houses belong to the same family. They rent it out. It's called a tourist farm. We stayed in the upper house. Very nice. Simple and nice.

This was our room:

And yes, there was a TV, too.

Satellite TV. I could have watched it from the bed, but didn't, really. I just tried it once or twice. Out of 500 and something programs I couldn't pick anything interesting that worked. I could have watched Al Jazeera, but I decided to pass. Had no need for TV, really.

I didn't take any photos of the bathroom. Small and nice.

This was a nice spot:

Here we looked through the brochures we had gathered on the way there and read books. Bou only AFTER we had a good look of the view from the balcony:

But the balcony was not interesting and nice only from the inside out. It looks nice from the other side, too:

And there's another one on the other side of the house, just as nice. I didn't take a photo of it, really, only the flower pots:

So we went for a walk.

On our way we saw what I called a monument to goats.

At least that's what it looked like before we came closer. Because the goat standing on that rock was really still. Later it moved a little and even posed and looked into the camera.

Later that day we went for dinner to the place where they had these goats. And we made plans for the following day.

We went to see the waterfall nearby. It's called Rinka. We took our nordic walking sticks and off we went.

This is the waterfall:

Can you see that wooden building? It's called "Eagle's Nest". You can get souvenirs up there or have a drink. And make more photos, of course.

My MS made a huge mistke here by showing how macro works. So my almost favourite toy became my favourite one. And it's not even mine. It's his. he showed me that after we had our drink. This is why I can only show you an empty glass.

Yep, we had a shot of blueberry brandy each. Good. I took some more pioctures of the mountains around us. All sorts od ledges and holes!

And then we saw someting else:

Not a good sign, says the bartender. We didn't hear any bad news later, but then, I guess we wouldn't - without a radio or TV.

Going back:
Going along a nice pathway through the forest (about 60% of Slovenia is forest).

We didn't need this bench for weary travellers, but you must admit it looks nice:

They even found a special one to put on the curve:

These roots fascinated me. It's like nature made a mistake by starting a life of a plant on a rock...

... and tried to make it right by giving it some means of finding the resources to survive.

Let it be enough for today.