Sunday, 31 May 2009

Old Days Captured

In a cupboard at my mum's place, there is this box with old photos. There are also some photo albums, but those are not so interesting. I was there when most of those photos were taken. But the pictures in that box - well, that is another story. Most of those photos are black and white. Some are kind of yellowish, they curled and won't stay flat even after a month under some very heavy books.

After having a look at them maybe twice in three or four years, I decided they were far too interesting to be left where they were. So I asked my mum if I could borrow them.

First I scanned them all. The good ones and those of poor quality.
And believe me, there are

You can only see about half of them here.
Some of them are of me, in many others there are my brother and my sister and our cousins. In many cases we are not one hundred per cent sure who's on it, especially when it's about my sister and me. There are many wedding photographs of my parents, aunts and uncles and also people I don't know or recognize.Some have something written at the back. There are photos of open casket and funerals.
Many photos of babies.

In these images from life many decades ago you can see generations sharing their lives, grannies and my great aunt looking after us. I can see our house being built and our home town very different from what can be found there now, but still familiar to me as I can remember some of those ancient buildings that were pulled down years ago.

What surprised (I guess) my kids most is to see some old people when they were young. I mean, we knew they were young once, but didn't really imagine it. Seeing my dad (my kids hardly remember him anyway) posing with his sunglasses even surprised me - I'm not sure I have ever seen that photo. And my mum in some photos looks like a character from a very old but classy movie.

The next thing I'm going to do is take some of the pictures and arrange them into an album. This will be a part of the birthday present to my mum next week. She will be having this big party at her 70th birthday and around 60 people will be there.

I just hope everything will go according to her wishes so that her birthday party is a success.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

We're Under Surveillance!

It's official now!

This is about the Gossip Queen (see the previous post). She has earned the capitals, believe me. But let me start from the beginning.

It was Tuesday morning. I came out of the building to sit in my car and go to work. But the car was not where I had left it. I found it right away, but... How? My daughter wasn't home and my son doesn't drive. Or does he? He doesn't have a driving license, anyway.

I talked to him when I got home, yelled a little, but he didn't take it seriously. I guess I'll have to be careful with the car keys and get him to pass the driving test as soon as possible.

This morning we came out at the same time as the Queen herself. She immediately tarted asking:

"When did you get your driving license, how old are you now?"

He answered somewhat reluctantly, I did, too and she went on:

"I laughed so much the other night watching you park the car for at least fifteen minutes! I couldn't sleep, it was 1.30 at night, oh did I laugh! I almost peed laughing!"

My son still insists he only moved the car in the parking lot and didn't go anywhere with it. Whatever.

And Her Majesty - I bet she couldn't sleep from the fear something might escape her eyes.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Please, Say It's Not True!


It's a story of "another woman".
I've just heard it.

There is this nice family of five: mum, dad and three children. The oldest boy is seventeen like my son. The next is a year younger. The girl is about twelve. They've just built a house. In fact, they're still finishing it and haven't moved there yet. It's a slow process that takes years (four? five?) to give your family a solid home to live, earned with your hard work and yet to be paid for, at least a part of it. Or it takes loads of money to do it quickly. Not very common, though. Anyway, this nice hard-working family are at the end of this journey. Should be moving there soon.

I like talking to her, the mum. She's my age. Nice small talk, we can share some problems and worries. He is a nice guy. Very smart, but not too much.You know those smart guys who know just about everything? Well, he's kind of going in that direction, but just not too far. So he's still nice. And if we need a hand, he offers his. Both of them. So he helped us move a very heavy wardrobe when we were doing some work around here and some other furniture, too. I didn't always ask him - on one occasion he noticed what we were doing and here he was. I was so grateful! Still am. The kids - normal kids. Normal teenagers, I'd say, the oldest two.

Today another neighbour told me what was bothering her: she heard that this nice smart guy, the husband of this nice mum of his kids, this reasonable and kind woman, was having an affair with another woman with whom he was seen together - driving, walking, holding hands. And this neighbour was upset about the fact that he did it - and the other woman also knew he was married, they live a few stairs apart. This neighbour is even more upset about it because she's been there. Yep. (So have I, in a way. But that was really very very different.) She was also angry with the woman who told her "the news". She heard it from someone who pretends not to be a gossip. Well, she is. She's the gossip queen.

This reminds me of a thing a friend of mine did years ago. He came to a cafe and saw their gossip queen there. Not paying any attention to her, he ordered coffee and started whining to the bartender, a good friend of his. He said no less than: "F...! I'm sc....! My wife is pregnant again!" The gossip queen stopped looking at the magazines she was looking at and left the cafe. The bartender got the joke: "You're a bastard you know that?"
Sure enough, the story of another and unplanned baby was out before he came out of that place. The woman made a fool of herself, spreading the news that was absolutely untrue. How this friend's wife took it, I do not know.

Anyway, when it comes to this family I was talking about - I'm still hoping the gossip queen got it wrong. Please!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Point of View

Standing at that large fridge, I'm trying to decide whether to buy strawberry or apricot yoghurt and after looking at them for a few moments I take both. I've got the bread already. No salami today. Or shall I? I went past the butcher's to the fridge with packed meat and changed my mind and went back for a kilo of minced meat. If I make sauce bolognese it makes no sense to prepare it only for one meal. Oh yes, I'll need onions for that. And back I go. And almost to the butcher's to take something from a shelf near there. And back to the fridge for some cream. And around almost all the shelves just to remember if I need anything else. I'll take some salami anyway - for a nice sandwich instead of cooking later in the evening. I have to squeeze a little between the shelf and the shop-assistant with a huge trolley, loaded with toilet paper. Good! I need some. I'd probably have to go to the shop once more today if it hadn't been for her. Nice that shops are air-conditioned. It feels good looking at things and trying to get all you need (but not more if possible) when you know there's 31°C out there - and humid.

Time perspective drastically changes once you have everything. Once I move towards the cashier, it's annoying to see there are others in the line before me. What is that guy doing with the shopping cart full of washing powder, food and drink? Is he going o buy everything up? And that lady with seven kinds of vegetables? I bet she hasn't weighed them all appropriately... and she'll be running here and there to do it again. But if another cash register opens now, I'm in the best position to be there first. Just a step. Anything? No, nothing happening. Come on, how much time can it take you to count some change and put things in the bag? and this basket on the floor? You shouldn't be in the line unless you've got everything... We move a little, two more people join the line. Oh, I remember now, I need some shower gel... I won't be a minute... Do you mind? Thanks. The next cash register opens and the man behind me is there first. Hey! I was here before you! Never mind. It will be my turn as soon as they put away all the vegetables and the beer and soda..
My turn. Everything in the bag, paid, bye!

Gee, I wouldn't have spent ten minutes looking for things had I known it would take me so long to pay for them! It took me ... what.. three minutes? This must be wrong!

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Circle of Life

You know about those tragic losses when somebody dies and everybody feels it was too early? When it doesn't make any sense? So many more years that this person should be with their beloved ones... Unfinished business, joy and pain that haven't been experienced, a shock to everyone...

Well, this was NOT one of those cases.

She knew. She was eighty-nine. She went through so much! Her mind was sharp. She felt old and tired and yet, I think she was younger than some people at thirty. I think she's the only person I can't remember having any flaws. I loved her. I respected her immensely. I remember how only a few years ago, she and my mum were weeding in my aunt's field after my aunt had a surgery and they had been working for some two or three hours. My mum had enough after one, but she was embarrassed to say so, so she waited for her mother to decide to stop. You know now what I mean?

Now she felt her bones were not what they used to be. Her body was shutting down. She was like a candle flame slowly going out.

"All you do is talk - why aren't you saying any prayers?" she told her five children off when she was lying on her death bed. And so they prayed. Her children - that's what they were as long as she was with them, although the oldest, my mum, was almost seventy years old.

"Will you do so after I'm gone as well? Will you still pray?"
And so they promised.

When she heard the voice of the baby in the hall, she called her. So her granddaughter brought in her baby who immediately wanted to touch her cheek.

"You see," my grandmother said "I have to go now. And you have to stay for a good many years."

"This is not happening," said her son to the others in disbelief. They all knew what was going on and couldn't believe she was so sane. Were they looking at their own future? Will they, too, keep the sanity to the last moment of their life? Will that be a blessing or a curse? Will the closeness of departure terrify them?

She made peace with God and with the fact that her time here was ending.

Funeral. All the family gathered.

Months went by.

Uncle is visiting my aunt.

"I know I shouldn't, " he says with a broad smile "but this is so wonderful! We'll have babies!"

And yes, he was told off for breaking the news to everyone before they said he could but then... so what! His three children, two daughters and a son, those three of my cousins (we're 16 altogether) that actually lived in the same house with our grandmother, are all having babies - one is due in September and two in October.

The oldest of them said: "Granny must be praying up there all the time to send us such a blessing!"

One of my cousins is staying there. Two have moved into their new homes. After the painful emptiness in the house after grandma passed away, there will be new life. New joy. The little great-granddaughter will have company now.

I'm so happy for them all. True, there will be more names to remember (I already need a refreshing course sometimes and mum helps me out), but this is so nice!

It's awesome!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Going Home

Coming from home.
Few words - to make balance after yesterday's post. And before tomorrow's.
Green. Curves. Sunny. More curves. Greener. Too sunny. Nice.

I'm back.

Friday, 22 May 2009

A ride

My dear old companion, my teenage car needed a break (actually a brake fix) and was not available yesterday or today. So I asked my colleague if I could join her on her way to school and of course she said yes. She always does. So does everyone else, including me in similar cases.

Our block of flats is a different story. There are some 19 flats here. I don't always know who lives in them. Some people come and go and have been here for months before I notice them or are absent for just as long before I miss them. There's this man who found another life companion - no not a car, another woman, before I noticed the first one left. Married? Divorced? Who knows. I don't care, really.

When I took my kids to school in my car, it was quite common that I took one and the neighbours took theirs and the other neighbours' kids were taken there by heir grandpa or something. From the same car park to the same school, three or four kids and about the same number of cars.
When we moved here some sixteen years ago, it actually took me about two months to meet my neighbours and actually talk to them. It didn't happen until some sunny days lured the kids out and their mums joined them. I must tell you, those two months didn't feel nice. Now I talk to some of them sometimes and it makes me feel more at home. But still: when someone asks me if this and this person lives at this address and I don't know, it feels... well... not nice.

Let me go back to my ride to school. I left home a bit earlier as I was going to walk for about 10 or 15 minutes. My colleague offered to fetch me, but I told her I could use this walk - it was just right to wake me up.

Suddenly, this woman, a mother of two lively kids from two floors above us, stopped her car and offered me a lift.

I knew I would be too early and would have to wait. I wouldn't have my morning walk. But I just couldn't refuse because I found it so nice! And it was. She's much like me, I thought - an ordinary person, not above others. We chatted nicely in those minutes.

I sat on a bench in front of my co-worker's block with a book, but still thinking about it: She definitely made my morning so much nicer!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009


Yes, I was kinda busy the last few days. Firstly, there were such nice days that I, the regular couch/computer desk potato HAD TO go out. So I took a walk.

I walked by the river.

There were fields on the other side of the dirt road. Our town is hidden behind the trees.

In the grass that remained uncut, I found such lovely delicate flowers:

Anywhere near a flower bed this would probably be called weed. Cute though, isn't it?
There were colourful little visitors to these beauties, enjoying their sweet potion:

But actually, I was looking for something and I couldn't find it here, no matter how lovely all this looked. We had the season of continuous snowing here that only ended last week. I tried to take a picture, but...

... no success! I could see tiny little things flying through the air,but no such thing in the picture... too bad!
Yes, of course you're right - this couldn't be real cold snow, but nevertheless it tempted you to switch on the wipers when driving your car. Even in my room or living room, there was often something dancing in front of my eyes. It didn't even make me nervous any more. It could tickle my nose, though. Thank God I have no allergies!

Don't believe me? Look!

It all landed somewhere eventually... What you see here was fine. When you find some of this in your living room is not so good. Well, this is extreme, I must admit. In the living room you only get a sample of it. Nevertheless, in this spring snowing season it is wise to cover your glass or simply pour a drink and drink it right away.

And whose fault is this? These big guys are to blame:

Poplar trees!

I still haven't told you what I was looking for. It was this:

I'm sorry I haven't got a better picture - I had a bad day, I guess, as far as the camera was concerned. Do you know the bush? It's elderberry.

I needed thirty large blossoms. I put it into water for 24 hours, together with three lemons, cut in pieces, then poured all that through a piece of cloth and boiled it with sugar and citric acid. Delicious syrup!

It took me some time to find it, pick it and make the syrup. That's why I was busy, see?

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Win a prize: a postcard

Let's play a game, shall we?

This year I'm the class teacher of a 9th grade.
We still haven't been to this year's final trip which is also their last trip to take while they're at our school.
Something special:

I'm not telling you any more right now -
just that you are to guess where we are going.

I will answer any of your questions, but only with YES and NO.
To find out where we are from - see some older (but recent) posts.
The first to guess our destination will receive a postcard from there.

I just might decide to send more than one.
I promise it's guessable! Think!

Friday, 15 May 2009

Phavorite Phriday Photo

Here I'm playing with Candid Carrie . Hope you like it.

This is definitely one of my favourite photos!
I took it on a very verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry cold day during my staying in Lithuania with some very very nice people. They actually had this monitor in front of the house. I thought it was so special, not to say funny that I had to take a picture.

Hope I'll meet those lovely girls again one day!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

This was SO hard! :) See the smiley? It wasn't easy, no, but it's a nice duty - to tell some people around here that you like what they're writing.

You are supposed to give this award to up to to fifteen bloggers. I came up with eight.

First, I want to tell those whom I awarded with the "When Life Hands You Lemons Blog Award" that I haven't changed my mind. I still like you guys, just don't want to repeat myself.

Then I tried to listen to Auntie, and yes, Auntie, I love your blog, just don't want to bother you with another award you've just received. Well earned!I have the same "problem" with Comedy Goddess and Phat Mama... I can't give it to that Woman of a Certain Age, can I - she's the one who gave it to me... well...

I looked through the comments I get to my inbox and chose some. I also clicked that "next blog" thing at the top of the page to find some new (as it's supposed to introduce the not so known ones). And there is someone I read all the time and a person very special to me (I hope I can do that?)

Sunny's blog IS lovely. See for yourself. Every post is a story.

Then there is that house, not really solid, as it's Slightly Cracked, but lovely.

Of course, I like my side of the story, but I also like hers. Lovely!

Jocelyn makes a crisis lovely...

The world according to this person also sounds interesting and lovely.

This young girl is all excited about her ability to write and I think she should be, too! I have just found out I cannot let her know. No comments on her blog. No e-mail. I still think her blog is lovely, though. At 6 p.m. I finally found a way... Yaay!

Read the tale for yourself. Lovely, isn't it?

And this girl is the special person I mentioned above. I hope you don't mind. And if you do, just ignore the fact that these words are here.
I'm not giving it to her only because she is my little one (the oldest of two, actually), but because I really like the way she writes. And I've seen more than you can see here - this is not her fist blog.

The rules are simple:

You have to choose up to fifteen bloggers to introduce some new blogs to your readers. If you think they're lovely.

Make a list on your blog.

Notify the awarded writers in the comment under their post.


Friday, 8 May 2009


Vista is an old custom in this part of our country.

What people see, happens on the day when young men are recruited for the army. At least that was in the old days. The whole generation of boys who completed eighteen years of age that year, went to a physical.

After the examination, they travelled through the villages on a cart, decorated with green spruce branches and paper flowers. The cart had been decorated by the same boys - young men if you want - and often by the women of the village. They were usually the ones to make the paper flowers, like these our principal assistant got from the boys.

For this was, you see, the celebration of the village. And what did they celebrate? Another healthy generation of young men. Healthy enough to join the army. Not joining itself, I think

Nowadays joining the army is not mandatory. But the boys must still attend an informative meeting to find out about their duties an rights connected to the serving the army.

Actually, I didn't see so many flowers today, but I can't say they didn't put a great deal of work into arranging their carts. Do you agree?

Anyway, after that "lecture" they sit on their carts and take a very "long" way home. On that way they stop in many places. Like at the school they attended only three years ago. Here they are in our parking lot where the school bus stops. Well, this is no school bus:

Then they stood in a row, took their hats off, two of our nowadays students joined them and one of them played the accordion, cups in their hands and they sang. I suppose. I missed that. Probably the anthem.

They had to visit the teachers, too. And the librarian.

I remember years ago when they came into the classroom (a small unimportant thing like a lesson wouldn't bother them in any way), said hello, joked a little, sang a song, maybe played the accordion and left.

Our school would never lock the door to them. They are still our boys. But nevertheless, they re turning an old tradition into something that doesn't look so good and right any more. They come with loud sirens and make unbearable noise inside the school. They carry five and ten-liter plastic canisters of wine (from the vineyards of some of their parents) today they spilled some. They try to take some students with them when they leave - things are simply going too far. Some could hardly walk. It was not noon yet and they left to party for the rest of the day. And, believe me, I have photos I don't want to put up here.

Somehow, I'm afraid they missed the point. Some of them were already drunk at the meeting. At 9. 30.

This is what they got, together with the necessary information:

The first one says:

The second one says:
Slovenian army
proud of ourselves

They are lying on the shelf in our living room. Yep, my son was born the same year - even month - as our independent country. Slovenia itself, is much older, of course. But as an independent country it was being born - loudly with guns, shells and tanks while my little tiny boy and I were still in the hospital, listening to all that.

As one of the results, military service is no longer mandatory. There is a great chance actually, that none of those boys, or hardly any, will need any other plates, even slightly resembling these in the picture.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Making the best of my time

I really haven't had much time these days. Today, for instance, I had an English Teachers' meeting. To learn how to evaluate written compositions in our national exams for the 6-th graders. Not for the first time. And I probably (99% sure) won't be evaluating it this year. Okay...

The second part of the meeting was about things you can use in class. Like... the internet .. I've clicked most of those pages and others. And Google notebook... I didn't know about it before ... thanks! And.... AAaaand.... How to start a blog on Blogger. Yeah...

It's half past seven now and I'm tired. And for WHAT?

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

She made My Day

Who did? California Girl did.
She gave me this:

Aawww... I'm touched! Thank you so much! I'll pick a few bloggers later, not right now. In a few days, maybe. In the meantime, I'll just look at his picture every now and then, feeling glad that I got it. :D

Monday, 4 May 2009


They softened my heart today at that "music lesson". No it wasn't really a music lesson, it was an English one, as usually when I'm teaching.

The smartest girl in class who knows everything and has a comment on everything and to whom nobody is wise or clever enough (no one of the grown-ups, that is) and who would always do things differently and .. you know the type by now... said:

"Why can't all lessons be like this?" Wow!

They actually listened and figured out what I was trying to say, actually AGREED with me, geez! Are they the same kids? The ones that don't want to open their workbooks, textbooks or do their homework?

Not all of them write the answers, a few chat and don't know what we're doing, when I want a few answers , some are already protesting... Discussion? It starts fine, then... forget about it! Homework? Am I serious?

Okay, they are the same. Phew! I'm relieved. Aliens didn't abduct them and snatch their bodies, then.

By the end of the year I may use one or two more songs to do something like this. They do listen to good music after all. I have to give them credit for that. And since I have jut found out this kind of work is safe and won't change their personalities entirely, why not?

Sunday, 3 May 2009

We don't need no...

After that wonderful week before this week off PLUS this week off it's finally time to go back to school. And I mean IT'S TIME. I'm getting so lazy...

The kids might (most of them probably do) feel the same way, maybe without that last statement (IT'S TIME).

So tomorrow we'll be preparing for that test on the 12th. How exciting! Yaay! Nooot.... And if they think that "Nooot...", I get that energy, too. I'd better think of something to put things in balance.

So I figured I might do something which might make them think of me as a weird teacher (Naaah, they probably think that already, may it be in one way or another) and play them a song I'm sure they can sing (Yes, I've heard them sing it!):

We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it's just another brick in the wall.
All in all you're just another brick in the wall.
We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it's just another brick in the wall.
All in all you're just another brick in the wall.

Teaching them the wrong thing? No need for education? Not me! Education is not everything, it is however very important and I believe in developing one's potentials. So we'll listen to this one, too:

When we grew up and went to school
There were certain teachers who would
Hurt the children in any way they could
By pouring their derision upon anything we did
And exposing every weakness
However carefully hidden by the kids
But in the town, it was well known
When they got home at night, their fat and
Psychopathic wives would thrash them
Within inches of their lives.

At 14, 15, some of them, I hope they're mature enough to get it. They love the song and I want them to understand why it is as it is. I think these young people attend a different kind of school and they have no need to reject it. I know - it's not always nice and easy, but neither is life. But it is far from what Roger Waters described in his interview in 1979:

Um. My school life was very much like that. Oh, it was awful, it was really terrible. When I hear people whining on now about bringing back Grammar schools it really makes me quite ill to listen to it. Because I went to a boys Grammar school and although ... I want to make it plain that some of the men who taught (it was a boys school) some of the men who taught there were very nice guys, you know I'm's not meant to be a blanket condemnation of teachers everywhere, but the bad ones can really do people in -- and there were some at my school who were just incredibly bad and treated the children so badly, just putting them down, putting them down, you know, all the time. Never encouraging them to do things, not really trying to interest them in anything, just trying to keep them quiet and still, and crush them into the right shape, so that they would go to university and "do well."

And of course, that is not all we are going to do. They will have a worksheet to solve. To show me what they understand. And we WILL revise for the test.

I'll end this now and do some more googling - I mean, I know what "pink" means (isn't it obvious? :)), but what is "floyd"supposed to be?

OK, found it on this website: PINK FLOYD - taken from the names of two Georgia bluesmen Pink Anderson and Floyd Council - from the early days when the band saw itself as a blues band.

Friday, 1 May 2009


I spent last night at home, watching TV, ironing, talking to my son, commenting on some posts, the usual.

When I was a child and even when my children were younger, the 30th April was different. Because it is the evening before the first of May. The first of May is the workers' day, you see. A day to celebrate. And still is. More people are kind of bitter today, knowing that workers' rights are not respected, knowing that not everyone can work and not everyone that works gets paid. But still.

The most attractive part of the celebration were probably the bonfires. People thought of them weeks before the event and built smaller or bigger bonfires. They often used this day to get rid of branches and stuff after cleaning their gardens. We, the children enjoyed this soooo much! We weren't left alone at the fire, of course. The adults were always there.

Now here's the problem: from our small town, shaped like a basin, no flat area but the river flowing through it with the road to accompany it, surrounded by hills, I moved to this valley. Very nice. Beautiful.

But on the May Day Eve you can build a bonfire here and very few people will see it. At home I stepped out of the house, turned around, and I could see ten or so, quite far away, too - and I felt festive. No one told us to go to bed early (we didn't go to school on 1st May), even when the fire almost died out, we could still roast potatoes in the hot embers - not that we liked the potatoes so much, the roasting itself was so interesting. I wonder now what we had to talk about the whole evening - but we were kids and I know we didn't run out of topics. Only a few years ago my brother used to build a bonfire and we gathered there and had a good time, talking, singing, looking at our kids playing.

If we didn't go to bed early, it didn't mean we slept terribly long next morning. No, it was the first of May and the brass band woke us up around seven o'clock or so. What kind of Workers' Day would it be without the brass band?

I'm starting to think now that I'll have to go home for this day next year. But then, memories are one ting, time is another. You can't go back and it's just as good - sitting home, remembering things and talking to my son about them. Bye the way, he went to bonfire last night with his friends and my daughter went to a picnic. And my sweetheart was woken by a brass band.

I must be doing something wrong. :D