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!