Wednesday, 1 December 2010


We were driving from our archery practice last night - my Main Squeeze, my son and me. It was freezing cold and the wind in our town was building up its tremendous power. Nasty. Not as nasty as on March 10th, but still. Not nice at all.

There are these signs on the motorway on such occasions, saying that the large lorries and refrigerators should leave the motorway as they will not be allowed to go further.

We were just on the exit, out of the motorway (because we were home, not too large) when we saw a huge lorry with a trailer approaching it. Knowing that foreigners don't take these warnings so seriously, I said to my son: "Blink a few times with the headlights (would you use "blink" here?) and he did. The lorry stopped and the driver opened the window when we had already moved forward. He was still standing there, so we reversed a little, I went out (you could hardly hear anything that was a meter away) and he asked about the sign. I told him:

"Don't go. It's dangerous. Go back." I accompanied my words with suitable gestures as I wasn't sure the Slovak driver understood.
"Ahh. It's closed?"

So he understood? Good.

"Yes. Don't go. It's really dangeros. It wll turn your lorry over!"
"I see."
"And if you continue, the police will stop you anyway."
"Oh, the police?"
"Yes. You really shouldn't go. Don't."
I turned back to our car, he thanked me and we went our separate ways.

We wen't home and he - believe it or not - continued his way on the motorway.

Monday, 29 November 2010


Today and yesterday and the past weekend have been dark glooomy days, cold and windy and snowy and rainy and a bit depressing and frustrating. Sigh.

Thank God I had to go to work, otherwise I would have probably just ordered pizza and not leave the house at all. But then, I did see those few rays of sun that make life less dark and less gloomy and even if not, an adult should be able to rationally decide that the weather cannot rule our lives completely. Yes, it is difficult and irritating if you come back all frozen if you only go to the nearest petrol station to fill the tank but then realize you have to really hold the door or it will be blown away or at least damaged. And you sit in the car which is swinging left and right. Not nice. "Ne dobro", a British friend of my daughter's would say. Ne dobro at all. But then, at least I got to be at home most of the day. My daughter, for instance, spent most of Friday in the car. And why? Our road company (or whatever I should call it) does not clean the roads untill there is 10 cm of snow. Makes sense. But the huge lorries only learn by making mistakes: Will I make this climb (a few degrees is more than enoug for trouble)? Let me see. Ooops. Nope. I can't. In Slovenia you have to have winter tyres or good summer tyres+snowchains from the 15th November to the 15th March. Otherwise it can be quite expensive if the police stop you. And this law exists only because it happened too often that the traffic stopped because of the drivers with bad tyres.
And my dear daughter spent more than seven hours in the car for the trip that usually takes about two.

Anyway, it was quite normal this morning and now it's dark because the sun set a while ago. It does so every day.

And I will not whine about the dark and the cold and the weather - I choose not to - but I did need some more colour.

Now how do you like it?

Monday, 25 October 2010

Election time

We had Mayor election yesterday. Yep! We could have elected a new mayor in our town, but guess what - we elected the old one that cannot always behave and who has only learned a little how to speak in public over his two mandates of being a mayor. Oh well ... I have no trust or very little in any kind of politics anyway. He's not THAT bad and who knows if his opponent is actually any better. More elegant, yes and a much better speaker and the old one is independent while the one "not meant to be" (obviously) had the support of five parties. Seeing it written just now - maybe he deserves to remain in this position.

The other thing about this election that I find interesting is the new mayor of one of our coastal towns, Piran. I didn't find it that strange, seeing it on the news, hearing him represent himself, hearing people say all those nice things about him. I wasn't astonished or not even surprised to hear that he won the election. But now that I see all those foreign articles, I think to myself: "Well, maybe it is just a little unusual after all". Anyway, he seems to enjoy the trust of many people and that's what matters. He's just as likely to prove them right or wrong as anybody. Don't you think? See for yourself:

The Hindu


BBC News

etc. etc.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Back to ...

... school, mostly. And blogging. My summer break was very full this year (what on earth have I been doing?) and I somehow didn't feel like writing. Besides I've been waiting for my weekly dosage of chuckles, but the connection with Canada has broken down, apparently. I hope not. I hope Skye simply doesn't feel like writing and will change her mind the way I have.

Anyway, in summer I didn't really go anywhere. I organized one of my "virtual classrooms" in Moodle with about fifty or sixty exercises. I think it will help me during the year. I will be able to assign some homework that will practically get corrected by itself. Cool!

I've been shooting a lot. It's funny how this sport makes you active, although it doesn't really look that way. Well, it does. You can actually sweat. You have to pull this string - mine takes 28 pounds of force to pull. A hundred times in a row - maybe two hundred, walking 40 metres to the target and 40 back - or 50 or 60 one way... You do get some exercise.

I've been to Croatia. Not to the seaside, like many other Slovenians, but to an archery competition. And I actually won a medal, LOL! I loved it! I was shooting at 40 metres with my barebow and made quite a few hits and got some constructive criticism which should have helped me. It didn't really - according to the next competition, 900 rounds which took place yesterday. Well, there will be others and I can practice. And HAVE FUN. It's funny how women meet in these competitions. About my age, shooting barebow - we are mostly the mothers of younger archers. Surprise, surprise. You just try and take your child to an archery practice and wait for an hour or so - watching archery. ARCHERY!! I'm telling you, this is definitely one of the most boring sports to watch. TO WATCH, I said, not to do. I was happy for my Main Squeeze yesterday, though. Marko was quite good and won a bronze medal. Yaaay!

At school we finished what we started last school year. A boy passed the exam he had to in order to get a 2 in English (Our grades: 1 - insufficient, 2 - sufficient, 3 - good, 4 - very good, 5 - excellent). He did. Good! He could go to his chosen secondary school then. I wish him good luck, knowing there will be some tricky parts on his road to success in life, though.

Conferences, new plans, constant changes. One of them was that three of our colleagues retired. I'll write a little about that. Not now, though, I'm already getting too long.

Hope you're all okay and adapting successfully to the new rhythm with the school going on again. That's life - what would holidays be without school?

Take care and don't forget to have fun!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Bloggers' Meeting

Before I had this blog, I used to write another one. In Slovene, my mother's tongue. I stopped posting there some time after I started posting here. Just happened.

My brother had a blog way before I did.
Through blogging you get to know people. From their posts and from their comments. There is this blogger, Bin (short for Albin) who writes poetry. And WHAT POETRY! I just love it. So I still sometimes write a comment or two under his posts. Or to my brother’s.

So this blogger, Bin (short for Albin), decided it was time for us to get to know each other. He invited us to get together. It was a very open invitation. It soon seemed there would be about eight or ten people, in the end four turned up – including Bin. And two more later.

It is strange, how you can talk to people easily when you know them from their words already. So we talked over a drink. Then we got into one car and Bin took us to a place he wanted to show us. He planned for the day, you know. Not just the meeting, but what we were going to see and do.

So he took us through this village and then up. And up. On a dirt road. Through the forest. Then he stopped and we walked some more.
We came to this little church. It was built in 1916. During the World War 1. The soldiers built it in memory of their deceased fellow soldiers. It makes you think. There are names on wooden plates inside the church. Hungarian names, Croatian, Slovene, Bosnian, you name it. Austrio-Hungarian at the time. Young men who were pawns on the board of some self-centered old men who thought they had the right to decide about other people’s lives. I don’t know how many died on the Soča front line. A LOT.

Click for a picture

The church is made of stone and wood. And there was a guy who knew a lot about it and couldn’t stop talking. But he was a good guide to listen to.

Click for another one - the amazing interior

After that we descended to the car, had a bite and then took our torches and went on – on foot – to some bunkers. They originate from the time between the two wars when this part of Slovenia was under Italy. So there were these bunkers to protect the border.
It is impressive. We only saw a bit, but it goes under the surface of the ground and it is actually huge. And they had their own little power station. Everything was well built. But they should have never been there in the first place.

Some people want to open this to the public (not just random visitors like ourselves) as a sort of a museum. Others believe it is too painful and should be left as it is or blown up. They were built in order to make the region Italian. History’s a bitch. It can be quite emotional, you know.

We went back to the car, drove to an inn and had a nice meal, talking about all sorts of things. Than our host showed us what he did before he retired (Sixty? Yeah, right! Fifty, maybe. Nope, he’s sixty.) He showed us some really old machinery at the railway station. Fascinating. Since there are really few trains (four or so every day) and because everything works just fine, they still use some of the things that were installed back in 1906. Wow!

By that time, the last two bloggers joined us. A married couple and parents of ten. They only had two with them. They invited us to their home. So we walked again, but not more than ten minutes. Up. Everything is up around here. A nice house, nice tea, the muffins I had made the night before, the cheese and other stuff they offered.

More talk. Some poetry. From a book of one of us. Bin also read a poem. A fantastic one. I really don’t know how he puts that together. My brother didn’t read anything. Me neither. But my brother, too, writes well. Stories. Many like them. So much, that they actually persuaded him to publish them. They’re coming out in a month or so.

After a while we said goodbye and left.
I was the driver. My brother and I got home around eight. Well, he did. I had to continue for 45 minutes to get to my home.
I felt tired but pleased.

I wonder what would I would be doing if I had stayed at home.

No pictures today, sorry. Too many in the past, says Blogger. I'll try to fix that. Be patient. Okay? Thanks.

Monday, 3 May 2010


Tomorrow I'm going tto start with imperative in grade six. You know, the structure (even if it's almost too simple to be called that) for giving orders and instructions. Like they listen to orders. Or instructions. Huh! Okay, most of them do. The loud ones don't and they give the wrong impression of the class.

There is this material in the textbook. Like "be quiet! or "do your homework" and "tidy up your room" and o on. Good. A bit boring, though, isn't it?

So I thought I might use something to just break the monotony. I hate monotony. Children don't like it either. Besides, it doesn't work.

I found this great video, full of imperatives (among other things). I'm sure they will like it, but how much will they understand.

I think I'll just let them listen two or three times (not in a row) and then try to get some feedback. I'm sure they will remember three or four imperatives. Many more, some of them. And the rest will (hopefully) remember what imperative is all about.

So - what do YOU think?

Imperative in music

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Highlights of the Week

  • We cleaned Slovenia in one day - Saturday 17th - at least that was the title of the whole action. The organizers expected about 200 000 people to take part, 250 000 turned up. Cleaned a lot of mess. I felt proud of all of us doing such a great job and ashamed at the same time: what's the matter with us? Tyres, shoes, beer cans (the winners!), plastic bags, gloves, yoghurt carton - I mean how on earth does somebody decide to just throw these things away by the road? And into the ditch? And in the bushes? Where everything could (and should) be nice and clear!

  • My head doesn't give me a break. I've had a headache for about a week - not all the time, but it sure comes by every single day and stays for hours. When I complained about it (I was seen taking an Aspirin), my colleagues said I was getting old. We laughed about it, but they weren't joking really.

  • I almost got a 900€ fine because of bad tyres. Our car is only six months old! I actually have to pay 150€ for something else (thanks, officer!). I'll buy new tyres tomorrow. I wanted to on Tuesday, but it is written in the car's papers that it need tyres that can take 240 kmph! Geez! We only own a Chevrolet Aveo (yes, just like this one, only usually it's dirtier and it has beige interior) and we live in Slovenia! I'm not allowed to drive over 130 kmph anywhere! And if I were, I couldn't! Because this is me and because our car doesn't go that fast

  • My son asked me to teach him some more English, saying: "Will we study English together, mum? I really don't think I'm learning much at this school of ours." It warmed my heart. This is not that child of mine you know, who studies English and Slovene at the university, but the other one who barely passed many of his English tests in primary school! And failed some of them. I wanted to help him, but he always started preparing for the next test one day before (wouldn't listen to his nagging mum who knew nothing about it anyway) and it was often too late. He doesn't have any problems with it now at age 18 (his grade is usually 4 or 5 out of 5), and he has actually realized it would be good to know more of it. I'm making a plan for him...

  • It's Earth Day. Two of my colleagues studied geography at the university (one of them majored in history and teaches history now) and today is actually their birthday! How cool is that? At our school you alway get a flower for your birthday (in a pot) and the B-day people usually bring something good to eat. Same today.

  • I have finally learned to hit the target from 55 metres. The target, I say, not the yellow part of it, although that happens sometimes, too. And the bowstring only hurts my forearm once or twice in two hours. And because of different anchoring (due to the distance), even my nose is safe. Yay!

  • Due to the national holdays next week (27th April and 1st May) we are having a week off - Spring break, so to say. So this is the afternoon before the last working day for some time. Yay again!
Let that be all for now. It's been a sleepy lazy week - I have no idea why, but I'm trying to improve :) I'm planning to put some things in order next week. Till then!

Monday, 12 April 2010

A Special Day

Lying in my bed - not mine, really, but you get it - I was trying to comprehend what had just happened. I was just a silly girl, I felt quite serious and yet immature, responsible, but rather childish in a way. Not much different from the sixteen-year-old that I used to be and definitely not much different from that eighteen-year-old I was just two years before.

And yet, they trusted me with this tiny little being that I had just brought to this world. Should I feel guilty? Wasn't it irresponsible to do so? No matter how I should feel, I know I felt blessed. I thought I would be exhausted, but my eyes wouldn't close. They remained wide open almost till morning. Too much to take in.

Her first moments were so special: She just looked around as though she wanted to say: "So that's what it looks like out here..." A hiccup, a sneeze, no crying, no fuss...

A childbirth - an event so common in the existance of the mankind and yet it is so special in every woman's life. A new step in her life, no matter the circumstances.

Wondering if it shoud happen sooner or later, does not really matter. Should you wait till you have a job? And a house to live? Should you hurry and not wait till you're thirty or forty? So that you do not have a teenager when you're over fifty? Is it better to be a young mommy - not too serious - or a bit older - and more mature?

Whatever is better I know one thing: this particular child could be only born at that time, right? Genetics and stuff... And she has always been my sunshine... Wouldn't change her for anything.

As a small child she could always surprise me. As only little children can. I remember one day (she was about to get a brother, so she wasn't three yet), drawing and asking me:

"Mum, why do we have bell buttons?"
"Well, when the baby is inside, they cannot eat, so there is this cord from mum to the baby. That's where the baby gets the food."

She draws and after a moment or two she adds:

"But then chicks don't have belly buttons, do they?"

I never had to help her with her homework... and yet, we sometimes "study together" now that she's at the university... I'm glad to listen to the stuff I should know but have forgotten... How many mums can have that pleasure? And this is just one of the many little things I like about her.

She's all grown up now. She thinks with her own mind - as she always has and as I've always wanted her to. I don't always like her opinions... but that's anoher story. I'm not supposed to, right?

The only problem now is - what should I get her for her birthday? I'll try to cook something nice (but that's not a present yet), but I'm not much of a cook...

I'll try to think of something. However successul or unsuccessful I may be, I do wish you



Sunday, 11 April 2010

A New Life

Wonderful news came on Thursday: one of my nieces has just had a daughter!

My mum has 12 grandchildren and now, at the age of 70, she has the first great-grandchild.

My niece is only a year older than my daughter. It lets me know that time is flying, but so does everything else around me. This baby girl is the first in the next generation. As I remember my own childhood, I also remember that of my children and their cousins. We talk about one incident or another with nostalgia. The very clever things one or the other said, how naughty they could be sometimes and how they made us laugh. If there was a confirmation or a first communion, one of the ways of celebrating was also a small and cosy concert - by my brother and his daughters and anyone that was willing to sing along - my sister's daughters or my kids. In summer my kids sometimes had some holidays at my mum's and they pulled out the couch and some five or six kids slept there - not because of lack of space, mind you. Things like that. It happens that one of my children or myself start a sentence: "Remember that time when..." and say something about one of the cousins and the time they spent together.

Well, one of them is a mommy now. Not the oldest one. And the baby is called Julija (pronounce: Yuhliyah). And my not yet 45-years old brother is a grandpa and the granny, his wife, is even younger (41) and there are FIVE new aunts and so on and so on. What am I? I guess I'm a great aunt like from one of Charles Dickens' novels... My daughter couldn't wait for this baby to be born and was and is very very happy to hear about her. The only thing tat annoys her now is... she is still just a cousin... of her mum... well, it's still so nice to know abut that little princess, isn't it?

(Julija on her granddad's blog)

Thursday, 1 April 2010

April Fool

- Did you hear about the Pisa tower? my colleague asked me... It has collapsed!
- No kidding! Collapsed?
- Yes, I heard it on the news this morning
- On the news? Wow!
- But then, of course, they have something like tis every year...
- DANG! It dawned on me... Of course! How din't I get it right away...?!

And he smiled naughtily... Hey, you got me there... and yes, it was on the news... for suckers like me.

But then I decided that was it. I was sure the kids would try something, so it was good to be ready.

It was the fifth graders that made a plan.

We come to the classroom and the tiniest the shyest girl says: Teacher, I don't have my English stuff with me today, I took Social studies!

Me too...Me too - it was echoing from every single one in the class. Aawww, I thought to myself..How cute! They can actually do it with a straight face! Good for them!

Never mind, I said calmly, I will just give each of you a piece of paper, dictate you a short text and mark the dictation. It will only be good to have one grade more, you don't have so many...

Oh, I found my book, said one of them and soon all the stuff was on their desk. Everybody was ready to work.

Except for this one girl. She was sitting her head in hands and her friend told me she was feeling sick.
Well, I told her, if you are not well, go to our counsellor and there you can decide what to do and if you are alright, just remain here. Saying this, I turn to my computer to find the right audio clip as I catch a glimpse of one of the students prompting to this "sick" girl to do something.

In the very next moment the sick girl falls from her chair and lies on the floor.

I turn to the brain of this "scam" saying: I must admit few people can faint at request! Wow!

They laughed and we continued our lesson.

I must say I like them a lot. Mind you, they are only ten!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

There's a First for Everything

Something funny happened to me today.

I teach chilren from 9 to 14 years of age. They go from one classoom to another as their timetable tells them. I don't really look at my timetable a lot. It is full and I know which classes I have and it doesn't really bother me when I have them. Things often change, you see, because of some extra events or some teachers missing due to ilness - either their own or of their kids at home.

Anyway, I took a glimpse at the timetable in the staff room after the second lesson today and noticed something weird: I was supposed to teach not one class, but two, in the third lesson.

I tried to find our pincipal assistant, but she was not available. I tried to think of something, but there wasn't enough time. Of course it was an error and I should have seen it earlier, but I hadn't even looked at the timetable, as I mentioned above.

Little choice did I have. I saw no solution to the problem, so I went upstairs, opened the door to the eighth-graders, opened the next door to our 5-th graders and taught them all.

I gave the older ones a text and a task. A few instructions and I left for a while.
We discussed animals with the younger ones. Some textbook exercises, workbook exercises, oral exercises and a written text to put together. Not a long one: they had to write 4 sentences each to describe an animal and we tried to guess which animal it was.

I went here and there and everyone did everything. My only concern really was that it was against regulations - the children shouldn't be left alone... Well, what can you do.

The lesson went by, I met the principal assistant, she showed me how I could have easily switched classes with another teacher (but nobody saw it then), but everything was fine.

In the end there was another result of this kinda funny situation: For the next lesson I didn't have class - I had a free lesson, which I never do. I relaxed, had a coffee and gathered some energy for the two lessons that followed.

Thursday, 25 March 2010


Do you ever ask yourself where we are going? If we actually know the way? Why we keep doing the same things every day? And if the new things that we do really improve our lives?

Why we do the dusting when the dust keeps gathering in a thin layer everywhere anyway?
Why try to make the children understand things when they clearly show you day after day they don't really want it?
Why cook when you eat the stuff in like five minutes and all there's left is dirty dishes and a mess in the kitchen? Why am I going to do that again in a few hours and tomorrow?
Why keep playing games when other beat my score and leave me far behind? And if I were them, what difference would it make?

It's like a day, this life of ours. When I go to bed in the evening, will I say it has been a good one? And what will the morning be like?

I'm kind of philosophical today, can't help it.

I don't have a car this week, it's being repaired. It had some ugly scratches and since it's new (November, I think), I had it repaired. On the expence of the insurance.

So I had a nice walk this morning to my colleague's home and then she took me to work. And on my way, I saw a string, some 3 metres long, on the pavement (sidewalk in AmEng :D ) :

When I came closer, I realized it was alive! See?

So I took my phone, took two shots and e-mailed them to myself so I could send them to one of our biology teachers later. And now I'm putting them here.

Where are they going? I'm not going to lose any sleep over this, but it really astonishes me. And how did they agree on the destination? Wow!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Wind Day

Not my photo - click on it for the source.

Remember, I've told you about the wind we have here. The wind that sometimes stops the traffic. They simply put the sign and you can't go on here, but have to choose a slower option - if you drive a car, that is - if you're a lorry driver, you have to park your vehicle somewhere and wait. For a few hours, usually, in this case it will be at least over night. Poor guys, those lorry drivers - from all sorts of places - Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, Lithuania, you name it. And they have to stop here and wait. It's freezing. They will get some hot drink and maybe food, but still. No life to envy.

Some of them do not wan to wait, but get around that sign somehow. Not a good idea.

Not my photo - click on it for the source.

I know it's his fault, so to say, but still. I wish so much it hadn't happened! The 40€ fine he will have to pay for not obeying the instructions is the least he has to worry about now. Thanks god he's from Croatia and not from some far away country!

Better safe than sorry, said this Polish man. Good thinking!

Not my photo - click on it for the source.

And why "wind day"?

As you have snow days, the kids around here are having a "wind day" tomorrow.

The forecast is that the wind will reach the speed of over 200 kmph tomorrow and it will not be safe to drive around and it may tear off some roofs. The kindergartens and schools will be closed. They actually announced "red alert" on TV and the radio. I have never heard that term in connection with the wind.

BTW - I do not teach HERE, but 6 km away, where the climate is so much different (so much quieter) that the school will be open and the classes will go on as usually. LOL.

Monday, 8 March 2010


I am not at home, but luckily, my nieces live close to my mum, so they could (and did) bring her some tulips for today. I just called her at the occasion. And my aunt - I called her, too. In the staff room there were these small chocolates in the morning for us, ladies. And a basket with daffodils in the middle of that big table. They really enlightened the room. And later each of us got a primula (in a flower pot!) to take home. Actually, I'm going to take mine into the classroom.

And what is the occasion, you may ask... Women's Day! Congrats to all the women of the planet (I know, I know ... only few read this blog). Best wishes!

Monday, 1 March 2010


Whose view is it anyway?

I tried to write a few kinda humorous posts. I've written two. I guess the second one was not understood that way. As I explained in the first one, I do not mean to offend anyone. And the second one - well of course I don't believe all that. But it REALLY IS the picture people get if they turn their own mind of... Which I don't. Sorry if that wasn't clear from the writing. I must say I expected some objections or... something. I still wonder what the view of us from "over there" is. Never mind.

Take care.

Till next time then.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Americans From Over here, part II

Very early in the child's education it becomes clear who is cool and who isn't. This evolves into more specific personal traits and soon you can realize who is the loser, who is the geek and who is the bitch. And there are the weird ones as well. These precious characteristics are well nurtured untill they reach the peak in high school. The most important role of high school (okay, apart from education) is to traumatize the kids so much that they either give up or are prepared for anything that awaits them in their lives. Maybe not the "traumatizers", but even they, some time later on a shrink's couch find out that they were wrong half their life ago and are suddenly not so okay with that any more. Or, some subjects even live high school all their lives and continue their intrigues in everyday routine and (particularly!) at every reunion. College itself could seriously lack this kind of hierarchy, so fraternities were invented. And sororities, of course. You have to be cool enough to get in, besides you have to bare the humiliation of the initiation and finally you earn the right to do the same to others. Wow!

Well, an American can get married in church no matter how many times they have been divorced. Or choose a rabin for the job, whether Jewish or not. AND ... they can pay so much money for the wedding that they could easily buy a house with it. AND they can live with the fact that they have paid so much. And without that house sometimes. And marriage... well marriage is marriage...I've known all sorts of them. But when it comes to

... that's another story. There are RULES. About asking someone out. Not asking them out. Calling, not calling. Calling ... when? The dates are numbered and certain things can be done on the first date, others on the second, and so on. I'll call you - this was a lie even before he said it. How do you know how important the date is to her? How much time has she spent making herself prettier and how far up has she shaved her legs - that says everything.

And meeting people? Just go to a bar and you'll get somebody's phone number. With the right approach, of course. Maybe a good pick-up line. I got some of those in my mailbox years ago, not sure why: Your last name must be Gillette - you're te best that can happen to a man. Does any woman actually fall for that? Or: Did the sun just come out or did you smile at me? Should any of this indicate that this man is charming, witty and intelligent?

Not to mention blind dating. My boyfriend's best friend is such a nice guy why don't we go on a double date? Hallo? And the best is yet to come: Is he tall? What does he do? Is he handsome? asks the same woman that insisted she was by no means shallow only a few minutes ago.

Besides, who can honestly expect to meet someone for a drink or a cup of coffee or even go for a dinner with that someone - and KNOW? Know if they are meant to be together? He's trying to impress her, she's trying to impress him, they say all sorts of things they wouldn't if they weren't so nervous and some of them are obviously not true. How can you tell someone your job is actually quite different from what you said in the beginning - simply because you thought she would like your made up job better? And so on and so on... Dating is also the most regulkar topic of any converstaion among friends, as well as sex... how long has it been now? Over two months? Jeez, we must get you someone! And blind dating it is again whether you want it or not, because your friends want to help you out of such distress, not to mention frustration.

I guess about 90% of adult life revolves around mating, one way or another.

And Americans don't really break up. Sometimes they get dumped or dump the other one, true, but the tendency nowadays is to start seeing other people. Now figure that out if you can!

And when successful dating leads to a proposal, it should be loving, charming and ORIGINAL. Come on! Countless men have proposed to their ladies, what do you think you can think of to be absolutely new? Organize a dinner and a special dessert in the end on which she can break a tooth if something goes wrong? A plane in the sky with a giant flier? And risk she'll by any chance be in the bathroom when it is in the air to be seen? Or asking her on a big screen at the stadium and have her filmed while she says ... what? She said NO?

Jeez... if she loves you, just ask her... If you do it in a public place anywhere in America, you know, you will probably get a standing ovation!

In a marriage, if everything goes well, a baby is brought into this world. The mommy to be is rushed into the hospital and all the relatives are notified that it has started. Half of them come to the hospital. One or two with a camera to film the event, even if they have to shoot some parts that are usually kept private and they would otherwise never get the chance to see. Sometimes the mommy objects to that, successfully... or not.
Or, if it's a false alarm, everybody is sent home and they take it as a drill. For the day when it really happens.

And so we get to the choosing of the name. Hey, we've been there! Let me stop here, then. Till next time.


Americans From Over Here

I'm going to write here what Americans look like to us from far away (but hey - what's "far" in the age of the internet?). I will do so after reading a few times that some people like hearing about our (meaning MY) view or learning of another culture (yeah yeah). I DO NOT MEAN TO INSULT ANYONE, but if you feel offended, please say so and we'll discuss the offensive matter. Besides, all we know about the Americans (most of it, anyway) we know from TV. It's like you made tons of films and series about yourselves and sent it to the rest of the world. If you don't like the picture we have - well, don't complain about the eyes that are looking at it - send the complaint to the artist!

An American family had to have a station wagon. The best ones used to have a broad line of a wood imitation of some kind on the sides. And all the men used to have pick-ups. GAS? They measure it in gallons anyway, so that the number is smaller than it would be here, so... who cares? And if not a station wagon, the car still had to be the size of a smaller boat and the gas stations not too far apart.
Things have changed, of course. The station wagons have evolved into big sedans and the pick-ups into SUV-s. And they must all be very efficient (so that the SUV-s are friendlier to nature, LOL). All sorts of other cars have always co-existed, of course, but strictly divided into those for kids, for girls, for single men and so on. You have to have SOME kind of order so that you know who's who, right?

All kinds of it: chicken burger, hamburger, cheeseburger, tunaburger... a boloney sandwich, pizza, spaghetti.... any of these can be a regular dinner. Sure they actually cook as well (I'm sure many of them are much better cooks than I am) but after scrambled eggs or corn flakes for breakfast (or some cereals with plenty of sugar), a sandwich and an apple for lunch, any of the above can be a meal for the evening.

Holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas - that's a different story altogether. All the recipes passed through generations find their way into freedom to celebrate the death of a giant bird (no, no, I know, it's to express gratitude to be able to survive after that first winter), the stuffings are not stuffings any more, each one can be a dish to be served separately, cranberry sauce is also a must... besides eating too much, this is also a perfect occasion for a mother in law - daughter in law competition.

And what do they do with all that food? Eat it for another month?

This brings me to the next point - sport. Football rules. Thanksgiving is the evening when men watch it on TV restlessly, and the women in the house just have to bear it because it's tradition. Football? How can they call THAT football? The ball hardly touches any of the feet in the field. The men are just huge tackling machines, padded in all possible places so that they don't get hurt (but they still do sometimes). Besides, they just stand there, giving each other some funny signs, then one of them runs for a few metres if lucky (okay okay, yards, then) and then - THEY STOP! And they keep stopping ALL THE TIME! They never just play. It's WAIT - ACTION - STOP! Come on!
Or do they watch baseball on Thanksgiving..., no, I don't think so. Baseball... I won't even go there. If I ever grasped the rules, I might even find it interesting.
Anyway, sport is so important that when an American child takes up a sport, it's all about hard work, struggle, beating the opponent, not losing or (God forbid!) quitting. And there is another reason why I couldn't possibly be a part of an American sports team: I can't imagine myself, sitting in the locker room and the coach giving a very inspirational speech - I would probably remember a film or two (or three hundred) and start laughing loudly. But hey, if it works, it works.

Americans don't care about names much. They give their children names, but then they just use the initials. There are plenty of T.C.-s, C.J.-s, J.R.-s and so on. It's only a good thing that they have a mddle name. Can you imagine those kids only being called T or C or J.? The parents who don't like the initials so much, just call their son Junior or Major or Soldier. Girls not so much. Some parents even use the names altogether. Weird, huh?

OKAY, this is getting WAY too long. And there is so much more! Hope it amuses you! As most of my followers fall into this "category", I will be glad of your feedback. How wrong am I? And turn the mirror into my direction, if you like. I can laugh at myself.


Thursday, 25 February 2010

Go Tina!

I'm not writing much these days, lazy me!
I'm on a winter break and, as I said,
I'm being extremely lazy.

Apart from other things (I have actually started writing some plans for school) I watch Vancouver Olympic games.
And this day has not left me indifferent, I expected the second race of giant slalom nervously.
Our great skier Tina Maze ended on the fifth place yesterday.
She had already won one silver. What will she do today?
Sitting on the couch and pacing nervously from time to time brought back many nmemories when of my childhood when skiing was so much more popular here. In the time of Stenmark Slovenia (Yugoslavia in those days, but they were all from Slovenia anyway) had many good skiers and we even watched TV at school sometimes, yelling our good wishes.

Tina is not only a good athlete, she is also a very nice girl with one of the cutest smiles and we all crossed our fingers for her. If she doesn't win another medal, that's okay, she already has one, she's been "a good girl" already. Half of her hometown is cheering by the slope (well, maybe not half.. but a LOT) and whatever happens, happens.

When it's her turn I don't know whether I should watch or go away. I remember my mum always going to the kitchen when our skiers started. I stay. I watch. She's good. The next few competitors show how good she really was...

Another silver for Tina!
(3rd medal for Slovenia)

Congratulations, you deserve it!

(Click on the photo for the source)

Sunday, 21 February 2010

First Candle

It's time for the first candle on my blog's birthday cake. Worth lighting? You be the judge to that.

First I had to choose a name for it. I had a blog in Slovene, called "Out of my head", but that seemed taken already in English. I tried a few possibilities, and quite liked this one. I still think it's quite appropriate.

First I thought I'd write a little something more or less every day. As a writing exercise, sort of, as I'm saying in my profile. But also to somehow process the things that provoke me and make me think. The things that make me happy or worried. Or to tell things I just think would be interestig to others.

Since February 2009 I have also had some lazy periods when I simply didn't write much. Just how it is. But lately, I have been so busy and tired that I can easily say it was the reason why there are so few posts. I have finished some work now and loooking ahead for a one week break (Yaaay!) and hoping to write a little bit more.

Anyway, this is just a regular me, sitting here and typing (or not). If you feel like it, just stir some more thoughts with me.

A nice day and happy blogging to everyone!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Freaking Crazy Olympics!

ACCIDENT seems to be the main theme of this year's olympics... sad, isn't it?

The luge athlete flew out of the track hitting his head so badly hat he died.

(not my photo, click to get to the original page)

The fact that everything was unprotected - no padding, nothing - couldn't play any role there - or could it? True, the speed was enormous and it might not have helped... but in fact, we will never know.

Anja Pearson, a great athlete everyone even slightly interested in skiing knows hit a lump of snow in the middle of the slope where everythig should be smooth and flew into the air, landed hard and got away with only a bruise.

(not my photo, click to get to the original page)

Glad to hear she is not seriously injured. Was that her own fault as well? You should have watched out, Anja!

A terrific cross country skier Petra Majdic who came to these Olympics with hopes for a medal,went to warm up, fell into a hole on an unprotected part of the track (why protect anything, who cares...), three metres deep, onto rocks, broke her skis, but wanted to start the race anyway.

(not my photo, click to get to the original page)

Want to see it on video? Click here.
Or rather here (+ click "play" of course) since it has been removed from that first link due to a copyright claim by International Olympic Committee.

A turning like this + world's best nordic skiers - WHAT DID THEY EXPECT??!

She did, she won a bronze medal and is everybody here is thinking of her today: she competed with four broken ribs and has punctured lungs now and cannot enter any other events.

(again, not my photos - click)

CONGRATULAIONS, Petra - and get well soon!

I know this post is badly put together - I'm just p....d off with the terrific Vancouver organizers of whom we expected better.

Best of luck, dear athletes and TAKE CARE...

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Random Stirrings of My Thoughts

Can I say "random stirrings"? Who cares, I just have.

I remained speechless yesterday. Literally. I had a very sore throat the day before and yesterday I hardly had any voice. My son found that very amusing. I didn't. My MS said the kids at school would like it a lot. No such luck! My voice is back, at least most of it. The rest will be back before tomorrow morning. That's how teachers are sick, you know - during holidays and weekends! Even my kids did that when they were little!

After being careful not to fry food too often we've had fried steaks (Wienerschnitzl) for the third Sunday in a row... I have a week now to think of something else. Not that we don't like them - it's one of the few foods I know for sure I won't be throwing away afterwards.
And about ten minutes after lunch the dishes were washed, dried and put away. Yay for me!

I don't spend much time on Facebook. I just check it very now and then - can be twice in a day or a few dozen times, doesn't matter, it really doesn't take much of my time. But I found a new use for it! Its functionality can be unbelievable! A twelve-year-old can actually ask you about schoolwork after a day of absence! Can you believe it? Of course I was more than glad to tell him what we did at English that morning!

A group of eighth-graders can be annoying, noisy, lazy and more than typical teenagers and still have great ideas and give some initiative for more work! Paradox? May be, but I'll try it out anyway... They suggested we should put on a school play. Okaaay... let's give it a try! Almost all the roles are assigned, the text is being written, will there actually be a final result? I'll keep you posted on that.

I'm enjoying the break that university studens have. I actually see my daughter much more than usually. Awww... so nice!

My mum had my sister at the age of twenty-two, my sister had her first daughter when she was twenty, I had mine at the age of twenty, today... they have more common sense, I guess! Anyway, my mum is quite a young great-grandma to be. My niece is having a baby in April and my mum is 70. As a part of this wheel of life going round and round, we had lunch with my mum yesterday - she made it for us - my son, my daughter, my daughter's boyfriend and me. My mum invited us in order to meet this young man. Lunch was nice, the talking was nice (without me, more or less), the day was nice...

I have to complete and submit the application for a project - the funding, I mean - will you keep your fingers crossed for it? I learned not so many applicattions were successful as I thought. But ours is good! Right?

For the project we had a visit from Spain. I hadn't googled the town and region well enough before the visit andf it surprised me a little that the ladies were not actually Spanish, but Catalan. Don't go studying at the Barcelona university to learn Spanish! It's not really their language! The teachers? So so nice and open. We spent wonderful time together and we had a farewell party n the night before they left and it was like only old friends were there - the food, the singing, the whole atmosphere....

It's Sunday and after posting this I will still be sitting at this PC of mine (I feel like I should give it a name) and do some work for school. How did that happen? Have no idea. At least I hope I will feel well prepared tomorrow morning.

Make the best of the rest of the weekend!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Culture Day

It's so nice when the weekend becomes a little longer than usual. I love it. It's only one day, but still. And why is that?

See, it's all about this man:


Show this picture to any school kid in Slovenia, they will know who this is. Our greatest poet. Has any of your poets given you a day off from work? Does that exist in any other country?

Okay, it's not only about him. It is Culture Day on 8th February. There are celebrations, cultural events, free entrance to galleries and so, and - we don't go to work or school. That's it! A national holiday.

We're a small nation, we sometimes say. And soon someone will correct that statement, saying we are not small, but there are really few of us. The population of Slovenia is about 2 000 000. Quite a few cities have higher populaton than that, right? And we live on a not too large teritory. As you can imagine, our nation and language have been influenced by all our neighbours. The Italians - they occupied a great part of our land for almost thirty years. My dad was in an Italian school at the age of six. When he spoke the only language he could speak, his teacher took his cane and slapped his fingers. He was supposed to be quiet untill he learned some Italian. In other parts and other times Slovenes were supposed to use German in public life.

Well, the man in the picture above had a rich uncle who helped him get his education. His family were hoping for a priest, but he somehow became a lawyer. But he didn't want to practice in German, so he coludn't get a government job.

Apart from that, he was a poet.

He showed the Germans that our language was perfectly suitable for high poetry, just like any other. Not just the peasants' language as they named it. He wrote a lot of poetry, most of it sonnets. I like them. And even if someone says that they prefer another poet, his value was in that (at least as I see it) that he wrote all that without having seen anything like it ever written in our language before.

Among other things, he wrote a toast. Titled "A Toast". Okay, so he liked to drink. But this poem was a real poem, not just some drinking verses.

I'll just ut the eighth verse here, the one that we proclaimed our antheme:

Živé naj vsi naródi, God's blessing on all nations,
ki hrepené dočakat dan, Who long and work for that bright day,
da, koder sonce hodi, When o'er earth's habitations
prepir iz svéta bo pregnan, No war, no strife shall hold its sway;
da rojak Who long to see
prost bo vsak, That all men free,
ne vrag, le sosed bo mejak! No more shall foes, but neighbours be.

Like it? I do. And I think it's right that we celebrate the Culture Day. Because culture is, in a way, what has kept this nation through history. And I think it's right that we celebrate it on a day, connected with this man.

The only thing that puzzles me is: why didn't they choose his birthday? Why do we celebrate it on the day he died?

Sunday, 17 January 2010

In TOP 10

Some of you already know of my hobby. It's archery. I like it so much that I pursue it although it takes quite a lot of time and in spite of the injuries it causes.

Injuries? Well, there is tis nasty looking black-purple-yellow-blue spot on my left forearm from the bow string. But I have learned to hold my bow properly, so that should not happen any more in the future. Good.

Then there was this bruise on my left hand, caused by the rest constantly hitting against it. Convinced that I am clumsier than everybody else (I still think that I probably am), I tried to learn to shoot more correctly untill my son and my Main Squeeze figured out it was actually a left-hand rest, put together in a way that enabled you to install it on a right-nad riser. Only that it then bruised your hand. The joint between the thumb and the hand which had constantly been beaten before is almost healed now. Good.

And then there is the most inconvenient injury of all - my nose. Yep, NOSE.

I must be doing something wrong and hte string scratches my nose so badly that it begins to bleed. Almost at the tip, slightly to the right. Doesn't look nice. And once I must have pulled the string and let it hit the nose almost directly and then there was this bleeding little spot in the middle of the right side of my nose. When it healed, it was sitting there waiting to meet the bowstring so it could bleed again. And again.

Anyway, I still decided to go to a competition. It counts for the Slovenian Cup and there you can also qualify for the national championship.

Some people say you should definitely go to competitions. I knew I was not good, but I thought it would be interestiong. Fun. So I went.

And if you're in good company - my Main Squeeze, my daughter, her boyfriend (also competing), my niece, ma MS's niece, others from our club - what more could you possibly ask for?

Want to see some photos? Here:

A woman getting ready to shoot. Yep, me:

And shooting:

The competitors checking their hits and writing the scores while the referees are monitoring and helping if necessary:

And... Oh dear!

My finger is on the OUTSIDE of my nose, pleeease! My poor nose! Protected with a strip of adhesive bandage, but still! My daughter jumped at the opportunity to take a photo of me while touching my nose.

I needed to score 370 (what? points? rings? rounds? just 370? help me with vocabulary, please) out of 600 to qualify for the national championship. I didn't believe I would and I didn't. That was not the point. I wanted to see what such a match looked like from the competitor's point of view. And I liked it.

I won't put any photos here that I do not have the permission to - let me just tell you that my daughter's boyfriend was much better. He scored 453! I think that is very good! Well done!

True, we were both on 10th place in our category, only he left 10 competitors behind and I left none. Well, next time, maybe.

And there are other competitions. I can still qualify next week or on 13th February. Next week is too soon, but IF I feel I'm good enough in the beginning of February, I just might attend that other one. I'll see. I'm not going to that competition as I went to this one when I was probably the most light-hearted archer on scene. And, as I said - I liked it.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

New Year Wish

I wish you all the best - self understood, isn't it? All the things you wish for, all the little joys that make your moments more pleasant,everything that makes you happy.

But what would I make my special wish this year? Let me see.

Let me show you a picture here. I have already written once - somewhere other than here - that this is my favourite monument. Do you have a fav among monuments? I'm not a monument fan or anything, it's just that this one really pegged it right on thr head!

It was built in memory of an important priest. He was a voice of reason, also teaching people economics and playing the role of a patron to some of them.

You know what such monuments usually say? There is a verse or maybe something from the bible, can be quite poetic sometimes and then people think those deep thoughts trying to find out whether they agree with them or not.

Not this one:

It is located in a town in Slovenia and the message on it is quite simple:

"Let's pray for common sense."

That is my wish for this world - common sense, plenty of it, we need it!

All the other wishes will be closer to their realisation if this one comes true, don't you think? No trading big and truly meaningful issues for the ego of the mighty ones, no selling the show and image to people when they need the right information, no leaving anyone behind just to please the ones in the front rows, no buying weapons where people die of hunger and... you get it, I'm sure. I'll stop here or you'll need a shovel to dig yourselves out of all I say here.

So whenever you hear of people doing something mean convinced they are absolutely right and entitled to do it and you shake your heads in disbelief, that's exactly what I mean - common sense, that's what this world is missing.

Doesn't sound festive enough? Sorry that's me - I love you all, truly, but to be honest, I'm a clumsy person, I suck at celebrating, still wishing the best to each and everyone.