Scottish Late Summer

On the bus. It’s mid-September. In Edinburgh. 9 degC and it’s raining. Of course.

It’s is grey, dirty and ugly.

Having just returned from Montenegro which is a paradise on earth I’m struggling to get used to my Scottish daily misery again.

I promised to my husband I would stop complaining about the weather. It is as it is and that’s it, he says. Kind of right but… I am not from here and I am not cool about winter in summer. Agree though that I must stop complaining as the fact that I wake up with unhappy face is annoying for myself even so how very annoying it must be for my husband?

anyway, as of today I will do my best to try to find this one thing every day that makes Scotland beautiful and worth cheering about.

today’s thing is: GREEN.

There is so much greenery here, so many different shades and types of green. It actually is beautiful (however looks millions types better in sunshine ūüėČ

Have a great day everybody.

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Why I think David Cameron is bi-polar.

Just a few months ago, it was bad, very bad to separate Scotland from the rest of the UK. Better Together campaign won (just). Their arguments were for historical and economic advantages, bigger and stronger greatness of Britain and generally that it is always better to be bigger than smaller and to have a Queen.

You know my view on the above so I will not repeat myself.

But how is it possible that the exact same people who raised arguments against Scottish independence now turn them completely around and use them to support an exit of the UK from the EU! What has changed?

I put together a small table to illustrate the bi-polarism of David Cameron and the British conservatives and their supporters:

True of False?
David Cameron’s view in a context of:
Scotland’s Independence UK exit from the EU
1. Decisions about Scotland/UK are best made by the people who live here no yes
2. Scotland/UK can be a successful country in its own right no yes
3. An independent Scotland/UK would make decisions that reflected Scottish/British priorities no yes
4. Independence would be a declaration of confidence in Scotland/UK and our nation no yes
5. Scotland/UK could set its own welfare priorities no yes
6. Scotland/UK could adopt a different immigration policy no yes
7. Scotland/UK will continue to have good relationships with the rest of UK/EU but on a more equal basis no yes
8. Being in an Union for many years creates a bond. Scotland/UK is in it for good and for bad. yes no
9. Being part of the bigger economic area is good yes no
10. Jobs security and jobs creation at risk yes no
11. Major projects continuity at risk yes no
12. Prices could rise yes no
13. Scotland/UK benefit from UK/EU research funding yes no
14. Scotland/UK would have less influence in the world yes no
15. Military security is better handled on a UK/EU-wide basis yes no

Friday finally!

I am so very non active here! Sorry!
But…It is Friday and I got up early and now have 5 minutes to share with you my thoughts.

The day is glorious here in my new home – Scotland.
in fact, last 3 days were glorious too. It feels so good to feel sunshine on your face. This country needs sun and I truly hope the global warming is going to affect this land:-)

Going to my first charity event today – Women of Scotland Lunch. We will have a lot of VIP speakers and I am really looking forward to it.

The lunch support Kidney research UK this year.

This charity event is the first one of many I have in plans. the next will be a bit of a challenge as I decided to run 5K during the Edinburgh Marathon. Then…what else? Ah!! Climbing Kilimanjaro in Jan 2016. Please keep your fingers crossed for me.

All, have a great day and a fantastic weekend.

New Year again…

Well, I am surprised. Positively. 20 followers??? What? I do not even write anything anymore. How come?

Anyway, thank you.

Only 3 days left of the 2014 and, naturally, I am looking back. Was it a good year? I guess. I quit my job, moved countries and homes (twice), bought a new car (not really new, 8 years old), established my own firm, got married, went to the honeymoon, gained 3 pounds, prepared Christmas dinner (Scottish style) for 13 people and now writing this post. As you maybe noticed, I gave you an account of my year in a chronological order.

Was it a good year?

I guess it was.

I was told I was pretty, I was told I was ugly, I was told I was smart, I was told I was stupid. I thought to myself I was pretty, I thought to myself I was ugly, I thought to myself I was smart, I thought to myself I was stupid. i was happy and angry, high (in spirit!) and super super low.

Was it a good year?

I guess it was.

Professionally I am on my own, need to get up every morning and need to sell, promote, sell and promote. Is it better or worse than being an employee? I am yet to decide.

In my personal life, I am not on my own. I have someone to kiss me goodnight and someone to kiss my good morning. Someone who loves me. Someone I love. I have someone to laugh with, to cook for, to clean after, someone to listen to, someone to be told off by, someone to be patient with and someone who is patient with me. I have a husband. Someone with whom I should discuss my travelling plans, someone who thinks has a right to tell me what I should do and how. Is it better or worse than being on my own? It is different. Much different. It is better. I have a long way to go though. Compromising has never been my strong point.

Was it a good year?

I guess it was.

What do I wish for in 2015?

I wish I could find peace. Peace of mind. Like now, while writing and listening to an amazingly soothing voice of Mayra Andrade. I wish I could hold onto this feeling forever. Peace is what I wish for.

To all of you who read this – I wish you the same. I wish you peace of mind in 2015.

What is it about California?

I have never wanted to go to California. Having lived in NYC for a while I had a quite¬†ambivalent view on this distant land of sun and sand. My perception¬†fed by fuzzy images of childhood’s TV soap operas and then New Yorkers’ animosities towards the Californians, created a rather repulsive picture of a place where everything and everybody is plastic, fake and dishonest.

On the other hand and somewhat contradictorily to myself I dreamt of going to Hollywood, if not as a rising star, at least as a visitor.

This dream materialised not a long time ago. I was asked to go LA on business. Just for a week. I thought, fine I can survive a week. Reluctantly, I agreed to go.

The very first thing I noticed after landing was an amazing blue skies. The fact that you¬†can actually see the sky¬†without¬†the necessity of bending your neck to the break point, truly shocked me. How much I missed the sky! Back in Poland, starring at the skies and ‘reading’ the clouds was definitely my favourite thing to do. But this was a long long time ago. The reality, the speed of life, the lack of time pushed¬†back the need to just lay down on the grass and watch drifting clouds. Let alone New York, where seeing anything besides the grey massiveness of its architecture is almost¬†impossible.

In LA I rent a car. I thought I ordered quite a big model, however after joining the traffic I realised that my car is the smallest of all by far. How much I love driving, how much I missed it! Even the traffic jam didn’t spoil my fun. I drove a car! I also parked with no problems at all, just in front of my offices. Throughout the whole working week I felt weird. I was not supposed to like that place but I was falling in love with it.

Everything seemed to be completely different to what I expected. The landscape was stunning, the sun was shining and it was warm, pleasantly beautifully warm. Not hot, not freezing cold, not windy, not rainy but just warm. Even people were warmer that elsewhere. To my despair I managed to visit the Malibu Beach and I took a ride through Mullholland Drive. At sunset.

I woke up this morning to a gloomy Scottish November day and I closed my eyes immediately again.

California, I miss you!

Evensong at York’s Minster

York's MinsterLast week, for the first time in my life, I attended the Church of England’s service. Moreover, it was not a standard service, but an evening one with… the choir.

It was fantastic! I experienced close to spiritual emotions. “Close to” as I am not religious and I think that “fully” spiritual emotions can only be experienced by deeply religious people.

The York’s Minster is the most beautiful sacral building I have ever seen in my life. I am just overwhelmed by its beauty. It is so imposing yet welcoming, perfect, grand yet approachable. It is a truly social institution, with distinct, quite “avant-garde” views on society and community (here’s an example: http://www.yorkminster.org/worship-and-choir/same-sex-relationships-and-civil-partnerships.html).
The York Minster proves that perfectionism in form and function do exist. I wish more religious institutions were like this.

5:15pm Wednesday evening prayer was all about the songs. The choir performed a pianissimo introduction, followed by psalms and and hymns. The three lessons we were taught were about mercy and forgiveness. The punishment, however, in case we do not show mercy to our brothers and sisters in faith would be as relevant and measurable as a reward for our good behaviour. If we do not live according to God’s teaching, we will be captured, tortured and eventually killed. Yes, it has been said, we will be killed.

What are the general rules then? Obviously they are not the same for believers and for God. The God can do anything, God can kill and he will still remain the finest, purest, fairest of us all.

Here is where I loose my “spirituality” as I reject double standards and inequality altogether. God imposed an inequality on people and he did it in a very smart way. You cannot stand against Him, you cannot judge Him and you cannot question Him – it is a total tyranny. He, God, can do everything; I, believer, can only do what I am allowed to do. I have to be obedient. In return God will protect me, but if I am not obedient He will destroy me.

The words used in both: old and new testaments are very descriptive and direct. There were small kids in the choir singing: “when the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh…” If it was a film, it would surely be 15+ only. Not in church though; here common sense rules do not apply. Do not question the God, nor his shepherds.

Despite the fact that at times I wished the service would be thought in language I could not understand (Latin?) as I found the content somewhat disturbing, the overall experience was really beautiful.

The choir sang the psalms beautifully, peacefully and gracefully. I felt redeemed.
My sins to-date must have not been too serious…