Spring Joy

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Spring 2020, a time of fear, death and lockdown, was also a time of understanding the value of something as simple as freedom of movement. Perched on my windowsill, I photographed birds, trees and flowers, wishing I could be out there, walk in a park or on a beach, go for a hike, the way I had done countless times before. Once I learned what it felt like to no longer have it, I promised myself to no longer take that sort of pleasure for granted in the future.

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Spring 2022 is also a time of fear, death and freedom appreciation, albeit of a different kind. It’s shaking us to the core, yet again making us question our values and actions. Or at least so it should… although we, humans, seem to have repeatedly failed to learn our lesson.

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Once again, it’s time for coping mechanisms to kick in. I don’t know about you, but I refuse to ignore or deny the harsh reality; at the same time, I’m also trying to keep that small promise I made myself back in 2020, because I do need to find something uplifting to just keep me going, and not going crazy.

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In an attempt to put a smile on your faces and mine, hoping to bring you some joy, I’m going to share some images I’ve captured while trying to escape my own thoughts this spring. Nature’s beauty and innocence can still provide such a soothing refuge… I hope you enjoy them.

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Stay safe, everyone! And instead to endeavouring to return to a kind of “normal” which is exactly the root of our problems, maybe we could learn from our past mistakes.

 

 

Fallen Beauty or What A Difference A Week Makes

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A week used to feel like “forever”, “forever” ago… As a child or teenager, having to be away from my friends for a week or so seemed like a terribly long separation, the end of which was nowhere in sight. A week apart from an adolescent love felt like cruel and unusual punishment, something that might very well be the end of the world. On the other hand, a one week vacation or trip with my friends and/or boyfriend was heaven, the kind of thing that could keep me going for months before and after.

A week could radically and irreparably alter one’s existence and anyone saying it was nothing, it would go by in an instant, was a fool. I was sure of it.

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Now… a week is nothing. It goes by in an instant. I can put up with many uncomfortable situations for a week – that’s just life. I can go by without seeing someone I love for much longer than a week. In fact, after doing long distance for a few years and getting used to it, a week apart can be a much needed break (shhh, don’t tell anyone I said that). And when it comes to time off, a week flies by unnoticed and even if it’s better than nothing, it’s far from enough.

Then… the world becomes what it is today… pandemic… war nearby… and a week suddenly becomes very relevant again. Of course a person’s life can turn upside down in an instant, not to mention a week, but at this point it’s once more painfully clear what a difference a week makes.

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I was so pleased to see this old tree about to bloom a couple of weeks ago. There was something uplifting about it. Spring and nature had once again provided a reprieve from the maddening everyday life.

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A week and a windstorm later, the sight was less uplifting. The blossom was gorgeous. And the tree was dead.

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Several obvious analogies came to mind while photographing the old tree one last time, generally about how deceiving and unreliable appearances can be. “Rotten to the core” kept popping into my mind, probably because of the week’s events and personal experiences.

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Now, however, going through these photos… all I can think is, what a difference a week makes…

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Have a good weekend, everybody, as good as it can be under the circumstances… Make the best of it! Who knows what windstorm is lurking around the corner…

So We Can Still Be Humane – We Are Not Our Leaders

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A little girl turning 7 gets a surprise birthday party in the refugee camp in Siret, a Romanian border town. In the freezing cold March evening there’s cake, balloons, presents and strangers singing Happy Birthday in English, a language the Ukrainian girl most likely doesn’t understand. But judging by the huge innocent smile on her face, she probably understands the feeling behind it. Hopefully she stops being afraid for an instant. Hopefully she forgets the cruel reality and for a moment, she enjoys her birthday, the way any child should.

Of course, part of it was a PR exercise, considering that a certain Ministry posted the video on their Facebook page. But as far as this one is concerned, I couldn’t care less, not as long as these people get the help and support they need. For all I care, take action and do what needs to be done to help during such a crisis and you can boast about it all you want.

A week ago, when this insanity started, out local authorities and politicians, were – of course – unprepared and taken by surprise, in spite of having claimed, days earlier, that they were ready. But average people and NGOs rallied on the spot, so those fleeing to save their lives received the help they needed and deserved. Supplies were gathered and offered to people needing them; transportation and shelter were also being organised, by the same simple, ordinary people, who managed to get the job done, in spite of lacking proper coordination.

I won’t deny it, I was surprised. The pandemic hasn’t exactly strengthened my faith in human kind in general or in the reaction of my own nation in particular. Fortunately, we didn’t f*** this one up. And by we I mean we, the ordinary people. Days later, the authorities finally started to catch up, in their own way… including politicians having their pictures taken next to piles of supplies in the gathering of which they had no merit. That, however, was no surprise. It was only disgusting and revolting, the way they usually are.

But at least we, the ordinary people, also have the freedom to speak our mind, to scream our rightful indignation to anyone willing to listen or post about it on the social media of our choice, without fear of persecution or retribution of any kind. We – well, most of us – are not our leaders, and we can make that clear.

Of course we, the ordinary people, have our own fucked up individuals too, who won’t fail to try and exploit those in need in order to secure financial gain for themselves. Amidst all those offering help – free help – to people in a desperate situation, there were those taking advantage and charging for their services… Fortunately, it seems that those were sad exceptions and not the rule.

From what I see, hear and read about, ordinary people all over the world share common thoughts and feelings about what Ukraine is going through. This, no doubt, has put pressure on certain mechanisms.

I won’t dwell on politicians and their actions for now… I will say this much, though… I can’t imagine any of our politicians, any of our “leaders” act the way the Ukrainian president is these days. As for our mayor… Ha! He’d probably institute a residential parking fee for tanks right before he flees town with the first private helicopter/plane available… that is, unless some “benevolent” dictator offered him a fortune in exchange for his services under a new regime.

So we can still be humane… let’s hope this lasts and the war does not.

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Business as Usual?…

A somewhat hysterical phone call from my mother woke me up… I was going to sleep in, I didn’t have anything planned for the morning. But the personalized ring tone made me jump out of bed, wide awake – whatever that unexpected call was about, it couldn’t be good. All it took was for me to turn on the TV on a news channel in order to find out what had happened… I could guess what she was trying to express, but I didn’t want to believe it was true, even if – as many others – I was expecting it to happen.

Leave it to my mother to make a war in Ukraine all about her… but somehow her personality flaws were irrelevant at the moment, no matter how annoying I found some of her remarks. I offered reassuring arguments and reasonable thinking, and managed to calm her down. However, I was quite surprised with my calm convincing tone… because I didn’t fully believe my own words.

What’s going on over there, with all of you? That’s what I was repeatedly asked by my mother, now an Italian citizen, living in Italy.

I, on the other hand, live in Romania, in a town on the Black Sea coast. Romania’s border with Ukraine is hundreds of kilometres long, part of it in the East, most of it in the North. Suddenly Odessa, also on the Black Sea coast, feels very close. Romania is a former communist country, but was not part of the USSR. Unlike Ukraine, we are a EU and NATO country; there’s a NATO base only a few kilometres away from my town. So while the war feels mind-numbingly close, there’s also a certain feeling of security. But…

But there’s so much history one cannot forget…

But…

My great-grandmother was born during WWI, my grandmother during WWII. My grandfather was a child during WWII. My great-grandfather was a prisoner of war in WWII. My Italian step-father’s grandfather also fought in WWII. My German step-mother’s parents fled their home in East Germany and moved to the western side not long before the Soviet Occupation. The Revolution in December 1989 (I was a child at the time) which put an end to the communist regime here, was nothing compared to what all those people had been through in WWI and WWII.

History becomes more than just a story confined to boring dusty books when you’ve known some of those people. The possibility of your own lifetime and experience becoming that sort of a page in future history books can be horrifying. The knowledge that people just like you are suddenly living it in the country “next door” in this day and age is at the same time surreal, heart-breaking and enraging.

I won’t deny that I find it difficult to structure my thoughts and feelings. All I can say is, I’m writing this not only to voice my anger, but to acknowledge this dreadful situation, to share my disapproval. I’m a pragmatic person, but it’s difficult to stay that way at the moment. While I can agree that avoiding WWIII is certainly the priority, I can’t help feeling that Ukraine and its people are no more than the sacrificed pawn in much bigger a game. Some of us, living in smaller, less significant EU/NATO countries can’t help wondering, who’s next, in spite of troops being deployed, of Article 5 and of political reassurance. Then we pull ourselves together, go to work, go about our daily life, thankful that we do have something to rely on. Business as usual.

Business as usual?

At the same time, thousands of Ukrainians have already arrived at our borders, some traveling further west, some finding shelter here, others having no idea what’s next for them. Over 10000 in one day… While our authorities are bragging about us being ready to receive refugees, the reality is, of course, different… NGOs and locals from border towns have rallied, trying to offer whatever help they can. A volunteer’s words stayed with me, “Of course I’m helping, it could’ve been us.” It probably would have been us as well, had we not been a NATO and EU country…. Like I said, my ideas aren’t exactly well structured…

A friend of mine was almost crying last night during a video call when we were talking about all the broken families, all the people fleeing their homes. She was applying for a passport for her little boy, just in case, she was telling me… I can’t deny that I have had that conversation too, the one about “what if… what if we’re next… are we leaving, and if so, where…” With family in Italy and Germany, at least there are options. So, even if there’s no reason to panic and pack our bags just yet, the reality cannot be denied. It can’t only be, business as usual…

I went on Twitter yesterday – I was curious, even if I rarely use it. People were still promoting their books, talking sports, posting cat photos; only a few of those I was following were talking about… it. Business as usual.

For some, that’s their livelihood; for some, what’s going on in Ukraine is very far away; for some, this is too harsh a reality to take in; for some, this is probably fake news. I can understand all that; and up to a point, I agree that we need to keep moving on with our lives, grateful that we still can do so. But can we not also find the strength to take a good cold look at reality and perhaps accept that the ramifications are much deeper than what happens to a nation that may or may not be nearby, deeper than what happens to our economies?

Is “business as usual” the best we can do?… I fear the answer to this one.

For now, I’ll leave you with some images of the Black Sea, taken in Romania and Bulgaria during calmer times… right now, holding on to hope for calmer times…

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Robert Burns wrote to a friend:

“I myself can affirm, both from bachelor and wedlock experience, that Love is the Alpha and the Omega of human enjoyment. All the pleasures, all the happiness of my humble Compeers, flow immediately from this delicious source. It is the spark of celestial fire which lights up the wintry hut of Poverty, and makes the chearless mansion, warm, comfortable and gay.”

Continue reading “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

February Traditions

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In the early days of this blog, I started a Valentine’s Day tradition. As my little gift to you (it isn’t much, but that’s the best I can do to show my appreciation during what many consider to a holiday of love), you can download my books, Parallel Lives and Frames for free on Smashwords.com, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and iBooks. Albatross and Glass Slippers and Stilettos are available for free on Amazon on February 13 and 14.

Given that neither one of them is a typical “they lived happily ever after” romance and they portray rather unconventional, uncomfortable twists and turns of relationships, they might also be a good choice for those of you not really in the mood for celebrating this year. Whether you get them for yourself or as a gift for somebody else, I hope you enjoy my small token of appreciation. Feel free to download as many copies as you want!

 https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396169

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/parallel-lives-ana-linden/1118140770?ean=2940045563567

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/parallel-lives-7

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/645454

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/glass-slippers-and-stilettos

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/glass-slippers-and-stilettos-ana-linden/1123982690?ean=2940153093093

Two Books for The New Year

The Siege of Mr Kahn’s Curry Shop – by Charlie Robinson

“How do you live a life when you don’t have a past? I need to know – for me.”

I was already familiar with Charlie Robinson’s storytelling, thoroughly enjoying his sense of humour and witty writing style on his blog. I already knew he was working on his first novel – two decades in the making, as he put it. Then, once I saw the cover, the title and the synopsis, I instantly wanted to read The Siege of Mr Kahn’s Curry Shop as I had a feeling it wouldn’t disappoint.

“This is life – sometimes we make a success of things and sometimes we don’t. More often than not, we don’t, but we carry on and we need to carry on without bearing a grudge.”

Well, I was right. I may have mentioned this before, I don’t particularly enjoy writing reviews. But I will occasionally share about fellow authors from our little WP community, writers whose work I appreciate.

“He felt afraid for the first time in his life and he guessed what it could be. He was afraid that now he had her, he could lose her.”

There is a sense of honesty and realism to Charlie Robinson’s writing which, together with all the twists and turns of the plot, makes you not want to put down the book. A person can be the hero and the villain at the same time, depending on the chosen perspective, young Billy Lynch will learn to accept. Complex characters gradually reveal layers to their personality and the circumstances behind their actions and development. Whether their image changes for the better or for the worse, none of them is one-dimensional or boring.

“She hadn’t experienced this before: the fights, the never-ending confrontations between Lard and himself, the racist and homophobic violence in town on Saturday nights. He hadn’t allowed her to see his struggle, trying to bring some decency to it all. He was expecting her to have the same philosophy as he had.”

In many ways, this is a coming of age story, and many readers (such as myself) might find it relatable, even if they reached their maturity in a different decade and/or place. It’s also a good reminder that many aspects of our society – which we now take for granted – were very-very different until not that long ago.

“Billy Lynch was responsible for every bad thing that had ever happened to him.”

As I don’t want to give away any interesting plot details of Billy Lynch’s adventure, I will only add that it’s worth giving this book a chance and I’ll leave you with the author’s synopsis.

Thank you for an interesting, entertaining read, Charlie. Keep on writing! One question, though… will there be a sequel? (Hoping for a positive answer… 🙂 )

 “We can let the past rule us, or we can look to the future.”

Author’s Synopsis

Bradford in 1974.
Billy Lynch wants a better life. He also wants the truth.
Why did his father leave fourteen years ago?
Where did he go?
Why is the local drug dealer supporting a National Front march?
Does the stunning Auntie Riya really have the answers, can Billy trust her?
Billy’s love for Mr Khan’s daughter, Alina is discovered by the local skinhead leader, Lard.
This sparks a chain of disastrous events and Billy is drawn back into a past he was trying to escape. The consequences of one kiss, mean nothing will ever be the same again.

 

Just Before Sunrise – by Carol Balawyder

I’ve said this before, and I will say it again – every book by Carol Balawyder that I’ve read was a treat. Just Before Sunrise, her most recent crime novel, was no exception. The fact that it took me so long to share about it reflects poorly on my time management skills, not on the book’s merits.

“When the person you love the most in the world dies, your heart breaks from loneliness. Nothing can take away that kind of lonely.”

Regardless of the genre she chooses, Carol Balawyder is a fine observer and analyst of human nature, creating deep, complex characters struggling with life’s adversities and difficult choices. Just Before Sunrise is no exception, the compelling flow of the novel enthralling the reader.

“What it often comes down to is that these women are afraid of having to face their loneliness. They prefer to put up with the hurt and betrayal than have to live alone.”

It’s not easy to write a gripping crime story when revealing early on “who dunnit”, but Carol manages it beautifully. It’s not only about murder. It’s about everyone involved directly and indirectly – a colourful, unexpected mix of characters – about what makes them who they are, their history, traumas, hopes and feelings. So if you enjoy a good crime story, Just Before Sunrise is a captivating novel worth considering.

Author’s Synopsis

Nadine, tired of running her call-girl agency has upgraded to gold digger as she finds the perfect rich widower to marry. Discovering that her wealthy widower is an abuser she seduces his stepson, Charlie, to plot her husband’s murder.

But things don’t go as planned and soon she is turning to her experience hiring young call-girls to find the perfect girl to save her from going to prison…

Homeless Maya is drifting on the streets, grieving the recent loss of her mother.
When she is offered the opportunity to prepare a lake-side house to be used as a half-way home for delinquent girls, she doesn’t think twice.

She soon falls for Charlie, the attractive boy next door, who has a seriously dark side. She is drawn into his murderous schemes, doing anything he asks her to, risking her own safety for the promise of a future with him. When she finds herself party to murder, and she realises he is more concerned with his older female accomplice than with her, she must learn to trust her instincts and use all of her courage to get out of their trap alive.

As a subplot there is the rocky romantic relationship between an older woman and a younger man who become involved in investigating the murder for which young Maya is accused of committing.

Just Before Sunrise is a story about loss and survival. About loneliness, betrayals and deadly desires.

A Strange Kind of Serenity

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I will never bake perfect looking gingerbread. But I can bake great tasting gingerbread and, in my book, that’s more than enough. In fact, that goes for all my baking – it’s something I love doing, I’m not at all bad at it, but my baking will always have a homemade look about it. I have neither the patience to strive for an army of identically looking gingerbread figurines, nor do I have the discipline to always stick to the recipe for all my baking. Since I do understand how it works, I have fun with it, I experiment and I enjoy the slightly different results I get. That very diversity and that imperfect homemade look are perhaps what makes the entire process just right… dare I say, my own kind of “perfect”?

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Continue reading “A Strange Kind of Serenity”

Christmas… Quirkiness?

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How are you, did you have a nice Christmas (in case that’s something you celebrate) or a nice December, in general? I certainly hope so…

How about your little corner of the world, is it festively decorated? All sparkly and lit, perhaps boasting a Christmas fair or two?

It’s certainly the case in my neck of the woods… Our town was in lockdown for the entire month of December last year, so there weren’t any Christmas lights or seasonal festivities and decorations. That made sense. This December however… isn’t making that much sense. As for common sense from our local authorities… well, that’s been MIA for so long now, why should it be any different this month? “Someone” clearly felt the need to make up for last year (in more ways than one), so Christmas was going to put on a show in our town this year, at any cost… And when I heard the obscene price they decided to pay for it… never mind, I’m doing my best not to get political.

I love a nicely decorated town on Christmas. In normal years, in December I tend to take a longer route home only to enjoy the lights; and even if I’m not a big fan of Christmas fairs, I might go and take a look, enjoy the atmosphere. And we could have had all that, at much lower a cost, the rest of the money being put to much better use…

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Given the context, I didn’t feel the usual joy at the sight of brightly lit up streets and parks. I didn’t even bother to visit the Christmas fair. Not until Christmas day, that is, when I finally gave in and went for a walk in the area to take a look. Sure, all the booths were closed and I didn’t get to see it in all its disturbing glory in the early afternoon, but what a sight it was nevertheless… What else can one do but laugh, at that point? It’s either that, or pack up one’s bags and run far, far away… Continue reading “Christmas… Quirkiness?”

1 Song ‘Till Christmas

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Well, my blogging friends, have you been nice this year or perhaps more on the naughty side? Not much time left to make up for our transgressions… or is there? Personally, I believe the most we can ask for is to have someone to accept, respect and love us for who we are, warts and all… someone who doesn’t give up on us even when we’re at our lowest, someone who endeavours to point us in the right direction when we’re wrong and has the patience to let us get there on our own… someone for whom we can do the same. I hope you have such a person… I hope you are such a person for somebody… because if that’s the case, then yes, there’s still time – not everything revolves around a holiday (season) and there’s more to Christmas than unrealistic expectations, countless presents and excess of all sorts. So in case you celebrate Christmas, may you have a happy one, filled with joy, love and appreciation!

Be kind and stay safe!

December Gifts

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A blogging anniversary notification from WP, that’s yet another sign that Christmas and the end of the year are near. Thank you for sharing sharing yet another year with me, for letting me be a part of your lives and for teaching me so much about appreciation and kindness, simply by opening up and telling your stories.

My small “thank you” gift to you is the same as every year since I started this blogging journey – electronic stocking stuffers, my ebooks.

If you want a copy of Parallel LivesGlass Slippers and Stilettos, Albatross or Frames, or  perhaps you’d like to offer them to someone who might enjoy them, use the following links:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396169

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1053416

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/822554

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/645454

Feel free to download/offer as many copies as you like!

Happy reading and Happy Holidays!

Underneath the Tinsel or Making My Own Christmas Traditions – Part Three

Note: I wrote and first published this lengthy 3-part post in December 2015. I was in Madrid – as so many other times that year – and contemplating December frenzy in Spain was (much like that entire year) a special experience I will never forget. So much has changed since then… in more ways than one, I have changed too… But my core values are the same and so are my Christmas related beliefs – because many things are still the same. So this is why I chose to repost it and hopefully you’ll enjoy it. Have a decent December, everyone!

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Part One – The Illusion

Part Two – The Reality

Part Three – My Own Christmas

I didn’t know it then, but that Christmas Eve would stay with me for as long as I would have memories to hold on to… not because it was fabulous, but because it was the first time I felt and understood what it was all about – what I needed it to be all about.

It was just the three of us listening to Christmas songs and staring at the flickering lights in the Christmas tree… my Christmas tree, as I felt the need to point out several times that year. We were 16 or 17 and it was the year that my grandmother had decreed that I was too old to have a tree. Well, if I was too old for a tree, then I was certainly old enough to do things however I saw fit when it came to Christmas in general. Faced with a minor family drama and a harsh blow to her loving grandmother image, she gave in and allowed the tree. That concession, however, would cost me all my Christmas gifts, I was warned. I didn’t mind, a few pairs of socks and another ugly scarf were definitely worth giving up.

It may not have been the most beautiful Christmas tree that I ever had growing up, but to this day it remains the one I treasured the most. We were all somewhat sad and ashamed sitting around that tree, my best friend, my boyfriend and I, that year… Yet we were also so very happy, so very content, finally so very peaceful. My best friend and I had gone shopping for the tree the day before and then he helped me get it home, spending hours in the December cold and snow, trying to find the greatest one I could afford. That was as fun and pleasant as it should have been, the way both of us had forgotten it could be. Continue reading “Underneath the Tinsel or Making My Own Christmas Traditions – Part Three”

Underneath the Tinsel or Making My Own Christmas Traditions – Part Two

Note: I wrote and first published this lengthy 3-part post in December 2015. I was in Madrid – as so many other times that year – and contemplating December frenzy in Spain was (much like that entire year) a special experience I will never forget. So much has changed since then… in more ways than one, I have changed too… But my core values are the same and so are my Christmas related beliefs – because many things are still the same. So this is why I chose to repost it and hopefully you’ll enjoy it. Have a decent December, everyone!

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Part One – The Illusion

Part Two – The Reality

The choir started singing all those beautiful carols we loved. That was the best part of it and I didn’t want her to miss any of it. I’d go get her, I told my grandmother. I was handed my coat and scarf, and in a low voice I was warned there would be trouble if I caught a cold, thus ruining everybody’s holidays. I snuck out as discretely as possible, but disgruntled looks from some of the older ladies could not be avoided.

There she was, on the bench in front of the church, just where I expected to find her, smoking a cigarette. Her face was cold, sad and pale, and her fingers trembled slightly as they moved the cigarette back and forth. We could hear the choir from the bench outside the church and that’s where we stayed and listened to the carols that year. Pieces were falling into place – even if I was still very young, even if I couldn’t quite explain it, I was starting to understand why my mother didn’t want to be there in the first place and why my grandfather kept his distance, refusing to take part in that charade every Christmas. Continue reading “Underneath the Tinsel or Making My Own Christmas Traditions – Part Two”

Underneath the Tinsel or Making My Own Christmas Traditions – Part One

Note: I wrote and first published this lengthy 3-part post in December 2015. I was in Madrid – as so many other times that year – and contemplating December frenzy in Spain was (much like that entire year) a special experience I will never forget. So much has changed since then… in more ways than one, I have changed too… But my core values are the same and so are my Christmas related beliefs – because many things are still the same. So this is why I chose to repost it and hopefully you’ll enjoy it. Have a decent December, everyone!

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Part One – The Illusion

The house was filled with that delicious smell of baked goodies. Vanilla and a variety of other aromas I was too young to know or recognize conspired with my grandmother in creating that warm, heavy, divine, mouth-watering smell that could mean only one thing: Christmas was only a few days away.

It was the final element in that trilogy of olfactory sensations that I have associated with the winter holidays from a very early age. The oranges were the first harbinger of the impending festivities and as I stood by the big fruit bowl, scratching at one of them with my little nails so I could carry its perfume with me, I knew there wasn’t long to go ‘till the much expected moment.

Then came the tree. My grandfather was never too involved in all the preparations, but getting the tree was always his job and I was his trusty sidekick. It was our little tradition: we would scour all the Christmas tree markets until we found the perfect one, I would choose it and he would carry it home. I don’t know about him, but that intoxicating fir tree smell would make me completely forget about the freezing cold wind, about the icy patches on which I really needed to watch my step and about the snow, which somehow managed to find its way into my boots each and every time. The serious, respectable, stern man became a child again, analysing fir trees, laughing more than I would see him laugh during the entire year and always indulging me, all the while knowing that the one I chose would inevitably be too tall. He’d be the one severely reprimanded as soon as we got home, but little did he care. Continue reading “Underneath the Tinsel or Making My Own Christmas Traditions – Part One”