Thursday, July 18, 2013

Morning time travel on the beach


Santander, 2005

     Nothing has been happening on my blog lately, as you can see for yourself. Days got blurred, it’s just every day the same: some exercises in the morning, then sending CVs, applications, calling, then a walk and then watching TV series to turn off (or just to take the edge of) worrying and then I fall asleep. There is a shower and two meals somewhere between those.
     I’m frustrated. I know that eventually something will come up, but since I have literally no income and no savings at the moment, the waiting is a bit tough. Also, because I’ve just arrived, I don’t have friends to talk to or cry on their shoulder like a real man;)
    Yesterday I went to the beach in Crosby. I like the open water, I grew up in the mountains so I hadn’t seen the sea until I was maybe fourteen or fifteen. I got myself a surprisingly good apple cake (from “Everything under 99p”), and I ate it, looking at the sea and trying not to look at the jellyfish rotting all over the place. I got bit nostalgic. I tried to remember all the beaches we traversed together with Tatiana. 

     - Polish beach at Wladyslawowo, thirteen years ago, when we were selling oil paintings and it didn’t go well, so we were broke and sad, but we knew everything will be good (eventually). So young, so hopeful. Oh, and when a dog pissed on our paintings on a very hot day, and it was stinking so much that people were avoiding our stall like it was a leprosy colony. I love those two lovely guys (...ehem - us) when I look at them now:)

     - Santander beach in Spain. Two times. First in 2001. We took a break from living in a rural community near Madrid. We had enough of petty politics, gossip, power games, etc. So we just showed everyone finger and left. It was so nice to be free and aloof from all that, and being able to plunge our feet in the hot sand, holding hands and being young. The second time it was... let me think... 2005? I got that crazy job in a vegetarian restaurant. Six days a week, almost a whole day cooking and the boss’ wife didn’t like me (it was a mutual feeling). Sunday was our only day we could chill out with Tania. Usually we just walked through the beach few miles to get to the peninsula with the Palacio de la Magdalena, and then for few hours we talked, read, drew, write. The secret was to pretend that the tomorrow didn’t exist.

     - Beach in Bray (Ireland). 2005. We had just moved from Denmark and we were still not sure if it was the right decision. I worked as a vegetarian chef in Dublin, Tatiana was a care assistant in a nursing home. We both worked hard, then I lost my job, so everything was on Tatiana’s shoulders. Poor thing, she worked twelve hours shifts on the Alzheimer’s floor so usually at end of the day she was exhausted. On our days off we liked to have long walks (we always do), and sometimes we walked through that cold and windy beach. We never swam there, though I remember one time, late at night, when we were coming drank home from a pub with my friend, we took our cloths and intended to jump to the water, but Tatiana (and his wife too) gave us such a bollocking that we gave up.

     - Moncofa (Valencia), 2001. That was just a short visit. We cooked food for a black metal festival in the area. One day we decided to take a rest and we went to the beach. The water was soooo warm. The only problem was that we both are lame swimmers, and the waves were high and the deep water started just two meters off the shore. We bought a small air mattress, but then we got scared so we didn’t use it. We just enjoyed the sun and freedom. I remember also enjoying all those topless girls. Tania didn’t mind, we laughed and freely commented on the sizes, colors and shapes.

     - Copenhagen, 2004. I think we went to the beach only once. Usually the weather was shitty, the wind wanted to tear your head off, but that day was a real scorcher. We went together with Artur, our best friend, who eventually ended up in Orlando, Florida. I can’t remember much about that day. Just the feeling of being relaxed, happy, laughing, joking. Soon afterwards we left for Ireland, Artur for America, and things got a bit rougher, both for him and for us.

     I can’t remember more. We used to live in Bristol. Have we never gone to the beach there? I can’t recall. Maybe not.
     Ok, time for the morning fitness.

Tatiana and me in Santander, Spain, 2005, one of our Sundays

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

List 1

     1. Yesterday I went to Albert Dock (I’ve got my favorite spot there, just by the wall, where I can lean against the bricks and stretch my legs) and I played some tunes. After a while there was a guy who came by bicycle and so it happened he liked Manu Chao. His name was Phil, we had a chat an he shared a bread and cheese with me. Music brings people together.

     2. Today I signed up to couchsurfing. I haven’t got a place to host people, but there are some couchsurfers' events in Liverpool, and still it’s a cool way to meet people. I suggested we could organize vegetarian dinner, where everyone brings some food. It could be fun.

     3. Yesterday night, I stumbled upon “The Girl From Ipanema” and I got un poco de taste for bossa nova. I’ve downloaded some stuff and I try to decide if I like it or not. Astrud Gilberto is playing now. There is something light and nostalgic about her songs. I’ll give it a chance. Trying new things is good.

     4. Bit worried about a job and money (haven’t got neither), but that’s old news.

     5. Unquenched longing. I guess I’m little bit homesick, missing Tatiana, my nephew and nieces, dogs, garden (Tania wrote me that the pumpkins and courgettes started to flower).

     6. Almost 11 PM, and yet the street is still noisy.

     7. The video below - from 1:00 - just see that guy dancing. This is... no words:) The coolest dance ever.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bit of the book, bit of the movie, bit of myself

      The midnight is getting here. Hot. I lay down just with my knickers on. From time to time I hear the cars passing by through my street. The house is empty, it’s just me, listening to some indie rock radio station. Boring.
     Two good things happened to me lately. One is a book and the other is a movie. “The Man Who Wanted To Be Happy” by Laurent Gonuelle and “It’s Kind of a Funny Story”. But first I say what’s the background, why these two pieces made me feel happy (or happier).
     For a while now I’m struggling with depression and anxiety. Sometimes I get better, sometimes worse, but it’s there, at least in the background for most of the time. It’s been few years already. I feel weighted down by the reality. Financially it goes awful, I keep making new debts just to survive, my career is basically non-existing, and so is my self-esteem. Then no friends, no people who get me... Just to clarify – I’m not whining here or trying to get sympathy. Actually at the moment (tonight) I feel good. It’s just an objective picture of my state of mind in the last few years.

     So first I read that book. One of my friends mentioned it on facebook. I couldn’t find the pdf for my kindle, so I decided to buy the regular book, but then I found out that the Polish edition is sold out and since I prefer to read books in my own language, I got another book by the same author (“Les dieux voyagent toujours incognito”) and really enjoyed it. It was a real eye opener. Eventually I got the English edition of “The Man Who Wanted To Be Happy”. The book was exactly what I needed. Clear and simple presentation of how our beliefs create our personal reality. There is a guy on holidays in Bali, he meets a spiritual teacher and he takes him on the road to self-discovery. Gradually he finds out that his failures, low self-esteem, inability to fulfill his dreams (or to have dreams at all for that matter) aren’t caused by the external world, which is neutral, but rather are the result of our deep-rooted beliefs we acquired during our lifetime.

     With every page I can just see how much it applies to my life. The childhood, insecurity because of my father’s drinking, my mother’s unfulfilled expectations about my education. Then I got better, when I took my life in my hands, moved out at the age of twenty. Then I fall in love with the most beautiful girl I had ever seen, and to my great surprise she loved me back and eventually we got married. At this point I started to have more faith in myself. If I could get such a girl, I could do anything;) Then we started to travel, be free, I learned music, did some writing and got published. And then the disaster struck – first my father’s death, which made me think and feel deeply that nothing makes sense, since we were going to die anyway. Then we moved to Copenhagen, and nothing worked, we just hit a concrete wall of opposition from the world. Bureaucratic, financial and professional catastrophe. It was there, three years ago, where my self-confidence disappeared and I started to experience anxiety waves.

     So the book made me happy, because it made a really convincing case that I’m not doomed to be depressed and feeling shitty, that these are only self-imposed, self-thought reactions to the every day challenges, and putting some work into it, I can learn new reactions, this time the positive ones. I think that most of our distress comes from the feeling of being unable to influence reality. When we feel like helpless victims of random situations and events, we just slowly die inside. Once we start to feel that we are the ones who shape our own lives, then we start to feel happy, energized, inspired. So this is the theory, for me it’s still a long way to go, but reading that book, it was liberating to see the ocean of possibilities.

     This was about a book. Then tonight, after watching about ten episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” I decided that if I see one more of Sheldon speeches, I will descent to the madness, so I better play something different. What could be better for me then a movie about a suicidal teenager who ends up in the psychiatric ward? I was right:) The movie was so nice, so positive. Maybe it wasn’t as nicely structured and thought through as the book, but I really appreciated the take on the importance of support, friendship, love, creativity in helping with psychological tribulations.

     This is rather a long post. Written in the middle of the night, so it should have a special Moon quality in it. Oh yes, in the movie there is an actor I have special feelings for. Jeremy Davies. I just love him since “The Million Dollar Hotel”. He didn’t have a big part in the movie I’ve watched tonight, but I enjoyed the little moments and things he put into his character.
     Ok, that’s enough rambling for tonight. Sleep well, guys.

Newsham Park

     I've just come back from the Newsham Park. I practiced ukulele, read a book, basked in the sun, but didn’t really feel it. I miss human company. Where are you, Earthlings? Good thing that I threw away my tobacco this morning. Otherwise I’d have smoked already. Made a big pot of lentil soup with potatoes, that should be enough for today and tomorrow morning.
     I took few pictures in the park and I exercised my amateur Photoshop skills on them. Ok, it’s Sunday. I’ll just watch movies for the rest of the day and try not to feel too guilty about it.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

In the docks

          Today it was my first time to go to the famous Liverpool docks. I found a good spot in Albert Dock and just had a lie down for about two hours, reading a book ("The Man Who Wanted To Be Happy" by Laurent Gaounelle, I'll write about it more later) and watching passer-by's (or passers-by?).

     The first one I took in an old courthouse (can't remember the name, you know the huge, ancient looking building behind the Queen Square). I didn't know what it was, otherwise I wouldn't go in. I thought it was maybe a museum or art gallery. When I realised where I was I was quiet disgusted. Huge, repulsing monument to the State coercion and cruelty. Everything designed to bring awe and fear in people. I escaped from the stifling catacombs as soon as I found the exit.

Still in the court

Getting closer to the docks. There were so many people! But I didn't mind. It felt nice to be lost in a crowd.

Chilling out on the patch of green, reading a book, peeking at tourists and pretty girls, snacking on a vegetarian sausage from Holland & Barret.

The Man Who Wanted To Be Happy - amazing book!

Liverpool at last

     Liverpool. I’ve moved in yesterday. I’m renting a small room in a shared house. It’s pretty cheap, and there is a possibility that from September I could take over the whole flat, which would be cool – the rent is low, it’s not too far from the city center (I walked there yesterday, it took me about half an hour), we could find some nice vegetarian housemate for one of the bedrooms (there are three small ones), that would be good.
     Also there is a nice park just behind the corner – Newsham Park, and I just see on the map that there is another one on the other side of the street – Edinburgh Park. This morning I did some jogging in the Newsham Park. It reminds me a little bit of the Clifton Park in Bristol, though it seems smaller and there are no cliffs. Then I did some exercise and mantra meditation. It’s just that I think I need some structure now, when the situation is so unclear. It helps with the transition.
     Yesterday I paid the rent, monthly bus pass, made the keys, did some small shopping, topped up the phone, and that’s it – I’m officially broke, I have four pounds left in my pocket. I’ll just take my ukulele to the streets and try to make some money with music and my heavenly voice. I’m confident I can make my daily grocery like this, but not more then that.
     So, the adventure is still on.

This is the view from my bedroom window. I forgot to say that it's quite  noisy (the street side). Something I'll have to get used to.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Things are moving forward

     I'm complaining too much, so let's have some positive news. The things are going forward. Today I've got two proofs of address, so I can finally register with an employment agency tomorrow and start the CRB check. Also I will view a cheap room in a shared house in Liverpool, and if it's ok, I wont be stuck in Crewe anymore. I know these are very basic things, but I'm happy with baby steps.
     The drawing is by Tania. This is a traditional Polish highlander brigand's dress:)