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Friday, 28 February 2014

Musical Friday: Rosenrot

Dear friends,

It is only fitting that now, while we are having a bit of fun in Cologne, I should be posting during the Musical Friday a German piece of music. This is exactly why today I shall show you one of the groups that I really like, a group that I have seen live in concert in Bucharest: Rammstein! And the chosen piece is none other than Rosenrot - that was actually filmed in Romania! Did you see the twist there?! ;) This song is inspired by and to some extent based upon the poem "Heidenröslein" by Goethe and the story "Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot" from the Brothers Grimm.
***
The video portrays the band as travelling monks from different religious orders who have come to a small village, Fundata (nearby Brașov), Romania. The main story of the video shows the band's vocalist Till Lindemann falling in love with one of the local girls, whom he met during a celebratory feast. At her request, he enters her house and murders her parents. As he leaves the house, he smiles to the girl and she smiles back briefly, before crying out, at which the villagers rush upon Till from the darkness and beat him. They tie him up and burn him on a stake; Till's fellow monks and his lover participate in the execution by throwing burning brands onto the woodpile. The girl in the video is portrayed by Romanian model Cătălina Lavric, who was 14 at the time of shooting.
 ***
The plot partially mirrors the song's lyrics: in both the video and the song, a man is asked to commit a self-destructive yet pointless act by his lover, and dies in the attempt while she is unharmed. In the video the man commits murder and is executed; in the song he attempts to retrieve a rose from a mountain, and falls to his death.
Rosenrot - Rammstein

Sah ein Mädchen ein Röslein stehen
Blühte dort in lichten Höhen
Sprach sie ihren Liebsten an
ob er es ihr steigen kann
Sie will es und so ist es fein
So war es und so wird es immer sein
Sie will es und so ist es Brauch
Was sie will bekommt sie auch
Tiefe Brunnen muss man graben
wenn man klares Wasser will
Rosenrot oh Rosenrot
Tiefe Wasser sind nicht still
Der Jüngling steigt den Berg mit Qual
Die Aussicht ist ihm sehr egal
Hat das Röslein nur im Sinn
Bringt es seiner Liebsten hin
Sie will es und so ist es fein
So war es und so wird es immer sein
Sie will es und so ist es Brauch
Was sie will bekommt sie auch
Tiefe Brunnen muss man graben
wenn man klares Wasser will
Rosenrot oh Rosenrot
Tiefe Wasser sind nicht still
An seinen Stiefeln bricht ein Stein
Will nicht mehr am Felsen sein
Und ein Schrei tut jedem kund
Beide fallen in den Grund
Sie will es und so ist es fein
So war es und so wird es immer sein
Sie will es und so ist es Brauch
Was sie will bekommt sie auch
Tiefe Brunnen muss man graben
wenn man klares Wasser will
Rosenrot oh Rosenrot
Tiefe Wasser sind nicht still

Unofficial Translation ©2005 Jeremy Williams.
A girl saw a little rose
It bloomed there in bright heights
She asked her sweetheart
if he could fetch it for her
She wants it and that's fine
So it was and so it will always be
She wants it and that's the custom
Whatever she wants she gets
Deep wells must be dug
if you want clear water
Rose-red, oh Rose-red
Deep waters don't run still
The boy climbs the mountain in torment
He doesn't really care about the view
Only the little rose is on his mind
He brings it to his sweetheart
She wants it and that's fine
So it was and so it will always be
She wants it and that's the custom
Whatever she wants she gets
Deep wells must be dug
if you want clear water
Rose-red, oh Rose-red
Deep waters don't run still
At his boots, a stone breaks
Doesn't want to be on the cliff anymore
And a scream lets everyone know
Both are falling to the ground
She wants it and that's fine
So it was and so it will always be
She wants it and that's the custom
Whatever she wants she gets
Deep wells must be dug
if you want clear water
Rose-red, oh Rose-red
Deep waters don't run still 
Yours truly,
The LadyBug kissing you all the way from Koln
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Frankly, My Dear, I Don't Give A...

Dear friends,

I could not end the phrase that my title was supposed to be as I am trying my best to reduce the amount of swearing and bad words recently. I hope you know, though, from which movie the quote is. And if you know now, well... you are in for a treat! as today I shall be telling you about one of the movies that changed my childhood - the movie Gone With The Wind from 1939. I always loved this movie and usually I would watch it on the MGM Channel in 2 parts - as it is quite extensive!
I always loved Scarlett even though I always thought her a pain in the arse and an ungrateful lady. Melanie was always the wide audience fav but Scarlett had a strenght that you see in few people/characters. But today we shall not be speaking of the movie but rather of the wonderful costumes, and especially my fav costume in the movie that Scarlett wore - the green velvet dress! The green velvet dressing gown worn by Vivien Leigh in the role of Scarlett O’Hara has been recently restored by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin, together with four other costumes made for the same film. The costumes were designed by Walter Plunkett.
As the movie goes, Scarlett desperately rips down her curtains to turn them into a dress to impress Rhett Butler. The dress did its job, but it wasn't built to last. "Just the weight of the velvet of this dress pulls the seams apart," Steve Wilson, the center's film curator, tells NPR's Scott Simon.
Wilson is involved in the center's effort to raise $30,000 to repair the curtain outfit and four other costumes, including the wedding dress Scarlett wore to marry Charles Hamilton instead of her love, Ashley Wilkes.
That dress was designed to tell its own story, Wilson says. It was actually fitted on the actress who played Scarlett's mother rather than Leigh, to underscore the rushed nature of the wedding.

"The dress is a little bit too large, and it's in an old style," Wilson says. Scarlett wouldn't have had time to have her own dress made, so she would have worn her mother's. "So just very quickly, looking at her wearing that dress, it tells you a lot about the back story."
"Really," he adds, "there's nothing that captures the human aspect of a film the way a costume does."
There are those who say $30,000 is too much to think about right now, and tomorrow is another day. But frankly, Wilson says, "there are just as many people who do give a damn about these costumes."
(source)
Just look at the picture above of the green velvet dress made out of the curtains :) She has a very innovative mind and where normal people see a stop to their ideeas she sees a challenge. Scarlett taking down the curtains and making the velvet dress reminds me very much of Maria, in The Sound Of Music, when Capitan Von Trapp tells her children do not need play clothes as they do not play - and she takes down the curtains in her room and makes wonderful play clothes for all the 7 children! :) When there is a will there is always a way! I always loved that, her stubborness, her willingness to break walls in order to achieve what she wanted and needed. I am a huge fan of the green color so I have to say I am happy most of Scarlett's clothes are either green or red - also matching to her beautiful eyes and her fiery hair ;) The green velvet dress and the green overcoat/dress with long sleeves touching the ground were always my favs.

I do not know if you ever watched Gone With The Wind, but I would love to hear what was your fav piece of costume ;) What would you not mind wearing? As you can see, I have some in mind ;)

Yours truly,
A LadyBug Who Loves Scarlett's Dresses :)
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Thursday, 27 February 2014

The Power Of A Book

Dear friends,

** This is a review I did a long time ago, on the 9th of February 2011, and published in my previous blog "Paint The Sky". But as you did not read this before, I thought I may share my thoughts with you. Pay attention to spoilers, as I shall be telling you about The Reader **

… is immeasurable… it can change ones life and bring ones death… it can bring people of different ages together and it can create special bonds between themselves… this is what “The Reader” is all about.
The movie was released in 2008 and it is after a book written by Bernhard Schlink. I first read the book when I was in the 12th grade maybe… I found it indeed touching and interesting as one of my soft spots is the period or Hitlers rise and fall and the extermination of the Jews in that age. The book tells us a story somehow related to that subject – not quite, but still… :)
 ***
THE READER opens in post-WWII Germany when teenager Michael Berg becomes ill and is helped home by Hanna, a stranger twice his age. Michael recovers from scarlet fever and seeks out Hanna to thank her. The two are quickly drawn into a passionate but secretive affair. Michael discovers that Hanna loves being read to and their physical relationship deepens. Hanna is enthralled as Michael reads to her from “The Odyssey,” “Huck Finn” and “The Lady with the Little Dog.” Despite their intense bond, Hanna mysteriously disappears one day and Michael is left confused and heartbroken. Eight years later, while Michael is a law student observing the Nazi war crime trials, he is stunned to find Hanna back in his life – this time as a defendant in the courtroom. As Hanna’s past is revealed, Michael uncovers a deep secret that will impact both of their lives. THE READER is a story about truth and reconciliation, about how one generation comes to terms with the crimes of another. Written by The Weinstein Company

The movie brings me back memories and helped me remember the book… it is quite accurate…
 ***
Kate Winslet is Hannah Schmitz, the beautiful german lady who teaches young Michael Berg – played by David Kross most wonderfully – the art of love/making love. Their bond is a powerful one, that follows Michael during his whole lifetime.
Hannah is illiterate and cannot write or read but she does appreciate art in her own way. She is afraid and ashamed to be discovered of this, and that is why – in the end – she gets convicted for her crimes and blamed for all of the others…
 ***
To have knowledge is a powerful thing!
 ***
While they were lovers – for that single summer when Michael transformed from a boy to a man – the 2 had certain rituals: first he would read to Hannah, and after that they would make love.
 ***
After several years, when she would be in prison, he would not stand it, and after a firm battle with himself, several years, he starts to tape her books that he reads… he is The Reader… the one that brings her to knowledge and helps her to teach herself the art or reading and writing…
But as 20 years standing in a jail, locked up from the world, separates and alienates one, the only one that Hannah clings to now is Michael… and he is afraid of seeing her/talking to her, even holding her hand… Seeing each other after 20 years is quite a shock for both but they both recognize each other. You can see the love and the suffering in Hannah’s eyes when he rejects her hand eventually… Her committing suicide can be perceived as an act of love… of letting Michael free of his demons… his most inner demons… telling him that she understands him and that she is sorry of what has happened also during the Holocaust.
 ***
Hannah is a very powerful character although many would chastise her for the way she died. You can also remember the scene when she sees that Michael changed and she decides it best to leave him, as they have no future together… She truly loves Berg, although – in the beginning of the book/movie – she tells us that she is in love with no one…
The mature Michael Berg is played by our own handsome British actor: Ralph Fiennes :)
 ***
BTW, don’t you think that the scene above brings memories from the movie “Onegin” – the duel scene with Vladimir? :) I do really think so, it made me remember the whole thing :)
 ***
Anyway, Ralph Fiennes is a great reader and the way his voice changes during the setting of a play is truly beautiful! One has no words to describe it. His talent is truly great :)
 ***
Oh… well… that’s about it :)
 ***
Gonna take a little trip down to memory lane listening to some music… “Amelie” soundtrack 
 ***
Maybe I shall tell you about Amelie later on as she is quite a fine girl ;) You will like her a lot!

Au revoir, mes amis!

Bisous, The LadyBug :*
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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Now Don't Go Breaking My Heart...

Dear friends,

** This is a review I did a long time ago, on the 28th of January 2011, and published in my previous blog "Paint The Sky". But as you did not read this before, I thought I may share my thoughts with you. Pay attention to spoilers, as I shall be telling you about Ella Enchanted **

… I won’t go breaking your heart! :)
If you want an easy and fun movie to watch on a Saturday/Sunday – or any moment and day in which you would be free ;)) – than I would sincerely recommend “Ella Enchanted” – the movie from 2004, with Anne Hathaway.
I know… I know… I am writing about another Cinderella story :) but trust me, this is a really good one: funny and somehow resembling with a musical… queer combination but most enchantingly made :) if I may say so myself :p
 ***
Based on Gail Carson Levine’s award winning novel, this is the story of Ella, a young woman who was given a “gift” of obedience by a fairy named Lucinda. Anything anyone tells her to do, she must obey. When her mother passes away, Ella is cared for by her thoughtless and greedy father who remarries a loathsome woman with two treacherous daughters. This modern-day, fantasy Cinderella features fairies, ogres and elves…as well as a hero in the guise of Prince Charmont, whom Ella falls in love with. Unlike Cinderella though, Ella must depend on herself and her intelligence to get her through her troubles and find Lucinda in order for her “curse” to be broken! Written by M. C. Gomez
Being a love story and a story for children differently told attracted me very much, but when all the modernist bits and pieces came tumbling in I was starting to reconsider… what made me love the movie was the scene in the middle of the movie, when Ella and Prince Charmont are at a giants wedding. Why? It is simple as 1-2-3 or A-B-C :) when Ella was ordered to play… and she did start playing… guess what song she did play? YES! A Queen song, and indeed one of my favs: “Somebody to love“… and to a great wonder, Anne played it quite nicely!!! :) To the same wedding I had another shock: one of the giants was portrait by Heidi Klum – that also sings at the end of the movie a bit :) I find her presence in this movie as a giant female quite refreshing and idea tumbling, as everyone states giants are awful :)
Another of my fav scenes is portrait in the still above: the moment where love conquers all and Ella disobeys her final command – not killing thus the prince – and breaks the spell of her “gift of obedience”.
The Hall of Mirrors somehow remembers me of the story of Snow White and the room her stepmother had… the room for The Mirror
A great and beautiful and appreciated surprise was Cary Elwes, as Edgar – the princes tutor and “good” uncle – and Minnie Driver, as Mandy – Ella’s house fairy :) Their appearance on the screen is always mostly refreshing and makes one smile, no matter what.
Of course you will recognize Edgar as the wonderfully dashing Robin Hood from the epic movie “Robin Hood – Man in Tights“. Here, Cary Elwes plays the bad guy – although he does it very very very good I cannot help myself seeing him as Robin ;)) I must admit!!!
Minnie Driver has very short “stage entrances” but she is sparkling each time :) just remember her in “The Phantom of the Opera” if you ever watched it, and you will truly know what I am talking about ;)
The visual part of this movie is beautiful! The scenery if pleasant to the eye of the beholder and the wardrobe of each and every character suits them. The soundtrack is indeed SMASHING!!! :) and it keeps the ones who watch the movie wide awake and wanting to jiggle and move around and sing and dance like the characters on the screen :)
The finale is simply adorable, when everyone sings and dances… Now don’t go breaking my heart
I shall have to think more over the acting that Mr. Hugh Dancy presents us… he is a British actor that promises much :) The first time I had seen him was several years ago… I do think that it was on Hallmark channel. But what I surely know is the fact that he was playing “David Copperfield”… and he played it very nicely… he would be truly fit for some more period movies :) I do have faith in him ;)

Yours truly,
A LadyBug In Love :)
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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

What Would You Visit In Koln?

Dear friends,

As you are reading this post we are on our way to wonderful Koln/Cologne - you can call it as you wish ;) For me this is a wonderful day as I was wishing for time off, for some traveling, in a very long while. But first thing first is why we are going there. For me that answer is simple: I am going there for my pea in the pod, for Dana, for Daniela my soul sister :* And if you do not remember her from this post, at least, you should feel ashamed!
 ***
I do have my mind set on some places I would like to visit in Koln but I am unsure if we will make it as - sincelery speaking - this time we did not bother to print a map even ;) 
1) Cologne Cathedral - This is my MUST SEE! :) Location: Domkloster 3, 50667 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany (Altstadt-Nord).
SOURCE
2) Chocolate Museum - Located above the city's famous chocolate factory, this museum includes a diverse collection of chocolate art creations and chocolate-wrapper artwork. Location: Am Schokoladenmuseum 1a, 50678 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
3) Hohenzollern Bridge - This bridge over the Rhine River can be crossed by foot or by train. Since 2008 padlocks have adorned a fence on the bridge, affixed by couples as a sign of love and commitment. Location: Kennedy-Ufer 2a, 50579 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
4) German Sports & Olimpic Museum - This museum documents the history of the Olympic Games and the success of German Olympians. Location: Rheinauhafen 1, 50678 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

I don't know how this trip will be but I am keeping my fingers crossed that all will be peachy and that we will get to Dana safe and sound, that we will have fun at the Carnival - as we shall be attending it and Dana has a new costume, especially for that ;) - and that we shall get home in time.  
 ***
Have you ever been to Koln/Cologne? And if so - what would you recommend? I found out that this site of Cologne Tourist Information is just precious! It gives you even a schedule in case you have just 1 day or 3 days to stay there, to see and experience as much as you possibly can :)

Your truly,
A Very Happy And Excited LadyBug :)
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Monday, 24 February 2014

The Little Mistress

Dear friends,

Today I shall tell you a story about The Little Mistress... The Little Mistress is a lovely online shop that sometimes organises really nice competitions and PR events. Right now they are having a running campaign called "Win £500 to Spend at Little Mistress!" that is aimed at the UK Bloggers.
Navy & Cream Lace Detail Wrap Over Long Sleeve Dress
Here is part of their invite for the bloggers: 
"Little Mistress are giving you the chance to win £500 to spend online! You'll get to stock your wardrobe full of lovely Little Mistress goodies for doing something that comes naturally to most of you - wishlists!

To enter and be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is create a wishlist style blog post featuring items from Little Mistress. You can choose any items on site that you love to build you look, but to give you a little help, why not go for a girls night out look or maybe a date night? You could even show us what you'd take on a weekend away!
Once you've styled your look and published the post, make sure you pop a link over to bloggers@etailpr.com to ensure that your entry is counted.
We know you'll want to shout about it, so why not tag @Little_Mistress and @etailPR on Twitter so we can shout about it too!"
Curvy Navy Embellished Shoulder Long Sleeve Dress
So I am right now reaching too all my blogger friends in the UK to give it a shot ;) If it would be open internationally I would probably make up a story, just like this one I am about to share with you.
Black Long Sleeve Sheer Applique Detail Fit And Flare Dress
 There was once a young lass who lived in a castle in the clouds. Her name was Papillion and she was a fairy. The thing she loved best was to fly, so soar high and then come back tumbling to see the world of men in their daily fights. She was a magical little darling so she could go unseen and unheard everywhere. Papillion had 2 other older sisters that had to keep her out of trouble as she would sometimes show hereself to the small children - and only the small chidren, fair in their heart, could see them. We all know how grown-ups never believe children when they say they can see fairies... But this day was a very special day for Papillion. It was her birthday, when she would turn of age! Of course, you may not know this, but when fairies turn of age they also get extra magical powers! ;) You might have known this when you were a wee lass/lad but right now you are all grown up so your mind shuts this precious information away...
Forest Green Long Sleeve Cutout Detail Embellished Waist Dress
The magical power when Papillion came of age was the ability to transform herself in whatever she would wish, but only until midnight. Along with her sisters, who always were very funny and witty and smart and yet very traditional, she put on her Black Long Sleeve Dress and opened wide her fully grown wings :) 
"Oh! Papillion, you look perfect! The perfect party dress for your coming of age!" said Poussière - the eldest fairy.
"I think I shall be very jealous. Your dress is far better then mine!" said Poindre, the middle one. She took a spin in her Curvy Navy Embellished Shoulder Long Sleeve Dress and looked at her sister with a smile. She always liked to be appreciated by the way she looked. 
"That is utter nonsense! Both you and Poussière look lovely! The minute you stepped inside I could not take my eyes off you! The Navy & Cream Lace Detail Wrap Over Long Sleeve Dress suits you perfectly Poussière and you Poindre look ravishing! I am sure all the fairies will keep their eyes on you rather than me. But I do not mind that, not at all, I plan on breaking out and trying my new powers after midnight" said Papillion with a mischevious face....
Navy & Black Fur Trim Button Die Waist Tie Coat
The fairies looked disapprovingly at Papillion but she did not care. "Let me show you what I have in mind!" said Papillion and flew away in the huge wardrobe. A few moments later she came holding a beautiful Forest Green Long Sleeve Cutout Detail Embellished Waist Dress along with a Navy & Black Fur Trim Button Die Waist Tie Coat and a pair of high heel leather black boots with laces. "This is what I'm gonna wear tonight!" said Papillion.
"I think Maman and Papa will definetely not approve!" said Poussièr. "You know how dangerous it is to go out on your first night when you get your powers. You will not be able to control them. What if people will find out about you and catch you?! They would trap you and we would not be able to help..." cried out Poindre.
"Oh! That is nonsense! And I would not be far off... Remember that little cottage in the forest? The one that we always visit? The one with the little boy and girl? Today it is her birthday. Her name is Amelie. I shall bring her a present" said Papillion pulling out a beautiful black lace dress with a large bow in front. "I made it myself! I've been working on it for months. We share the same birthday - I think she deserves a gift as well. If I can take any form I want I want to take human form and I want to go to her birthday. It would be harmless..." smiled Papillion. 
"Well then, Papillion, I am glad to see that your sewing skills have reached perfection! And as this is your wish, I believe I can think of no greater show of kindess. It is your birthday and you can celebrate it in any way you wish, yet you want to show your love for the immortal ones. You clearly are losing too much time scouting their world. But we shall help you sneak out and come with you, as your guardians" said Poussièr. "You know we could not leave you alone. With your luck you would panic and you would not know how to spread your wings again" giggled Poindre.
"Then I believe that counts as a plan!" Papillion rejoiced. 
Happily all the 3 fairies joined handes, opened their wings and flew away graciously toward the throne room from where you could hear the music play... 

Yours truly,
The LadyBug Who Enjoys Telling Stories
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Sunday, 23 February 2014

I Don't Trust Buildings Nowadays

Dear friends,

First thing first: my mum and dad both are engineers and they always made my interest in houses grow ever since I was a wee lass. I would hear them talking about buildings and roads and railways and roads, houses and apartments in blocks of flats, and assesing which one is better/more stable/more durable. Almost all my mothers friends would ask for her advice when buying a new apartment - she has a trained eye for spotting mistakes/flaws inside and outside an apartment/house. I learned quickly which buildings are better and what were the places to hide in case of earthquakes.
 ***
Now you must know that earthquakes in Romania are pretty frequent - not as frequent or as big as in New Zealand, but still... I remember several earthquakes that were pretty noticeable. The last, biggest and most dangerous/deadly earthquake we had in Romania was in '77 when several thousands of people died under the crumbling buildings.
 ***
The 1977 Vrancea Earthquake occurred on Friday, 4 March 1977, 21:20 local time and was felt throughout the Balkans. It had a magnitude of 7.2 with an epicenter in Vrancea (in the Eastern Carpathians) at a depth of 94 kilometers (58 mi). The earthquake killed about 1,578 people (1,424 in Bucharest) in Romania, and wounded more than 11,300. Among the victims was the Romanian actor Toma Caragiu. Nicolae Ceauşescu suspended his official trip to Nigeria.
Ienei Church - The AfterMath Of The '77 Earthquake
About 35,000 buildings were damaged, and the total damage was estimated at more than two billion dollars. Most of the damage was concentrated in Romania's capital, Bucharest, where about 33 large buildings collapsed. Most of those buildings were built before World War II, and were not reinforced. After the earthquake, the Romanian government imposed tougher construction standards.
In Bulgaria, the earthquake is known as the Vrancea Earthquake or Svishtov Earthquake. Three blocks of flats in the Bulgarian town of Svishtov (near Zimnicea) collapsed, killing more than 100 people. Many other buildings were damaged, including the Church of the Holy Trinity. In the Soviet Republic of Moldova the earthquake destroyed and damaged many buildings. In the capital Kishinev, a panic broke out. (source)
 ***
After that the Regime enacted several laws so buildings would be stronger and lasting longer during theses cases. Of course that lasted somewhere until the '90s when the fall of the Regime - in '89 - and the constant changes, and the constant desire of people to steal and throw away all the decisions, including the good ones, made the building once again not very reliable. I would say that I would not live in a building that was not made between '77 and 2000 - just to be on the safe side!
30 June 2011 - Picture taken with Nokia E51
The picture above was one of the first pictures I took in Krakow, when I came for the 10 day visit - even before thinking of establishing myself here. In 2011, on the 30th of June, I was looking as the second building of the BUMA Square was build - that is the name of the complex of buildings I am currently working in. Right now, on the 16th of February 2014, I am watching as the teams are building Quattro D. The BUMA Square will have 4 towers - Building Quattro A, B, C and D. I am working in A, my husband in B, and both A and B are now fully occupied. I think, from what I can see, looking at the window - that overlooks the inner court - that Quattro C is at least half way full. D is not yet functional but it is already overlooking all the other 3 - they are working on the windows now and I bet they will have some time to spend on the interiors ;) Building C and D were build in less than a year and by looking at them I feel that they are strong and tall and powerful. But that is a lie! I can see the cracks and I thank God everyday that Poland is a country without earthquakes. They have floods but the area is not dangerous so I do not panic. But if I would place these buildings in Romania, I would not go anywhere near them as during an earthquake they would fall like dominos... All the glass would go out in a bang and the stairs would fall in a couple of minutes...
 ***
I like though the block I am living in - it is pretty old but not ancient, the systems are running perfectly fine, it has only 4 floors and it looks sturdy and stable :) My kind! And if I would choose a new place I would not go for the fresh stuff on the market as on a new apartment you need around 5 years to see if the systems truly work as they should, and I think I would not be in any mood of redecoration after a few years of just settling in... Just saying! :)

P.S. Dear friends, please stay sharp and look around when buying a new house/apartment. If you feel something is wrong, or something is not as it should be, just move along! Also make sure you know everything about the country you are living in. As an expat I am happy there are no earthquakes in Poland :) And I really must admit that! One thing though: be sure you are out of a possible flodding area!

Yours truly,
The LadyBug Expat :)
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Saturday, 22 February 2014

About The Locked Human Spirit

Dear friends,

** This is a review I did a long time ago, on the 27th of March 2011, and published in my previous blog "Paint The Sky". But as you did not read this before, I thought I may share my thoughts with you. Pay attention to spoilers, as I shall he telling you about Awakenings **
Post-encephalitic Parkinsonism is a disease believed to be caused by a viral illness, that triggers degeneration of the nerve cells in the substantia nigra. Overall, this degeneration leads to clinical Parkinsonism and the disease is followed by encephalitis lethargica, a condition also referred as Von Economo’s encephalitis. Historically, in 1918, an epidemic of the “sleepy-disease” occurred, related to an influenza pandemic; however, even with the use of modern molecular diagnostic tests on appropriate corpses, no firm link between encephalitis lethargica with influenza has been made. The brain regions affected contain neurofibrillary tangles, similar to those seen in Alzheimer’s disease. Nevertheless, the senile plaques common in Alzheimer’s disease are not found.
 ***
The film Awakenings (starring Robin Williams and Robert de Niro) and its respective book based on genuine cases reported by Oliver Sacks deal with sensitive and largely accurate topics relating to this disease. The state of the art in treatment remains roughly the same as it was at the time of the events depicted, the 1960s, although patients with post-encephalitic Parkinsonism lose benefit from their medication far faster than do patients with Parkinson’s disease.
***
A new doctor finds himself with a ward full of comatose patients. He is disturbed by them and the fact that they have been comatose for decades with no hope of any cure. When he finds a possible chemical cure he gets permission to try it on one of them. When the first patient awakes, he is now an adult having gone into a coma in his early teens. The film then delights in the new awareness of the patients and then on the reactions of their relatives to the changes in the newly awakened. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>
Rated 7.6 out of 10 on IMDB
“Human spirit is more powerful than any drug…”
This is a movie based on a true story. The biggest awakening happened  in ’69 in a clinic in Bronx.
The movie is absolutely breathtaking and moving and the effort is considerably placed on the shoulders of both Robert de Niro and Robin Wiliams – and somehow I would tend to say that more on Robert. You can really see he studied how the persons with Parkinson act – how they move and try to express themselves and also their tics and mecanism.
I see this movie as a movie about trust and about life and how one should live it and not remain a rock. The human spirit is the only one that can be free. Your body might be crippled and you might not be able to move but still you do have the feelings and the sound and your mind that is there… waiting for the awakening…
I cannot imagine and I dare not imagine their life… not being able to speak their mind and not being able to do anything themselves, but in the same time having their minds perfectly ok… being able to hear but not to speak… being unable to share their emotions in any way…
How long can you take this and still remain a sane person? How long can you keep your spirit locked up in a cage? or is it trapped really in a cage or do they have the possibility to go elsewhere and find their peace at last?…
And then…if it is true and the human spirit is the most powerful… more powerful than a drug, than how come we cannot cure ourselfs? Do we not belive in us? Does not believing in oneself takes us further away from the cure? If we place our trust in other persons hands – the doctor, for example – does that mean that we refuse being cured? does that mean we deny ourselfs? Where does my trust go then?…
Placebo effect does show us that trust can cure. Why can we not trust ourself?…

Yours truly,
A LadyBug Who Loves Movies
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Friday, 21 February 2014

Musical Friday: Listen To The Rain

Dear friends,

Enya was born on May 17, 1961, in Ireland, Enya performed with her family's band Clannad. Her first solo success came from producing ethereal music for the BBC TV show The Celts. Her 1988 debut solo album, Watermark, sold more than 8 million copies and was followed by the even more successful Shepherd Moons (1991). Other albums include Memory of Trees (1995) and Amarantine (2005).
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Irish singer Enya was born Eithne Ní Bhraonáin on May 17, 1961, in Gweedore, Donegal, Ireland. Born into a family of musicians, Enya played keyboard alongside her siblings in the Irish band Clannad before pursuing a solo career. Her first success as a soloist was producing television scores for the BBC.
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Enya's debut album, Watermark (1988), blended Celtic folk songs, synthesized backdrops and her other worldly vocals to create a distinctive sound some describe as New Age. The album sold more than 8 million copies and was followed by Shepherd Moons (1991), which enjoyed even greater success.
Other albums include Memory of Trees (1995), Paint the Sky with Stars: The Best of Enya (1997), Day Without Rain (2000) and Amarantine (2005). In 2002, Enya contributed the hit score "May It Be" for the first Lord of the Rings film.
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I always loved/admired Enya with her wonderful soothing voice. I could listen to her for hours without end. Is it by chance that she came into my life before Lord of the Rings film? I think now! You may not know of her and she may not be popular in the terms of nowadays - she does not screetch and say she is singing, she uses just her own beautiful voice, she does not undress or "accidentally" show body parts in order to intrigue people or get them to buy her album, she is content with how she is and how she represents her lovely green country like a true Irish lass. 
 ***
Each time the rain is falling I am thinking of this song... and it makes me think of calm and warm moments, when you are inside the house - maybe with a cup of tea in your hands - and you are just watching the rain through the window... Rain in a constant in our lifes, even if we do not see it. We most of the times run away from it and hide ourselfs but sometimes we should just embrace the feeling of the rain on our skin, arms out wide... Rain can be both a blessing and a burden. When you are happy you can dance in the rain and when you are sad you can just hide away in it and cry - no soul will notice...
Listen To The Rain - Enya

Every time
The rain comes down,
Close my eyes and listen.
I can hear the lonesome sound
Of the sky as it cries.

Listen to the rain
Here it comes again
Hear it in the rain

Feel the touch
Of tears that fall
...They won't fall forever
In the way the day will flow
All things come,
All things go.

Listen to the rain
...The rain...
Here it comes again...
...Again...
Hear it in the rain
...The rain...

Late at night
I drift away -
I can hear you calling,
And my name
Is in the rain,
Leaves on trees whispering,
Deep blue sea's mysteries.

Even when
This moment ends,
Can't let go this feeling.
Everything
Will come again
In the sound,
Falling down,
Of the sky as it cries.
Hear my name in the rain.

Yours truly,
The LadyBug who is a huge Enya Fan :)
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Reflexions

Dear friends,

I dunno about you lads/lasses but I have very mixed up feelings when it comes to rain. Mostly when it comes to me and rain we have a love-hate relationship - the kind that makes you linger around even though you are not quite sure why you are doing that... I was born in Autumn and I love Autumn with all my heart - I even adore the warm summer-autumn rains! But I am unsure about the rain, especially here in Poland. I have never seen a country in which it would rain this often and weirdly - ok, maybe except UK but I did not live there, I just visited so I am not jumping into conclusions here...
Rain here in Poland takes at least a third of the year and sometimes even a half! It can be warm and short during the summer just so the things would cool down and the athmospehere would be fresh. It can be long and bubbly and stay a couple of days in the autumn, and make you stay inside and watch a movie or read a book - even dance in the rain if you are up to it! But there are those mean and cruel type of rains that bring the cold and soak you to the bone in an instant...
February rains are totally different that the October rains - that are warm and nice - and they make you layer up more and more until you get to the normal temperature back again... Monday evening on the 10th of February, atfer a full week of sunshine and temperature constantly over 5 degrees Celsius, the weather wanted to show off and it started raining. The first day the rain was short - only half a day - it started when I went to work and by the time I had to go back all was well. The second day was no longer the same... raining hard, windy and in case you were wondering all the pictures from this post are from that day - the 12th February - with my Blackberry so please excuse the quality ;p I would not take the camera out in this type of weather - that would be pure madness!!! The first picture though is from the first day of rain, with puddles and shining sun... All rainbows and unicorns ;)
Even though it was raining continuously since morning and it was cold and I wanted to come home fast, when I saw this wild blue-black fruits with the rain on them I could not stop myself from taking the phone out and shooting this small pictures for you ;) The night lamps giving a soft light in the puddles... it all looked so fairy tale like in a disturbed bad way somehow... I was waiting for a goblin to pop by from the nearest bush!
The next day was even more horror like... On the February 13th - lovely number, don't you think?! - I woke up and looked outside. My jaw instantly dropped as I could not see anything. There was huge fog... the kind that you would cut with a knife! As I walked to work I could see that the rain on the blue-black fruits and the trees and the bushes has turned into crisp frost, white... like the creamy fog surrounding us...
I love the puddles during rain... I love pictures taken in puddles... I love the warmth of the rain and I love walking in the rain. Just as long as it does not soak me up and the cold gets to my bones so bad that I turn purple. I love the rain as I love to see the reaction of people in the rain... How do you feel about it?

P.S. Rain also reminds me of Enya's beautiful song Listen To The Rain, but you will hear about that a bit later on, don't you worry ;)

Yours truly,
A LadyBug That Sometimes Loves Rain :)
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Thursday, 20 February 2014

Come, Meet Me Where The Mulled Wine's Sweet

Dear friends,

If you are with me since last summer than you must have seen this post where I was telling you about some awesome creme brulle and our friendship to Monica, who moved to Oslo. If you do not remember that than maybe you do remember the post where I told you where to drink the best mulled wine in Krakow, in the very awesome pub called AntyCafe.
Well guess what?! Monica came to visit and we just had to meet at the same place we always meet: AntyCafe :) It is nice and cozy and you can hear yourself when talking - no need for shouting. They have good music, good drinks and good prices. Of course as it is still winter I choose the mulled wine, which was as usually exceptional and sweet and fruity - I love the fact that they add nuts and seeds and raisins and pieces of dry banana + the slice of orange. That wine done in this way lasts me usually longer than the normal one and my husband had 2 beers by the time I nibbled and crunched away slow as a snail...
As you can see on the pictures we met at 8:30 pm on a beautiful Friday on the first week of this month and we had a bit of talk and fun :) You have to excuse the quality of the pictures as they were taken by the camera on my phone, on the BlackBerry, as I came straight from work and had no time to bring it. I met with my awesome husband in town and as we were early - the first ones on the reservation - we had a walk and we quickly ate a kebab before coming to AntyCafe.
My husband recommands the new beer he tried that night - you can see a picture of it above. I think it is called Piwo Na Miodzie and as far as I could see it was done in Krakow - it is beer with honey so it is a bit sweet, mind you! I on the other hand urge you to try the mulled wine, especially if it is a cold night/day - it will warm you up from inside.
Shot meant to be artistic of candle reflection by the beer bottle...
It was extremely lovely to see our friend again. We are happy each time she comes back to Krakow and we get to see eachother. She now lives in Oslo and before she used to work with us in the same company, same project. She is a talented young lady that does hula hooping and creates her own hula hops - not just for her, she does it for others as well, from scratch :) If you want a hula hoop or you are interested in this, I think all you need to do is go here - the Polish Hula Hooping Comunity and post an inquiry. I bet she will jump in for your help ;)

** I didn't receive anything for this review, just wanted to share the love! I was not payed in any way and these are my own opinions and feelings! ** 

Yours truly,
A Very Supporting LadyBug :)
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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Postman Always Rings Twice

Dear friends,

Do you sometimes also miss writing? And especially writing letters to your friends and family? To you tire standing in front of the pc/laptop/tablet and typing on the keyboard? Do you long to pick up a crayon/pen/pencil in your hand and start writing? Funny part is usually when you want to do that you feel like you do not know how to write anymore...
Picture Taken on 8th February - just a bit outside Krakow :)
I miss being small sometimes and not having a computer next to me, in my life, 24/7. The first desktop we had was a AMD K6 and I used to play on it by reading interesting facts on Encyclopaedia Britannica. My mum was the first one who actually took lessons and learned how to use a computer. We learned about it as we went along, and there was not such a need at the beginning - I think I was somewhere in 4th or 5th grade when mum bought it
***
I always rather liked writing than typing and technology, even though it thrills me and I love it to bits, makes me also feel very vulnerable. I also guess this is why I always loved Jane Austen. I would think of her, leaning over her writing desk and making all those beautiful characters come to life with the tip of her feathered pen. Back than you would write the letters with all your heart and you would usually pour your sould into them, in carefully selected phrases. You would think things over, you would crumple the paper and you would start again. When you would be happy with the result maybe you would - if you were a lady - spray a bit of perfume on the paper - especially if you would have written to someone you loved. Thank you would carefully fold it into an envelope form - and later on, even put it a special envelope - and pour some wax and seal it with your ring with the family crest... Stop me from daydreaming!
***
Nowadays we just use mail, we barely use the postal services anymore... It is true, emails are faster and you get them in real time on your phone or whatever gadget, but at the same time we are losing the informational content, the connection between the sender and the receiver. We are much more shallow and senseless... 

Do you feel the same? Do you write letters anymore?

Yours truly,
A Puzzled LadyBug
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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Paris Is A Woman's Town, With Flowers In Her Hair

Dear friends,

Paris is a city you fall in love with immediately! And unconditionally! Well at least that is how it was for me... I was in love with Ireland and France ever since I can remember - I blame it all on Alexandre Dumas father and son and + my mum who was listening to Joe Dassin + all the movies with Louis de Funès that I saw when I was a wee lass... I always knew that sooner or later I will want to see Paris and so I did. I had to wait many years - until my second year of Masters degree - until I went there with Clara :) Claire Bear is a sweet friend of mine andI have told you about here, on my blog. We went for a longer weekend to Paris and it was beautiful! So I wanted to share with you some thoughts - and some quotes - on Paris and maybe even make you think of jumping in a plane and having a weekend there for yourself ;)
My Fav Picture From Paris - Taken With My Nokia E51
“Oh, London is a man's town, there's power in the air;
And Paris is a woman's town, with flowers in her hair;
And it's sweet to dream in Venice, and it's great to study Rome;
But when it comes to living, there is no place like home.”
Henry van Dyke
“Paris was a universe whole and entire unto herself, hollowed and fashioned by history; so she seemed in this age of Napoleon III with her towering buildings, her massive cathedrals, her grand boulevards and ancient winding medieval streets--as vast and indestructible as nature itself. All was embraced by her, by her volatile and enchanted populace thronging the galleries, the theaters, the cafes, giving birth over and over to genius and sanctity, philosophy and war, frivolity and the finest art; so it seemed that if all the world outside her were to sink into darkness, what was fine, what was beautiful, what was essential might there still come to its finest flower. Even the majestic trees that graced and sheltered her streets were attuned to her--and the waters of the Seine, contained and beautiful as they wound through her heart; so that the earth on that spot, so shaped by blood and consciousness, had ceased to be the earth and had become Paris.”
Anne Rice, Interview With The Vampire 
“The English language is like London: proudly barbaric yet deeply civilised, too, common yet royal, vulgar yet processional, sacred yet profane. Each sentence we produce, whether we know it or not, is a mongrel mouthful of Chaucerian, Shakespearean, Miltonic, Johnsonian, Dickensian and American. Military, naval, legal, corporate, criminal, jazz, rap and ghetto discourses are mingled at every turn. The French language, like Paris, has attempted, through its Academy, to retain its purity, to fight the advancing tides of Franglais and international prefabrication. English, by comparison, is a shameless whore.”
Stephen Fry, The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within
“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast  
I must admit I wanted to do this post for a very long while but I did not have the time to sort through all the pictures from the Paris trip with Claire so I had to make do with the pictures I already had on Facebook - but you will forgive me for that ;) It would be madness to try and explain Paris or what it means to me but I can tell you some things that were on my to do list and some extra things we managed to do.
  • Stay in a small hostel, just in the back of the well known Moulin Rouge. Don't be afraid of the small elevators and always eat breakfast at the hostel, the croissants are tasty and hot and the coffee is very good ;)
  • Talk to people around you and especially to the people at the hostel and in the room you are staying. We stayed in a 4 bed room with inside bath and it was really cozy and quiet. We made friends and we even went together to a walk in the evening at the Tour Eiffel.
  • Try to get off the beaten path of the tourists and get yourself lost. We got lost in Montmartre and we bumped into wonderful street artists. There is the first place I have ever heard of / heard / seen a hang instrument
    The Hang Drum :)
  • Visit the Versailles and leave leave yourself at least a day for that. An entire day to wonder in the beautiful palace and make sure to wonder around in the gardens and even have a picnic on the grass there - nevermind the rain, even if it catches you... Make sure you will not miss the Petit Trianon. Although Madame de Pompadour, who wished to “relieve the king’s boredom”, was the instigator of this small palace that Gabriel built in the 1760s, it is the memory of Marie-Antoinette that hangs over the building. In 1774, Louis XVI offered the Trianon estate to the Queen who was able to live away – too far away for some – from the Court.
     Inside-out Versailles is a dream... (above 2 pictures were taken with Nokia E51)
    Inside Marie Antoinette's Rose Cottage & Garden
  • Save another day for 2 of the best museums in town: The Louvre & The Orsay. We choose to stay at Louvre just for the paintings and the sculptures and we went off the premises after 4 hours! Orsay is much more easier to handle and it is very intimate and very special for me as it holds numerous Rodin pieces I love :) 
  • Have a very relaxing day at the Montmartre and see Sacre Coeur and visit the cemetery where you can find Emile Zola, Hector Berlioz and my all time fav author Alexandre Dumas. You can take your time and pay your respects for the love they put into you for a country far away.
    Alexandre Dumas Grave
  • At least walk by the Paris Opera house and think of the story of The Phantom Of The Opera. Unfortunately one of the things I always wanted to do was go inside The Opera and see it in its full glory. Maybe that means that one day I will be back :)
  • Conquer the Tour Eiffel - tell you the truth I have not managed that. First time we tried to go up but the queues were so huge we said we would just walk up the stairs... We did not figure out that it would be so chilly and windy. We ended up 2/3 of the way and stopped there as all elevators had huge queues and we were to cold to go further on foot. We said we would try again the next day - which we did but unfortunately the upper part was closed the next days due to strong wind... Another sing I must come back ;)  
  • Check the Notre Dame for The Hunchback ;) or at least have a look at the gargoyles and feast your eyes upon the best view over Paris :)
    Yep! We made it! :)
    But we did not find the Hunchback... (taken with Nokia E51)
  • Walk! and ocasionally be wild and take the Metro :) each stop has these wonderful metro signs very antique and twirly and artsy. There are so many things that you just pass by... just open your eyes to the beauties that Paris has to offer you and don't go all automatic pilot into it ;)
    Paris Metro - On My Way To Versailles
  • Go into a ordinary local small shop and buy cheese, to another one and buy some grapes, buy a baguette and get going with your friends to catch a good place to sit down under The Tour Eiffel and watch it light at night. Watch it light and sparkle and pop a bottle of wine and have a picnic. Have a picnic, I did that ;)
  • Have yourself an early morning or late afternoon walk along the Seine and take in the sights and the people... the local artists selling antiques - books and prints and whatever you think of :) Grab a sandwich and eat it as you take a look in their merchandise but be careful not to stain anything ;) 
    Watch as Notre Dame de Paris appears at a distance and make your way through to feed the pidgeons in front of it and maybe sit down and sketch the facade...
  • Walk in the night - be not afraid, it is calm and quiet and you get to see the wonderful old buildings come to life. You will see The Louvre all light up and you will watch the Tour Eiffel sparkle in the distance and you will go back to your motel with a full heart, passing by people drinking wine in the street and dancing without any care...
  • Go visit Napoleon Bonaparte and see how cold and monumental a grave can get... How weird is it to have thousands upon thousands visiting you and you being locked up, unable to say that maybe you would like the kind of privacy that maybe Alexandre Dumas or Emile Zola has... that even though there are so many people around you, you still feel cold and alone...
  • And last, but NEVER least, go inside a bookstore and get yourself lost there... I got lost into finding the book I love, one of the books of my childhood, a book for children and for grown up alike, a book about true love and about friendship: Le Petit Prince.
** I did this post for the Traveling Tuesday but most of all I did this post with all my heart. I hope that one day you will manage to go to Paris and you will let me know of your own checklist. I hope and pray that one day I will come back and I will manage to go inside The Opera and I will manage to go until the end of Eiffel... One day! :) All in due time ;) **

Yours truly,
A LadyBug In Love With Paris
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