stuffed mice

before
all

This is a true story. And if any negative energy fucks me up after its publishing… well, consider yourself dear reader a witchcraft crime witness.

I got us a SPA day out – announces Karol. ( It’s just miles from where we live and in some shitty wannabe luxurious hotel we’ve never heard of – he doesn’t add) Hooray, hooray, off we go with our stiff necks and twitching eyelids. I’d say we’re getting pampered but, as a non-native, I somehow always associate this word with diapers. So anyway, water least-active sports and back massages await. Weeks pass, the day comes and I meet Ela.

Ela is dressed in black. She sits behind her desk and asks us for some information. Karol dislikes her. I’m more interested in the Christmas catalogue on a nearby table than offering her any attention, really. Before I get asked to switch from the latest technology offers to the number of cardiac arrests, organ transplants and chronic diseases on the health questionnaire that is. Of course I joke, Ela laughs, we-are-fa-mi-ly. After signatures, we follow Ela to the dark side and are asked to choose our treatment rooms. I go straight ahead. Karol turns right. Little do we know that directions are allocated. The right belongs to Kasia. Guess who I end up with. Correct!

What is it with massage places and Enya? I mean, does she get some commission for having her sail aways played in every beauty salon? I keep wondering. Enya’s music is as certain in so-called relaxing spaces as dumb dance music in most gyms. It puts me off the whole experience. Not sure about you, but in moments like these, I simply can’t wait when playing music in public spaces becomes politically incorrect.

Ela says get undressed and I’m too shy to disobey. Of course she leaves the room (but in hindsight I’m convinced Ela sees through doors so to hell with my modesty) and promises to come back. She’s quick. I hardly manage to put my face down onto that circular head rest when she knocks on the door. Oh, the blissful relaxation… let me just switch off and sail away, sail away… Or maybe not.

what do you do? – asks Ela and touches my leg.
(Shit! Thought it was a back massage! I haven’t complied with the Presentable 21st Century Girl rules so fuck, my legs are hairy! – I don’t say but suddenly get all tense)
Yyy, I’m a graphic designer – I say with my face stuck in the cushioned circle. Ela begins massaging my tigh. She chuckles.
I know your double! My friend looks exactly like you and is also a graphic designer. In fact, she’s visiting me here in about two hours.
(Never joke with strangers, unless you wish for a fa-mi-ly reunion – I take mental notes and say nothing)
Do you work in your profession? Asks Ela and so I confirm with a moan, simply because my massaged leg hurts.
You’re lucky then – she states.
(Oh please, please, just don’t give me the lucky you bullshit – I think considering the floor)
Because my friend has tried for over a year now but hasn’t been lucky so far – Ela continues.
Has she tried doing an internship? You know, for no money or very lttle money, to get her foot in the door? asks Marta-the-savior, Marta-the-surely-must-be-some-solution.
She can’t afford that says Ela and Marta-the-savior says something like oh or even oh, well (thinking: oh, how surprising).

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My writing is concise to the point where I’m not sure if I can actually write anything longer. I don’t mean a book – I have no desire for that (by the way, is writing a book the ultimate intellectual ambition? Just wondering). I mean waffling or, as others would say, writing down one’s thoughts or some other such rubbish. To me, it would be an information overload. The writing I love most tells a lot with the simplest words. And leaves out enough details to make plenty of space for readers’ imagination.

But this is life, this is blogging! Facts are in demand! Why imagine things if they can all be described! Sentence, sentence your existence to a considerable number of letters!

I have nightmares and wake up early in the morning. Feeling hot from my mind’s naivety that the burglars in that house were really, and I mean really strangling that woman before my eyes. Nightmares are no fun and happen to me often, usually on Sunday nights, possibly as a sign of true happiness and lack of anxiety in my pink-tinted Monday to Friday life. They can be easy to disarm, they can also be so real that getting back to sleep afterwards seems like a mental terror.

My recurring one is a soap opera. It starts in high school (which should be called a secondary school since I’m broadcasting from England) with a bunch of episodes that take place in the here and after. The main characters: I and my high school sweetheart (a secondary school sweetheart sounds plain wrong, no?). I keep looking for him or he keeps looking for me. Sometimes he’s married, with kids et al. and sometimes he’s still a teenager. We talk or we don’t say a word. There is a conclusive ending of an episode or a sudden cut and I wake up because I need to pee. But one thing is for sure: it’s always, without exception, very tiring. So tiring that I started overanalysing my life and judge it at its best when this nightmare soap opera gives my mind a break. To my joy, this is more and more often. An optimist would even say always.

Any soap opera I follow in reality? Recently I’ve developed this small obsession with BBC programmes about nature. Everything by David Attenborough whose books I’ve been reading in the last weeks and anything by anybody really is fine. But the series on Wild China is THE craze. Honestly, I watch and dream of being teleported to Tibet or Yunnan, even for a weekend, although it doesn’t seem sense. What is it about that place? I don’t know. All I know is the more I learn about it, the more I want to see it. Luckily, our trip to Hong Kong is coming soon, otherwise I’d probably end up in some AW2014 depression.

After a static half of the year, or rather a static year caused by our moving, we’re slowly increasing the number of days we’ll be spending away from home. We both ended up working a lot more than we’d planned and, yet once again, made a mistake of reaching our limits of productivity. Holidays taken in a moment like this are hardly a break but we have to start somewhere. There is this simple rule I invented last time we went away: when on holidays, decide on your next break and book it before your return home. It’s magic.

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The woman behind the counter is visibly Polish so I want to be nice and ask the where-are-you from question. My suspicions are justified and, I swear that unbeknownst to me, I sigh with relief and say dzien dobry. She looks down and asks: what’s wrong with speaking English? and it’s not a friendly type of wandering. Absolutely nothing, we reply with Karol on accord. Then we order coffee and although for this itsy-bitsy second I feel like a kid, I don’t go for decaf.

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It’s still August but I’m already planning Christmas. This is London, things can get crazy. Some concerts are ready for being booked. The chosen ice rink venue has a special ‘interested in ice rink tickets’ tick box in its newsletter subscription form. Selfridges opened their Christmas Store some weeks ago. It looks like I’m not exaggerating.

All this leads me to many lists of things to do in the capital. I know my preferences but they’re not my parents’ ones. Careful planning is not a matter of fad, it’s a matter of survival.

When I was browsing the top this and top that, I also clicked on the opposites. The worst things, the avoidable, the pathetic, the disasters. They didn’t surprise me much but reading below-the-line comments was very, very entertaining. The opinions, as strong as they were and as strongly held as they happened to be, were one thing. But the language… was such a delight compared to what I still remember from my years as a reader of Polish articles online. No fucks, no cunts, no whores, no twats, no wankers, no dicks, no asses and no vaginas. And yet, in such a uniquely English way, very rude. I’d never think I’d write it but bravo The Telegraph.

The thing is, I don’t take opinions too seriously, do you? Ideologies don’t stick to me much. And this is quite visible on this blog, too. One minute I write recipes and share holiday photos, the other think all of it irrelevant and just ramble about what takes my fancy instead. Changes keep happening, why stop them or pretend there is consistency which can be pigeon-holed and looked up? Because of readers’ expectations?

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This summer has a certain rhythm. It often feels like being on the set of The Truman Show – every morning I walk past the same houses, spot the same cyclists, at the same time reach the same station. I can recite all announcements I hear on that one morning train I’ve been taking for the last two months. And easily choose which people it’ll be good to sit next to and which won’t. I like girls doing their make up and anybody reading a book – they guarantee peace for my morning meditation.

I don’t write much. Texting friends is as good as it gets.
My need to take photos hasn’t surfaced for quite a while. Who knows, maybe looking is enough at the moment. Sometimes I catch myself thinking that I should… and then I just smile. Because really – should I?

The question that I find most meaningful at the moment: What if I didn’t need money or attention? strongly influences my choices.

The house remains largely unfurnished. And we like it more and more this way. I look at beautiful, polished interiors, carefully chosen objects and get a headache. How people make their space so finished? And why?

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