How to spend a Monday morning

  • Wake up at 9.40 because someone is calling. Not because I actually would wake up so early. It’s always either the cat making a racket or someone else disturbing my sleep.
  • Be in a bad mood and compare myself to Natasha Rostova. Fret about the usual things.
  • Make breakfast, find out there is no work with deadlines to be done today and that the employer seems to have taken a holiday.
  • Contemplate going for a walk in the woods. But later.
  • Decide that I have to have a more regulated schedule or I can’t handle this year of not being able to do anything to better my life. I’m probably still  – or again? – at an age where a year seems like an eternity. Count how many books I have on my shelf that I haven’t read – 31 – and decide I’ll try and have the lot of them read through by June. Consider it unrealistic, and decide 15 is a better number. Transfer a bunch of non-fiction PDF books to my tablet for reading in addition to fiction.
  • Since the cat is hyperactive, play with her. Play with her lots.
  • Discover that one girl on Instagram has an awesome cat duvet I must also have. Google for the same store and the duvet. Contemplate how great internet shopping is as it allows me to order unusual stuff from abroad. My country is such a backwatery place with a very small market, so the stores here only cater to the average of average in taste. It’s not possible to get a wood imitation bathroom shelf or blue wallpaper with roses. Importing minority taste items just isn’t profitable here.
  • Start humming Softly As I Leave You. Since I don’t know the lyrics too well, I automatically switch to Fly Me To The Moon at one point, unsure of what that song is at first. Find it on YouTube and continue. Be eyed by the cat suspiciously. Try to get over it and carry on, but her disapproval is too evident. She is more of a Beethoven aficionado.

In other words, on days like this, I love my job. I do have some work I could be doing, but it’s not pressing, so it will be done in the evening.

Job market absurdism

I saw an ad for the job of a translator, translating technical and legal documents.

The requirements – and yes, requirements – included having a positive attitude to life.

I don’t think pessimists would make for any worse translators. The only place where they would not be great is the service sector.

So who do I complain to about this sort of personality-based discrimination? It has nothing to do with a person’s actual skills and ability to translate.

Why, what with all manner of discrimination types being discussed to death, has practically no one pointed out the extreme discrimination that goes on in the job market? Why is it okay to discriminate based on some qualities and not others?

Language fun

“Most people come to exchange language and attraction”

(source: someone on the internet)


That phrase is too good not to be put down here. There is a certain delightful freshness in how non-natives use English and what they sometimes do with it. I’m a non-native too, so I know I occasionally do things a native wouldn’t. I’m not able to detect my imperfections myself, unless I put them there on purpose, but when those whose language skills are poorer than mine do it and hit upon a particularly good phrase by accident….I’m not outraged, I don’t think their English sucks, I find it wonderful.

Now I’ll go and exchange attraction with a book. I hope some of its charm will pass on to me too.


Or an ordinary Saturday.

Something was different at the forest today. When I began my walk, on a pretty Saturday afternoon, there were many people out by the seaside as well. I never thought there wouldn’t be, but as I reached my destination, I was completely alone. Not another human in sight for miles and miles.  All the crowds had decided to leave that spot to my sole enjoyment.

My pastures

I love to be in that particular place alone. Such delicious serenity and it allows me a glimpse into one of my dream lives. On both sides of me there are coastal pastures with cows grazing, a forest grove behind me and the sea facing me. I like to imagine that this is my farm land and I’m overseeing my fields and livestock. Whilst wearing a 19th century gentleman’s outfit. With a walking stick and all. Or to lie down on the bench by the sea, and imagine I’m a Romantic vagabond, with a fedora hat and the compulsory piece of grass in my mouth.

Cow stare fest

As I was leaving, some of the cows took a particular interest in me. First it was one that started staring. Then three more followed. Stood in line and stared. Maybe they disapproved of my strangeness.

A list of things that annoy me without good cause

In other words, what an arse I am.

1. Nitpicking and pedanticism. I find it mind-boggling, for example, that people can fight on internet forums over comma use and call each other imbeciles for putting commas in the wrong places. Detail is important, but I dare say not equally important in all contexts. I’m more of a “can’t see the trees for the wood” person.  A misplaced or missing comma seems a very trivial thing to me, provided its wrongness isn’t glaring.


2. Excessive and constant frivolity. You know, people with whom you can never talk seriously about anything. People who make light of your problems for god knows what reason. Perhaps to cheer you up, or more likely, because they can’t deal with seriousness. People who are like butterflies, without any substance to them, although they may have great charm and beauty. People who don’t put their heart deeply into anything.


3. Superficiality. Read above, I suppose.


4. Being too grown-up. Having no magic in one’s life, but careful, plan-based living like Soviet economy. People who are too grown-up would never do a thing that was impulsive, silly or not regarded among the accepted grown-up activities and behaviours. Their success is measured through the possession of a partner, house, car and a career. Having a reasonable amount of money in the bank is essential. A too grown-up person looks down upon young people and their sincere emotionality and dreams. Sadly, sincerity and ability to lose oneself in something pleasant has been lost for them. They are matter-of-fact, disgustingly unromantic and non-idealistic. No wonder they rub me the wrong way!

If it were a list of things that annoy me WITH good cause, middle-aged sex tourists would be the next item.


5. Being dull. This is something I always feel a little bad about. It isn’t really fair to dislike someone because they are boring. I’m especially bored by people who are too grown-up without a spark of fun or mischief in them, by people who have mediocre hearts and mediocre minds. Given a choice between getting to know a dull person or a bad person, I’d take the latter, provided they are not a complete heartless maniac. I don’t approve of this preference and often hit my fingers with a ruler to reprimand myself.

Not a real ruler, of course, an imaginary one.