It is rather strange to be sitting behind a laptop again! I have been MIA for a week and now these tiny keyboard buttons are like a mystery to me.
I visited my family back in Estonia and I had the most fantastic time. Sure, I realized I don’t necessarily like travelling itself, but for some reason stepping foot to homeland is always a good way to recharge the batteries of who I really am. I seem to forget about that in Ireland. I seem to forget about what I really can achieve and what life is like. Strange, really.
Before I’ll give you an overview of what’s happening in the book segment of my life, I would like to tell you the most memorable moments from my trip.
As always, I stay in my brother’s house when I visit home. The good thing about my family is- we all live in the same village in three different locations. My brother’s house is at the edge of the forest and that suits him well because he is a forester. The very moment I stepped into his house I face-planted into his work clothes. Creepy? Maybe… But there’s nothing better than the smell of forest, sawdust and fresh air with a hint of machine oil!
My mother had stocked us up with the food I had requested so before sleep I had about 2 litres of sour cream salad which was a bad idea because going to sleep with a full stomach that night prompted some pretty screwed up nightmares about zombies who could be healed back into humans by feeding them custard cream. Go figure!
My niece took me to her workplace the next day where they had a client day. So, I hung around big fancy tractors, combine harvesters and stocky farmers. My niece is a tall and fit looking 20 year old who loves and lives tractors. Why waste time on modelling when you could produce food and be useful?
Over the weekend we celebrated mom’s 60th and once everyone was wined and dined, I settled down on the couch with my brother to listen to music, full blast, until 4AM. The perks of not having neighbours.
Overall, there’s just nothing better than waking up in the morning, bringing some firewood in from the shed to get the fires going and enjoy the view of a calm forest. I didn’t open my laptop, I didn’t look at my Kobo, I didn’t even have my smartphone in my pocket.
Back in reality though, I am now trying to catch up with work emails and show you a sign of life. I am back in full force and it’s going to get busy with reading.
My favorite man Frank Friendship has been up to some explosive stuff over Halloween. 2 in 1 darkly fun short stories starring the man himself are available for free on Amazon, iTunes and Kobo (LINKS below). There’s fun and typical Frank-behaviour. Don’t miss this! If you haven’t read the Frank Friendship series yet then perhaps these two short stories will give you a taste for the MC’s quirks and personality. Laughs guaranteed!
1. Frank Friendship’s Free Fireworks
With Halloween and Bonfire Night approaching fast, the church committee votes against fireworks, but Frank just isn’t the kind of guy who’ll settle for sparklers.
2. Superluminal Strawberry Split
Planet Earth and a young Frank Friendship is on a mission for an ice-lolly when he encounters hostile aliens.
Via Bookbridgr I requested “The Leopards of Normandy: Devil” by David Churchill, and it was well awesome to arrive back to a new paperback to read and review.
I received an email from Barnaby Taylor to read and review his book “Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird versus Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets”. I got to say- I look forward to reading this! Described to have plenty of action, adventure and sarcasm and starring a fairly hopeless hero this book calls out to me. having lived in Ireland for 8 years I have full faith in myself that I am able to get the Irish humor.
And last but not least I will be reading and reviewing a book by Mark Donovan called “Waterkill”. It is scheduled to be self-published in December, so stay tuned to find out more about it in the coming weeks!
For now, this is the end of my update! I will be following up with reviews on Frank’s short stories and the other books in my immediate list to read.
It is interesting how different perceptions of going “home” can be. I don’t call it “home” anymore and yet I am obligated (not willing) to return. And find that it is stressful, expensive and I would much rather go and see a new place in the world then return to my motherland which I’ve seen quite a lot.
But it is good to hear that you had a peaceful time. 🙂
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Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes, home does bring a lot of different emotions for different people. Even when everyone else would go on a sandy beach i would rather go to Estonia even if there’s winter and -29 c… Sometimes I think I am blindly stuck at what life is like there.. I don’t know. I just never really integrated into the Irish community. Perhaps it’s my fault and for that reason go home every chance I get just to feel connected again.
Bad thing about obligations is they never cease to exist- as in, if one obligation stops, something other will take its place. Good thing about obligations is the fact that the good things and places take on much more value in our eyes. It’s kind of a balance, I guess 🙂
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I actually did read an article by a person from Easter Europe who graduated Oxford and as a great job now and it stated that many people from Baltics don’t socialize with the locals. They don’t put the effort and mostly just have a crowd of they own with only the nationalities they feel close to and that makes it hard for their identities, culture and even future. As obviously it is easier to get a job, if you know a guy.
And then again – British, Irish they don’t like the immigrants, and sometimes even feel superior, so they also don’t put in an effort to meet new people, which leaves a gap.
For me every trip “home” seems like a wasted opportunity – I could have gone to Scandinavia or Switzerland instead (mountains, forests, fjords), but here I am buying all the gifts and listening how terrible I am because I didn’t visit that or this friend or relative. And last time I was there, people were just staring at me – on the streets, like they would know I don’t really fit in, which made me feel even more uncomfortable.
I largely also think it is because since I left, my life has changed and the room I left is not my room anymore as my mother divorced and moved out. And it is a pretty terrible feeling, when you go there and you don’t belong. Not to even start on people being unpolite and judgmental.
Estonia has always been the best and most progressive of the three sisters and I suppose that people are a bit more up to date there and honestly country side is always better than city, so that alone is a bonus. 😀
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Wow, that sounds interesting, that article. And, yes, I would agree with the “hang around your own crowd” mentality.
I only know of one more Estonian around my area for the past 8 years I’ve been here. In my old workplace there were Polish, Lithuanian and Irish girls- we all got along well enough. Although I gotta say, the different cultural backgrounds and personalities did ignite some pretty serious situations. Thankfully I’ve always been the “outsider” and looked at all the action from the sidelines. A neutral person, if I may say so. I just never found a common ground with Irish girls. Like, yes, we communicated and chatted, but to have an actual friend? Just never clicked. I guess my disinterest in makeup, shopping and all things girlie never helped either.
Good example, yesterday on the train I ended up chatting to an elderly gentleman who quite quickly into the chat asked me if I was planning to move back to Estonia in the future. I told him that yes, should the opportunity rise not only for me, but for my husband as well, we would love to go. He replied with a sigh of “Thank god! The others they just don’t want to leave!” I was slightly taken aback… 🙂
Ah, I’m sorry to hear your experience with going back home is such! That sounds pretty crazy! I always felt guilty as well if I didn’t have the time nor wish to visit every single person while home… now I just say- I’m here, wanna see me, come to me because I am on holiday and I ain’t gonna tear myself in half trying to divide time and organise meetings. Fuck that! This nicely separates the people who care from people who don’t and everything becomes simple. I don’t care about the complaints even from extended family that I didn’t take the time to pop in for a cup.
As for people on the streets shop assistants, etc being unpolite- the best remedy for these twats is a good loud sarcastic comment said with a smile. One of the shop assistants flipped out on me at the check out cause I didn’t hear what she said. She literally spat the words out at me. I just started laughing and asked- “Are you feeling OK? Having a bad day? Aww! But no, thanks, I don’t want your stickers”… Sometimes it’s enough to beat them down from their high horse.
I don’t know what I would do if I was you, and obviously you’re not putting yourself into those situations willingly. Sometimes it’s just best to learn to let the guilt go and say No to places and people who don’t make you feel good. It’s our life now, it’s our time to make the best of it and the sooner we realize that no one or nothing should stand in our way the better. Next time, take that step and book yourself on a flight to a country of your personal preference and enjoy living life to yourself! 🙂 Yes, can be easier said than done, but sometimes we are bound by nothing else but our own sense of obligation and guilt.
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I was actually thinking about all this and how some people want to go back and some don’t and I realized that I failed to mention a little detail, that seems to change it all.
I didn’t leave my country because of lack of job or money. I actually had a job I loved and earned enough money. So it was a choice for me to leave, not a necessity.
Since my first real international trip to participate in a project in Denmark and Germany, I new that I want to travel, because there was much to see. I used my studies to live for a while in Denmark and France. I studied education and social sciences and once I returned I had a culture shock, I couldn’t believe that things that were used in USSR are still in use and there are so many changes possible. And if you try to change something you don’t get support and you don’t get approval, you get bad looks from your colleagues, because you are changing things they are happy with. (This is mostly about education.) And even the professors in University were teaching us to use new methods while they used the old and easy ones.
I returned from France I think in 2013 or so and I had a decision made already that I am leaving after I finish my last year in University.
And it is different then running to be able to support your family and buy the necessary things to survive, because there’s no job for you or no place for you in your country.
It’s not my plan either to live in London all my life and London wasn’t even close to my top places to go to. But I love it now, it is a beautiful place. And exactly as you said – I don’t have to feel bad about starting a conversation with an elder person or even a youngster, they will talk to me and I’m going to have a pleasant memory.
I’m not much into parties or actually into socialization. One of those who prefer to stay at home on a Friday night. But then again, I push myself to go to boargame clubs or concerts or stand-up, just to be out, see and experience.
I know what you mean about friends, I wouldn’t say that I have found a bestie in here, but I cannot say that I haven’t tried. 🙂
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Well, reading your comment- you’ve achieved a lot and you’ve tried a lot… and that’s a whole pile more than some people can say! So, you can be super proud of yourself! 🙂
Damn, both your stories sound heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time! Big hugs to both of you and kudos on being the strong women you are!
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Also, how about giving us that sour cream salad recipe? 😀 Unless it’s a secret family recipe of course ;).
I love sour salads to shits!
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😀 Hahahaa… It’s really a very simple salad! But for some reason I just love it and it’s bang on perfect on boiled potatoes… I know I’m sounding like a proper simpleton Estonian from the 50s… Anyway… all you need is fresh cucumber, fresh tomatoes, sour cream, salt and pepper… I like mine a bit more tangy so I also add a touch of good strong mustard or horseradish!… chop stuff up, mix and munch! 😀
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Nomnom~! The simpler, the better, thank you! ;D