Thursday, August 20, 2009


Everynight after we put Katya to bed, we paint. Two coats of primer/undercoat and two coats of final paint on the ceiling, the walls, the skirting, the bookshelves. There is also sanding, masking and vacuum cleaning. So far only the ceiling in one room is completely done, as we can do only one coat per night. Therefore we'll have to continue next week and maybe the week after. But this weekend we are off to Birmingham for Festival of Quilts. It will be wonderful not to breath in the paint fumes for at least one night.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Random quote

22:37 - Tired after a busy day and almost three hours of painting, so a random quote from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran :
You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.
For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life's procession that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Not always an angelic child

Today I went out by myself for few hours (first time in weeks, not counting the rushed morning trips to the supermarket) and it was great to slowly choose few books in the library, to look at fabrics for curtains & pillowcases and to lunch with a friend. I returned home to find the exhausted husband staring at the sky and the trees outside; the toddler sleeping after a long tantrum and her room looking like this.
After a tantrum
She is usually very well behaved in public, so people often get the wrong impression that she is a perfect angelic baby; who never screams, throws things, stubbornly refuses to do whatever is asked of her, but peacefully plays on her own for hours with cute little dolls.

Actually it annoys me at times when people comment to me or even tell her what a "good" girl she is, while meaning that she meets their expectations of good girl behaviour at that point in time. I probably wouldn't mind so much if their comments mentioned something specific, which they found likeable, but the general sweeping "good girl" label really bugs me. And the assumption that she likes playing with dolls and our house is full of pink stuff is pretty funny to me as she always runs to the boys' clothes section in the shops (well, they have Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob The Builder and Robots) and keeps on asking for the construction toys. I can't remember the last time she played with a doll, though she does play with little people characters from Lego and PlanCity. Her favourite pastimes at the moment are building insane staircases out of Lego Duplo (with some help from parents), drawing weird patterns on her body (maybe I should hide all the pens) and gluing stickers.
She is usually subdued at the playgrounds, but take her to a museum, big supermarket or hardware store and she will joyfully run around in circles. She has lots of opinions and definite knowledge on what she likes and doesn’t. Sometimes it feels like she talks non-stop, though it usually takes a while before she talks to the new people. She is just a normal toddler, with her own oddites, good and bad habits, loud and quiet moments, joyful singing and inconsolable (at least to her at the time) tantrums.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Silly me(Photo from 29 July 2007)
My husband and I were recently chatting about Star Trek and suddenly I realised that one of the reasons he loves me is because I can be extremely goofy at times. And I love that I feel safe to be extremely silly around him. There is no judgement or embarrassment afterwards, just a lot of laughter.

Back when we just started dating I requested quicksand, waffles and apple crumble. Eventually I got a waffle maker via my work (thanks to an award point system) and learned to make crumbles myself. I’m still waiting for a trip to a place that has quick sand. However today our living room has this:
New bookshelves
I’m a hopeless book addict and now I finally have enough shelves for all of my books. I’m so much looking forward to pulling them out of the boxes and choosing a place for each one of them. Should I sort them alphabetically? By topic? Size? Or colour?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

An artist

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
Pablo Picasso

Drawing: Sewing Machine
Katya's drawing of my sewing machine. The wiggly bit in the bottom right corner is the presser foot lever and it looks almost exactly like the real one. After trying to explain her drawing to me without much success, Katya finally climbed onto my table to be able to point to my sewing machine and the parts she drew.
Drawing: Mushroom
Katya's drawing of a mushroom. A new friend (she has a son, who's only one month younger than Katya) gave us pryaniki (Russian gingerbread biscuits) made in the form of the mushrooms and I think they made an impression.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Short weekend

We were supposed to be preparing the downstairs walls for painting; but the sun was shining outside, the skies were blue and since rainless weekend summer days are rare in England we decided to spend the day outside. (there seems to be plenty of sunny spring & autumn workdays) After looking through my big bag of travel brochures and changing my mind few times I settled on going to the Hall Place & Gardens.
Hall Place
It was lovely to look around the House and to walk in the Gardens. Of course as always I took too many photos of the flowers.
In the evening we did prep the walls and will probably attempt to paint them over the next few evenings as my poor husband has to work tomorrow. And painting the walls with no one else around to distract a toddler is just asking for trouble.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Not in control

There is so much beauty, knowledge and wisdom hidden in the blogosphere that when I need advise or information I often turn to blogs instead of books. And that's my excuse for not blogging for the last few days - I went a bit crazy with reading the archives of the new blogs I found. I'll label the time spent as research and learning instead of wasted.

Allow me to enquire how man can control his own affairs when he is not only incapable of compiling a plan for some laughably short term, such as, say, a thousand years, but cannot even predict what will happen to him tomorrow?
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
(I think I'll re-read it again sometime soon)

I'm trying to come to a decision on something and the more I read and think about it the more I know that I already decided long time ago and now just need to let go of the desire to pretend that I can control uncontrollable and start following the path I choose long ago.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

Pigeon outside my window