“One Day“ by David Nicholls

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“One Day” is reminder of living in the now. Not “when I’ll … then I will” kind of thinking. The novel is a story of two people in love with each other who lived their lives in parallel for almost two decades, until they married and lived ever happy until her life was abruptly interrupted by an accident only couple of years into their marriage.

The story line is braided in different years in different location, so I would not describe the reading as relaxing. You’ll have to make a bit of an effort to follow back and forth. It is absolutely worth it. You’ll see.

Easter meanings

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This Easter for me is about those who put food on our table. Every day. Crisis, no crisis.

Those who work the land from dusk to dawn. Those who water the crops and harvest it. Those who get their hands dirty and foreheads sweaty. Those who deliver it and put it on the shelves, so that we only pick and choose with our manicured hands.

Those in school kitchens, restaurants and cafes who feel no pain from burns and cuts, as their remedy is love for food and people they feed.

Parents who cook for their kids. Kids who cook for their parents. Grandmas who know no sleep over simmering pots in anticipation of their visiting grandchildren.

All those who will share what they have and cut a boiled egg in 2 and share it with a hungry human or a hungry cat.

Those who are grateful for their food and kiss the hands of those who put food on table. Every day.

Teleworking week 5: view from home

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As weeks add to the teleworking mode, when I am asked about how am I doing, I usually answer: “I am glad I am not a doctor or a nurse”. Me becoming a doctor was my mother’s dream who did not get into medical school at her time. These days, I am particularly grateful that I disobeyed her wish.

This post is not about me. It is about the millions of doctors, nurses, hospital workers and healers of all kinds of medicine. Those who leave their warm beds early mornings to get to white rooms filled with people who suffer. Those who hold hands of kids on a hospital beds and get to see their own kids only when they sleep. Those who do shifts after shifts and sleep wherever they can in quiet minutes. Those who come home after 32 hours in a hospital and do their household duties as if they have been on a city break. Those who keep their warm smiles for every patient, even if their inner world is in ruins. Those who fight the unknown and unseen as a fairytale immortal fighter. Those who cry, when they cannot see it anymore, and then wipe out their tears and keep doing the best they can.

And I am not even going into the supplies, equipment, infrastructure, miserable wages so many of them have to cope with in so many countries. If we cannot do their job, then we can at least honor their work by #stayinghome. That’s not too much to ask.

Monaco, photo by Monaco Info

Day Spa, homemade

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Day Spa, homemade

– Bye, darling, I am gone for half-a-day.

– « Gone? ». Did you write your déclaration for today?

– Why? Do we need one now for going to the bathroom?

Well, if I cannot go to the Spa, the Spa comes to me. And as in a Award acceptance speech, my thanks go to:

– my flat owner for having not saved money on a proper bathtub. Those with a history with French « landlords » know what I am talking about.

– my pharmacist for having good supplies of essential oils. For now, my favourites are Lemon and Palmarosa for their escapist abilities to take my senses to a garden in full bloom.

Pranarom, essential oils.

– and to my hubby for my perfect espresso with a pinch of nutmeg.

Teleworking week 4: view from home – serendipity

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By the end of this week, I developed an interest in Kardashians. I know everything about Stormie. I do not keep up yet with the entire klan (k – on purpose) of Kardashians. If this lasts, however, you never know.

My hubby trusted me with his haircut. I am not yet ready to reciprocicate.

I joined the diminishing trend of the blond population, estimated to go down by 70-80 percent. We, blondes, need to remain trendy.

My succulent is blossoming. Spring is in da house:

Teleworking week 4: view from home: domestic violence

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I was raised in a family dormitory so I know about domestic violence not from the social publicity of last decade or so. I am thinking of millions who experience domestic violence in confinement and for whom work outside the home might be a/the only survival strategy. When resources are put into national and global emergencies, most vulnerable tend to remain outside the focus. Even if the numbers justify national and global responses to domestic violence.

It was only as of last week that authorities commenced to realise what confinement means for those who share a space with their abusers, after reported cases jumped by 30% in some countries, which are considered developed.

International Organisations started sounding the alarm and a number of statements followed from the Council of Europe and UN. Human rights mechanisms will have to deal with the way domestic violence was dealt with at national levels.

Some global newspapers covered the topic. Journalists do some justice to these victims by bringing the issue to light. The psychological consequences of trauma on victims and, in particular, children and elderly who suffer and witness all this, go into no economic analysis, politicians are currently preoccupied with. I once employed a victim of domestic violence and got to learn lots from this experience. For policy and decision makers these victims appear as casualties of this crisis management, as cynical as it sounds. In fairness, there are jurisdictions which manage it well. We can only hope that their experience will be shared and we will learn from it.

Crisis or no crisis, there is no truth in suffering.

Teleworking week 4: view from home – online safety

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The above is a humorous perspective. Yet, joke aside, we massively moved on-line, we must surf it ever more cautiously. Europol and law enforcement agencies warn us of cybersecurity threats and ill-intended minds.

Ever more, children’s exposure is to be watch with constant care for their well-being. Take a cybersecurity basic course and be equipped. Check permissions on your PC. Close the camera with a sticker. Talk gently to kids about it.

Teleworking week 3: view from home

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While teleworking, I discovered that routine is queen. Yet, I remember that it is a constitutional monarchy. Dancing and crying and hugging and feeling sad are not under her rule. I can do any or all of that, if I feel like. No permission from the queen-routine required.

At the first walk-around-the-block since this started: « Mom, I have an impression I am walking with a toddler…». I was beyond myself from the sun and air and river view. Never in my life the view of a swimming water rat excited me to levels I never knew. I promise, my child, I’ll grow swiftly back into your mom.

As we cannot go and greet the spring, the way we used to, we turn to art. Thank you Conny Famm for your “State of soul”.

My shopping patterns changed. I cancelled orders. That’s a first for me. Instead, I redirected the money to a local initiative of chefs cooking for hospitals’ staff in the region – Des repas pour les anges gardiens. And in my home country through Diaconia http://www.diaconia.md.

The fight for internal resources – the one and only laptop in the house – ended with a gentlemen agreement.

I “went” to a ballet performance. « LAC » by Jean-Christophe Maillot at Monte Carlo Opera, courtesy of Monaco plus.

I seriously upgraded my emoji use skills. From novice to intermediate. I am still very far from the emoji-master in my house. I’ve got something to aspire to.

We welcomed a new precious member into our family and thank him for reminding us of the gift of life. We wish him a happy and long life! And we promise to be more conscious of what we do to mother Earth and how we treat each other.

Teleworking week 2: view from home, part 2

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I clearly distinguish now by voice the neighbours’ kids: baby, toddler 1, toddler 2, just kid, teenager 1, teenager 2.

My average weekly walking distance is a joke. I turned off the counting. Walking with the phone in the pocket does not help.

I am glad I can cook and bake. These skills are priceless. Thank you, grandmother. I know you are smiling with satisfaction now.

I am disappointed that there was no funny incident during my kid’s virtual classes this week. You know, like the ones facebook is flooded with. With the exception of a background noise of some plates reaching the floor and the teacher’s voice: “ Attention, la vaisselle!” I hope it was not too expensive.

I immersed myself in hand washing, stream-washing style. Excellent for shoulders. Some of my wash-by-hand cloths are having a pool party. At least someone does.

And, my succulent is a text book example of resilience: and it shall bloom no matter what.