New Year Special with Eros, Rose and Lily

Dear Friends, I guess you go on celebrating Christmas and visiting all your relatives, aren’t you tired yet? Honestly, you are a bit. And how about your stomach, after having eaten so many different delicious food don’t you feel uneasy? Hope not…How about to relax and read my Christmas Special about my sweet trio who is ready to come back to stage, they missed you a lot and you? Action…

Christmas Tree In Kyiv

A blue-eyed god of love, Eros, is a frequent guest in Crown’s House since he bravely opened their doors with injured Lily in his hands this Fall.  Yes, sweet little Lily experienced a real fall this season and she was forced to stay in bed for a while. And guess who did visit her? Surely, her real knight-in-arms who rescued her…not from a tower…but from a tree’s branch over which she fell. Yep, I agree that we have not a classical Princess and brave Prince episode, but let’s face the truth we live in the 21st century and everything changed a lot since that time. We have Internet, mobile phones and spaceships, who can imagine Prince driving a very modern BMW car, latest model, instead of riding a horse…oh, I bet riding a horse still sounds more romantic, ain’t I right? I am too old-fashioned though. Sorry, I went too far and lost my trail… Thus, Eros became Lily’s superhero, a very handsome man whom everybody liked immediately, especially her mom, Marina. If she had had her way she would like to have such a son-in-law for her daughter. She has already drawn a picture in her head, but rules of decorum did not let her act too quickly. She was not a bad mother, however, she wanted to see her daughter happy and considering her unlucky fate – Lily needs to have a strong and supportive shoulder by her side. Who wouldn’t like? It is a huge dream of all girls! Marina Crown, a decisive lady and serious council, wanted only the best for her daughter and she thought that Lily found a good pair for herself. Certainly poor little girl did not realize it yet, she is too inexperienced in affaire d’amour, that’s why her mom’s role was as important and obligatory as never. She encouraged Eros to visit her and made everything (and even more) to attract his attention. And she did it pretty well because somehow Eros and Lily came to an understanding. Eros found Lily pretty funny and clever. Firstly, he came because he felt that he should inquire about her health and his visit was not too long due to Lily sharp tongue, she went on telling some jokes about his pity towards her state and etc. Secondly, Lily’s mom Marina asked him in office to bring some documents to Lily to deal with, you might guess that it was made on purpose. This second meeting was a good game, Lily did her work well and treated it with respect. Eros saw her seriousness and even businesslike approach towards tasks, at that moment they found something common. Surprisingly, Lily saw in him not only a playboy, but a man who likes his job. She started to respect him, although that kiss in Lviv did not come out of her head…

Monkey Among Us

Anyway, Lily recovered and came back to office. From time to time they meet in the office and chatted during lunch breaks. Time flied away very quickly, Christmas and New Year holidays have come. Rose decided to invite her colleagues for New Year market in the city center to celebrate. This year was quite unpredictable for her, she got her first job at the Embassy, she met Eros who gave her a perfect kiss in a nice place. However, she felt that it was right to stay only friends and colleagues. She cannot let herself any romantic affairs, too risky and not in time. Rose Spice is a very ambitious woman who needs to establish her career life and proves everybody that she suits to this diplomatic world. She cannot believe how lucky she is to come back to Ukraine and celebrate these nice family holidays in her big Ukrainian circle. First time in her life she was where she belonged – in an amazing, colorful, sometimes difficult and yet unknown city – Kyiv. Place where her mom was born, place where her grandparents live, place that makes her heart sing. Now she was walking along this long market between two cathedrals that was a kind of bridge between her past and present, she looked at Ukrainian faces and pictured them in her head…

Party in a Big City

This exact day Lily also was there, among people, she planned to do some Christmas photos. She asked permission to leave her office sooner and headed straight to the market. She was fully equipped with her camera and tripod. Every second minute she stopped and pressed her magical button. She admired its Christmas atmosphere. Beautiful Christmas tree, which was specially brought from Western Ukraine, decorated with hand-made Ukrainian toys, sparkling scene where children were practicing before New Year show: children who were excited and full of energy, they were eager to go everywhere and watch everything, they were so curious, loads of candies, presents, attractions and different food. A well-known picture drawn by Charles Dickens ” Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveler, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!” Lily felt how her heart jumped in delight, pure childish delight!  

Candies and Church

“Sing hey! Sing hey!
For Christmas Day;
Twine mistletoe and holly.
For a friendship glows
In winter snows,
And so let’s all be jolly!” sang Eros in his head and smiled because this is the first time when he does not celebrate it at home in UK. “How odd it is” he did not stop repeating in his head. His mom, Dolly, made it almost obligatory to spend Christmas only at home and within UK territory whenever he was on a mission. That’s always a rule to come back to their old cottage on N street and celebrate it in traditional British manner. And this year everything has changed. Dolly was so involved in her new atmosphere and new friends that she forgot about it. Eros’s mom met wonderful people in Kyiv, she also decided to join local culinary club where she got acquainted with many charming ladies of her age. All of them were foreigners and had a lot in common: they were in a strange country with an unknown language and culture, however, here they almost felt like at home. Eros saw his mom happy every time she came back from this course.

Party Goes On

 This 2015 was a really fantastic year for him. He met Rose…oh, a beautiful flower who made such a mess and then left him so confused. He did not know what to think, he thought that he was in love, but her friendly behavior and kind words made him changed his mind. He definitely found her very attractive, but she clearly let him know that she prefer to leave it as it is. They were colleagues and she was his boss! While thinking Eros did not notice how he occurred to be next to Santa Claus House, so it was time to make a wish!

Santa's House

 “What a long queue?” said Lily and stopped here for a second. Among many adults with children she recognized a tall blue-eyed man.

“What does he do here?” wondered Lily and turned her head to the scene. And what she saw was not less surprising…Rose Spice in her nice white coat was elegantly walking in the direction of the same Santa Claus House. Lily almost froze at her place, she did not move and almost did not breath, Rose was coming to her and Eros was turning his head in her direction. At this awkward funny and fatal minute all three gazes are met…three very different personages were looking directly at each other…Rose also stopped and put her eyes on Eros while he hold his gaze on Lily…and their minds started spinning and time stopped…

Concert Stage.jpg

” Who wants something sweet?”

My dear Fellows, I can see your angry or puzzled faces now and I know the reason – I finished my story at the most exciting part and put “awful” three dots. How can I dare to do it? Probably I agree with you, at the same time, cannot do much since I have no idea what is going to be further. My three funny personages joined in a conspiracy and went silent. I am not able to read their thoughts and see their moves. They closed the curtain and switched off the light. Thus, I am sitting now in a cafe and tasting this dessert, wouldn’t you like to join me?

Christmas Dessert.jpg

Now that’s all I have! Delicious chocolate mousse that will wash  your tears away.

Who Wants Something Sweet

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”I am happy to share this chocolate glass with you, my sweet and kind Friends, and wish you happy 2016! I want it to be as sweet as this mousse and so good-looking as well. Every year is a challenge for us, it is a countdown, which nobody can stop, therefore let us live it to the full and never give up! Always dream and transfer our dreams to reality, even the craziest and most impossible! I make a serious prediction – 2016 is going to be the most challenging and most fabulous year in your life, each of you, but only if you come and read my posts…ha-ha-ha…kidding! My warmest wishes and strong hugs!

Love you,

Ann

P.S. Do not eat a lot during last year night or you can be the next Winnie the Pooh who was not able to leave Rabbit’s house after too many meals!

My Christmas Present for You

Dear Fellows, I cudgeled my brains over a present  I would like to put under your Christmas tree. It took some of my time. I wanted to prepare really something special and unusual. I guess I have already mentioned that photography is not my only one crazy passion, I have the other one as well – I am fond of film-making. I bring my video camera with me whenever I can and film everything I see. Thus, I decided to make up a video story for you about days before and after Christmas in two big cities, Lviv and Kyiv. If you know my blog, then you read several posts devoted to these nice and unpredictable cities. They are quite different, one is the center of Western Ukraine, while the other is the center of Northern and Central parts. However, both of them mean a lot to me. I prefer thinking of them as of my two residences…as in ancient times lords and dukes always have two residences: winter and summer. I am no worse than them, ain’t I right? Indeed. I love these cities and cherish them. One is my birthplace, where I spent my childhood and students years, the other is my soul place, where I find my muse and inspiration. Two places, two short stories mixed with Christmas decorations, over a cup of coffee or tea with black or white chocolate, somewhere in mysterious coffee mine and magical tunnels, sang at opera house and listened to beautiful music, under Christmas tree and with magical wishes in our hearts…

Please make a wish and St. Anna, whose name day is celebrated today in Ukraine, will make it true!!! Merry Forthcoming Christmas!!! Here we go…

Yours Ann

P.S. I would much appreciate your opinion on my film! Thank you in advance!

Friday Evening Before Christmas

Friday Evening

Dear Friends, I suppose your last working week before Christmas holidays was extremely busy. Christmas shopping that drives you crazy because lady in a blue hat took the last porcelain set of cups what you have already thought of to buy for your mom or because another lady in big glasses and pink shoes took the last toy railroad or Barbie, which your son  or daughter dreamt of. Your gifts list is still too long, Christmas tree is standing naked without any lights and decoration, you feel a bit guilty since Christmas green-ladies cannot be left without diamonds…Beth Taylor always thought that “Big girls need big diamonds”and you absolutely agree with her.

Christmas Tree

Moreover, you do not have all ingredients for Christmas dinner, your hubby did not do shopping today – he went for Christmas party with colleagues and drank more then his body can survive…

Dinner

So how about Friday going out?  Leave everybody and everything as it is and relax, you definitely deserved it. I guess a comedy play in one of local theaters can be a good choice?

Theatre

Let us relax today and enjoy Friday evening several days before Christmas! Do you feel excited? I do…every time I am in the Holy Place of Art…

Inside

The third bell rang and spectators took their seats…although some of them are chewing their sandwich in the buffet… Hey, dude, actors are already behind the curtain and wait for you. A reminder that Mobile phones should also be turned of has already been pronounced…show time!!!

Yours Ann

From Kyiv With Love (Episode 3)

Green Kyiv

 Every city has two faces. Kyiv is no exception. The first face is a rather happy and smiling one. There are places to visit and nature to enjoy. I do not visit city center often, but I recommend to have a walk at Mariinski Park situated on the hills along the Dnipro River, revealing splendid views on the left bank of Kiev. You should walk through this bridge and make a wish. Couples lock their love locks on the bridge together and took pictures here. How about you?

Park

This is an imperial park, founded in 1874 by Alexander II. I have no wish to go back to its history, since it has Russian roots (they are wild nomads who destroy everything on their way, in particular Kyiv Rus), Russians took us by force and raped not only our land, but our history as well: very brutally and cruelly.

City Park

 So far we cannot banish them from our sight as well as their language that stuck to our tongue as scotch. Do not blame me for not loving Russians and everything related with them. I am just not able to respect people who do not respect others. Who is ready to destroy anything and control everything? And I do not mean politicians, I exactly talk about usual people…not all of them…but too many to turn our lives into a nightmare! Although they are not worth of being mentioned even. Now we should gain our balance and let ourselves fall in love with its nature…

Face in Park

 Beautiful, isn’t it? That is not the only park. There are many of them, I am afraid to take too much of your time.

More attention I would like to pay today to its historical face. Since Kyiv is a very old city and center of Ukrainian culture and traditions. However, it changed a lot under the influence of high-tech and money-depended world. I confess I get used to modern city, however, my grandparents and great-grandparents had another picture in their mind. Honestly, a very different one.

We are looking right now at  Dynamo Stadium named after Valeriy Lobanovsky, famous Ukrainian football player, who leaved his mark in Ukrainian football history. We are proud of such talented people. His portrait is shown in one of the columns.

Stadium.jpg

Two years ago Stadium was set on fire during our Revolution of Dignity! As you may see from the picture above Stadium has gone restoration. Now it looks like new money…but I have another feeling, somehow this place is not the same for me…I cannot walk here!

Among Kyiv’s best-known public monuments is the statue of Bohdan Khmelnytsky. It is situated on Sophiivska Square in front of St. Sophia Cathedral. He was a historical person who changed Ukrainian history. He was a Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Noble and leader of the Zaporozhian Cossack Hetmanate, Hetman of Ukraine. Bohdan Khmelnytsky was noted for his revolt against Poland (1648 – 1654) and the Treaty of Pereyaslav which eventually led to the annexation of Ukraine by the Russian Empire. On one hand, he was a hero who wanted to fight against Polish landlords and, on the other hand, he signed his famous Treaty with Moscow which enabled Russians to settle comfortably down on Ukrainian terrain. I guess it is a kind of Ukrainian karma, we cannot be independent, we always need somebody who can  solve our problems, show us some way and lead us. Don’t you see the analogy? 21st century – current leaders of our country would like to keep up everywhere, they look at West and East, and could not find out which way money wind blows! In plain English, they probably slept away all lessons of History, since money question should not be as important as our independence and possibility to change our country drastically as well as break old corruption system. Take my word for it, it is not that difficult to do and everybody even knows how! The point is whether they are interested in it or not?

Bogdan Monument.jpg

 To make a long story short, let’s ask Bernard Show what does he think of it…and here what he says”we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history“. Perfectly said, bravo, Mr Show!

Kyiv is Eastern Orthodox religious center. In this city you can see many cathedrals and churches. All of them are historical monuments of Christianity. I am afraid to make my post too long and boring… As it is said “In this world there is always danger for those who are afraid of it“. I will try to share with you only some unique and interesting facts about our main cathedrals and churches, ok!

A masterpiece of the art and architecture of Ukraine and Europe is St. Sophia Cathedral.

St. Sofia Cathedral.jpg

The cathedral was founded by Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise and built between 1037 and 1044 (some suggest 1017–37). The interior of the temple is being preserved since 11-th century. On the bell tower of 76 meters there is the biggest bell in Ukraine of 13 tones. It is allowed to go upstairs this tower and have a breathtaking view of the city. Anyway, it’s only for tourists who are in good physical condition! This cathedral is more than 1000 years old, can you believe it? Square in front of it is very popular among tourists and Ukrainians as well. Every time I am here, I always meet people who ask me to borrow them some money or anything else. I wonder whether it is some kind of a special place where you should donate something or help somebody. You have to come here and share with me your story, deal?

St. Michael’s Cathedral, with its fabulously shining domes, is one of the most beautiful and important Orthodox temples in Ukraine. Built in the 90s.

St.Michael Cathedral.jpg

 It is named in honor of St. Michael – the protector of Kyiv. Its nickname, the Golden-Domed Cathedral, comes from the fact that it was the first and only church with such extravagant domes in ancient Rus.  The reconstruction of the Saint Michael’s Church began on 24 May 1997.  It has been fully restored and now it looks really great. This Cathedral played his role during our Revolution of dignity. After the horrible night of November 29-30th, when young students were attacked by special police, poor students found their shelter here. They were injured and scared to death, local monks helped them to hide and closed the gates for any officials. Later St. Micheal’s bells sounded the alarm…it was just the beginning of Great Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity (November 2013 – February 2014). I come here quite often and not only for religious holidays, but just a put a candle and pray. When you go inside, you feel some magical warmth that gives you hope and faith. Cathedral is really huge and has some power on you.

Monument to Cyrill, Methodius, St. Andrew and Princess Olga is located in St. Michael’s Square, opposite St Michael Cathedral.

St. Olga.jpg

 At the heart of this sculpture is a statue of the composition of Grand Duchess Olga is the first and only woman – the head of state in the history of Ukraine. By the right side of it are educators of the Slavic peoples Cyril and Methodius, and left sitting Apostle Andrew, he points to the “holy mountain of Kiev.” Olga was the first who adopted Christianity in Rus. Grand Duchess Olga was always next to her husband Ihor and even after his death she reigned and helped to defend Kyiv while growing her son Volodymyr. She’s known to be a tough lady who could do everything from driving in a nail to entering a burning house or stopping a stampeding horse.  As Coco Chanel said “Women must tell men always that they are the strong ones. They are the big, the strong, the wonderful. In truth, women are the strong ones. It is just my opinion, I am not a professor“.

St. Andrew Church has an unusual location and architecture.

St. Andrew Church.jpg

This Church was built on an artificial hill and it uses terrace of a two-story building – stylobate, where long cast-iron staircase leads to its foundation.This is the only monument of architecture, history and painting of the 18th century in Ukraine, created in style of imperial baroque according to the project of Italian architect Rastrelli. Out of all sacral monuments of this outstanding architect, where interiors were saved partially and initial decoration either was not preserved at all, or remained in small fragments, St. Andrew`s Church has preserved the most authentic look till present time. Unfortunately, Kyiv was severely destroyed during World War IInd, later Communists have taken it to pieces. Tell me what should we have done with Communists, any suggestions? I have only one and, trust me, it must not be said aloud due to censorship…

Every big city has an old part which is a favorite destination for walks and creative zone for craftsmen and artists. In other words, Kyiv has its own Montmartre – Andriyivsky Uzviz.

Podol Goes Down.jpg

Andriyivsky Uzviz was one of the main streets in the times of Kyiv Rus. Back then, it connected the upper and the lower part of the town (Podol) and was so narrow, that only pedestrians and those on horseback were able to go down it. Only in the 18th century was the street widened, enabling carriages and loaded carts to pass through it. The descent got its current name after St. Andrew’s Church built at the top. Nowadays, it serves as a market for typical Ukrainians souvenirs for tourists. Prices are also only for tourists! Officially this street is closed for cars, but as you recolonize from the pictures, some very cool ones are able to get there. This is a common and incurable disease – disobey rules. Ukrainians caught it and would not like to take right medicine against it. Or there is no right medicine yet. I hardly can understand Ukrainians, more often  I would like to force their minds think differently, however, I am useless. Ukrainians even do not read my posts… why would they?

Podol.jpg

 In this street you can find many pubs and restaurants in Ukrainian style.

Local Restaurant.jpg

 You will be impressed with our menu offerings, there is always a wide choice. For some of you it can be exotic, since you may not be familiar with such extravagant dish as borsch (beetroot soup) or meat in jelly (not a dessert), which are frequently cooked in Ukraine. Whereas I strongly advice you to taste our vareniky (similar to ravioli) or stuffed cabbage (meat-and-rice balls covered with cabbage leaf), you will not regret. One  friend’s advice – do not take a great on Ukrainian vodka, otherwise you take a risk to have the same fate as this cat… (somebody can make a picture of you and not in your best state)

After Restaurant.jpg

This is not my last post devoted to Kyiv, since there are too many places yet to share with you and tease you as well. This city takes a lot of your time and attention. You have to try to feel it and comprehend what you saw. Now I give you some minutes to think and answer my question: “What did you see in the picture below?”…

Being Ukrainian.jpg

I kindly ask you to finish this post instead of me. I am going behind the curtain, you have the final word, my dear Friends! I need to hear your thoughts and ideas, please be so kind!

To be continued!

Yours Ann

P.S. Looking forward to your final word! As an encouragement I promise to start my next post about Kyiv with citation of your comments! 

 

The Versatile Blogger Award

versatileblogger

I would like to thank Izzy from Izzyasabee for nominating me The Versatile Blogger Award, which is actually my first award here. I am very honored and flattered. A bit speechless as well. Dear Izzy, you definitely made this day special and very bright, thank you once again! I include a Thank you link for this wonderful person, mom of three kids, and amazing blogger!

Although I am not sure I deserved it, I will try to keep its rules.

The rules:

  1. Thank the person that has nominated you & include a link to their blog.
  2. Nominate at least 15 blogs of your choice.
  3. Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination.
  4. Share seven different facts about yourself.

As I am going to talk too much about myself, I need to entertain you with some winter photos, how about that?

Winter at AnRoStudio

So here are 7 facts about Ann:

  1. As you might recognize I am an amateur photographer and writer. I have never dealt seriously with photography since last year, I even did not have a good camera before receiving my Nicki as a present. My writing experience is also not that big, although I have a very good imagination and I constantly make up different stories in my head.
  2. I work as a technical translator in scientific Institute. and also as a freelance translator. My job is interesting, but takes all my working and free time.
  3. I am native Ukrainian, although my blood is a mixture of German, Russian and Ukrainian flows. My great-great-grandfather was a native German and quite noble man with a big house and land. He received his land in Ukraine and married a Ukrainian girl whose daughter was my great-grandmother and mother of my granddad.
  4. I do not like meat, but prefer eating fish and sea products, however, such food is not so available for me due to its price.
  5. I like being fit, in my room there are weights, which I use for my gymnastics. I prefer swimming, when I see water I dive into it as a kid!
  6. I am not so found of alcoholic drinks, I just do not understand them. Surely I can drink a glass of wine or champagne, but I chose juice and water. I like having my head clear!
  7. I hope all these facts were not too boring for you. I have a huge dream – I want to write, film and talk about my country and prove world that Ukraine can be transformed into a country where people can be happy and live calmly. My biggest purpose is to be useful for my country and people. I know that my dream is too huge and unrealistic for such a bug like me, but cannot stop thinking and doing everything possible to make my dream true!

Enough talking about me and let’ talk about you, my amazing Friends, are you ready to be in my list of nominees? TA DA:

  1. Fabio from Highlightingthegoodandthebeautifularoundus
  2. Estelea Frenchtouchincebu
  3. Derwentvalleyphotography
  4. Artourway
  5. AnaLucia
  6. Lizzie Klaesges
  7. Successful Social Media
  8. Kristina
  9. Caz
  10. Oyia Brown
  11. Nicci Carrera
  12. Samantha Haupt
  13. Melissa Cherry
  14. Enrico Garrou
  15. and last, but not least Mopana

Thank you so much, my amazing Friends! I would like to share this award with you and even tell you that I am here only because of you!

Wish you wonderful Friday and forthcoming weekend!

Yours Ann

HAPPY ST. NICKOLAS DAY!!!

ST. NICKOLAS DAY

Dear Friends, let me greet you with this wonderful day and hope you can find many sweet surprises in your shoes or under pillows! I celebrate this day a bit later, since I am an Eastern Orthodox, but most of you celebrate this day today! It is a really very warm holiday before Christmas and may St. Nicholas gifts you and your family lots of happiness and joy …Wishing that your St. Nicholas Day be filled with kindness, generosity and love! 

Happy St. Nickolas Sunday!

Yours Ann

Little Korea in the heart of Ukraine

Pagoda in Kyiv

My dear Friends, first December snow melted fairly quickly and I decided to travel back and recall wonderful Fall days in my sweet city. As usually during one of my lunch breaks I went out for a walk and turned to the unknown path that brought me to Korea…

I felt that it was right time to use my time machine…

Korean Garden Gates.jpg

 I was lucky to land in Changdeok Palace (Aeryeonjeong pavilion) in Seoul.  Aeryeon means “love to lotus flower”.

Little Korea

This little island of Korean culture is a little miracle. Here is true Korean atmosphere. Koreans enjoy a sense of inner peace from becoming one with nature. Gardens can also serve practical purposes, such as for growing fruit or medicinal herbs, in addition to being delightful playgrounds. Sometimes they are used as an inspirational backdrop for writing poetry, or meditation.

Meditation Fall.jpg

The influences that shaped the identity of the Korean garden include Korea’s natural environment as well as the lifestyle and ideological values of its people, which have changed with the times. My time was limited, I could not stay here forever, time machine gave a signal…I had to come back, but it was so good here, so peaceful…I knew that I would come back here and very soon!

Wish you peaceful and relaxing weekend!

Happy Friday, my dear Friends!

Yours Ann