Magyarorszag Mysteries (Back To History)

Charles Brown, an American detective writer, went through the airport doors and headed to the open taxi’s door. A man in an elegant dark suit was standing next to it and smiling at him. For a second Charles glanced at him and was bewildered with his attractive face of typical national features. He shacked his hand and sat to the car. That was not an easy trip for him, crossing the ocean, but, first of all, he was a real adventurer who was eager to write a new book and he has already found a perfect place for his crime scene- Castle of Diósgyőr located in Miskolc, Hungary.

Map

The name “Hungary” (or Magyarorszag in Hungarian) may originate from the Medieval Latin Hungary, which is translated as the “Land of Huns”. Another source states that the name is derived from the Turkish words meaning “ten arrows” or “ten people”. I guess, it is pretty fair, as the population of the whole Hungary for today is circa 10 million people. Not much, I agree. Only in Kyiv, as I know, population is more than 5 million, you can compare! Hungary was part of the Celtic world, later the Roman Empire. Hungary is one of the oldest countries in Europe. It was founded in 896 before France and Germany became separate entities. How about that? In the picture above you can see the map dated 1301-1382 and you definitely pay attention that it is very different from nowadays. Hungary was a large country with a seaside and huge territory in the heart of Europe. What about now? Look at the map and compare, perhaps you will be disappointed as well as many Hungarian nationalists who still dream of seeing their country in its full-scale original size. Then they can enjoy lovely Adriatic seaside and many oxygen-rich forests of the Carpathian  mountain ridge.

Hungarian Symbols Of Power

When Charles came out of his car he was impressed with the majesty and beauty of the Castle of Diósgyőr. From the first breath he knew he chose a right place for his next book. He quickly asked his Hungarian assistance to let him in and feel this magnificent place from inside. In his mind he has already sat in his mental writer’s time machine and traveled back in time…

Castle

On the display of his time machine he saw the first number – 1241. This was the date when it was built and firstly destroyed by the Mongol invasion. “How much these walls have seen” he thought about the role of architecture, place and memory in re-constructing the sense of self-identity in a built environment. Charles slightly touched the wall and felt how his hand shivered from some electrical impulse. He felt so joyful as if he has got a taste of History…

Castle 1

The castle reached the peak of its importance during the reign of King Louis the Great. King Louis was famous for his campaigns in Naples, where with the help and leadership of God regained command of the Kingdom of Sicily, in Rome, where the Roman nobles greeted him with “Long Live the Hungarian King”. When he entered the city, people accompanied him to the stairs of St Peter’s Apostle Church…“What does Louis fell at that moment?” Charles thought again and tried to imagine…

Charles Arthur Brown regarded himself as a real warrior, leader, a strong personality who can conquer this world, digest  and split it out. He was a tough man. In his early thirties he has already seen and felt a lot. He was an orphan without not much information on his family. As he found out his mother died during his birth, she was on drugs, so having a healthy boy was a miracle for this butterfly. As Charles knew somewhere he has a sister, older one, who has been left alone in some other hospital. His grandparents died long before his birth. Chances to get some information on his dad were zero, since his mom’s reputation was “well-known” in certain circles. He can be anyone. He grew up completely alone, a very shy boy with so many complexes. He did not like socializing, instead he was always writing something. His small notebook accompanied him whenever he went. He managed to graduate from school with excellent grades almost at all subjects, but especially he liked literature and history. He entered faculty of History and was a good student until one day he met HER…a mysterious crazy girl who showed him a world from which he was hiding among his notes. He tried everything with her, including drugs…during one of the overdoses they had a car accident and girl died…she was behind the wheel, but Charles felt guilty. He was severely injured, physically and emotionally. He went to a hospital for mentally disabled people…his young student’s years were abruptly over, he had to learn how to be an adult with serious emotional problems. One of his doctors found his notebook and encouraged him to write more as well as to think about publishing a book. This doctor saw a real talent in him, talent for writing very weird stories that you cannot stop reading as they caught your attention to the full. Several years later Charles left hospital as a writer whose first two books became bestsellers…

Castle History

Later this Castle was a wedding gift for the queens of Hungary, which it remained until the Ottoman invasion of Hungary in the 16th century. By the end of the 17th century it was already in ruins. Archaeological excavations started in the 1960s. In 2014 the castle was completely rebuilt, the reconstructed rooms are furnished with Medieval-style furniture.

Castle in Photos

“Mr Brown, hey…Mr Brown!” a young Hungarian assistant was desperately trying to bring Charles back from his traveling in the past. He even touched his elbow lightly. Charles slowly turned his head and blinked twice.

“What?” he said angrily.

“I am sorry, sir, but here is your personal guide as you asked – Ms Lokietek”, his assistant shyly replied  and showed towards a young lady who was standing a bit further. Charles again turned his head, this time in the other direction, and saw HER…and at this magical instant of time he gasped for air…

King and Qeen

Hungarian King Charles had already buried two young wives, so it was not surprising that he wanted to forget it and find new love. A lot of fight tournaments and parades were held in the royal court of Timisoara. He was having a frivolous life and started to think about having a family again. Thus, he met Elizabeth Lokietek who was the daughter of Polish King Wladislaw the Short of Elbow-High. Because of his short height he was nicknamed ‘Łokietek’, a diminutive of the word ‘łokieć’. It translates as “ell” or “elbow”, a medieval measure of length, as in “elbow-high”. Elizabeth gave a birth to five children. From the five, Andrew became the heir to the Naples throne, and Louis later became Hungarian King.

Castle Inside.jpg

“Mr Brown, please follow me, I will show you their bedroom,” said a very attractive lady wearing a specific medieval dress of that times at whom Charles was frankly staring. He does not for how long he was not able to say a word or even move as if he was struck by lightening. He almost does not feel anything except pure admiration of the natural woman’s beauty. He knew many woman, but he has never seen these big black as coal eyes who were looking at him so innocently and smiling. Yes, exactly “smiling eyes”!

“Their bedroom?” Charles asked abruptly. Ms Lokietek quickly turned her head and looked at him quizzically.

“Yes, sir, royal bedroom…” she replied and blinked with her long thick eyelashes.

It was quite odd for Charles to happen to be in the bedroom with a woman almost at once after several minutes after they met. It has never been so quick before. “What are you thinking about now?” thought Charles and tried to change his completely lost look to much serious one. He decided to leave his inappropriate feelings and thoughts for later. It was strictly unprofessional to do like that in a foreign country where he came for work.

Royal Bed.jpg

Many Hungarian kings and queens slept in this bedroom. I believe you paid attention to the size of the bed, isn’t it too small? You are right, it is indeed. However, the most weird is that people who slept in it never do it in their full height, I mean they never stretch there fully according to their size. Usually they slept in a bended position, since sleeping straight was a bed sign associated with dead. It was accepted that only dead sleep straight in their tombs. Wow, what a logic?

Royal Bathroom.jpg

At that times there was no usual bathroom. As I found out these things showed above were replaced to their room where king and queen took so-called bath. The question is whether they did it separately or not? Who knows, let each of your imagination decide!

Clothes always play an important role in our lives and it is still. Every epoch dictated its own trends. It is very pity that you cannot try on these fabulous dresses. I am certain we, dear dames, would look pretty in them!

Royal Wardrobe

And you too, dear cavaliers. Would not you like to try on one of these heavy things? I bet you would look so powerful and strong like real knights in armors who is ready for a battle. On Guard!

Warriors.jpg

Charles listened to his guide very attentively. He regain control over his unexpected emotions and took everything with his writer’s curiosity and professionalism. He even started to made notes while walking with this young dame. She talked with passion about this castle, Charles admired her gestures and voice. Her delicate voice sounded like crystal. Moreover, her English was so well that it almost amazed Charles. She spoke clearly, slowly, but with a hidden delight that was visible only for him, who caught her every word, her every comma…

View From The Castle.jpg

“Ms Lokietek, will you excuse my brevity, I have one question?” Charles stopped her with a little gesture. He came to her closer almost took her by her hand. They were standing on the top of the castle and looking at the beautiful, almost breathtaking view, of the surrounding city Miskolc.

“Certainly, Mr Brown,” she shyly whispered and looked aside.

“What is your name?”

“Beth…Elizabeth!” she proudly pronounced and looked right at him. Her gaze was silently deep.

“Are you kidding me, you are Elizabeth Lokietek, and you work in this Castle as a guide, the castle where so many years ago lived another Elizabeth Lokietek, Hungarian Queen…Oh my, I came to the right place!” he loudly claimed and started to laugh. Elizabeth also smiled and caught his laughing tone.

“Yes, Sir, you really came to the right place, King Charles, your Majesty, if you excuse me!”she playfully admitted and joined laughing. Her playful tone immediately brought back all his sweet feelings and images in his head. His heart jumped wildly and he felt happy. As happy as a lark…

Castle Views.jpg

To be continued!

Greetings From Hungary

Dear little Friends, I attached this greeting card specially for you!

Designed by Ann!

Looking forward to your thoughts, ideas, remarks, comments!

Hope yor Queen or King is with you! If not, then I wish you to meet him/her as soon as possible! How about today?

Yours Ann

Mating Season

Yellow Doninant.jpg

March is in our calendar and spring is in the air! Or better to say that romance is in the air. Beginning of a new season to bloom and not only for flowers. After being wrapped in many layers of winter clothes, women have already taken their sweet minis from their wardrobes. Ladies would like to inspire and be noticed, and it does work. Men are on alert. Air is a mixture of different aromas of flirt. Folks, do we miss it so much? I mean flirt.. oh, yes, who don’t like flirting? It arouses our curiosity, makes us feel attractive, and ready for challenges. As if we add some pepper to make our food spicier or some strawberries to make it sweeter. Both are good and damn seductive!

Willow.jpg

When my Nikki captures a picture like that…

Yellow Tree.jpg

Then I feel that nature does flirt with me, I am the first who is in love with her colors, shapes,  sounds, and flavors…Nature makes me want to be there without even my notice! Bravo, Mother Nature, you are the best at it!

Sky

As far as exotic birds are concerned, here some other rules of flirt are accepted. Guess which ones? Recently, I visited one of the gardens with exotic animals and look what I saw there. As soon as I entered a big room where temperature was higher than at summer I saw this couple in a quite delicate pose…my eyes went wide open, they were hardly ashamed…(they were doing “it” so intensively that even my photo lens were blurred)!

DSCN6859

As I gave up trying to make a better picture of them, the other couple came to my horizon. Unfortunately, I did not recognize them in time, they were yet on the stage of sweet kissing, who knows where it could bring them some minutes later. I decided not to disturb their love games.

Exotic Bird

For some minutes I left my eyes drifting to the lonely big tortoise who looked more concentrated on food, other than some love affairs. She or he ( I did not check under the shell) was walking around and looking at me a bit angrily, as if she/he didn’t like me being here with that big photocamera. Yeah, I think I can feel the same if I were them. We are the invaders into their private life. Awful people!

Hungry Tortoise.jpg

Owners of tortoises claim that they believe that tortoises do have emotions. For example, one guy told me that he is sure they don’t have a “simple brain”. Because his turtle loves to look out the window while he’s on his basking platform. So, they do have emotions, you cannot deny it!

And how do they behave when the spring period comes? Courtship techniques vary from species to species, but the common denominating factor between the entire groups is aggression. Wow, I did not expect it? Ladies, keep in mind that when a man is capricious about your food  it means he is in mating period, he needs something special.

The male circles the female, often nodding his head and biting at her legs and the edges of her carapace. He rams into her, attempting to trap her, so she can be mounted. Their mating is a noisy affair, filled with the sounds of hissing and grunting. Eventually the female after enduring bites on all of her limbs, will stop attempting to escape and retract into her shell. This is the cue for the male to mount her. I think I have already seen something similar, LOL!

Funny Turtle

Wow, look at this guy, he became green from a desire…poor him! People, let us find him a girl or soon he will explode like a bomb.

Green From Desire.jpg

Hey, dude, don’t be sad, miracles are happen and even for your not so handsome face we can find a good mate. Keep on dreaming and don’t change your color to red till next time!

Serious Face.jpg

As I see we have a good eye contact with you, dear, that’s I am about the photo above! Or maybe even with you…yep, you who is reading my post now. Do you know how to make eyes? The guy in the picture below wears his best outfit today just for me. He is one of the most handsome today! He knows that ladies prefer bright colors!

I Am Decisive

Crocodiles, for instance, during mating period like dancing…The mating dance involves almost all the senses. Males begin by bellowing above water, while producing low-frequency infra-sound, which humans cannot hear. Honestly, I did not hear any sound. Perhaps he was “not in his mood” or “had a headache”. Males may also slap their snouts on the water, blow water from their noses or perform certain arched postures. Though the male is leading the dance, the female is participating with her own set of auditory, visual and olfactory signals during this time. Once they meet up, they’ll tenderly rub each other’s snouts and backs, ride one another or blow bubbles. A well-known scene:

“Dear, will you rub my back?” he/she (depends what you like) says into your ear, and smiles playfully.

Crocodile Dandy.jpg

Ouch, I guess I opened the wrong door. Here is already a group banging (excuse my English). You ought to be ashamed of yourself! Frogs, frogs. Frenchmen like eating your legs not without purpose! On the contrary, frogs prefer making specific sound during the “right” period. Male frogs even compete with each other who can make stranger sounds. I suppose I caught them already when the mates are chosen. Shame on you!

Group Mating

Lonely snake, don’t look at me like that! Male snakes will try to attract a female by doing a type of ‘play fighting’ with other males who want her attention.  They do not try to kill each other…just win the fight! However, dude, with whom you are going to fight, you seem to be all alone!

Snake

No, you are not exactly alone, look who is here! He also needs an attention and a pair for this season. Life can a bit unfair!

I Do Look Good

My dear little Fellows, I do hope that this mating season you won’t be alone and have a person with whom you can mate. The season is open…

“What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? Philosophers have pondered that question for centuries. I’m afraid the answer is disappointingly simple: Mating. That’s it.”
Oliver Markus, Why Men And Women Can’t Be Friends

Yours Ann

Nature Clothed To Its Very Hollows in Snow

Winter House

I am so happy to see you, dear Friends, how are you there? Did you miss me? I missed you a lot. I apologize for my absence, however, you know very well that our life consists not only of pleasant moments, but also of hard work, which takes most of our lifetime. But being optimistic, I hope not for all of you! I should confess that I am curently working on my new project that I promised to present you, it also grabs my time and holds my breath, not sure I have time to breathe even. Untill it is not ready, I would like to chat with you a bit and present you some of my latest pictures and thoughts. How about that?

Fragile Snowflake

I am in a lyrical mood today…Maybe because it is sunny and a bit cold, and I am in my comfortable chair and with my notebook hiding in a warm place. And outside world is fragile, cold and beautiful as snowflakes. Snow brings us some winter joy of something uknown and magical, which is mysterious for us. We hardly know how it forms and from where its roots grow. You know me I am quite curious, so I want to know more. I switched on Global Web and clicked on several online resources. Would you like to hear something interesting?

Snow Web

Did you know that snow is actually clear and colorless? Then you are smarter than I thought!

Snow Branches

In the early 1900s skiers created their own terminology to describe various types of snow. The crazy vocabulary includes funny terms such as “pow pow,” “mashed potatoes,” “champagne snow (powder),” “cauliflower,” “sticky snow,” “dust on crust” and many other descriptive terms. Did you know that “pow pow” or simply pow (from powder) is the fresh powder snow, which is actually a soft, fluffy type of snow?  “Champagne snow” has such an extremely low moisture content that you can’t even make a snowball with it. While “champagne powder” is great for skiing because it’s smooth and dry, “mashed potatoes” is an old, dense and heavy snow that is hard to turn skis in. Hm, so my first task for you is to guess which snow is in the picture below?

Almost Colorless

If you have a fear of snow, it is called chionophobia.  If you are crazy about snow, it is chionomainia.  (You decide, I know what I am!) I am made of snow, cannot imagine my life without it. Snow makes me happy when I do not need to clean my backyard.

Snow Colors

In one study, men rated pictures of women’s breasts and bodies as more attractive in the winter months, while they rated pictures of women’s faces the same. Researchers believe men don’t see women’s bodies as much during the winter, so they’re more excited when they do. Hey, ladies, can you believe it? Now I understand why spring is the season of March Cats. WOW!

Winter Love

There is so much interesting yet to discover about snow that I am afraid you can be tired. I just feel that snow brings some magic to our world, which is so different and complicated. Snow symbolizes for me innocence and purity. It seems that Lord sends us snow to clean not only roads, but our souls, to make us more understanding and supportive, to look around and help others, to find happiness in everything. Certainly, snow covers nature to protect it from cold and help to survive, on the contrast, snow is a disaster for houses, electrcity roads and people as well as animals. And I do worry about poor animals who cannot find food under thick snow layes, that’s why I constantly try to help as much as I can and offer you to join me. This can be fun and brings positive energy to your life. I suppose snow is not only a winter wonder, but a challenge for this world, how to survive in colder periods and how not be depressive when you can not go out due to heavy snowfalls.

Crow On Snow

It is indeed. I may conclude that winter as any season has its beautiful periods (especailly for photographers) and difficult periods that can have even negative results. You know what we still should enjoy it and have fun! Who is going with me to play snowballs??? By the way did you hear that a snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship? I am throwing a snowball in your face…

You Know What I Like Most About People? Pets.


Mr Cat and Mrs Dog

Just look at these cute creatures? Don’t they look so sweet and innocent as well as deadly serious and ready to protect you from this cruel world. Mr Cat and Mrs Dog are our most loyal friends who will never betray us and always support and understand. You do not need to explain them anything, they are nimble-minded and next to you every second. They will never let you down, they can easily save your life and make it brighter. They are just your best friends!

Party Cats

Mr Cat has its own character and personality. He likes to be in the center of attention and sitting in your hands or on your lap. He is a bit cunning and does not trust people whom he has never seen, but you can attract his attention with something delicious (doe example, fish). He curls up in your lap, rubs against your leg as he walks by, and purrs that lovable purr. Mr Cat guards his territory and fights for it like a wild tiger, he cannot stand being not the only one. You may even call him a “prince” because he likes putting on airs. He chooses his outfits in brand shops and pretends to be a fashionist. And if you give a pat behind his ear, everything seems to be all right again. However, Mr Cat can be moody from time to time and then his tail makes impulse moves almost electrical, then it is better hide somewhere under bed and let him deal with his problems alone. Better not touch him and give him some time to calm down. Mr Cat likes sleeping on your pillow, so you better move and get out of his way. He is a fan of the keyboard, somehow he feels comfortable lying on the buttons when you try to type something. Mr Cat is your best friend who supports you and shares with you everything even the time spent in toilet, since he comes there only if it is occupied by you! By the way, he does not like the sign “occupied” and closed doors, do not expect to have any privacy!

Party Dogs

Mrs Dog is a charming young lady, very playful and energetic. She likes greeting you and bringing slippers every time you come back home. If you are under stress, these sweet innocent eyes will just look at you and you feel relaxed at once. She comes to you when you need her and she helps to deal with your problems. But do not be lazy after work, Mrs Dog needs a walk twice a day as minimum and be ready to play with her, give her commands and training. She likes when the owner shows her dominance, she feels confused when the owner does not know what to do. In case something goes wrong, she will be the first to alarm. She has a great danger sensing capacity, she will rescue you in any situation without thinking about her life. You will never feel lonely with her by your side. Although sometimes she likes jumping and spoiling some of your furniture or pressing buttons on your remote control. She may find chewing your socks or other clothes rather exciting, distracting her will take lot of efforts. She might even break something, so be ready to say goodbye to some of your vases. Nevertheless, Mrs Dog is your best company ever, she will make your life warmer, kinder and more exciting, you will never feel lonely, angry or sad! She will make it special!

Friendship

Moreover, better than Mr Cat and Mrs Dog can be only a mixture of them, when you have both or even a couple of them. As in the picture above, a sweet company who will bring additional sense to your routine life. As it is said “animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms”, isn’t it true?

If you have a pet, tell us something about him or her (or them)! Looking forward to hearing your amazing stories!

Enjoy the company of your lovely pets at weekend and woof…meow!

Yours Ann

 

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!

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! 

 

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

Naked November

Writer in Me

The writer who sleeps in me is a much better person than I am. I am not kidding – it is naked truth! Wow, look at your faces now…you heard the word “naked” and your imagination has broken loose…hold your horses, dear friends, we cannot undress here, it’s a public place, we can make people scared, only trees can do that, since they have nothing to hide. And what about us? Do not you have some secret thoughts kept deep inside? Get the whole thing off your chest!

Leaves Are Off

Better? Not bad for the beginning.

Autumn Joy

There is the end of November, so with my post I am trying to catch the last train. Winter is coming soon, and it has no intentions to make way for Autumn. Nature has already unveiled her winter wardrobe. But you know what, temperature outside is not that cold to wear fur yet.  Hey, look at the thermometer first, don’t you see how sunny is outside? I just wonder that people like choosing clothes according to calendar!

Sunny November

I have to confess that this picture is not new, I mean not this week made, unfortunately! Still I cannot let it stay unseen, you need to enjoy this beauty now and with me!

Walk With Me

November is a serious month, I mean it is usually gray and rainy one, comfortable time to think and look around. I catch myself in a word that November can be very beautiful and ugly at the same time. However, I have to clarify that Nature is beautiful always no matter of season. I am going to talk about both, but showing you only which is good. My idea is to replace something ugly with something beautiful. Aren’t you confused? I hope not…

November Road

On my life road map I see too many red stop signs, when I cannot drive further…

Life Road

My Nicki refuses to capture that ugly moments of reality – he would not let them stuck in our heads, better to enjoy only sweet lovely instants.

Lovely Instants

I would not like to see how trees are cut down because somebody (who has money earned in not so honest way) dreams of his palace!

Castle In the Forest

I am physically not able to understand how can big rivers disappear. One of the major reasons is the over-exploitation of the underground water reserves, while environmental destruction is another reason, because desertification of forests has caused a rain shortage in the mountain areas. Again who is guilty, think about? And what is more awful than fish poaching. When fishermen use nets to catch spawning fish. Do they use their brain? You know what they have no brain at all, instead of this very important part of human head they have an empty place!

Fish In Net

Huh, I am going to be harsh today. It is just the beginning, ladies and gentlemen! I started with global problems: trees cutting down, rivers disappearance, climate change, depletion of ozone layer, pollution, overpopulation, waste disposal, and etc. You may tell me  that is not our cup of tea, GREENPEACE and other ecological organizations should fight against them. Probably you are right. However, who is behind? Guess who…yes, we are usual people who occupied this Planet and forget that we need to care about it. I wish we could love our Motherland!

Lost Way

I wish I could not see people who who dump rubbish in public places. I do not feel that fine is enough who such people, I have a better punishment – how about cleaning out this territory for the next two months and not only papers left, but everything, even the smallest pieces, especially from grass. Wipe that smile off your face!

Ready

A serious confession I hate policemen…who earn money illegally. Have you ever met such ones? I met, unfortunately. In my country if you are a foreigner and your car has a foreign numberplate, then they will not miss you. Do not expect that their vision fails and they will not recognize your number- they have a super torch! Nothing can distract them from a very important mission to check how much extra cash you have in your pockets and also how much you are ready to give them. They consider it as some tips for using our awful roads…who gave them such a right? Their stupid uniform?

Embraced

And what about doctors? They are supposed to safe our life – instead they poke their nose into our pockets for…the same money. Is it human? I hardly can find an appropriate word for that.

Autumn Web

World is too materialistic. The more I look at it, the less I like it.

Only One is Left

Trees are able to change their leaves and we cannot. November is naked and so do we are. We have no super power or even magical stick. We cannot judge even. Sometimes we are lack of strength to fight. We are human beings who should just survive.

Trees Are Naked1

Although there is one thing…

Naked November

Nicki can capture one magical moment and I will replace ugly reality with it…

Good-Bye Autumn

What do you think? Will it work?

Last Leaves

Let’s say good-bye to Autumn!

Yours Ann

Light vs Shadow

My Shadow

Light is the primary tool of the photographer even for Lily. Light for her was not only the magical tool of photo-exposure, but also the source of her internal energy. She seems to be lack of light, since it gives her life a meaning, when everything revives around her and results in a life-altering chain of events that make sense.

Shadow Dance

Lily lived in her or her parents’ shadow most of her time. All her family members were very talented and successful, while she became their bad luck. She seems to be not so lucky, however, in reality she was protected from large disasters. Her angel has a very unusual sense of humor; nevertheless, he did his job very well. And being a witness of the passionate kiss between Eros and Rose brought her back to the shadow.

Walk in the Shadow

She was caught in panic. Shadow embraced her and left her in total darkness of the night. It seemed like the air was getting darker as she walk passed multiple trees. Lily did not see anything, it was pitch dark. Why she felt like that – this question tormented her day and night. At the same time she was afraid she was jealous. The light was actually coming from this couple. This light helped Lily to go through the darkness of her thoughts and look at this-supposed-to-be-happy world. A kiss is the connection of two souls that is usually accompanied with unbelievable divine light similar to a rainbow. Rose and Eros seemed to light Lily’s world. She found her light road.

Road of Light

With these thoughts in her head Lily was slowly walking along her light road. She wanted to find her perfect spotlight and was fully immersed in it that did not recognize a silhouette approaching her. Only through her camera lenses a familiar shape started to come into sight. It was a great surprise to her, Lily made two steps back and awkwardly felt not on her soft body part.

LightTree

It was quite painful!

“Ouch”, she hardly uttered a word and started to feel how pain spread through her legs. She did not pay attention to that known silhouette who was already by her side .

Between Shadow and Light

“Miss Lily, what are you doing here?” seriously asked he looking directly into her eyes. Suddenly Lily fixed her eyes on him. This clumsy girl gasped for air. Lily Crown was staring at Eros in the most inappropriate way. “Men should not have such beautiful eyes, it is not fair” was buzzing in her little head. 

Leaves

“Halloo, are you all right? Say something…” worriedly Eros continued asking her. At that instant Lily realized that she has to answer. She wanted to say a joke or something clever, but…

Hiden Between

“Interesting, you usually ask people questions as soon as you meet them, why not  just say “hello””, Lily was curious. She tried to get up, but sharp pain paralyzed her moves.

Play of Light and Shadow

” A well-timed remark considering that you currently suffer from pain since your landing was not so lucky”, smiled he and filled her soul with magnificent light. Her life was a shadow yet, however, inside she felt intoxicating light that was creeping deeper.

Sun On Leaves

Today Lily wanted to play with light and make her perfect pictures. In reality she received something else. 

Light is Found

Lily was in physical pain from falling directly on coccyx, while her state of mind was filled with fabulous blue-eyes-light.

Undercover

Similar analogy can be found in life. Sometimes there is a harmony between our body and soul. The other time, one of them is out of happy circle. Then light is in a conflict with shadow.

Walking Through

It can be pretty good if light can always win over shadow. Just imagine! Well, it may be hard to accept and to take in, but everything is in our hands and depends on us.

Light Magic

Lily was in Eros’ hands now. She could not walk, she desperately tried to avoid his help, she failed. He lifted her up like she was a feather. What a strong man!

Yellow Composition

However, they did not go home at once. Lily insisted on stopping every time when she saw her perfect light.

Background

They made a quite funny picture. A tall and strong man was bringing a lady with photocamera in her hands. Every five minutes she asked him to stop to make a picture. What could he do? He was not able to find any argument against it.

In the Shadow

She was too decisive to capture that special moment when light penetrates through darkness, shadows vanish, and beauty sparkles with sun light. Lily’s ideal light moment…

Shining on You

Wish you more light in your life!

Yours Ann