From Kyiv With Love (Episode 1)

Maidan

I guess writing about my Kyiv is the most difficult…the mixture of feelings is overwhelming. They are quite opposite. Pain and joy. How can I find right words to describe this city – charming city where I was born and where I spent most of my life, and where I saw too many things I wish I could not see. I feel nervous actually, I am not enough good for it. Maybe I am not even enough smart for this special mission, however, I have to give it a try. So we are in Kyiv  today and I would like to start our journey from its heart…Maidan, Independence Square or Place Where Hearts Go On…

In the photo above you can see our famous city center where in the 2000s the biggest political protests in Ukraine, such as the Ukraine without Kuchma (our second President after becoming an independent country) campaign and the Orange Revolution took place. In the center of picture there is a monument – a woman who symbolizes freedom for which Ukrainians fighting for….freedom bought with blood.

Stella
This monument symbolizes for me a strong Ukrainian woman and a mother who protects our Motherland from invaders. During our last Revolution of Dignity first blood was shed at this place. Students who showed their peaceful protests were sleeping on the stairs of this monument at the late November night when military met attacked them and started to use severe physical power by beating them with resin batons. I have not been there personally, but every time I am near this place I feel this desperate sorrow for being a witness of inhuman cruelty. These poor students were unarmed while military men were in full ammunition. Have you ever seen more cruel scenes? Among these students were young girls…it happened 2 years ago!

I draw for you a pretty sad picture, however, today sun shines brightly here, people walk around this monument and make pictures.  They believe that better future without war is waiting for their children when they grow up.

Historical House of Trade Unions

A historical building which survived or not exactly survived a real fire during the Revolution of Dignity salutes us. This is House of Trade Unions located on the city’s main Khreshchatyk Street, its facade faces the central Independence square and contains the city’s main clock tower. Approximate year of its “birth” is 1974, but it was renovated hundred of times. This building was mostly used as offices rented by Trade Union Federation. During Revolutions it served as press center, kitchen, and even area for sleeping or relax. Ukrainians gathered there to hide from winter cold, since most of our Revolutions were exactly at winter, its most cold months. What can I tell you – Ukrainians are not afraid of being frozen to death when it is about their freedom. One of the strongest and hard-working nation in the whole world, and not because I am one of them, no, believe me this is just what I see and know.  You have to excuse me now – I have big doubts whether anyone is ready to sleep in a usual tent almost on asphalt at the temperature not higher than -10 or even – 20 C…Ukrainians did and their clothes did not contain specific fur…I am not kidding…I saw it personally! I have no intention to idolize Ukrainians and put them on some pedestal, surely not, we are the same sinful people, just sometimes we can demonstrate magical will power that  impresses!

St Michael

If you turn almost 180 degrees you will see this statue with wings on the so-called gates. I will tell you what this is –  Saint Michael Archangel.   According to legend, when God divided the earth into countries and the angels chose one to patronize,  St. Michael became the protector of the Kyivan Rus (current Kyiv). This statue stands on Lyadski gates, which are supposed to be on the same place as in ancient times – gates to Kyiv. Let us go through them and look around. Take a deep breath and inhale the atmosphere. Maybe air is not so fresh, there are too many factories and cars in this megalopolis. Nevertheless, it has its own style. A preconceived opinion may be thrown at me – I do use too many compliments while describing Kyiv. Still I cannot agree. Kyiv is seemed to be not the most beautiful capital city, however, I could not stop loving it. 

City Center Side View

I have been abroad not once. I visited many capital cities and all of them I found very beautiful and nice. All of them have their own style, smells and sounds. I have no right even to tell that one city is more beautiful than the other.  Honestly I would like to see another Kyiv, not so crowded and modern. I prefer its ancient look, which is hardly remained due to skyscrapers and multiple shopping centers.

Kyiv Bridge View

Still it looks very nice. Especially when it tries an autumn outfit on. It looks so colorful and vulnerable at the same time. Sun makes a good light and I capture some positive signs, in fact, Kyiv needs changes for the better. It has to be reconstructed and saved in its original form. Kyiv can be a very attractive for tourists as well as L’viv. There are fantastic hotels here, beautiful nature parks, old churches and hospitable people. I think I will be right to tell that Kyiv is not similar to any other European city, it is too different and contrasting. One glance – modern shopping centers, expensive cars, high traffic, brand boutiques, skyscrapers, slim girls on high-heel shoes, whereas the other – homeless people, old people who like homeless, soldiers, sad faces, and despair…Yeah, again I draw a sad picture, I imagine your face now! I may draw another picture – happier and brighter, it actually is true. People smile here, people are born here, live, fall in love and etc. Thus Kyiv is too contrasting, black and white are crossing each other. As a person who cannot be indifferent I simply crave for warmer colors. Kyiv deserved to be visited, felt and “touched”. It deserved to be one of the most attractive and desired. That’s why I am here and I will show you this city from inside, you will hear the truth without any prejudice or advertisement. It is a special and very honorable mission and I will not disappoint you! 

To be continued!

From Kyiv with Love…

Yours Ann

Time Stood Still

Fountain Rainbow

Wow, it seems that I did not post anything for quite a while. It can be due to work or lack of time to meet my charming Lady Muse, she made for me several appointments, but I always found an excuse to postpone them. Though she caught me  right at my place of work while I was doing the translation. Can you imagine? She worms herself into my conscience and forced me to write. Here I am…sitting and typing…

Lost in Thoughts

Have you ever had time stand still for you? I had and not only once…

Pure Beauty

Time stood still for me when I do the translation. I do not recall whether I mentioned I work in the field of translation. Actually I received a Master Degree at translation of English and German languages. As fate filled I happened to start working as a translator even before graduating. And you know what is the most interesting I did not expect it. Almost all my group-mates changed their field and finally received jobs at banks, hotels, companies and etc, but not as translators. I felt myself the last of the Mohicans and still do.  Nevertheless, translation for me is an art that requires understanding. Translation is the reflection of a source text into an equivalent target text. When you read a target text and do not recognize  it was translated, then it is Advanced Level. Often I call my office a creative lab, where translator is a language magician, who is able to use language tricks skillfully. Not everybody can do, since translator should be a person who knows a lot or who is curious to know a lot, who is not afraid to ask, who is not afraid of many dictionaries and additional books that usually on his/her desk. Translator is a young researcher ready to discover a mysterious and frequently not clear language. And believe me it is pretty interesting and exciting, especially when you are the person who can go beyond the language borders. I can cross the language bridge and feel awfully cool!

As Bright as Sunshine

Time stood still when I make a photo or film the moment…Steve Stockman said that “Great video comes from thinking humans, not equipment.” Filming or photographing something means looking what is in frame…you have to look deeper to find the real matter. Filming for me is a source of happiness. It’s my childhood dream and I cannot stop dreaming about it. Unfortunately, I could not go to study it professionally, but my free time is devoted to this art. I accidentally discovered photo-shooting and found it even more challenging. A bright photo or a nice film can help you to forget your problems and show you the bright side of your life…even if it is only for some minutes…

Minutes of Delight

Time stood still for Eros and Rose…

“Why did you kiss me?” asked Rose while getting our of the car. They finally got to her house. Journey was silent, but thoughts about this kiss never let her or his head out. They were both confused and afraid of the consequences.

Possible Consequences

Eros stood next to her and he did not want to answer her question. He looked at her. For some minutes the tension between them could have be cut with a sharp knife.  He saw the fear that had leaped in her eyes. She was so beautiful and so vulnerable at the same time. He saw that she was afraid to relinquish her control and hear his answer. He felt that she enjoyed their kiss and she replied to it, but he also knew that she was not ready to accept the truth behind it. She was a young boss who just graduated and was assigned for a very important position, Rose was not ready to risk her career because of the man she did not know at all. 

Eros Confused

“I do not know…I think it was just an impulse…you were angry at me and told all that words…I was also angry and it just happened. Let’s call it an uncontrollable burst of emotions”, murmured Eros and looked aside. He knew he should comfort her and hide his true reasons. He could not let himself to tell the truth..at least not now.

“Huh, you can’t just kiss people…because you are angry at them!” she hissed, still shocked. ” It’s an awfully stupid explanation! You should control your emotions. I am your boss and its….it’s…very unprofessional…well, you know that…” Rose felt embarrassed and she tried to look at him, but did not dare.

Eros and Rose

Rose…or miss Spice…look, it happened and I can’t turn back the time, but…I think I can promise you that it will never happen again under any circumstances. We can try to forget it and pretend that nothing happened. You are my boss and we can have only business relationships.” slowly said Eros and extended his hand in a sign of friendship. Rose looked at his hand and then at him. His eyes were like two sparkles shining on you. He was very honest at this moment and very handsome as well. Rose felt that he attracts her and somewhere deep inside she did not want to be only friends, his kiss was still burning her lips, memory about was almost painful. Nevertheless, Rose did not want to have any problems at her first working day, she wanted to have a career and demonstrate this world that she’s a responsible young lady who is ready to conquer it. Rose does not like to be too romantic, she found it unacceptable and stupid. She is a decisive girl who never gives up even in most difficult cases. Now is the time to remember her priorities and bring the situation under her control. And she did it by shaking his hand.

Under Colorful Control

I agree with you, Eros, you are right, we are both grown up adults, who faced some problem, but we are able to solve it and we will do it. Let’s really forget about it and become good friends and colleagues. It seems you passed your test and I would work with you with pleasure. I..guess…that I am also guilty…my unusual testing of my employees failed, I shouldn’t send you that stupid sms…hope you can forgive me!” guilty apologized Rose and looked gently at him.

Rose Spice

Well…I also was not so honest with you…your sms actually was one of the most unexpected and pleasant presents for my birthday. I was shocked and happy at the same time. I couldn’t confess it at once…so I was angry at you….but that’s not fair!” smiled Eros. And his smile melt her heart. She smiled also.

“I’m glad to hear that! By the way you can call me Rose…”coquettishly uttered Rose and started going towards her house. She waved him. 

” Good-bye, Rose!” he waved her back with a beaming smile across his face…

Beaming Smile

 Time stood still when I look at my city where I was born. It is so beautiful, mysterious and even unknown for me. There are some many hidden places I have not even visited yet.

Kyiv

Time stood still when I watch a bird fly and dream that one day my country should become free as a bird. My country where people get used to hard work, but could not get decent salaries. Where people can enjoy life and be kind not matter of what. Where there are very smart and intelligent people who should leave their country and families and go abroad selling their intellect. I hate this…and will never accept. It’s too painful and I can’t stand my helplessness.

Helpless Beauty

Time stood still when I am writing this post and sharing my deep thoughts with you. I am lucky to have such kind friends who inspire and encourage me . I always receive a positive feedback and look forward to read your ideas. You are my treasure and my Muses, all of you!  Thank you so much! I cannot imagine my blog without all of you (can’t call all by names, since then I won’t finish my post).

 Summer Frog

Wish you a happy weekend!

Yours Ann

During the Drive or After the Kiss

Red Thoughts

And so Eros kissed Rose and his kiss was very needy and hungry. Rose has been kissed several times, but this time it was very different. Fortunately for Rose it did not last too long. Eros felt that he looses his control and he awkwardly stopped it. He silently looked at her and stepped back. Rose felt dizzy. Several seconds became like long hours for both of them. They just stood and stared wide-eyed at each other. Eros could not recall  more embarrassing moment in his entire life. He wished the earth could swallow his up. Nevertheless, he understood that somebody should be brave enough to stop this delusion and since it was exactly his fault, he decided to take the control.

“I…I suppose we have to come back, it’s getting late”, murmured Eros and headed towards the car. Rose did not respond, she just followed him and could not think logically. She even could not remember where they are and what day it is. She felt stupid and childish…She obediently sat to the car and they started going back. Since their journey was in total silence when one could hear a pin drop, Rose and Eros felt themselves better and each of them lost in their thoughts…

Rose looked at the window and saw a breathtaking view between the mountains.

 Breathtaking Mountains

Her heart jumped for delight. She loved this place so much. It was a response to her blood call. Rose was half-Ukrainian, her mom Svetlana was Ukrainian. She knew Ukrainian as well as English and visited this charming country many times. As fate has willed she came back to her country together with family. Due to all the mess with her position and arrangements she forgot how much she wanted to come back here. Now she is here and she felt stupidly happy. Ukraine is not the most stable country in the world and people live here poorly, Rose knew it very well. Her grandparents stayed here and their situation can be called pretty difficult if not the support provided by her mom. Svetlana did her best to support her parents financially and her husband helped her. Svetlana, a typical Ukrainian girl from Kiev, has never expected that she will be a wife of such a respectable young diplomat. Her dancing career “led” her directly to his arms. As soon as David Spice saw her he knew that she is going to be his wife. It was a fairytale ending with happy ever after. Later fairytale was over and as it is said by Lev Tolstoy “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” – Spices also went through different times, but they survived due to their “spice” skills. A spicy mixture of British traditionalism and Ukrainian kindness.

Ukrainian Couple

And here again a very beautiful landscape, Rose could not tear herself away from the picture…

Between the Mountains

as well as Eros…though Eros was a typical British man, he also liked this country. He has been traveling a lot; however, he has never seen such powerful mountains and magical waterfalls. Waterfall

This picturesque waterfall is located in 7 kilometers from Skole town. This is a very popular destination among the tourists, as it is also a geological nature monument. It is located on the river Opir among the dense Carpathian forest. Waterfall’s cascade falls into a small natural pool where tourists like to swim. However, the water is pretty cold…

Waterfall1

Every time Eros drove on serpentine roads through forests along the rivers and magnificent yellow fields he felt himself so excited and so right like at home. He felt as if he belonged here, to this blue and yellow island…

 UA

The flag of Ukraine consists of two equal sized horizontal stripes – the top stripe is light blue and the bottom one is yellow. The blue half represents peace, the sky above Ukraine and the country’s streams and the yellow represents prosperity and the color of the country’s wheat fields. The link between blue-and-yellow and Ukraine goes back to antiquity, well before the Christian era, “when yellow and blue prevailed in traditional ceremonies, reflecting fire and water”. Another possibility is that the color scheme comes from the coat of arms of the western city of Lviv, which features a yellow lion on a blue background. Country is full of blue and yellow colors wherever you look. Indeed, aside from the colors found in nature (sky, fields, leaves, trees, lakes, streams), even cars, trucks, trains, homes, bread containers, railway stations, corridors, are painted blue and yellow, not to mention that Ukrainian ladies prefer wearing blue and yellow nowadays. These are warm colors that give us something positive. Looking at the sky brings you comfort. I adore watching clouds which are in constant drift – eternal wanderers who had  passed days upon days, journeys without number.

Eternal Wanderer

 This emotional kiss with Rose remembered Eros how sweet life can be if there is a woman next to him. He almost forgot this amazing feeling. Surely he was not ready to change his life too much, but some interesting ideas appear in his head now. He wanted to give a chance to this new feeling…although he did not know yet that love affairs sometimes involve the odd flower out since every unknown flower can be sweeter than the tasted one…

Wild Flower

Both of then did not notice Lily and presence of a third person…they were too absorbed with each other…but Lily was there and now she felt so overwhelmed with what she saw that she hardly know what to do…

Summer Night Swimmers

To be continued!

Wish you many happy moments!

Stay in touch and let me know whether you like my story,

Yours Ann

Lilies Are Like Women

Lily Crown

I absolutely agree with Imam Ali who said that “Women are like flowers. They should be treated gently, kindly, and with affection.” Wasn’t he right, girls? Don’t we deserve it? I see many of you bowing your head now…surely, what can be more delicious than a flower or a maiden? Only a chocolate candy, I guess…joking! Nothing can please our eyes more than a gorgeous flower or a gorgeous woman…Lily is one of many flowers that can make us smile just by looking at it…let us get closer to it and enjoy the view!

Lily is one the most amazing and mysterious flower on the planet. To the ancient Greeks, the lily stood for tenderness, while early Christians used the lily as a symbol of purity. The lily was dedicated to the goddess Hera, the wife of Zeus. Legend has it that when Zeus fathered Hercules with the mortal woman Alceme, he wished his son to partake more fully of divinity. To this end he had the baby brought to Hera after he drugged her to sleep. He had the baby placed at her breast and Hercules nursed. Hera awoke in horrified surprise and flung the baby from her. Some of her milk gushed across the heavens and formed the milky way. A few drops fell to earth and from those drops sprang the first lilies.

Yellow Lilies

A girl who won’t let herself to be forgotten was Lily Crown. Her entire 23 years life was a real situation comedy. Even her birth was one of the most exciting things that her mom Marina has ever experienced. Lily came to this world by plane, literary speaking. She was born one month sooner and it happened during her mom’s flight to Ukraine. Flight attendants will never forget flight from London to Kiev. Lily always wondered  where exactly she was born in UK or UA, or in-between – one more problem for a woman who dealt with her birth certificate.

Rose Lilies

Her unlucky nature did not affect her appearance, Lily was a troublemaker, however, a very beautiful one. Her long-lashed eyes were green and bright with emotion. She looked like a sunrise in a lily garden. Her smile was radiant and warming, like the sun coming out from the clouds. Thick shining light brown hair was pulled back from her lovely little face to fail in curls on the shoulder.  Lily’s parents were quite prosperous people. Her dad Joshua was a very successful businessman who specialized in hotel management, whereas her mom was a consul in the UK Embassy in Kiev. Lily had an older brother Alex who has been working with her dad. Crowns were usual people at the first glance, the exception was only Lily. Her mom wanted to see her daughter more sociable and among friends, but Lily was a loner, she hardly can cope with people, not to talk about men. 

Pink Stargazer lilies symbolize wealth and prosperity.

Lilies in Bloom

Bad luck  always was on her side when any nice man showed up on the horizon. Once a man came to her and asked her something while she was on the beach and standing under open shower to clean her body from too salty Adriatic water and she was eager to answer him something…and at that moment she slipped and fell down so awkwardly that she lost her consciousness…the next thing she remembers was a hospital.

Yellow Crown

Another interesting fact about the lily is that it can be used for more than just room decor or a gift for a loved one. The oil extracted from lilies actually has been found to have healing and softening properties. The oil has been known to work well for cracked and dry skin.

Orange Lilies

An orange lily symbolizes passion.  A white lily traditionally symbolizes modesty and new beginnings.

Nevertheless, Lily wasn’t sad about her inability to become friends with people. I suppose she did not realize that she was unlucky, she just accepted it and devoted her life to her camera and shoot almost everything she caught. She was obsessed with film making and believed  she could be a good film director. Since she was unlucky to enter the appropriate faculty,  she studied business administration and became her mom’s personal secretary…but she did not forget about her dream…never. In the meantime she worked with her mom at the UK Embassy. And while being on vacation in L’viv and walking in the city center Lily accidentally saw…  Eros and Rose’s passionate kiss…she recognized Rose almost at once since they were studying in the same school and then university…their parents were good friends and Lily often played with Rose on the same playground…later though they did not communicate much, Rose was too popular, while Lily was attracting little attention at all. And now Lily was standing not so far from this strange couple and looking right at them…she was so startled that even forgot that her camera was switched on…

White Lilies

Lily might not be the same as lily flower and both of them may not have anything in common…just when I was looking at these lilies I imagined such a funny girl. Because flowers are like women, they are beautiful and capricious, they make this world more unpredictable, you never know what to expect from them! Don’t you think so?

To be continued!

Yours Ann

Mr and Mrs Strawberry Basking in the Sun

Mr Samon

Samon Strawberry liked getting up with first glimpses of sun. He was an early bird. He wanted to quickly ripen and be the first among other strawberries, that is why he was in a hurry to catch the sunlight. Samon has a very attractive round shape and green thick forelock – a handsome man what to say. Everybody admires him and envy him. And as Samon was turning his red sides to the sun Galyna Strawberry was silently sniffing next to him.

Mrs Strawberry

She was a drop dead gorgeous beauty, juicy and spicy at the same time, always adorned and gentle by her husband’s side. Samon spent a lot of time to conquer her heart. He fell in love with her at first sight. They met in the field where many strawberries gathered for harvest celebration. He knew that he could not miss his chance and he did everything to catch her attention. Galyna also knew that such strawberries as Samon is met once in a lifetime, so she accepted his courting with pleasure. Now they had little children-strawberries, who became the fruits of their love. They were also calmly sleeping on the bush behind them. Sweet lovely strawberries Petryk, Maxym, Oleg, Mykola, Mikhael, Eduardo, Samuel, Peter, Bob, Denny, Maria, Rebekka, Marusya and etc. They were lucky to have so many strawberries, they were fertile.

Strawberry Kids

Mr and Mrs Strawberry house was in the first row, a very nice one with big leaf to hide from sun and comfortable stem. This family was not poor, but pretty prosperous. They worked hardly and were proud of their results. Mr and Mrs Strawberry were proud of their origin. Maybe you heard the story about berries on a straw? Nope…then here it is:

“There is a legend that strawberries were named in the nineteenth-century by English children who picked the fruit, strung them on grass straws and sold them as “Straws of berries”.”

Samon and Galyna always remind their kids that they are regarded as one of the most romantic fruit. Even it is a known fact that at wedding breakfasts in provincial France, newlyweds traditionally were served a soup of thinned sour cream, strawberries, borage and powdered sugar. 

Even if Mr and Mrs Strawberry were from noble Rose Family, they behaved like usual strawberries. They liked being on the field among other strawberries. Samon was a man of good joke, he knew a lot of jokes for any occasion. Other strawberries liked his company and regarded him as a leader…

Sun was already high in sky and everybody got up. Galyna joined her husband and took a seat on the sun next to him like a real Strawberry Queen. Soon their little kids joined them as well. A new day has come for Strawberry Family!

AnRo

Happy Weekend from Ann!!! See you soon!

Do You Hear Magical Bells?

My Friend

My little friend, squirrel Tickle, was very surprised to hear some strange noise this morning. He calmly was looking for some food when suddenly heard something very unusual. Tickle does not like strange sounds, it makes him to be on alert. He decided to check the situation and looked out. At this very moment I was walking along the path and saw little Tickle. We stare at each other for some seconds, whole monologues going unsaid across our features. However, silent moment did not last that long. A made a step closer… and scared him off…he went into hiding…I saw only his fluffy tail…

I looked up and saw branches of trees reaching up hungrily toward the blue sky. My eyelids drift shut for a second. I carefully made more steps and felt that I have to keep on going pulled by some magnetic force. Suddenly I caught a glimpse of very bright light. I went further and saw them…magical bells!

Magical Bells

I found a large field of gorgeous flowers. You certainly recognized these flowers….but I prefer calling them Bells due to their specific shape. Don’t you agree? Do not they look like bells? Do not you hear din-don?

Gentle Bells

A very interesting fantasy visited my head. For an instant I wanted to be another being. A butterfly or somebody else who is able to immerse into the flower head and read its thoughts. I can see your puzzled face…I know, I know…sounds very strange…but I like going deeper (literary talking). I am curious as ever about their inside nature. It can be such an experience to go behind the nature curtain, to peep through the holes invisible for human eye.

Water Paradise

A true stroke of luck is that I have at least zoom. With my photocamera I can zoom and satisfy my curiosity. I do not know whether flowers can smile, but every time I look at them  they do smile at me in reply. They might guess that I’d like to photograph them, so their initial reaction is to look prettier, they try to show their best side. I am not sure indeed…I only can dream of….observe…and imagine!

Bright Bells

These bright colors make us feel extremely energetic. Life turns into some show of sparkling colors changing every minute. You feel some splash of emotions, you want to catch this rhythm…

Colorful Heaven

I wonder whether you feel this endless energy that originates from them. In case some negative thoughts bumped into your head, you need to find your own magical bells.

Yellow WorldMagical bells can do wonders as all magicians. Yellow bells make you believe that sun will shine always on you, they make you feel positive as if you can do everything you want. You feel warmth embraces your body.

Lonely Bell

Oh, and look at it! How do you like Mrs Bell’s dress, isn’t it fantastic? Suits her just perfectly. Anyone can envy you Mrs Bell. Why are you so beautiful?

Bride Bell

Time passed so quickly and I had to say good-by to my magical bells. When I was heading back I met Tickle, he recognized me and decided to find out whether I have any nuts for him. How lucky he was – I did share with them several nuts, how disappointed I was – he did not eat them, but buried them. This time Tickle was very playful, he liked my white summer trousers and decided to try on the fabric… touched it. Then he ran away and again came back. He liked following me and even pretended to be ready to make a jump on me…but did not dare. Squirrels can be pretty playful, I do not know whether they feel danger if you are close to them, but sometimes they look at you in such a way that it seems they understood what do you tell them and reply in their own specific manner. Tickle is a young squirrel, if you pay attention, his ears are very short yet. He just discovers this world and sometimes not to careful. I hope he become more wisdom and smarter. I will keep on looking after him to be sure he doesn’t find any trouble…

See you soon!