WPC

Modelling in spare time. Vatican. Photo: a © signature mmm production

If there is any follower left who isn’t yet aware of my new blog, please let’s move over here for more moments to spare, new time to waste and more positive presence (I’ve been called thus by a blogger, thank you, Nick).

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: Spare

WPC: The Earth brings forth by itself

The sentence in the title is from my university translation exam. The images are from around here and wider Maremma, taken in the last two weeks, and the photo above is from Terme Saturnia, the true Earth wonder.

The sentence was in Slovenian (“Zemlja poraja sama od sebe.”), and we had to translate it into English. We were allowed dictionaries but advised against the practical little green two-way dictionary as it was not deemed quality enough. As it is, it was exactly there that I found the collocation to bring forth. The professor was mightily pleased.

And I am pleased when my eye rests on these earthy colours.

Photo: a © signature mmm production

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: Earth

WPC: Who put ad in admiration?

Admiration. Let me count the ways.

Mom. Dad. Grandparents. Uncles. Sister. Everybody in my lifeline who came before me. They must have done something right to lead to me. Amore. Astrid Lindgren. Tomaž Šalamun. Slavoj Žižek. Jeanette Winterson. Charles Bukowski. Milan Kundera. Ian MacEwan. Margaret Atwood. Tom Robbins. A legion of other writers. Pearl Jam. Janis Joplin. Jim Morrison. Joan Baez. Bob Dylan. A handful of Slovenians, Marcel Štefančič jr., Miha Mazzini, Tadej Zupančič, Svetlana Makarovič. Nejc Zaplotnik. A fistful of teachers. Maja Turnher. Philip Burt. A couple of friends.

A whole lot of fellow bloggers and people who I’ve found online and will probably never meet. Everybody who dares to share.

People who stay true to themselves. Who fight for their rights, and for the weak. Who dare. Who tell it like it is, but keep their voices down (well, some refuse and yell instead). Who are humble in their greatness, and gentle when victorious. Who do what they say they will. Who are reliable, determined, transparent and full of integrity. Unbreakable and unputdownable. My kind of people.

There is an ad in admiration. But there is mir too (=peace).

As for places, the last town to yield my deepest admiration was Siena last week. I’ve been in Tuscany for three years and this was the first time I saw it. Its ups and downs, brick colour and arches transported me in time, to some place like Portugal or Morocco (have yet to visit either). Or possibly I returned to the time of playing with grandmother’s postcards. I never tired of sorting them by colour vs. black and white, country, city, number of stamps, sender, recipient, whether there was a single photograph on it or multiple. In a way they were my first step towards blogging and admiring the views and words you all post for us.

Not just architecture, the people were very admirable too. I have never seen so many stop and wait for me to take the photo (not of them). A woman stopped on her own accord to explain to us the use of a giant electric charger (nope, not meant for phones, rather for electric cars). And, as it’s a custom in Italy, everybody not just didn’t mind but truly loved our pouncing bestia (except my visitors who managed him for me); a Russian tourist pushed the trolley with his toddler right into the dog, saying that he had three dogs at home. A kiss-and-greet followed.

I bet there were some of Siena in that box of postcards. For an unknown city it felt too familiar.

≈ Manja Maksimovič ≈

Photo: a © signature mmm production

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: Admiration

WPC: Dinnertime, children

There was the subject of cook for another challenge not so long ago, so today let me concentrate on the places where we also eat when we don’t eat at home, even though there are some photos from there as well. More info in the captions. Buon appetito!

Photo: a © signature mmm production

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: Dinnertime

WPC: Future wave

Today marks one year since I joined my first photo challenge. It was Weekly Photo Challenge and the subject was Afloat. After that, and joining some other challenges, my blog was much less lonely. Today is a good day then to see what the future brings.

It was a lovely if a bit windy day in south Tuscany. Visitors were clearly plotting and gathering evidence.

Ninja half has just assumed position, possibly to consider future actions.

Until the moment when…

The only thing one can really be sure of is the 7th wave.

Photo: a © signature mmm production

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: Future

I’ve been sitting on these for a month and now they will serve as a suitable land-escape. They happened when we reached the top of Castiglione della Pescaia and looked down. The sea colour is natural and the clouds said they would contribute. Sometimes this is all it takes.

Photo: a © signature mmm production

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: Landscape

In fact, I’ll keep it!

It was two years ago today that I posted my first Manja Mexi Movie blog post. I can’t believe it’s been two years already.

(I know this, even though WordPress has stopped informing me about the number of posts or anniversaries and things like that a while ago. I don’t know what happened. – ADD-IT: The notification came at 11pm. WordPress never forgets, thank you!)

To think that the main impulse for starting the blog was lack of feedback from my family and friends upon sending them heaps of emails with photos from my new life in the new country!

To keep us company in this post, here are some of my favourite already published photos:

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Obviously the world is indeed big enough to find a variety of people who are not too lazy to tell you when you make them smile, busy schedule notwithstanding. Thank you all so much for that! I know how precious this is: even I with all the time in the world have trouble following everybody I’d like to. There are just too many brilliant people around!

It’s not just laziness, some friends back home are saying they don’t understand my blog because it’s in English. Hmmm, as little as I write? Photos are in English as well, are they? Whining like some Italians! Aren’t Slovenians known to brag how good we are at English? Because, compatriots, no matter how much you whine, this blog is NOT turning Slovenian any time soon.

And lest we forget, at the beginning, for much of the first year really, there were just about 7 followers, all family and friends. Only after I started joining photo challenges, many more of you came over and some stayed. Among the challenges that have achieved this are (in each line three links lead to three posts for every challenge):

and the latest I have joined:

Soon I will reach the upgrade limit for this one and will start another WordPress blog. Nothing much will change (other than the theme), I quite like it as it is. I hope – I always hope – to do more writing, but just like the rest of the world I’m getting lazier in this regard, posting more photos and less words. They are easier on the eye, it seems, or is it brain. It’s not that words are lacking, I always have a bunch, they are lurking JUST behind the corner. Beware.

Here is a recap of my writings that I posted last June. I find it very telling that only father, Snow Somewhere Else and Badfish commented. Well, I do say it’s for the organised and the mad ones. 😀 (Love you!)

What is alarming is that I’ve only added very few writings to Own Words category since.

Among them are:

In short – nobody has a truly good excuse for not following me. But I cannot and don’t want to force anybody either. Everything I said on this day last year in my first anniversary post is still true: we have strawberries and if you don’t want them – your loss.

And as they say in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels: “It’s a deal, it’s a steal, in fact…

…I think I’ll keep it!” 😀

Truly, from the heart, thank you all for every minute spent in my virtual company.

≈ Manja Maksimovič ≈

Featured photo: The header of my upcoming blog: MLK in Ljubljana. 

Photo: a © signature mmm production

WPC: Sexing the Cherry, no half light about it

What follows are three out of twelve dancing princesses telling their stories about what happened after they married three of 12 princes, from the book “Sexing the Cherry” by Jeanette Winterson. They are one of the reasons why this book is my favourite.

***

We all slept in the same room, my sisters and I, and that room was narrower than a new river and longer than the beard of the prophet.

So you see exactly the kind of quarters we had.

We slept in white beds with white sheets and the moon shone through the window and made white shadows on the floor.

From this room, every night, we flew to a silver city where no one ate or drank. The occupation of the people was to dance. We wore out our dresses and slippers dancing, but because we were always sound asleep when our father came to wake us in the morning it was impossible to fathom where we had been or how.

You know that eventually a clever prince caught us flying through the window. We had given him a sleeping draught but he only pretended to drink it. He had eleven brothers and we were all given in marriage, one to each brother, and as it says lived happily ever after. We did, but not with our husbands.

I have always enjoyed swimming, and it was in deep waters one day that I came to a coral cave and saw a mermaid combing her hair. I fell in love with her at once, and after a few months of illicit meetings, my husband complaining all the time that I stank of fish, I ran away and began housekeeping with her in perfect salty bliss.

For some years I did not hear from my sisters, and then, by a strange eventuality, I discovered that we had all, in one way or another, parted from the glorious princes and were living scattered, according to our tastes.

We bought this house and we share it. You will find my sisters as you walk about. As you can see, I live in the well.

“We bought this house and we share it. You will find my sisters as you walk about.” Roma.

***

You may have heard of Rapunzel.

Against the wishes of her family, who can best be described by their passion for collecting miniature dolls, she went to live in a tower with an older woman.

Her family were so incensed by her refusal to marry the prince next door that they vilified the couple, calling one a witch and the other a little girl. Not content with names, they ceaselessly tried to break into the tower, so much so that the happy pair had to seal up any entrance that was not on a level with the sky. The lover got in by climbing up Rapunzel’s hair, and Rapunzel got in by nailing a wig to the floor and shinning up the tresses flung out of the window. Both of them could have used a ladder, but they were in love.

One day the prince, who had always liked to borrow his mother’s frocks, dressed up as Rapunzel’s lover and dragged himself into the tower. Once inside he tied her up and waited for the wicked witch to arrive. The moment she leaped through the window, bringing their dinner for the evening, the prince hit her over the head and threw her out again. Then he carried Rapunzel down the rope he had brought with him and forced her to watch while he blinded her broken lover in a field of thorns.

After that they lived happily every after, of course.

As for me, my body healed, though my eyes never did, and eventually I was found by my sisters, who had come in their various ways to live on this estate.

My own husband?

Oh well, the first time I kissed him he turned into a frog.

There he is, just by your foot. His name’s Anton.

“Oh well, the first time I kissed him he turned into a frog.” Il giardino dei tarocchi, Niki de Saint Phalle.

***

When my husband had an affair with someone else I watched his eyes glaze over when we ate dinner together and I heard him singing to himself without me, and when he tended the garden it was not for me.

He was courteous and polite; he enjoyed being at home, but in the fantasy of his home I was not the one who sat opposite him and laughed at his jokes. He didn’t want to change anything; he liked his life. The only thing he wanted to change was me.

It would have been better if he had hated me, or if he had abused me, or if he had packed his new suitcases and left.

As it was he continued to put his arm round me and talk about building a new wall to replace the rotten fence that divided our garden from his vegetable patch. I knew he would never leave our house. He had worked for it.

Day by day I felt myself disappearing. For my husband I was no longer a reality, I was one of the things around him. I was the fence which needed to be replaced. I watched myself in the mirror and saw that I was no longer vivid and exciting. I was worn and grey like an old sweater you can’t throw out but won’t put on.

He admitted he was in love with her, but he said he loved me.

Translated, that means, I want everything. Translated, that means, I don’t want to hurt you yet. Translated, that means, I don’t know what to do, give me time.

Why, why should I give you time? What time are you giving me? I am in a cell waiting to be called for execution.

I loved him and I was in love with him. I didn’t use language to make a war-zone of my heart.

‘You’re so simple and good,’ he said, brushing the hair from my face.

He meant, Your emotions are not complex like mine. My dilemma is poetic.

But there was no dilemma. He no longer wanted me, but he wanted our life

Eventually, when he had been away with her for a few days and returned restless and conciliatory, I decided not to wait in my cell any longer. I went to where he was sleeping in another room and I asked him to leave. Very patiently he asked me to remember that the house was his home, that he couldn’t be expected to make himself homeless because he was in love.

‘Medea did,’ I said, ‘and Romeo and Juliet and Cressida, and Ruth in the Bible.’

He asked me to shut up. He wasn’t a hero.

‘Then why should I be a heroine?’

He didn’t answer, he plucked at the blanket.

I considered my choices.

I could stay and be unhappy and humiliated.

I could leave and be unhappy and dignified.

I could beg him to touch me again.

I could live in hope and die of bitterness.

I took some things and left. It wasn’t easy, it was my home too.

I hear he’s replaced the back fence.

“I was the fence which needed to be replaced.”

***

Photo: a © signature mmm production

Related: My open letter to Jeanette Winterson

I have never thought to add my photographs to a literary work. I’m glad I did it now for Jeanette and:

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: Half-Light

The only thing that makes life worth living is the possibility of experiencing now and then a perfect moment. And perhaps even more than that, it’s having the ability to recall such moments in their totality, to contemplate them like jewels.
—John Bowles

Six friends doing their own perfect take on Village People for sister’s 30. Photo: MM

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: Dance

WPC: St. Gregory’s One Love

13-8-15 051 (1280 x 960)
In Slovenia, today is what the image of Mengeš pavement above proclaims, Gregorjevo, St. Gregory’s, Slovenian Valentine’s Day. According to the old calender, it was the first day of spring and the day when birds mate.

For WPC: One Love challenge I have gathered half a year’s worth of bird photos because the saying goes that the first bird you see today will resemble your future spouse.

The birds on the first three photos are Slovenian. The next three photos were taken at Miramare castle near Trieste. Those resting on the Tevere river are in Roma. The rest are local, geese included. For these I’m especially glad they survived Christmas. We shall see about Easter. The one through the window was taken without standing up from my computer. I swear. Talking about comfy. When I went out to take some more, only those four remained online.

And the last one is mine. I shall make good wife.

Be like birds, fly single or in flock – in fact, the fiercer the bird, less need of a flock – mate or not, sing or clack or chirp or perch totally silent. Just be sure to bring on One Love. Even if St. Gregory in question is House M.D. 😀

Photo: a © signature mmm production

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: One Love