I lost my smell

I cannot smell anything. Who would of thought this would be an issue.

Past few days I am shaking hands with covid possibly for a first time. Although I believe I had it at the very start when no one knew what it was as I thought I am going to die. Worst flu in my life. But this time I have been tested and I definitely have it. Surprisingly it was worse than what I would expect after such long circulation within society, but I do meet people on daily basis so who knows how many different doses have I got.

But back to the smell. It is so annoying.

I make a coffee at the morning and I can not smell it. I think I have never realised until now how smells are big part of my every day life, how they alter my mental state. Smell of fresh grounded coffee just starts the day.

I can not smell the laundry, floury smell of new tried detergent.

I can not smell if I need a shower. What one could get used to if other people around couldnā€™t smell either šŸ˜€ I can not enjoy smell of the parfume I put on at the morning.

I can not smell the fresh breeze through a window or I can not calm myself down to sleep with some lavender in aroma lamp.

Honestly it feels as a torture and thinking I might not get my smell back hunts me.

All those little things we smell on everyday basis and either improve or deteriorate our mood and they are all gone.

I make food but I can not smell it, it honestly take away a huge part of the experience even though my taste is still there for now.

I truly wish to smell the flowers once again.

Struggles of an Artist – it has been a Year

Observing the world, being an artist. I guess that is what I always felt to be, yet I find it so difficult in our nowadays world. Was it always this way, did the artists of past struggle similar way? Not to have time to do art, just be and observe? Never ending loop of bills to be paid, responsibilities and people to be attended, moving constantly somewhere learn and do more. If only about art I wouldnā€™t mind but it is almost everywhere I go. In every job I do, do more, learn more, take more.

I truly struggle balance it.

Maybe it is me, as I have decided to go 2 paths not only one. I want to be an artist but as well a counsellor. Can I be both? What about the rest of the jobs I do to pay bills. Than come people into my life snatching my time. Maybe when I finish the course finally, but then I need to set my practice and again more work to do.

Sometimes I wish for day to have 48 hours and for me to have endless energy, because sometimes I am just tired. Tired to do anything, just watch a tv and rest. Should I pick up a brush in these times? Force myself to draw or paint even if there is no energy left?

I donā€™t know.

It feels as maybe that is exactly what I need to do.

Despite my classes twice a week I just donā€™t create. No video, no drawings, no paintings, no guitar. My life last year became work, studies and close people. Is that it? What about that calling within, what about it? How to fit it in? Should I go study art instead of counselling?

Maybe.

But if I would I wouldnā€™t become an artist in the first place, I wouldnā€™t face my demons who inspired me but as well were slowly destroying me. I would never make my first exhibition and I would probably struggle to this day to really start doing something with my art. My counselling practice helps me to move forward, uncover yet another layer of myself, because I need to understand, need to know.

Because everything connects to each other, us people in between each other, but as well us within ourselves.

Everything has its purpose, its place. Things connect within each other and within environment, places, seasons, areas, buildings, elements. Everything connects and this connection doesnā€™t let me not to move forward. Always there is this need to understand or if not understand to at least observe, capture.

Sometimes I wander what exactly am I doing? As my whole life is observing, letting go of, capturing, starting new, moving, living. I guess thatā€™s the whole point. I donā€™t think that we need to pick up any career or path, we donā€™t need to become something, label a box where others can fit us in. We just need to live, let the life move us towards the destiny we are supposed to live. It is challenging at first. Trust the life.

But I am realising that the whole experience makes sense.

Years of inspiration exchanged for years of work and responsibilities. We can always decide to change something if it doesnā€™t serve us anymore. I am slowly changing again finishing one thing in order to start something else connected but different, finding always space for creativity, for art, even if that means only once a week. I need to make sure it is there that the hand practices with brush and chalk, that I process throughout visual art making, that all I do, experience and create becomes a part of the process towards the one or few final pieces. I can feel them within, but I do not know yet what they are going to be. I am getting there though and I know they will emerge one day in this life. I just canā€™t step off the path I stepped on few years back and I need to keep moving creative way.

Little things to see in Scotland

It has been a whileā€¦

How it happened it is 6 months into a new year?

I havenĀ“t created for so long and so came a little project in my way. My flatmate asked if I would like to participate in his show with some creation of sorts.

That was a final push I needed and I created short video not about learnings of past year, but as well about beautiful places around Scotland.

Overview of times in Scotland, overview of past years and if there is possibility to find inspiration even is such challenging times we live in. It is funny realising that even in places we go to so often they are changing every day all it takes is for us to open our eyes, quiet our mind and be present.

I havenĀ“t left Edinburgh in past year and all got to explore were close by hills. Any other time I would be wanting to travel further and explore, but it wasnĀ“t really possible in the past year. How grateful I am I got the chance explore the hills in all seasons in all times of the day. Every single time I went it was a different experience which I enjoyed very much.

Come to have a little look with me what not only so well-known Scottish nature can offer.

To see the whole show where the video was part of go here: https://fb.me/e/3AemXF78O

Unpredictable weather in Scotland…be ready to be prepared

When I moved to Scotland one thing I havenĀ“t understood was why people talk so much about the weather. How it is outside how it is supposed to be later in a day and if this prediction will be accurate.

Ā“Always have a jacket with you even if it is sunny outside,Ā“ my friend would advice me.

Few mistakes later getting soaked in the rain what came out of nowhere down from clearly blue sky I learnt my lessen. It was not unusual that there would be rain in the part of the town where I live yet sunny not only on the other side of Edinburgh, but even in the next neighbourhood. Ā 

One day my parents came to visit me.

Ā“I donĀ“t need to take my jacket itĀ“s sunny outsideĀ“

Ā“Dad take the jacket with you it might rainĀ“

Ā“But itĀ“s sunny outsideĀ“

Few hours laterā€¦

Ā“What the heck is this weather here I am putting jacket on and off like crazy.Ā“

I had to bite my tongue not to say Ā“I told you soĀ“

Scottish weather is truly very unpredictable. One day I have experienced 4 seasons. Actually more then only one day. Ā I guess in time one gets used to or at least convince themselves they got used to. Last winter I tried a little upgrade to better cope with windy cold weather. IĀ“ve started doing cold showers firstly every day later every now and then and seams as I donĀ“t mind the cold that much outside anymore. I canĀ“t say the same about people around me unless they are Scottish, theyĀ“re resistance to cold I certainly havenĀ“t achieved yet. Going out to the hills in late November, maybe it was already December and my friend coming out of the building in only shirt and fleece in his hands.

Ā“Arenā€™t you going to be cold?Ā“ me asking covered in winter jacket wrapped up with scarf.

Ā“I have the fleece and the hat. IĀ“ll be fine.Ā“

Seeing children on their day trips in the town during the winter and them wearing only a jumper, girls wearing skirts without tights suddenly makes total sense. First time seeing this I was little shocked, but I guess that is exactly the way how you build the resistance to cold.

Spring is here now the wind is still a bit cold though. We still canĀ“t sit inside of cafĆ©, so morning coffee on the bench with freezing cold wind is not always delightful, yet there is something about it. Certainly something one will remember. Ā“Do you remember when we had that coffee on a bench in freezing cold?Ā“ Maybe different memory then Ā“Remember when we got that cocktail on the sunny beach,Ā“ yet still somewhat special šŸ™‚

Scotland Winter Wonderland

And Winter came…the winter has been very kind to us this winter. It has been the most snow I have experienced here in the past years. It has been only time I have experienced snow here in Christmas time. It is almost as a nature would give us a little present a reward for times spent at home, not travelling, not meeting friends and family or going to life music or other inside winter time events. Snow came unexpectedly and brought a joy to (for many) more and more grey days. I certainly felt a joy of a child when snow came. There were people playing snowball fights on streets in early morning hours, just enjoying the moment, the present. Joy of being allowed to experience cold white snowflakes on the cheeks. Going to snowy hills was certainly a little miracle of this Christmas. Beautiful sunsets and beautiful sunrises. People enjoying themselves in the safe hug of the nature.

Not long ago I was worried how these winter months will be. I promised myself to find something nice about them, because they can be here quite dark, sad and difficult. And this year without possibility to meet much or go visit family they could be even more difficult. But I was wrong. This winter is one of the happiest I have ever had. Very different, yet that makes it special I guess. So many surprising and unexpected beautiful moments and joy in little simple things. Come with me to have a look how the winter in Scotland can look like.

Chasing the Sun in Scotland

I canĀ“t count how many sunsets I have seen in my life. Yet this year they happened to be even more special. As November comes sun is getting lower and lower. We are in the time of the year when days are the shortest. Sun rises at 8.30 and sets at 3.30. We are still lucky, as it is not as dark as in the very North, but comparing to Slovakia one can feel it quite a bit.

When I walk during the day I see the sun being low all day not reaching very high. There is a beauty in it as it covers the city in the warm light. One day I got an inspiration to go chase the sun. My dad would often tell me a story how he as a little child always wanted to walk towards the sun and reach it. Innocent little soul not understanding that it is not possible.

For few weeks I have been going to close by hills even if for couple of hours in busy weekends, just to catch last bits of the daylight. Thanks to this project my November happened to be so beautiful. Every weekend I was looking forward to go to mountains and watch this beautiful scenery which happens every day again and again and we miss so many days of our lives not seeing this miracle.

I certainly felt every single time as the sun gave me energy for another week. I would go on my own or with friends I would go in advance or even missed the sunset. Yet every time it was a special occasion, special moment and special day. Usually November is a little sad month because winter is inevitable. This year I enjoyed the November probably the most in my entire life just because I went to see something what is here every single day yet we just often donĀ“t see its beauty.

Joy in Pandemic times – Scotland is getting ready for Winter

Autumn is almost gone.

Leaves from trees are slowly changing into mush-mash of wet slippery cover on the path walks and trees appear to be more and more naked. I guess I am ready for winter as well.

Tiredness is most present every day, as my body would like to tell me to slow down, reflect.

I have been very busy lately, trying to balance all present in my life. I enjoy all, but I am learning to do just as much I can in a day.

Pandemic times donĀ“t add much.

Do you find yourself sometimes creatively drained?

I do. Days even months of not picking up the pencil. Is it for us to push through or just let it go itself? In my own experience the answer is somewhere in the middle.

My creativity heightened lately and I made myself a promise of drawing every day for one month. It is not easy task to accomplish and as I am writing this story I have already slipped few days trying to catch up now.

Have you ever heard of Ink October Challenge? I am doing it now in November. Hoping to continue on everyday quick sketches even after the challenge. That is for another story though.

As I look out of my window weather is less promising every day. Yet we had quite few beautiful days even little inversion, which I am hoping to experience again. Edinburgh covered in cloud, one suddenly felt as being in the part of Harry Potter Books or Sherlock Holmes stories.

Picking up leaves on the way home, creating fall inside of the flat. Enjoying times with friends. Experiencing that even in times as we live at now there is still a lot to see and experience. I guess we learnt to live with virus, there are restrictions present in the past half of the year and I only can conclude that this time brought a lot of positives into my life as well.

Nature become more important than ever, appreciating every new day being healthy, every meeting with friends. Being grateful for the job I have which allows me get away from not only isolation, but as well away from the fear of the virus, which many experience nowadays.

But enough of talking, let me show you little things which make life so special even in times of pandemics.

What is it you enjoy at the moment? Ā What makes you happy?

Oh no Christmas is coming. What to get to our loved ones?

Oh no Christmas is coming, what will I get to my family?

I barely earn for living how am I going to afford Christmas this year?Ā“

These were my thoughts last year about this time of the year.

Christmas can be a struggle, when comes to presents for our loved ones. We want them to be useful, meaningful and personal, but sometimes we just run out of ideas. Last year I was fairly worried about Christmas, because I didnĀ“t have much money so there was a limitation what to get them.  But I hate giving people staff they donĀ“t need just out of giving them something. I had those experiences when I just had no idea or no money and I usually wanted to dig a hole in the sand and put my head in it when I could feel disappointment in eyes of my loved ones. Maybe it is my fault that they got used to how Ā“perfectĀ“ and meaningful gifts I always try to give them.

I had to find a way how to make them happy but wonĀ“t cost me fortune or better almost nothing as I could barely afford living. Something what I will feel as I found a way how to give them something meaningful as well.

So I dived into memories of conversations we had lately.

What did they say they like or wanted?

My mum was talking about how she struggles to find inspirational pictures for her paintings. Her eye doesnĀ“t let her watch for too long into the computer monitor and she doesnĀ“t know where to find something nice.

There it hit me. I could make her an inspirational book with some pictures which she could draw and paint. I bought blank notepad and few magazines in the charity shop and started looking through them for some nice pictures.

Faces. Nature. Paintings.

Something she could paint and learn from.

Just sticking pictures felt empty. What could I fill it with?

Quotes.

Recently I got an ink and old-fashioned ink pen. Perfect. I can write some meaningful quotes inside and make a book out of it. Very personal book for my mum, that every time she opens it some inspiration comes out for her.

It was very enjoyable creative process, even though it took me very long time to finish it. Finding pictures, drawing some backgrounds, searching and writing quotes according to theme of the picturesā€¦

I guess it will be better seen what I have done in visual.

So if you struggle financially or with ideas what to give to your close people, maybe this can be an inspiration.

It can be a great gift for someone creative you care about. Have a look inside this personal book and maybe it will be inspiration for your Christmas present :).

Hiking Pentlands Way in Scotland (we didnĀ“t make it)

So we went on a journey of adventure, the journey I had in mind for about a year. Finally, I packed my backpack and we set on to walk Ā“Pentlands WayĀ“ in Scotland. Not many people walk this path it isnĀ“t even very famous, but everyone in the area knows it and walked at least parts of it if being ever in Pentlands. I do love these hills. Sanctuary from busy and noisy city not far from Edinburgh.

Determined to walk the path despite bad forecast so much in need of nature and break out of Edinburgh after so many months spend here in this year better said only here.

The journey was amazing but wasnĀ“t easy. Nature showed us its very best and nicest the first day yet its worst the second one. I came back home sore from blisters and heavy backpack yet so happy inside smiling energy into the world. We had to cut our journey short because weather conditions were too rough and difficult at the end.

Come with me to walk this path together and maybe you set on your own one day. Maybe we will manage to walk it till the end next time. Ā 

What is autumn like in Scotland?

It was sunny outside, but as soon IĀ stepped out IĀ knew something is different. The air was cold and had this smell which can only mean one thing.

Autumn is here.

Season which covers land in colourful blanket. Fall as they call it in English. Time when we start getting ready for winter. Summer is gone, but not quite just yet. Last bits of sunshine warm soft light early sunsets. Everything is telling me that inevitable is coming.

Winter.

This is time to enjoy and take in all what is left from warmth and light.

Autumn brought me back to life. With all news and restrictions, IĀ felt somewhat drained and influenced more than IĀ would like to be.

Tired.

IĀ forced myself one day to get to see a sunset here in Edinburgh from the hill Arthur Seat. That was aĀ day everything has changed and finally energies started moving different directions.

IĀ threw my jacket and backpack into the grass set the tripod and filmed the sunset. Suddenly IĀ saw inspiration again IĀ felt as energy is moving inside my body and inspiration is rushing into my mind, into my heart.

Still tired IĀ knew that this is turning point. As I watched the sun fall behind the Calton Hill IĀ just wanted to stay in this moment forever.

Yet IĀ packed all again and made my way towards trees where IĀ left my bike waiting quietly for my arrival. Suddenly my heart skipped and IĀ stopped in silent awww. Large ginger creature crossed my path in most gentle way as the animal can do.

Ā“Fox, Ā“ crossed my mind.

In split second she was gone in the trees where my bike was waiting. IĀ smiled and stood there for aĀ little while longer.

Was it just a dream or did it just happen?

Many years ago when IĀ moved to Edinburgh IĀ used to see foxes for about aĀ year or two. IĀ didnĀ“t understand it back then, thinking it is just many of them here. Which is true as well, but it was as well time when IĀ changed everything, when IĀ let inspiration lead me where IĀ am supposed to go. It was aĀ time, when IĀ fell in love, when IĀ understood more about life than ever before, when IĀ heard my inner calling the loudest. Time when everything shifted.

That time is here again.

IĀ am finding my inspiration, the feeling that this is it IĀ just need to keep going and find the way how to take this inspiration out there. The fox was always aĀ sign of something changing and new exiting beginnings lieng ahead, even though accompanied with possible pain of letting go of old.

IĀ guess that is exactly time IĀ am entering just now and am more curious then ever what does it have in its cards this time.

That was my beginning of the autumn this year. Shift from sadness to inspiration and excitement. After the day IĀ met the fox and watched the sunset colours started appearing in the trees, leafs would dance in the wind and IĀ would see ideas and inspiration absolutely everywhere. IĀ went to explore the old forest were I would just experience these magical moments of connection with nature. IĀ havenĀ“t explored it all yet. It is going to be even more colourful now.

Come to experience autumn in Scotland with me.