Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Until the Longing Starts – Zully Mustafa


While reading Zully Mustafa’s new novel one cannot feel but the strong and endearing smell of the sea. From the very beginning, the words seem to do more than merely describe, and help the reader smell and feel the presented sceneries. The salted taste of the agitated sea is an image that constantly appears in the mind of the reader, amongst waves of memories about places, people, feelings, dreams and hopes or uneasiness.

And even though the reader is carried through small rooms that serve as chapters in the book, the writer actually unravels a universe more complex, where the past and the future come together in order to make peace and to draw conclusions and lessons of wisdom.

There is beauty in the way Zully uses her words so that the reader finds it impossible not to genuinely feel the storyline, while also remaining connected to their own reality. And this reality can be easily compared with the one from the story in order to help the reader embrace the lessons from it.

To my mind, this novel only has one character, and it’s not a human being. Memories, regardless of the time or the place or the people evoked by them, are the focus of the novel. Also, by means of a game of reflections in the mirror, to alter or not the form of the memories, the writer creates a claustrophobic feeling in order to force the reader to get courageous enough and carefully analyse the universal emotions reflected in the mirror.

I dearly recommend Zully Mustafa’s new novel and I give you below a paragraph to ponder upon:

‘This is what it means to have memories, and they become even more precious when friendships are ended.

...

Take a pen or a ball point pen, or a quill, or anything you want, and write: Loneliness, even the greatest loneliness, not only brings monsters, but it also brings wisdom, and passion, and tenderness, and forgiveness. Next time, if you have more time, maybe we could go together and see the sea. I also miss it, too.’

Thursday, 15 September 2022

Sun

Not all of us have magic powers like Nica (a character from a famous Romanian children’s book written by Ion Creanga), but we can try to find ways to make the sun shine.

If not, others find them for us.

I recently received from a dear friend of mine this crocheted sun and ever since this song has been playing in my mind.

Let there be sun!

Tuesday, 13 September 2022

Email communication - Efficiency


Now, here’s an appeal from all of us, struggling every day with meetings, tasks, deadlines, giving explanations, and trying to make sure projects are delivered in a due manner and on time:

Be efficient!

 

Should I care to give an example?! Yes, I do.

 

When one sends an email to ask for support from a person and there are more than one people to decide on a project (and included in the email), please get together and establish the wants. It’s easy. Have a short meeting and clarify what you want for the project.

 

Don’t! I repeat, don’t send us emails in which you try to clarify with others interested about the project the details of it. It’s not efficient, it wastes a lot of time (for all of the parties), and it is really demotivating. Not considering it shows no respect and kindness for the person you are spamming with emails.

It is exactly like watching a tennis match. Only that one is not in one's free time and the exchanging of the balls (in the case, emails) does not bring excitment (that is, understanding). Why would anyone send to a third party a considerate number of emails before establishing the wants for the project  together with the interested party?


 

I know it’s easier to send emails and to expect that the people reading them will have the overview, but get this – emails are not literature so they are not read for pleasure’s sake. And also, bear this thing in mind too when sending emails after emails (where you discuss with the other parties interested about the project, trying to reach a decision) – you are not the only one sending us emails.

 

So be mindful of the time that people spend reading emails and try to be as efficient as possible. I am no fan of the never-ending meetings, but sometimes a 10-minutes call can make a difference. So schedule that meeting with your interested party and this way you will make sure you are communicating only the relevant information to the person you are asking support from.

 

Be kind, be efficient; it’s not at all that difficult as it may seem!

Friday, 9 September 2022

Terracota stove

I love terracota stoves.

I have beautiful memories about them and, throughout the years, the affection for them grew.

In Romania, stove masters create the most beautiful terracota stoves in Medias. And also from Medias comes this beautiful tile.

Tuesday, 6 September 2022

How I Ate My Mask – Jan Cornelius


I became very fond of Jan Cornelius ever since I read his book called I, Dracula and John Lennon’. I enjoyed reading it for I laughed my heart out and even made me ponder on a couple of things. A testament to good writing.

I got the same feeling after reading his new book, How I Ate My Mask'. And even though there are many things to say about the book, I’d rather leave the professionals to it, while I am just going to illustrate through a paragraph and so convince you to read the book.

‘…

Creativity is requisite to being a good cook, as Paul Bocuse once said: When a doctor makes a mistake, dirt is place thereon. But when a cook makes a mistake, it can be hidden under some type of sauce and sold as a new recipe.

…‘

Monday, 5 September 2022

You did the right thing!


How often do you tell yourself this?!

How often do others tell you this?!

 

There, a suggestion to help you to start the week well: you did the right thing!

Stop looking around for confirmation, stop listening to what others might have to recommend. Anyway, it does not matter.

You did it.