We have been enjoying great weather, here on the island and taking a full advantage of it! Mancunians look like they’ve woken up from a deep frost sleep and the city is full of fresh energy and people airing around. Every day that we do not have lectures, we are outside with laptops and a million heavy papers to go over (Stoyan’s treat, as he carries it all in his bag). Needless to say, half of the time, we spend talking over coffee or just taking it all in. I would not call this a waste. I am quite grateful about this part of my life when I can really focus and devote all my time to knowledge.

And guys, the crocuses in Manchester, are a must-see!

many paths…they just confuse me

Back to the mind-blowing roundabouts of always focusing on the future, the next step in life, the next adventure, relocation, searching for a better, richer, and more fulfilling experiences…I have been so devoted to the future, that I am no longer present here and now.
Yesterday, at meditation class, for the first time in months, I realized that I have gone away again. As we have been literally transferred into the future, a time when we are finally together with Sami, I have forgotten about now. It takes a shower of ambivalence to actually devote yourself to the moment and realize how precious and real it is, and it is all we got. Preoccupations with the future, constant ruminations with planning, they all take you further away from any actual living.

the kangaroo technique

As I am preparing for my thesis I have been enjoying a tremendous amount of reads that are somehow related to the exploration of postnatal depression but in general are all about pregnancy, birth and the whole sense-making of this so natural yet Grand experience. Some of them are so inspiring that I tend to return to those sweet days from my own pregnancy and just carry on the waves of my subconsciousness.
Today I came across this amazing story about the skin-to-skin ‘kangaroo’ care hugely used and proved to be successful in Southern Africa. It is the immediate placing of a prematurely born baby on their mother’s chest in between the breasts. It has been found to increase survival rates even among really tiny and fragile babies. It is more effective than western high-end sterile hospital incubators. Through a fine-tuned process of thermo-synchrony, the mother’s body temperature falls as the baby’s rises and vice versa. This technique helps even the mother, as it increases the duration of breastfeeding. Keeping the baby between her bare breasts provides a continuity of the closeness disrupted by the birth, and possibly it may help the grieving process if the baby dies…

a do nothing day

We just goofed around the city doing nothing…had coffee at the Outlet in the Northern Quarter; croissants in the park, french fries from Abduls on Oxford Road (had to try the infamous student place), had beer at the Oyster bar by the Manchester Wheel, bought Sami the cutest skull shirt and some sneakers, then saw a movie, read some and fell asleep. This is what we call “Alex-and-Stoyan’s-day-of-fun” or simply doing nothing day…

January summary

A list of events:

-survived a 6 1/2-hour bus ride with a wild toddler on our way to Sofia
-spend the sweetest time there with Sami
-submitted a grant proposal
-made a poster for a research conference
-lost my grandma.
-read three books
-made horses and fish from plasteline
-thought Sami how to eat spaghetti, to stick his tongue out, and who John Lennon and the Beatles are
-spend a nerve-wrecking day at Sofia airport
-spend another one there 3 weeks later
-like never before
-saw Kill Bill again (yey!)
-embroidered something
-had a fight with my mum, again
-went to the theatre
-made a short video ‘2010 in images’
-had a lot of espresso, a lot
-travelled back to the UK
-spend a day in the library (what a lovely papery smell)
-made a calender for 2011, cannot wait to receive the print
-enjoyed the Manchester sun, its free-spirit and its dirty Sunday-night streets
-woke up and realized it is February…