Read Me About The Elephant

Miro's Elephant

This is the book I used to read as a kid. When I saw it in a bookstore in France, it made me feel sort of at home. So we got it among the other books. For whatever reason my son favored it and has been asking me to read it to him during our breakfasts. And I read it to him. In my broken French.

I like how my son lives through the book. He explains me how the elephant’s nose hurt when the crocodile bit him. And he touches his own nose, and then my nose, to make sure it does not hurt. Nope, it does not.

And we read it in French and I laugh at my own reading performance (hey, I am getting better). And I remember how I used to read exactly the same book as a child, when I was about 5 or 6. I read it in Russian though.

Miro liked the book so much that he asked me to go to a toy store on the corner and get him a small elephant. And we got it. Another companion for our breakfasts.

Almost every morning Miro brings the book and the elephant to the kitchen and tells me “Mom, read me about the elephant”. And I do.

Barcelona, March 7th 2013

Thursday Morning…. it is almost sunny

So, this is Thursday morning. I’ve got bunch of emails in my mailbox. And I am procrastinating and not answering them. To tell the truth I do not want to answer them. It has been raining heavily for the past week. Right now the sun is almost out. Still everything around is wet.

Both kids are at home. They have been sick for a week now. They are constantly sick here in Barcelona. Their pediatrician says it is normal. My take on it, is that the city is full of people, infections, pollution. It is too much for the kids who have been born and lived their first years of live on a windy coast in Northern California and then in a remote village in Norway. They have never (well, almost never) been sick in US and Norway. Here in Spain my daughter attended school 1 day in January, 3 days in February and has not been there yet in March. Keeps me worried about her, also my second thought is why we are sending her to a private school when she barely goes there. Oh well… This constant sickness thing makes me want to go back to US. We all need some fresh, clean air. Soon…

About emails. I am just tired. Feels like I am constantly pushing people to do things. This is what running a business is. Well, not pushing. I guess it is called encouraging.  Sometimes it is encouraging, sometimes it is pushing. When it feels like pushing, I feel crap. Well, I feel crap a lot of times in my personal life too. Lately. This is a different story.

Funny, I started writing this blog last June thinking that my friends would read and follow it. However, my friends do not. Good for them. Instead I got bunch of other followers. People I do not know. Strangers. Anyway. When I feel really lonely I think I become a fish, so nothing matters. I wrote about it earlier.

During the past months I stopped listening to the music or reading anything that is not business related. Quite frankly, I just can’t handle it. Music or poetry makes me feel like I have no skin. Makes me want to cry too. So, I stopped. Much better.

At the beginning of the year I set a goal to start walking straight. I decided on it when I was taking Miro to his daycare. So, every morning walking the same route I would remember it and walk with the straight back for a while. Since my son is constantly sick too and is staying at home with me, I have not been walking this stretch of the road lately. Completely forgot about the straight back experiment. Need to walk better.

So, what about life. Right now it is about my work and the kids, plus some rain in Barcelona with occasional sunlight. Also, I have been meeting a lot of friends and strangers lately. It is good, most of the time, and feels really lonely at least 15 times a day. For very short periods. Yes, and avoiding any kind of music, songs or books. Can’t even read children’s story books. The stories are good, it is just me who can’t handle any emotional content. Except when I read to the kids in French. My pronunciation sucks so much, that it makes me smile and wonder how it should really sound.

Ok, I am done with my second morning coffee and now I am going back to work. Which is good. Keeps me busy and in balance. Kind of happy too. You just have to believe in it till the end and do what you know is right, and never give up. When you think about never giving up it feels much better. It makes me smile.

March 7th, 2013

Things I did not Imagine about Olive-picking (in Mallorca)

Olives in Cala d'Or

In November we all went to Cala D’Or, Mallorca, Spain. It was not the usual sightseeing trip. I actually talked my friend into letting us pick up olives at her dad’s olive orchid. I always wanted to live through this experience and to know what it is like.

Olives in Mallorca

So, here is what it is like. First of all, once you start picking olives you are amazed at the softness of the touch. You would imagine that olive-tree leaves would be thorny. They are not. Actually, they are exactly the opposite, the olive-tree leaves are smooth, velvety and gentle. You end up wanting the leaves to touch the skin of your hands.


Olives are also smooth and silky. Being an avid olive consumer, I have never thought that olives on the trees have such a sleek skin. Delicate is the adjective that comes to my mind when sharing my olive picking experience. Olives are strong and not delicate, but the way they treat your skin is delicate. Somehow it felt like they did your skin a lot of good.

Olive trees in Mallorca

In my friend’s olive orchid olives were very big. When you hold one in your hand it looked more like a small plum. My friend told me that those olives were not typical for Mallorca, and that when they took the olives to the press all the locals gathered around and commented on the size of their olives.


Olives on the branches look delicious. My friend told me not to bite them as they taste horrible. She was right. I am still a kid. I could not withhold myself, and did try to chew on one. Well…. I like them better once they have been cured or even better as the golden-greenish thick olive oil. Having touched the olives on the trees changes the taste of olive oil forever.

Olives in crates

If you have a chance to pick up olives, do it!

Barcelona, March 3rd 2013