PO POLSKU: „Ucho, gardło, nóż” w TheMuBa!

Kadr z transmisji spektaklu „Ucho, gardło, nóż”. Na zdjęciu cudowna Krystyna Janda. Prawa autorskie należą do pani Krystyny Jandy i portalu TheMuBa

Mieszkam w Anglii od kilku lat. Pochłonięta pracą, później ukochanym macierzyństwem, po cichu ubolewałam nie tylko nad wszystkim premierami teatralnymi w Warszawie i najdroższej mi Łodzi, które mnie omijają, ale też nad spektaklami granymi od lat, na które mogę się już nie załapać.


Pomyślałam wtedy, że byłoby cudownie, gdyby istniał zdalny teatr, którego scenę można by rozłożyć sobie w zaciszu własnego domu, przybliżając tym samym Polskę i wybitnych polskich twórców do Londynu. Nie musieć załatwiać przejazdów, lotów, hoteli i opiekunek, żeby móc obejrzeć jeden spektakl. Nie sądziłam, że kiedykolwiek znajdzie się śmiałek, który weźmie na klatę organizację takiego przedsięwzięcia. Ale znalazł się! Dzięki, Borys, za odwagę do materializowania marzeń, bo dzięki Tobie i wszystkim tym, którzy przy TheMuBa pracują, każdy człowiek mający internet może mieć legalny dostęp do cudownej polskiej kultury.

Wczoraj miałam ogromną przyjemność obejrzeć transmisję spektaklu Ucho, gardłonóż z Teatru Polonia.
Krystyna Janda reżyserowała i grała monodram na podstawie powieści Vedrany Rudan Ucho, gardłonóż przez trzynaście lat. Zespół TheMuBa zarejestrował (jak również emitował na żywo) to wyjątkowe, ostatnie spotkanie pani Jandy z Tonką Babić. 
A Tonka to bohaterka bardzo wyjątkowa. Dojrzała, cierpiąca na bezsenność i zespół stresu pourazowego, żyjąca w ciągłym strachu kobieta. Przepełniona goryczą, żalem do świata, żalem do kraju, w którym się urodziła, żalem do losu, że musiała przeżyć ostatnią wojnę bałkańską. Jest wściekła, bo ta wojna popieprzyła jej życie. Pełno w niej pogardy, żalu i tęsknoty za normalnością. W swoim ponad godzinnym słowotoku Krystyna Janda wyrzuca z siebie tyle emocji, że chwyta za duszę, bawi do łez, żeby potem, w sekundę, uruchomić w widzu najtrudniejsze emocje. Siedząc przed ekranem swojego laptopa, nocą, owinięta w gruby szlafrok przeżywałam życie Tonki całą swoją wrażliwością. „Ucho, gardło, nóż” to bolesny i przerażający, a chwilami ironiczny monolog kobiety skrzywdzonej, która sowicie rzucając „kurwami”, niepokornie opisuje brutalność swojego życia, piekło wojny, walkę o przetrwanie i rolę kobiety w społeczeństwie.

Ten spektakl nasuwa refleksję, że wojna nie kończy się ani w momencie oddania ostatniego strzału, ani zawarcia pokoju. Wojna na zawsze zmienia bieg historii, losy narodów i rodzin. Wojna się nie kończy, jej płomień zawsze będzie się tlił w duszach ludzi.
„Ucho, gardło nóż” znika ze sceny teatru Polonia, ale będzie można go oglądać na ż
ądanie w TheMuBa. Tę wybitną kreację Krystyny Jandy trzeba zobaczyć. 



Repertuar TheMuBa

Jestem pewna, ze TheMuBa jest odpowiedzią na potrzeby Polaków, tych, którzy pragną kultury wysokiej, ale z różnych względów nie jest ona dla nich dostępna. Całym sercem wierzę w to, że ten mariaż teatru i nowoczesnych technologii wspaniale wpłynie na promocję legalnej kultury i uwrażliwienie narodu. Ze swojej strony dodam, że marzę o tym, żeby w przyszłości dostępne były tłumaczenia udostępnianych w TheMuBa spektakli na inne języki. Mam w rodzinie irańskiego aktora, który od początku swojej edukacji i kariery artystycznej jest zafascynowany polskim teatrem, i jest on przedmiotem jego badań i wiem, że byłby zachwycony możliwością bycia na bieżąco z najważniejszymi spektaklami granymi obecnie w Polsce. Dziękuje, TheMuBa, że za niewiele pona£5 mogłam zobaczyć jak Krystyna Janda, wśród skromnych rekwizytów, w intymnej atmosferze, króluje na scenie i rozrywa mi serce na milion kawałków.



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'A Star Is Born' review. In cinemas now!

Jackson (Bradley Cooper) and Ally (Lady Gaga). Photo credit: Warner Bros.

'A Star Is Born' is a modern take on a classic Hollywood story. Cooper's directorial debut features the controversial and supremely talented singer Lady Gaga, who poured her heart and soul into her role.

Ally (Lady Gaga) is a very talented yet very insecure woman, who feels like she missed out on her opportunity to become a famous singer. She makes her living by waitressing in a large restaurant and singing at the drag club at nights. And there she meets Jackson (Bradley Cooper), a disobedient rock star battling his addictions. The musician is blown away by Ally's version of 'La Vie En Rose' and invites her for drinks. The couple forms a romantic relationship, beautiful and strong but very complex.

Bradley Cooper gives a performance of his lifetime. He is so charming and tender as Jackson that you just want the best for him, you want him to work his problems out. I always believed that one of the easiest ways to recognise if somebody is a good actor or not is to see them play a drunk person. Jackson is drunk throughout the vast majority of the film, so playing this character was definitely a challenge. Luckily Bradley Cooper is unbelievably convincing as Jackson. Plus, he, as a director, builds the story behind the musician's addiction and gives it the very needed depth, so Jackson isn't a boring guy with a bottle of wine in his hand who staggers from scene to scene. I like his image in the movie, it is very coherent. With the way he moves and looks, he minds me of the late Rysiek Riedel, the frontman of a polish blues band 'Dzem'. Cooper's performance is magnificent. His deep, Sam Elliott-like voice is a pure treat. And speaking of Sam Elliott, he deserves an ovation for his portrayal of Jackson's half-brother, Bobby.


The problem with the musicians starring in movies is that often they are just themselves, wearing their character's name, whereas Gaga was Ally, not Lady Gaga in 'A Star Is Born'. 
She proved that even without her bold image and heavy costumes (which I love, anyway) she is just fantastic. Her acting is great, her voice is powerful, but it doesn't feel like she is trying to show-off. She is natural, she is different, she is raw and believable.
I always knew that Lady Gaga had some extra artistic potential, hidden in her soul and I am grateful that Cooper dug it out and let her shine like a diamond in the film. 


A magnificent duo- Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.  Photo credit: Warner Bros.

The chemistry between Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper is out of this world, so organic and natural. They look and sound fantastic together. I especially love the freshness and innocence of the beginning stage of their relationship, the scene at the drag club and the way Jackson looks at Ally. What makes the movie remarkable, is that it wasn't an on-screen Cooper vs. Gaga duel. The two artists joined their forces, sensitivities and energies and created something very special.


The cinematography and sound design of 'A Star Is Born' are fantastic. The gig scenes are magnificent and the majority of songs are real hits. I am sure that either 'Shallow' or 'I'll Never Love Again' will be competing for an Oscar, and if any of these songs receive it- it will be well-deserved. 

I think that Bradley Cooper elevated this classic story to a different level, he put so much thought, research and work to it that he not only delivered a phenomenal performance, but also a fantastically crafted, loaded with emotions film. It takes a lot of courage to start a directing career off a remake, but could Cooper dream of creating a better-received film?



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'COLD WAR' REVIEW- A PASSIONATE AND BLEAK LOVE STORY

Joanna Kulig as Zula and Tomasz Kot as Wiktor in 'Cold War' directed by Pawel Pawlikowski.  Photo credit: Curzon Artificial Eye

A passionate love, turbulent relationship, most likely too complicated for them, maybe too colourful for a wrecked, post-war country shown in the most sublime, sophisticated way possible. 
Set mainly in communist Poland, 'Cold War' tells a story of a couple of artists, Zula (Joanna Kulig) and Wiktor (Tomasz Kot), who meet on auditions for a folk dance group. Wiktor, an intelligent pianist and conductor, can't take his eyes off an intriguing young girl, and the couple starts an on-again-off-again relationship. This isn't a boring romance, it is actually one of the bleakest and (sadly) most realistic takes on a love story.  

This is her time. Everybody in the film industry talks about her performance in the 'Cold War'. Known to the Polish audience for a while, Joanna Kulig steals the hearts of international cinephiles in style! Her Zula is authentic. There is some kind of child energy to her. Her eyes are bright and alert, she is unpredictable, spontaneous. She bursts with uncontrollable gaiety and goes mad in seconds. This rebellious, indecisive kid got trapped in a body of a talented, attractive woman. Having had a difficult youth, she grew up too early, but she has never grown up fully. Her passion and restless soul inefficiently lead her through the life. Zula is complex, sometimes sweet, sometimes brash, always feisty. Wiktor is the calm one of this duo, he is withdrawn and charming. Tomasz Kot is a world-class actor from a small Polish town, so outstanding, yet so humble. He is a complete artist- his acting skills are spectacular, but he is also naturally talented. He becomes whoever he plays. His facial expressions, body language, voice, his movements are very coherent. With a short gaze, he can express thousands of emotions. Sometimes I feel like he inspirits the stage props! There is a scene in 'Cold War' where Zula sits at the table in a restaurant and drinks the champagne (I guess), and Wiktor leans against the wall and stares at her. In these three to four seconds he tells you all about his love for Zula, all about the pain of being an immigrant, he literally opens up his soul. This kind of cosmic energy about him is just phenomenal.

The cast of 'Cold War' is fantastic, Kot and Kulig give outstanding performances, but the supporting actors are just as wonderful. Agata Kulesza, Borys Szyc, Adam Ferency, Adam Woronowicz and all of the dancers made this movie exceptional.

I think that 3-4 additional scenes of when Zula and Wiktor were actually in a relationship would give this film even more flavour. I would love to see more of their passion and the complex dynamics between them on the screen. I am not sure though if they wouldn't destroy the harmony, the melody of perfectly crafted 'Cold War'. 



One of my favourite scenes!  Photo credit: Curzon Artificial Eye

Music certainly is one of the most important factors of a successful movie. There is an easy way to promote the film with music- pay a pop singer to sing a catchy song and the money you invested returns to your pocket in seconds. And that's ok. But there is a risky way, too. Work on some folk music (so un-fancy, unglamorous and unpopular), and play it the way that every note of it penetrates the corners of one's soul. From folk standards to jazz and rock'n'roll- all dancing and singing scenes in 'Cold War' are beautifully performed. 


Łukasz Żal's cinematography is unbelievable. He amazes with all the shots being well thought of, modern yet black and white, and referring to the classic cinema. The concert scenes are simply magnificent. He has a fantastic taste, a beautiful way of framing images and he executes his work to perfection. 


Hats off to Pawlikowski for having the courage to say out loud that love isn't only about the butterflies and flowers, but love can change you, love can devastate you, love sometimes hurts! He faced this ultimate problem by drawing a portrait of two misguided, imperfect people who established their relationship in very difficult circumstances. In a communist country, where life was a survival, and the government controlled every aspect of it. 
Pawlikowski sculpted 'Cold War' with the surgical precision and generously sprinkled it with his sensitivity and craft by contrasting the power of love and the beauty of Polish culture with the ugliness of the system and the imperfect human nature.




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JULY 2018 FAVOURITES

Uzo Aduba as Suzanne in 'Orange Is The New Black'.  Photo credit: Netflix

'ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK' 6
All fans of 'Orange Is The New Black' know that the one-year long wait between seasons seems to be endless. The show creators have a habit of always making the last, 13th episode so good, that it stays in mind for a long time. The 5th season was phenomenal, even though I didn't like the first 3 episodes. But the end- amazing. So the Litchfield girls are back, and they are going through rough moments and big changes. The 6th season mainly touches on loyalty, friendships, prisoners rights, human rights, equality and immigration. All these important topics are, as always, contrasted with great humour.
Not all characters made it back to the new season, but some new faces appeared. Some were incredible (like the badass sisters' duo Barbs and Carol), some (or I should say one in particular) was the true representation of the nastiest and most annoying people out there. I am sure you all know who I am talking about 😉
'Orange Is The New Black' is a powerful, well written and acted series. I guess the only downfall of the show is that you go through 13 episodes in 2-3 nights and you have to wait another year for a new season.

You can check it out here.



Jing Boran as Jianqing and Zhou Dongyu as Xiaoxiao in 'Us and Them'. Photo credit : Netflix

'US AND THEM' RENE LIU
'Us and Them' is a Rene's Liu directorial debut. It is a moving film about youth, love, happiness, hope, dreams, friendships and regrets. 
Two strangers, Jianqing (Jing Boran) and Xiaoxiao (Zhou Dongyu) meet on a train home just before the 2007 Chinese New Year. They spend time together in the countryside, where they're both from, and in the gigantic Bejing. Their friendship slowly blooms into love. Regrettably, after slowly growing apart, they separate. A random meeting a few years later gives them a chance too go down the memory lane, and tell us a story of a powerful and complex first love. 

Available on Netflix 😊




'Happiness' - deliberately misspelled. You have to watch the film to find out why :) Will Smith as Chris and Jaden Smith as Christopher.  Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures


'THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS' GABRIELE MUCCINO
An inspirational movie based on one year of Chris Gardner's life, a homeless single father who became a successful stockbroker. A story of a man who never gives up, who never stops to chase his dreams and work on himself.
We all know that feeling of an unbearable pressure when life isn't going well. When the bills start to pile up, and the money isn't really coming in. And the atmosphere at home is just horrible. Some give up, some do not care, and some create the future of their dreams.
Today Chris Gardner, thanks to his strong will, intelligence, and hard work, is a businessman, investor, stockbroker, author and motivational speaker. Definitely, somebody to look up to.

A direct link to the film on Netflix.



Even though I am just posting my July favourites, I am already excited to share with you my August favourites. The new month has just begun but I already have a few fantastic movies and 2 great books to tell you about. Thanks for sticking by! X


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KIAN'S MAY AND JUNE 2018 FAVOURITES


May and June were the months of intense growth for my 21-months-old Kian. He is in a difficult phase of one's life. A phase of confusion between being an independent person and dependent baby. Add the teething on the top of that, and you get a tough, tough time. Nonetheless, he continues to develop his skills in an unimaginably fast way, and he remains the sweetest, and funniest kid on the planet. 

CURRENT FAVOURITE BOOK:

Kian absolutely adores animals and books that feature photos or realistic drawings of them. At the beginning of May, I got him the 'Animal Kingdom' by Steve Parker and Martin Walter, and he never parts with it (we have the 2004 edition).
It is a beautifully, beautifully illustrated album, which includes short and very informative descriptions of all species presented. And, what is very important to me, the entries are interesting not only for my 21-months-old son but also for us- the parents. This is the best animal album I have ever come across. If you find it in a thrift/ charity shop or eBay, definitely get it. 



FAVOURITE TOYS:

ANIMAL FIGURES
Animal figures are hands down the best toys we have ever invested in. He plays with them non stop. In Kian's April favourites, I wrote that 'he can name them all and copy their sounds, he matches them to the photos of actual animals. Plus, he dances with them, eats with them, talks to them. I am so happy that he bonds with the animals and nature.' And nothing has changed since then. Sometimes I feel like I live in the middle of Savannah, cause I see more animals than people these days 😄

WOODEN LONDON BUS

A great charity shop find. A fantastic toy for a child who loves buses. The top bit opens, and the upper deck is removable, which creates an opportunity for little hands to develop fine motor skills. 

STACKING TOWER
We have had this stacking tower for the longest time, but my son was never interested in it. In May he realised that stacking things on each other is a lot of fun. Sometimes he uses the cups to make his blenders (more about blender obsession here), or in the bath. 


WOODEN ROCKET
Kian loves the outer space, and he loves his old school wooden space rocket. The blast off, obviously, is the best part of playing with it. It is fun to visit not only the Moon but also all of the planets weekly 😊


FAVOURITE FOOD:  
Watermelons and apricots. And his old favourites- beetroots, tofu, avocados, olives, raspberries and pears. 


FAVOURITE ANIMALS:
The list of his favourite animals is pretty much endless, but elephants remain at the top of it. In the past months, he talked mostly about racoons, zebras, foxes, okapis, monkeys, crows, squirrels, roosters, bison, parrots, dogs, rabbits, cats, mammoths and cheetahs. Animals fascinate him.


SPEAKING, COUNTING, COLOURS AND SHAPES:
At this point in his life (21/22 months old) I can say that he has no communication issues anymore. He easily builds up 6-10 words long sentences, and even though sometimes he mixes 3 languages that he learns, even strangers understand him.
I absolutely adore this phase of a kid's life. His speech is cute and funny, and it melts my heart. 

He counts to 10 in Persian and English, but haven't started in Polish yet. 
His current favourite colours are orange and brown.
In terms of shapes, he recognises most of them, but he spots everywhere and names circle, oval, heart, star, square and triangle. 


Motherhood is not easy at all. But so unbelievably rewarding! I am excited to see him grow and excited for what July brings us. 
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JUNE 2018 FAVOURITES

Susy Sánchez as Anabel and Bárbara Lennie as Chiara in 'Sunday's Illness'.  Photo: Netflix

'Sunday's Illness' by Ramon Salazar
'Sunday's Illness' is a very melancholic and intimate mother-daughter drama. Anabel (Susy Sánchez) is a wealthy and elegant lady, living in a stunning mansion with her family. One night, unexpectedly, she has to face Chiara (Bárbara Lennie), a daughter she abandoned 35 years ago. The woman asks her mother to spend ten days together in her house in the woods. The events in Chiara's house are very unconventional. Anabel isn't overly apologetic for leaving her daughter behind, Chiara doesn't demand answers. 
Even though this film is slow-paced, and its scenes are often filled with silence, every little thing in it speaks. The costumes, the light, the colours. They all tell us the story. The leading actresses give phenomenal performances, very stoical yet so full-bodied. The dynamics between them is great, they are very synchronised. 
Hard to believe, but I have almost missed out on watching it. The title isn't very attention-getting, but luckily the photos are. And the cinematography is one of the selling points of this movie. It is simply exquisite!


Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun) and Okja.  Photo: Netflix
'Okja' by Bong Joon-ho
Okja is one of 26 super pigs- a special breed of genetically modified swine, invented by the Mirando Corporation to deal with the global food crisis. Born in a cold lab, she grew up in the dreamy mountaintop in South Korea, surrounded with care and love from the local farmer (Byun Hee-bong) and his little granddaughter, Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun). One day the Mirando Corporation takes the giant pig away from her dearest friends, so Mija sets off on a rescue mission to bring Okja back home.
'Okja' is beautifully shot. The scenes filmed in South Korea are visually breathtaking. It is a good movie, there is some adventure, some humour, a bit of fantasy, and a dash of horror in it. If you're afraid of it being the 'vegan propaganda'- don't be. This isn't the main focus of this film.


James Corden and Paul McCartney.  Photo credit: CBS

Sir Paul McCartney on the Carpool Karaoke 
The youtube suggestions algorithm sometimes works wonders. Quite stressed and down, I was looking for something to cheer me up. The first suggestion that pops up on my screen is Paul McCartney on Carpool Karaoke with James Corden. I did not stop smiling not only while watching the video but for the rest of the day.
They sang some of my all-time favourite The Beatles songs- 'Penny Lane', 'Let It Be', and a few more. It was fun, it was moving, it was very, very special! Over 26 millions of views within 2 weeks speaks for itself. James Corden has the best job in the world!


Joanna Kulig (Zula) and  Tomasz Kot (Wiktor) in 'Cold War'.  Photo credit: Kino Swiat

The trailer of 'Cold War' directed by Pawel Pawlikowski
Probably the best movie trailer I have ever seen. It is a beautifully crafted combination of delightful music and gorgeous photography. I have seen it about a hundred times, and I can not wait to watch the whole film.
Cold War is a love story. Not a usual, sugary, boring one. It is a story of a complex, intense love and relationship between a woman and a man who can't live without each other, and can not live with each other. The team of actors and creators of 'Cold War' is simply wonderful. My favourite actor- Tomasz Kot, plays a lead male character in this movie, and I am sure that he will now finally gain an international recognition, which he so much deserves. Joanna Kulig (Zula) is a wonderful, wonderful actress. Pawel Pawlikowski is a great, Oscar-winning Polish director. He won the Best Director prize for Cold War at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. I have a feeling that they have created a masterpiece! 


Have you recently read or seen something interesting? Let me know, I would love to check out all of your recommendations! Thanks for reading x


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Encouraging Independence In Children


Parenthood is full of precious moments. Seeing two lines on the pregnancy test, feeling the first movements and kicks to birth, first smile, first drawing. The list is endless! 
To me though, the sweetest and most enjoyable thing about being a mother is seeing my son become independent. I love observing how he develops his communication, social and motor skills. From seemingly little things, like him holding the teether in his hand for the first time to first steps, brushing teeth, building sentences or making his own choices. It melts my heart.

And yet I hear everyday parents complaining about their kids being lazy or not independent. Trust me- nobody was born lazy. Nobody was born helplessSome were brought up this wayAnd I am not talking about a teething 2-year-old, wanting to spend the whole day in mum's hug. I am talking about 8-years-old not being able to peel a banana, or 30-years-old not being able to make a sandwich. Don't even ask me how many of them do I know! 


Why are some kids not independent?
Well, the answer is the family house. Some parents do not have the patience to share the duties with their kids. Because cleaning, vacuuming, or doing laundry takes twice as long with them. 
I totally understand that it can be difficult, and I don't judge the parents who don't want to involve their kids in the domestic duties, but I also know that if they are not thought to put their toys back as babies, they won't have clean rooms as teenagers
More and more often I hear that parents pay their kids for 'helping out at home'. Dusting, cleaning their own rooms or taking the rubbish out. I have lived on this planet for over 26 years, and I have never seen a single successful person who was bribed to do simple domestic duties. The awards system doesn't work.
And yes, I know that we can always hire a housekeeper to maitain cleanliness at home, but it should to be an alternative, not a necessity. 
Last but not least- some children have too many toys and clothes, and they simply can not manage to keep them all organised. Unnecessary clutter is overwhelming for adults, let alone for kidsToys rotation and a decent declutter can solve this issue 😊


How to encourage independence in children? 
START EARLY
Independent kids are happy kids. Allow your child brush his hair and choose his outfit, let him take part in preparing food and cleaning. Trust me, even vacuuming is exciting for kids! People are born with this phenomenal gift of curiosity that needs nurturing.
My son loves snacking on fruits, but he is much happier when he can pick the fruit he wants to eat, wash it, cut it and put it on the plate (well, his favourite ones are usually eaten right after being cut). 

Obviously, I do not advise handing a massive knife to a toddler, but there are some handy tools that kids can use under the constant supervision of adults.




TEACH YOUR CHILD A POSITIVE APPROACH TO LIFE
Try not to complain in front of your kids about having to cook 'this f%$&*#^ dinner' or doing 'the f%$&*#^ dishes again'. Aim to teach your offspring a positive approach to life. 
PS I wish too that the magic cleaning/ running errands/ cooking/ facing problems fairy existed 😊

LEAVE SOME CLEANING TOOLS AVAILALE FOR THEM
Kids would do more if they had the right tools available. Leaving a brush and a dustpan somewhere, where they can easily reach will encourage them to use it. Similarly, it applies to all areas of their life. If their clothes and shoes are easily accesible, they will want to leanr how to put them on. 
If you create a snacking station for them, they will learn how to prepare simple snack easily. 

CONCENTRATE ON BUILDING THEIR PHYSICAL CONFIDENCE AND DEVELOPING GROSS MOTOR SKILLS
When it comes to supporting baby's physical development, there are two major aspects to think about:
Firstly, building the baby's muscle strength by practising 'tummy time' daily.
Secondly, not hurting your baby.
Make sure you use the right baby carriers and introduce them at the right time (when your child sits up independently). 
PS surrounding them with pillows to 'help' them sit up is extremely harmful. So is using the baby jumpers. 
And once your baby takes his first steps, and you suddenly are facing the eternal problem of all of the parents on this planet  (do I stop him, or pray and let him climb), choose to let him climb/ run/ explore the world. It is difficult! My inner worrywart wakes up every time my son tries to something new, and I want to call the ambulance before he even attempts climbing, but I know that I just have to let him try. 


BE A TRUSTING AND CONFIDENCE ENCOURAGING PARENT
Kids who grow up with trusting and confidence encouraging parents are much more independent and successful in their lives. Today your child confidently chooses his favourite outfit, the toys he wants to play with, or his favourite fruit. Tomorrow he will confidently decide which house to buy, business to invest in or which escape route is the safest from the building on fire. 

If parents don't trust that their child can make the sandwich at the age of 8, they won't trust that he can build the company and gain an international success as an adult. It is important that we give our kids roots as well as wings and the courage to fly.



DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE GIFT OF LOVE
The children who feel loved are more confident and independent. We have received a gift of unconditional and limitless love, and we can not forget to remind our kids daily how much they mean to us.

VALUE THEIR EFFORT
So many of us, adults, don't live our lives the way we want, because we are most afraid of two things- failure and what will others say. And again, this is because many of us grew up with very judgemental parents.
We have to let our kids know that it is OK to make mistakes. And that we love them unconditionally, no matter if they won the dancing contest or they chose a different passion over dancing.  
Your child will most likely spill some water when pouring it into the glass for the first time. Your reaction to it will have a massive impact on the way he feels, on his self-confidence and if he decided to try pouring the water again.


BE A PARENT AND A FRIEND IN ONE
Your kids will come to you with all their problems and successes. The bond between you will be unbreakable! 

DON'T COMPARE YOUR CHILD TO OTHERS
Don't compare your child to others. Especially the way he looks. He is one of a kind! Instead, explain to him that there will always be somebody taller/ shorter, slimmer/ chubbier than him, and it is OK. And he is perfect just the way he is. 


NEVER MOCK YOUR KID!
Too many times I have witnessed shocking situations where parents were mocking their kids. For many reasons. For the smelly pooh they made, or the spelling mistakes. For crying. For falling off the bicycle. For the way they look. 
I can not find the right words to express how disgusting it is and how much it ruins one's self-esteem, happiness and sometimes life. Some parents do that because they don't know how to react to new or stressful situations. 
A person constantly bullied at home will not be confident.

TRY THE MONTESSORI APPROACH
I love Maria Montessori approach to education and bringing up kids. Her method encourages confidence, independence, helps to boost child's imagination and creativity, and sets no limits in what one can achieve and learn. I highly recommend reading about it, if you haven't alredy. She was one of the first people to speak publicly about respecting children and respect is the core of her method. 


We are all born with a natural desire to learn, discover and make progress. Every child has the great potential to live a happy and successful life, and every child will if only his parents give him the right tools.

We all have bad days, and we all make mistakes. Parenting is a rollercoaster of emotions, powered by limitless love, sleepless nights and endless visits to the GP.  But trust me- all of our efforts will pay off. 
So, chin up parents! It can be done. 

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APRIL AND MAY 2018 FAVOURITES

Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton in 'A Bigger Splash'.  Twentieth Century Fox Film

'A BIGGER SPLASH' by Luca Guadagnino
Luca Guadagnino is one of my favourite directors. He is a magician of cinema. He has that kind of sensitivity which is very close to my heart.
In his films, he creates his own universe, which I totally admire. The way he connects all of the elements of it is just phenomenal. His characters are magnifying, the stories are thrilling, and the way he tells them- one of a kind. His provides everything that I expect from a good film, and much more.
A famous rock star Marianne (Tilda Swinton) and her boyfriend Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts) are spending their holidays on the sunny Italian island Pantelleria. They both are healing after some traumatic experiences. Their serenity is interrupted by an old friend (and Marianne's ex-lover) Harry (Ralph Fiennes) and his daughter (Dakota Johnson).
A temporarily silent Marianne, sincere and wounded Paul, sensual Penelope and a laud exhibitionist Harry are stuck with each other in a breathtaking Italian villa. The dynamics between this quartet is unusual, and the chemistry between them changes as the story develops. Luca builds up emotions fantastically.
Don't miss it! It ia a great, great film.


Eryk Lubos and Magdalena Boczarska in 'The Art of Loving'. Photo:  Jarosław Sosiński / Watchout Productions

'THE ART OF LOVING ' by Maria Sadowska
It is a beautifully told story of Michalina Wioslocka's life. Wislocka was a Polish sexologist, gynaecologist and an author of the famous 'The Art of Loving' (or 'A Practical Guide to Marital Bliss'), the first ever sex manual published in communist countries.

Michalina Wislocka was well ahead of her time, and she has revolutionised sexual lives of millions of Poles. She brought some colour, some excitement, some passion, freedom and taste to their boring and one-coloured world. She emphasised the importance of women's orgasms and sexual satisfaction.

Her personal life, though, was unconventional, and rather complicated.

'The Art of Loving' is a good film, very well acted and written.
PS check out the soundtrack created by Jimek (Radzimir Debski). It's 
phenomenal!

You can watch it on Netflix



''13 Reasons Why' 2 official poster.
'13 Reasons Why' 2 
'13 reasons why' isn't the best series Netflix has ever created, but after watching the first season last year, I was excited to see the continuation of the story.
The show is about Hannah (Katherine Langford)- a young, beautiful girl, who commits suicide and instead of writing a goodbye letter,  records a few tapes and explains the reasons behind her decision.

In the first season we get to listen to the tapes and know the people who were the reasons why she took her own life, and in the second season, we see how these tapes have affected lives of her schoolmates and her family.

I believe that everybody should watch this show to realise/ remind how important it is to listen to what others say, communicate with people the right way, to respect them and think twice before we hurt somebody with words. So many people are suicidal, so many decide to take their own lives, yet not many of us actually talk about it openly. 



Related image
Sufjan Stevens. Photo: Getty Images, Karl Walter

Sufjan Stevens 
I know that it is probably getting boring for you all now, but I just can not stop listening to Sufjan! In the past two months, I have played on repeat: 'Visions of Gideon', 'Romulus', 'Chicago', 'Should Have Known Better', 'Casimir Pulaski Day' and 'Death with Dignity'.  
His music is just unbelievably beautiful and touching. 

More about Sufjan here, and here.


You can listen to his music on his official website.



What are your current favourites? Let me know in the comments section. 
Thanks for reading! x


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SATISFIED EYE International Film Festval- join the film celebration this October!


Epsom is an exceptional place on the map of England. It is a green and peaceful medium-sized town, hidden behind the greatness and fame of London. It might be less known that the gigantic capital, but it is not at all less interesting. You might have heard of it for three reasons: the beneficial Epsom salts, The Derby and Emily Davison.

I am sure that soon you'll add one more exciting thing to this list- The Satisfied Eye International Film Festival! In October 2018 this leisurely town will transform into a massive film jollification. Don't be afraid, it won't be only an industry event, but a fantastic opportunity for all film enthusiasts to join the celebration. The festival will showcase new work from British and international independent filmmakers.

Two things I am excited about the most- firstly, the festival is family friendly, there will be many attractions provided for the kids. Secondly- there will be a special award dedicated to women directors. This is a fantastic opportunity for female filmmakers to break into the industry!

You don't know the power of the dark side! Darth Vader caught in between of shooting scenes for the festival's trailer. Photo credit: Steve Rumbles

If you don't want to miss out on the tickets to the festival, you can put yourself on the priority list by pre-registering your interest here.



If you're a filmmaker, the festival is now open for submissions. SEIFF accepts:
  • feature films,
  • short films,
  • animated films (feature and short),
  • documentaries,
  • foreign language films,
  • screenplays (feature, short, and TV pilot).

For more information, check out the official SEIFF website.


You have to be there! 




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DIY WATERFALL/ WATERING HOLE DIORAMA FOR ANIMAL FIGURES. 'RUBBISH' UPCYCLED


My 20 months old son loves animals, and he plays with the animal figures all day long. I wanted to create a simple, yet quite a realistic diorama for him, ideally including a river/ watering hole and a waterfall. I love the one that Schleich offers, but I chose to make my own one.
I wanted to challenge myself though and create a zero cost project, using exclusively the products that I already had at home.

If my diorama inspires you to upcycle some potential 'rubbish' into cool toys, or if you decide to recreate it- please tag me under the photos of your work on your social media account. I would love to check it out! You can also add #wmlupcycles to your post, so I could find it easily 😊





PS Please excuse the poor quality of photos. I took them only to remember what I did step by step to create my diorama, and I wasn't initially planning to write a blog post about it. I hope you enjoy it anyway!😊



MAKING THE WATERFALL ROCK. PART 1/3:

I decided that the plastic bowl will be a base for my waterfall rock. I cut an opening in it, using sharp scissors.

 A sad looking thin plastic bowl and a piece of old cardboard :) 

I prepared several pieces of scrap paper, which I  wanted to stick to the plastic bowl to create layers and make it a little bit stronger, too.

I lined the bowl with 2 sheets of paper (inside and outside). I secured them with the washi tape. To make my construction stronger, I used some toothpicks on the top of the inner layer of paper. I glued them with some hot glue, and once the glue was dry, I added some washi tape for additional support. 

I secured the sides of the hole, the back and the top of the bowl. I used around 40 toothpicks to do that.


I made the construction stronger with paper, washi tape and toothpicks.

I added another layer of paper on the inside and outside. I started to form some roughness by adding paper rocks to the outer side of the bowl, and I secured them with washi tape. In the end, I added one more layer of paper, and I started securing everything with my homemade glue made of potato starch and water. Here is the recipe:


Since the glue isn't toxic, I decided to apply it with my hands (to save time). I simply dipped my hands in it and spread it evenly on the top of my waterfall rock. Then I was just adding more paper and covering it with the glue until I was happy with the result (4 layers of paper in and out).
I left it overnight to dry.

Tearing the paper into smaller pieces makes the application easier 🙂


My waterfall rock at the end of day 1. The potato starch glue is the best natural, non-toxic glue, perfect for simple DIY projects.



MAKING PLANTS AND LEAVES:

Meanwhile, I prepared my plants and leaves. 
I cut some old foam into tiny pieces and mixed the shreds thoroughly with the acrylic paint. I decided to divide the foam shreds into 3 groups and dye them viridian green, yellow ochre and pickle green.

Viridian green foam shreds getting dry. 

I had some old and worn out plastic leaves, so I have cleaned and sanitised them. Then I painted them dark and medium green. When the paint has dried, I sprayed them with a clear lacquer acrylic paint and left them to dry overnight. 



PREPARING THE BASE:

Making the base was quite easy. Firstly, I covered the cardboard with my potato starch glue and lined it with some brown paper bags. I tore them into smaller pieces for an easier application. I needed two layers of paper bags to cover the cardboard completely. The method is very simple- cardboard+glue+layer of paper bags+glue+layer of paper bags+glue.
Again, the base needs to dry overnight.


I saved these paper bags because I knew they had an amazing upcycling potential! They gave the diorama's base a cool look and texture. 
  



MAKING THE WATERFALL ROCK. PART 2/3:

Once everything was dry, I needed to start painting my waterfall rock. I wanted to do a few layers of colours, to give it more uneven and realistic look.
I first painted it military green, then added some warm, dark brown. Next light grey, then medium grey, and when I was happy with the result, I started shading. 
When shading, you want to use more than one colour. I started off applying a bit of medium grey where I wanted to create shadows and darker spots on my rock. Then I added a bit of olive/ military green and teeny tiny of black. 

Generally, the more you shade- the better and more realistic it looks. Browns, blacks, greens and greys will be the best. 


When the waterfall rock was dry, I painted the water on the top of it. I used brown, green and light blue. 

I left it to dry and I started to work on the cardboard base.



1. Green and dark grey.  2. Light grey.  3. Shading added.  All done with watercolours (with a minimal addition of water).



MAKING THE RIVER, MUD AND GRASS:

I wanted to have a river and I wanted it to be not flat. I initially thought of carving it in a piece of a thick foam or making a thick cardboard/ styrofoam base, but it just would be good for this project.So instead, I chose to make banks from two long rolls of paper (each from two A4 sheets). 
I simply creased the paper, rolled the first sheet, covered it with potato starch glue, added another sheet of paper, rolled again, and covered it with a glue.

When my paper rolls were completely dry, I thoroughly mixed non-toxic PVC glue for kids with dark brown acrylic paint and sand. Then I covered my paper rolls with it, and allow them to dry.





I went ahead and drew the river. I wanted to create an illusion of depth, so I added some leftover paint, glue and sand mixture to the bottom of my river. Then I painted the water over it. I chose to mix brown, green and light blue to match the water on the top of my waterfall rock. 
To create a grass I used some dyed semolina (I dyed half of it sap green, half yellow ochre). 
I was gradually applying PVC to the base of my diorama and covering it with semolina. I let it dry.
Once it was dry, I glued the banks of the river to the base with hot glue. I needed to use quite a lot of it, to ensure that they will stay put.
Then I painted the banks dark brown, and I blended the colour into the 'grass' to make it look like the mud. 
In the end, I added two real rocks to the river, using the hot glue. Once it was all dry, I sprayed it with the clear acrylic lacquer. 



MAKING THE WATERFALL ROCK. PART 3/3

When my base was getting dry, I started applying the plants and leaves to my rocks (the ready one and my waterfall rock) with the hot glue. I was doing it slowly and gradually as the hot glue dries down in seconds. 



Once I was happy with the look of my mountain rocks, I have glued them to the base using hot glue. This was the trickiest part of creating my diorama, as I needed to be very quick with applying the glue. 
I glued a few plants to the river banks, to add some life and colour to them. 



MAKING THE WATERFALL AND ADDING FINISHING TOUCHES

I wanted to add some shine to my river and the water on the top of my waterfall. I went ahead and applied two thin layers of my non-toxic PVC glue (waited for each of them to dry properly before applying the next layer). 

When the glue was dry, I sprayed a little bit of hairspray to the cup and applied it on the top of the layers of PVC glue for the extra shine.

]The final step was making the waterfall. All I did was cutting a piece of semi-thick foil, and covering it with the strips of hot glue the length of my waterfall. I added a bit of cotton wool to the top and the bottom of it and attached it to my rock using hot glue. 


Et Voilà! The diorama was ready. 

Let me know if you liked it, and if you would like to see more of my upcycling projects in the future. 
Thanks for reading, may you all have a wonderful, wonderful day! x











           







Thanks for reading, may you all have a wonderful, wonderful day! x



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