All posts by livingfully2017

‘Travel Snaps’ ~ Serendipity ~ Evening 1 in Prague

Wednesday 16th August 2017

Welcome back. For earlier episodes in my ‘Travel Snaps’ series, to bring you up to date, just visit my previous posts by clicking on the ‘Travel’ tab in my main menu.

What is time to the traveller? Do our experiences ebb and flow, fading into a faint memory that eventually disappears as a bubble bursting on a stream? Over two months have passed since my travels, and everyday life at home has resumed. It is Sunday 29th October 2017, and I realise it has been a while since I last sat down to write my blog, and share some of my thoughts and experiences with you. Perhaps I am feeling reflective about time because the clocks went back an hour today, and for a usually rainy and wintry place, it was surprisingly sunny and summery today, with a hint of autumn in the air, and crisp golden leaves scattered on the ground. 

As I write I can hear the hum of my washing machine in the background, and I am curled up on my sofa looking at a beautiful city scape with the sky fading from blue to beige to yellow to grey as night falls. Lights from the traffic over the motorway blink incessantly as car after car blurs one into another. I wonder at my sense of anxiety and nostalgia about my experiences. Do you also ever fear forgetting? 

Musings aside, let’s return once more to the Hotel Diplomat in Prague. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, as they say. The evening meal was a buffet meal. I sat with my two friends, the couple that I had met earlier on the trip, at a table for four. However, I was asked to move by the coach driver, who wanted to make place for two ladies to be able to sit with each other and nearer to their friends, so he showed me to a window table where he sat with two other girls. I had, as many others did, presumed that these two young ladies were friends, perhaps teenagers on a trip together, but it turned out that they were a very youthful looking mother and her mature looking thirteen year old daughter. 

Sometimes what might at first seem like an inconvenience and a move out of our comfort zone, such as being asked to move tables away from new friends, can turn out to be a happy little piece of serendipity on our journeys through countries and through life. The ‘girls’ turned out to be very friendly, and the ‘little one’ an inquisitive, smart and funny chatterbox, both of whom I have kept in touch with, with the daughter showing more interest in maintaining a friendship, perhaps because of being more well versed with the world of social media 🙂 

So my travels progressed from being a single, solo traveller, knowing no one on the trip, to making new friendships that I am hopeful will last long into our new, and perhaps once more, shared adventures. 

So keep an eye out friends, for the ways in which those little ‘inconveniences’ in your day may actually turn out for the best. 

 

 

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Learning to Draw

Life as it happens to be

With the nights growing longer, and the days colder, as leaves begin to turn from green to vibrant shades of yellow, orange and red, and then fade once more into grey, and fall and turn to dust, the evenings have become a perfect time for some cosy indoor activities.

So, I am attempting to learn to draw. I have always loved to doodle, but I have never taken an art class in my life, and I have never really known where to begin. I’m no artist, just a beginner, and I would love to learn and develop so much more.

This week I have been sketching and watching You Tube videos in my attempt to figure out just where to start. Here are four completed pictures that I have done. They aren’t great, as I’m just a beginner, but they made me smile and I hope they make you smile…

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‘Travel Snaps’ ~ The Hotel Diplomat (Vienna House) in Prague

For previous ‘travel snaps’ of my adventures, please click on the ‘Travel’ tab in my main menu 🙂

Wednesday 16th August 2017

As you will know, if you have been following on with my travel adventure series, arrival at our hotel was not without a little bit of drama! 🙂

However, it was lovely to at last get off the bus, after being on the road for a few hours. It was just before dinner time, and the evening was sweet, sun-kissed and pleasant. I was beginning to feel the excitement of a traveller in a new place.

Before me in front of the hotel was a long straight main street, clean, and neat, except from the occasional glimpses of graffiti, with trams gliding past. A couple from my tour group who have travelled extensively throughout America said that it looked a lot like San Fransisco.

I was pleasantly surprised as I wandered into the hotel to check in. The lobby was vast, and nicely stylised. However, you may want to take a sneak peek into the hotel for yourself. 🙂

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Learning to Draw

With the nights growing longer, and the days colder, as leaves begin to turn from green to vibrant shades of yellow, orange and red, and then fade once more into grey, and fall and turn to dust, the evenings have become a perfect time for some cosy indoor activities.

So, I am attempting to learn to draw. I have always loved to doodle, but I have never taken an art class in my life, and I have never really known where to begin. I’m no artist, just a beginner, and I would love to learn and develop so much more.

This week I have been sketching and watching You Tube videos in my attempt to figure out just where to start. Here are four completed pictures that I have done. They aren’t great, as I’m just a beginner, but they made me smile and I hope they make you smile too.

I would love to hear from people who have been drawing for a while, and for whom art is ‘their thing’. Do you have any advice for a newbie / beginner? And any feedback on what I have done in my first week?

Thanks so much. Hoping to come across some blogs with some beautiful and interesting original artwork to help inspire me in this creative journey.

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Depression, Loneliness & Keeping on Going! …

For previous posts on similar topics, please take a look at my ‘Mental Health’ and ‘Self Care’ tabs.

I’ve hit a bit of a wall in recent days. Without going into the back story or the journey so far in this particular post, in summary I am receiving treatment for Post Traumatic Stress / complex trauma, Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and severe clinical depression. It has been tough, however, recently I have made some positive strides, especially in terms of traveling alone again, going for a job interview two days after I got back from work, and managing the work of my team singlehandedly for three weeks while my boss was on holiday.

However, this last Friday and Monday were public holidays, which meant a glorious four days off work. The only thing was that they weren’t entirely glorious. A friend who was married earlier this year and who had moved to a different city was back visiting both for a work related conference and to see other friends, and asked to meet with me. I wanted to, I really did, and felt that I also ought to, but my desire to be a good friend, to socialise, and to make an effort was outweighed by my symptoms overwhelming me. Another friend asked to meet me on the Monday, but again I just couldn’t manage. It was a rough day – I ended up staying in my PJs all day, and for most of the time watching re-runs of ‘Parks and Recreation’ (possibly the greatest show ever made 😉 ) to alleviate the stress of the nightmares I have been having, low mood, confusion, dizziness, anxiety and disorientation. It was a sunny day, but I didn’t even make it outside. However, Sunday I actually accomplished some mini milestones; it was a rainy grey day all day, and yet I managed to travel by train and then by ferry to visit my good friend and her two young children, to see her little girl before her birthday. I used to make that journey fairly regularly, however I hadn’t for the past 5 years due to pretty much barely being able to function or manage the anxiety, depression, and trauma symptoms. So yay! And it was good to have the company. My friend, who I met in university, is only 5 years older than me, and yet she has been married for over 2 decades (they met and married young), and has two children, and is quite settled and happy in life. I knew her before she had kids, so it has been a blessing seeing her family grow and move from one stage of life to another. The kids growing up really signify to me how much time is passing. Not that I’m old, or feel old, it’s just that I haven’t met the ‘milestones’ that I thought I would have or wanted to by this stage in life, and although I have accomplished a lot for someone battling the conditions that I have, it is still sometimes pretty hard. Not to mention that just the day previously my news feeds were filling up with joyful pictures of newlyweds. It is lovely to see, but it sometimes brings up all sorts of feelings, especially being on my own with no company in the flat. I have longed for a family of my own. I strive to be thankful, for I am blessed. Perhaps broken, but also blessed.

I am looking forward to going back to work after this long weekend. I need to get back into a routine, and I need company. Recovery from trauma is tough, and living alone is great, but it would be nice to feel supported, and to share life with someone.

I wonder, do any of you relate? Whatever your life situation may be? I need to get my head back in the game, and overcome this fog and struggle that I’ve been feeling. But this is Life as it happens to be, after all. And so I remind myself that I am loved by SomeOne Who will never leave me nor forsake me, and I just need to keep taking the next step and overcoming each thing. I don’t usually long to go back to work, but it is a blessing to have companionship and human contact, and to feel productive.

So, que sera, sera, whatever will be will be. It has been a long road, but we all need to pause in our journey, take a breath, and take time not only to care for others, but also for ourselves. I hope you find a little oasis of peace in your day today, where you can do just that. xx

 

Prague’s Districts & our Hotel

For previous adventures in this series, please click on my ‘Travel’ tab in my main menu.

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And so, having finally disembarked after the earlier mini-drama, we were free to check into and explore our new surroundings, and ‘home’ for two nights – The Vienna House, Hotel Diplomat, Prague. 

The hotel is situated in Praha 6 (or district 6) of Prague. 

With the help of Wikipedia, here is a short overview of Prague’s districts: 

Prague has a local-government structure of two or three tiers, depending on the area of town. At the top is the Magistrate of the Capital City of Prague (Czech: Magistrát hlavního města Prahy), which is responsible for public transport; waste collection; municipal police; firefighting; ambulance services; cultural activities; care of historical sites; the Prague Zoo; and other activities of citywide significance.

Since 1990, the city has been divided into 56 (since 1992, 57) self-governing municipal districts (Czech: městské části). The districts are responsible for parks and environmental protection; ordering equipment for schools and volunteer firefighters; some cultural and sports activities; activities for seniors; some social and health programs; cemeteries; and collection of fees for dog tags and the like. Another important activity of the municipal districts is the ownership, maintenance and, sometimes, sale of public property, especially public housing.

Since 2001, the 57 municipal districts have been grouped into 22 numbered administrative districts (Czech: správní obvody), for national-government purposes. One municipal district in each administrative district has responsibility for providing certain services for the entire administrative district. Those services include providing business licenses, identity cards and passports. The municipal district with such responsibility shares a name with the administrative district it serves. For example, the municipal district of Prague 19 provides those services to the municipal districts of Prague 19, Prague-Čakovice, Prague-Satalice and Prague-Vinoř. Residents of Satalice can get dog tags in their neighborhood but must go to Kbely, home of the Prague 19 government, to get an identity card.

Both the citywide government and the municipal districts have elected councils and mayors. The mayor of the Capital City of Prague is known as the primátor, which is sometimes translated into English as “lord mayor” (even though the Czech title carries no connotations of nobility).

From 1960 to 1990, Prague was divided into 10 districts. Those 10 districts are still used for addressing and transportation purposes and, for example, the organisation of courts and prosecutions. Street signs additionally add the name of the cadastral area (Czech: katastrální území), which usually reflects the name of an old municipality before its assimilation into the city of Prague. Thus, a sign in Kbely will say “Praha 9-Kbely,” not “Praha 19.” Prague residents are much more likely to use the name of a cadastral area or a 1960 municipal district than the name of a post-1990 district in everyday communication.” (Source: Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Districts_of_Prague).