(Again this post involves bad language. If you are easily offended please stay off. Thanks!)
Happy Monday everybody, despite everything. I hope you and yours are well. Just wanted to let you know that you are in my prayers daily.
What’s Happening in Bee’s Life
Thank you so much for joining the now private “The Bee Writes…”. Originally I wanted to write about me reading books to support “Black Lives Matter” since the summer. But life doesn’t always play ball.
My troubled ex contacted me on Friday via Twitter on the pretence he wanted to give a chest back that my grandfather made, and he still had. I left him ten years ago. Everybody would think if I didn’t come for it then, I don’t want it now. But that is not how his mind works, unfortunately.
When I left him, he stalked me via phone and in-person until I called the police. They had a word with him, and he stopped. I had put blogs, social media etc. private then and when I changed my name when getting married, I thought I had my peace. Obviously not.
So I spent Saturday and Sunday putting everything back to private, deleting what I do not really need and am now re-thinking how I am going to operate online. It’s not anything I need right now. Besides him reaching out also my uncle passed away on Tuesday and I still haven’t sorted my passport problems.
My uncle sent me a positive message on WhatsApp every day since we connected there. I miss him terribly. He was very ill, and it must have been a relief for him to let his tortured body go, but he was much loved by his family and leaves a huge gap for all of us. May he rest in peace.
Can 2020 get any worse? I bet on Zombies. We still have 1 1/2 months to go!
So, let’s get our minds of the sh**show this life can be and do some virtual travelling. Are you coming??? 😉
1. Introduction to Albania
We are still exploring the Balkans, and it’s many beautiful and often troubled countries. Today we are off to Albania, and again it is a country I do not know in person. In fact, I didn’t know anything about it, to be honest.
Well, I knew the name and might have heard about it in the times of the cold war when I grew up. After all its communist leader Enver Hoxha was a hard-core Stalinist and had a huge fear of capitalist countries invading his domain. Thousands of bunkers in the country still exist, and you can do a game of “spot the bunker” if you ever were to visit.
Like all Balkan countries, its countryside seems to be absolutely stunning. So I curated another playlist to enlighten all of us a little more. Please, be so kind as to follow the creators of these videos (and later posts/videos). They put a lot of effort into them and deserve our support, especially in these dire times. Thanks.
If you rather want to read something, check out this post by The Balkanista: The Communist History of Albania. (Please also follow. Thanks)
2. An Artist of Albania
Ah, I am absolutely delighted to have come up with a female artist for a change for this blog series. Her name is Najada Hamza whose works have been selected for several international exhibitions.
She works with many materials from textiles to photos and creates astonishing material. Please check her out at the above link and the following blog:
3. An Eco-Problem of Albania
You know how much I care about the climate crisis and related problems. At this point, I would love to introduce you to an activist in all things eco, but I can’t always find one. This was the case here. So alternatively, I will highlight an eco problem of the country we are visiting.
I have to admit I was rather shocked when I saw this video. Of course, I was aware that the so-called “clean” and “eco-friendly” Western European countries are trading off their rubbish to countries which are poor and have no choice but to take it. But I did not realise how bad this problem is or how close it is. Unfortunately, I could not find any updated information about the rubbish problem in Albania. This video is from 2016.
It is mind-boggling how much we in richer societies live on the backs not only of future generations but also on the backs for our poorer contemporaries. And how we are happy to keep our eyes closed and let it happen 😦 .
(Sorry for the adverts in the video.)
4. Food of Albania
Ooops, I admit this jump from the rubbish tips of Albania to it’s food might be a little extreme 🙂 . I am sure though you’ll manage. You will, won’t you??????? PLEASE 😉
To me, it seems that the cuisine of Balkan countries is rather similar. So I invite to a short food tour of its capital Tirana with James Leithart.
This cuisine does not particularly appeal to me anymore as I stopped eating meat in 2009. However, the dips in this last meal look very interesting.
For all those of you who have chosen a more vegetarian/vegan path in life, this page will offer some alternatives. For example, the Spinach & Cheese Byrek (Sorry for the ads) sounds absolutely delicious. Please check out My Albanian Food for more inspiration. 🙂 I think I’ll try that Byrek soon …
5. A Poetess of Albania
Ah, one of my favourite topics on this beautiful virtual blog tour. Poetry. I always wondered why I am interested in poetry. No one in my family read any.
However, my granny learned a lot of famous German poems by heart when she was in school and recited them often. And my mum taught us many children’s rhymes. So in a way, I was reared on poetry without being aware of it.
I love to discover poetry from other countries, and today’s poetess is an incredible woman. Luljeta Lleshanaku grew up in still communist Albania into a family that had opposed the leader and paid the price. She was not allowed to study, and many of her family were in prison or even tortured.
She mentions that books weren’t allowed, so she, like many Albanian poets, developed her own style. She has published several poetry books and worked as a teacher, magazine editor, journalist and screenwriter. Today she is the Research Director at the Institute of Studies of Communist Genocide in Albania. Please check out this reading of her poetry with her translator Ani Gjika.
You can find more of her poetry at Poets.org.
6. Mental Health in Albania
If you follow me for a while, you know about my struggle with mental health problems. We in developed countries so often complain about how mental health issues are not taken seriously, and we do not get help.
I have, and I still think lots needs to be done. However, compared to some other countries, we live in mental health heaven. We at least have access to medication and sometimes even therapy. And, of course, books. Communism wasn’t known for taking the mental health of its people seriously, so many of them have to catch up a lot. These two following articles/blog posts show how bad the problem in Albania is:
7. Some musicians of Albania
Ah, you nearly managed my offering for today 😉
Music now and I was astonished how many well-known musicians have roots in Albania: Take Rita Ora, Dua Lipa & Bekka Rexxa to name just a few. I hope you enjoy this little playlist.
And where are we going next week?
Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday, November 23rd, 2020
I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we venture into Macedonia. Please find musicians from Macedonia on the Last.FM page.
As for the suggestions to take part:
- Join in! No matter where, when and with what. No matter if you have cancer or not! You missed the first week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
- Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part. Or leave it at the “Come Away With Me 2020 FB page“
- Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / “Come Away with Me 2020 Musical Challenge” o/“CoAwWiMe2020MuCh” / . You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure. If you add #blog and #music with your hashtags it will get you more readers.
- No matter which music or country the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please. This is supposed to be a fun challenge and no chore.
- I post a prompt for the next week with every “Come Away With Me 2020 post” I write.
- If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.
Please check out my photos and my fundraising:
You can find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).
I am fundraising for McMillan and you can still donate here ( until January 2021) and download Bees McMillan Coffee Morning German Christmas Download (PDF file) (no it’s not in German but about German recipes and Christmas )
My goal is 200£ and so far you brilliant people have donated 10£. Thanks!
Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow some same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.
Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. So far the campaign has raised about half the amount needed: £418,648 of £800,000 (October 2020).
Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.
Thanks, my dears, for staying with me until the end.
I appreciate your presence.
Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!