Journey into the unknown 2022, or on the perils of international travelling ;)

Well, actually, it was a journey into what we thought was very well known, after all we’ve lived in Poland for a long time ;). But in our post-COVID19 times nothing is as it used to be and the perils are very real ;). 

But first things first.

Our flights (various legs of it) had been cancelled several times, and in a couple of situations we were informed blithely that no alternative flights are available till late September. The last cancellation happened 5 days before departure, and I’m quite surprised I don’t have any white hair from this experience. The worst thing is that there wasn’t really a choice of airlines offering tickets! The ones that we used last time didn’t operate the route anymore (they returning to it in September, so at least there’s hope for the future). Lufthansa seemed a safe bet, all things considered, so I wonder how other people travelling from this part of the world went through with other airlines. That said, the hours spent on the phone with Lufthansa were many, and I really don’t want to count them because I might still develop a rash just from thinking about it. But, in the end, we did manage to get to Poland. The journey took only 72 hours, with a 16-hour layover in Hong Kong and two days (yes, 2 days!) in Frankfurt. 

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Just some personal stuff…

Ok, Ola has spilled the beans, so l decided to write a few words about a big event that is taking place this very Saturday. Friends of the blog should not be surprised, I did start referring to my muggle girlfriend as fiancée last year, and I’m a serious guy – I proposed with every intention of actually getting married 😉 Now, and it’s still a bit difficult to believe in, it’s going to happen and so very soon!

The pandemic situation in Poland isn’t bad right now, with less than a hundred new cases daily and most restrictions lifted. Everyone who wanted to get vaccinated – had a chance to do so. There are troubles ahead, as we have a lot of anti-vaxxers and Delta variant is already here. Still, we have time enough for our wedding and a short honeymoon on Santorini 🙂

We had our stag/hen nights, and both were glorious, big thanks once again to all the people involved – and some of them are actually reading Re-E occasionally… I got a genuine sword (made recently, but to medieval specs, a heavy, 1.5 hand piece). Perfect gift, something I craved but would never buy myself!

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Etsy shop

This week I’m giving you something a bit different 🙂 Don’t worry though, a somewhat scathing review is in the works and will be up in a few days 😉

Those of you who follow our blog for a while know that the last three years have been a bit crazy for me and my family – a move across half the planet, and a total change of nearly all aspects of life, from personal to professional. One of the things that have changed for the better was that I have finally made the decision to return to one of my lifelong passions which was left by the side for the last several years – painting.

You’ve seen some of my watercolors on this blog already, here and here, for example. But I mainly paint nature, with a dash of fantasy – and now you can find my new paintings on Etsy, where I have just opened a shop. I would like to thank S.D. for that nudge, as he kindly suggested it to me a while back :). It took some time and effort, but now I started selling prints of my paintings (sending anything from NZ is a real pain, quite risky and costly at that) which are produced in shops in the US, Europe and Australia.

A mockup of my birds paintings 🙂

So, if you’d like to check it out – here it is!

And as it’s grand opening, for the first week the standard delivery costs are on me – just enter this code at the checkout:

ARTANDJOYNZ

Two months with Kindle

Kindle broke me! Or, to be precise, it broke my reading habits…

Not my finances, I’ve spent roughly the same amount of money I would spend on books anyway, only I got (YTD) 124 ebooks and 8 paper books… ebooks were, on average, under 1 Euro apiece, thanks to Humble Bundles (and their Polish equivalent, ArtRage). So, I got 15.5 ebooks for each regular book.

This is not as wonderful as it looks, because I’ll never read all the books from the bundles I got… and I sometimes buy ebooks from the peripheries of my TBR only because there is a nice deal on Amazon… I need to devise some new metric measuring book cost. And stop automatically buying all the bundles. Perhaps also unsubscribe from Amazon alerts, I literally just bought Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle, while writing this ($3.14 for the whole thing, how could I not?).

But how is my reading broken? Well, the book I read in paper is “Deadhouse Gates”, second volume of Erikson’s Malazan Books of the Fallen. It’s great, but heavy. And requires high concentration, to follow all the names and plot-lines. It’s almost a ritual, to sit down and open it to read a chapter or two.

Kindle is light, and all sort of books are waiting there that I can easily read whenever I have a spare moment. I’ve read 17 titles since Feb 19 that way. During that time I’ve only read one full book on paper and listened to two audiobooks. The ebooks are mostly non genre, and many of them only available in Polish. Or public domain classics.

What I mean to say is, this post is going to be a series of mini-reviews 😉

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