Monday, 30 November 2009

‘every day is a winding road’

30 nov 2009

We had a particularly tough morning today because the wind was very strong. The rain was no big deal, but insistent. It was a very cold morning, of four degrees only. I walked to Highfield, bought myself a cup of coffee and went to the law building to work. My umbrella was falling apart in harmony with the wind, which blows everything away.

I finished work and stopped by the uni shop to buy blank dvds and an umbrella, now a navy blue one. It was freezing cold and windy outside. I got some money from the cash point by the uni shop and this girl in the queue was shivering of cold. I had no choice but to enter susu building to equip myself: put on scarf, hat, and gloves, this big operation to face the not so unpredictable British weather: yes, it is not going to be so nice, at least not for long.

Well, i ended up getting late for a meeting with Jo. She was going to talk to me about the writing teaching that we do here in the programme. We ended up meeting later on, after 12 o’clock, as I had some ‘emergencies’: I needed to call Dorothy and we talked for a while.

Here is another emergency: I was walking towards my office (after the phone call) when Mariko approached me with such a sad face. It was to tell me that George Blue, our very nice and friendly George Blue, died this past Friday. He had been operated on a few weeks before and, as far as I knew, was recovering really well. According to Rob, it was a triple bypass heart surgery. He was my friend Buk’s supervisor. Buk had told me he was recovering ok, doing short walks, and Buk even visited him in his house one or two weeks ago. I knew he was seeing his students and talking for no longer than a half hour, but that he would be able to be back to work in January in full capacity. Well, the man passed away, apparently while sleeping, but I have no details.

And there I stayed in the corridor, talking with Mariko for a long time, we both in shock for such a sad end for our Blue. She had watery eyes, I could see it. It was interesting, because she insisted in being there with me for this long while in the corridor, as if she needed it, to talk, to share, to express sadness, and maybe – maybe – to understand all this. Mariko invited me to come down to the canteen at 12.30 to have lunch with her and Rob.

Friday, 27 November 2009

‘wait a minute mister postman’

27 nov 2009

I got my cute white voice recorder in the mail today. All the parcels addressed to St Margaret’s, which is where I live, are delivered to Gateley hall, where we should go and fetch them. Only envelope letters are kept here in our mailboxes, because these are not large enough for the parcels. Well, I’ve made my way to Gateley Hall quite often lately actually as I have bought some stuff – books and dvds – from Amazon.

I was ready to go once again for this one, but, surprise surprise I got this nice phone call on Friday morning. During the day I really basically never pick up phone calls as I am almost always at the office busy with something. This time I felt my mobile vibrating in my backpack and decided to check it out. Of course when I got it the call was ended. I called it back and spoke with this gentle mister postman. Yes, the postman waited a minute to deliver the parcel for me. Sooo cool!!! It took me a little while to understand what was going on, but he was very clear: he was in St Margaret’s, he had a parcel for me and wanted to know if it would be ok for me if her left the parcel right there in my flat. It surprised me for it was really unexpected. Plus, I wondered how he would have access to my flat. I said ‘yes, please, thank you, be my guest, just drop it in there and you make me happy.’ He did it.

When I got home Li came by my room with the voice recorder, which is going to be a very important instrument in my research to register data and make my life easier. I will record so many events to come. . . oh my!!! This new toy of mine is very light and white and modern. Indeed.

this constructive side of mine

27 nov 2009

in these busy and confusing days i managed to have a more than productive friday. it did make me feel very good about myself and how i managed so many 'to dos' in such a short period of time.

the thing is my students told me they were not coming to class this friday because they were going to celebrate eid, this muslim holiday. this gave me the free day.

last wednesday 25 i came home when it was 10.40 in the night. my friend buk walked through the forest with me. we both stayed working late in the office. i devoted more than eight hours to my research this wednesday. got home starving and almost numb of tiredness, but since i wanted to go straight to bed i only had a bowl of cereal with milk and yogurt. to make matters really disturbing, i don't think i slept more than one and a half hour the whole night. i was tired but awake and didn't understand why. i just remained in bed seeing the hours pass all night long. had to get up at 6am because i had stuff to do before teaching at 9am. during the teaching this student of mine asked me if i had slept properly and reminded me of the arab coffee they had offered me while i was working in the office the wed night. oh no!!! it was the coffee that kept me with wide opened eyes. that was a nightmare. so i had this tired body for the rest of the day, but decided to stay at avenue as much as possible for the obvious heavy load of work i have to do.

again on thursday 26 i stayed in the office until sometime after 9pm, but not very productive anymore. i had gone to bed the night before around 11 on wednesday. actually i was thinking of reading a bit more before going to bed but i was way too tired to do so. i woke up at 7.30 today (friday). i had a list of things to do in this free friday. the day started windy and rainy, but i don't complain. it was a come and go rain, and it was not very cold. fine, indeed. here is the list:
1. uni for ticket to and from london (done) - relieved this one is sorted out. no need to worry about it anymore. just pack and be ready to go and come back
2. ssc bldg 40 (nope)
3. next (shop in shopping centre) to return a jumper (done) - important stuff because i didn't want to travel not having solved this one.
4. mobile (done) - very glad got this done
5. tk maxx for br shopping (done) - very glad i got kass' sunglasses. phew!
6. mom's xmas stocking (done) - but i am not too happy about it. i'll see if i find something better for her.
7. my shampoos (done) yey!!!

ah, not listed but happily accomplished, i had lunch at supreme restaurant. once again had my warm, delicious, wonton noodle soup. so comforting :-)

not listed here either, i also organized articles for my research and have now a plan in my mind on how to go about what i have to do. it should be fine. if i devote fair time and effort to my research i always feel i am in the right track, and i need it to feel fine. it is nice and fulfilling after all.

finally, more than ever, during these over busy and really difficult days, for various reasons, i have been very systematic in listing what i have to do, and my diary has been loaded. i of course don't always do everything, but at the end of the day if i can tick the things i did, well, this makes me feel so nice. it is interesting that i list some things and don't do them, for days in a row, but then i think about it and why i am being lax on them, because there must be a reason to it, of course. from the list i get to understand myself. sort of. it is just fair to ourselves that we acknowledge what we manage to do. it can be like a powerful file to be accessed in days of 'oh, i can't do a thing'.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

ain't no sunshine when it rains

25 nov 2009

and the bad times?
and the good times?
and these days in UK with the sun that smiles; then the sun shied away from life by the punctual rain that wants to 'attend class' and keep the tradition; with the wind that sometimes takes you places you don't want to go, but that also takes away undesired feelings. again put on sunglasses, sun is back. not for long, though. rain is back.

and what about the always changeable weather from both the inner side and the surroundings of ourselves?
this is so much about life. i have just been wondering how true to life the weather here really is. i see people everyday complaining about it. it is very common to hear: 'horrible weather', 'horrible day' and . . . ah, another one that we received by email last year, when some activities were canceled due to 'inclement weather'. i find both the word used to name it and the weather itself romantic and inspiring.

it is very interesting indeed what happens here weatherwise, and i think it is a metaphor for life: it rains, then the day gets somber and dark, with a movie scenario of naked trees and the strong wind blowing their leaves elsewhere in search of shelter. then the sun is back, proving nothing lasts forever. sun, darkness, sun, rain, leaves blown away. life, here, there, and everywhere, i suppose.

it is not possible to do 'any' planned action no matter the weather, but we can learn to work around the weather, keeping an eye on how it has an impact upon our lives. it does pose some limitations, but it does open alternative doors as well. ain't it about life?

Monday, 23 November 2009

the monday market

23 nov 2009

every monday we have this nice market in highfield. they sell various goods: cookies, sausages, cheese, fruits and veggies, and there is this big stand with films and books. i've bought quite a few books in different occasions. this time i bought this one: 'lost in translation' (more to come on the film whenever i watch it).

why is it always a woman who sells the cookies? i bought one once, but it was not so good. i like moist, soft cookies, not the crunchy ones.

when i was checking the films out to choose one or more, i asked the man for the old movies. he said he had no clue where they are in his big table apparently well organized. he answered so quickly both informing me that he was not prepared to answer his potential client's quesion but also that he does not care much about his goods. it was a schocking surprise at first but then i recalle he had given me this sort of same answer long ago, maybe last year, when i came by and bought a different movie. he looks like somebody who will be able to deal with the clients and talk a bit on the products, but no, he is just there to get the movie for the films and hand the films over to the clients. very interesting way of making business.

this same 'help yourself' strategy i find in many shops around here. it is difficult for us who come from a culture where the client is informed of everything, including false promises about prices and delivery dates is that's the case. here they beleive that if they are after you to show you jumpers, trousers, sneakers, or whatever, they are bothering you. rather you should be left to make up your own free decisions. this was say to me by a friend who worked in a shop here. this distance from the client gives me the impression that there is no financial crisis going on in this country.

but this past monday i bought fruits and vegetables. the products are neatly displayed in a format that resemble a labyrinth, we walk through it already in the queue. i like the display of it, the planning and everything. we walk towards the cashier doing the shopping. i bought this 'use reuse recycle' cute bag because i had no other bag on me this time.

another point is that in many shops here they do not give us any bag anymore. we do have to pay for them. i see quite often people say 'no, thanks' for the offer to buy a bag. they bring something from here.
yes, let's do our little share in saving the planet.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

mariko, a fantastica!

19 nov 2009
(post gerado de um email enviado a amigos sobre esse momento de beleza nas relacoes entre os mortais, no meio de dias dificeis pra mim. . .)

so pra compartilhar meu email com a Mariko, minha amiga japonesa que apresentou o piloto da pesquisa dela nessa semana no nosso grupo de pesquisa que tem encontros quinzenias ou mais proximos as vezes. a apresentacao dela foi sensacional!!!!! ela levou o padrao das apresentacoes la pras alturas. lascou quem vem depois. hehehe ela fez uma organizacao e analise dos achados super profissional. fantastica eh o minimo pra se dizer do trabalho dela. e o power point tava lindo demais. a pesquisa dela eh sobre crencas / atitudes a respeito do ingles de pessoas no sudeste da asia. ela vai cobrir varios paises, como por exemplo coreia, japao, china, tailandia. . .

eu mandei um email cedinho pra desejar boa sorte e ela apreciou tanto. as vezes a gente so oferece um sorriso e alegra e aquece o coracao da outra pessoa. eu queria compartilhar isso.

abraco beeeem grande pra voce,


_Yey!!!!! Mariko
Yes, I am going. I am very happy to have you as a friend as well.
See you soon


From: Kitazawa M.
Sent: 18 November 2009 16:34
To: Lima K.S.D.
Subject: RE: presentation

Thank you Kalina for everything!

You emailed me this morning with nice warm words, you showed up even if you had teaching in the Highfield, and now you gave me this very nice and kind e-mail again!!!! I'm really happy to have you - such a super nice friend!!! :)

I hope we can talk very soon (are you coming to the annual talk today??)- and let's hang out again!! Yey!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

o carrocel (das emocoes)

17 nov 2009

(this song is on and off in my mind all the time)

O Circo

Nara Leao by Sidney Miller Friends

Vai, vai, vai comecar a brincadeira
Tem charanga tocando a noite inteira
Vem, vem, vem ver o circo de verdade
Tem, tem, tem picadeiro e qualidade

Corre, corre, minha gente que eh preciso ser esperto
Quem quiser que ve na frente, ve melhor quem ve de perto
Mas no meio da folia, noite alta, ceu aberto
Sopra o vento que protesta, cai no teto, rompe a lona
Pra que a lua de carona tambem possa ver a festa

Bem me lembro o trapezista que mortal era seu salto
Balancando la no alto parecia de brinquedo
Mas fazia tanto medo que o Zezinho do Trombone
De renome consagrado esquecia o pr�prio nome
E abracava o microfone pra tocar o seu dobrado

Sunday, 15 November 2009

off track

15 nov 2009 - sunday 1.39pm - avenue campus

i have been off track, basically. this is probably the most honest statement i utter in the last few weeks. now i am swamped with work, desperate because of deadlines, and feeling unproductive. this is a thesis statement of my text today, a synthesis of the whole situation.

i have made some decisions that would apparently help me keep focused in my main purpose here in uk, which is to carry out my phd research. that has been the truth, however. it all started over the summer and the situation has been going on and on and on. i need to understand it at least so that i can think of doing something about it.

for the summer i found a wonderful, rewarding, job. it was rewarding in various aspects: academically and professionally because it dealt exactly with my passion for writing and for academic life in general. so, being part of a team that was set up to help prepare international students for their academic life here was without a doubt superb, of course even helping myself in the same terms. it was also quite handy, actually, this job was a life saver, because the pay went directly to my fees here at uni.

but but but . . . the work did not stop after 10 weeks. i was very very glad i had the chance to teach the extra two weeks, but i now wonder if i did the right thing. i need to find time for my academic work here. and i have not done this lately. ros is very angry at me. i don't understand it all, as it gives me the feeling she doesn't trust me, but in a way she is right. if i had not had so much distraction from my research i would probably be in better shape concerning my plans to Brazil, for instance.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

the toilet bulb

12 nov 2009

got home today to find this cute little note andy posted in the toilet door to let us know the bulb is gone but should still be repaired today. sweety!!! people may complain but i enjoyed having the shower in the dark for a change. it is not even too dark.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

to spread out or not to spread out

11 nov 2009

today i got up feeling even worse, with a hoarse voice, and feeling pain all over the body. i asked myself how i was going to make it to the day, as i would have a class to teach at 9am. well, took a shower, had cereal with banana and yogurt, and headed to uni - avenue campus. i had spent the night coughing too much, and had coughed and sneezed a lot during the day yesterday. i took a bottle of water with me to the classroom and delivered the planned lesson of the day: tutorials. after a while i started to feel a little better.

i knew i had three appointments during the day: - lunch at noon with some friends, to celebrate hsuya's birthday; - a pgr talk at 1pm; and - a calr presentation at 5pm, about which i was highly interested (topic: elf). moreover, i didn't  want any nasty looks on me (remember i looked ill with the cough). i was really not sure whether i should go or not to the canteen for the lunch to start with, but i did go anyway. i did a little - and cynical - survey to feel people's acceptance on my current 'state of the art'. they were all admant in telling me i should not attend any of the talks of the day, and that i could go next week, trying to console me, and obviously to convince me to stay away with my germs. i was at that time - lunch time - thinking of going, cause i was no longer sneezing or coughing.

it was funny because later on i was at my desk, next to hsuya's, and najima came over to greet hsuya for her birthday. nagima took the chance to say that yes i should go to the calr presentation at 5. i also knew they would go to the cowherds after the presentation, as we did the other day. najima asked for hsuya's confirmation that i should come along, which she did, but i knew she thought i was not in the best shape to be in a closed lecture theater with lots of people. i didn't go, after all. i also had an extra good reason not to go: i have lots lots lots to do, about both my research and my teaching. one thing at a time, kalina. i decided not to spread out my so called swine flu. photos: notes posted on campus.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

no limiar da exaustao

10 nov 2009

(post originado de partes de um email enviado a minha irma kassandra)

ontem o dia foi de correria insana, como tem sido as segundas-feiras, com aulas de manha e de tarde, e em highfield, onde nao tenho uma estrutura de escritorio que facilite minha vida e onde termino almocando qualquer comida nada recomendavel. ainda tive que ir em portswood na hora do almoco pra mandar preparar na farmacia o meu atenolol que tinha acabado no domigo. pra completar, a farmaceutica foi atender uma velhinha e eu tive que esperar pra ela liberar meu remedio.

dei 6 aulas ontem. durante uma aula, de tarde, minha exaustao era tao grande que eu achei que ia desmaiar. ai pensei 'quem vai me levantar'? haaaaaaa (to morrendo de rir) e segurei a onda. segunda de manha sao  aulas normais do programa de EAS, e de tarde sao as aulas de ingles academico pra alunos de mestrado em marketing, management, recursos humanos, economia e financas. as duas turmas bem interessadas e precisando da aula. . . minha cabeca conseguiu se concentrar e as aulas foram muito boas. acho que o compromisso e a concentracao me salvam muitas vezes.

Saturday, 7 November 2009


07 Nov 2009

i've already mentioned here that i had a quite busy week and that i was feeling super tired. well, last night i went to bed around 11 o'clock, after doing some readings for my literature review. i was so tired last night i could not go to Viktoria's farewell party, which has made me feel bad, but i was not really in proper conditions for such an endeavour.

got up this morning still tired. i did a little work in the laptop and jumped back in bed. this jumping back in bed over weekends is something i hold precious as it is never possible on weekdays. even breaskfast today i had only after 9am. actually, i woke up around 7am, but remained in bed. . . 'so lucky to be me' but i actually sang 'so happy to be me' :-) (this is a line from a song). at first i doubted i was going to make it to city centre, because my list of to-do things was far from short. i ended up leaving  later than i had planned, but i did go and do practically everything listed. YEY!!!

after an invigorating shower i felt much better and ready to go. my list included places / shops such as: matalan, poundland, tkmaxx, supreme (chinese restaurant), bhs, boots pharmacy, aldi (went to asda instead). these are the places, along with a really long list of items to buy both for me and to take to brazil. i can't believe i did almost everything, calmly, despite the long queues everywhere and my being tired.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

prescription for happiness

05 Nov 2009

highfield campus today 5 nov 2009

whenever you feel quite tired and fear you can no longer concentrate and be productive, i mean, those days  . . . when you're drained and all you see before your eyes (mind) is a bed, silence, and a fair rest. well, give your hairdresser a call and you may be lucky enough to find a free slot for an appointment. go ahead and get it. go to that hairdresser where people don't care much about others around, where they go to get rid of any sign of ugliness or ageing, where you can just sit, be treated, check out the gossip magazines . . . and after a little while you do look and feel so much better. and, guess what, you'll have had a quite productive day afterall.
that was me today. ah, on your way to the hairdresser do whatever else pleases you, such as taking pictures of . . . whatever.

Monday, 2 November 2009

'after a while, crocodile'

02 nov 2009

today i attended this great event from the portuguese studies folks. it was a pleasure to meet Astrid. i love the experience of listening to the author reading her poems and telling us about them, why she wrote them that way. she read the original protuguese and jaine beswick read the translation to english. great reading by jaine. loved it, too. astrid has a beautiful voice and seasoned the words with the forest accent as she comes from the amazon region. this accent is different from mine. when i listen to somebody reading poetry i feel like closing my eyes and just feeling it. also, listening to the author's reading give a particular interpretation, one that is different from mine. poetry should always be read out loud. here is my favorite, original followed by translation:

cave canem
dentro de mim ha cachorros
que uivam em horas de raiva
contra as jaulas da cortesia
e as coleiras do bom senso.
solto-os em nome da justica
tomada de coragem homicida.
mas sabendo que raiva mata
aa mingua de domar meus caes
vacinei-os. ladrem mas nao mordam
e caso mordam, nao matem.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

oh happy day!

1st Nov 2009

oh happy day!!!!
i was planning to go for my inspiring walk in the Common this morning, but the day came up rainy and windy. i don't mind the rain, i can happily walk through it, the wind is a little problematic. moreover, it was pouring early in the morning, it was not really good to walk in that rain. so, i decided to stay home instead.

i have not even gone to avenue campus yet. i might go later on, but i doubt it. well, i stay home but that doesn't mean i have the whole day free to watch movies and have fun. actually, i am super busy with different materials to read for my research and also materials from the classes i am teaching now. the good thing about staying home is that here i listen to my soft jazz at itunes, from apple. right now listening to Carmen Mcrae. sooo good.