All right. I started this post with “And so it is (almost) Christmas….” I went through “And so it is Christmas….” and I hope to be able to finish it and post it as “And so it was Christmas….” which I’m sure I will as the whole 2022 fits that description. And all this time I kept the question below unchanged.

And what have we done? It’s a good question and one that is constantly asked at this time of the year. Every year…

Even if some think talking about Christmas is politically incorrect, it’s a significant discussion and especially question and most people understand exactly that it is meant not as an offense, but as a moment of truth, evaluation, looking upon what happened with the thin hope of learning something to avoid in the future.

So, what have I, or rather we, Ana y Ram, done during 2021? The order is based on my memory, therefore random and possibly frail.

  • Discovered the beauty of life at the young age of … going on 70! The pundits from all walks of life and science tell us that this is the most creative and productive decade of human life. If we are lucky to make it! I therefore thank the universe, the force, God, Jahve, the Buddha, Allah, Krishna and so many others whom I respect even if I cannot name for allowing me to live my life and enjoy my family and friends who are still here and remember the ones who already left this world. I feel so blessed!
  • Traveled a lot. Online – mostly and offline – around the country.
  • Participated in conferences. Online.
  • Read online and offline.
  • Supported my 24 Poems book with reading tours. In real life.
  • Started to work on my new book.
  • Delivered my regular courses in the ASE/Bucharest University of Economic Studies and the University of Bucharest.
  • Developed and delivered tailor made courses for some amazing professionals.
  • Wrote some articles, some reviews, some posts and countless emails. Saw some of the older articles finally published.
  • Had the most amazing gift in a long time – my third grandson! He’s five months old and he already is an awesome young man with incredible powers of gathering a truly international crowd for his baptism. This in itself deserves a novel!

Probably the most humbling experience of all comes from the people who still think of me although I’m no longer part of their daily lives. I never thought I did anything special for them and they somehow still remember me. And then the same is true for some of my former students.

A bit of self-promotion.

And of course, there are so many things I didn’t do, though I really wanted to. But either my time management, or … who knows?!? So many books that I read and wanted to review, so many people I wanted to connect with. Maybe in 2022.


24 Poems

The longest project I’ve been working on lately is a tiny book of poetry that I want to announce here. It’s called 24 Poems. I worked on it for some years, without really feeling as if I had been working. It would probably be fairer to say that I enjoyed my time with this project.

Well, the moment to end it arrived. And to present it to my readers’ reactions. I honestly didn’t expect some of those reactions to be so warm and close, empathetic and so moving. Certainly, many have been polite and indifferent. As life usually is!

You can catch a glimpse of what is between the covers here, by looking inside the PDF below.


Înainte de Crăciun – Pre-Christmas

Ce este o echipă? Pentru mine, acum, este ca un concert și sper, în timp, să se transforme într-o simfonie. Așa m-am simțit aseară în echipa INACO – ca într-un concert de Crăciun. De ce? Pentru că suntem o echipă de profesioniști minunați, conduși cu entuziasm și pasiune de dirijoarea noastră Andreea Paul, care selectează constant partituri noi și provocatoare, dificil de interpretat adesea, dar cu un succes garantat la publicul larg al societății românești prin temele acut importante pentru noi toți. În diversele noastre proiecte avem roluri clare,  învățăm lucruri noi pe care le punem în practică, pentru că practica socială este cea pe care vrem s-o schimbăm în mai bine. Avem relații între noi de o calitate deosebită pentru că ne conduc nu orgoliile personale, o da, avem destule mulțumim, cât scopurile mai ample pentru care ne-am reunit și la care fiecare, în felul nostru, vrem să contribuim. Și când am interpretat ultimele note ale unei partituri de proiect care ne-a “întins și antrenat” competențele, performanțele și ne-a făcut mai buni ca oameni, sărbătorim succesul ca echipă, împreună cu dirijoarea noastră. Crăciun binecuvântat și An Nou Fericit!

What is a team? For me, now, a team is as a concert which I hope is going to change into a symphony. That’s how I felt last night in the INACO team – as in a Christmas concert. Why? Because we are an amazing team of professionals, led enthusiastically and passionately by our conductor Andreea Paul, who constantly selects new and challenging parts, often difficult to interpret, but with guaranteed success for the general public of the Romanian society through their crucially important themes for all of us. In our various projects we have clear roles, we research and learn new things and also implement them, because it is social practice that we care for and want to change for the better. We have great relationships because we are not driven by our personal pride or rather arrogance, oh yes, we have enough of that, thank you, but we have greater goals to care for and to contribute to. And when we have interpreted the final notes of a project sheet that has “stretched and trained” our competences, our performances and changed us into better people, we celebrate our success as a team, together with our conductor. Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

ENGLISH, ROMANA, Uncategorized

And so this is Christmas – Și a venit din nou Crăciunul

And so this is Christmas/And what have we done? If you need to take some time to remember … that’s all right. I do the same. Not because I didn’t do anything. On the contrary. I guess I’ve been very busy constantly. Not with important things – for the long term. Important – for the day, or sometimes even the hour. I guess I matured enough to avoid the important for the minute things. The rest, however, is a constant battle.

We had a white Christmas in Curtea de Argeș. And tried to keep traditions alive. Such as having the family together. We even had traditionally prepared pork delis, from a pig raised organically by our great friends in Curtici. OK,OK they had it prepared as well. Most of it.

Just to have (part of) the goodies delivered to us was a whole adventure. The couriers are over-crowded this time of the year and can’t guarantee a 24 hours delivery and you don’t want the meat to get spoiled in warehouses along the roads! So the train is the best option – you have it delivered in about twelve hours (if you dream of fast trains, you’re in the wrong country) , but have to go to the station and pick it up directly from the train steward. That is – under normal circumstances. If it snows – then the trains might get cancelled or delayed. As was the case on the 17 December in Romania. Blizzards, snow storms, bla-bla-bla, as if we do not live in a country known for harsh winters, sometimes as bad as the Russian ones. Not as long and gloomy – but that’s another story! Anyway, all things got better and positively aligned to get the pork delis safe and sound a day later in my son’s deep freezer. From which, at the right moment, most of it found its way to Argeș.

Christmas is nowadays whatever you want to make of it. It most probably was the same since it came to be known as “modern Christmas”. Jeanette Winterson has a good review of how Christmas evolved from the old, dark ages to our Hallmark and Diva styled celebrations.

In Curtea de Argeș – we combine various ideas. I’ll tell you more in the next post.


Și a venit din nou Crăciunul

Ce am făcut de la ultimul Crăciun? E-n regulă dacă vă trebuie timp să vă amintiți! Și mie îmi trebuie și nu pentru că n-am făcut mare lucru. Dimpotrivă. Aș zice că am fost constant ocupată. Dar nu cu lucruri importante – pe termen lung. Ci cu lucruri importante – pentru ziua de azi, uneori chiar pentru ora prezentă. Sigur am devenit mai înțeleaptă și nu mai fac lucrurile importante pentru clipa de față. Restul, însă, este o luptă continuă.

Am avut un Crăciun cu zăpadă în Curtea de Argeș. Și am încercat să menținem tradițiile vii. Ca, de exemplu, să ne reunim  ca familie. Am avut și “porcării” preparate de bunii noștri prieteni din Curtici care își cresc animalele organic. Bine, bine preparate sub supravegherea lor, nu de ei!

A fost o întreagă aventură să trimiți “porcăriile” de la Curtici la București. Serviciile de curierat sunt supra-solicitate și nu-și iau responsabilitatea livrării în 48 de ore! Și nici nu vrei să experimentezi cu viteza lor de reacție în perioade de vârf! Așa că trenul este cea mai bună opțiune – ți se livrează coletul în aproximativ 12 ore, dar trebuie să te duci la gară să-l iei de la însoțitorul de tren. Asta în mod normal. Dar dacă ninge – trenurile pot întârzia sau pot fi chiar anulate. Cum s-a întâmplat pe 17 decembrie în România. Viscol, zăpezi abundente, bla-bla-bla, ca și cum n-am trăi într-o țară cunoscută pentru iernile ei aspre, uneori la fel de dure ca cele rusești. Nu la fel de lungi și deprimante – dar asta este o altă poveste! Oricum toate stelele s-au aliniat pentru a veghea ca “porcăriile” noastre să ajungă cu o întârziere de doar o zi în lada frigorifică a lui fi-miu. De unde, la momentul potrivit, majoritatea și-au găsit drumul către Argeș.

Crăciunul este astăzi orice vrem să facem din el. Probabil că a fost așa de când a început perioada modernă a Crăciunului.  Jeanette Winterson trece minunat în revistă cum s-a transformat Crăciunul din perioada veche și întunecoasă în sărbătoarea pe care majoritatea o știm după modelul Hallmark și Diva.

În Curtea de Argeș – combinăm diversele idei sau variante. Amănunte în postul următor.