Prioritisation of Money

Don’t be afraid to spend money on items that will benefit your life.

As a child I never really wanted anything but I was heavily controlled on what I could spend my money on. I usually bought collectibles when I got the chance which was the reasoning behind the lack of access to money. There is always more things to get as part of a set so the temptation never ended. I know this sounds contradictory but having money meant you could spend it yet with so many options what do you spend it on? Do you save it to get something more expensive in the future? If you were like me it just stayed were it was as you were not interested in anything. This doesn’t teach you the value of money as you need to make mistakes by getting the wrong things which I did much later. All you know with the method I employed is that your totally uninterested in the material world.

This in itself is a much better mindset than any you could cultivate as an adult. However I’m now so adverse to spending money that I will go to extraordinary lengths to get something for free. Even if I know it’s really good and something that I really want. Hence I looked for and read The Power of Now online for free. I have also listened to the Little Prince for free on YouTube. Another book that has been very useful is Ultra Learning that I listened to on Audible and read as part of my mailing list. These are titles that have benefited me greatly so far but because I tend to only read books once I’m reluctant to purchase more dead weight as it could be termed.

Nowadays I have more money than when I was a child but not enough to cover the needs and wants of an adult. Since I’m hopeless at earning money I have had to cut back severely on what I do spend my money on. I have always enjoyed spending time on my own and entertaining myself with various Introvert activities yet this doesn’t complete a person. Needing to socialise on a regular basis is expensive so this further increases the time I have to spend indoors to account for this. Being an adult is demanding in many ways yet I’m still stuck one foot in childhood as that’s what Autism is. The gap between your chronological self and autistic self ever increasing as you age.

As an effort to assuage this problem I am offering my first fictional book A life of Halcyon Days for free for the weekend as well my first language learning book How I learnt Greek. Please write a review if you enjoyed reading them.

Best wishes

Angela

How to learn like a child as an adult

The best way to learn a language in my opinion is with the ease of a child. By that I mean don’t approach it head on. Don’t get bogged down with grammar, declension tables or memorising lists of vocabulary.

To effectively learn a language you need to engage your unconscious and sub conscious minds. This is where our creative powers reside and the majority of our brain power.

Communication is mostly done unconsciously. This is where body language comes in and Freudian slips of the tongue. This is challenging behaviour for a child to control but relatively simple for us unless we are under duress, in a new scenario.

A child will interact with his environment absorbing everything and gradually processing it into a shape that takes the form of words. However, before this children will express themselves in art. Even Picasso knew that the still resides an artist within every adult yet it has been obscured by becoming an adult.

Children have no innate sense of fear so this allows them to explore and practice language without worrying about the implications of what they are saying. This is how we get such phrases as “out of the moths of babes”. The honesty of children gets lost as we learn to say white lies, to sugar coat our words or simply to say the opposite of what we mean entirely out of politeness. This all builds up to prevent us from being able to communicate in a foreign language.

We are often reduced to the linguistic level of a child when it comes to second language acquisition and this frightens us. We are scared of the unpeeling of ourselves and the vulnerability that we now exhibit since we are no longer able to mask our true feelings.

In order to master our linguistic abilities we need to learn to appreciate ourselves for who we were, who we are now but also who we wish to become in the future. We can’t change if we don’t know that we need to in the first place.

Have you had to do any “unprogramming” of yourself to learn how to live a better, more authentic life for yourself?

Best wishes

Angela

The to be read pile

This is a common phenomenon that we all face if we like to read. We also like to collect books as there is nothing quite like settling down to read our latest find. However life frequently gets in the way of this so we forget where we are. This may cause us to neglect the half finished book in favour of something shorter or easier to read. This does not help when we are forever acquiring more books as they all seem so interesting!

I am a terrible hoarder when it comes to books as I just have so many. They cover a variety of subjects as you never know what mood your going to be in when the reading bug strikes. This is why challenges like the GoodReads reading challenge is useful. You can decide how many you are going to read in the year and then next year your goal is to beat it. It’s gamification to try to incite you to read more and to do it quicker as it’s now a competition. Although this is one you will never win since there is an infinite amount of books out there and your time is rather more finite.

In order to make this more achievable I suggest you utilise the Ultra Learning technique as proposed by Scott H Young. This was today’s free book on a Blinkist but I have been a fan of his for many years. This lists the steps that you need to follow in order to be able to do all that you want to in a day. If you are follower like myself on his email list; you will get access to the first chapter for free. There are other benefits like early access to courses too.

Are there any common problems that you have faced and found a solution to?

Best wishes

Angela

Vulnerability

This word is gaining in popularity at the moment as an antidote to the perfection that is put forward by over manipulated images. Instagram is responsible for a certain manufactured look that teens feel they need to conform too. Authenticity is lacking in our media at the moment. Social media is dictating too much of our lives so we need to step back and look at what is really important to us. Self awareness and meditation are other buzz words of the moment. They tie in with the previous craze for Pilates and more recently yoga. Wellness retreats are another idea that has sprung up to take advantage of our interest in self care.

Vulnerability is about openness and showing the world who we really are when we are not in the limelight. So many of us “put on a face” to show the world akin to a women’s makeup routine. This takes effort to do and shouldn’t be an absolute certainty before we can show ourselves in public. The neuro diversity movement that is currently gaining strength is all about being who you really are on the inside. Not hiding your genuine self because you have been taught that this side to yourself is unacceptable to society at large. This also encompasses the trans gender movement as well as gay rights. A person should be free to dress how they like, love who they want to, have a relationship with them and also to have a family. At the end of the day this is what everyone wants and they are all entitled to it as we are all human.

Best wishes

Angela

How to learn a language without translating

One of the major mistakes you can do when starting to learn a foreign language is to translate everything back into your native language. This means there will always be a delay in your speech. It could also mean lots of errors are introduced due to different grammar, possession, word order etc.

If you learn pronunciation first before meaning then you will learn what you are reading in your target language rather than your native language. This will help enormously with your comprehension and communication.

However when learning a language like Greek, finding something with subtitles to go along with your audiobook is like finding a needle in a haystack. YouTube has plenty of music videos, audiobooks, news reports, chat shows etc but very rarely do they come with closed captioning. Overdrive is an app that you can use to get access to digital resources from your local library but they don’t tend to have foreign books. They have umpteen language courses but if you want something relaxing you are again stuck. Overdrive allows you to have multiple libraries stored in your app so you have access to a wide variety of resources and they have a new app called Libby too. This however does not fix your problem. So I suggest going onto EBay to buy a Greek version of Harry Potter to go along with the audio book that is on YouTube. Victoria Hislop is another idea along with Nikos Kazantzakis and The Little Prince.

Best wishes

Angela

Using technology to up your language game

It’s always a good idea to work smarter not harder as then you are rewarded for your efforts without you having to struggle so much. Therefore using the resources that are available and around you means maximum effect from minimum work. To this end I have started using Blinkist and Audible in addition to Amazon to be able to create an immersive environment to further my language learning.

As I’m introverted and autistic I’m not too fond of talking to people. This becomes apparent quite quickly if you have previously come across any of my work. As you may expect this presents certain problems. With the fact that I don’t like to mingle with others; my communication skill development has to take a different path. As I’m good at mimicking I can learn pronunciation from repeating the correct sounds made by others. As an integrative approach is best here, I need to look at a diverse range of options to get a broad spectrum. As accents vary from country, region, age, male/female etc I need to incorporate as much material as possible.

I have previously been using YouTube for music and educational purposes (Tedx) but the gap between the 2 is too vast. A lack of “Comprehensible Material” meaning it’s not currently the right level for me. When watching YouTube videos there is frequently no subtitles to assist me so this cuts down there usefulness. I have tried Sky Arts but there is not enough foreign language material. I have also looked into foreign films (World cinema) but again there is a lack of material or maybe access to the material as I’ve never found any. Netflix also seems to come up short when looking for Greek material.

My new idea is based on the fact that was used by a famous polyglot from the past to progress his linguistic merits. That is, read the same book in many languages since then you can learn grammar, syntax and semantics while enjoying a story that you already know well. This is a style favoured by Hungarian polyglot Kato Lomb and is also mentioned by other noted polyglots such as Canadian Steve Kaufmann and Italian Luca Lampariello.

Since the best way to learn a second language is to repeat the way you learnt your first language that is what I’m attempting to do here. It’s a lot easier for children to gain language skills than it is for adults as we try to intellectualise it too much. Basically we think too much about the underpinnings of a language looking to gain an understanding of the structure before attempting to ‘build a house’. Children just go forth and practice.

However the problem comes when the way I learnt is through my mother reading to me constantly. This meant that I could read by 18 months but was unable to talk for a further 4 months. My mum doesn’t know any foreign languages and is dyslexic just like my husband so that counts that option out. This means I have no practice partner. I have tried recording my voice and uploading to YouTube but I haven’t had any luck with that because I can be quite quiet and indistinct.

My solution to this problem is to get Blinkist and Audible to read to me but Greek books are few and far between. Getting a physical book to look at is very difficult online. As your brain reacts differently to an ebook than to a physical book this means that the real copy is much better for this purpose. An ebook could have a narrative attached to it to make it better as a real book wouldn’t have this capability. Getting a physical, audio and ebook of the same title in Greek is next to impossible. Dual language books are equally as difficult to find.

This 3 tier attack is easier in Italian, Spanish and even Russian but in Greek they just don’t seem to exist. I have done extensive research and monitored this over many years. While the situation has improved slightly, I don’t hold out much hope for a sudden burgeoning in the market.

Below is a link to my published work and to my previous blog posts where I have talked about many of the issues I have mentioned above.

My published books

Series links

Best wishes

Angela

Stoicism

This is what the ancient world practised to ensure that they made the best use of their time. They didn’t have all of the electronic distractions that we do but they did have a lot more children so their issues were more immediate and pertinent. Such things as hunger, thirst and death from diseases which we have mainly stopped. So they had good reason to optimise the short lives that they had. It also means that if we follow their lead we will also benefit from there advice as it has passed the test of time.

Watch Seneca here for some golden rules to follow for better time management.

Seneca was a famous Roman philosopher who has been used through the ages by many people to gain an insight into how they can be the most productive version of themselves. Recently Americans interested in promoting alternative lifestyles that are now possible like the location independent or digital mimialistic ones use stoicism as there cornerstones. Look here at Cal Newport for more information on the subject. There are many others who talk about this like Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins, Tim Ferris and Scott H Young. I don’t get money from any of them.

Best wishes

Angela

Vasilis Tsitsanis reblog

Another famous Rebetika player Vasilis Tsitsanis. For another rembete see here Markos Vamvakaris.

For general and local music information check these out,

For more examples of my work in other areas see here Series links.

Best wishes

Angela

Markos Vamvakaris reblog

https://greatestgreeks.wordpress.com/2018/11/03/markos-vamvakaris/

A very well known musician that I came across earlier but didn’t think to reblog then. I totally should have but better late than never.

He is featured heavily in the Rebetika book that I wrote about previously and he is in the Victoria Hislop books I have also written about.

He is part of my Greek musicians series :-

For general and local music information check these out, Heptanese School of Music, Maria Callas, Agni Baltsa, Philharmonic orchestra 1850 and museum, Gramophone museum Lefkás town,

Other series include Greek Poets, Painters, Authors, Musicians, Museums, Famous Greeks, Greek islands, Rural Villages in Lefkás, specific Greek fields of interest and foreigners with an interest in Greece. All the links can be found here Series links.

Best wishes

Angela

George Theotokas Greek novelist, playwright, critic, essayist, editor, 1906-1966

George Seferis poem to George Theotokas
George Seferis poem to George Theotokas

George Theotokas was born in Constantinople, moved to Athens in 1922 because of the population exchange, then studied law in Paris, Athens and London so was part of the same crowd as everyone else who was well heeled at that time.

His work is mainly autobiographical in nature with a healthy dose of folklore included for good measure. It inspired some of the work by Nikos Kazantzakis.

He (Theotokas), became involved in the national Greek theatre becoming the director twice. He was also great friends with George Seferis and Odysseus Elytis the 2 Nobel prize winning poets of Greece.

As usual this is a Greek whose Wikipedia article in Greek https://el.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Γιώργος_Θεοτοκάς tells you far more information than the English version George Theotokas . He is also a guy that requires you to have the prerequisite books available to research about him. It’s been acknowledged in the research that I have found that is unlikely he will ever find success outside of Greece but he was neither a leftist or involved with the right. He had a centrist view on things which is how he was able to be so successful in his own country.

He is the fourth part of my Greek author series:-

Other series include Greek Poets, Painters, Art, Authors, Musicians, Specialist fields of Interest, Conversation, Famous Greeks, Greek islands and Rural Villages in Lefkás. All the links can be found here Series links.

Best wishes

Angela