“Don’t look with yearning at the road…”


I took this photograph in 2007. Since then, I have passed the place numerous times but for some reason have never stopped for a picture again. People take beautiful images of this place from Spring to Autumn, but all I have is this one and a few more – all gloomy and joyless.

Photography is scarce in the end of November.

In Tchaikovsky Album The Seasons, the piece of music written in E major for November is very light and cheerful.  It has always surprised me, because November has never been my favorite, and nothing cheers me up when I think of November.  If you don’t mind, let’s listen first. I intentionally use this unprofessional performance: a young girl, Sophia, reminds me of myself.

Tchaikovsky,  Les Saisons, Novembre,Troïka .

Troika is a sled drawn by three horses,  a very symbolic image for Russia. They must have had plenty of snow in Russia in November back in the 19th century. So I also heard about Ireland.

Russian publisher Nikolay Bernard, the one who commissioned Tchaikovsky to write The Seasons,  suggested a subtitle for each month’s piece. Tchaikovsky accepted all of Bernard’s subtitles. You will be surprised to learn what this cheerful, jingle-bell-ish piece of music has for a subtitle:

Don’t look with yearning at the road,

And don’t rush after the troika.

Suppress and stifle the dreary dismay in your heart for good.

This is a poem by Nikolay Nekrasov depicting a sad destiny of Russian women in the 19th century. Looks like Tchaikovsky didn’t care…

But I love his music, and want to share another sweet piece – a waltz performed by Lucas Debarge.

Tchaikovsky – Sentimental Waltz Op. 51, No. 6 – Lucas Debarge

This is my Tutor Edite Kampe and I, many years ago, graduating after 7 years in the Music School.


I am eternally grateful for having her in my life.

This is my Mother.


I want to share another piece of music, a polka that accompanied my every birthday party until I became 12 and put a full stop on this sort of dancing… There are simply brilliant interpretations of this piece – you can look up in Youtube – but I have chosen this one, for an obvious reason… Thank you Mom

Rachmaninov – La Polka Italienne – Anna Hetmanova & Anastasia Pozdniakova.

I am grateful for my family and my music tutors who helped me make Music a part of my life forever.

I found this lonely rose in Kilkenny park. Must be the last one.  On my way home I was listening to The Seasons and smiled recalling my Music School days. I wish everybody had similar experience in their life. I am so blessed.


Give your children and grand children opportunity to study music. Don’t be frustrated if you fail to raise a Mozart. It is not about career. At least, they will know what concert they really want to attend, or what music is played  when a carousel goes around 🙂


Happy Thanksgiving! Give thanks for all you have! You can always have even more.  Look for the best gifts,  create,  grow. Don’t let the life pass  by like troika in that poem 🙂 Use and enjoy your  blessings.


inesemjphotographyHave a great weekend!


  1. Just found out I’m headed to Southern Ireland and England for 12 days this fall. I cannot wait! Can you recommend any places to explore around Dublin?

    1. Great news! If you don’t want to travel far from Dublin, I would recommend some cliff walks in Howth (http://www.discoverireland.ie/Activities-Adventure/cliff-path-loop/71514) and Bray ( http://visitwicklow.ie/activities/the-cliff-walk-bray-to-greystones/). Malahide Castle and Park is a beautiful place also. All three locations can be reached by a city bus, which is inexpensive. Great Fish&Chips in Howth, my favorite 🙂 Powercourt gardens is a lovely place – also on a city bus route. What way are you going to drive South? There are many attractions and spectacular views.

      1. We are taking a tour, two days in Dublin, Cliffs of Moher and Killarney, Shellig and Ring of Kerry, Blaney and Waterford, Wales and Cardiff Castle, Bath and Stonehenge, and London for one day.

        I’m trying to talk my friend into taking an extra day in Dublin so we can see some of the town outside of the tourist spots.

        1. Is it a booked tour you are taking, or you are driving yourself? Would be great to take a boat trip to the Cliffs. Check out my post about that tour. Ring of Kerry takes just some 3-4 hours, so you can look around for something else to see. If you go to Blarney, visit Cork. What do you want to see in Waterford? Check out Cashel – the Rock of Cashel. You might like it.

      2. My friend is a crystal collector and wants to go to a glass factory there. We aren’t driving but I don’t mind doing cabs or local buses to get places. We are meeting with the travel agents next weekend so everything’s still a bit up in the air.

        1. The factory is closed, there is only a workshop for tourists. I have never been there… The factory was fun though. They closed and moved to a new building in the city centre, totally touristic. Let me know how the meeting with the agent goes.

      3. Not sure about the boat trip but we are taking a ferry across the River Shannon Estuary to Killarney that day.

      1. Crud, won’t be there until the 25th so we would miss the races. That looks amazing.

        1. Well, they put the Cliffs and Killarney in one trip… check out the map, they are miles away. Blarney castle is a short stop – they just want you to shop :))) Same the Crystal place. Trinity library and the book of Kells is a great place to see. I would better go to Kilkenny Castle instead of blarney. but probably Kilkenny is not on the way. Ah, you will like everything anyway 🙂

      2. We can customize the trip which is why I was asking 😉 I’ll take the options with me when I meet w the agents. I’m expecting tourist fluff and hope to dodge some of it by escaping the buses at a few points.

        1. Good they let you to customize. Like if you go to the Cliffs in the afternoon, you can stay in some fun place like Doolin and listen to Irish folk music all the night 🙂

  2. I already love your Blog. I’/m out in Korea now,then home for 8 months then to China. With photos, stories and just a great feel, your BLog truly rises above the pack. Nice work.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I have been very busy lately, and I know that I could do better with the blog. Thank you for encouraging!

  3. I loved the “unprofessional” performance – she played it well I thought. I kind of like November, especially because of Thanksgiving. We had over 12 inches of snow and went skiing in northern Wisconsin over the holiday this year. It was wonderful. And you do have a beautiful picture of your mother.

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