BEAUTIFULLY EXECUTED ORIGINAL OIL PAINTING
” FISHERMAN’S WIFE” 1987
(verso states ” Rybářova žena” )
BY JOSEF ACHRER
(Chairman of the Artists society in Prague)
This particular piece is from his early exhibition in Rakovnik in Czech Republic in 90s. We managed to contact the artist to confirm the authenticity of this piece. The life story of this painting was later on described on his personal website
Inscription/ attribution : YES right corner ACHRER III 87
UNFRAMED 80cm x 50cm
READY TO HANG
Vintage frame, with some very minor signs of age and wear .
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“I’m highly competitive” she said with pride…
“I know” I responded… and at that moment I realized that she has no idea how destructive and ostracizing her competitive behavior actually is.
It has been a couple of years since I had this small chat with someone I knew through work, but I still think about it. One of those moments that stuck in ones mind. Yes she was highly competitive. And we all knew it.
She never missed the opportunity to please the director, reporting on others on a daily basis, claiming her achievements at any given opportunity, often discrediting others and claiming their achievements as hers, praising other staff very rarely and if so, then only with a slight reminder that they are doing well because of her leadership. Its certainly bares all the hallmarks of an insecurity complex , as other peoples achievements were perceived as threats to ones position. She was smart, actually very sharp and hardworking, I would say a workaholic, but her staff often felt discouraged by the manic approach to working with often unrealistic expectations. There was not much connection between her and her colleagues as she never took the time to found out who they are and what makes them tick, just basic human contact.
It wasn’t just work one was competing at. Also with her siblings there seemed to be some sort of rivalry. Whose husband earns more, who is more fashionable , who seems to look younger and who’s children are prettier, attending better school and dating richer boyfriends etc. Money, social status and beauty meant a big deal.
I spent some time thinking if being a bit passive when it comes to competition is a bad thing. Don’t take me wrong, I do like to achieve and I do have high goals. I just don’t believe in the hard work and reward pattern, but in the doing what you love and reaping the rewards from it approach. Competitive group sports were never my cup of tea either, as I child I left volleyball for canoe kayaking and never looked back. I made some life long friendships at the water and I think it is partially due to the nature of the sport, where you rely on each other. If you don’t want to capsize every often, the two of you sharing one canoe, must cooperate.
I look at my body for example, which is a multitude of cells, each with its own assignment but all cooperating to keep the whole alive .
Competitiveness has been promoted as a normal human trait but is it really beneficial when each has their own role? Having said that, in this paradigm you can’t exist without being competitive, but some take it far too seriously. Basically when it takes over your life and you behave like a never satisfied hunter, then maybe it is the time to stop and contemplate. The usual: “competitiveness is my second nature” may be just an excuse to hide something. Maybe ones background, origin, upbringing or anything what could be a possible trigger for this sort of behaviour.
I just wonder if we really knew ourself, and I mean truly knew who we are and were really comfortable with it, if there would be the need for comparing, which I think is the main factor leading to competitiveness. The fact that we compare ourselves with others is the reason that we often feel something is missing in our lives and that if we get what the other person has, we may be happier….
I love the lyrics and these are my favorite parts of the song:
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements
Enjoy your body, use it every way you can
Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own
Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good
Be nice to your siblings, they’re your best link to your past
And the people most likely to stick with you in the future
Understand that friends come and go
but a precious few, who should hold on
Don’t expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse
But you never know when either one might run out
Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past
From the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
And recycling it for more than it’s worth
The full version of the song with lyrics can be found here:
I’m a stepmother to my partners first child, Aaliyah. But for her I’m Pavla and she is Aaliyah for me as we never treated each other as steps. We are two human beings who happened to meet through one man. The word “Stepmother” has always had a negative connotation to it, what with the likes of Cinderella and her terrible upbringing, stories that leave an indelible mark in most of our psyche. So I never even thought about Aaliyah calling me anything else other than by my name Pavla but for a while it was Kess.
We met when she was about two and half years old and its hard to believe that she is going to be eleven this year. To be honest, being a so called stepmother is not always easy, but I was very lucky as Aaliyah is a calm, polite and talented young girl. It could be very different. And although we have built a good relationship within the years I wouldn’t recommend this “stepmother job” to everyone. There are so many factors to consider when starting a relationship with a person who already has a child.
Straight from the beginning whats supposed to be the sweetest part of your new relationship, may be very different from dating a single man/woman. The weekends “together” you will be looking forward to cuddles on the sofa watching romantic movies, but the reality is weekends are usually the only days your new partner actually gets to see his/her child. Things won’t be ever just about you, there will be always a little person which will need as much attention as yourself. In the beginning this is not a problem because you are so much in love and everything his is also yours, everything he loves you love as well….
Yes…,yes… you are OK with that. So then get also ready for tons of text messages or phone calls from his ex partner who also happens to be the most important person in the life of your partners child…the mother. She will forever be linked to your new relationship, she will always be part of it. It will never be just the two of you. She will have more power to control your life than you could ever imagine. And there will be nothing you can do about it. She will be the one telling you when to pick up and drop off the child, and you will soon find out that these times will never fit in with your wonderfully made plans. She won’t trust you. Lets face it, you wouldn’t trust a complete stranger spending time with your child without your presence either. No matter what you will try to do to impress her, it will never be enough. It can’t be. You can’t replace a mother, and you shouldn’t even try. By the way she most likely doesnt want you to be better than she is in the first place 🙂
And you don’t want to end up being nobody’s “ever trying to please” slave or even worse a competitor.
The best way is just to go with the flow. If your partner is really worth the hassle, you will need to work on your ego. A lot. There will be times you will wish you could say something, times you may and will cry over something, times you may get annoyed with the child’s behavior or something they said but also times you will feel that everything is great. It is an ongoing process, all of you will be learning to live and exist together. This will at the end enrich you. And the reword is nice as well. One day your partners child will hopefully recall some memories, something you have done together and she or he remembers it as a wonderful time. What else could you wish for. (Apart of having your own children with your partner as well of course :-))
One thing I am certain of from this experience is that you cant buy childrens affection. Material gifts and money are spent and can never build a real relationship, fun fairs and organized fun are often not cherished memories. What we found was the quality of time getting to know each other learning and growing together and spontaneity allows for a fruitful and hopefully long lasting relationship. Relationships are like seasons, they fluctuate… this is good as people change and with that should come progress. After all what is a life without beautiful memories.
Aaliyah’s easy tomato soup, anti – cancer super food, simple kids cooking recipes