Les gens qui ne rient jamais ne sont pas des gens sérieux

Be who you are and say what you mean, those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Yay Poland!!

Happy Birthday Solidarnosc!! Go Lech Walesa!!

Despite some saying the solidarity celebrations mask tensions... I think the tone is best balanced here.

Sto lat, sto lat...

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005


A few snapshots from the sunday afternoon
'gathering' that turned into a late-night
vodka-soaked dancefest...

What's a party without a policeman or two showing off their guns and
entertaining us with their handcuffs...?

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Too quick to judge

I get easily frustrated with the Catholic church. The widespread homophobia and lack of respect for women's rights, as well as the (some might think) unnecessary taste for ceremony and symbols grates with my sense of what the Christian religion is all about. However, today I got an idea of the benefits of some of the ceremony and ritual; the feeling of solemnity which focuses the mind and might well help with spiritual life.
What led me there was a sad story. A story I knew of, but didn't really experience until today.
In 1970 a baby boy was born to a married couple. He was a cherished child and I imagine the couple were overjoyed when three years later a second boy came into the family. When he died after only one day I can't begin to feel the parents' pain. The woman became pregnant again and the first son was growing into a fine young boy. You might imagine that with the third child, the pain of the second son's loss would be softened. A few months before the birth of the third child, the son was playing outside the house when a car knocked him down. He died. He was six years old.
The couple went on to have the third child, a girl, and three years later a third boy, Marek.
So today I found myself standing in front of a grave. The grave of a one-day-old boy and his six-year-old brother. I watched their youngest brother, who they never knew, tend to the plants, water the flowers and light the candles and I started to understand, a bit. The lighting of candles need not be an empty ritual, but a personal choice, keeping a memory alive. The traditional ceremony of tending a relative's grave need not be a burden but an opportunity for reflection and prayer, if that's what you need.
So I'm trying to stop myself jumping to conclusions about this way of life. Every culture has its good and bad points and I've not been careful enough to appreciate the positive sides of traditional Catholic Polish culture. I'll keep you posted.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

quick Polish lesson

The thing that gets me about Polish is, well, everything. It's so damn hard, but specifically the declinations are just never-ending. Every time I learn a new case and what it does to the adjectives and nouns I think I've climbed this mountain and come to the top, whereas in fact I've stepped over a pebble on the hill in the lowlands by the mountain that is the Polish language.
It has its funny moments though. Like when you learn that yes is tak and no is nie. Except that yes is also no, apart from the odd ocassion when no no really does mean no. Got it?

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Les petits loups

Last summer Marek and I took part in a volunteering project with mentally disabled people in Belgium. This year they were in Hungary 30 km from Budapest, and although we couldn't go for the full time, we managed to go and visit for the weekend, taking Polish vodka to the moniteurs and plenty of hugs to the rest of them...
This is Marc. He's Down's and doesn't speak, but with a little encouragement he'll sing a couple of la-la-las and mime a guitar. He is one of the most affectionate of the group, and although he doesn't speak you get such a good idea of his personality without him using words that it often makes me think about all those who speak so much but have nothing to say.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Helen marries my cousin Will

My Gran had a black eye from falling out of bed; my brother was over from Canada nursing a broken heart; my depressed Uncle was on happy pills and keeping everyone entertained and Marek was desperately trying to keep up with the Cumbrian English while admiring the ‘sheeps’.
Helen and Will looked gorgeous and in love and as if it was the happiest day of their lives.
I guess the rest just fades into the background…

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I get to past tense (singular) in Polish lessons...

Full of mistakes but I'm learning...

(Oh, and no Polish letters on my pc yet... sorry!)

Tydzien temu w piatek pojechalam z Markiem do Sopotu. Bylam tam od piatek do niedziele wieczorem.

Mieszkalam w Gdansku z moim chlopakien i z kolega i kolezanka.

Najpierw pilam piwo nad morzem i oglandalam Sopot. Bardzo mi sie podobal. Zwiedzalam molo i wrocilam do Gdanska.

W sobote Maciek pojechal samochodem na plaza. Marek czytal gazette, Ala jadla loda, Maciek ogladal statki a ja plywalam w morzu. Jadlam ryby i po poludnie pojechalam do gdanska.

W Gdansku bylo duzo ludzi. Ogladalam miasto z Ala, Mackiem i Markiem. W niedziele wsalam pozno. Pojechalam do Gdynia bo nie bylo slonce.

Maciek rozmawial z Ala po polsku a ja uczylam sie polskiego.

W Gdynia bylo duzo statki. Zwiedzalam port.

Po poludnio musialam wracac do warszawy alw najpierw zwiedalam Malbork I jadlam kolacje. W somochodzie sluchalam muzyki i pozniej spalam.

Bardzo lucie byc nad morzem. Jade deszczew raz na urodziny mojego chlopaka.

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Summer lovin'

I absolutely LOVE this picture. It's me and Marek on his birthday last year (28 August for those of you who want to get him a present this year...) when my life was full of uncertainties and the confusing moments vastly outnumbered the serene ones. This was definitely a serene one though: lying on the beach, forgetting my worries, living again. It makes me smile.

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Writer's Block

Tongue Tied

I'm finding it really difficult to write.

For years I've written a diary, mindless and less-mindless chatter that's chronicled my ohmigod moments and rants. It started out as a really dull book when I was about 7. As I remember I decided it was vitally important to record exactly what time I went to sleep each night. A procedure that required me to make sure I had absolutely finished writing about my kiss-chase embarassment in the playground, or who sat next to who at lunchtime, before checking the clock, preparing myself to turn out the light, turning out the light and lying in the dark, wondering if it mattered whether I wrote 25 minutes past or 26 minutes past, when in fact it was probably now 27 or even 28 minutes past. The things that worry you when your life is carefree...

And now I have a new problem. I know the boundaries of my diary (none) because nobody will ever read it. But a blog's a little scarier. It's highly probable that not many people will read this either, other than those who stumble on it by accident and dismiss it as amateur mindlessness but still.

I'm feeling my way in the dark at the moment. Please bear with me.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005


This is my second blog... slightly obsessive maybe, but a good way of separating work and play, Becca and Boo. Enjoy!

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