In these pandemic times of rising fear and uncertainty, I thought I’d try to infuse at least one small drop of positivity into the worldwide panic that is spreading as fast as the coronavirus itself. Right now, at this unique time of history in the making, virtually all corners of the globe are united in [...]
School reunions: why are we suckers for them?
A year and a half ago I came back from an international school reunion in Vienna and felt so deeply affected, I wrote a blog post about it. Now, eighteen months on, I’ve just come back from a smaller but equally moving reunion (same school, different location) and ... well, here I am again, writing [...]
Fat Thursday, Pancake Tuesday and all that Gluttony!
Today is Fat Thursday in Poland. (Tłusty Czwartek to the Poles.) A day of over-indulging yourself with greasy, fatty, calorific donuts to your heart’s content. All bakery shops will be stacked mountain-high with them; most work places will be offering platefuls of the melt-in-your-mouth delights to their employees; practically every shop window will have a [...]
A German-Middle Eastern Tale
One difficult aspect about living in Kraków as a half-Pole, yet often feeling like an expatriate even after 20-plus years in this place, is that it’s hard to link up with other English-speaking book lovers such as myself. If I were back in Britain it would be easy. I’d probably be a member of two [...]
The Morning After
I should imagine that most of us at some point in our lives have woken up in bed with that horrible morning-after feeling. And I don’t mean a hangover. No, what I have in mind is that sudden whoosh of awareness, of unwanted memory after the final dregs of sleep have drifted into oblivion. That [...]
Auschwitz Survivor: a Number or a Man?
The story I’m about to relate might at first seem a tad inappropriate, in view of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. But it’s a true story. And if you can’t be honest in the light of everything that the word ‘liberation’ stands for, then what’s the point in having been liberated in [...]
It's so hard to let go. So much easier to cling on And on and on and on. Letting go takes blind faith; Clinging on takes nothing. It's so easy But so addictive, seductive, palliative. So easy to top up your wine glass, Look at old photos, Read old diaries, messages, Memories. The narcosia of [...]