July 30, 2005

The Garden Party

Let us talk for a moment about Yorkshire village life. Today I wiled away the hours at the Danby Wiske Village Garden Party. This is an event held annually to raise funds for the village church. I lived in the village as a child and still have friends who live there. I went to meet my friend E and her husband R.

We drove to the village hall as it has been raining all day. So turn the Garden Party into the Village Hall Party. There was a tombola, raffle, bricabrac stall and you could purchase a variety of cakes. There is somthing so perfect and comfortingly English about these affairs. They are so calm and graceful. Unapologetic in their community base. It was a gorgeous way to spend an afternoon.

Many cream meringues and cups of tea later, I sat with E and R until the old ladies of the village began to pack away the tables and chairs. It was great to see my old childhood friend. She always pulls me to a part of myself that I never seem to touch otherwise. The village is idyllic, so was the company. The home made cream meringues are to die for. I hope I don't have to wait another lifetime before I taste them again.

"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea."
Henry James

"Summer afternoon - Summer afternoon...the two most beautiful words in the English language."
Henry James

"It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information"
Oscar Wilde

July 29, 2005

Think outside the box

Two out of six of my boxes have arrived from Poland. The first two boxes that were sent, the biggest ones. The postman joked with Dad about how heavy they were.

I spent yesterday sorting out these boxes and trying to find space for their contents. Things were thrown out, things were put aside for the charity shop. The first bag has been packed for Paris. Winter jumpers, boots, scarves and a couple of handbags. I am getting there slowly.

It rained all day yesterday. Paris can't come too soon now.

"The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain. "
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

July 28, 2005

The Coffee Chronicles

Everyone wants to meet for coffee. There are tons of friends who I have not seen for months while I was living in Poland. The fact that I have another two and a half weeks in Northallerton means that I am able to meet most of them at one point or another to catch up. This means the familiar phrase: "Do you want to go for a coffee?"

Now, I am as guilty as anyone. As soon as anyone calls this is the standard response to meeting up. To go and sit in a cafe and drink overpriced cappucinos and lattes. The thing is that I love cafes, and I love coffee. I could sit on comfy sofas and chat up a whirlwind, whilst oiling the wheels of conversation with coffee. I don't know when this became a standard way to spend time. When I was growing up, we never spent time in cafes. We had bearly heard to cappucinos. This is a pastime that has popped up over the last few years.

I remember many holidays in Italy with a variety of people. One holiday to Rome with KL, one holiday to Venice with M, Rome again with S. All these holidays involved coffee, long afternoons and chatting. Is there anything more relaxing than letting time slip away like this? Another coffee this afternoon with L. Another couple of hours off the radar. Bliss.

"No one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee's frothy goodness."
Sheik Abd-al-Kadir

"Coffee makes us severe, and grave, and philosophical. "
Jonathan Swift

July 27, 2005

The Karachi

The Karachi is an Indian restaurant in Bradford. It has been open for decades. When we were little kids Dad used to take us there, telling us that it was the best curry in Bradford. I went there today for the first time in years.

When we were little I remember that there was no carpet on the floor of the Karachi. The linoleum was grey and the place is basically two terraced houses knocked through into one. We had a choice of chicken, lamb or prawn curry. That was it. No rice, only chappatis. This is a place that is for the pakistani community of the surrounding streets. You don't get knives and forks, you have to ask especially.

When I walked in today, there had been some major changes. There was carpet on the floor, chairs covered with red velvet and a menu that now includes some 20 different dishes. It made me smile to see that all the owners and waiters remember Dad. He still takes Mum when they want a curry, even thought it is an hour and a half from home.

The food is nothing short of superb. Hot, fresh chappatis. Rich, flavoursome curry sauces with good quality chicken. Rick Stein has recently endorsed the place apparantly, and I am not surprised why.

I am a Yorkshire girl. I was born in Bradford. Dad tells me that this sort of food is in my blood as much as black pudding. Visiting the Karachi again made me understand this. I felt at home there. There were at least 6 different religious and racial groups represented. All happy around the binding factor of fabulous food.

I have started to really clear out. I have made some plans and I am a few steps closer to Paris. She is getting nearer, and I am ready for her.

"There is no sincere love than the love of food"
George Bernard Shaw

"The truth is pure and never simple"
Oscar Wilde

"A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving"
Lao Tzu

July 26, 2005

Paris when it sizzles

You might be forgiven in thinking that I really don't care for Paris. This blog has not exactly been full of posts extolling the virtues of the French capital. There is no meter counting down the days to my flight and arrival in the city of love.

On a daily basis I get asked questions about Paris. Any person that I have a conversation with will ask me: Are you excited? Have you found somewhere to live yet? Are you happy you left Poland? When are you flying to France? Can we come and visit you? Most of these questions I just can't answer.

The fact is that Paris is not on my mind. Day to day, as I fumble through life without Warsaw and life with Northallerton, I find that my mind rarely wanders down the French path. My bags lie upstairs still waiting to be unpacked. I have 6 boxes that are somewhere between Poland and the UK. I haven't looked at my maps of Paris and my guidebooks for months.

Today I have decided that I will be excited about moving to Paris. I am going to get my books and start reading. I have linked to some fabulous Paris blogs that I will start to read every day. I want to think about what my life there will be like. I will unpack so that I can start to pack. My resolution will be to contemplate this decision that I have made and to enjoy the choices and chances that I have. Tonight I will be watching "Paris when it sizzles". Maybe a few pictures of the Eiffel Tower is all that it will take. Warsaw may be out of my grasp now, but Paris isn't.

"All I wanted was to connect my moods with those of Paris."
Ernest Haas

"I love Paris in the summer, when it sizzles."
Cole Porter

"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future."
John F Kennedy

July 25, 2005

Normality resumed

I have been at home for nearly a week. Today, the skies are cloudy and it feels like the start of Autumn does in Warsaw. I will put my jeans and trainers on and probably wear a cardigan. Things have turned from novelty to normality very quickly and it almost seems like I have never been away. I am the girl from Northallerton who has always been here. I bump into people I know on the street or in the supermarket on a daily basis.

Yesterday I went to the wedding of a good friend. Seeing him get married reminds me that there are connections here that I tried to forget when I was in Poland. When I got on the plane to leave the UK I imagined that I would leave the place behind, emotionally and physically. This has not been the case. Here I am.

Coffee, lunch, watching TV, gossip on comfy sofas. I have three more weeks of catching up to do with my friends. I am sure that I will be settled back into Yorkshire life by the time that my flight to Paris trundles around. Such is my life. A constant round of looking back, looking forward and standing still. I only ever understand where I am. I never understand where I have been or where I am going to.

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questionning"
Albert Einstein

"A hidden connection is stronger than an obvious one"

July 23, 2005

The old and the new

I am one of those people who has a very wide circle of friends. Friends from school, university, work and other stragglers that I have picked up along the way. I find value in each and every one of the people in my life, I love each of them for a special reason. Something that we have shared. A holiday, an experience, a workplace, university. Each of my friends knows something about the part of my life that was shared with them.

I have not even been home for a week and I am missing my friends in Warsaw already. This is because they are the only ones who really know what my experiences there have meant. They are the only ones who understand my feelings about moving away from Warsaw.

The friends that I have in England give me something that my friends from Warsaw can't. They give me perspective. At this point in my life, in the middle of this movement, they help me to understand where I am coming from and where I am going to. The old and the new sit side by side.

"I'm not one of those complicated, mixed up cats.
I'm not looking for the secret to life...
I just go on from day to day, taking what comes"
Frank Sinatra

July 22, 2005

When I was in Poland...

I wonder if I am going to become one of those people who bores everyone else with their experiences? When I move to France will I start every sentence with "When I lived in Poland..."? When I leave France will I start every sentence with "When I lived in Paris...."?

I often wonder about those people who get a little bit overtaken by a strong experience. It leaves such an impression that it moves out of the past and into the present. It exists as a marker to everything that happens from then on. I wonder if that will be me. Will Poland be such a strong memory that It will move into my present? Or will it fade into experience, into memory? We will have to wait and see.

"Do not listen to a word I say
Just listen to what I can keep silent"
Manic Street Preachers
(This is yesterday)

"I am all the things that you regret
a truth that washes that learnt how to spell"
Manic Street Preachers

July 21, 2005

26 things about me

1) I nicked this idea from nige.
2) I have three brothers
3) I once saw a clairvoyant who said I would never get married.
4) I failed my A level Sociology
5) My flat in Warsaw was on the ninth floor
6) I truly believe that Yorkshire is the most beautiful place in the whole world.
7) I like salt more than sugar
8) Rome is my favourite city, I was blown away the first time I saw the Sistine Chapel
9) I read Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince in just under seven hours
10) I keep checking my sitemeter stats to see who is checking my blog
11) I am single and I like it
12) After two years, my Polish is not nearly as good as it should be
13) I loved working at HMV, listening to music and slagging off the publics music taste
14) I like winter more than summer
15) I am trying to grow my hair, but it never works. I get bored and cut it off.
16) I like Americans
17) I was a vegetarian for a couple of months when I was a teenager, but I missed meat too much
18) I only went up the Eiffel Tower on my third visit to Paris
19) I was born in Bradford
20) I have read Blackberry Wine several times because I like the idea of moving to a French farmhouse and spending all my time making jam
21) I like all music except dance and house. I even like country, I own all the albums by the Dixie Chicks
22) I am a typical aquarian
23) The book that has had the biggest impact on me recently is "Ignorance" by Milan Kundera
24) I hated Prague, it was beautiful, but it made me embarrased to be British.
25) One of the things that I will miss most about Warsaw is my favourite coffee shop, Green Coffee
26) I am 29, and really scared about turning 30.

"And I always thought that it would make me smarter
But it's only made me harder
My heart thrown open wide
In this near wild heaven
Not near enough"
(Near Wild Heaven)

July 20, 2005

Let the sorting begin

I am at my parents house in Northallerton. I miss Warsaw, miss my flat. Already my experiences of Poland feel very far away, like a life already lived.

Today I will be spending time on the phone, going to the bank to try and set up an account in Euros phoning companies to sort out little details. There is so much to be done for the next phase that I feel like I don't really have too much time to feel sad about Warsaw. I wonder how long it will be before I start to get excited about going to Paris. TFT said the other day that he thought I was excited. Sad and excited at the same time. Who imagines that these things sit side by side?

Unpacking and packing. Hello and Goodbye. Here and there. The flight is booked. The date is set. Warsaw to Paris.

"Parting is all we know of heaven and all we need to know of hell."
Emily Dickinson

"As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends "
Green Day
(Wake me up when September ends)

July 19, 2005

Tears and rain

Last night was spent saying more goodbyes, this time to the boys. I spent my last night in Warsaw at my flat and in a cafe on Chmielna. As the sun went down, the sky turned orange. And I sat and chatted as though I were not getting on a plane and leaving the next day. I remembered why I like my friends so much. I thought about how leaving these people would change everything. Nothing is as it should be when you are apart.

This morning I went to Green Coffee. I felt very much that I wanted to end my time in Warsaw there. It has been the scene of a thousand Sunday afternoon chats, after school chill outs, Saturday morning caffeine stops. I told my favourite waiter that I was leaving and he gave me a free coffee, telling me that he was sad that I was going. I met a friend and we ate carrot cake together.

This afternoon, Ally took me to the airport and sat with me while I waited for my flight. As she said goodbye, my eyes filled with tears. My hair was wet, my skin soaked. Outside the sky was a light grey, rain belted down so hard that you could see it bounce off the pavements. When she said goodbye I looked back. That was what made me cry. I have broken my own rule far too many times in the past weeks, I should never look back. This is what makes me cry

Warsaw has already slipped through my fingers and into the past. Only the voices remain.

"This sky, too, is folding under you
And it's all over now, Baby Blue."
Bob Dylan

"Life is heavy, baby"

July 18, 2005

Back to the Poczta

Back to the post office with Ally. The flat looks derelict and dirty, as I have not cleaned it. I have boxes of things still to be sent. I have two friends that I still have to say goodbye to and I have too much to do. The Landlord is coming over tomorrow so say goodbye and collect the keys, so the place needs to be spotless.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"
Charles Dickens

July 17, 2005


Ally lives in a suburb of the city that is right at the end of the metro line in Warsaw. She lives in a beautiful new complex that overlooks a courtyard with a huge fountain in the middle.

I can remember coming on the metro to visit her and watch the new series of Alias with Jennifer Garner. The snow was thick on the ground and I had to trudge through inches of it to get to her flat. It must have been at least minus twenty and my teeth would hurt because of the cold.

Today, the fountain looks blue and is shooting up spurts of water into the air. Ally has a balcony that overlooks the courtyard where people are drinking in the little cafe that has chairs and tables outside. Next to her block more building work is taking place as Kabaty begins to grow.

I will probably never visit her flat again. She has given me gifts today. She has let me play on her computer. The sky is getting dark and I should go back to my flat. Emptier and emptier.

"Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during a moment"
Carl Sandberg

Warsaw uncovered

Warsaw is not a city that is ashamed of itself. Warsaw knows where she comes from and makes no apologies for it. Sometimes I forget that Warsaw is only a young capitalist. Sitting in one of a million coffee bars, watching the latest fashions slip by on the young and trendy, it would be easy to think that Poland has always been like this.

Warsaw is not polished. She is not 'olde worlde' like Prague. On the streets there are uncountable examples of buliding work and renovation. In the old town there are beggars looking wistfully at the tourists. On the trams there are old men playing polish folk tunes on the violin. Under the central train station are warrens of little shops, cafes and the homeless. We walk on dirty grey concrete under there and I have to admit that it is one of my favourite places in the whole city.

There is an honesty to these parts of Warsaw. She is what she is. If people come and visit Warsaw, fantastic. There is beauty and history here in parts. But if there are never any visitors to attest to the existence of Warsaw, I don't think that she would really care. Warsaw is polish and she is growing. Warsaw is open and standing with her head held high while she looks into your eyes.

"And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth"

July 16, 2005

I've got it...

I just bought my English language version of Harry Potter and the half blood Prince. Joanne leaves this afternoon and I will spend the remainder of the weekend holed up in my apartment drinking tea and reading.

We went to Wilanow yesterday. The summer palace is still being renovated, but we had a walk around the gorgeous grounds in the belting heat. It has been hard to sleep this week as the city is so hot. Being from Yorkshire, I am not used to anything above 22 degrees. There has been much eating of raspberries and vanilla yoghurt. I will be sad to say goodbye to Joanne, but she will be coming to Paris soon.

The end is still winging its way through the days towards me.

July 14, 2005

Krakow Part3 - Perfect moments

1) Warm rain on my bare arms

2) The broken CD player, and total lack of information on our tour of Kazimierz.

3) The blackened skies and roaring wind on our last day.

4) Watching the news over and over again, to get updates on the raids in Leeds, looking for the London bombers

5) Daring each other to lick the walls in the salt mines

6) Seeing Leonardo da Vincis' "Lady with Ermine" with no-one else in the room.

7) Watching Joanne puff up, when realising that she was allergic to white Peppers.

8) Sitting for ours, eating, drinking and watching people walk past.

9) Hearing hundreds of American, English, German, French, Italian, Spainsh and Polish voices.

10) Jumping and twisting to get away from the bugs that kept attacking us at every outdoor cafe.

11) Trying to remeber what bands we saw at V98 in Leeds. Realising that we saw about twenty, but could only remember about four.

12) Talking about the difference between oil magnates and fridge magnates.

13) Seeing Wyspiankis window "God the Father - become". Walking out of the church quickly because so many people were praying and it felt disrespectful to be in there.

14) Talking about Paris and Warsaw to the Americans we met on the bus to the Salt Mines.

15) Being told that my Polish was "beautiful" by a waitress on the Rynek.

"Be still, sad heart, and cease repining
Behind the clouds the sun is shining
Thy fate is the common fate of all
Into each life some rain must fall
Some days must be dark and dreary."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

July 12, 2005

Krakow part2 - Undiscovered

Well, undiscovered by me anyway. I have been to Krakow many times, and yet I have managed to find many things to do that I never got round to all the other times. That is the nature of a last fling I suppose.

Joanne and I went to the Salt Mines yesterday and they were totally worth the trip. The chapel of Sw Kinga, and the underground lakes were especially breath taking. We both threw in a coin and made a wish in the wishing lake. Ssh, it's a secret.
We walked for what seems like miles, neither of us dared lick the walls though, we took the guides word for it that the walls and everything else were made of salt.

Today we have had a walk up to Wawel Castle and went down more steps to the Smocza Jama (Dragons cave). We liked the dragon that breathed fire at the exit, but the cave was fairly ordinary. We have sat in the sunshine and will be going off for a healthy lunch soon. If Joanne ever looks at cheese again, we made have a disaster on our hands.

The sky is blue and the sun is strong, so this afternoon we are going to see the Wyspianski windows. Krakow is the same as it ever was. I like it more and more. I think I am still a bigger Warsaw fan, but then no where in Poland could beat the city that I have lived in for two years. As my deadline looms, Krakow feels like a holiday. Warsaw feels like saying goodbye to home , which it is.

"The story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye,
the story of love is hello, goodbye"
Jimi Hendrix

July 11, 2005

Krakow Part1

The weather is horrible. It is cold and grey. We have no coats, cardigans or other warm clothing. In short, we are badly prepared. But Krakow is still beautiful. We are happy to be here and when the sun is shining tomorrow, we are going to go and look at Wyspianskis window. I am sure that this will make the sun shine enough for today and tomorrow together.

Todays train journey was punctuated by the sight of Joanne asleep, the sound of the Snow Patrol on my new CD walkman and the smell of the wet earth, after the rain.

July 10, 2005

The beginning, the end...

When I moved to Warsaw, Hannah came with me and lived in my flat with me for two weeks. We travelled around a bit and I tried to get my bearings. One night I burst into tears. I cried that I didn't know what I had done. I said that living in Poland would be too hard and that I would never learn the language.

Now, in the last two weeks of my living in Poland, Joanne is living in my flat with me. This afternoon, I said goodbye to Jo. Now I am crying, thinking, what have I done? I love Poland, love Warsaw. Why have I chosen to live in Paris, I will never be as happy there as I am here. It is full of french people.

Things seem to end as they have begun. I find some poetry in this, I like the circle that it makes out of my time here.

Krowki spotting Part 2

Joanne arrived yesterday and we spent the day having a wander around the city. I am now in the full swing of my cow spotting and have counted more than thirty different ones so far. Only seventy left. I love the idea of this community art project, and I seem to be seeing cows everywhere now that I have started.

My new favourite is on Chmielna. It is a cow stood on its hind legs on a surfboard, wearing sunglasses and trainers. There is also a really cool cow, in a Paul Smith stripy style, near the corner of Wilcza. That's high on the list too. We will be walking towards the old town area later on today and I am hoping to add at least five new ones to my current count.

I am on my final countdown to leaving now. Joanne has arrived and once she has gone, it will be a matter of only a couple of days. Still people to see, but the goodbyes have started to begin in earnest. Goodbye to Warsaw, goodbye to my flat. I will have to deal with these alone, there is no-one on the other side to give me a reaction. We are going to the Salt Mines in Krakow tomorrow, so I can put off thinking about these things for a few more days at least.

"I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best."
Frida Kahlo

July 08, 2005


Yesterday I had cause to practise my Polish language skills on two occasions. The first was when the old pani from next door caught me on my way out of my front door to go put rubbish down the garbage shute. She always talks to me very slowly, as she knows that my polish is very bad. She asked me if I was on holiday, and told me again that she was very impressed by my Polish. She is far too kind. We chatted about language and she told me that Wojtyla, the late Pope, had spoken thirteen languages. She said that 10 years ago the second language in Poland was German, but now everyone speaks English. Good for me, she said.

Later the same day, in the afternoon, she came and knocked on my door. She asked me if I had any family or friends in w Londynu. Where were my family from? Did I have a TV? Did I know what had happened? She held my hand and told me how sorry she was. It was all so horrible, so bad. Her eyes filled with tears. I looked on a bit dazed by this show of affection and solidarity from my neighbour. But I have to say one thing. I have never felt as English as I did yestderday.

When I was driving home late last night I had cause to go past the British embassy. Outside were candles, lots of candles. It was dark and you could see the light through the night.

"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."

A song for you

K and N are going to England tomorrow. I am sure that I will see them again in the next few weeks, but it feels more than a bit wierd anyway. They are my favourite married couple. I am not a very emotional person, and I am sure that some people might think that when all is said and done I don't care that much about certain things. This is not true. I just never wanted to be the sort of woman who cries about stuff.

So here is a little song for K and N. There is music in their souls, and I will miss them both very much when I go to Paris. Who will talk to me about books? Who will sing to me every morning on the bus? Who will spend nearly two hours with me in the post office on the first day of the holidays? Please don't ask me about todays blog, it's your goodbye.

"You came out in front and I was hiding
But now I'm so much better
And if my words don't come together
Listen to the melody
Cause my love is in there hiding"
The Carpenters
(Song for you)

July 06, 2005

International Picnic

There are many amazing things about working within a truly international community. One of them is the chance to try food from all over the world. Today is my last day at the school in Warsaw. In about three hours I will no longer be a teacher here. In fifteen minutes, the whole school will be out on the grass eating food that parents and teachers from over 45 different countries have prepared.

Korean parents make kimbap and korean sushi. We will have swedish meatballs, marmite sandwiches, samosas, french baguettes, polish cakes and more than I can try and explain on my blog. The kids are dragging 30 tables outside and the weather is warm enough to sit outside and get that real picnic feel.

The kids all take the crisps, cakes, fruit, and leave all the good stuff for the teachers, who appreciate and enjoy every bit. The International picnic on the last day of school is a special time for everyone. The children point out proudly what they have brought. we all sit on the grass and feed each other strawberries. It is a perfect way to end a perfect two years. Sat with the kids on the grass, giggling, eating and liking each others company.

"Never eat more than you can lift."
Miss Piggy

July 05, 2005


I have no reason to be at school now. It is the end of the day, nearly quarter to five. I am sitting in Allys room and we are chatting about nothing in particular. My day has been very busy and I have done lots of work with the kids, been to the Early Years site and seen 4 sets of parents. I collected my first lot of gifts today. Some amazing amber jewellry, and other things that were generous and kind.

Tomorrow is my last day at my school in Warsaw. When I leave school today, I will be one step closer to my last day, and I am not sure that I am prepared for that. The classroom has been taken down, there is nothing on the walls. My bag is squashed full of books and CDs that need to be taken home to be packed and sent to Paris. I am swinging gift bags full of gorgeous stuff. I will soon be trudging out of the school to go and stick my head in the clouds so that I can forget what I have decided to do for a few more hours. Tomorrow will be full to kisses, hugs and tears. I am not well equipped to cater for any of those things.

"Promise me you'll never forget me, because if I thought you would I'd never leave"
AA Milne

Sticky kisses

Yesterday, I was on lunch duty with Ally in the canteen. After I had been sitting at a table for a while, one of of my favourite students came over. She is a 9 year old Korean girl. Without saying anything, she placed a hand on my cheek and gave me a little tomato sauce and spaghetti soaked kiss on my cheek. Gorgeous.

July 04, 2005


A small mob of us had cause to get up early on Saturday morning and travel for nearly three hours to Poznan. The cause was that N and K were going to a Philip Glass concert and Ally, Jo and I decided to tag along.

We raced through the countryside of western Poland, getting nearer to modern day Germany and the old, fought over German territories. A friend told me that Poznan has quite a german influence, so I was interested to see the Rynek (square). N reckons that it is nicer than the Rynek in Krakow, which is beautiful. I like the fact that in the two years that I have been here I have scooted around the country and seen all types of places, Cities, seasides and lakes. I am glad that I managed to add Poznan to my list.

After three hours of hardcore catching up and gossiping, we arrived in Poznan, hopped in a taxi and found our hotel, Hotel Royal, on Sw Marcin. Gorgeous hotel, lovely big room. We rolled around on our beds, threw things out of our suitcase and left the room to go for a wander. We found the Rynek and had a good walk around. The square is lovely, and the faces of all the houses are beautiful colours. They all seem very well preserved. Poznan Rynek has a very different feel to Krakow though. The square was packed.

As evening drew closer we got ready for the Philip Glass concert. It was part of a trilogy, we were watching the second part. The concert took place at the top of a mall in a car park. That was correct, I did say Car park. We were outside, and the orchestra played under a large black contruction that also housed a cinema size screen. While they played, images of life in the southern hemisphere. The concert was very moving, with the images really making it into an experience for me, not the music.

The highlight of the weekend for me though, was the train journey. Massive fields of purple flowers, great expanses of water. I listened to my walkman on the way home. Jimmy Eat World at a loud volume. I sang and tapped my way home. Three hours flew past. Still love the trains. When I think of my travels through Poland, I will always think of the sunshine. I will always think of trains and tunes.

"On my life I'll try today
There's so much I've felt I should say
But even if your heart would listen
I doubt I could explain"
Jimmy Eat World
(If you don't, don't)

"NEO: when I used to look out at this world, all I could see was its edges, its boundaries, its rules and controles, its leaders and laws. But now, I see another world. A different world where all things are possible"
The Matrix

July 01, 2005

San Lorenzo

In the ongoing process of saying goodbye to all aspects of my life in Warsaw, I found myself last night at the above named fancy tuscan restaurant with the members of the Senior management team. We had just finished our last two hour meeting of the year, and at the bottom of our Agenda sat point seven: Farewell to Anne.

I don't like goodbyes. I like them even less now that I find myself saying many. The good thing about last night was that it really did not feel like a farewell. It felt like a meal out with colleagues that I find professional, hilarious, ludicrous, friendly and bewildering in equal measure. They are people that I have enjoyed working with very much. I will miss them professionally and personally.

Over the dimmed lights, expensive tuscan food and warsaw summer restaurant heat, we gossiped and giggled our way to the end of the evening. We talked about books. We talked about school. The restaurant was a real treat, way out of my usual league. That made the evening special for me, but it was made much more memorable because of the company.

"Do not be misled: bad company corrupts good character"
The Bible