Poland in Australia



Poland hardly ever impinges on my Australian world. However, the 25th anniversary of the first free elections since World War 2 precipitated a flurry of segments on Radio National's Saturday extra program. Here are links to them.



An interview with Radislav Sikorski, Poland’s Foreign Minister, who is an Oxford-educated former journalist and author, a respected strategic thinker, a frank commentator on geopolitical matters and a crucial player since the Ukraine crisis erupted.



Adriano Bosoni, a Europe Analyst with the geopolitical intelligence firm Stratfor, says it's not an exaggeration to speak of a Polish “economic miracle.” But he believes Poland must still confront some complex issues, including the reliance on EU development money.




In spite of its growing economic success, this 25th ‘celebration’ of freedom reveals a nation still grappling with some inner contradictions that stem from the big tragic arc of history.

A new international campaign was recently launched by Poland to capture the changing mood of the nation. Polska: Spring into the new. But Spring into what?

In spite of its growing economic success, this 25th ‘celebration’ of freedom reveals a nation still grappling with some inner contradictions that stem from the big tragic arc of history.

Guests Beata Zatorska and Michael Moran explore contemporary cultural life and different perspectives of Poland.



Because I'd read Michael Moran's book about his experiences in Poland in the early 1990s, “A country in the moon”, I checked out his blog


which led me to a video at http://vimeo.com/101515664


That wasn't the end of Polish wilfing. I found a blog about Polish roadside shrines, which provided a good sense of the countryside as well.




Finally, after a movie drought of four months, I scoured the program for Narooma Kinema and found two Polish-associated offerings this weekend.



Does this mean it's time to think about returning to the other side of the world?



Travel theme: Edge



My image was photographed from the castle walls looking down to Lake Bled in Slovenia. Although I was charmed by the tenacity of this plant growing from the stone wall, I was terrified at the sight of a small child perched on the same edge, with his feet dangling over sheerness.



For wonderful images celebrating this theme see



Thursday’s special: Grounded



This week Thursday was indeed special, although it's taken me till Saturday to post. I've been home for two weeks, and Thursday was the first time I've stirred out, camera in hand, ready to delight in my own turf, and eager to begin a monster blogging project: visiting the 83 beaches of the Eurobodalla shire. To mark the occasion, I begin with something small – an assemblage of leaves on the sandy track behind the dunes of Jemison's Beach, in Eurobodalla NP, and virtually on my doorstep.






Black and White Sunday



I suspect this challenge of Paula's may have set me on a new path to obsession. Since I decided to participate, I've been using Lunapic to turn colour to black and white, and I'm quite taken with the results. As I cull the three thousand photos on my iPad from my three months away (and this is after many mini-culls), I try some of them out for conversion. What I'm learning is that I need a photo sharp and absolutely in focus. And if I work with that, I end up with a shot that displays detail in an entirely new way.

Here's my first contribution to Black and White Sunday. It's new for me to post only one photo and I feel oddly exposed doing this. I think I feel that I need numbers to add up to quality.

It's fitting that my first photo is from Plitvička Jezera in Croatia, Paula's country.





Thursday’s special

While I was away, I developed blogging friendships with a number of people. One of them is Paula who lives in Zagreb. She is a photographer I admire immensely. I also admire her minimalist approach to blogging – one exquisite photo at a time. She invites fellow-bloggers to join her by posting something special on Thursday, at


marked by this logo:



Trawling through my photos, I found this one. As I was walking from my apartment in Dubrovnik to the old city to catch it in its early morning activity, I spotted this imaginative use of an old bath tub as seating in a cafe. It's a fitting photo to begin my relationship with Thursday's special, because Paula was born in Dubrovnik.

It may not be inspirational in quite the sense Paula intended, certainly not to other people. But for me it reflects the “fullness of life and absolute freedom” that I found in my seventieth birthday journey through my travel fears and Eastern Europe.





The peculiar pleasures of returning home


No. I didn't want to leave Poland.

No. I didn't want to come back to the responsibilities of home ownership.

But now I'm here, I'm discovering that odd things give me pleasure.

Lounging about in my dressing gown, one of the few things I missed on my pootle through Eastern Europe.

Washing up with a plug in the sink: I never acclimatised to the lavish use of water in a plug less wash-up.

Preparing food with a bench top larger than a chopping board: mind you, I didn't actually do much food preparation while I was away.

Shopping without worrying about currency: I can actually hand over the right amount without offering my hand to be pecked at.

Living in the same time zone as most of the people I love: no more phone calls at strange hours.

And this morning, bizarrely, pegging out the washing. I haven't handled a peg since I left Australia in mid-May, nor has my washing dried in outside air. Right now, it's on racks on the deck: mottled by sunlight shining through the callistemon, twisting in a useful breeze, held in place by faded multi-colored pegs. It's those pegs that are the real source of my peculiar and puny pleasure this morning.





A walk for Christine

Christine had a very strong presence in the world of blogging. Friends from that world are paying tribute on their own blogs. I re-blog to honour Christine and to acknowledge the warmth and reality of friendships cultivated in the blogosphere.


Christine and Stuart, happy on their holidays Christine and Stuart, happy on their holidays

Like many of you, I felt like I had been punched in the stomach, reading Stuart’s brave post this morning.  His lovely wife, Christine, ended their 45 years together in his arms.  Tears are not far away but I need to write this post.  Losing a friend is terrible, but losing a partner, thankfully, is unimaginable till it happens to you.

I know that Christine would want us to celebrate her life, and I’m doing that in the only way I know how.  This morning I took a walk in our English countryside, with Christine looking over my shoulder.  So often she has done just that, here on my blog.  She loved the beauty of nature.

The sheep were indulging their usual antics The sheep were indulging their usual antics

And against a garden wall, the sweetpeas were climbing And against a garden wall, the sweet peas were climbing

Following the footpath out of the village I followed the footpath out of the village

And down the lane, peering in the hedgerows And down…

View original post 240 more words