Monday, June 22, 2009

So kooky Sokolka

Well the long weekend allowed us to get on the road again to see the in laws in the North East.

After the drive in the rain into the area of lakes (I know how they get filled now!), we arrived to another great feast of food from Marta's mother. We also got the chance to see the new world they have created in the attic for us. It is a new bedroom and another 2 living spaces. So it was nice to go and see that and the new world that exists for us.

The next day was spent relaxing and enjoying the ambience of serenity in Sokolka, along with a little job which we thought would be a lot quicker than it was. We dug up the old food smoker, as it had been struggling to work of recent times. After getting through the trees, soil and then concrete, we found out that the pipe that let the smoke through, to the food, was totally full of soil and ash. So after about 1.5 hours of digging to get it out, breaking through the concrete footings, we realised we had broken the pipe!! So we could have just smashed it all up in the first place! Hopeless!

That day we also cooked a nice little (not too spicey) Curry for the family, complete with Naan Breads which are suprisingly easy to make! Just need a little flour, yeast, water and small amounts of salt and sugar, and happy bubbly days! See below.

So that was Day one. Day two and three was mostly painting in the new area in the attic. It was indeed great fun getting dirty again. Rolling around on the floor trying to get into tiny angled corners and with it being white paint on white board, trying to figure out which parts we had painted was also a challenge.

This was actually one of the few things we could do, as you can imagine at this time of year in Poland (especially in the Eastern provinces), it can tend to be wet. So being inside and painting was fun. We also did this on a smaller scale by getting the family to sit around the table and paint some small canvases with more creative themes than the white on white we had played with.

Sunday came and we got the chance to go out for dinner to a local restuarant. I was able to try two local delicacies which were Pyzy (large meat-filled potato dumplings) and KISZKA ZIEMNIACZANA (potato sausage), see the pics below :)

And this is how they look inside. The external dumpling is a potato based starchy concoction. It is actually a lot nice than it sounds!

This is a Schnitzel well not exactly it is called a KOTLET SCHADOWY, which is pork rather than in Australia where we have mostly Chicken and Beef.

Of course Marta couldn't resist, but to have her traditional Pierogi dumplings, which is something we are planning to make at home very soon! We have even bought the devices that make them as it isn't done entirely by hand. So we are going to try and bring the old world to a new world with some random flavours. These of course were Russian style (sheep cheese).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The what is it file

Random Imaginationary
I thought I would start to put up some more of my abstract photos for you all to have a guess at what they are. I love these strange and random visions of my life and hope that you will too. I would love to see what you all think the photos are. Start guessing away in the comments section. I might even come up with prizes......

Number 1

Number 2

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Filtry in Stara Ochota.

Sunny Ochota, Sunny Ochota, Sunny Ochota, Sunny Ochota, Sunny Ochota
A couple of weeks ago we went off on a sunny day to stroll about Stara Ochota (meaning old Ochota and it is pronounced Sta-rah O'hot-a). It is slightly South of the Warsaw Town Centre, and is the area where the documents were signed for the commencement of the Warsaw Uprising in WWII, when the Germans occupied the city.

Filtrowa, Filtrowa, Filtrowa, Filtrowa, Filtrowa, Filtrowa, Filtrowa, Filtrowa

The area has some nice re-fashioned old buildings and also the Filtry which are the water filters for the city, these create a great quiet environment for an inner city location, and it is therefore a place we would love to move to if possible..... but we will see what happens. The area (at this time of year) is green and lush and we found a very important discovery here. The best coffee to be had in Warsaw (as far as I have found). It is at a cafe funnily enough called Filtry! If you can read Polish, then you can go to, if not, you just have to believe me.
For anyone in NZ who reads this, it reminds me of Jackster's that I used to eat at and inhale their coffee, when working in Auckland. It has home made foods and really great coffee. It is the style of coffee shop that you can find all over Adelaide and in some places in NZ, but rarely in Warsaw. It has an outdoor eating/drinking area which is nicely decked, next to some newly planted grass and the inside is pretty funky too. All of this in an area that you wouldn't necessarily expect, as it is a pretty bland building, just off a busy street. As you can see above, a bit of a grey and blah building, but the cafe make big lattes and nice snacks. So it is a win win for the people in the building I am sure!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More B & W

A few more little pictures to pop up before our big 4 day weekend in Sokolka. These photos are the first lot that I have prepared here in Poland, so I am still getting a feel for where I should do this and which company is the best. I am still on the look out for great processors of B&W film. If any of my students reading this have any ideas then please post them here! It would be greatly appreciated. Also if you know any professional photographers that I can hang out with and learn from, that would also be fantastic!

The first lot are actually taken back home before I came to Poland.

This is all my photos I got back after my travels around Croatia, Italy, France, Germany, Poland, and the UK. It was a great sight to have in front of me and the photos were of an excellent quality (of processing not necessarily of the photo that was taken!) Thanks to the team at Atkins Technicolour in Kent Town, Adelaide.
I like this photo which is of the bird netting over my fathers fruit trees in Australia. It is a little like looking at one of the dot photos where a dolphin comes out if you stare at them long enough! Don't you think?

This is the net up close one one of the tree trunks of the apple trees. A bit like drift netting for leaves! :) I was unaware that Bart Simpson lived at my fathers house! However, this proof seems irrefutable!

Now we move to Warsaw, Poland and the warm warm weather I arrived to!

This is Lazienki Park, you may remember that I took some photos here more recently (and in colour) of Marta, Magda and little Zusa. This photo was taken on one of the warmest days we had for a month, or so, in March. The clear skies enabled some crisp and clean lines produced by a very fresh almost warming sun! It proved a popular location for the many grannies and children (which when all rugged up look like Tele-tubbies) running around the place.

One of the statues in the Royal Baths Park aka Lazienki I still don't know why the hands are separated..... more research to be done here.

The missing link?

Look out!!! Behind you!!! It is a crazy fish!!! I think she has been frozen with fear!

Some of the railings around the park provide a lovely complex accompanying shadow.

Ok, now off the the North East, to see what we can do with the world that once belonged to the Tartars.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Poland in black and white.

These are a few of the images I have captured over the last few months since I was here in Poland. They are in my favourite format of Black and White from film. The scanning isn't quite what I had hoped for in quality wise, but I am still exploring the environment around here to see which are the best and worst of processors.

Boxes found at Hala Mirowska out in the market courtyard.

The front of Hala Mirowska Markets.Some Wonky Windows that are to be seen at the corner of Swietokrzyska and Mazowiecka in the Centre of Warsaw

A reminder of the Jewish Ghetto and its boundaries, these markers can be found all around its boundaries in Warsaw just northwest of the Old Town through to Wola and south to the mid town area.
Some shiney domes off Swietokrzyska.

Even bollards need to sleep sometime.Some old glassware at the Kolo Markets.
Polish friends getting together. I think they are just hugging.... right?

Hope you liked them, should be some more floating about somewhere in the next post or two.

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