Cartoons … Early Days in Poland & more recent.

I met this first gorgeous young man late on the platform in Gdansk, with his carefully loosened pink silk tie, shiny black suit and matching socks. He was chomping away and overjoyed at having sat on a train for 8 hours to come and see a film, wander around all night and then go back again. He was just so unselfconscious and unspoiled that I loved him on sight!

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This was one of those most rewarding of reactions! I had stopped to let her cross and she in turn had stopped mid-crossing to take a close look. I whispered “London” in a cheeky kind of way. I wonder if she is still holding up the traffic with her megaphone?!

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Dark mutterings as I worried about hills (whatever for?)

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It was just such a diminutive, woman who stood with her eyes streaming while she held aloft two bowls full of wet cloths for the demonstrators to take as they ran past, shielding them from the tear gas in the Solidarity Protests in Gdansk.

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Broiled away in the murky waters of the natural thermal spa in Vrbov, Slovakia. You should give it a go!

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These two courageous men are, in their late 90’s, devoted friends. I watched an incredibly moving documentary in Polish, with English subtitles in my room in Stara Lubovna, Slovakia, ( that’s a lot of languages all in one go!) a few nights ago. Edward Kosoy had been made to run at bayonet point to the prison hospital with pneumonia. He said that the cold had probably helped to keep down his fever. From there (he spoke Russian, so was useful to the doctor) he saved countless lives by authorising longer admission. He then went on in his capacity as a lawyer to help thousands of survivors with their numbing stories of atrocity when they were claiming compensation. To those who had suffered medical experiments he gave his services.
Wacław Micuta had taken a tank over the wall in the Warsaw uprising, crawled on his elbows with his bones sticking out and was saved by a ringleted Jew who had fed him jam from a spoon like a baby. He had hidden in and escaped from a sewer and when being transported to Siberia (I think) an elderly priest had given him his fur coat, saying that God had protected him so far, and if it was his time so be it. Please U-tube these wonderful old men. They both agreed that despite the difficult times, they had had very happy, fulfilling lives.

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And finally in this ‘batch’, a memory impression of Lenka’s beautiful, 83 year old Grandmother. She came into the Penzion Albertka with freezing hands and cheeks, and took me into her embrace as naturally as if I had been another grand-daughter.

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