Monthly Archives: November 2015

‘Where do sausages grow?’

I told them the truth, but they didn’t want to hear it.

NO little piggies. They from a TREE.



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Autumn in the park

We live on the edge of  Morskie Oko Park, and rare is the day when we don’t spend at least half an hour there. We walk through it to and from pre-school- we air the kids there, even now. In summer we lived there, spending the day in the playground and only coming home to sleep

This is our first autumn in this flat, and although it’s the insalubrious month of November, I love the park at this time. After the golden blaze of October,  the palette is primarily brown. There is a stillness there, a leaf- muffled silence. A milky-pale sky gleams through the bare trees. Despite the melancholy weather, it’s always full of ecstatic dogs who don’t share their owners objections to the season. It smells like dirt and water, and the ducks, exiled by the winter draining of their pond lower down, come up onto the escarpment to graze like a herd of little goats on whatever they can find.

Now that the sun sets at 4 pm, it gets dark when I’m bringing the kids home from preschool on Fridays. They disappear on their bikes amongst the trees in the dusk, and usually as we climb the hill towards Pałac Szustry, the lamps come on. The kids feel the same way as the dogs about the park- for them it’s a source of endless wonders. They stuff their pockets with chestnuts, chase pigeons, spend all their duck bread on a hideous rat the size of a chihuahua which lives in the reeds near the claypit and which they call ‘mousie’.

Living next to the park, I feel more like an aristocrat than a poor man, even though we live in 60 square metres next to the busiest road in Warsaw.


Filed under around Poland, childhood, family, happiness, mokotow

What teaching does to your creative life

I don’t know if it’s magic or some kind of very sophisticated exploitation of the employee, but when I am at work, I forget everything. I forget I have children. I forget I have a body, and am surprised and irritated when it makes its presence felt with signals from the bladder or protests of hunger.

Planning a lesson seems to me like the perfect creative form. You have some material you need to use, some constraints of form, and otherwise, the world’s your oyster. I love doing it and spend far too much time on it. You could try something new every lesson for your whole life if you had the energy.

A straw poll of my colleagues reveals that teaching has the same effect on them. They don’t necessarily consider it a plus of the job. Some of them think it is a peculiar kind of possession which keeps them from producing anything creative on their own account. Some think that this is why teachers burn out fast.

In any case, it explains why I haven’t blogged since the semester started. I’m resolved to change this state of affairs.


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