Christmas 2010

Wednesday 5th January 2011, 05:11 PM No comments

On the 23th of December after coming home from work, I packed my stuff for my yearly Christmas trip to Poland. And what a long one. I was supposed to leave early morning next day, but the weather decided differently. My father and me left in the evening around ten a clock, as there was some snowstorm announced. I slept a little in the car, but not very peacefully as it really started to snow hard. I guess we arrived in the airport Zaventem around midnight or one a clock, my father went home immediately after notifying my trip so far wasn’t cancelled. A long night a head with no sleep. I was fighting and fighting in order not to sleep, but after all I installed my self somewhere in a corner and got some other not very peaceful sleep again. When it was my time I noticed my flight was still not cancelled so far, so I went for check-in of my luggage, the guy behind the desk still couldn’t assure me the plane was going. What a long time of insecurity if I will or will not see Bronek, and I missed him so hard, so I really wanted to get there. I went for security line and started to wait and wait and wait at the door to our plane. After all we weren’t getting so much later as planned on to the plane, here I felt little more secure I was going to see Bronek, but after like more than four hours of sitting on the plane, we got the message there came an urgent-meeting in Zaventem to decide which planes could fly and which couldn’t, again fear came to me and my neighbour, who also wanted to see his girlfriend in Poland. After another hour of waiting we finally got to know we could fly, whole plane very happy, which was off course full of Polish people who wanted to visit their family for Christmas. After like six hours spending in a still stand plane, we only got some water, I had no food, as I was supposed to arrive in the morning in Warszawa, we finally took off. In the meanwhile at the other end in Poland, a guy named Bronek was waiting for his girlfriend. He also didn’t sleep in the night, as he took the train straight away after some evening with friends. He was also waiting and waiting and not knowing and suffering if I will ever come after all. But eventually we could find each other after all in each others arms. We were both so starving, that without realising, forgive us our tiredness, we sinned and ate meat on Christmas eve in some Kebab place in the railway station of Warszawa.

Home in Łódź we had a very late Christmas eve family diner, I was fighting in order not to fall a sleep. We had to cancel the trip to church, because the bed was calling for us to sleep.

A long text about one long day, but during the Christmas holidays it was the most spoken subject.

Many diners with family came after this one and a lot of nice playing with Zuza.

Hanne plays with Zuza

The 31th of December we were heading again to the airport to go and celebrate new years eve in Brugge with my family. The waiting was a little shorter this time, but we got to hear that we were the last plane who could take off, as there came a sudden snowstorm.

Pancakes in Bruges

The rest of the story you have to figure out from the pictures…

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Katrien, Gerbert & Merlijn

Tuesday 4th January 2011, 12:22 PM No comments

In this stop-motion Katrien, the sister of Hanne enjoys a family New Year’s Eve of 2010 in Bruges in the company of the two most important men of her life – Gerbert and Merlijn. This day is also the birthday of Hanne’s father André.
Katrien, Gerbert en Merlijn

Couple of movies from Bruges

Monday 3rd January 2011, 05:08 PM No comments

Instead of long and boring galleries, this time motion picture which speaks for itself. In the movies you see the New Years Eve 2010 in Brugge, at the house of Hanne’s parents, the New Year’s dinner 2011 in Varsenare, at the house oh Hanne’s grammy, and Hanne & Bronek in the marina of Bruges.

New Years Eve 2010, Brugge, Belgium

Liza and Joke, New Year's Dinner 2011, Varsenare, Belgium

New Year's Dinner 2011, Varsenare, Belgium

Tatra + Gdańsk 2010

Friday 20th August 2010, 06:56 PM No comments

After another long separation, we could finally spend 4 weeks just the two of us, what a nice prospect. 4 weeks so a lot of time to do different stuff. First trip brought us to the mountains to our all time favourite place in MaÅ‚e Ciche. We got our favourite room with the wonderful view on the Tatra mountains. The mountains were great as always, but unfortunately the weather was a little less great. The first day we started with an easier walk to help us get into some better shape, so we went to the sanctuary of Wiktorówki for tea and bought our favourite oscypek on Rusinowa glade under GÄ™sia szyja (Gooses neck – mountain). So far everything fine, but after eating some snack the water started pouring down from the sky and, in fact, it didn’t stop till the last day when we left to Łódź. But now don’t think this kept us inside, oh no! We went for a long walk everyday, cold and wet we enjoyed it, took some precautious medicines every evening, held a rami bridge marathon, read a lot in our books cosy together in the bed while it was raining on the wooden roof.

Before departure to MaÅ‚e Ciche, just like for Zuza’s first birthday we got again a donkey, but this time for Zosia,the daughter of Marysia, the daughter of our host Zosia. Again a present with quite some success.

Last day in the mountains we went first to the railway station, bought our tickets, put the luggage in a locker and went for one final walk. Suddenly the weather got summer-like nice, blue sky and sunshine. We took a walk to the more higher mountains and to finish the trip in style we got so lucky to see a mother brown bear with two children in the wild. Check the pictures!

After a few days of rest in Łódź we left for a second trip. This time to completely the opposite site ofthe country, namely GdaÅ„sk Oliwa. We had little sunshine here and there, but unfortunately the rain kept following us also at the seaside. By now we were used to it. Our home here, room in a student dorm in Oliwa, was little less luxurious than in the mountains, but still very fine and very budget-friendly. We visited the Zoo of GdaÅ„sk, had a walk to the tower with wonderful view over the 3-city (GdaÅ„sk-Sopot-Gdynia), took a boat to the peninsula Hel, had a walk around Oliwa with Broneks father (who grew up here), met the grandparents of Bronek, had evening walks on the beach (meeting some weird drunk people), visited the port of Gdynia and were very lucky again to have a very nice last day on which we could bath a little in the sea. We got a free, but a little too fast 😉 ride home from Broneks father. On our way we stopped to visit the castle of Malbork, originally named Marienbourg. This used to be the headquarters of the Teutonic Knights Order and capital city of the order’s country.

Visit in Gent, May 2010

Sunday 30th May 2010, 07:05 PM No comments

The Volcanic Ash cloud has caused a little delay in our meeting schedule. After all we met during the Polish May long weekend. As for such a date the tickets were strangely cheap. We were willing to spend together as much time as possible so on Monday the 3rd when Hanne had to go to Gent to take an exam in Polish I went along. Hanne was busy all morning so I took the opportunity to sniff a little bit around our old quarters. In the afternoon on the other hand we were so busy with ourselves enjoying the city that we didn’t take any pictures at all.

In the morning I managed to trample the entire city across. I took a look over the canals, the area of Sint-Lucas Hogeschool and Portus Ganda. I walked everything around dropping by our old flat. In Brabantdam, in a furniture store, thinking of Zuza I noted down the address of the manufcturer of “growning desks”. Unfortunately they are quite expensive 😛 Very practical though. I do not publish pictures from my mobile – go to the website yourself.

Our old quarters turned out to be teeming with life in the characteristic, hasty rhythm. What prof. StanisÅ‚aw Fisher named recently in his lecture in arcyARCHIwizje in Łódź ‘flickering facades’ one can observe with bare eyes here. If on a map you would mark every new investment with a blinking dot, a map of Gent would look like the starry night sky. An animated map like this was shown to us in urban design class by docent André Coene. I wondered back then how a map of Łódź would look like, if you animated it like this, taking all the data since beginning of 20th century? Since the 50s – like a collapsing black hole?

On one of the most beautiful water avenues of Gent, the canal separating Graslei from Korenlei they started renovation and reintroduction of Oude Vismijn, the old fish trading hall. Lofting Gorup will transform it in to some merciless commercial miracle. I do not know the new function and a little bit I regret for the wooden part of the building which you can see at this picture. Anyway the building was vastly neglected and it is good that somebody is taking care of it. By the way I captured the covered facade of Design Museum at Jan Breydelstraat. Looks like nothing special, but I find it cool, that pedestrians get a couple of archive pictures as a substitution of the real facade. Why no commercials?? 😛

Another romantic canal can be found at Ketelvest. There you can see the back of recent developments of SumProject, office of the architect Paul Lievevrouw. Residence Kouterhof is a standard which the polish “development” will long strive to reach. And I do not mean here the aesthetic interventions, rather the method of financing. The last apartment here was sold in the summer of 2007, before the constructions started for good.
You also get a look towards the west along the same canal, The Flamish Opera and Handelsbeurs. The first hall we already visited two years ago. It served a very cool Swan Lake performed by the Royal Ballet of Flanders and the Flemish Radio Orchestra. The neoclassical facade of the building dated back to first half of the 19th century hides an operetta interior, lavishly reminiscent of the French theater in a somewhat baroque revival style. The hall pleases with good acoustics, and most of all with the performing team. We hope to visit Handelsbeurs in the future.

Wandering in the area of Ketelvest I came across a very interesting church, which I have never noticed before. I don’t know who was this church of, it is situated at Savaanstraat.

The plague of decorative fowl bands, attacking humans in parks is a kind of local oddity. The problem was described in the local papers some time ago. The birds from Muinpark were happy to pose and seemed innocent… 😉

We spent the afternoon together forgetting about the camera. We had a lunch in the patio of Post Plaza at Korenmarkt. This is another building which somehow missed my attention so far. Once it used to shelter the main post office of the city. Postmans gave way for the introduction of consumption and commercial functions. It is a place worth visiting due to the interesting operation hall with brick-steel detail and a glazed, double canopy, characteristic for this area of the world.

In the stream of new views I also noticed the new quarters of Artevelde Hogeschool at Kantienberg and the Polish consulate still in grief at Lange Kruisstraat.
My legs said ‘no’ around 5pm after the 7th circle around the 300-thousand-citizen town. We spent the evening in Brugge…

Easter Retrospection

Sunday 4th April 2010, 04:48 PM 1 comment

Every time I was cooking something this week I thought how many times have I already eaten this with Hanne (ie. white borsch with sousage and egg), or otherwise I thought that actually we’ve never eaten it together (mazurek, babka – polish easter cakes). I thought also in general, how many times and with who I actually eaten them. With my grandmother Zosia, with family, the part which has not eaten with us for long, and also mother, father, brother… Easter 2010 is my first easter home with family since 3 years. I was surprised with the new tradition off hanging easter balls. Must have been invented when I was away :). Among easter eggs I also noticed a historic egg from the time of anthrax fever made by my aunt Zosia Domaniewska.

Things I have not eaten with Hanne yet I promise to catch up with them next year. Meanwhile we are going to see each other already on the 20 of April – I can’t wait for that!!! 🙂

Happy Easter

for you my Hanne

and everybody!

My skype darling(s)

Tuesday 23rd March 2010, 07:54 PM No comments

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As we are still separated from each other, our most precious moments together are currently through skype.

And thanks to the camera, it is not just Bronek and me, but a whole family meeting. It is nice that, allthough I can not be there in Poland with Bronek, I can still see Zuza growing up.

So here are some nice memorables of our moments together on Skype.

cmok cmok

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Happy Valentine Potato

Sunday 14th February 2010, 05:55 PM 4 comments

This is a Polish Valentine Potato for Hanne – a Polish solution to the problem of valentine branding.

Update: This is not a stock photo – I have it here and the orange background is my mouse pad 😛

Missing pictures from Poland – September 2009

Wednesday 27th January 2010, 09:25 PM No comments

Here are the long missing pictures from Hanne’s parents visit to Poland. As a bonus first goes the picture of my mother and Hanne on freshly refurbished DÄ…browskiego square. There is a new fountain over there, although not visible in the picture.

Then there are group photos from on our terrace: me, Hanne, parents of both of us and some of our animals. It was an official meeting. 😉 The later story is a picture of Hanne and Nicole, her mother from in front of Anatewka, the nice jewish restaurant in Łódź where we ate dinner on the first day, when Hanne’s parents arrived. However, André felt sick after the long trip and stayed at the hotel.

As the trip of parents consisted of two parts one in Łódź and one i Warsaw, Hanne and I we drove them to Warsaw after 3 wonderful days in my hometown. On our way we dropped in The Arboretum, a sort of jardin botanique for trees only, run by the Warsaw University of Life Sciences. Here on the vast area of ~55 hectares of land you can experience a wonderful variety of forestal landscapes from around the world. There is also a unique, so called rock garden presenting alpine flora. On the last picture you may see Mr Van obberghen tasting a polish beer after a lunch we had on a national road next to arboretum. As far as I remember we had a complete lunch over there for as much as €8 – cheap even as for Poland.

Alphabet of Zuza – the little niece of Bronek

Wednesday 27th January 2010, 04:09 PM 1 comment

Here I present three funny pictures from a photo shoot on 10.01 by my brother. The pictures were made as complement to Zuza’s christmas gift – an alphabet of pictures. In the pictures you get me, just out of bed to represent letter W, you get Lala the handmade doll which Hanne made for Zuza as L, and at last you get Jacek the friend of my brother who came by to get a picture for his graduation diploma and ended up as the letter “Å»”.