Join me for a ramble around my Warsaw neighbourhood. It’s strange returning to a familiar place on the other side of the world. The apartment is the one we had on our last visit: I know the parkland and the shops: I pay a courtesy visit to the jester whom I met with delight last year and note concerts in the villa and a Beethoven festival.
I’ve been here less than two days and we’ve had sunshine, grey chill, and snow, all registered in the urban view from the apartment (oh my flowering tibouchina and the purple haze on my Potato Point deck!)
All the trees are bare, but beginning – just beginning – to break into leaf and bud, as are the bulbs in the apartment courtyard. Street boxes are ready for planting.
The duck pond in the park where I used to take the twins before they could sit up has been drained. On the way to pre-school Jaś and I stop to watch workmen cleaning it out for the summer water. The pond in the old clay pit into which the pram took a header this time last year holds reflections of the apartments towards ul Puławska.
The villa remains gracious on the hill and provides the twins with a bike track they relish and so does the circuit around the park.
Two shadow figures walk through this landscape, waiting to take on the bodies of denizens of Warsaw.