2nd month in Warsaw (April 11th – May 8th )

A sixth of our Warsaw stay is over. What have been the distinctive pleasures of this month?

Twins of course. It goes without saying. 

I’ve become increasingly part of their lives, and watched with delight (mostly) the manifestations of two very different and decided personalities. They’ve led their grandparents through the park as dogs, using scarves as dog leads, much to the amusement of at least one pair of bench sitters. They’ve pranced amongst the trees tootling on their recorders to “make the plants grow”. They’ve become a bit hesitant about dogs after three canine attempts to steal their post-preschool buns, one a planned act of piracy by a pair acting in unison. They’ve invented games, notably Garlic Crasher. 

They show an impressive ability to recognise makes of car from the insignia, and they are learning their alphabet sound-symbol connection from number plates. They love J’s grandparental silliness and relish his impersonation of monsters; his ability to run up a steep slope brandishing a bike in each hand; and his unsuspected skill in drawing fearsome (Jaś’ word) chalk seagulls and tractors with trailers carrying a cow. 

They are very defensive of each other: when I felt the need to pick a yowling twin up from the middle of the road, Jaś, came at me hands on hips and said “What you do to Maja?” And when Jaś tripped and hit his head, Maja said “Nanny Meg hurt Jaś.” 

They are adept at making cocoa for themselves, declaring “I not going to stir” and examining their “cheeky chocolate chops” in the mirror with mighty grins. I love watching them, occasionally, sit down together with a couple of books and read intently for as long as twenty minutes; or begin singing in their sweet voices words that are incomprehensible Polish to me; or disappear into the world of some unfathomable game. 

Maja startled me one afternoon by interpreting a map – recognising the iconography of river and roads and parks: Jaś plays with words. When I said “Tell the dog to scram”, he improvised to “Scram, you scrambled egg”, which he shrieked at every dog he saw, to the bewilderment of their owners. Maja is a stickler for correctness: on a number of occasions she’s been quite cranky with me when she tries to teach me a Polish word, such as “grzyb”, and I still get it wrong after numerous attempts.


Spring

I knew spring would be splendid, but I had no idea how splendid. In this month, the greenness thickened; the first blossoms flourished and fell; new trees flowered, including lilacs and last year’s love, the horse chestnut; Our Lady’s garden on the way to preschool expanded daily; and the world was coloured in tulips. My awakening to the beauty of conifers was long overdue and without disappointment.

Sightseeing

 I enjoyed all this burgeoning in Park Morske Oko, Arkadia, the gardens at the university library and the botanical gardens in Warsaw and Łódź.

There were two trips away from Warsaw: a family holiday in a thatched log cabin near a lake at Gryżyna in western Poland; and four days in Łódź to meet Jo, a blogging friend from England. 


In Warsaw, I visited the Museum of the history of Jews in Poland twice. I’m relishing the lack of pressure to see everything in Warsaw today that a twelve month stay allows.


 

Triumphs

Yes, there have been a few triumphs. I embark on purchases now with a lot less angst than I used to. I’ve bought a lip wax, an adaptor, a camera card, a train ticket, a pig and a rooster, all without breaking into an embarrassed and apprehensive sweat (and all in English, needless to say.) I’ve talked to the intercom at preschool with enough Polish to have Maja and Jaś brought downstairs at pickup time. I’ve bought bus tickets on the machine on a bus with my credit card for the first time. I’ve learnt the identity of a number of unfamiliar trees, thanks to J. And I’ve managed to persuade the odd recalcitrant twin into outdoor gear and the park at the end of a pre-school day. Minor triumphs, you might think, but not to me.

Favourite photos

I’m a bit mortified to find that there aren’t all that many photos worthy of showcasing in this way. I thought there’d be more.


Meanwhile at home 

My Potato Point son is taking stunning photos (this one snaffled from Facebook) and making videos in the surf with his GoPro camera, held between his teeth, so I’m led to believe.

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About morselsandscraps

A retired Australian who spends a lot of time in Warsaw, and blogs as a way of life.
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18 Responses to 2nd month in Warsaw (April 11th – May 8th )

  1. Gorgeous children. And what a treat to have been able to meet Jo in person.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. restlessjo says:

    Well! I was full of chat about this post and then I got blown away by your son’s photo at the end and it all went out of my head! Not much there to stop it. 🙂
    So many things to delight in, Meg, and so very many triumphs. You didn’t include negotiating Lodz solo. I thought that was pretty impressive too 🙂 It must be amazing to be a twin! Two of my close friends are and they always have each other, though one married and the other, never. I love your black and white portraits of yours, and the descriptions of their ‘misdemeanours’ is wonderful. Have a happy week, love! I know you will. 🙂 Just a few more hugs!

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    • Buying the ticket was the most difficult part of Łódź solo – oh, and being delivered to the wrong ul Maja, but they were challenges, not triumphs! Somehow it’ sleep gigs tics (for that great bit of predictive text read logistics) that provide scope for triumphs.

      My son is full of surprises. He even owns to photographing sunsets. Twin Maja now seems to think I’m OK, although that’ll be tested when I pick her up this afternoon on my own.

      I often wonder how non twins manage – or even the parents of non twins, once they reach this age.

      As for things going out of minds, I have to make notes when I’m preparing to comment on anything of substance, such as your posts.

      You have a great week too, back in the bosom of the English language, and I’ll send a few hugs to hide around corners waiting for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sue says:

    What cute twins! Love your black & white images, and your descriptions of their cheeky escapades! Your Spring images, and those of the gardens are great…. Won’t be so very long before I should be in Warsaw with Wivi – and I have realised I don’t have your email address – perhaps Wivi does

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  4. Becky B says:

    Agree with Jo and Sue about your black and white images of the twins, they are wonderful. What an amazing adventure you are having; your triumphs seem pretty big ones to me.

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    • Hello Becky B. Thank you for joining me in Warsaw. I’m just beginning to realise how amazing the adventure is – it wasn’t my idea and I was quite resistant in patches, although never not going to do it. The b&w of the twins was to cover a multitude of photographic sins. I’m glad it worked. And thank you for reading my puny triumphs as triumphs indeed! It is after all my sixth visit in three years.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Heyjude says:

    Like Jo I was smiling and nodding all the way through your post and then came that dramatic skyscape! Wow! What a terrific photo. Your twins are charming little people and it must be such a pleasure to share their lives like this. You and they will find it hard to part, but let’s not think of that whilst you have 10 more months ahead. I am enjoying the fact that for the first time we don’t have to rush out every day to explore the delights of Cornwall. We are still getting used to the idea that no-one is going to tell us it is time to check-out and be on our way. It must be like that for you.

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    • It’s exactly like that. Days of necessary languor aren’t perceived as wasted. And you have many years ahead of you to explore every nook and cranny of your Cornwall. The twins are sheer delight, now that Maja and I have reached rapprochement. They continually surprise with their memory and their inventiveness.

      As for H’s photography, wow indeed!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Wow Meg, I’m totally in awe and impressed by your energy with the twins, with or without dinner covered faces! My g-babies wear me out after a day! So two months have passed already and so wonderfully, I know I’m not the only one enjoying your Polish adventures and these photos are yet another delight.
    I like to think that I’m quite good at working out languages but Polish might just as well be Martina to me and yet you’re understanding bits and getting by.
    Your photos are fabulous as always and it seems your son has inherited your talent.
    Two month and Monday hugs to you x:-)x

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  7. I suspect my son surpasses. All he needed was a camera to match his surfing passion. As for the twins and fatigue, I usually feel energised when we separate, at least briefly. But I sleep extraordinarily well, even with city noises instead of the sounds of the sea. Living only two doors away is a real bonus.

    Polish? I’m trying to commit to 10 minutes a day, but I need to start the habit first.

    I’m honoured by your pleasure in my posts.

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  8. Elissaveta says:

    Oh the twins sound so incredible and resourceful and fun! You are living such a precious year, watching them grow and exploring a beautiful country I’m yet to visit. And wow, what a photo to end this post on. Your son has nailed it!

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    • I’ve missed your posts. I hope you’ve been throughly and pleasantly occupied. Indeed, I am very lucky to be spending this time with the pair of rascals – a word they usually apply to me!

      My son has indeed nailed it. I must own up to posting without permission and offer him the accolades!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. pommepal says:

    2 months have flown by I can understand how you must be so pleased to have decided to stay for a year. Your cheeky photos of your adorable grand-twins have captured their irrepressible characters and the b & w treatment is perfect for those portraits. What amazing memories you are accumulating and I’m really enjoying my virtual visit to Warsaw through your observant eyes and words Meg. That photo of Potato Point is stunning, your son has captured our expansive Australian sky

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