6.30 is too late for that lovely golden light. There is an autumnal chill in the air, reminding me that I’d better enjoy daybreak while it still happens before 7.30.
The morning begins with a reminder of the Uprising, a monument near the bus stop marked with flowers and lamps.
I prove yet again that unplanned pleasures deliver at least as much as planned ones. I woggle my way towards the Ujadowskie Palace, now the Centre for Contemporary Art, past hammocks slung between trees; bollards given faces; attractive brickwork; a rustic area for outdoor movie screenings; what looks like an archaological site, although I can’t find any information about it; and benches with provocative sayings.
I walk down the escarpment via a steep staircase that insists I tread very carefully, into Agrykola parkland. I look back to the castle, grandeur before grime. My goal is the stanchion art in the underpass which I’ve noted a couple of times from the bus to the lake. The area is a car park, surrounded by a rusty fence and bordered with stagnant puddles, home to cigarettes butts, empty tins and bottles, discarded food wrappings. It’s been raining and I navigate my sandalled way through mud and broken glass.
The paintings are varied – a lot, of little interest to me, are football-related. The ones that catch my eye are mostly incomprehensible if I’m looking for meaning. However if I just want to savour image, composition and colour there’s plenty to please, and even to amuse. Occasionally I do my own meaning-making, well aware that I’m probably light years away from what the artist was thinking.
I pick my way back into Agrykola and stroll between the lake with its fountain and a vast sports complex. There’s a narrow track under overhanging trees where a woman no longer young, but probably not as old as me, jogs up and down, disappearing under the arch of trees, turning and reappearing. A bright pink bench with a non-functioning press-to-make-this-play button is no good for sitting on either: it’s still splashed with yesterday’s rain. There are glimpses of roofed nesting rafts where adolescent ducklings or moorhens stand amidst an untidy jumble of straw.
My morning ends at a bus stop, and yet another reminder of the Uprising, a banner attached to the pedestrian overpass above the highway. It says “Honour and glory to the heroes.”
My last walk through Agrykola was on a rainy day in September 2013.