I’ve hardly stirred for the last few weeks: when I’ve not been with Maja and Jaś I’ve been wasting time with junk fiction and Netflix. Finally, I give myself a talking to, and venture out, early for a big shop, and then to the Nozyk Synagogue. The wind blows fierce although the temperature is a mild 4°: I now understand wind chill factor. I get off the tram at the Saxon Gardens, and find a badling of assorted ducks sitting huddled on the dirt, blurry with cold. The ground in the flower beds where red assaulted the eyes in spring and summer is luckier: it has a gentle blanketing of foliage.
I rarely button up my jacket, but today I do: I also raise the hood to hold the wind at bay and pull the beanie right down over my ears. A line of shops with matching signs catches my eye – hard not to with a bottle of wine as tall as the doorway outside one shop and a jaunty red bow tied around another door. Christmas decorations are still flashing and gleaming – and challenging my photographic capacity.
I cross the square with water feature that was flowering so vividly last time I passed through and into Prozna Street, the only street that survived the demolition of the ghetto: in 1987 the four surviving buildings were listed as heritage sites. An attempt to escape the wind takes me behind the facades.
I decide to retreat from the cold and eat lunch at Uni Lubelskiej. The glass shopping centre is decked out in pink: pink fairies perch on pink baubles above a pink Christmas tree. Outside a few pink lotus shapes are alight and reflect in the smooth pavement awash with rain.
Inside Green Nero, a man with a checked scarf over his head is busy with his lap top. He’s obviously working: the window of the coffee shop has been taken over by a flurry of postits, neatly categorised and no doubt colour-coded.