Sitting in the kitchen: February

I don’t like February, and, as far as I am concerned, February is the worst month of an year. Therefore I feel happy that this is over now. Here is already spring, with quite warm, longer and sunny days . ( It was even 15 degrees above zero a few days ago). Tomorrow I will bake a spelt buns. I have not yeast at home, so I need to buy. This is much better, while the bread is made at home, don’t you. I’ve read, that in the old times flour was much better than today and spelt had been very popular in Europe, for sure in the Middle Ages. The painting by J. Vermeer ” The Milkmaid” is not that old than the Middle Ages, but I guess in those times bread was also much better than our contemporary chemical bread. ( Here read on the painting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Milkmaid_(Vermeer) )

I saw a fox recently! ( Not a boar this time… ) This fox is almost tame and very beautiful. She/he has been living here for a few years, so from time to time is possible to see her/him. The fox usually strolls among the apartment blocks here, acting like dogs do. Everytime I met this fox I was thinking I see a dog, and after a longer moment I realised it is a fox. I think she/he also feels herself/ himslef a little bit as a dog and this is a useful trick. I see the animal wants to be accepted here and is friendly. I remember two years ago, in the wintertime, and it was after midnight, my sweet dog had decided she will make this fox run. Wow! She almost bited the fox’s tail! But very soon it turned out that the fox is much  better long distance runner than she. ( And I was the last one in that chase). The fox was out of reach!

But this time I had my dog on the leash, so firstly the fox was starring into my eyes for a moment and afterward simply went somewhere into the night, and the moon was shining. .. Here, in Warsaw, we have  quite big number of foxes. The fox I know is friendly and brave, and young. I like him a lot and hope we will meet once again. I might call the fox a friend of mine, because I have seen the animal wants me to feel like that. I know it from this look – very clever animal, indeed.

Panda Bao Bao ( not sure I wrote her name correct) has already arrived to China, and she must spend some time in a cage, so she got nostalgic. And one woman in Canada, who is a restaurant’s owner, discovered some illegal immigrants there, and she gave them breakfast. It was next to the border with the U.S. And the temperature in Lahti for today ( yesterday) was higher than zero. Don’t forget to watch the large hill competitions today! And some gorgeous people in fabulous clothes were standing along with the Queen – that’s because of some common project of the U.K. and India, although I am not big on it, so no details this time. And I am not  mad! In other words I am going to tell you, that this agressive and weird stuff is still in my livingroom. The tv set. ( As  some of you might remember, in my latest post I was wondering should I have a tv set at home or not). Mine tv set is bothering me, and I find it overwhelming ( Bao Bao, the Queen, ski jumping, a restaurant in Canada…) Nevertheless , I cannot do this right now. I cannot throw the tv set out, because I am dead keen on sport. I am completely nut about watching sport in tv! Firstly, these World Championships in Lahti, it is running right now. Secondly, European Athlethic Championship in Belgrade ahead! Not to miss! ( Not to mention about a cycling races, f.ex. Paris – Nice is upcoming soon). Especially I adore runs and I am a massive fan of Genzebe Dibaba.

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One winter night I went sleep , that day I captured this last boar’s track this year. And the next day, while I had waken up, I saw it is already spring. Snow had been melting  and I felt that awesome springish warmth. It was amazing! Rain or shine, snow or shine February is a love season for squirrels. Be aware of that, lol. ( This is a squirrel track).

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I am not sure I will make my millet’s pudding with a chocolate drops, or maybe I will read a book.  See you soon, guys! Love to be with you.

Kraków in Fałat’s art

Thus, another week has gone! So maybe is closer to spring…  Julian Fałat is one of my favourite Polish painters, despite of the fact he had been painting also huntings, indeed cruel situations ( I believe he did it for money), but the rest is superb and brilliant. So we are in the XIX century right now. And in Cracow, looks like winter…

When I was a child I was spending a part of my vacations in Cracow every summer, because my auntie Jasia had been lived there, in very old, mysterious house ( with awesome wooden balcony, very long, and while you reached the end of the balcony, there was something called “spiżarnia” or “gross kamera” – the amazing pantry with huge amount of big jars with cucambers in brine or confitures). Auntie Jasia ( Jane) was a very classy lady and she was an actress in her younger years. Then she married my uncle Walter who was in a half Austrian and his mother lived in Vienna. He was the only one from my family who had been arrested during II  world war, he spent all the time in “oflag” ( German nazi camp for officers). He was an officer of Polish army. Then he had a cafe on Floriańska street, along with my granddad, until comunists nationalized it – not  long time, only a several years.

falat-krakow

Then, while I became a teen I was travelling to Kraków as often as I could. I remember bad times in Kraków and good times there, in this unique place on Earth. I know a part of my soul is always close to Kraków for some reasons. When I was a student I was spending there almost every weekend. And if it comes to talk about J. Fałat paintings I want to make more posts on him. He had been living and painting in many places, not only in Kraków. ( The last painting I have from Pinterest, and it is from some deleted blog, so I skip the caption)

Here is getting warmer right now. Melting snow is rather ugly, but I feel spring in air, maybe too early!

In Kraków people are a little bit thrifty, and very proud that they are from Kraków. They usually don’t like us, people from Warsaw, and they consider themselves as better, because Kraków is older Polish capital and gla, gla… One time I asked one old man in Kraków, how to go somewhere, I don’t remember… He told me what I needed but was worrying and added : ” But that is very far! You have to wait for the tram!  ” and I said: ” Why?” – ” Because it takes 15 minutes by foot!!!” – he was really scared. LOL! 15 min by foot that is next to nothing! I am from Warsaw – here half an hour by foot is very close.

Breaking news about Leonardo Da Vinci painting

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Wikipaintings.org

Poland has bought that  world famous masterpiece of art lately, in the last days of the past year. Obviously, the painting ” Lady with an Ermine” had been in Cracow also before, but the owner was Prince Adam Czartoryski and The Czartoryski’s Foundation, not the Polish state. They sold us also all their brilliant collection of art – the painting by Da Vinci is the highlight – along with the buildings, where the exhibition is located.

The main change is that since now this priceless heritage ( it was  assured on 300 mln euro during the trip through Europe in 2011 ) had become a  property of the state and is not allowed to travel anymore. Thus, you will come here, to Kraków! You will not regret. ” Dama con l’ermellino” ( the Italian name) is actually displayed at Wawel Royal Castle.

” Dama z gronostajem” ( the Polish name) is a portrait of Cecilia Gallerani, who was the mistress of Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan, and she was only sixteen while the portrait was painted. And also  she was pregnant with the Duke, what is hidden –  probably she is holding the ermine ( a symbol of the Duke) just to hide her pregnancy.She bore him a son and he  married another woman, because Gallerani was not a noble. Such a love story! The painting is very beautiful and is the one of only four portraits of women, painted by Leonardo. The painting was done around 1489- 1490, and this is an oil painting on walnut wood panel.

Medieval Cracow # 1

Hi, everyone! We are already transported to another era, and right now we are standing at Rynek Główny in  medieval Kraków. The video here above is from XXI century, I brought it to you, because I found the video absolutely worthseeing. Don’t worry, that is in Polish only! I will tell you the same things in this post and in my next posts about medieval Cracow. I highly recommend to watch it, because of the sights of the interior of St. Mary’s Basilica ( The Mariacki Church).

Time, we are actually living in, is XIV century, and Mariacki Church is a new temple, built on the foundations of a former temple. It was a Romanesque church, destroyed during one of the Tartar’s invasions. Mariacki Church is in late Gothic style, and is most known from the Altar by Wit Stwosz ( Veit Stoss) – the Altar is very famous as a masterpiece of European Gothic art. ( I will post my next story on it). In the video you may also see a man, who is playing beautiful  bugle- call in one of the Basilica’s towers. This is Hejnał, as far as I’m concerned Hejnał is something like the national anthem, but is much older. Every day at midday you can hear it, if you are at Rynek ( Main Marketplace), and also by Polish Radio. I remember as a kid I was a massive lover of Hejnał from radio… Hejnał is ending too fast and randomly. This is the neverending tribute for a man, who died while  he was playing, asassinated from Tartar’s arrow. It is ending in the moment he died so long time ago, but we still remember. ( Another muslim attack in Europe).

Thus, I leave you with it, because I want you to watch the video, so I should not write too much. The next post will Christmasy, and then we will back in XIV century for more.

This is a drawing of Cracow from famous old book by Hartman Schedl ” Nuremberg Chronicle”, 1493.

 

medieval-cracow

Wikimedia Foundation

 

The Independence Day

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It’s been a while since my last post, so here I go again! I had a cold and afterward I was up to elbow. This is natural, that after a break every duties and things-to-do are overwhelming… Today is The Independence Day here in Poland. In Europe it is rather the day of the end of the IWW, but here we have special national day. Being in Warsaw, like me, is better to stay at home this day, ( especially  if you need to drive the car), because the traffic is very odd. Is difficult to reach another district. The number of  the patriotic demonstrations are quite huge, and we have a wide variety of these –  the nationalists have their demonstration, so  the leftists also want to have their own, and the official events, etc… In general, they’re not agressive or dangerous ( I think it is rather for teens and students ), and I must say Poland is very safe country, if compare with the US. The problem is rather that these events and marches , and marathon, and soldier’s parade, and concerts, are moving all day long and across the city. It cannot be in a one place, because is better to separate these radical  demonstrations. So the city is taken for many hours, and in addition every shops are closed, and this year wet and awful snow is falling. Very chilly day! Snow is melting and I am waiting for the football match Romania- Poland. It seems like big challenge!

New posts are coming, guys! See you soon!