Thursday, March 31, 2011

89/365: Bathtime

89/365: Bathtime
89/365: Bathtime, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

March 30th

Another visit to the Wiki stables. This colt apparently wanted a bath.

Other horses prefer a dust-bath:

A roll about in the dirt

But some join the colt in the water:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

88/365: Catkins

88/365: Catkins
88/365: Catkins, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

March 29th

We cut some willow catkin branches the day we drowned the Marzanna, and they puffed up really nicely in an old bottle on my kitchen table. Catkins mean spring!


Yellow Catkins

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

87/365: The unexpected farm

87/365: The unexpected farm
87/365: The unexpected farm, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

March 28th

"Hello! Excuse me, sir, didn't you keep sheep, once?"

"Had to sell them! Paid more to the shearers than the wool was worth. Then I kept pigs, but some inspector came and told me the sty was dirty. That I couldn't get inside to clean it! Look! I fit right through. But the European Union says the door is too small. Stalin, he would send men to take some of the pigs away, but he didn't tell you the sty is dirty! He didn't tell you how to run your farm. Now someone's ratting on me, because they built their town palace next door and don't like the smell. So I sold my pigs, the sows and the boars, I sold them all, so-and-so came right over and loaded them up. Just two horses now, and the chickens, they come and go as they please. But no pigs. The pigs are gone. No more pigs!"

Behind me, in the padlocked barn, something grunted. I didn't say a word.

Farmer and horse

Two horses


Monday, March 28, 2011

86/365: The Owl

86/365: The Owl
86/365: The Owl, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

March 27th

This used to be a cinema, the Gdynia cinema to be exact. It dates back to 1908. I can't find any serious sources but there are claims that the owl used to have glowing eyes. Now, it's nothing at all, although someone did give the building a fresh coat of paint, so maybe there is hope. Wikipedia has a picture of what it used to look like. I'm surprised I don't have one on file, I was sure I'd taken one before...

Image CC via Wikipedia.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

85/365: Fridge

85/365: Fridge
85/365: Fridge, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

March 26th

With notes on what needs to be made before it goes bad. Which I didn't end up following anyway.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

84/365: Beans

84/365: Beans
84/365: Beans, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

March 25th

This is, hopefully, the beginning of a lovely bean curtain.

Friday, March 25, 2011

83/365: Cats

83/365: Cats
83/365: Cats, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

March 24th

Every time my flatmate goes out of town, they take over her couch.

Oli and Zulka

Thursday, March 24, 2011

82/365: Sunset

82/365: Sunset
82/365: Sunset, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

March 23rd

A bike ride over the railroad tracks. I went to sign up for driving classes. I can't afford a car, but...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

80/365: The Marzanna

80/365: The Marzanna
80/365: The Marzanna, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

March 21st

About to be burned and drowned in the Ner river. Goodbye, Winter!

Marzanna is the ancient pagan Slavic goddess of Winter. On the vernal equinox, we make an effigy of her, set it on fire and then drown it in the river so that Spring will come.

Although Christianity in Poland has worked hard to assimilate and conceal the multitude of wonderful pagan traditions within its Catholic celebrations, the drowning of the Marzanna persists despite many attempts to eradicate it. In fact it's traditional for pre-school children to make the effigy in class and then have a little field trip to drown her. The burning of Judas which was meant to replace it somehow never really caught on...and I am glad. Marzanna must die as the Winter cedes to Spring, but she will return next season to live again. Her burning is a symbol of the natural order, while tormenting a straw effigy of Judas only serves to translate guilt into angry righteousness.

I suppose the Church has to be content with the fact that we no longer greet Jaryła, the god of Spring, with dances and orgies...

So. I haven't done this in a while, for lack of good company, but this year I found two friends who thought it was a great idea. We made our Marzanna from wood, rags and hay, so she should decompose well. The Ner river is pretty dirty already, but there was no need to contribute to the pollution.

Kasia, Piotrek, and Marzanna

Burning the Marzanna

Monday, March 21, 2011

79/365: Half and half

79/365: Half and half
79/365: Half and half, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

March 20th

Warsaw Central Station, underground, Platform 3. The left side has been refurbished. The right side (except for the display) has not. As a long-time rider from this station I have to say the difference is striking. Light paneling on the ceiling instead of leaky, disgusting dark slabs, a blue, shiny and bilingual platform sign and electronic display instead of the old split-flap display, a raised texture safety band at the edge of the platform to keep blind people safe and make it less slippery...more is to come but it's already looking good.

Work in progress

Sunday, March 20, 2011

78/365: Supermoon not so super for me

78/365: Supermoon not so super for me

March 19th

It was cloudy when it came out, and the later it just looked normal.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

77/365: Bazie kotki

77/365: Bazie kotki
77/365: Bazie kotki, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

March 18th

Bazie kotki are catkins. There's a bit of fresh willow tree growing in the field. It's not quite Spring yet- we have a name for this season, 'Przedwiośnie', or Before-Spring. The weather is cold. But not cold enough to keep the first new life from appearing.


By the water

The Swan

Friday, March 18, 2011

76/365: Rainbow rocket

76/365: Rainbow rocket
76/365: Rainbow rocket, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

March 17th

The Palace of Culture and Science. I also posted this on, a collaboration 365 with some Tolkien forum friends of mine. Below is a copy of what I wrote for that post:

The Palace of Culture and Science is the tallest building in Poland, and a controversial Warsaw landmark. It was built between 1952 and 1955, the materials and 3500-strong Soviet workforce provided as a kind gift by Joseph Stalin. In hindsight, we know the true meaning of such gestures- there are several similar skyscrapers in other Eastern countries which were under Soviet control. It's like a stamp of ownership; a brand, and hated by many since the blueprints. I've heard people call it very rude things indeed, I wouldn't dream of repeating them here.

It didn't help that in order to secure space for the construction, one of the most vibrant and quickly recovering parts of the city center was torn down anew (note: Warsaw was utterly destroyed toward the end of WW2, and that is not a hyperbole). Many surviving citizens claimed the appearance of the Palace disrupted the original flow of their city.

Today, there are still people who want the Palace destroyed. But it has been with us for so many years, and has been adapted for many useful purposes. A viewing terrace, a concert hall, a cinema, several museums, theatres, youth workshops, book fairs, the Palace has seen all of these, and though its design doesn't lend itself well to any of these events, tearing it down would be a logistic nightmare. And after fifty-six years, doesn't it deserve to be left alone?

At least we no longer call it the Palace of Joseph Stalin. His name was removed from the front entrance a long time ago.

Oh, and the rainbow hues? They are part of a new illumination system set up last Christmas. Since the Palace is in the very centre of the city, and the tallest building besides, it's often used as a canvas for art, announcements, and commemorating historical events.

More about the Palace on Wikipedia:,_Warsaw

and at the Official Site:

with some great archival photographs of the construction where you can see the ruins of other buildings in the background:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

74/365: A comment on the rival football team

74/365: A comment on the rival football team

March 15th

"Widzew crouches when they pee."

I believe this is the most polite football fan graffiti I have ever seen.

Also, some advice from the mad prophet of Lodz:
The mad prophet of Lodz
He writes his worldly advice on the walls all over the city. Quotes from this instance:

"Maybe the Black Sea also, what? What does the writing say."

"River God from the mountains."

"Boniek shoots."

"On TV pitchforks from Bulgaria (God)"

"A fork: porno for the mouth of God"

And finally, a marvel of Lodzean architecture:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

72/365: In the evening

72/365: In the evening
72/365: In the evening, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

March 13th

Past permanent flatmates turned temporary, chilling at my flat.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

71/365:Silent Disco

71/365:Silent Disco
71/365:Silent Disco, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

From Wikipedia:

Silent disco has become a common name for a disco where people dance to music listened to on wireless headphones. Rather than using a speaker system, music is broadcast via a FM-transmitter with the signal being picked up by wireless headphone receivers worn by the participants. Those without the headphones hear no music, giving the effect of a room full of people dancing to nothing. Often two DJs compete for listeners.

We had three DJs, one of them a friend of mine. I took some headphones but I don't dance, so I gave them to a friend who forgot his ID. I had a great laugh watching people dancing to no music, especially after midnight when everyone was drunk enough to lose all inhibitions. People made hilarious grunting noises as they danced, and some of them sang out loud and very much off key.

The photos had the exposure cranked up in Bridge, because I was shooting without a flash, relying only on the disco lights. I like the effect, though.

Silent Disco

Silent Disco

Silent Disco

Silent Disco

Saturday, March 12, 2011

70/365: Meat.

70/365: Meat.
70/365: Meat., originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

March 11th

Your guess is as good as mine. I think it was a ham hock. What it was doing in the street at night is not clear.

I don't have any photos for March 10th- I took some, but something strange happened. I think I got confused and instead of importing them to my computer, I edited them straight from the CF card and then formatted it, not realising the photos hadn't been copied. Shame and bother. :(

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

68/365: Spring nibble

68/365: Spring nibble
68/365: Spring nibble, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
March 9th

Horseriding day! A big birch had just been felled so the horses got to eat the very best little branches from the very top of the tree.

Birches are tasty



Horses and birch

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