Spring countdown

Well, the magnificent magnolia looks about to burst into bloom. I can see the buds swelling and in just a few days we ought to have a wonderful display.

We’ve also (believe it or not) been gardening. First John got carried away and ordered seed trays, propagators and flower seeds from Amazon (free delivery to Poland if you spend over £25). Then, after realising he had more trays than seeds, a joint trip to the garden centre brought us two hanging baskets and a load of flower plants, more flower seeds and some tomato seeds.

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The house faces south, so the log walls and rock foundations retain heat, so we ought to be OK with the tomatoes. Time will tell, I guess.

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So far, strategic use of sticky tape has kept the cats out of the propagators – Jasper has tried to sit on one though, and those things aren’t made like they used to be!

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First time gardening in 30 years – just goes to show what a series of first floor and higher flats in London did for my green fingers!

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Pics to follow, when we have more colour to show you. Meantime, our days have been bright, sunny and dry … but storms are forecast for tonight!

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How’s your winter going?

 

With the news continuously reporting on storms in the US and UK, which seems to be liable to sink beneath the waves at any moment, we have a very gentle winter to report, here.

2013 we had two feet of snow … not the same two feet, clearly, but from Xmas Eve until 6 April there was two feet of snow outside. It would melt a bit, then be topped up, for months. We have pictures!

This year we have had only about four noticeable snow falls, and two of them were last week – when the temperature dropped overnight and we had about 10cm of snow, which promptly all melted next day when the warm sun rose in a clear blue sky. Twice! Even the north facing slopes, opposite us, are clear.

I was outside with the dogs, wearing a sweater, for well over an hour. Lovely and warm, until the sun went behind the hills.

What will the weather be like when YOU come to Poland? Who knows, my friend, who knows!

OMG!

I saw this on Facebook and had to share it … it so nicely sums up the attitude of so many Christians and other theists. As a fat, disabled, gay atheist I see so much discrimination and rights-denial …

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Of course, religion is not the only force behind discrimination and rights-denial … there’s bigotry, race-hate, the hatred of difference and the simple fact that, having secured rights for themselves (or having inherited them) so many people feel they have the right to deny others those same rights.

And while I am on a soap box – and adding that this argument applies not just to churches of the Christian tendency:

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I, for one, refuse to acknowledge the right to power of someone else’s man-made “god”. I don’t believe that makes me any better of a man, but I do believe that while I can be a good man without a god, it takes religion to make good men evil. Or, to quote someone more eloquent than I:

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Krakow’s Rynek (Main Square) is the worlds best

Lonely Planet travel guides have rated Krakows Main Market Square as the most beautiful in the world.

Krakows historic Rynek Glowny managed to beat off competition from Venices celebrated Piazza San Marco 2nd place and the Jamaa el Fna in Marrakesh 3rd in the top ten ranking. The French wing of Lonely Planet noted that the Krakow site had “miraculously” survived the ravages of the Second World War, and that street performers and flower-sellers all do their bit in creating the magic of the square. Lonely Planet enthused that among the most captivating times to visit the square is during the annual Nativity Scene Contest, which takes place on the first Thursday of every December. On that day, contestants line up their distinctive Christmas Cribs on the ledges of the Adam Mickiewicz monument.

Krakows Old Town was rebuilt from scratch after being burnt to the ground by Mongol invaders in the mid 13th Century, hence the citys grid layout. During the Nazi German occupation of the Second World War, the square was renamed Adolf Hitler Platz. However, on the architectural level, the city managed to escape the destruction experienced by many other Polish towns and cities.

Other squares picked in Lonely Planets top ten include the Old Town Square in Prague, Isfahans Imam Square and Moscows Red Square.via Lonely Planet declares Krakow square worlds finest – National.

via Krakow’s Rynek (Main Square) is the worlds best.