Showing posts from 2015

A Polish Christmas and New Year's Eve - A nostalgic Return to the Past - Wishing 'the happy few' who read my ramblings this year a Happy Christmas 2015 and an optimistic and affluent New Year 2016

At Christmas time the importance of the Polish family is ever-present - a force that binds this society together with affection and love. On Christmas Eve a blessed wafer is broken by each member of the family and best wishes are made for the future. The appalling history of loss in Poland meant the family and the Catholic church were often the sole refuge from oppression. Here in Poland the family at Christmas is to be warmly embraced not fled from in anguish. I quote from the unedited version of Chapter 27 of my book   A Country in the Moon  for a nostalgic account of Christmas and New Year in Poland at the turn of the millennium. There has never been a better one for me. The 'Writer's Cut' if you will. Some 30,000 words and many evocative scenes were cut from my original manuscript of this literary travel book before publication - all quite normal in publishing today but what treasures were lost!  How life in Poland has changed since those far off days! The char

17th International Fryderyk Chopin Competition, Warsaw, 1-23 October 2015

With the tremendous advances in technology in the last five years and the sterling efforts of the National Fryderyk Chopin Institute in providing live streaming of the entire competition, I feel a detailed internet journal as I last presented it in 2010 is now redundant. Millions of voices are commenting on the competition in a veritable storm of brief assessments.  I will keep a type of occasional  personal  internet journal instead of writing it in longhand as I once did years ago.  For reflections on each stage of the competition see below... My general opinions expressed in the last competition in 2010 of Chopin, pianists, performing and competitions have scarcely changed. The link to my account of the 16th International Fryderyk Chopin Competition, Warsaw, 2010 and With the explosion in social media I