Wednesday, 21 December 2011

First snow - but proper snow?

So here we are - 21 December - the Darkest Day - Stalin's Birthday - Winter Solstice - and Warsaw wakes up to the merest dusting of light snow. Nothing outside that even prompts my eye towards my camera's viewfinder. Grey skies, sunshine later, and tiny amounts of snow. Enough, however, for England to grind to a halt, but here, in the office, for instance, no one even mentioned it.

Still, for the record, the first snow of this winter (which can properly be called that) fell on the night of 20/21 December. In the city centre, thermometers registered +2C, out in Jeziorki, it was 0C.

I confess to driving to the office today. I have an excuse - I met Moni off the Łódź train, and together we dragged her things to the car (including her pet rat, Rat Boy - ironically named, as it's a female - in its large cage), plus I had some heavy stuff to take home from the kaletnik. (There's a craft skill you don't get in the UK!)

Driving into and out of the city centre is not a pleasant occupation. If only the Metro ran closer to our house. The Metro is far and away the optimal method of getting into central Warsaw. Sadly, there's only one line running north-south; in a few years there will be an east-west line too.

Looking at the economics, sociology and ergonomics (and did you know that the term 'ergonomics' was first coined by a Polish biologist, Wojciech Jastrzębski in 1857?) of commuting, I find driving to work tiresome, costly and promoting selfish and asocial (if not antisocial) behaviour. I recall in a previous job, one of my workmates remarking (her car broke down that day) 'że musiała się wozić do pracy z narodem' (lit. she had to 'carry herself to work with the nation'). It was meant to be humorous, but driving to work cuts you off from society - from your customers and your voters.

This time last year:
Dense, wet, rush hour snow

This time two years ago:
Evening photography, Powiśle

This time three years ago:
The shortest day of the year

This time four years ago:
Bye bye borders - Poland joins Schengen


student SGH said...

I'm afraid wikipedia says Sralin was born on 18 December 1878.

PS. For such spelling error you could end up in jail at best in post-WW2 years

Michael Dembinski said...

Wikipedia also states: "...after his coming to power in 1922, Stalin changed the date to 21 December 1879 (Old Style date 9 December 1879). That became the day his birthday was celebrated in the Soviet Union..."

I stick by that. Still, what's three days compared to a whole year that Kim Jong-ded lied about his age?

student SGH said...

That might be a bit below the belt, but try to find out when Maria Kaczynska was born...

PS. Began writing winter timeline today. Will come out just before spring equinox

basia said...

Winter solstice> does that mean you change your photo and turn into "winter man"?

"do pracy z narodem"? hmmm, I prefer the phrase: "the unwashed masses"

Must be great to have Moni home.

Anonymous said...

Actually today (22nd) is the shortest amount of daylight.

Due to the fact that next year is a leap year.

I didn't know either until I read an article on it!