Monday, 14 January 2013

Happy semi-centenary, Marek!

Now it can be revealed what I've been up to this past week - scanning scores of black & white 35mm negatives ahead of my brother Marek's 50th birthday, which occurs today. The photos will then go into a book (using publication software available from, with a print run of three (one for Marek and his family, one for our parents, and one to remain with me). Print-on-demand is a great technology; it allows ordinary people to put together their own books to a high standard of professionalism.

And what will be in this magnificent tome, a pictorial summary of Marek's early years, captured on film by our father, Bohdan Dembinski, using a Praktica IVB camera? Shots like these, below...

Above: Marek in the back garden of our house on Croft Gardens, Hanwell, West London, summer 1965. In his hand, a frogman figurine, diving off a wooden brick.

Above: boy with, and without, ice cream. Sandy Lane, Oxshott, May 1964, Below: one of the earliest photos in existence of Marek, taken late March- early April 1963. He is already sitting up!

Marek was born in the middle of the coldest month of the 20th Century in England, so it is fitting that today he should also see snow in Derbyshire. Below: Croft Gardens, 50 years ago. [For more photos and reminiscences from my youngest days, please visit Grey Jumper'd Childhood, my occasional blog that celebrates the 1960s, as captured in my memory.]

So then - Marek, sto lat (and then some more!). Of all the men I've met in my life, you are the one I admire most.

This time last year:
First snow in the Old Town

This time two years ago:
Blood on the tracks, again

This time three years ago:
Views from Książęca footbridge - winter and summer

This time four years ago:
The Most Poniatowskiego

This time five years ago:
[What was once] The highest point in Jeziorki


Anonymous said...

Michael - a very nice thing to do. Very creative and meaningful.


Richard - Woodworks said...

Happy Birthday Marek,
Love the photos. Richard