Saturday, 11 March 2017

Changing Jeziorki, late winter

Many new things to report from Jeziorki as I take a break from blogging about Lent.

For one, a new - temporary? - level crossing is being built (as per tip-off from Dr Marcin) that will join the road behind Biedronka with ul. Gogolińska. Six months after ul. Karczunkowska was closed off, awaiting the construction of a viaduct to take it over the railway line, there's still no sign of work, so an alternative is being provided for local traffic.

Below: to my untutored eye, these concrete tiles do not look like a permanent measure, nor does this crossing look wide nor strong enough to support buses or anything heavier... we'll see. Will the 715 return to its old route? Will it be able to turn sharply from Gogolińska onto the level crossing? Will there be a proper barrier here?

Below: from the end of the 'up' platform at W-wa Jeziorki, looking east towards Biedronka, on the left edge of frame. Again, the access road looks like it's for cars only. Not much room for a properly profiled turning.

Below: looking west from the back of the Biedronka delivery bay; on the right edge of frame, the southern end of the 'up' platform.

Two bonus trainspotting snaps: below: a Newag-refurbished SM48 hauls a full load of biomass containers towards Siekierki power station.

Below: a relative rarity on this stretch of track, a Class 66 loco in EWS (English Welsh and Scottish Railways) livery runs back light to Okęcie sidings. EWS is now owned by DB Schenker Rail UK; DB Schenker Rail Polska bought PCC Rail, the two subsidiaries of Deutsche Bahn swap locos.

Other changes... below: ul. Nawłocka, which runs between ul. Trombity and ul. Karczunkowska, is getting closer to civilisation. Only partially paved as far as the last houses, the rest of the street is a rutted, muddy mess. The far end, by ul. Achillesa was one huge puddle from one side to the other. A kerb was laid just before Christmas and the onset of the snow and ice; last week a large consignment of ballast was laid. I look forward to end-to-end paving before Easter.

Also new - viewing platforms built out into the middle pond on ul. Dumki. There has been extensive work here these past few weeks, but much more to do before summer kicks in. Below: looking towards ul. Kórnicka. It looks like two platforms will arise here.

Below: looking towards ul. Trombity, at the southern end of the middle pond, yet another platform being built out here. Worth remembering that the last two summers, the pond here was bone dry, with no water to be seen anywhere within the scope of this photo.

Below: the swans are back! For them, building a nest away from the humans is proving more and more difficult with each passing year as development and civilisation encroaches upon the reed beds.

Below: the goats are back! Nibbling away at the grass on the football pitch between ul. Kórnicka and the retention ponds, they are a sign of Jeziorki's semi-rural character.

Below: the last of the ice. Shaded by trees from the noonday sun, the most northeasterly pond is the last one with any remnants of ice. Still thick enough for a small log I threw at it to bounce off and skid along the surface. Nine weeks and two days after it froze over - a record during my 15 years here.

Below: visible from my bedroom, this development of four terraced houses is emerging along yet another spur off ul. Trombity. (The practice of house-numbering around here can be explained to British readers by imagining that Regent St be renamed Oxford St 253, A-V.)

As I write these words, I can hear the constant two-stroke whine of chainsaws across the field, as householders make the most of Lex Szyszko - the controversial law proposed by environment "protection" minister, Jan Szyszko. As I mentioned last month, trees can be felled without the bureaucratic fuss that was previously required by law, as a result, hundreds of thousands of trees have been cut down over the past two months.  The result - here in Jeziorki - the most major change to the landscape that I've witnessed in 15 years. Especially around the southern end of ul. Sarabandy - I can hardly recognise some vistas. All will be clear once Google releases the latest satellite imagery on Google Earth and we can compare Poland before and after the introduction of Lex Szyszko.

Below: tree stumps, ul. Trombity. All legally chopped down, of course.

This time three years ago:
A night of musical enchantment

This time four years ago:
A selfless faith

This time five years ago:
Ul. Profesorska after the remont

This time six years ago:
Lent kicks off again, for the 20th year in a row for me

This time seven years ago:
Half way through Lent

This time nine years ago:
Spring much closer


Jacek Koba said...

Crossing the pond-dotted flatlands reminiscent of your photos and spotting a “Dawidy 4” sign south-east of Warsaw on the way to the blessed Ikea today have triggered this comment.

Coincidences! The male right foot in my family took a hit last year. I had the fine bones of mine crushed by a woman in high heels on the metro in September 2016. Two months later, the only two other men on my mum’s side of the family had their right legs and feet pulverised by heavy farm machinery. Is this a sign of some kind? That I mend my ways, perhaps? Turn from liberal to conservative? Venerate Virgin Mary (only right response in this country)?

Fasting? I find the idea repellent if done for reasons other than medical, but my unrepentant humanism embraces Walt Whitman-like all aberrant endeavours, so I cheer for you! Long live multitudes! Self-denial, where it is done voluntarily, is the homage the contented apologetics pay for things not being as bad as they could be. Take just two of likely many counterarguments. Suppose your life is blighted by an unfortunate development: cancer, accident, financial difficulties, interpersonal problems, etc. Doesn’t self-denial sound just a tad hollow then? How about you are a vegan, vegetarian, an ascetic, a minimalist etc of any kind, all year round, all your life? People who deny themselves all the time, however laudable this may be, are apostates, heretics, ingrates, dissidents etc. Fasting without indulging is meaningless, so says the orthodoxy.

Ideas! Where do they come from? I’d say it’s like any fine art or the art of using a language: the more you notice the stronger the urge to articulate it; the more you articulate the more you notice. Then there is the difference between the fourth and fifth beer – if only a fraction of us bothered to capture that passing thought in writing and refined it the next day when we were sober, we’d be hurtling through history like a particle through a Hadron Collider. (A side note: how much self-denial is needed to achieve the same heightened awareness you get between the fourth and the fifth beer?) Finally, my students know that when I say “summarize the story”, I want them to fantasise, add any detail they feel like it, embellish, make it longer than the original. Ideas come in the process of telling. The Jeziorki blog is a great story!

student SGH said...

I was about to let you know on numerous chopped down trees on plots along ul. Sarabandy. The most vivid example of podła zmiana so close to us...

To challenge you abit, the Lex Szyszko liberalised the regulations and let the landowners exercised their ownership rights.

Anonymous said...

thanks Michael - much prefer when you write about Jeziorki and not being an anglo polish version of Jean Paul Sartre.

Any update on the golf driving range? Is it popular.

As Warsaw develops the risk is that you will be surrounded over time with new development and the local character will be lost. Looks like you have many years of realive peace and quiet left to enjoy