Sunday, 10 February 2019

Getting over this year's flu (and some bygone Poland)

Not as bad as last year's one, which whacked me out for the best part of two weeks, but still bad enough to lay me out in bed for three and half days (Weds through to Sat lunchtime). Fever got nowhere near last year's record of 39.1C, max this time was only 37.3, alternating on Thursday morning with 35.8C. Three bad nights of sleep, nightmares, shivering or sweating, sleepless hours, but today, on Day Five, I'm on the mend. Medicines taken - exactly zero. Lots of hot drink (tea with honey, lemon, ginger, cloves). Time to get back into the exercises, planks, press-ups, weights and pull-ups; five days of foregone walking needs to be caught up on too. But take it easy. And lesson for next year - flu vaccine! My father has been getting his free on the NHS every year and I can't remember him being laid out with the virus for literally decades.

Being ill in bed is made much better in these web-enabled days by the ability to watch some good films on YouTube. Here's one I must share with you; this is a BBC documentary made in 1982 (filmed August/September that year); ostensibly about narrow-gauge steam trains, but really about the search for Poland's soul. An amazing film for so many reasons - we see how far Poland has progressed, but also wonder a bit about what's been lost. On balance, however, I feel that few Poles will get nostalgic about the lives they left behind in 1982. Life was hard; people retreated within themselves, into the fastness of the family, the countryside.

The quality isn't brilliant - the video has been uploaded from a VHS tape that mashes up a bit towards the middle, but this should not prevent you from enjoying this extremely incisive view into Poland's recent history. I dare say, this is not the same emotional effect one gets from watching a film about a quaint English branch line in the 1950s. There are many of these on YouTube. And highly enjoyable too. They generate many comments from nostalgic viewers, bewailing the Lost England in which they were born, but no longer recognise today. Few Poles would care to return to the Poland shown in this film, despite the lyrical beauty of a pastoral Poland that "seems to exist outside time, on the borders between somewhere and nowhere, where something is about to happen, but never actually does."

This time last year:
War and the absence of war

This time three years ago:
Sensitivity to spiritual evolution

This time four years ago:
74th anniversary of Stalin's deportations of Poles

This time five years ago:
Peak Car (in western Europe at least)

This time six years ago:
Pavement for Karczunkowska NOW!
[I still walk through mud or dice with speeding cars.]

This time seven years ago:
Until the Vistula freezes over 

This time eight year:
Of sunshine, birdsong and wet socks

This time 11 years ago:
Dziadzio Tadeusz at 90


Ian Wilcock said...

A very interesting video, thank you for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating, I am surprised the Beeb was allowed to film trains as they were, at the time, part of the communication infrastructure and military secret - even pointing a camera at a station building could get you in trouble with the authorities. The other thing I remember about Poland in the 80s was the lack of color with everything being gray/ blue that the video so brilliantly captures. Oh the memories ... Thanks for sharing, get well Michael.