...curiously Polish day. I went to visit a friend in Ealing - which happens to be a rather Polish corner of London, though he is Irish - and we talked at some length about his visits to Poland in the 1980s when he was part of a series of seminars organised with Polish academics, in the teeth of opposition from the Communist authorities...all rather exciting stuff, police spies, plans for a speedy getaway if required, "we were on 30-second notice to disband, had to keep papers ready to stuff into a case and go..."
On the way back I did some shopping, bought rather delicious-looking Polish pastry. Back at home, washing-machine still out of action(see earlier blog), went to launderette with great bag of towels etc, plus book, plus pastry to eat. One other occupant, showed me how to work the machine,turned out he was Polish. We talked John Paul II, Krakow, Wadowice, showed him my book.He told me about Polish London - churches, shops:"You find nice Polish ladies choosing meats and things to make a very proper meal. That's about twenty per cent of the custoimers. And the rest are men with big backpacks, buying beer, six bottles on special offer for the price of five." He was washing a great stack of grubby overalls:"My work clothes, I can't do them in the machine where I live as the others complain". Back to Poland in January to finish studying law. "You will enjoy Poland. And you must eat what John Paul liked - Kremowki." And when I later checked on the internet, that was exactly the pastry I had chosen.
A Polish day.