Saturday, December 31, 2005

Śnieg padał i padał i padał & Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku

It snowed almost constantly for several days, and the end result is SNOW. Lots and lots of snow. I went for a walk yesterday and passed many parked cars that looked as though they'd need to be dug out before anyone could drive them anywhere, and others that you'd have to move a lot of snow just to find out which car is hiding underneath.

This car was actually driven early yesterday morning, and this is the result of just one day's worth of snow, so you can imagine what it would look like if the car hadn't been used for a few days.

It looks quite nice, and it's fun to walk in - so soft and fluffy. I walked outside my building and my boots and lower legs disappeared into the snow :) which was fun until I realised that some naughty snow had found its way into my boots and from there proceeded to freeze my feet.
There's definitely plenty of snow available, and it does have a high novelty value for me, but the downside is that it is now really dangerous to try to drive anywhere, and I've been told that the trains are probably going to be later than usual, so it's probably a good thing that I don't have any major travel planned for this weekend.

It also happens to be the 31st of December today which means that tomorrow won't be. In fact, there's a strong suggestion that tomorrow could be the 1st of January 2006. So Happy New Year to all! If you've travelled to New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania or any other places to the east of Australia, you would already be in the new year at the time of my writing of this post. If you're in Queensland, then you have about 20 minutes left before the new year kicks in. Because I'm in a later part of the world, I still have 9 hours and 20 minutes until the new year makes its way around to me.
So, I wish you all good luck for all your endeavours in the coming arbitrarily designated 12 month period.

Friday, December 30, 2005

More Snow

These are some pictures of the snow on my window sill. Not that at least one window is open in all pictures. This means that I had to brave the chilly outside world to take these photos.

Thursday, December 29, 2005


Today is Thursday. That means tomorrow will be Friday, the next day will be Saturday. Saturday, as usual, will be followed my Sunday and then, in turn, we'll have Monday. Monday means that I have to go back to work. I'm not looking forward to this as I like resting and not working. I will have had ten days off work by the time Monday rolls around, starting on the 23rd of December, but I'm already up to day number 7.


Look! Snow!
Tuesday evening saw the start of some rather heavy snow. It fell all night and continued to fall for most of yesterday, and it is still lightly falling. This is the end result:

(all of these photos were taken a couple of minutes before posting, from my window)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Witam Sylwia

Sylwia ma blog. Czytaj.

Christmas Festivities

I went to Sylwia's house for a couple of days over Christmas, from the 24th (for Wigilia) to the 26th. Oczywiście było duuuużo jedzenie. :-)
The main Christmas Dinner occurs on Christmas Eve. There were 9 of us at Sylwia's house for the dinner, and then her aunt, uncle and cousin came up later. The food was fantastic, and there was so much of it. Polish people have a nice tradition where you break off pieces of a wafer or thin biscuit to give to people while wishing them good luck and health etc for the future before you eat the main meal on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Day was a fairly lazy day, mostly spent eating more food, relaxing, and wathing tv. In the afternoon we went to Sylwia's brother's house for cake and coffee. A common theme for the few days was "Sean, eat!" or "Sylwia, tell Sean to eat!".
On Boxing Day (26th) I spent the morning and early afternoon at her house too, which involved more eating and relaxing.
In the evening, I came home and then went to a Christmas party at Cathy and Paweł's place. (Cathy and Paweł are other English teachers in Gliwice - Cathy's from Northern Ireland and Paweł's from Gliwice)
I was a great party, involving more fantastic food and wine, friendly people, and trivial pursuit.
I think I'll spend today doing next to nothing and eating minimally to give my digestive system a break from the torture it has had to endure over the past few days. :-)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Festive Season

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone who bothers to read my blog. Which is, by definition, everyone who sees this message.

or: Wesołych Świąt i Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku!

In related news, it seems as though the song "Last Christmas" by Wham! is very popular in Poland. Too popular, I think. Now, I'm the first to say that Wham! were fantastic, but even I think that there's such a thing as too much Wham!. At least Poles don't start playing Christmas carols in October, like the shopping centres in Australia, which is a very very good thing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Bloody John from Edinburgh, UK. That Tim Tam Hamper should have been mine. Why does he need them? Tesco in Britain stocks Tim Tams, but does Tesco in Poland stock them? No, they don't. Stupid worthless Tesco. And stupid John from Edinburgh, UK.

Sour grapes? Me? Why ever do you ask?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Look! Snow!

It snowed quite heavily yesterday, so the view outside my window is once again fresh, white and crisp. :-)

Welcome to Sean's Bookclub

I recently read a book.

There, end of post.

Ok, there's more.

The book I read was Dan Brown's Angels and Demons. I read it because I've read all the other English books in my apartment and Mum left it here for me to read when she came over. I was initially a bit apprehensive about reading something written by Dan Brown because of all the hype surrounding his other book - The Da Vince Code. I was expecting it to be crap, like a literary equivalent to the music from Australian Idol or something. Fortunately I was pleasantly surprised; it is actually a good book, and I think fairly well-written, though the language isn't difficult, so it's an easy read, which is probably one of the reasons that Brown has become a mainstream author. The book managed to hold my interest; such that I didn't want to put the book down until I'd finished it. The story was mostly set in Rome, which was also good from my point of view because I have recently been to Rome, so the landmarks that were mentioned in the book were fresh in my mind because I've been there, taken photos of them, and had coffee or dinner in a cafe overlooking the exact point of the action. I don't think it's a literary masterpiece, but it's good none-the-less, and I'd recommend it to those who don't read often, and to those who do read often but who have run out of real books to read. I definitely fit into the latter category, as I'd run out of real books to read here and my Polish is by no means at a sufficient level to attempt to read a Polish book.

I've never read The Da Vinci Code partially because I look with scorn upon the many pompous wankers who I've seen reading it in cafes, on buses and various other public places, as if the book is merely a fashion accessory in an attempt to appear vaguely intellectual as well as having a nice handbag. I would probably read The Da Vinci Code in the near(ish) future on the basis of my experience with Angels and Demons if I found a cheap, English copy in Poland, but I can promise that I will not read it in public and so I will still be able to make derisive comments (albeit in my head) about people who do.

I'm currently reading a fantastic book for people like me (read: grammar nerds). The book is called, "Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation" by Lynne Truss. I received the book in a package sent from the far-off land of Scotland, from the Kingdom of Fife, no less. (Thanks Lizard)
I'm about half-way through, so expect another installment of Sean's Bookclub anytime soon.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


I went ice-skating again today, for the third time since coming to Poland. It has been about six months since the last time, so I felt like a beginner all over again. The place was crowded, which was a bit annoying as there were people everywhere, but on the plus side, many of them looked like they'd never seen ice-skates before, so they were also a little unsteady on their feet. I didn't fall over this time, which is always a bonus, though many other people there did, so I felt smugly superior to them. Ice-skating is heaps of fun, and I only wish I were actually half-decent at it.

For the record, size 43 is too tight, 44 is tight but bearable and I think next time I'll ask for 45.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Post and Christmas

It's been a while since my last post containing anything interesting, but I haven't done anything interested or blog-worthy for a while. Lately I've been working, eating, and checking the mailbox for signs of life from the postal service here. I normally only check the letterbox once every few days, but I'm expecting the arrival of two packages from two different places around the world - one from Australia and one from Scotland. The last package that I received arrived a month after it was posted in Australia, so I'm starting to seriously believe that the Polish postal service (Poczta Polska) consists of little more than a sick donkey. I don't wish to be presumptuous, but if anyone is considering sending me anything in the mail, refrain from doing so and save yourself the postage money because at this rate, it's likely to arrive after I've left the country.

On a positive note, I went for a short walk around the town centre last night, for the first time in a few days and noticed that there are Christmas decorations everywhere, lights hung from the buildings and over the tram lines. Overall it's quite impressive, and really stands out from the grey/white landscape. It's beginning to look like the Christmas we Australians know only from Christmas cards and movies. Apparently some people around the world don't spend Christmas day in the pool or air-conditioned rooms. :-)
Also, Santa Claus visits people here on the 6th of December, so that's when children receive presents. Of course, more presents are handed out on the 24th or 25th too, so the kids here get two 'Christmas' days.