5 photos, 5 stories


Time to get started on those stories!  I have nominations from Minerva, Nin, Elaine and Viveka, so what am I waiting for?  First I’d better tell anyone out there who hasn’t seen this challenge (and there can’t be many of you left!) how it works.  Post a photo, tell a story/poem/joke- whatever your style is- on 5 consecutive days and pass on the nomination.  Simple, right?

So why have I been stalling?  Well, the stories that I want to tell are of a personal nature.  Not like my usual gung-ho walking style.  And I’ve become so used to telling my stories with photos that I’ve become a little afraid of the naked page.  But there are Polish snippets just aching to be told. So, will you indulge me?

The bears you see in the photo above belong to a little girl called Kinga.  At 5 years old she is big sister to a bouncy little bundle called Nadia (who you may remember from this post).  The two of them are granddaughters to my cousin, Jadwiga.  During my recent stay in Bełchatów, in Central Poland, I slept in their playroom.  What a time I could have had, playing all night with the bears and dolls!  But instead I slept soundly, in a haven away from the Polish chatter.  Try as I might to understand the ebb and flow of conversation at the family dining table, invariably it eluded me. The bears were undemanding company.

Like many Polish families, Jadwiga’s children went abroad, seeking better opportunities.  Ania and Hubert both worked in England for a time, and speak our language well.  Theirs was the first Polish wedding I ever attended, and the dancing and warmth of the occasion sparkles still in my memory.  When Hubert found a decent job, in the local power station, it was time to come home and start a family.  Jadwiga considers herself blessed by their presence, because her younger child Krzysztof and his wife Marzena have elected to stay in the UK. Gifted with computers, her son can provide a good lifestyle for his family in Reading.  But it means that Jadwiga has yet to meet her beautiful new grandchild, Maja. (yes, all girls , so far)  Soon there’ll be someone else sleeping in that playroom, but only for the briefest of visits.  And when she and her parents return to England, she’ll be taking another little piece of Jadwiga’s heart with her.

Rarely did I look at my cousin and not see a smile upon her face.  She starts work, driving a school bus, at 6 in the morning till 8, and then again in the afternoon.  Coming home, she can’t wait to sweep Nadia out of her playpen and dance with her around the house.  A myriad tasks are done with the baby on a hip- either hers or Ania’s.  The house has been extended to accommodate the young family, but for the past 2 years Hubert has been building them a beautiful new home, within the family grounds.  But that’s part of tomorrow’s story.

The background to my 5 stories can be found in My personal A-Z of Poland, though looking at it, I see it needs some revision.  I hope that you will enjoy this new little venture with me.  Today I would like to nominate Gemma at Dear Bliary to take up the challenge.  I fear that she might be too busy to do so, but I know that she would add her own uniquely wonderful style to it.  Please do visit the lovely ladies who nominated me.  They each have a lovely tale to tell.



  1. Back after a looong time, Jo. Have a lot to go through… these 5 stories just called out to me, so starting here! Off to read the next!


    1. Hi Kan 🙂 Hope all’s well and that you’ve been somewhere wonderful. Will check that out later as I’m still in catch up mode (becoming permanent 🙂 )


  2. Escaping to the quiet company of the Bears in your story.
    Rang a bell in my memory of how tiring a foreign language can be.
    It made me a lot more sympathetic when the situation is reversed.
    When in the company of foreign visitors without realising it I speak slowly.
    It amuses Pauline she reckons I take on a funny accent.
    Yes Jo your story came to life when I read it.



  3. I love hearing more about your personal side Jo. It is so difficult to see our children move away. Both of our children live away from home, a driveable distance but still too far for this mom’s liking!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s good to hear your family stories, Jo. Thank you for sharing them. And especially the bears 🙂 (I’ve been doing this challenge too this week – which has been quite a challenge doing something every day). I look forward to the next photos and stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The daily writing, I love, Tish. Sometimes I’d just like to shut the world out and do it 🙂 It’s the aftermath of 5 days posts and the 240 Inbox that I struggle with. Maybe I’ll just delete them. (but you know I won’t 🙂 ) Thanks for reading. I’ll be over to yours later 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Pauline 🙂 I don’t know where she finds the energy, but then… you find it when you need it, don’t you? And there’s so much joy in that home.


  5. Lovely bears! They sure are comfy and warm.

    Your story sounds familiar. Of children leaving the nest and finding their future in far away lands. Gone were the days when generations of families were born and die in one place. It is sad in a way.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like this. You weave your words beautifully as you describe this Polish family that I have struggled to understand how they fit into your life – or how you fit into theirs. I look forward to seeing how your stories pan out over the next few days. And maybe you can put a sort of family tree on your Polish A-Z so I can follow the line 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a good idea about the tree, Jude. I get lost in the detail myself 🙂 My stepbrother started to draw one up but Dad is one of 9 and there were so many gaps that he gave up. Thanks 🙂


  7. Wonderful to hear more of the personal side of who you are Jo. What a heartwarming story of this hardworking pair and full of love too.
    I am going to be away for the next five days so I may not keep up but will check in whenever i can. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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