Socialist apartment block

Socialist apartment block

This is a classic example of socialist realist architecture, and a sight which is ubiquitous throughout the former Soviet Union and Warsash Pact region. These flat blocks are constructed from huge panels of concrete. Taken in Svidnik, East Slovakia

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My village church

My village church

There are two churches in my village, population 220. The larger (and the one featured in the photo) is Greek Catholic. Very few people attend as most are Russian Orthodox, the church of which is a very small building just in front of the larger church and on its property.

Pope John Paul the Second statue, Krosno, Poland

Pope John Paul the Second statue, Krosno, Poland

Today we went to the town of Krosno in South east Poland to do some shopping. Years back, the large open air market there was the only place locally to buy clothes, cheap food and  other stuff, even though it’s in a different country. In return, the Poles from that area would come to Svidnik in North East Slovakia to buy alcohol and cigarettes. Now with globalisation and Internet shopping, everything’s changed and the market is just endless stalls all selling the same clothes and foot ware at the same prices.

I remember the overwhelming emotion in Poland when Pope John Paul the Second died. The entire country went into mourning.

The Wolf Mountains

I’m often asked why I live where I do, in the Carpathian Mountains of Eastern Slovakia. Watch the film ‘The Wolf Mountains’ (Vlčie Hory) and you’ll understand why. It’s filmed an hour away from me and, aside from the bison, wild horse and bear (thankfully), we get all the same wildlife right outside my back door. Living in my region, in terms of flora and fauna, is like living back in the Middle Ages – a state of natural beauty lost to the rest of Europe. Sadly, modern technology, urbanisation and mass farming are encroaching and I’m glad my children had the chance to grow up here before the wolf, boar, lynx, beaver, marten and stag are lost to corporate coffee shop chains, fast food outlets and genetically modified crops.

Humanity really needs to consider just what we’re leaving for future generations and losing for momentary greed