History crumbles before my eyes

History crumbles before my eyes

Since I’ve been living in Slovakia, a little over 16 years now, I’ve seen some major changes. I’ve watched entire historical aspects of living culture vanish in the onslaught of globalisation.

I took this photo a year ago. It’s of an uninhabited neighbouring property and shows how the barn on the side of the house was hand crafted from hewn wood. This barn no longer exists. One storm too many and too little attention paid to it saw it come crashing down on itself. Just before winter the inheritors of the property came and removed the final beams and logs, leaving an aching chasm where once had been artisanship and daily toil.

So many of the buildings in my area will suffer the same fate and will ultimately be levelled in order for their land to be replanted with mortgage-ridden McMansions. Just a generation or two earlier and the houses and outbuildings were built by hand by the owners and a group of volunteers from the village paid in drink and food.

Tatra Mountains, Slovakia

Tatra Mountains, Slovakia

My eldest boy has just returned from ski camp. This is a photo he took on the bus as they passed the Tatra Mountains. With the socialist era flat blocks in the foreground, and the thick snow covering anything, it really sums up this country.