Safely Home

Good to be back and to see some decent weather again here in Scotland.

Fascinating place, Poland. We were in a restaurant and they arrived and offered champagne with a slice of strawberry ‘to join us in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the end of Communist rule.’ The Solidarity flags were flying in the main Square. I liked the idea that it was all so low key – and the mind goes back to Lech Walesa and his negotiating committee which numbered some hundreds. And none of the simplistic bluster of B*** who said, ‘They don’t love freedom the way we love freedom’

I also took a look at the residence of the Archbishop of Krakow – the local Blogstead as it were. He swept past me in his Passat – a bit shinier than mine. We don’t have a full-size portrait of JPII over the archway either.

But back to Auschwitz for a moment. I mentioned it en passant on Sunday morning and found myself talking to somebody who had lost seven members of his family there. I’ll always think of the single sprig of spring flower on just one of the hundreds of photos of prisoners taken when they arrived – date of arrival and date of death – seldom more than six months and mostly much less. And the flowers on the railway track at Birkenau. Tiny and inadequate gestures seem like the only possible response – flickerings of grace