matrioszka 1


Matryoshka (rus. матрёшка) is a hollow, wooden figurine, with smaller, smaller, smaller, smaller, smaller and smaller figurines inside. 

The shelf above my desk hosts a Matryoshka from an antique shop. It is beautiful, colorful, with all the right imperfections characteristic of hand-made gadgetry. It comes with two missing figurines and this is yet another reason why it is rendered infallibly legendary:)

And one more thing: just like oil-painting, puff pastry, tiramisu and this blog, it’s got layers.


Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to The Wildebeest

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to The Wildebeest


The Good

Chiquita, the first in the barbarian horde, the oldest of age, but unfortunately the first from the end in the hierarchy. Commonly known as Wildebeest, boggy-soggy gnou, wild boar, Chickledy-Piggeldy, horseshoe crab (Limulus Darwini), Chicken Salad as well as Swampy Goo/Gnou. At times, she also turns into a Barbarian Passenger of Nostromo. I am afraid that in the heat of writing I will use (not only) one of her many nicknames, to which (all) she invariably reacts with encouraging tail-swinging and a meaningful gaze. The one that includes a suggestion of acceptance of all sorts of treats, and, regardless of the time of day and midnight, and the intensity of possible rainfall, suggest a walk or two. The Potential Reader of the animal sector should be equipped in extraordinary attention and phenomenal memory, because each of the animals described here has several, or even a dozen nicknames, diminutives, names and often used invectives, which like to evolve and are characterised by unusual vitality in the area of metamorphoses.

We’ll be back to the Wildebeest story soon, but now to the gallery.

Most of these photos ... and no, sorry, all of them! were taken at the seaside, which is Chics favorite place to be. In general, she loves water in every form, whether it is a puddle on a cinder road or a mountain cryocreek, less so in the case of shower / bathtub, because everyone knows that those are the greatest forms of punishment. It is most painful when Chiquita turns into a Swampy Gnou and wallows in something unspeakable, which is at the same time undoubtedly evident to your nostrils, however cold/flu-ridden they may happen to be. I still remember the scene when J.  returned from jogging accompanied with this boggy amphibian, with his mouth full of invective of all sorts, with unbelievably happy Chi, though already suspecting the imminent extermination of the aroma(not)therapeutic euphoria. I will just say that the bathroom gave off sounds of choking and a single rhetorical question, repeated like a mantra: Did you really have to?! Of course she did.

She pulled a similar stunt some time later, when I lost sight of her not even for a second, after which I realised that delighted Chi was running back to me with a perfectly smeared face mask made of something nasty. A joint journey in the lift dispersed my fears about the origin of the facial, because the limited space inevitably and in a very short time transported fragrance particles belonging to the Paprykarz Szczeciński to the area of my inept clogged nose. Anyone who knows this fish-like product and its appearance can imagine how much I was afraid to breathe in this lift and understands what a relief it brought.

Chiquita is not only an amateur of face masks containing only natural ingredients, but we are also convinced that in the previous incarnation she was a beaver. Or a machine that turns branches into chips. Maybe a twig’n’branch processor? Wood mincer? It is a momentum so strong that if devoid of gardening waste in four walls, she aptly makes do with crayons downloaded from the Emski’s desk, or with Polish-Russian / Russian-Polish dictionaries downloaded from the shelf. Here also emerge her sophisticated language preferences (because why for God's sake just these, and not for example, a photo album, Jaume Cabré or another Gabriel García Márquez? She made an exception for the illustrated Bible for children which has followed my unchristian self since distant childhood). Perhaps it was not the linguistic, but the gustatory aspect that pushed her tirelessly towards everything that had a Cyrillic twist to it? But why this Bible, for God’s sake?

The last of the Gnou’s characteristics is her uncompromising begging, anytime, anywhere. Will sit down opposite her victim and create a non-penetratble bubble all over the object of her desire. Imagine that you are holding a sandwich. Well, Chiquita IS NOT looking at it, but everything around. She creates a bubble around the object of her desire (‘cause it certainly IS in the bubble, but nobody should know that I know)! At all. Not at all. She is looking elsewhere and the bubble remains in place. At least as long as you look at the bubblemaker. Because as soon as you look away, Chi will immediately prickle the bubble to check the progress of consumption and whether or not you have gone too far and forgotten about this last piece of something for her.

In addition to all this, it is a dog with her heart on her paw. A grin bearer which has accepted three more animals under her roof (and only the first addition made her ostentatiously leave the room whenever I came back from work and ignore all my efforts warming her heart to the new unwholesome addition - Kluska). The remainder of beasthood, she received with surprisingly stoic composure, because she already knew that nothing worse than the pug would ever befell her).

The watercolors

The watercolors

Gallery of Saturday excavations with accompanying narration

Gallery of Saturday excavations with accompanying narration