Saturday, 17 December 2016


Yesterday I visited Auschwitz for the second time.  As someone who once upon a time had a Jewish grandmother, there is nothing witty, funny, or banal that I can tell you.  So I am going to fast forward my day to about 4.00pm.

We had spent about three hours in the car traveling, and around four shivering.  By the time the husband, Miss R and I returned to the hotel, all we could think about was being warm again.  Our poor taxi driver had to keep increasing the heat in the car on our return journey, and each time he increased the temperature, I watched several more beads of sweat roll down the back of his neck.  Even keeping all our outdoor clothes on, including hats and gloves, we just couldn't get warm.  In fact, Miss R, who had been wearing a very sensible (here comes the sarcasm) pair of expensive black suede wedges boots only managed to get feeling back into her right foot about an hour after we got back to the hotel.

We had decided that we would take a mooch around the town square when we got back.  This was predominately to buy me a pair of pyjamas, as once again, I had left mine at home.  This is yet another of my irrational fears.  I have to wear something substantial in bed in case there was ever a fire.  The thought of being carried over a fireman's shoulder in a flimsy nighty puts the fear of god into me, and I'm not too sure that it would do much good for the fireman either.  You see, I am always thinking of others...

So getting back, I suggested a quick drink at the bar to warm up. As you can imagine, both the husband and Miss R were completely up for a nifty snifter to warm up our cold bones, so into the hotel bar we trolleyed.

What I hadn't meant, when I suggested a quick drink, was a bottle of Prosecco drunk at breakneck speed by Miss R and me.  About fourteen minutes I would guess.  So when we walked back out into the cold evening, we were still cold, but didn't really care as much.

First stop was at Benetton, where a couple of pairs of pyjamas were bought. and then on to dinner.   We sat outside in the square, inside a poly tunnel.  At least that's what it looked like.  It had patio heaters inside (I would never imagined that plastic and a naked flame would have got on so well) and it was like walking into a greenhouse, which gave us hope that we might be able to remove our gloves at some time in the near future.  Another bottle of Prosecco and three bowls of goulash, and we were well on the way, and not just to thawing out I must say.

It was coming out of the greenhouse, which could hold several thousand tropical butterflies successfully, that the full force of a Polish night hit us.  We shivered all the way back to the hotel, with my teeth doing a passable impression of one of those wind up set of teeth you used to be able to buy.  Back at the hotel, it soon became obvious that the day had beaten us into submission, and that it was time for bed. 

'What time is it?' asked the husband, to which Miss R and I replied '7.00' and '8,00'....only one of us had put our watch forward as you see.

So bed it was, at 7/8 o'clock.

But putting on my pyjamas, in my safe, warm hotel, I thought about what we'd seen earlier in the day.  We humans have such capacity to be cruel to each other. 

But we also have capacity to love.

And perhaps one day, that will get the upper hand in every corner of this world...



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