Sunday, October 02, 2022

High voltage

Thom looking snazzy in his H&M suit
Yesterday was Karolina's  (Kath's sister) Wedding day. At 4pm we headed to the Church to watch the ceremony. It was all in Polish and took around an hour. She and Artur looked amazing and very happy together. 

I had to take Thom out for a walk part way through so Kath could watch the ceremony without an impatient toddler. Unfortunately I missed the "I do" moment. Apparently the priest was a bit of a misogynist, spouting such snippets of wisdom as "Karolina, you must make sure that you husband goes for a drink with the boys, Artur you need to give Karolina money for the hairdresser". This apart it was a lovely ceremony and Artur and Karolina seemed very proud and in love.

After the ceremony we got on the bus to Folwark Nadawki. The last time I was here, it was my wedding to Kath so brought back some lovely memories. We were seated with Kath cousins and brother. We ate, drank, laughed and watched the first dance. The dance was absolutely amazing like something from Strictly! 

Thom looked great in his H&M "suit" and he really enjoyed meeting everybody, especially his Polish Grandad - Marek. He even had a boogie on the dance floor. He got spoilt rotten with cuddles, kisses and presents from many of the family and friends.

Family picture of Myself Thom and Kath in our wedding attire
There was an InstaMax camera to capture photo memories as modern Polaroids which could be taken away and also stuck into the guestbook as little mementoes the day. We got a pictures of ourselves with Thom and put one into the guestbook. 

Unfortunately having a small child meant that we had to leave very early (the party went on until 5am). We did manage to catch up with plenty of people, which meant a lot, given some of them we have not seen since the day we said "I do".   

Saturday, October 01, 2022

Cycling in Bialystok

We are currently on holiday here in Bialystok for Kath’s sisters wedding. I am really impressed with how much the cycling infrastructure has improved since I was last here.

Bialystok is a small city but its been made good for active travel thanks to the large weirder streets and cycling provision. With Covid and other life things we haven’t been here for years, in which time there has been a lot of improvements. Bike hire and scooter hire is all over the city. Most impressively some of the hire bikes had seats for children so I could ride with Thom. They have also built out a lot of segregated cycle lanes including a nice one that follows the path of the river.

It’s not a panacea though as unfortunately there are draconian rules on crossing the streets as a pedestrian complete with on the spot fines for jaywalking. The light timing are also pretty poor, often you have to wait minutes in order to cross the streets. Fortunately unlike in Britain most of the crossings are straight over without the dog leg double beg button push.

It’s working though we have both remarked how visible it is people cycling around the city. It’s common to see both young and old riders in the city centre. I also noticed that stand outside the shopping mall had a lot of bikes present (even though it was a terrible wheel bender stand they have them here too). Our rental apartment also has a lot of bikes parked up. This is quite a big change Kath remarked how she hadn’t seen so many older people cycling previously.

Noticeable too is that the bus infra has had improvements with new stands and large bendy busses.