Thursday, 11 August 2011

Peace in Unclean Times

6:30 in the morning, sitting in the garden on a warm sunny morning, listening to some music through the earphones. Everyone else was asleep ... a complete sense of calm. I thought I'd try to record the atmosphere:

The music, though ...? I wanted it to be Polish, but most of my music is disconnected from the computer at the moment. I didn't have anything calm and soothing, but I did have something in complete contrast: 'Unclean' by 'Lost Soul' from 1999/2000. The Band's website ( and a related site (, one of which I had downloaded it from - legally I'm sure - have both disappeared, so I thought it would be good advertising for an obscure Polish band.

I did find the words to Unclean, however, which are in English. Did you notice?

It's a sin
Blasphemy and sacrilege
It's a sin
A sin is to call it in that way

Shine with your might, oh insolent Wisdom
Your messengers sow pestilence
Thoughts in chaos, without a shelter
No supports point

Ignorance, made ignorance
Impotence - powerless as always

Eager souls
Condemned minds
Confirmed in conviction
Flourishing decay

Angels, devils faithful and obedient
Devils, angels waiting for their shepherd
Frightened crippled creatures
Worthy to each other

No trial of strength
Devoured by fire
A puppet in a crown of thorns

I also found that Lost Soul have made it big in the last couple of years. See the new Lost Soul website for loads of English language reviews and eight other downloadable tracks. It also includes this video, 'If the Dead Can Speak':

The words to this are:

I stand at the altar of the liar
And I can see his bleeding face
So tell me now
(If the dead can speak... ?)
How long can you plunge in hypocrisy

Your plastic eyes
Watch the universe
Burning with the heat
Of fate soon to come
So show me how
(If the blind can see... ?)
How you walk your lambs
Through the Tiber's deadly streams

Old man,
You look away, you don't want to see
You hide your face when I say:
"please, look at me"
I'm just a spotless child
Who can really feel...
That your prayer is just like you
You shall burn in your lies!

After the changes,
When you leave your hideaway
I will meet you at your field
Don't tell me now
"lord, please forgive me"
'Cause for ages you've had freedom of will

Old man,
You look away, you don't want to see
You hide your face when I say:
"please, look at me"
I'm just a spotless child
Who can really feel...
That your prayer is just like you
You shall burn in your lies!

The website of Lost Soul's record company, Witching Hour has playable tracks from lots of their other groups with English language information. Heavy Metal, in its various forms, used to be very popular around 1999/2000 and, if it ever went away, seems to be popular again. I can't recall it being on the standard radio or TV at all, however. The sites I knew which had lots of free, legal downloads seem to have gone. I haven't searched for new ones, but they may be there somewhere.

I'm not really a fan of this type of music, although I suspect that I might have been if I'd grown up with it. Lost Soul's type of singing - 'vocalising' might be better although I don't like the word, seems to help define it as "Death Metal', but I don't like it, preferring more normal singing/rapping styles. Maybe it would be better if I had had the words in front of me. However, musically they seem proficient: indeed, better than some of the big name Polish bands. (By the way, a behemoth is a big, monstrous animal, possibly originally a hippopotamus, not the devil. Get it right, lads! It is/was a good name for you. Get well soon.)

"Unclean times", though? The big shock about the riots in England is that they were a big shock in Poland. I thought they were a routine part of British life. I even started to wonder whether my mind was starting to play tricks about their frequency, but someone from Birmingham, I think, compared this week's events with the riots there in 1993, 1998 and 2005 or something like that. It's all part of life in England as far as I'm concerned. People in Poland may talk about alienated immigrant groups, but I'd be surprised if white kids weren't involved in the organised rioting, if not the spontaneous one. (Wasn't internet co-ordination part of the football, pseudo-fan - Anglicising the Polish term - arrangements?) I'm even old enough to remember the Mods (on scooters wearing green anoraks with hoods - hoodies?) and Rockers (on motorbikes with leather jackets) going to the south coast for their routine, bank holiday punch-ups - preferred weapon a bicycle chain, as I was told.

OK, to be fair, there is one surprise in the current riots: I haven't heard about the kids knifing each other. Perhaps these guys are just too soft - they don't seem to have the level of personal violence of a standard Saturday evening mass fight outside the pub. I even saw one video where several kids tried tried in succession to rip a TV off a wall and didn't even try to smash it when they failed. Youngsters these days ...!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Driving across Poland: Videos

I came across a You Tube site for a Polish international trucker, Damian because he had made a video going to and through Młochów. It starts a bit further down the Katowice road from the south-west, reaching the road to Młochów village at traffic lights by the Volvo centre. It ends alongside Młochów park.

He has loads of videos from Poland and around Europe. I was particularly taken by the following night drive, which makes it all seem very relaxed compared to the sore, strained eye experience that I find it to be in practice.

I wondered where it was, but wasn't even sure if it was in Poland until he reached the Nevada Center, which I can best describe as being something like a US style truckstop, as seen on TV. It's just after Świebozin on the (non-motorway) road to Świecko and the German border. It always seems to be full of articulated lorries, with a seemingly non-stop stream of them turning into and driving out of the Centre. It is the one of the few places where road courtesy by lorry drivers is automatic: lorries driving past stop to let others enter or exit. I have never stopped there though as, the one time I decided to do so, a lorry had broken down outside causing a huge traffic jam in the German border direction going well back onto the motorway. Fortunately I was headng the other way. There is a hotel/motel there, but from the website its prices are much higher than I would have thought possible on this route.

There are more sensible alternatives. We saw the Motel Marco in Torzym, dropped in and stayed the night. All we wanted was a place to sleep as part of the Młochów-London journey. Although not in any sense luxurious, it was fine for this. Since we arrived late and left early I didn't even notice any of the other facilities. The website suggests there's a restaurant, but it may be being rebuilt. In any case, it is easier and quicker to drop in at the petrol station to fill up with cheap Polish petrol and eat something there. The price was 45 zloties per person (ie 135 in total, compared to Hotel Nevada's 250).

Much nicer, however, is Motel Paradise, also in Torzym. Once again we just dropped in to see if they had room and stayed. We had a room for four, which raised the normal three person price of 170zl. to 180zl., but that included buffet style hot and cold breakfast. I recommend it as a place to stop for the night and I am told that the restaurant is very good, although from a website review there can be a long wait when there coaches stop there.

I wonder what will happen to all the businesses when the motorway opens. It would be very helpful to drivers like me if signs could be put on the motorway when it opens to direct us to the old hotel and services route: "Torzym to Tzyciel - Motel heart of Poland".

Finally, back to Damian's videos. The maniac driving antics in the first video may just be high spirits, but it has been routine to see lorries that have driven off the road. Just a moment's distraction and ...