Thursday, 22 December 2011

Christmas Lights and Presents

Someone said to me yesterday that they thought that the Christmas tree was the most important part of the holiday. Whilst I suspect that that was just an emotion generated by the tree buying and decorating occasion, lights are special. These are the ones spread over a willow and rose bush, with last night's frost on the branches making an extra show.

One of the traditional tasks when putting out the Christmas lights is to sort out which bulbs are not working and replace them. Whilst I hope the new type of lights will last much longer and not need replacing, I still have enough of the old ones to make this necessary. I did manage to get most of the strands on the willow working, but some replacement bulbs would just add a couple more. There followed a search around every potential shop in Janki, but, as I had expected, there weren't any of the type I needed.

However, I did come across a shop called Jula, which was compensation of a sort. This is in the worst part of Janki from my point of view, being completely invisible behind the bit behind the hated IKEA. Fortunately, it had posters showing the way and, although it didn't have the light bulbs I wanted, it had various other things of interest.

My old Hama quick battery charger was low cost and has lasted me for years, but now has problems with AAA batteries. Jula had a low cost ordinary charger, a reasonable cost fast charger and this high cost very fast charger (100zl). It's more than I would normally think of paying, but it is a dream charger. In addition to high speed charging it has an in-car attachment, which I was thinking of buying anyway, and the ability to charge an odd number batteries. The latter now gives the amazing ability to see if one of a pair of batteries has failed and needs to be thrown away.

Jula is a Swedish company, previously selling also in Norway, but now with two shops in Poland (both Warsaw). It is a sort of DIY type supermarket, but with other odd bits and pieces thrown in. See the website (not in English) for more information. It even had a good stock of wild bird food, well outclassing Lidl's short availability. Mixed seeds were just 5zl a kilo, whilst peanuts (not on the website though) were slightly cheaper. Whilst I had stocked up when I was in Berlin, this provided a timely addition that I hope will see me through the winter. I had just bought a birdtable with stand for 60zl from a small roadside cabin near Piaseczno, which now stands right outside the kitchen window.

This attracted not only the normal birds, but gave me my best pictures yet of the (I think) sparrowhawk (krogulec).

Maybe I will get a good picture someday: I keep trying.

Anyway, having got the bird food in a foreign shop, I thought I would try the pet supermarket in Janki to see if they now have any. At last, they have some, at 20zl a kilo. For the cost of two of those - a week or so's supply, I could buy a bird feeder and four kilos of wild bird food in Jula. What do they think I am? Nuts?

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