Blog

July 31, 2021
Warsaw Uprising: Why I stand to attention at 17.00 on 1 August

"Stańcie do Apelu” - stand for the roll call always sends a shiver through my spine. The silence just before a soldier or scout reads this at 17.00 on the...

June 30, 2021
Reader, I got the passport!

My Polish passport finally arrived last month! I've written previously about my identity as a Pole born abroad and my concerns that a Polish passport wasn't really for me -...

May 28, 2021
Artist Jan Matejko – putting Poland on the map

The portrait of Jan Matejko’s “Copernicus: Conversations with God” recently arrived at the National Gallery in London. It is the first work of a Polish artist to be on show there and...

April 20, 2021
Was Prince Phillip’s great grandmother Polish?

It was moving to witness such an intimate family funeral of Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Much has been said about his Danish and German ancestry, yet even less about...

March 27, 2021
Polish Palms for life and health

With Easter approaching, Palm Sunday for Poles, is as colourful as any feast due to the "palms"- bazie or palemki made from fresh branches of willow with catkins or "kotki" (little...

February 27, 2021
Polish citizenship is so much more than a passport

Recently I have been contacted by many of you interested in Polish citizenship. Although I’ve written about the process in my guide to citizenship, the paperwork is just the legal...

January 29, 2021
For post-war Polish refugees, learning English was about so much more than words

Do you recognise a cultural divide in your early life between the Polish and English languages?

December 19, 2020
5 ways to make your Christmas truly Polish

This post is particularly poignant this year when our Christmases will be different, we may not sing carols but we can listen and our opłatek may not be shared in...

December 13, 2020
Polish citizenship – the ultimate guide

If like me, you’ve been thinking of confirming your Polish citizenship to to emphasise your heritage or to stay a European citizen, here is a quick guide based on my...

December 5, 2020
Are you making traditional Polish Christmas decorations?

Are you thinking about buying new decorations?  Think again. Our ancestors made their own and we all have memories of making them with our parents but homemade isn't just for...

November 10, 2020
11 November – origins of Poland’s National Independence Day

For those of us brought up on 11 listopada (11 November) concerts in which we were often on stage and attending obligatory patriotic masses, this day linked to Poland's regaining of...

November 2, 2020
An All Souls’ walk through Polish cemeteries

Saunter with me through some of the famous Polish cemeteries I've visited through the years, within and outside Poland's boundaries.  Poland's All Saints Day on 1st November is a national...

October 10, 2020
What links our “dożynki”- harvest dances with harvest time in Poland?

The countryside of Poland is "like a ruffled patchwork quilt sewn from rich shades of colour and a variety of textures, from the lightest, yellowish brown to the darkest, velvety...

August 29, 2020
Did your great or grandparents fight in the forgotten Polish-Soviet war of 1920?

Do you know much about your family history at the time of World War I or just after? The last century was an incredibly traumatic one for our ancestors. The war front...

July 18, 2020
Raise a toast for Ognisko Polskie, 80 years!

Let's raise a glass this weekend for Ognisko Polskie in Kensington, London, celebrating 80 years of serving the Polish community in exile. A success story which throughout the Second World...