Jul 20, Prague, Day Off

We arrived at our hotel around 12.30pm… I think. To be honest, I’ve been in my room all day; haven’t left it at all, stuck in writing mode. Had a little nightmare with formatting and technology, but no one died, at least not in the real world. The trouble with fiction is, there are so many directions a story could go in, it’s hard deciding which of those vectors isn’t stupid. And then there’s the moment when you realise that in order for one of your characters to have achieved what you want them to achieve, you’re going to have to give them a time machine to accomplish the task and you slam your computer shut, drowning the dilemma in Czech beer from the minibar.

FAO Gwen: During the final stages of our ride here this morning, I finished reading The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. I’m gonna side with Gwen on this one, in that it’s not the kind of book that you can ‘enjoy’ per se. But it is a very good story, and what’s more, I think this should be a book on school reading lists. The language is easy, there is no explicit violence, no curse words (that I can remember), just a simple telling of a story that is, yes, very uncomfortable; but being of the ‘never forget’ persuasion when it comes to the Holocaust, I think we owe it to humanity to keep these threads alive, even if as this book states, all the characters contained within are fictional. (Despite “the Fury” coming to dinner.)

And now I seek something to read. I have yet to finish ‘Cannibal Fat Camp’, but that can rest on my kindle safely. Into my second beer from the minibar, and with Green Day blaring from my tinny laptop speakers, I leave you with a riddle whose answer I do not possess. Ten points if you know how the machine below was purposed. It was on one of the floors of our Łódź hotel…


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16 Responses to Jul 20, Prague, Day Off

  1. Deb says:

    A machine for weaving rugs or woven material

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Leif says:

      I thought that at first, then I started leaning toward printing, but then it seems small for either purpose.

      • Marta Liwska says:

        I have no idea what particular purpose these machines serve, but no doubts they are textile machinery as Łódź has been famous of hundreds years textile industry.
        However nowadays, the Chinese tradition seems to be better, so the signs of Łódź textile tradition remained only in the “Manufatura” complex with its beautiful shops, hotels, restaurants etc … sometimes with an useless relic of the past accent.

        As far as a good book is concerned I’d recommend Anne Michaels, “Fugitive Pieces” – for me wonderful !

        All the best

      • Leif says:

        Ooh, that book looks interesting, thanks.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Is it a mangle? For ironing?

  3. Marta Liwska says:

    You are welcome 🙂 The Anne Michaels book was filmed in 2007 as well (directed by Jeremy Podeswa
    Thank you dear Leif so much for the time you were so kind to share with me, I’ve appreciated very much indeed. From now, I promise, will follow your blog silently until ……… you return to Poland (one can dream)
    All the best for you, Marta

  4. I swear I haven’t forgotten you! Anyway, recommended book (well, series) if you’re into it is “Boudica” by Manda Scott. I’m on the third and it’s fantastic!

  5. Thanks for letting me know what you thought of the book and I agree for humanity we should never forget those atrocities. I think what made it so upsetting for me is the fact this book is fiction and for me the reality is bad enough and indeed I’ve read many real life accounts of the Holocaust and other harrowing happenings which is maybe why my friend recommended this book to me.
    Hope you have sorted the next read. I hate when I get to an end of a book and have nothing ready! .

    • Leif says:

      I think I know what you mean; fiction seems so trivial and meaningless compared to reality. Having said that, I think if we’re going to teach successive generations (kids) about the atrocities, the shallow end is the place to start.

      • Yes indeed. I am a firm believer of those who do not know their history are condemned to repeat it. Of course history has shown we do make the same mistakes over and over. However education is a step in the right direction and as such we must strive to do all we can in that right direction as a duty to those generations coming after us.

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