søndag den 17. januar 2010
back in genève. this is my home, it's right next to rue de la servette. it's formerly owned by a russian jewelry business my family worked with in minsk and we bought it from them after the war. in the 70's it was used to house russian UN associates but in the 90's it was the americans who used the place.
i have had the top 2 floors for many years now. i sublet the bottom floors to mostly family-related people and at the moment a french couple with a little boy, both are working at the theater, live here on a longer contract. i enjoy their company. it's nice to have people look after the building when i'm away. and i like the fact that there is a lot of living going on around me. in fact, there was a childrens party the other day, where kids from the international school all came over to celebrate a little claudes 9th. birthday. the house was buzzing and the indoorpool was an obvious hit.
well, things are normal again after the holidays. in february i'll be going to argentina and chile. it will be my first trip to the southamerica mainland, i have actually sailed to the galapagos islands two times so i know the seas but... well, i'm getting the vaccine tomorrow.
oh yes, i bought a new car! an audi tt that my friend amanda recommended. i needed to get rid of the range rover anyhow. i was always too big and clumpsy for the streets of genève.
okay, i'm off again. ciao from lukasz
onsdag den 6. januar 2010
i get so moved. this is the besovec mountainridge that lead home east to skopje. it means i'm just one hour away from our family estate. this ridge always marks the end of a journey for me. and the beginning of my return to my homeland - the republic of macedonia. what is the saying? in order to return you have to go away. well, that's me.
okay. next picture is our mainhouse, taken on the only sunny day in skopje in december, i think. luckily the indoor pool was done and ready.
next picture is nadime, amanda from trieste and also irina slutskaya a local friend not to be confused with the famous iceskating ballerina, of course. we are at the skylight lounge, the owner calls it that, because the roof will fold back at the push of a button. nadime is sending a big toast to amanda whose dealer called to say her paintings at the exibition in rome had all sold out! a fantastic achievement.
yes. the holiday went fine, it was great to hear stories from all corners of europe. the danes were here with their northern wits, morten and jakob had bought 'presents' in liege that we were fortunate to try out because uncle goran is head of a militarybase south of the city.
the romanians were there also - anton, grigore and ionel - acting accordingly in their gypsy ways with their instruments. and the americans and russians, especially timmons and georgio, two old embassy lions - well, they got in on as always with cold war jokes to everyones amusements.
now tomorrow, at the embassy back in geneve, i'll have 1.000 mails to roam through before catching a late flight to strasbourg for what's next for european culture in the 2010's.
a happy new years to all!
fredag den 4. december 2009
i just arrived at port vendres. or cóte vermeille as locals call it. it's located outside perpignon, close to the spanish border where i have come from this time, and i'm here to see claudio and veronica and stay at their beautiful guesthouse overlooking the litlle harbour.
i met claudio and veronica on my travels on the great donau in 1997. we spent a week on the same yacht, all following in the footsteps of magris and became instant friends with many late nights on the deck. this couple, both have retired from universitylife in paris, have also a beautiful daughter suzanna isabella which i came to know a little later in munich.
because in the beginning of 99 she moved in with me in my apartment. it was perhaps a hasty thing to do but we didn't care. she came to live there with me and to study the cello. it was wonderful to have her around because work was hard and agonizing at that time. the balkan war was still not over and many discussions, flights back and forth to haag and later to brussels took all my attention. i can see that today.
well, a wonderful thing happened one winter when an old familyfriend of ours - the great aldo simoes parisot - was generous enough to give her extensive krzysztof penderecki classes while he worked in munich. i remember her dancing up and down the stairs, running thru all the rooms and around out on the balcony shouting over the plaza. 'la rencontre d'une personne avec une autre est toujours spéciale!
and yes. it really is. and was for a time. well. today suzanna lives in grenoble with tom. we see eachother when i occasionally pass thru town.
ohh yes. my friend leslie vaughan. his father displays aldos paintings in boston. or new haven? i forget this. well. if you happen to go. and so here for two days in the south of france. cheers and salut from lukasz.
tirsdag den 24. november 2009
alfonso manuel lejaretta
i like to travel across europe. in my car. so i do. and sometimes things happen and on the road from bilbao to skopje, where i'm going to spend a week in dec. at our family-estate together with friends, i stopped at a little roadside restaurant near vitoria-gasteiz. the owner was sitting outside. wife and grandchildren, too, and because i have diplomatic numberplates he came over to ask where i was from.
after some talking, i sat down at the table outside for tapas and local sherry, and then his old friend showed up. we talked some more and his friend and i began to come to the conclusion that his father and my grandfather had not only fought on the same side in the spanish civilwar but both had been captured by german troops and brought to a war-camp on the french side of the pyreenes. and not only that. both had also escaped and went to live in hiding in marseille that winter. the winter of 1938.
we sat looking at eachother. the owner filled our glasses. noone could believe this was happening.
after some years his father settled in santander and lived a quit life as a carpenter, raising four children away from the ww2, whereas my grandfather took a joint brigade through the balkan as a soviet cononel, before he settled in skopje and did the same. well, he also raised four children, one being my father, but then got called to the moskovskij kreml for some time before finally moving to split with me which is another story.
but like i said. i like to travel by car across europe.
lørdag den 7. november 2009
what else is news? a cultural associate from the english embassy invited me and a few others out for dinner in san sebastian. our third meeting this year. the discussions are progressing, somewhat fruitful, i could argue. yet, it's also very slow in some aspects but still. and the seafood in town? forgettit.
okay. here i'm waiting in the lobby. soft music coming from hidden speakers. charles aznavour, i believe and so i start contemplating: this is a good life, lukasz. people are friendly. and look at that painting. do i have milk? i need milk.
i looked around. why was noone greeting me? but but but. as usual i had been the last one to arrive so i was actually waiting for people who had already left the building!
let me guess, said my greek colleague to everyones amusement when i finally got to the restaurant. it was the tie?