Today, The Forgetting Flower T-shirt is in Białystok, Poland with my friend Ula Drapała. The above photo shows Ula at the Branicki Palace. She and I talked about life in the UK, why she wants to live in a house made of clay, her medium format photos, and the Polish naturalist Simona Kossak.
Who are you and what do you do for fun (either in your job or outside of your job)?
I’m Ula, a thirty-three-year-old woman. A few years ago, I moved from Poland to England to work as a nurse. I’m currently a cardiac specialist and I am passionate about my job. I decided to become a nurse after watching a movie about World War II where a young nurse helps soldiers. I got inspired by this movie and decided I wanted to help others too.
I love mountains and forests, to be surrounded by any type of nature, especially trees and animals. I love hugging trees. My favorite tree is the silver birch tree. There is something magical about this tree. I like gardening in my free time. When I lived in Poland, I was doing a lot of pottery. I love clay and my dream is to live in a house made of clay. There are few people in Poland who can build them so I hope that my dream will come true one day.
Why do you live where you live? What do you like about it? What’s not so great?
I live in a town called Yeovil in England. I found that being a nurse in the UK is easier, mostly for economical reasons, but I also enjoy spending some years of my life in another country. It gives a different perspective. But I can truly say I miss my home country. I understood that now after being a few years away from it. England is my second home now. I really like many things about it, starting from the mild climate to the amazing people who I met here and who made me feel at home.
One of few things that I don’t like here is the amount of artificial food products. When I go to the supermarket here I always take a jacket with me because there are so many alleys with freezers and ready made food. Healthy and organic food is quite expensive and I am the type of person who usually reads food labels.
You’re an EU citizen working in England. Has Brexit affected your life at all? Do you think Great Britain will really leave the EU?
Brexit hasn’t affected my life yet and if it does, I’m not scared. I try not to worry about things that I can’t change. That is my life philosophy. I really don’t know if Great Britain will leave the EU but I am pretty sure that it will have a big impact on Britain’s economy.
What are some of your favorite books and why?
When I was little, I wrote poems and I still like reading them. My favorite poets are Wisława Szymborska and Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński. I prefer reading nonfiction but don’ t have a favorite book. I read a book, fall in love with it, and then I read a next one and that’s how I find a new love.
Currently I am reading a book written by a Polish author named Anna Kaminska: The Extraordinary Life of Simona Kossak. As Culture.pl said: “They called Simona Kossak a witch because she chatted with animals and owned a terrorist-crow, who stole gold and attacked bicycle riders.” I love this book because Simona Kossak can describe the beauty of Polish nature and the Białowieza forest like no one in the world. She inspires me and makes me to go out and be surrounded by nature more often.
What are your side hobbies or interests? Do you have a website or project you’d like people to know about?
In my spare time, I like to take pictures. I’m interested in medium format photography. There is something magical in black and white square photos. I use a very old Mamiya camera, which needs physical film. I need to think carefully before I take each picture as there are only 12 pictures on each roll. I am also fascinated by Polish folk culture, especially folk music and two-wrap cloth weaving of Janow. Janow is a village where I spent every beautiful summer with my beloved granny.
You can find my pictures on my website here.
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