From the book

… in our housing estate called Osiedle, you could buy other foods. Mrs Hoppe, who lived with her family behind the school, close to Black Alley, used to sell the best sour cabbage in the world. Our parents would send us to her, jars in our hands, and it often took us a long time to get back. Buying the cabbage meant a social event. We kept on boasting about who had the most juice.

Mrs Hoppe used to keep wooden barrels full of sour cabbage in a small shed behind her house. Sliced cabbage leaves were stored tight in barrels and covered with a piece of board. On top of the board there used to be one or two heavy stones to pin the cabbage down. In winter the cabbage was cold like ice, unbelievably juicy, sour, but sweet and savoury at the same time.

Things were very much the same with tomatoes, vanilla ice cream and apples: never ever anyone of us has eaten anything equally delicious. 

About the book

The fifties and the sixties of the 20th century as seen through the eyes of a little girl, a teenager and a young woman in her twenties, with the scenes of changing Warsaw in the background. With the book she wrote, the author wishes to warmly thank the generation of her parents for the great and happy childhood. With a touch of humour, she describes everyday life of Ujazdów tenants in Finnish Cottages ( domki fińskie).

There appear picturesque characters of the past years, events they gave life to and took part in, vivid memories of the holidays in the mountains ( Zakopane), and the sea-side (Jastarnia) and Mazurian Lake District. There comes the echo of sweet spring scents, colours and sounds which evoke the climate of those days.

Scenes from the past and present are tied together by ‘here and now telephone chats of the author with her friend, in which Maryla’s dog Colin plays a very important role.


The Author

Zofia Biegańska /Zofia Puszkarow/, an English Philology graduate, co-author of the two retro thrillers - ‘Sopot 1939’ and ‘Sopot 1940’. She often and with a great pleasure visits Finnish Cottages estate, sentimental memories in her heart and present day duty in mind.(She runs foreign language courses in nearby 12 Primary School). She owns a cat who can speak.