Tag Archives: Ukraine

Weekly Vinyl – Marenych – Маренич

12 Aug

Маренич – Marenych
Trio Marenych / Маренич Трio
(year: ?)
This album appeared in my life when I was in high school. It was the early 80s I gather. My parents would blast this on the stereo every Sunday after church – religiously. It would also be on Saturdays and during the week at odd times.
The Marenychi are/were a folk trio from Ukraine. Perhaps they were siblings, a brother and two sisters or some sort of combination – but then again the Ramones were not at all related. This album was one of these samizdat, illegally smuggled recordings that came out from behind the Iron Curtain and infected the émigré community and elevated hope that the nation was still salvageable.
Initially, I was not a fan of this album as my puny transistor tape player did not have the power to play progressive rock louder than this folk stuff cranking from the family stereo.
Time passes and as I listen to this I get a really good feeling. Not just of nostalgia of lying in my bed with pillows over my head trying to drown out the music, but of the sheer talent of this trio. The recording is very well made. I heard it cranked in my youth, but listening to this now, at a normal, non-uber-patriotic level, I realize that this is such a quiet and delicate album. It is not bombastic. The vocals and instruments are so light that they just dance upon the ears.
Nice album. I’m glad I rediscovered it.
Now to hoist in onto my kids…

Old Prescription

28 Jun

As generations pass on, much that is interesting can be tossed. Books are one of the main items that get discarded. I got many a good book from a family friend that had passed away – everyone agreed that the books should be tossed into a bin – I took them all.
In this collection was an old Ukrainian-English dictionary that was published in1947 in Germany – Nuremberg and Bayreuth to be exact. This is actually fascinating as the Displaced Person camps set up for refugees after World War Two concluded were quite full of life and political and cultural activity.
But although interesting, the book itself is not the main star. In its pages I found an old prescription from a doctor in Lviv, Ukraine. The prescription seems to be dated the 21 November 1941. It could be 193something as well.
This was a turbulent period for Lviv, Ukraine and Europe. World War Two was in full swing – Germany had invaded the Soviet Union. Lviv had been occupied by the Soviets, who invaded Poland, only two years prior. A Ukrainian government was trying to establish itself in the wake of the Soviet retreat.
I have asked a few friends if they know anything about this doctor or even the street he practiced on but they were unsure.
Perhaps someone in the virtual world can help.

Quiet in Lviv

13 Mar


There are many great streets in Lviv.
Usually they are packed with cafes, bars and people.
But Lesia Ukraiinka is quite.
Perfect for a rest in the evening.

Road sculpture

11 Oct

A great Socialist Realism style sculpture on the road between Kyiv and Lviv.
The road used to go right underneath the sculpture. Unfortunately, unscrupulous metal dealers have helped themselves to some of the back end of this sculpture.
I waited for a while to get a soviet era vehicle to pass beneath it.

St. Andrews

23 Aug


In honour of Ukrainian independence day, here’s a shot of St. Andrews church in Kyiv. The picture is taken from below on Andriyivskiy Descent – an ancient cobblestone street that is a must see when you come to this city.

Lviv pigeon

5 Jul

This is the Lviv City Hall. You can take the stairs up to the top of the tower.
I am told that the view is quite spectacular. I have yet to do this.
It took me a while to coax the pigeon to do a proper flypast of the tower.
The birds are usually at a much lower level or walking on the ground looking for munchies.

April 26

26 Apr


This idyllic image was not taken on April 26th. It was taken in Ukraine some times in July 2014 – around the time the Russian backed forces shot down the Malaysian plane. I was going to title this image kids and ducks but since I’m posting this on April 26, I’m titling this after the date because in 1986, about 90 kilometers away, the reactor at the Chornobil nuclear facility blew up.

Something Interesting

19 Apr


This shop in Lviv, Ukraine has a great sign with multiple languages and a hole where the “O” should be. The shop is called Something Interesting.

Maidan a year later

8 Mar


It was a bit over a year ago that the brave citizens of Ukraine overthrew the corrupt Yanukovich regime. There is a war there now as Russian forces attempt to destabilize Ukraine. I was there last August and saw the Maidan and could not imagine what it was like for the protesters in the freezing cold nights with security forces attacking. This barricade on Institutska ,was one of the main battle points, where many a brave unarmed protester laid down their lives for an independent Ukraine. There was still an uneasy pall of dread that hung over this area even though it was half a year after the events and it was bright and sunny and 30 degrees Celsius.

Iron Hedgehog

18 Jan

I saw this in front of a restaurant/banquet hall in Lviv, Ukraine. (Is there any other Lviv?)
It is a wonderful piece of metalwork but I pity the poor drunk who stumbles upon it in a stupor.