Writing prompt – Eros bound

Krakow-Igor Mitoraj-thebighead2 cr Judy DarleyIn the centre of Krakow rests a gigantic head. Created by sculptor Igor Mitoraj, it’s titled Eros Bendato (Eros Bound), and was initially hated by local residents when it was first installed. When the artist died in 2014, opinion swiftly changes, and the big head became a favourite local landmark.

Krakow-Igor Mitoraj-thebighead cr Judy Darley

Apparently it’s common for people to gather here before a night out, and by day hordes of tourists arrive to take pictures and hear how the bronze statue became an iconic part of the scenery.

Step inside, and you’ll discover something unexpected – the impression of a cave with rock pools and glimmering light.

Krakow-Igor Mitoraj-thebighead2 cr Judy Darley

It’s a curious mixture of the unwanted and the beloved, the crowded and the solitary, the human and the heavenly, city-bound and coastal.

For this week’s challenge, write a piece inspired by this sculpture and its contrasting facets.

If you write something prompted by this idea, I’d love to know. Just send an email to Judy(at)socket creative.com. With your permission, I’d love to publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Krakow’s best bite

GrubaBula-Krakow-best burger ever cr Judy DarleyIf you’re watching the current series of the Hairy Bikers’ adventures – Northern Exposure, you may already have an idea of what to expect from Poland’s cuisine. As befits a population accustomed to sub-zero winters, not to mention decades of regimes under the Nazis, then the Soviets, it’s easy to understand the hearty, occasionally hefty food. Most options are meat-based and seem designed to pile on pounds to safeguard against the next period of hardship.

Many of these dishes are delicious. Pierogi, Polish dumplings, are a highlight, crammed with ingredients ranging from cream cheese to venison. Bigos is also worth tucking into – this national favourite, also known as hunter’s stew, is packed with different kinds of meat and veg, and will certainly keep the cold at bay!

But for me, the finest meal in Krakow was in fact more familiar fare, and turned out to be the best burger I ever ate, courtesy of Gruba Bula.

We’d just visited the somewhat gruelling museum at Schindler’s Factory and had strolled back across the bridge into the Jewish quarter when a small van caught our eye. Set around it were enormous cable drums and crates being used as tables and chairs, and an enticing smell was rising into the air.

We decided it was worth the risk.

Best decision ever.

GrubaBula-Krakow-eyes off my burger-cr Judy darley

Oi, eyes off my burger!


The burgers were immense, tender, and spilling over with flavour. Each is deftly wrapped in swathes of grease-proof paper and there are reams of napkins to hand, but a hose-down might have been more appropriate. A clear sign of a top-notch burger, in my opinion. It’s a feast in a bun – and I’m not usually even that much of a burger fan.

GrubaBula-Krakow-bestburgerchefever cr Judy Darley

The smiley chef (who speaks Klingon as well as English, don’t you know?) adds to the sheer enjoyment of the experience. We’ll definitely be dropping by next time we have the chance to flit over to Krakow. Find Gruba Bula on Facebook at www.facebook.com/grubabula and give that handsome chef our warmest regards!

Writing prompt – facing fears

PlacSzczepanski-clowns cr Judy DarleyI offered up a writing prompt about fearful things and my dread of puppets some time ago, and last week had the opportunity to face down another of my fears – clowns – thanks to a rather gorgeous sculpture made by the guys at rzezba.com.pl.

PlacSzczepanski-clowns1 cr Judy Darley


This tangle of clowns and bicycles is in Plac Szczepański, Krakow, and is far more elegant than it has any right to be. Plus it gave me the chance to stand squarely on the nose of a clown and yell yah boo sucks at the terrible tribe!

PlacSzczepanski-Judy vs clowns-clowns-crJH

Look smug, don’t I?!

With this as your starting point I invite you to write a piece in which a person overcomes a terror of something – whether that’s clowns, kerbs (just watch this vid of a little blind boy beating his own personal horror for extra inspiration), heights or something entirely unexpected. And remember that fear is just the fuel to achieve your goals. Cheesy, but true.

If you write something prompted by this idea, I’d love to know. Just send an email to Judy(at)socket creative.com. With your permission, I’d love to publish it on SkyLightRain.com.