Virginia Barton

8 June 2015: Bookmarks

8 June 2015: Bookmarks


8 June 2015


My bookmarks need weeding. Scrolling down to try and find that excellent website saved to tell me the quickest way overland to Ohrid, Macedonia (when you decide you just can’t face Luton Airport ever again), it’s obvious there’s too much dross.

However, some things must be kept: BH’s trouser supplier, complete with measurements; the International phone directory; Omphalodes – what it is and where to get it; a highly recommended cheapo hotel in central London you just might stay in one day; the Obits columns from the class dailies. And the Almanac do Gotha is handy now and then.




But there is one website I bookmarked some years ago, and every now and then I have another look. Spend time on Radzima Photo:

Radzima means “homeland” in Belarusian. The author of these beautiful black and white pictures is an American from Chicago called John Kunstadter. When you feel frazzled or anxious, or when you  need the comfort of knowing that not everything changes at lightning speed in this old world; take time to drop in on village life a thousand three hundred and sixty miles to the east of London.


Thus the modest but devoted bee knows to make honey even from bitter flowers.”

This is a line from a poem by Belarusian poet Maksim Bahdanovic, and John Kunstadter took it as his guide and inspiration. In return he has given us, the viewer, a website of rare beauty and delight.





  • Rosanne says on: June 9, 2015 at 9:24 am


    When I saw that you wanted to thin out your bookmark collection, my first thought was that you meant it literally. I have a collection of old-fashioned bookmarks going back I don’t know how long and rivaled only by my collection of “do not disturb” signs.

    What a beautiful quote this is: “Thus the modest but devoted bee knows to make honey even from bitter flowers.”

    Yesterday alone, I met a woman who rescued a sweet, tiny newborn kitten who was alone at the side of an Anatolian road and had undertaken responsibility for its survival and two elderly Dutch sisters, one of whom has had four bypass surgeries, who spoke of consciously enjoying life to the full — flowers in the vase every day and candles at dinner. Honey, even from bitter flowers.

    • Ginny says on: June 11, 2015 at 10:40 am


      Those are lovely examples, Rosanne, and spot on for the quote from the poem. As you say, it’s a terrific line — only someone living not only close to nature, but keenly observant could have written such a line. Let alone being a born poet!

      Reminds me rather of the “…nine bean rows…” in Innisfree; what do you think? Ginny

  • Coal-Filled Wellies says on: June 9, 2015 at 9:48 am


    I’ve just had a look at mine. Among them: Racing Tips (from the world’s ten most successful gamblers); the Diary of St Faustina; Facts and Figures on British Credit Unions; an outsize shoe seller (for my enormously tall son); and a link to the “Fellowship of Hairdressers”.

    Ginny, I think your bookmarks are in much better order than mine!

  • Coal-Filled Wellies says on: June 9, 2015 at 9:49 am


    …though the wonderful Diary of St Faustina should be bookmarked by everyone!

    • Ginny says on: June 11, 2015 at 10:39 am


      I am still puzzling over your Hairdressers website, Wellies. No, I’m NOT going to look it up, my life is full enough of nonsense and, anyway, it sounds rather sinister? Or is it those vast shoes that sound alarming? I take a size 5 personally. What size are you contemplating?

      But you are absolutely right about St Faustina — specially if you aren’t already beholden to a particular patron saint. Alas, her Chaplet didn’t catch on in our parish; I’m not quite sure why. I myself fell by the way after several weeks. Gin

  • Coal-Filled Wellies says on: June 14, 2015 at 10:10 pm


    I’m also puzzling over the Hairdressers. I honestly can’t remember why it’s there. Apart from anything else, I’ve barely any hair left!

    Our enormous son takes Size 13/14 shoes. They look like boats. But not on him, as he’s 6′ 9″.

    So sorry about the Chaplet. You probably favour the traditional Rosary, Ginny.

    • Ginny says on: June 15, 2015 at 11:36 am


      One of the best things about Lithuanians is the height of them Wellies! Ask any girl, even aged pint-sizers like myself, and they’ll tell you they like a tall fellow! Darwin demo-d?

      You are right, I DO love the Rosary but tend to reach for it in times of need. Our pilgrimage of the Holy Land (in 1991 was it?) was based on the Rosary; ie we started in Nazareth.That was before JP2’s addition of the fourth Mystery of course. Ginny

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


(c) All Rights Reserved. Site Designed by Magtype CR