From a Rock to a Hard Place: The Story of Jean Clark Zwolinska MBE

9780955920103: From a Rock to a Hard Place: The Story of Jean Clark Zwolinska MBE

This book describes the life of Jean Craig Stewart Clark. Born in a lighthouse on a rock, sticking up out of the sea off the west coast of Scotland, Jean and her four siblings spent their childhood moving from home to home with each new posting of their lighthouse keeper father. It was an unusual but strangely fulfilling upbringing in remote, inaccessible but beautiful places. Life was not easy in an inhospitable climate in days before mains electricity and central heating, telephones and television. But there were compensations: miles of unspoilt coastline and acres of countryside in which to roam. It is a way of life that no longer exists now that all lighthouses are automated. After a whirlwind romance and marriage Jean found herself in 1947 in Warsaw, a city devastated by the war, with two small children and no knowledge of the language. Food and other necessities of life were in very short supply and the country was in the firm grip of Stalinism. This story tells of how Jean not only survived in this unfriendly regime with the help of a lifeline from the British Embassy but became the first port of call for many Brits 'lost' in Warsaw, a role that was recognised by award of the MBE in 1978. The book also gives an insight into the social interplay between the Poles and the British, two very different cultures that have, in the course of history, become entwined in unexpected ways.

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