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Zofia, Poland/Northern Ireland

Zofia, Poland/Northern Ireland

My name is Anna Bartosz. Last year I turned 60 years old. I’m from Sulechów, in Poland, near Zielona Góra (Green Mountain). As of now I’ve been in retirement for nine years. In Poland I took care of my granddaughter, who is now five years old, and has gone off to kindergarten. I also did a lot of handiwork/crafts, took care of the garden.

My mother is 86 years old. I have 5 siblings, all of whom are still working. And I’ve been a widow for 8 years, so all the caretaking for my mother fell on my shoulders. My sister-in-law went on retirement last December, so she took over that role, when she and my brother inherited the house. So I was free to leave to Ireland, to my daughter.

I came here, to Derry, on the 19th of September 2013. I came to Derry with a friend of my son-in- law. I chose Northern Ireland because my daughter has been living here for 5 years. They had been expecting a child for so long, and now the little baby has finally arrived, so I decided that I would offer to help my youngest daughter.

From 1 March my daughter returned to work – she’s a translator – so I take care of her little daughter, Kaja. I make food, I take her on walks, I plant flowers. My daughter has a garden, and her husband bought a little greenhouse, so we’ll be growing lots of lovely things for my granddaughter – radish, salad, etc. So, this is what I do.

Today I brought with me my handcrafts, which I make in my free time. I find inner peace and quiet when I crochet things. So I make all these little items, which I brought with me today.

These are important to me because I can make a little extra money. In December there was this gathering I was invited to. All the Irish women really loved my crafts, and put in orders for little stars and angels and decorations for the Christmas tree. And now Easter is coming, so I’ve got orders coming in for that too.... This is good because I can earn my own coin, and don’t have to ask my daughter for any spending money.