In the half term holiday my eldest (goth) daughter took pity on her poor mother -(Ahhh) and escorted me on a day out to Newcastle with the express purpose of a visit to "The Big Mussel" in order to partake in "Mussel Mania".
A large bowl of mussels served with with home-made chunky chips and mayo, and in one the following sauces:
Classic - garlic, white onion, white wine and cream
Amatriciana - red onion, chilli and tomato
Peppercino - sweet chilli, ginger and garlic
Thai - chilli, lemongrass, garlic, coriander and coconut
Toon - bacon, mushrooms, black pudding and brown ale
Chinese - pak choi, ginger, garlic and hoisin sauce
Fennel - fennel, mushrooms, mustard and cream
I had mine with Thai Sauce while Ellie chose the classic.
The restaurant is right next to The Side Gallery which is dedicated to (in their words) "documentary in the tradition of the concerned photographer." As Ellie is a photographer we decided to pop in and have a look at the latest exhibition, entitled "Lodz Ghetto Album" by Henryk Ross.
Henryk Ross was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1910, and became a sports photographer in Lodz before World War II. As a Jew, he was imprisoned in the ghetto and became one of three photographers employed by its Department of Statistic. He used his camera to produce a secret diary of not only the atrocities of the ghetto, but also some intimate moments of occasional happiness. When liquidation of the ghetto began he buried 3000 negatives in the garden of the ghetto's orphanage. Ross survived the holocaust and was able to retrieve the negatives and prints from these negatives form the basis of the exhibition.
|Mother kissing her child - Source http://www.utata.org/salon/37713.php|
The exhibition was intensely moving, it documents not only the the tragedy of life in Lodz, but there are surprising photographs of some who occupied positions of authority and as such were the "elite" of the ghetto, a wedding reception, children playing and courting couples. Yet these are all the more poignant when you are reminded that almost certainly almost everyone pictured was killed before the war ended.
The exhibition is a touring exhibition and if you get the chance to see it do try to go, there is no doubting it's poignancy and it also serves as a reminder why we should all strive to be tolerant of the cultural and religious beliefs of others.