Random and Weird Phone Shots

Random and Weird Phone Shots – Cauliflower on the Fence

This is exactly what I’ve been looking for when I started the series. Someone stuck a cauliflower still wrapped from supermarket to the fence of the house I live in (a house converted to flats). My first thought when I saw it was, great, this would make a great post for my Random and Weird Phone Shots! Nothing like, how did it get there and who did it?

cauliflower fence

I’ve been doing this for too long.

Miscellaneous

I Heart EU

25 March 2017 marks 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome – which eventually led to the formation of European Union

This entry is unapologetically Eurocentric.

IMAG0125
Construction of a new Metrolink line in Manchester, which has now completed

EU has always meant a lot to me. I was born on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain, in former Czechoslovakia. I was nine when Velvet Revolution that overthrew the Communists happened. I still remember bits of it; my mum taking me with her out to the streets, the banners, the slogans. This was 1989. Mere fifteen years later, both Slovakia and Czech Republic joined the EU–an astonishing achievement. It enabled me to make something of myself in UK, where I first came to in 2003 as an au pair. As 2003 was before we joined EU, I still had to wait a line outside the British Embassy early in the morning to obtain a visa.

IMG_20160723_155704714_HDR
Development in Manchester – Allied London

I’ve never been patriotic, I’m just not wired that way. I’m a European. I am fiercely loyal to my home city of Bratislava (don’t let me hear anyone badmouthing it!) but that’s about it. People usually call me Eastern European, however I reject that label because that’s not what I am.

IMG_20170217_164431221
Side of a bench on Market Street, Manchester

Bratislava sits on the border of both Austria and Hungary, the only capital city in the world located at a tripoint. You can easily walk between the three countries as you would in your favourite park. Some people even pass the border twice a day on their commute to work.

blava map

I came across this article by Guy Verhofstadt published in Guardian. Guy Verhofstadt is a former Prime Minister of Belgium, a Member of European Parliament and the leader of Alliance for Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

In the decades since [the Treaty of Rome] was signed, European countries have worked successfully to fight against the return of the rampant nationalism that led to two world wars and the slaughter of millions of Europeans, finding a way to work together to create a largely peaceful, free and prosperous continent.

In 2017, the EU stands at a crossroads. Our common project is consistently attacked and denigrated by nationalists, often working with authoritarian regimes outside the EU, who wish to destroy the EU and once again set our communities and societies against each other.

IMG_20160629_165718771
Sign at Victoria Station, Manchester

It is ironic that, as we saw in the Brexit referendum, the postwar generation that benefited so much from European integration is now driving an explosion of Eurosceptic nationalism. Young people, a majority of whom deeply value their European citizenship, too often face barriers to full political participation.

Ah, but Brussels demanded they use low-energy light bulbs… or something.

Manchester Midland Hotel
EU flag above the Midland Hotel entrance, Manchester

Nationalists tell us that the nation state is best placed to deal with common challenges, but their argument fails the test of reason and ignores the nature of the trans-national threats we face. Climate change, international terrorism and the negative consequences of globalisation cannot be tackled by individual countries acting independently. If the European Union of today did not exist, we would have to create it.

And you know what’s funny? You can argue that UK is NOT a nation state. England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.

IMG_0877copy
Media City, Salford Quays, Salford

Ultimately, nationalism will be rejected because its politicians are incapable of resolving the challenges we face. It is time for those who believe in a united Europe to stand up and be counted.

Beautifully put. I hope he’s right.

28 Members of EU

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • UK (for now)

eu flag dwf

I love you all.

Beethoven’s Ode To Joy, an Anthem of Europe, performed by Banco Sabadell Flashmob:

Outdoors

It IS Easy Being Green

For this week’s photo challenge, I am posting four pictures.

IMG_1758copy

Not looking very spring-like yet, but plenty of green.

IMG_0678copy

Trees, of course, they can’t be missing.

IMG_1789copy

Moss.

IMG_0403copy

Okay, so that’s not strictly green only, but everyone loves daffodils, right?

It IS Easy Being Green!

 

PS: Can I just say, I much preferred the Weekly Photo Challenge on Fridays. I know it technically doesn’t matter because you can post any time, but still, I liked Fridays better. And what happened to Discover Challenges on Tuesdays, they stopped doing them altogether without telling us why. I asked on Twitter but got no response…
Outdoors

Birches in March

IMG_1773copy

I snapped them during my walk last weekend. Aren’t they gorgeous? March isn’t really the best month to photograph anything in nature but birches look good any time of the year.

IMG_1774copy

That white birch you caught me kissing is a sister of mine. The only difference is, she’s a tree and I’m a girl, but that’s no real difference.

Anne Shirley, Anne of Avonlea by LM Montgomery

Outdoors

March to Spring

It’s looking a bit like spring out there.

IMG_1739copy

I went for a walk on Saturday and was treated to this sight at my local park. Last year we had cold temperatures all the way till the end of April, so it’s definitely better in 2017, but as this is weather we’re talking about, I’m as cautious as ever.

IMG_1745copy

Some daffodils visible here. Daffodils are little pieces of sunshine as I like to say, though in this picture they resemble little stars more. Well, the sun is a star so it’s the same thing anyway.

Bonus

IMG_1752copy

The first time I’ve seen a cat in a park. Maybe (s)he hangs out there regularly, I don’t know, I don’t normally go to this corner of the park. This black-and-white creature even graciously posed for me:

IMG_1751copy

 

 

Outdoors, Random and Weird Phone Shots

Random and Weird Phone Shots -Statements in the City

Today I want to share with you two phone camera shots I took the other day in Manchester City Centre. Both make a clear statement.

fuck trump fuck brexit

This is on the wall on Oldham Street, Manchester. Oldham Street is part of Northern Quarter, a centre of alternative culture, independent shops and suchlike. (Come to think of it, this blogs needs some pics of that area!)

Brexit and Trump seem to get mentioned together a lot. Imagine one day in the future someone who is a baby now, or not born yet, asking you: “What were they, some comedy duo?”

I wish. The difference is, The Donald won’t be in charge for more than 8 years but Brexit is final.

IMG_20170301_145708272

Window of a Diesel shop on Deansgate says Make Love Not Walls.

This politics thing is getting a bit tiring, isn’t it.

Miscellaneous

We Are Grounders

Not long ago a I made a post citing dialogue from one of my favourite TV shows, Vikings, and how it related to real life stuff. I never expected to do something like that again–and on the same topic!

So, I’ve been watching The 100.

Set 97 years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, when a spaceship housing humanity’s lone survivors sends 100 juvenile delinquents back to Earth in hopes of possibly re-populating the planet. –IMDb

I admit, after the first couple of episodes, I had a feeling as if I was in one of those YA dystopian series that are in vogue now, but this is not a bad thing. (In fact, the TV show is actually based on books by Kass Morgan.) I loved Divergent. And well, why not? YA has always been a good age group to write for and dystopia–have you read the news lately? Though The 100 is post-apocalyptic rather than dystopian. What I like about this series is how the characters find themselves in situation where they have to make very difficult decisions. Do we kill 100 people to save 1000? Someone like Captain Picard would refuse to even answer that but here, it’s sure, let’s pull a trigger. And while the hundred from whom the show’s title is derived are all in their teens, there are plenty of older characters to root for.

Now to my quote. As it happens, the humans on the spaceship, The Ark, were not the only survivors of the nuclear war; there are people living on the ground, who are soon referred to as Grounders. The Grounders nickname those from the Ark the Sky People. Naturally, tensions rise between the two groups, culminating in a big battle. This is said by one of the main characters, Bellamy (played by Bob Morley), in Season 1, Episode 12 – We Are The Grounders Part 1.

Twilight’s Last Gleaming

Bellamy’s full speech:

This is our home now. We built this from nothing with our bare hands! Our dead are buried behind that wall, in this ground. Our ground! The Grounders think they can take that away? They think that because we came from the sky we don’t belong here! But they have yet to realize one very important fact. We are on the ground now. And that means WE are Grounders!

I’m speaking as an EU citizen living in UK in this crazy post-Brexit time. The government have refused to guarantee us any rights, instead they are using us as bargaining chips in the Brexit negotiations. We will give you rights, as long as the other EU countries give rights to UK citizens living there. Because that’s how it works. UK decides to leave EU and then demands rights for their citizens that live in there. Have your cake and eat it, anyone? I am aware that some nations think themselves superior to others but surely there is a limit. But I digress.

Of course, probably not many of us have built anything here with our bare hands, but we have built our lives. You know, got married, had kids, bought houses, got university degrees, got promotions at work. And yes, buried some dear ones too. We are here now, we are the residents! (Gosh, how I hate the word immigrant.) At least the House of Lords is arguing for our rights, let’s see whether it’ll do anything good.