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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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I love you all.

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

Outdoors, Weekly Photo Challenge

It IS Easy Being Green

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

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

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

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Moss.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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:

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