Some Photoblog Does The Sunshine Blogger Award

So… this happened.

I have been nominated for a Sunshine Blogger Award by The Wee Writing Lassie–please do check out her blog!–thank you so much for this opportunity! I’ve really had fun with it.

I promise myself, again and again, to connect with other bloggers but I never do. It seems I have social anxiety both online and in real life. *shrug*

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is an award given to creative, positive and cheerful bloggers by their peers as a token of appreciation and admiration. (Wait, someone appreciates my blog? Someone actually reads it?)

The Rules:

• Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to him/her.

• Answer the 11 questions provided by the blogger who nominated you.

• Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.

• Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their blog posts.

• List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post.

Questions for me:

(Note: I have added pictures to some of my answers because it’s the nature of this blog but this is NOT required)

  • Who is your favourite author?

Easy–the Queen of Crime herself!

  • If you could rule one of these five fictional/mythical lands: the Galaxy of Star Wars, King Arthur’s Britain, Westeros, Middle-Earth or Discworld – which one would it be and why?

Out of those, I think the Star Wars Galaxy is the most me-friendly, but I have no interest in ruling. So I think the best choice is Discworld, because it sounds like that wouldn’t be too much work, lol.

  • If you had the powers of a god, what would you do with them?

Either stop climate change or eliminate the right-wing from existence. Or both.

  • Which famous historical figure would you have round to dinner?

Oh, Mary Magdalene, she’s fascinating.

  • You’ve been abducted by aliens, and they demand that you take them to your leader – who do you take them to?

Probably the leader of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. She seems like a competent person.

  • If there was a film made of your life story, which famous actor would you want to play you?

Honestly I think Kristen Stewart is the most appropriate one, but my life is not interesting enough for a movie.

  • If you were trapped in a historical time (presumably your time machine has malfunctioned) what period would you be most likely to survive in?

I would say the Communist Czechoslovakia is the only one I could survive in, basically my life but decades earlier, it’s just the most familiar so I’d know what to expect. Still, I’d rather not. I’d prefer to go to the future.

  • What is your favorite kind of weather and why?

Dry, sunny, 20 degrees Celsius. Warm and not too hot, good for photography.

  • Chocolate or Caramel?

Chocolate.

  • If you could turn into any mythical creature, which one would it be?

I need to beat myself with a stick because I still haven’t read enough on mythical creatures. Anything that is a cat–werecat, maybe? Or I’d just be a witch, if that counts.

  • Who are you most grateful to in your life?

It’s got to be my mum.

Questions for my nominees:

  1. Which fictional romantic pairing is your favourite (can be non-canon)?
  2. Which movie can you never get tired of, no matter how many times you watch it?
  3. What is your favourite hot drink?
  4. If you could wake up tomorrow being fluent in one language, which language would you choose?
  5. Have you ever felt like you could never forgive someone? (Reveal as much as you are comfortable with).
  6. What was your favourite music artist or band in your teenage years?
  7. What stupid question or comment are you tired of hearing from people?
  8. Who is your celebrity crush?
  9. What is the one really unpopular opinion you have?
  10. What was your favourite subject at school?
  11. What are you most grateful for from the past 12 months?

I nominate:

Susan Rushton

Tom from Spirit in Politics

Inkdrop

Twobrownfeet

Wednesday’s Child

Narendra Nayak at A Sliver of Life

It’s only six but I’m too chicken to nominate more. Have fun!

A Love Letter

As I say every year, Valentine’s Day is nothing to me. I chose singledom. But it can’t be denied that it offers very aesthetically pleasing opportunities for photography. Or art in general. And stories and poems and songs and important essays about relationships–it’s certainly good for creativity. For better or worse.

You can always be your own valentine if there’s no one else. At least then you don’t have to share any chocolate.

Love yourself.

Ode To Joy

And all men shall be brothers…

Joy, beautiful spark of Divinity,
Daughter of Elysium,
We enter, drunk with fire,
Heavenly One, thy sanctuary!
Thy magic binds again
What custom strictly divided;
All people become brothers,
Where thy gentle wing abides.

Who has succeeded in the great attempt,
To be a friend’s friend,
Whoever has won a lovely woman,
Add his to the jubilation!
Indeed, who even just has one soul
To call his own in this world!
And who never managed it should slink
Weeping from this union!

All creatures drink of joy
At nature’s breasts.
All the Just, all the Evil
Follow her trail of roses.
Kisses she gave us and grapevines,
A friend, proven in death.
Salaciousness was given to the worm
And the cherub stands before God.

Gladly, as His suns fly
through the heavens’ grand plan
Go on, brothers, your way,
Joyful, like a hero to victory.

Be embraced, Millions!
This kiss to all the world!
Brothers, above the starry canopy
There must dwell a loving Father.
Are you collapsing, millions?
Do you sense the creator, world?
Seek him above the starry canopy!
Above stars must He dwell.

~Friedrich Schiller

One day, we will all be brothers.

Foggy

I saw fog descended so I quickly grabbed my camera to take a few shots from the window, before it got too dark.

I wished I was somewhere more romantic, like Manchester is great and all, but if you can’t capture a fog on the edge of the woods or around a haunted castle, what are you even doing with a fog?

I also happened to be watching the 2011 version of Wuthering Heights, make of it what you will. Beautiful visually but not heavy on dialogue.

The Commute

We’re right in the middle of winter, the season of short days and long nights–at least where I live. My working pattern means I get to see the rising and setting sun on my daily commute.

Sunrise photographed through the tram window, on the way to work, above. Sunset photographed from the tram window on the way home, below.

The tramline has some marvellous views in this section, inaccessible by any other means. It makes the sardine-like conditions of the rush hour much more pleasant.

2019 Recap

Last year’s Recap turned out to be quite a good post, so let’s do it again!

January, a foggy walk to the tram stop in the morning. Taken with my smartphone, this shot has not been edited and was not taken in black and white. I like my gloomy pics.

April, Heaton Park. Ferns and out of focus ducks. You know me and ducks.

August, PIccadilly Gardens in Manchester. My favourite type of shot, sun through the trees, with added pigeons basking on the street light. Pigeons became a new feature on my blog this year.

September, a weird photo of the fence around a new car park behind my house, with, again, out focus animal, my neighbour’s cat. Autumn this year has been really good on the blog, if I say so myself (and if I don’t, who will?), hence my choice of a Recap pic.

Much of my 2019 can be summed up in one word–Yorkshire! I’ve had four trips to places in Yorkshire (Leeds, York, Hebden Bridge and Haworth), which provided a good chunk of the blog this year. Aside from Yorkshire, I also enjoyed visiting Chester and Marple.

And I finally made tribute posts for my favourite author Agatha Christie and my favourite fictional character, Anne Shirley.

I’ve been to two anti-Brexit marches in autumn, one here in Manchester during the Conservative Party Conference, the other in London. Yes, I know we lost, but that’s not the point here. I’m glad I went and don’t regret a single second and would do it all over again. Strangely enough, it wasn’t looking so bad at first. Brexit was delayed three times. Then came the election. You know the result of that. I don’t know why it happened that way, how the Tories won such a majority, all I know is that I feel crushed–and I’m not the only one. (This also proves that any year-end reviews should not be done at the beginning of December, because so much can still take place.)

Elsewhere in pop culture, Game of Thrones came to an end (unpopular opinion, I was okay with the ending… but I’m not posting any spoilers here) and Marvel Cinematic Universe reached its milestone with Avengers Endgame, which became the highest grossing movie of all time! And Amazon Prime blessed us with the hilarious and brilliant Good Omens. The song of the year seems to be Old Town Road and I’m sure you agree with me that it’s a banger.

At the end of August, Extinction Rebellion organised a Northern Rebellion here in Manchester, where they took over Deansgate for the weekend. Half of the road was closed to the traffic and they set up stalls and stuff–and it was beautiful. It made me wish more than anything for a car-less Deansgate (the street has a lot of restaurants and there is also a giant Waterstones store). Apparently the city council said it could be done, if they found a different route for buses that pass that way.

Also, like, not to be that person, but I knew about Extinction Rebellion before it was cool. As you can see, my post of their sticker is from November 2018, when most people only heard of them in 2019. Ha!

Speaking of climate activism, I cannot not mention Greta Thunberg. She has so much courage, I couldn’t do what she does, I couldn’t put myself out there, especially not at such a young age. Keep going, Greta!

So here we are, end of the year and end of the decade. What will the roaring twenties bring?

I wish everyone happy and prosperous new year.

Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate, York

As it’s the end of the year, let me sneak in one more post from York. It turned out to be quite a productive trip for my photography, despite the wrong settings on my camera.

I give you Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate, the shortest street in York.

I was originally going to make these pictures part of the Diagon-Alley-like post, but somehow they didn’t fit. Now I know why. Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate deserves its own entry.