Miscellaneous, Random and Weird Phone Shots

Statements in the City – Climate Change Sticker

Not really a Random and Weird Phone Shot, as this fits more with my Statements-in-the-city themed posts, though much like the RAWPS, it is temporary, but it doesn’t matter anyway. What matters is the message.

climate change is mass murder

Just wondering, how do you think we will justify ourselves to future generations?

Miscellaneous

The Halloween Post

Some Halloween-themed events took place in Manchester City Centre, for which they displayed these props. So I took some pics of the said props.

And, because I occasionally have ideas, I added some lines to them.

halloween skeleton1

“I went to the market and it cost me an arm and a leg.”

halloween skeleton3

Ethel was excited to show her friend Richard her new discovery: “Hey, Richard, come and have a look at what I found. Richard? RICHARD???”

halloween skeleton2

“This is what happens when you sign up for Strictly Come Dancing with only one foot.”

halloween skeleton4

“And then he said there was going to be a new 50p coin to commemorate Brexit.”

“BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”

The End

Happy Halloween!

Miscellaneous

People’s Vote March, London

I was there.

peoples vote march 9

I have posted in the past about anti-Brexit marches I attended, in Manchester and in Leeds. So now I’m posting about the one I went to on Saturday 20 October–the largest one by far and the largest march in UK since Stop The War in 2003.

It was a People’s Vote March–campaigners demanding a vote for the final Brexit deal, but come on, everyone was there with EU flags and Bollocks-to-Brexit stickers.

peoples vote march 6

An estimated 700,000 took part, I think that is the official figure. Trust me, it was HUGE. I was there. I have never seen that many people together in one place ever, in my life. The march went from Park Lane to Parliament Square (where there was a stage set up for the speakers) but a lot of us couldn’t even get to Parliament Square, because it was so packed with people, so we had to turn around and go back.

Coaches came from all over the country, many of them paid by celebrities or other VIPs. There were four coaches from Manchester and I was on one.

peoples vote march prep
My essentials ready on the eve of the march day

 

peoples vote march headboppers
Also this on my head

 

The coach departed at 6:30am. I’m very much a not-morning person, but for this I got out of bed without throwing any abuse at my alarm clock. I was as excited as a kid going to Disneyland!

peoples vote march coach

One thing’s interesting–I suffer from really bad travel sickness, especially on coaches but on this occasion my stomach didn’t flutter once, and I sat right at the back where it’s usually the worst. The Universe was looking out for me on that day.

peoples vote march 8

peoples vote march 7

Some North West representation on the above two pics. (The flags on the bottom one are Cheshire flag and Lancashire flag.)

People really got creative with their banners and placards, though I had no chance of snapping many of them, due to the sheer size of the march. I think my favourite one was “I’m so cross I’m missing football for this”. If that’s not a sign that it’s serious, then nothing is.

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peoples vote march 5

peoples vote march 2

peoples vote march 1

At the Hyde Park Speaker’s Corner there was a gathering of dogs with their owners, who campaigned for Pet Passports (this concerns all of us pet owners). They set up a pee station for them.

peoples vote march pee station
Do your business on Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Ian Duncan Smith, go dogs!

What I love about these marches is the atmosphere, everyone is so positive and people are dead nice to each other.

peoples vote march 3

Whether there will be a People’s Vote or not remains to be seen. It’s probably something I won’t be able to participate as I’m not allowed to vote in UK in anything other than local elections (and will lose even that right after April 2019). Once again I will be just watching other people entering polling stations like I had to do on the day of the EU Referendum.

IMG_20170608_001436189
Excluded again

To be fair, the campaigners are demanding a Final Say For All, which would include us and those British citizens living in the EU countries that couldn’t vote in the Referendum because they’ve been out of the country for too long. If David Cameron wasn’t so stupid he would have given us the right and we would have swung the result the other way and he would still be a Prime Minister, but it’s pointless to talk about that now.

I hope this march will still be talked about for years to come. And I can look all my current and future nephews in the eye and tell them, that on that beautiful sunny autumn day in London, I was there.

Link to Guardian that has some good shots from the march.

Indoors

Anyone Would Like a Piece of Chocolate?

I bought a bar of chocolate once and was eating it, when I saw how nice the chocolate looked against the white wrapper. So I took a pic of it with my smartphone.

chocolate2

This is some dark chocolate from Aldi (a discount supermarket, for those who don’t know). It’s dead cheap and very, very tasty. And it doesn’t look bad on photographs either!

Indoors

I Like My Kindle eBooks

I’ve been thinking about doing this post for months. Initially I contemplated giving it some Buzzfeed-style catchy title (17 Ways My Kindle Makes My Life Worth Living) but in the end I opted for simple, what-it-says-on-the-tin title. So here it is.

kindle photoshoot3

I’ve mentioned books on this blog here and there, mostly either LM Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables or Agatha Christie, or, if it’s a Gloomscapes post, a dystopian novel. This post not strictly about books, though, it’s about their format. The reason? Well, eBooks need some love. I’m fed up with the stupid comments about how eBooks will never be as good as “real books” and how you can’t really get immersed in an eBook and real books, nothing beats the smell of real books, realbooks, reAAAAALBOOKS waah waah waah! So, here I want to list my reasons why I LIKE eBooks.

However, this is not a physical books versus eBooks article. It’s not a war and it’s actually possible to like both. It’s an eBook appreciation piece—nothing more, nothing less.

Before I start, Disclaimer 1: I’m going to talk about Kindle eBooks, because that is the format I’m familiar with. Most of the main points should apply to other brands, but some of them may not.

Disclaimer 2: I do not work for Amazon and this post is not endorsed by Amazon.

kindle coffee cake

  • eReaders are compact – in a device the size of a paperback, you can store 1000s of books and carry them around with you wherever you go.
  • Speed – eBooks take seconds to download. Now this may sound lazy, I can hear those “instant gratification” comments already. But it’s more than that. People who may not have time to go to bookstores due to work and family commitments, people who live in remote locations with no bookstore in a reasonable distance, people who have disabilities that make going to a bookstore a difficult task.
  • RealBooks look better on the shelf!” they say. I’m sure that’s very nice, but… what if you don’t have a bookshelf? We live in hard times. Not everyone can afford to buy big houses with large rooms where you can dedicate multiple walls to bookshelves. A lot of people rent, a lot of people can only buy small abodes with little to no space for bookshelves. And if you’re still far from being settled down and know you’ll have to move several times, moving physical books just adds to your load.
  • In-built dictionary. May not seem that important, but if you’re not a native English speaker, it sure is useful. Highlight a word and a definition appears. Yes, yes, you can look up the word in a physical dictionary but you don’t always have one by hand. Or you’re reading on your lunch break at work, on a train or bus.

kindle dictionary

  • Free classics/public domain books. Books that are in public domain are available for free in multiple formats. Shakespeare, the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson are just few examples. This is fantastic for lovers and students of classic literature, of course, and it also happens to be my favourite point, because this is how I was able to finally access all the LM Montgomery books after I moved to UK. Try as I might, I couldn’t find any of LM’s books in shops and libraries (I read somewhere that her books, or at least the Anne series, have never been out of print. I’ve never seen them in print!*) I still remember the feeling of absolute joy when I discovered her workon Gutenberg. Through a link on Wikipedia, no less. I downloaded all of them one by one and read them on my laptop, as this was before e-readers became mainstream. I was so, soooo happy to finally read all of LM Montgomery’s books in English! I can’t describe it to you how happy I was. (I soon found out how terribly bad the translations into my language were, but that’s another topic).
  • Highlights and notes – highlight passages and make notes as you want, without damaging the book. Because Goodreads is owned by Amazon, your Kindle notes and highlights will be saved there and you can choose to keep them private or make them public. Here are mine. Also, if you purchase a Kindle book on Amazon, you can highlight and share directly to Twitter or Facebook.
  • No need for bookmarks. The book stays where you left it. Of course, if you love bookmarks because they are art, that’s great. This is more for those people that always lose them and then have to resort to shoelaces, bus tickets, supermarket receipts and the like.
  • Accessibility. Size of font can be changed, perfect for people with visual impairment. On a different level, e-readers are also very light. I remember someone commenting on a Goodreads post that they appreciated Kindle when they broke both their wrists and books became too heavy to hold.
kindle largefont
Largest possible font
  • Prevent loss of books by backing them in a cloud. Books get lost. You move from home, to a different city, or a different country, can’t take your books with you. You settle in the new city/country, go back home to get your books, but those are nowhere to be found, because your family lost them and didn’t tell you and instead let you search desperately everywhere from floor to ceiling for them, not helping you search for them, repeating that they have no idea where those books could be, that they were right there last year. Until you realise that the books are gone forever and they won’t be so easy to obtain again because they are out of print. No such problems with eBooks. Even if some wicked person gets hold of your e-reader and deletes every book you have stored on it. I don’t know about other brands but with Amazon Kindle you keep all your purchases in your cloud; if this is not the case with whichever product you’re using, please make sure you back your eBooks up. This goes for all the digital content.
  • eBooks can’t be lent. “Can I borrow that book you talked about?” “No, it’s an eBook.” May sound mean, but come on, how many books have you lent to people, only for them to never be returned to you? Or returned in a terrible shape? EBooks beautifully eradicate that issue. Get your own copy, you thief.
  • Environment. No paper, no cutting of trees.
  • What about libraries? You love libraries, right? Let me tell you that they are not dying, because many of them offer eBook lending too.
  • Not sure if you want the world to know what you’re reading? No worries, nobody can see the cover, nobody will know.
  • Not books, but since we’re talking Kindle, you can get newspaper and magazine subscriptions in this format. And because they’re digital, they won’t clutter your space—and save the trees.
  • Last but not least, if you’re worried about staring at yet another screen, let me reassure you that eReaders don’t strain your eyes. It’s just like reading paper.

kindle photoshoot2

Of course I realise eBooks also have downsides–I’m not an uncritical fanatic. Like, you can’t have a digital book signed by the author, should you ever meet them. And browsing a bookstore is a legitimate way to spend your Saturday. And not all the titles are available in this format, which is unfortunate. I do hope more and more books will be released as eBooks as time goes by. Remember my Isaac Asimov post? Well, his Foundation series, which then was not available in digital form, has since become available in digital form!

kindle asimov foundation

So, what do you think, readers of WordPress and beyond? How do you consume literature? What about Audiobooks–are they your favourite format? Tell me in the comments!

Links:

Gutenberg

Open Culture

100 Legal Sites to Download Literature

Books in this post are: Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale (photoshoot with tulips), Agatha Christie’s Autobiography (dictionary shot), LM Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables (large font), Sally Baumont’s Rebecca’s Tale (coffee shop pic) and finally, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation.

*To clarify, I found an old copy Anne of Green Gables in a charity shop. It’s a paperback from 1972 and barely holds together, with help of a lot of sellotape. So the point still stands because it’s an old edition, which you can’t find in shops anymore. I bought it after I already had the digital versions from Gutenberg. I’ve never seen any of the other Anne books, or any other LM Montgomery books, in a physical form.

Outdoors

Southport Beach

Today, let me share with you some photos from my trip to Southport. Southport is a seaside town in Merseyside, North West England, over an hour by train from Manchester.

southport beach1

southport beach2

southport seagull

southport beach3

southport beach4

southport beach5

The bottom two are smartphone shots.

This trip meant a lot to me because this was the first time in ten years that I felt seawater. The tide was low as you can see, so I just took off my shoes and socks and went right in. I walked way, way past the pier. Of course, not being used to such hot weather (yeah, what’s up with that?) since moving to UK and not having been on the beach for a decade, I forgot I should have applied the sun cream regularly. Shrug, a bit of a sunburn won’t kill me.

Anyone here knows Souhtport?

Miscellaneous

Don’t Feed The Horses

The sign is in Heaton Park.

don't feed the horses1

Do not feed the horses. They are on a special diet.

don't feed the horses2

Please note, I’m not making fun of this sign–I completely understand the horses should not be fed by the park’s visitors. In fact, it annoys me when I see people feeding animals in places where there are big bold signs instructing NOT to feed the animals. Like, you think that doesn’t apply to you? Ugh…

So, the sign. It just made me smile, that’s all. I’ve noticed I’ve gathered a few pictures of different signs, it seems they are one of the things I like to photograph, both with my camera and the smartphone. The blog is helping me discover myself and I love it! Here’s the tag.

How about you? Is there an object you like to take pictures of that is not the obvious landscape/nature/portrait thing? Tell me in the comments and share your work!