Miscellaneous

Stop Brexit March, Leeds

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I attended a Stop Brexit March in Leeds on Saturday, my second march of this kind. I’m posting about it somewhat late; I felt exhausted all day Sunday as I also went to a friend’s son first birthday party when I got back to Manchester. I normally barely set a foot outside on weekends if I don’t have to. My body can’t quite handle so much action!

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This march was one of similar marches taking place around the country to mark the first anniversary of the triggering of the Article 50. The Leeds march represented North.

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This was my first time visiting Leeds and I will definitely visit again, properly with my camera; this time my attention was dedicated solely to the march. All pictures were taken with my smartphone.

It all started on the train:

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I caught the same train as some fellow protesters, who hung EU flag on the window.

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Of course the giant EU flag wasn’t missing.

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More pics and signs and banners:

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One of the speakers at the march was Richard Corbett MEP, you can see him on the above picture on the very left, talking to the woman with blond hair. I’ve met him before at a Q&A session he did at the University of Manchester last year.

I suppose the next picture should come with a trigger warning!

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I was pleased I got to photograph the Brexit Monster up close, it was too far away from me at the Manchester march.

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Will this message get across?

What’s been frustrating to me recently is not the events that are happening, it’s the fact that people don’t seem to care a bit. They’re going about their lives, probably thinking it’ll all work out or possibly believing that Brexit won’t happen, whilst doing nothing towards it not to happen. It’s this apathy that that’s the worst. I’ve not heard anyone outside my circle even mention the Cambridge Analytica story. Even Remainers say we should just “get on with it”. Um, no.

One day they’ll wake up in the morning into a first day of dictatorship and will keep asking, how did this happen? Like this, motherfuckers. Sigh.

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To end the post on a positive note, it’s been great seeing news about March for Life in USA. To all the people that came out to the streets, I want to say: you absolutely rock!

Miscellaneous

Everything is Connected

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This sign is outside one of the many University buildings on Oxford Road in Manchester.

Why have I taken a picture of such a random thing? Because 1. that’s what I do and 2. it reminded me of something.

If you’ve watched Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, then you will recognise “Everything is connected” as a sort of tagline of the show. (If you haven’t watched it, then I highly recommend it–it’s funny and clever and has amazing characters, so basically everything a good TV series should be.)

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Image credit: IMDb, caption mine. Samuel Barnett is Dirk Gently, Elijah Wood his sidekick Todd Brotzman

It also reminded me of another thing, non-fictional.

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Image credit: Guardian, Illustration: James Melaugh

.

.

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End of blog post.

Outdoors, Weekly Photo Challenge

Bridge

Bridges are one my favourite things to photograph. In fact, they are one of my favourite things ever. Bridges are great, really. I even like the word bridge. It looks nice written down (or typed) and is easy to pronounce for a non-native English speaker.

I decided to go for this one for this week’s photo challenge.

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The bridge is a metrolink bridge in inner city Manchester. Not quite aesthetically pleasing, perhaps, but that’s the point. If it wasn’t for all that glorious sunshine, it would be a proper grim shot!

Inspiration for this photo came from a scene in The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I’ve taken a few similar shots after reading the book.

I’ve also been listening to my mega 90s playlist, which of course features the Red Hot Chili Peppers song Under the Bridge; probably one of the most iconic tunes of the decade. The song deals with feelings of loneliness and past drug abuse.

Under the bridge downtown
Is where I drew some blood
Under the bridge downtown
I could not get enough
Under the bridge downtown
Forgot about my love
Under the bridge downtown
I gave my life away

-lyrics by Anthony Kiedis

Speaking of music, a bridge is also a section of a song, but I have no idea what exactly it means. If you know, please do enlighten me in the comments.

Another bridge that comes to mind is captain’s bridge on a ship. Or better–a spaceship.

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Starship Enterprise NCC-1701-D from Star Trek The Next Generation

So that would be it regarding the bridge. Have a great week/month/year and remember:

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Bridge

Miscellaneous

Share Your World – 15 May 2017

This week’s Share your World is basically me talking about things I like.

How many languages do you you speak?

My native language, Slovak, and English. At school I did German as well as English and later I learned a bit of Spanish but I forgot a lot as, living in UK, I don’t have the need to use any other lingo. I’ve always liked languages, who knows maybe one day I’ll speak another one fluently. Though nowadays knowing a different kind of language would be more beneficial–a programming language.

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Image credit: www.expatica.com

What are you reading, watching, listening to, eating?

I’m reading Robot Visions, a short story collection by Isaac Asimov. I’ve blogged about Asimov before, he’s one of my favourite authors.

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I’m watching a few things. American Gods on Amazon Prime, The 100 on TV and I just started Narcos on Netflix. I must mention the last series I finished watching and enjoyed immensely was Parks and Recreation. I think it must have been one of the best things on TV; funny as hell with a meaning behind it and characters that I now miss like old friends.

I’m not listening to anything in particular because my taste in music is all over the place at the moment. I’ve been listening to some Beatles as I recently visited the museum in Liverpool but otherwise I mainly listen to new-ish stuff. Though last week I searched for Ode to Joy by Beethoven on my Amazon Prime Music app and listened to every version they had. I was overjoyed about the result of the French election and Ode to Joy is an EU anthem and I’m basically Euro-trash and I’m not sorry about it.

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My eating habits have much improved from the past, but I still eat too much junk food and chocolate. Also it turned out I had high cholesterol so I swapped my breakfast bacon sandwich for avocado on toast.

What was the last photo you took with your phone?

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What is your favourite time of day?

Evening and night. I’m a night owl.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

What am I grateful for from last week? I guess Eurovision was alright. And you know, just being alive and healthy and all that. And the world looking more green.

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There’s always weekend to look forward to if nothing else. And some pictures to take!

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: