Animals, Outdoors

Bee-live It!

So, as usual I went to Heaton Park with my camera. And would you bee-lieve my luck, this is what I got:

bee

I was taking a landscape shot when this wonderful bee-ing landed in the flower. I’ve bee-n (okay, I stop now) seeing headlines and articles about decline of bee numbers lately; this is worrying–without bees, the humans can pack it. So here is a list of 20 facts about bees and how we can protect them.

Bee is also a symbol of the city of Manchester. This comes from 19th century and the Industrial Revolution, with the hard workers of the city, the “worker bees”, being a sort of a “hive” of activity. After the Arena attack last year, it also became a symbol of unity.

From the memorial at St Ann’s Square, shortly after the attack:

manchester bee memorial

If you visit Manchester now, don’t be surprised to see an image of a bee in shop windows and on buildings.

Street art in Northern Quarter:

manchester bees streetart

Since I’m on the topic of bees, I have just remembered a favourite TV show from my childhood–Maya the Bee. I’m talking about the 1975 anime version (obviously, not the new series on Netflix). I don’t know how well the series is known in the Anglosphere, if at all. It was German-Japanese co-production and managed to break through the thick Iron Curtain and get broadcasted in several Communist-bloc countries, including former Czechoslovakia (there is both Slovak and Czech version). We used to watch it like mad, I recall they used to show it as part of the Sunday morning kids’ TV slot and on Monday morning at school we would ask each other “did you watch Maya the Bee yesterday?”

Maja the bee old
screenshot from YouTube

She meant a lot to all of us.

Gloomscapes, Outdoors

Gloomscapes #15

Time’s running when you’re having fun! For Number Fifteen in Gloomscapes, I offer you something I knew was going to be part of the series as soon as I learnt of its existence.

I’m talking about a line from a song called Thought Contagion by the brilliant Muse, of course:

muse thought contagion

It’s too late for a revolution
Brace for the final solution

From an interview published in NME magazine, Matt Bellamy got the idea for the song by watching American news: “well, that’s were the first part of the song came from really. It’s kinda like some strange bubble where they’re all living up Trump’s bum, basically… It gets inside your mind. I think that’s where the song came from really. You start walking round worrying about things that you wouldn’t normally think about and so the song came from that. How other people’s ideas can kinda take over your own if you’re not careful

Says it all.

#KeepOnGloomin’

Miscellaneous

Super Special Random Phone Shot Because I Have Just Seen Avengers Infinity War…

And I know this is not what I normally do on my blog but this time, I have to share. Spoiler free!

This is my Instagram story, which I have saved.

Infinity war IG story.jpg

You can’t be serious! A superhero movie starring more than 20 characters! It’s gonna be too packed! No way you can pull it off!!!

But they did!

Directors Anthony and Joe Russo are the true cinema heroes we need!

joe_and_anthony_russo

 

Gloomscapes, Outdoors

Gloomscapes #13

Hello world, it’s Sunday again, which means Gloomscapes.

Lucky number thirteen it is today and so it has to be, of course, District 13 from the Hunger Games trilogy.

glimpse of a bird flying

A mockingjay. Just a glimpse of it as it flies by. The same one every time.

~Susan Collins, Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2)

Mockingjay is, in the Hunger Games universe, a fictional hybrid bird, which becomes a symbol of Resistance. It’s also the title of the third book. When I viewed this picture on my computer and saw the flying bird, I was immediately reminded of the above quote from Catching Fire. I’m glad I got a chance to post it on the blog finally!

#KeepOnGloomin’

Gloomscapes, Outdoors

Gloomscapes #9

Without further ado, here is Number Nine in the Gloomscapes series.

Today it’s abandoned shopping trolleys–or shopping carts if you prefer.

abandoned shopping trolley1

abandoned shopping trolley3

The clocks stopped at one seventeen. There was a long shear of bright light, then a series of low concussions. I think it’s October but I can’t be sure. I haven’t kept a calendar for years. Each day is more grey than the one before. It is cold and growing colder as the world slowly dies. No animals have survived, and all the crops are long gone. Someday all the trees in the world will fall. The roads are peopled by refugees towing carts, and gangs carrying weapons, looking for fuel and food.

~from the movie The Road

And now, all that is left is empty shopping carts.

~me

#KeepOnGloomin’

Miscellaneous

Everything is Connected

everything is connected

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.)

dirk gently connected
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.

linked campaigns James Melaugh illustration
Image credit: Guardian, Illustration: James Melaugh

.

.

.

End of blog post.

Random and Weird Phone Shots

Random and Weird Phone Shots – Black Pant(her)

What are you wearing today? Chances are, if you work in a standard office:

blackpanther

Obviously, it’s a cinema ticket for Black Panther (which I saw a week ago, but it was too late to post it on that day and dammit, I said Random and Weird Phone Shots are a Thursday thing). See what I have become? This shit post proves I have completely lost it.

Black Panther might be a candidate for the movie of the year and it’s only February. I just want to mention something that occurs, well, something he says at the end, so here is when I say spoiler, if you haven’t seen it and want to–stop reading now.

In the first post-credits scene T’Challa (aka Black Panther) speaks at the United Nations and has this to say–paraphrasing here, so it’s not 100% exact: “Wise man builds bridges, fool builds barriers.”

I am in agreement, Your Highness.

Now, let’s get hyped for Infinity War!

Miscellaneous

How Is 2018 Treating You?

I haven’t seen much difference yet myself, have you? But it’s still early, after all, as Neil DeGrasse Tyson never fails to tweet every New Year’s Day, the first day of January has no astronomical significance whatsoever.

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Sunset in inner city

At least I’m back at the gym… sometimes.

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This is after I finished, I wasn’t going 2 km/h for 31 minutes!

I know that I haven’t been updating this blog much lately and to be very honest, I don’t really know what to do with it. I paid for the domain for another year but that’s about it. I feel like Phoebe here:

do-you-have-a-plan-i-dont-even-have-a-pla-quote-1
Friends has been made available to watch on Netflix this January, so you can guess what I’ve been doing.

Okay, maybe I have more than a “pla”. I just like that quote 🙂 Hear me out:

I’ve been thinking about doing a series. In some of my past posts, I have mentioned I’m somewhat of a fan of dystopian fiction. In the last year I took some pictures that–in my imagination at least–could represent a setting of such fiction. I would like to get this out there, once I figure out a way to do it. So, yeah, watch this space.

 

Miscellaneous, Outdoors

Be Your Own Hero

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Because the others are not all that.

If you disappoint yourself, you change it and un-disappoint yourself. If someone else disappoints you, well, it’s… disappointing.

So, be yourself. And every once in a while, if you’re unsure how to carry on or you feel somehow hopeless, take inspiration from the fictional ones. Be Xena Warrior Princess. Be Tony Stark. Be Hercule Poirot. Be Brienne of Tarth. Be someone amazing.

I’m not saying that holding up two autumn leaves and taking a picture of them with your smartphone is being a hero but hey, it’s a start. #IHeartMe

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.

enterprise bridge
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:

Bridge