Warning! Dangerous Tree

This is my contribution to this weekend’s Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Warning.

I had to check through my blog to see which pictures of warning signs I’ve posted already, to avoid duplication. (I like those.) This one is my latest one, from last autumn.

Funny that it’s a dangerous tree. They’re normally the good guys, and my favourites. But according to this sign, they can also be deadly!

This And That

Because I’ve not been taking pictures as I usually do, but still want to run the blog, here’s this silly snap from New Year’s Day:

If you’re gonna spray graffiti, at least make it positive! The shop the wall belongs to is a Chinese takeaway. Which should put a smile on your face just by existing.

The arrival of 2023 welcomes, among other things, all of Sherlock Holmes stories (and I think that means all of Arthur Conan Doyle’s works too, unless I’m missing some of the last ones) into public domain. You can now write and publish any Sherlock story of your own, without worrying about getting into trouble with the estate.

One of Agatha Christie’s best books, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, has also entered the public domain. All these works are available for free in digital format.

I hoped Kenneth Branagh would tackle the case for his third Hercule Poirot film, especially as he mentioned “wanting to retire to grow vegetable marrows” in last year’s Death on the Nile, but it is not so. The next instalment (which is being filmed now) is A Haunting in Venice, an adaptation of Halloween Party. It seems Poirot retired to grow vegetable marrows, not into an English village, but to Venice. (It will be a loose adaptation, as Halloween Party doesn’t take place in Venice.) Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a tricky one to adapt for screen, because of its unique twist, but it can be done. The David Suchet TV episode was unfortunately not good, but I still hope someone will do it well.

I’ve been thinking about writing a lot lately. More than usual, more than photography. Even the algorithms know, I keep seeing ads for writing classes on Facebook and Instagram. I posted three stories in quick succession over on my writing blog, to my own surprise. It turns out the secret to writing is… writing. As opposed to thinking about writing, daydreaming about fictional characters and noting down ideas. It was like discovering the pearl of wisdom. I hope to continue with it this year. I’d like to experiment with different genres.

It’s been raining almost constantly. No walks in the park, no taking pictures. I have to march in my living room to meet the steps target on my FitBit!

That’s about it for my random and weird thoughts. Have a good January.

Flight

I saw this weekend’s Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge was Flight–and I knew I had the right content for it!

Taken on my recent flight from Bratislava back to Manchester. The geolocation shows as Karlovy Vary (also known as Carlsbad) in Czech Republic, a popular spa resort not far from the German border.

The fluffy white clouds would almost make you believe you were in a fantasy castle in the skies–but only almost. It’s a Ryanair flight after all!

(For readers outside Europe: Ryanair is a budget airline that operates to and from most of the major cities here, so not very romantic, but honestly, they do exactly what you need them to do, i.e. fly you from A to B, and what more do you need?)

I Am Still Me – Bratislava Edition

Hello world, I’m still here in Slovakia, and as I have gathered a few cool smartphone pics, I’ve decided to make a blog post. So here it is.

The photos are very much me, in a different city.

The pure randomness: the coat of arms of Bratislava on the street waste bin.

The autumn leaves, of course – this is outside the block of flats where my mum lives; you can see the red bus shelter.

The view from the window – it’s, well, the view from the window of my mum’s 7th floor flat. She lives sort of at the edge of the city, hence the fields.

The coffee drinker – there is no version of me that doesn’t drink coffee. Although that eternal beverage has not really made a proper appearance on Some Photoblog. Yet.

The signs – this one is in the gardens of Bratislava Castle.

The shots from moving public transport – Bratislava Castle from the bus. (There’ll be loads of that, worry not!)

And the beauty too – sunset over the Danube river. With trees.

All pics taken with my smartphone, downloaded onto my tablet and shrank using PicResize. Thanks, Weekly Prompts for the tip. (Normally I save my photos to my laptop’s hard drive and use plain, basic MS Paint to resize the images I choose for the blog.)

My camera is getting a good workout – results to be seen soon!

Garbage… but it’s history

One day I was walking down the well trodden street that leads from my place to the park, when I spotted it. It lay there, on the ground, as if it had been there for days or weeks–but it hadn’t. It wasn’t there the day before.

I took a picture of it, because that’s what I do, you know, and also, my brother is a huge Lord of the Rings fan. Later that day, I sent the pic to him.

He joked that it was such a waste throwing it away. I, of course, remarked that littering never ceases to irritate me, considering there are bins nearby.

Then I looked at my pic closer. The cup has an Odeon cinema logo but, as Paul pointed out, the movies were out two decades ago. I thought it might have been an advert for some other type of media, a video game perhaps, as there’s the new series on Amazon Prime set in Middle Earth, so I thought “The Ultimate Quest” referred to something else of this universe (I don’t keep up with LOTR stuff, not one of my fandoms). But no, the image on the cup is definitely related to the last film of the trilogy, The Return of the King. But that was released in 2003. Also Paul was able to notice that the Pepsi logo is old. I never know what the Pepsi logo looks like, I buy Coca-Cola.

So, what is a nineteen-year-old cup doing on the pavement? And how come someone kept a paper cup from a cinema for nineteen years in the first place? It’s quite well preserved, albeit squashed. On one side it had marks from a bike, but that bike would have run over it once it was already on the street. It seemed to me someone was doing a big clear-out. But if they were doing a big clear-out, wouldn’t they have put the cup in the binbag with the rest of the rubbish?

WHAT IS THIS MYSTERY, I NEED ANSWERS!

The next day I walked that street again (I always do, since I go to the park most days) and the cup was still there. The location of the cup is near the point where a wall of one house meets the backyard of another house. The backyard has recently been filled with old, broken furniture. I think I might have cracked it.

There’s obviously some renovating going on in one of the houses and the cup must have got stuck somewhere in the furniture. As the furniture was being dumped to the backyard, the cup, being much lighter, landed further away.

I also wonder if the cinema goer kept the cup because they were a fan of LOTR. I can imagine a kid, perhaps twelve or thirteen years old making it part of their little LOTR collection. Maybe their parent/s couldn’t afford to buy them any merchandise. So they cherished the cinema cup with the image of the film, because it was the only thing they had.

Later, when they grew up and started earning their own money, they would buy whatever else they wanted. The family moved out and the cinema cup was left behind, long forgotten.

Until the renovators came.

What a relic. Might not be worth much, but it’s history.

Roses on the Beach

Pic is from my trip to Crosby in June.

Something very gothic romance about it.

I think of a young man in 19th century, perhaps a newly qualified lawyer with good prospects, coming to Liverpool to meet the woman he loves, who is to arrive on a ship from America. He buys a bouquet of roses, of course, for roses are her favourite flowers. The ship docks, the passengers disembark, but his beloved is not among them. Heartbroken, the young lawyer suspects she fell in love with another man. He dumps the flowers on the sandy beach and swears never to love again. To escape his disappointment, he leaves for an expedition to West Africa, where he meets his death.

The young lady, his beloved, has in truth not fallen in love with anyone else. She never boarded the ship. Her best friend has had an accident and the young lady rushed to be by her side, as this friend was like a sister to her. She wrote a letter to the young lawyer, explaining she would make the voyage as soon as her friend recovered. How was she to know the young man never read her letter, for he had left before he could have received it?

When she finally arrives to England, she hears of her young man’s death in West Africa and cries many a tear. She vows never to love again, converts to Catholicism and becomes a nun.

Luckily, there’s another version of this story, where the young lawyer has a sister, who tells him he’s being an idiot and that he should trust his beloved–if she was not on the ship, there was probably a good reason and no doubt soon some news would come. Which it does. He reads the letter and it makes him love his beloved even more. “Isn’t she just the best, look how she cares about her friend!” he gushes to his sister. The sister wears her biggest told-you-so face.

Some weeks later, the lovely lady at last arrives on another ship, he waits for her with a fresh bouquet of roses. They get married and live happily ever after.

Photographs curling in the heat

Well, I’m pleased to report that both me and my cat Pepper got through it unscathed.

By which I mean the extreme heat the UK experienced on Monday and Tuesday; that’s 18th and 19th July 2022. Tuesday the temperature reached 39°C here in Manchester, in some places it went to over 40°C, for the first time in history.

The photos I have hung on a string of lights started curling.

I contemplated going into the office on Tuesday, as it has air-con, but then I decided to stick with working from home, as I was worried about Pepper and wanted to keep an eye on her, besides, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to even get into the office–the tram lines might have started melting or something. Pepper stayed in my bedroom for the whole day, I kept checking on her every now and then and each time she gave me a look that said: “why you make me suffer like this?” like it was my fault. Cats…

As for me, I was more stressed about the thought of the heatwave than the actual heatwave. In the end, the trick was a wet towel on my head.

What a relief today’s very pleasant 21°C was!

But I’m afraid we’re in for heatwaves and extreme weather like this for the foreseeable future…


I thought this would fit this week’s Weekly Posts Wednesday Challenge – Extreme.

Husband Creche… Why???

One day I was walking down a street in Manchester city centre and spotted this sign outside of a pub.

Why do people like this primitive type of humour?

I fail to see what’s so funny about comparing a husband to a child. A child at least needs looking after. A grown adult doesn’t. Pocket money! Does he not earn his own money? Why should women put up with this?

How is being single worse than this???

This is why LGBTQ+ people go “are the straights okay?” And they’re right.

The sexism is, of course, another issue. Don’t women go to pubs?

Stupid on every level.

Carts, they said

When I saw this week’s Weekly Prompts Wednesday Challenge, I knew I had to take part.

The topic is “carts” and don’t you know it’s exactly the kind of stupid thing I like to take pictures of (in fact they’ve already featured on this blog). Though I like wheelbarrows better, I have more pics of carts. I see many abandoned shopping carts, or trolleys as they call them here, in my neighbourhood. I live near a Tesco superstore… but not all the carts I come across are from there.

Escaping to the park. Just like many of us.

Hiding in an alleyway. He’s up to some shenanigans, I bet.

This one got rusty, poor fellow.

I always use shopping baskets when I shop, never trolleys (I don’t think I’ve ever pushed a shopping trolley in the nineteens years I’ve lived in the UK). I’m a single girl, besides I don’t know if I’d be able to operate those things. I’d probably run someone down.