Old Trabant

This month marks 30 years since the end of Communist rule in Europe. Berlin Wall, that unmistakable symbol of the East/West divide, fell on the 9th November 1989. While scrolling on Twitter on the day of the anniversary, I came across this article by Ken Sweeney, where he calls Trabant cars “chariots of freedom”. What has a car got to do with the collapse of autocratic regime?

Well this. Trabants were manufactured in East Germany; I remember there were plenty of them in former Czechoslovakia. They were quite awful, a subject of ridicule and to this day bring back memories of those times. But, as Ken notes, they were also the vehicles that transported people from East Germany through the newly open border to the West. Thus, chariots of freedom.

Surprisingly, I happen to have some pics of them too.

This is from 2013 when I was visiting my family back home. Taken on a motorway, obviously, near or just out of Bratislava. Brother and me went on a short trip when we spotted it in front of us. Of course I had to take a pic. Looks like someone is a fan!

I never take pictures of cars, I never learnt to drive and I’m not interested in them but I never miss an opportunity for a good random or weird shot. Even long before I conceived the idea of Random and Weird Phone Shots.

There is also a model of Trabant displayed in Imperial War Museum in Salford Quays.

I just love how something so awful can decades later be thought of in any positive terms at all. I like a good redemption story.

They say a car needs to get you from A to B. For East Germans, that A and B were more than just places on a map.

Autumn 2019 Collection

I decided to make a recap post of some of the nicest looking photos I took this autumn. I’ve been lucky with weather; even though we still had a lot of rain, there were enough dry and sunny days to take some good shots. Although you’ll see two of these were taken indoors.

An oak.

A bowl of apples, my favourite fruit.

A cup of pumpkin spice latte. Normally I drink black coffee only; this for me is a once-a-year indulgence.

Two collages. The top one is made from smartphone shots taken on a walk, the bottom one is pictures from Heaton Park this autumn.

Another smartphone shot; this is Cathedral Gardens with Chetham School of Music in the background and the fountain where ducks occasionally hang out.

And I end this with two shots taken around the Manchester Cathedral.

Have a good November!

This is what you get for going to London for People’s Vote March…

Only Sir Patrick Stewart speaking on the stage!

This was my fifth anti Brexit march (I covered the first three on the blog before; the fourth one, which I didn’t post about, took place at the end of September in Manchester during the Conservative Party Conference). One sometimes wonders what the point is, why we still bother, but we do because it’s not the end yet.

I spent the whole time with three other guys from our coach from Manchester. As the coach dropped us off at the Embankment instead of Hyde Park, we decided to walk straight to Parliament Square, where the stage was set up for the rally and which was the end point of the march. So, we didn’t do any actual marching but we saw all the speakers. It’s the complete opposite of last year, where I did march but couldn’t even get to Parliament Square because it was so packed, the police had to turn people away at Whitehall. It’s really good to have experienced both.

I didn’t plan to blog about this march, or any other march again, I don’t want to clog my blog with Brexit posts (it seems to me there are too many but what can I do when I feel it every single day?) but at the same time, I feel like I need to give it a shout out. Truth is, it was an amazing, fantastic, beautiful experience and probably one of the best days of my life, despite getting up dead early to catch the coach at 6:30 and spending altogether about 11 hours on the said coach.

I would do it again.

If you want, you can read more about the march here.

Random and Weird Phone Shots – Abandoned Shoes

I was passing through Albert Square one day when I spotted these on the steps of the statue of Prince Albert.

Of course, a pair of shoes lying about is probably not such a phenomenon. Like, people may get drunk and lose their shoes (or at least I think they do, I wouldn’t know, I don’t drink but Ed Sheeran mentions it in one of his songs and that’s as good an authority as any) but notice how neatly they have been laid there on the step. You may have heard of the famous six-word story that goes: For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn. Attributed to Hemingway, but this is disputed. So, what if you did a similar thing based on this photo?

Found. Pair of shoes. Very worn.

It was shoes in strange places that started this very series so I’m glad we’ve come the full circle.

I forgot my blog’s anniversary…

I’ve not been on my blog for a few days and so it passed me by that it was its birthday on 2nd September.

Reposted image – four years, four candles

I get “dry” phases when I don’t post on my blog (because I don’t have anything to post, or I don’t know what to post or I’m too tired to post). This time around it’s not exactly the case as there is something I want to post about, only it’s more text-heavy so, as is ever the case with me and writing, it’s going to take me time to come up with the words.

Well that’s it, I don’t have anything else. Here’s my cat in a box:

Walk to Heptonstall

Here’s what happened when I took an unplanned walk to the village of Heptonstall from Hebden Bridge.

It started with this.

I thought, just because you can doesn’t mean you should–but I did it anyway. I saw how steep it was–but I did it anyway. I reckoned, if it gets too bad I’ll just turn back–but in the end I made it all the way to Heptonstall!

People I met on my way up did follow the instruction on the sign–honestly everyone was so dead nice!

I’ve not spent much time in the actual village, just enough to take some shots. My loss, probably, as there is a museum and also the poet Sylvia Plath is buried in the graveyard extension of the St Thomas the Apostle Church (but that I found out later by Googling, at home). I needed to preserve energy for the walk back!

It’s a very picturesque village as you can see.

Chicken at the Methodist church graveyard.

So that was trip to Hebden Bridge. A lot of it quite unexpected.