It was Thursday when I rode a dodgem, stared at Pi and spinning feathers.

"Don't lick the steering wheel," the health and safety regulations for the Dodgems of the Mind insisted. I signed that I wouldn't and filled in a personality test, in an old fire station. "What's your current personality?" it asked and I ticked, "amazed". I gave my answers to an assistant and then was matched with a dodgem, which spoke to me a bit, telling me to drive onwards, but seemed quite reluctant to move. An assistant told me I could lick the steering wheel if I really wanted. Screens appeared above me, with faces on them, talking sometimes, as I went around the course.

"You're wonderful," one said.


I walked through the rain to get to a gallery, and then inside, I stared at a picture that was made up of the digits of Pi, and looked at the patterns, the darkness and the light. I stared at flashing screens with patterns that made me think of how hacking is portrayed in old films.


In another exhibition, in another gallery, I watched feathers attached to wheels spin around and around, and met a polar bear with feathers.
Vilnius and surroundings:
I walked through the remains of a maze made from television sets, with a fallen statue of Lenin in the middle, at a sculpture park, near the centre of Europe. I walked inside a giant head, made of rusting metal, in the forest. I walked around a pond and frog after frog hopped into the water, and that seemed magical. I saw a rocking house, teetering on the edge of a pond. I played a tree as if it were a guitar.
I visited the Republic of Užupis and read their constitution, which includes, "a dog has the right to be a dog." I saw a mermaid by the river.
I thought I had gone the wrong way, but it turned out to be the right way, as it led me to fantastic views.
I watched butterflies flutter next to the barricades.
I saw a wall with teapots on it.
I ate poppyseed strudel and mushroom biscuits (sausainiai grybukai.)
I drank coffee in the revolving restaurant at the top of the TV Tower, listened to the creaking, and admired the scenery.

In Riga, I looked at spy cameras in the Photography Museum, visited the market in a former zeppelin hangar, drank black balsam, saw a plaque for the first new year's tree, stared up at cats on the Cat House, visited Cafe Leningrad and looked at old cassette players. I walked by the river and stared up at the TV tower and the bridge. I saw an oak tree that grew 3500 years ago, at about the time when Pharaoh Tutankhamen was the ruler of Egypt. I ate black balsam chocolate and saw a monument of a monkey cosmonaut. I stared up at horrified faces, lions, dogs and mythical winged creatures, on buildings in the art nouveau district.

I spent time with my mum, ate hot cross buns, walked by the river in sunny Richmond, got the ferry across from Ham House, and enjoyed returning to a freshly painted bathroom and bedroom in my flat.

I went to Now Play This, at Somerset House, and bit a person's neck just before the world ended, in "Queers in love at the end of the world." (A text adventure.) I also played a game of crazy golf which was about environmental disasters, so one of the holes was at an airport, another amongst nuclear reactors, etc. I became an elm tree and then an oak tree, made cats appear in a forest, helped someone find a giant penis in a strange game where you to had to run around a body, caught ghosts with mirrors, and oh, played various other games.

I walked along the north bank, and into the city, playing Ingress, and then later found the nose at Admiralty Arch, and ate balsamic vinegar ice-cream and blackberry & lavender ice-cream.

I wandered around Brockwell Park and saw one of the great trees of London, the Brockwell Oak.

I stared at photographs by Martin Parr and Roger Mayne in the Photographers' Gallery, and saw the photos that were part of the Deutsche Börse prize.

In the Carroll/Fletcher Gallery, I played the game of Space Invaders where you fire at passages taken from Michel Foucault’s essay What is an Author? (1969) . I also saw stolen fragments from works of art and tried making shapes from the ZOOB play system. (Exhibition: Looking at One thing and thinking of something else – part 4.)

I watched birds fluttering in front of me and it felt quite magical. (Exhibition: Mat Collishaw – The Centrifugal Soul in the Blain Southern gallery.)

I had drinks at Pub Standards and then afterwards we ate burritos and went to the Reverend J W Simpson and drank cocktails.

I saw Hidden Figures at the cinema with [personal profile] doseybat, and then we ate dim sum with [personal profile] pplfichi and Sue, and went to Foyles and amused ourselves by learning how to say explicit terms in different languages.

I went to Here East, for 64 Bits – An exhibition of the web's lost past. I printed out a picture of myself on ASCII-cam. I browsed the first website, used Archie, and looked at old web comics, ASCII art, animations, and other things that made me feel nostalgic. I didn't really want to be reminded of the hamster dance though.

I ate lime and basil flavour ice-cream, and maron flavour.

I organised a Monochrome BBS Meet and caught up with old friends there.

I looked at portraits at the Riverside Gallery in Richmond.

I went to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) movie night and saw video clips about magical musical instruments, virtual reality, drones and other things.

Essex, Kent, Sussex:

I visited Harlow to gaze at its sculptures, and also took a walk by the canal there.

I walked along the beach at Bexhill, and visited the De La Warr Pavilion and saw pictures of woods by George Shaw, and crawled under a blanket in the “In a dream you saw a way to survive and you were full of joy” exhibition.

I visited Eynsford and walked amongst the bluebells and they were lovely, and I was in awe.

I watched morris dancers at the Sweeps Festival in Rochester, and visited Rochester Castle.


I went to the monthly Enlightened social.

I went to an Ingress meet in Twickenham and we had drinks at the Barmy Arms and walked by the river.

I walked around Victoria, completing the Victoria Station banner with other Ingress players and ate pastiera napoletana flavour ice-cream.

I also went to a meet in Brixton and a meet in Waterloo.

I completed banners in Vilnius and Riga, and at Europos Parkas.


Apr. 27th, 2017 09:52 pm

She wandered inside the head, but at first she did not realise it was a head she was wandering in.


Apr. 18th, 2017 07:36 am

She walked through a door and wondered which reality she had ended up in.

I took my first breath underwater and went scuba diving. I even saw a shark! (Admittedly, a toy plastic one, on the bottom of the swimming pool.)

I went on a tube walk from Regent's Park to Baker Street and we saw alpacas and the Jelling Stone.

My mum and I saw the exhibition on Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion at Two Temple Place.

I went to a UX Community event on "When did service design stop being UX?"

I ate dessert soup at the Shan State with [personal profile] doseybat and [personal profile] morwen and we saw A Silent Voice at the cinema.

I caught up with friends at Pub Standards.

After 4 weeks, the gas in my flat was finally turned back on!

I celebrated [personal profile] miss_newham's birthday at the Battersea Arts Centre.

I visited the Charterhouse museum.

I saw the exhibition at the Stables Gallery by Martin Davison - Playing the changes.

Finland and Estonia )


Another fun Enlightened monthly social!

I wandered around Croydon and completed the When Dolphins attack! banner and kept an eye out for suspicious dolphins. I visited the Boxpark in Croydon and ate cronuts and “the hard bowl”, which included yam and plantain and ackee.

I walked around Brick Lane and did the Brick Lane banner, and drank a vegan freakshake at the Canvas and smiled when I saw the sign made of beads that said, “All you need is weird”. I stared at photos in the Whitechapel Gallery, at the Terrains of the body exhibition, and also watched mobile phones spin around.

I walked around South Kensington and did the Evolution of Man banner. I stared at John Latham's skoob art at the Serpentine and marvelled at his creations. I also saw the Speak exhibition at the Serpentine Sackler.

I wandered around Canary Wharf one day and did the Canary Superskyline banner. Another day, I walked around St Pauls and did the The Bridge to St Pauls banner.

I organised a Ministry of Funny Walks banner meet and afterwards, we ended up in the Crobar.
Rummu Prison Quarry

I explored an abandoned military base, which had a lot of derelict buildings, some with trees growing in them now. I went to the former Soviet military town of Paldiski and stared up at the lighthouse and the wind farm. I went inside the bunker there, using my phone as a torch, as it was dark down there.

I wandered around a ruined monastery, walked on cliff tops and on a shingle beach, where icicles had formed. I saw a little lizard by the cliff tops.

I was in awe of the beauty of the flooded Rummu prison quarry, with grey sand dunes and a lake with swans swimming on it now.

I sat in the cockpit of an old Soviet military aeroplane and pretended to fly it.

On the last day that I was in Estonia, it snowed quite a lot in the night and I woke up to snow covered scenery.

Photos on Flickr: Estonia.
In Estonia, I visited a waterfall, walked around manor houses and was told stories about ghosts and red-haired women who bite men.

I wandered around an abandoned submarine base, where they used to do degaussing, and stared up at the graffiti and crumbling concrete.

I tried swinging on a large traditional Estonian wooden village swing, standing up. They are often used for celebrations and many villages have them. I was told about kiiking, which is a sport, where you have to try to get the swing to go over the top of the bars, and they compete over who can do this with a swing with the longest swing arms.

I learnt about vodka socks.

I ate strawberry soup at a tavern, before wandering through the bogs, the mysterious bogs, in Lahemaa National Park.

A few pictures )


Apr. 10th, 2017 07:51 pm
Tallinn View

In Tallinn, I wandered around the old town, visited the Seaplane Harbour, explored a submarine, danced in the captain's cabin on an ice-breaker ship, and peered at graffiti in a former Olympic venue. I admired the views from the TV Tower and walked on a beach backed by pine trees. I looked at old Soviet phone boxes, hand-driers from the 1960s, and televisions that you added water to magnify the screen! I ate parsnip ice-cream, tried Vana Tallinn liqueur and drank my own Personal Jesus in the Depeche Mode bar.

In Helsinki, there were concrete turtles, but in Tallinn, concrete birds, on street corners. Outside the opera house, the barriers to let cars in the car park instead had hands. I walked past the closed Patarei Prison, went inside the Kiek in de Kök, and visited the Occupations Museum, where I saw an exhibition about protests.

Photos on Flickr: Tallinn.


Apr. 10th, 2017 06:40 pm
As a small child, I was apparently rather scared of the bear that was in the garden and ran inside screaming. It turned out to be a heron. Now when I see herons, I wonder if secretly they are bears.
I travelled by coach from Riga to Vilnius and on the coach was a device that allowed you to choose music to listen to, as if you were on a plane! There was a rock section and it felt great to be travelling through Latvia and Lithuania, staring at the unfamiliar countryside, with System of a Down's Chop Suey! playing, followed by Disturbed's Down With The Sickness.
Drinking coffee in a revolving restaurant at the top of the Vilnius TV Tower, listening to the creaking and admiring the scenery. The sun is shining and the sky is blue and I am happy at this moment.


Apr. 2nd, 2017 10:49 am
I took the ferry across from Helsinki to Tallinn and spent the time staring at the sea, listening to a bingo game that took place in Finnish, and also to the music that was played there. I watched people dance and wondered then why I didn't have someone to dance with. "Whatever will be, will be," they sung. Yes.

"And the moon! And the moon! And the dancing moon!"
That afternoon, she mostly visited places of worship in Helsinki.

She visited the Uspenski Cathedral, red bricked and green roofed, and then the Lutheran Cathedral, white and neoclassical.

She visited the Kamppi Chapel by the shopping centre, with large stones inside that were soft.

She visited the Temppeliaukion Kirkko (the rock church), which was the best place of worship she visited that day, built into the rock, with music playing in the background, and she sat there for a while, listening.

Then she went to an exhibition - Mystical Rapture, which had figures with buckets on their heads. The description said, "Mystical Rapture is about the moment when control lets you down. It seems to conjure up something forgotten or hidden."

Photos )
She took a ferry to Suomenlinna, a sea fortress in Finland.

She visited the church, which was also a lighthouse.

She looked at the Vesikko Submarine, pink buildings, abandoned green phoneboxes, and a river which had chunks of ice floating on it.

She found dark tunnels to explore, which had stalactites growing in them. She was glad she could use her phone as a torch.

She walked from one island to another, crossing bridges, and it was then that it started to snow.

She found out that the streets on Suomenlinna don't have names. Postal addresses just consist of the letter of the island and the number of the house.
Train Station

More photos of Helsinki on Flickr: Finland.


Mar. 26th, 2017 11:33 am
She arrived in Helsinki, took a tram and then she met a parade of concrete turtles, near to the docks. The sky was blue that day.

She stared up at the statues and buildings, as she wandered around the city.

She visited a department store and then that evening, ate pulled oats, cinnamon buns and marzipan covered cakes that she had purchased there.
She wore snowshoes while she hiked across frozen lakes and through snowy forests, where lichen and juniper berries grew.

She stopped for a while and drank a cup of warm lingonberry juice with lingonberries floating on it, and then ate a cinnamon bun and some coffee that had been heated on the campfire. Two women sat across the fire from her and started singing, but she could not understand the words, as they sung in Finnish. They seemed friendly though and asked where she was from, and explained that they don't usually speak to strangers, apart from if they are in the forest (as they were then) or if they are drunk.

She walked past a tree that looked like it had been burnt, but actually, a chaga mushroom had grown there. She looked at the different kinds of lichen growing in the forest and remembered she dreamt about seeing lichen while snowshoeing.

Later that day, she returned to Helsinki and visited the Design Museum there. She looked at a MikroMikko computer made by Nokia, screenshots of Finnish computer games, the design of characters in Angry Birds and a model of Futuro House.


Mar. 25th, 2017 08:54 am
She sat on a bench in the middle of a sandy beach, and stared at the sea, but it was frozen. When she walked by it, she could hear it creaking, crackling, the ice melting. She looked into the distance and saw blue pylons, on tiny islands, and crows, standing on the ice.


Mar. 9th, 2017 02:23 pm
She was admiring his Mario rucksack, when he turned around and looked at her. "What am I doing?" he said, not to her, but to himself and he sounded confused, and she left the station after that.


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