Door

Apr. 18th, 2017 07:36 am
Door

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

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 )

Ingress:

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 )

Tallinn

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.

Bears

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.

Ferry

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.
Statues:
Train Station

More photos of Helsinki on Flickr: Finland.

Helsinki

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.

Hietaranta

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.

Mario

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.
Atomium

Brussels:

I took the Eurostar to Brussels and listened to talks about open source design, augmented reality games, and wearables at FOSDEM.

I walked through subterranean tunnels of the Senne and the Chaussée de Mons drain, at the Sewers Museum.

I stared at surrealist paintings in the Magritte Museum.

I wandered around unusual musical instruments and listened to them on headphones in the Musical Instruments Museum.

I looked at Belgian comics in the Comic Museum and figurines of Smurfs and Tintin in the Museum of Original Figurines. I played a game of Asterix on the Sega Master System.

I met Steve N at the Mannekin Pis and we joined many tourists in watching a statue of a little boy wearing a suit, pissing.

I went to the Delirium Cafe to meet other FOSDEM people, but it was terribly crowded. I did manage to find some Ingress people though.

I ate “pickles” flavour crisps.

I marvelled at the Atomium and walked inside it.

I gazed at different objects made of plastic at the Plasticarium at the Art & Design Atomium Museum.

Back in the UK:

I went to an event about entrepreneurs and then had coffee with [livejournal.com profile] kekhmet, [livejournal.com profile] alexmc and Alan.

I looked at maps of Fairyland and other excellent maps at the Mapping Late at the British Library, with [livejournal.com profile] grandedgemaster.

My mum and I visited Hampton Court Palace and found our way to the centre of the maze!

I visited Littlehampton and ate lunch on the beach, staring at the waves, walked past colourful beach huts, and sat on the UK's longest bench. I saw sundogs: three altogether that day. At one point, two appeared in the sky at once, rainbows either side of the sun. On the way back, I looked up at the sky from the train and it was a glorious pink. I sat on West Beach and stared out at the sea for a while, watching the waves while the sun shone brightly.

I caught up with friends at Pub Standards and it was great to talk to them.

I saw glimpses of something out of the corner of my eye at Kinetica. I saw pretty things moving and swirling.

I listened to lightning talks at Ladies that UX, at Moo's office.

I found meter cards that date back to the 1940s while clearing out the cupboard next to my gas meter.

I drank the Lucky London Sparkle Drink.

I visited Pilvi Takala's The Committee exhibition at the Pumphouse Gallery, which I found inspiring. I bounced on the Five Star Bouncy House! Bouncing makes me happy! I also played table tennis with my mum inside the gallery.

I walked around Battersea Park and to the Peace Pagoda, and then along the river, to outside Battersea Power Station, to see how the developments are going. There is a red phone-box which you can stand in and listen to stories about the power station, from people who worked there.

I searched for the Seven Noses of Soho and found four: Milkbar, Meard Street, Great Windmill Street and Quo Vadis. More left to see!

I ate orchid and orange blossom chocolate.

I tried out having an extra thumb, which I operated with my foot. I listened to fascinating talks on subjects such as recording music onto DNA and then blowing it as bubbles.

I stepped aboard a spaceship. (Well, it looked like a spaceship, but was actually, Futuro House, which had landed on the roof of Central St Martins.)

A robot fist-bumped me on my birthday and I ate a robot brownie, at the Robots exhibition at the Science Museum.

I ate marmalade on toast ice-cream.

Ingress:

I completed the Brussels Grand Place banner in Brussels.

I had drinks with Ingress players at the Duke of Sussex, one evening.

Photos:
February 2017.

The not so good stuff )
Task completion for SFZero: (Not) Energy Drink)

Everything seemed to be going wrong this year, from a leaking roof and a drenched bed, to leaking gas pipes and having no gas for a few weeks (no hot water, heating, oven), to hurting my foot by stepping on a plug, to having a cold, a pesky cold. I wanted things to improve. I wanted my luck to change.

I visited Waitrose and found some ingredients that claimed to bring luck:

Read more... )
While clearing out the cupboard next to my gas meter, I found meter cards that date back to the 1940s:

Meter Card

Another picture of a meter card )

I wonder who lived in my flat then, 70 years ago now.
The clock smothers the tower

I found jigsaw pieces that I had painted blue and written on a long time ago now, inspired by the clocktower in Southampton. I think my intention was to scatter them around the town, but I never did, so here they are now.

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