I’m trying to get caught up with some work projects, but I’m also still committed to some community volunteer projects. For one of them, a program to encourage the adoption of clean energy in local homes and businesses, I’ve gotten involved with doing some of the social media. And in coming up with a post on the theme of home heating/cooling, I went on a bit of a flight of fancy, and I made a thing. It makes me laugh.
I had a couple of cancelled trips this year. Not quite the beach scene depicted in the image1 above, but trips I was looking forward to nevertheless. Sigh.
On the bright side, I have had a lot of quality time at home, where I can enjoy drinking tea from my new favorite mug. (Featured in the above photo.)
It’s been a rainy day, today. I didn’t think to grab an umbrella when I was out during the day, but I dug up a few from my photo library back at home.
When you have the opportunity to travel and visit exciting locations, you generally hope for clear skies and moderate temperatures. But sometimes (especially in some parts of the world) you get rain. If you are lucky, other visitors will come equipped with colorful umbrellas to add splashes of color to liven the scene.
These were taken near(ish) and far (some very far), mostly quite a few years ago.
First are visitors to Brú na Bóinne in Ireland, the site of ancient burial mounds in 2014. (I was in Ireland for a conference in Dublin.)
The next photo was taken in Kyoto, when I visited in 2004. The specific locale may have been Nijō Castle. This was back when I only had a pretty so-so point-and-shoot digital camera. I was happy with a lot of photos at the time, but now when I look back at them, I’m sad I wasn’t able to take better quality photos. (This one turned out okay, but a lot of the ones I otherwise like are pretty blurry and/or grainy.) (I was in Japan for a conference in Nara.)
This next one was in London in 2015, on the Millennium Bridge. (I was in the UK for a conference in Glasgow. Magically, it didn’t rain at all for the nearly 2 weeks we were in Scotland. We visited London for 2 days, and it rained both of them.)
This is another one from my trip to Ireland in 2014. I believe this was in the garden of Malahide Castle.
Next we a visit to Plimoth Plantation (in Plymouth, Massachusetts) in 2014. (I was in Massachusetts because I live here. And visiting Plimoth Plantation for my daughter’s school project.)
And finally, a couple of photos from Versailles, France in 2007. (I had a conference in Saarbrucken, Germany, and visited Paris afterward.)
This is possibly my favorite of the umbrella photos, because it appears to tell a story.
For whatever reason, I enjoy the iconography of signs, and find myself including them in many of my photos. I especially enjoy seeing the varied signs in other countries. Often the meaning is clear, or at least familiar. Other times, the signs are more cryptic and I can only guess at the meaning. And still other times, I enjoy just making up the meaning for the sign. (And hope that the sign I’m chortling about isn’t warning me of my impending demise.)
Since I’m on a roll with my photos from last June’s trip to Poland, I’m sharing a few photos from that trip.
First is one of my favorites: No parking in this tree.
I read this sign below as a general exclamation. Whether of alarm or enthusiasm, I can’t be sure. (Google translate tells me that “wyjazd z budowy” means “departure from construction,” which doesn’t enormously clarify for me. Perhaps it is just a diversionary tactic.)
This sign in Warsaw clearly means “look up at that cool tower.”
Next we have a neatly stacked display of signs. The top one, clearly, indicates that yellow squares should be displayed at a jaunty angle. Below that is an public service message to keep a wide stance and swing your arms while walking. The meaning of the yellow sign below, though, isn’t completely clear to me. It appears to be a person holding some sort of object.
AT first I thought it was a girl with a pony tail, wearing a dress, and holding a balloon. But on closer inspection, I think it may be a bald man struck in the back of the head with some unknown object, wearing hammerpants. But I have no idea what the object in his hand is.
This sign in my hotel is Poznan is a weather forecast that must at least be right on occasion. (Fine, it means “elevators.”)
Finally, this sign was for a convenience store. Obviously, it is aimed at cornering the market on frog supplies. I’m not sure whether the intended patrons are frogs, or just people who like frogs. In any case, this is a very happy looking frog.
And now it’s after 11, and I can barely hold my eyes open. I will read this as an unambiguous sign that I should not park my frog in any trees. (Or that I should get to bed.)
This past August, I visited Australia. Being in the southern hemisphere, it was winter there. (Or, as I called it, since the weather was still quite temperate, “winter.”) In any case, there perhaps weren’t as many flowers blooming as there might be in other times of year. But we did come across this field of poppies near the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne.
These particular poppies were knit and crocheted, many sporting buttons or beads. I’m not sure when these particular poppies were planted. I believe that they are likely part of the 5000 poppies project:
From its association with poppies flowering in the spring of 1915 on the battlefields of Belgium, France and Gallipoli, the poppy has become a symbol of both great loss in war and hope for those left behind
As a crafting community contribution to the Centenary of Anzac Commemorations, the 5000 Poppies project “planted” a field of nearly 300,000 poppies in heart of Melbourne as a stunning visual tribute to Australian servicemen and women for more than a century of service in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
Warsaw is a fascinating and beautiful city, with many stories to tell. It is also filled with many spots that look like they were taken right out of a fairytale. Even this construction site I came across the evening I arrived looked like it was from a storybook page.
The next day, I walked the same way, and the scene looked only slightly less storybook-like by day.
There were other places around the city, as well, where it was clear that a lot of maintenance goes on behind the scenes in a fairytale. Someone has to take care of the magical creatures, after all.
(These photos were from my June 2018 trip to Poland. More to come soon. Probably.)
This is a another statue I saw in Poznań, Poland, during my visit there in June of 2018. It was a statue I passed while walking home from dinner, so the light was rather dim. I didn’t get close enough to see whether there was a plaque. I’m not really sure what would have been on such a plaque. There must be a story here. A young child sits on the back of a dolphin (I think) and squeezes a little fish close to his heart. Both the dolphin and the fish are spewing water from their mouths. Additionally, the dolphin appears to have streams of water shooting from ducts near its eyes. Projectile crying? Perhaps there is a fairy tale here. I’m not sure why there is a dolphin in land-locked part of Poland. But perhaps the distance from the ocean might explain the copious tears?