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Monday, 07 June 2004
what I saw


It was during our first hours in Prague. We checked into the hotel and then walked down to Muzeum at the top of Wenceslas Square. We found ourselves cut off from the square by a busy road (the reason of which we would only discover on our last day). We wandered about in the area adjascent to the fountain. We admired the vast open space of Wenceslas Square, and the various sculptures all the way down it.  This one, that resembles a telephone pole, is by the Slovakian artist Juraj Melis, and is entitled Genius Loci.

Posted by bigblue on 07/06/2004 at 09:45 PM
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trois couleurs: rouge

trois couleurs: rouge

I was watching the D-Day celebrations on TV this evening, and was inspired by those red, white and blue vapour trails to take another look at that traffic in Prague last weekend.  I have come up with this three part study.

These pictures originated after I decided to take some early-morning photos of the shadows of the pedestrians, but some cars kept crossing the field of view too.

Posted by bigblue on 07/06/2004 at 12:24 AM
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trois couleurs: blanche

trois couleurs: blanche

I thought that the planes over Normandy today underplayed the white a bit, so I am going to overcompensate with this van and car.

Posted by bigblue on 07/06/2004 at 12:23 AM
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trois couleurs: bleue

trois couleurs: bleue

This is the first in a three-part study in matching cars to the colours of the French national flag.  I guess that with a bit of cut-and-paste I could have made it a one-part study, but I like the way the cars arrange themselves naturally in different angles and positions.

Posted by bigblue on 07/06/2004 at 12:09 AM
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Sunday, 06 June 2004
bexhill on the sea

Bexhill on the Sea

Yesterday Scarlett had a youth parliament meeting somewhere in East Sussex. It was a warm and sunny day, so Granny and I drove down to Bexhill for lunch and a stroll on the promonade with the old people.

The beach itself comsists of pebbles. There were swimmers in the water as well as kayaks and yachts from the Bexhill Yacht Club having some kind of race. The water was clear and flat.

As we walked I listened to snippets of conversations that others were having. Some were talking about their memories of D-Day, the event that is about to slip over the horizon of living memory. There has been a lot of coverage in the press, on radio and TV about this anniversary (60 years tomorrow).  Today I read an interesting article on the saturation bombing of the towns of Normandy, by the allies. Ten thousand French civilians were killed in this action, which formed part of the strategic plan of the war (and has been part of military strategy in all major wars since):

Professor Jean Quellien, an internationally respected historian at the University of Caen who has studied many of the myths and forgotten stories of the Battle of Normandy, said: “If you, as a Briton, ask any Norman person about the bombardments, there will still be a reluctance to criticise or complain. There is strong, overall sense of gratitude for what the British and American and other troops did 60 years ago, and a feeling that, to protest about the bombings, would be misunderstood and would be seen as ungrateful in some way.

“When Normans talk among themselves, it is quite different. People are ready to say now what they were not ready to say before. There is a strong sense of bitterness, a belief that this was done too casually, even callously, and was, in any case, unnecessary.”

The full article is Posted by bigblue on 06/06/2004 at 09:59 AM
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Saturday, 05 June 2004
kilroy-silk talks, u kip


I was driving down the M1 towards London yesterday afternoon, listening to The News Quiz.  At one point one of the panel describe the UK Independence Party as full of middle-aged white men, with red faces wearing 1970’s mens lounge wear.  (And in the process stealing votes from the traditional Conservative Pary supporters, who apparently like to vote for that type of candidate).

A short while later I was in a traffic jam on the M25, I look left, and what do I see: A middle aged man with a red face, wearing a 1970’s suit, driving a car with UKIP stickers on the side.  I pulled out my camera and took the above photo, to the great amusement of the couple in the car behind me.  And seeminly to the embarrassment of said UKIP fan: he shielded his face from the camera like a dodgy carpet salesman in a Turkish market. (Not a stereotype, but a reference to the experiences of some old friends of mine).

On the one hand I am hoping that this silly party don’t do very well in the elections. On the other hand, if all the Conservative voters turn out for the UKIP and not for the Conservatives then I will laugh, and the words “chickens”, “come”, “home” and “to roost” will pass through my mind.

Posted by bigblue on 05/06/2004 at 10:53 AM
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Friday, 04 June 2004
what you saw ...


It was frustrating to have to turn around at that point. We could see Charles Bridge about 40 metres ahead of us and had been looking forward to walking over an historic link between East and West in this, one of the most central cities in Europe. You sat for a moment on the wall below the brocaded fence, looking at the ground. The cobbles and textures of the ground and walls of the old city of Prague are very interesting. But you were looking at the shadows. It was only later that I saw this photo that you took.

Posted by bigblue on 04/06/2004 at 11:21 AM
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what I saw


It was last Saturday afternoon. We had walked down-town from our hotel in Prague. We went down to the Muzeum, and then through Wenceslas Square. We stopped at lots of little shops as we made our way through the old town and the Jewish quarter. When we got to the river we followed the bank towards Charles Bridge. About 40 metres from Charles Bridge we hit a dead-end, against a pretty fence. We realised that we would have to backtrack. This was the dead-end.

Posted by bigblue on 04/06/2004 at 11:13 AM
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