Saturday, May 14, 2011

The dark night

When we walked in the local Markfield park this night to take part in a bat walk announced a week ago, we have found the beam engine working and a live performance being held right in its house.

Live music at beam engine house

It was such an unlikely combination to observe, people singing with moving machinery at the background and darkness outside, it felt like some fantastic steam punk opera:

Live music at beam engine house

Despite the poorest quality of the sound recording, I'll just leave it there:

Well, I've never seen anything like that before.

Now back to the bat walk. When one of the attendants showed a strange home-made device built from an old voice recorder and told it was a "bat detector" I first decided he was a bit strange while very devoted. Imagine my surprise when the event organiser provided everybody with a similar thing:

Bat detector

I mean, hey, they produce BAT DETECTORS for casual use, how cool is that? Joker would give everything to get his hands on one of them!

With this thing, to spot a bat in the dark is relatively easy - when you hear the amplified clicks of its echolocation, all you need is to keep your eyes open wide. After playing with it for some time it is not only possible to tell which bat species are you dealing with but also tell the type of their activity (hunting, eating, returning home).

The next walk is to be organised at the old cemetery and should be even more atmospheric.

Sorry for breaking the posting record today, I hope my next week will be dull enough to keep me silent.

Free lunch not provided

I have remembered about the Rally against debt too late today (and also lost time on a train thanks to the usual London Underground excellent service), so maybe that was the reason I saw only a handful of people there. But basing on live tweets and reports I didn't miss much. When I arrived, the crowd was only that large:

Rally against debt

Plenty of signs were piled on a lawn so while there was a possibility they've all had a protester to wield them an hour ago, more likely it was a pitiful case of supply's prevalence over demand typical for a controlled market:

Signs piled

I expected no young people there due to the students' recent rage over cuts, but some of them were around. The whole crowd wasn't unreservedly old, with average age around 30-35:

Rally against debt

"Keep calm and carry on":


UKIP sign (I read on Twitter EU flag was burned earlier but didn't witness that):

UKIP protester

A couple of random shots:

Rally against debt

Rally against debt

A group mocking the left-wingers:

Rally against debt

Don't know if that impersonation was really necessary as the lefty anti-war activists were based, as always, just across the road on the Parliament square (this time demanding to, uhm, end freemasonry).

As the Old Palace Yard where the rally was organised is between the Houses of Parliament and the Westminster Abbey, there were swarms of bloody foreigners tourists wandering around and demanding the police officers overseeing the situation to pose for them. On the other hand, tourists apparently doubled the amount of attendants at any given moment.

Speaking of the place choice, the George V statue was also not very relevant as the UK national debt sky-rocketed to almost 200% GDP during his reign.

I also loved the advice on event's site telling how long would it be to get to the place by taxi. That was classy.

P.S. I caught a short glimpse of the spectacular TPA's lorry with live debt counter on its side, and I can admit it was impressive. For some reason it only made a short appearance and drove away before I managed to take a picture.

P.P.S. A coverage from a right-wing perspective:

People on a train

When your train is stuck there is a chance to draw as your phone is not shaking:

An old man on a train

A woman on train

Friday, May 13, 2011

"I wear a necklace, cause I wanna know when I'm upside down"

I still keep misreading those big white triangles for opposite direction arrows, and sometimes that's very confusing:

Always misread those triangles for opposite direction arrows

To be honest, I don't even know what do they stand for. My only idea is that it's an invitation to look around before moving forward, so the apex is for the eye and so the triangle is the field of view (sounds like a weird explanation, doesn't it?)

Back in the days when I was still struggling with the left-hand traffic mistaking with the direction when triangles were the only indicators happened more often to me than I'd rather like.

Be careful if you have the same problems.