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“Roy G. Biv” is an acronym made of the first letters of the seven colors of the rainbow, to help you remember: Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Indigo. Violet.”

All pictures taken on a recent trip to Malta. Colours not in the right order :-)

Weekly Photo Challenge: ROY G. BIV

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Beach huts all closed up in Weymouth on the south coast of England on a beautiful February day.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Off-Season

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The colours of the New Synagogue in Berlin looking particularly vivid in the beautiful evening light.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Vivid

10606182_10152678089386445_6523228834099316357_nThis truly felt like a reward! At the end of a very busy summer and after a looong day of travelling I had finally made: I was in Greece, I was on holiday!

This was day one and after a bit of a walk along the beach, I was sitting in a little taverna, sipping a cool drink and looking out across the bay.  Sun, heat, the Med – I could feel the stress and tension starting to drop off as I eased into holiday mood.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reward

In Berlin, it is often worth looking down for interesting signs.

SL372432You find Stolpersteine all across the city, remembering people who had lived in those buildings and who died in concentration camps.

Around Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer, you find plaques reminding us of people who managed to escape from East to West Berlin in that particular place:

10514634_10152724454791445_8103663638190056866_nOr of escape tunnels that emerged in a certain place:

1958007_10152724455911445_8321764129676245997_nWeekly Photo Challenge: Signs

Screen shot 2014-06-05 at 3.05.01 PMIn recent months, there has been a lot of talk in the UK media about “an unverified, anonymous letter that set out a strategy for a group of hard-line Muslims to install sympathetic staff and governors in Birmingham schools.”  You can read more about the whole story here.  I don’t want to go into the ins and outs of it all (I understand way too little about it to do that).

 

What struck me was the picture above.  Golden Hillock is one of the schools at the centre of the story.  It is also a school I have been in many a time.  A number of years ago, I was helping with school assemblies in the area, and Golden Hillock was one of the schools we’d go into.  Which means that when I look at the picture, I don’t think of the scandal, the questions, the arguments.  I think of kids and their struggles.  I think of teachers doing their best in a difficult situation.  Because I have seen their faces.  I have talked with them.  I know this story involves real people.

 

How often do I forget that?  Day in day out, I hear so many news story.  Stories about places I know nothing about.  It is so easy to forget that behind it all, there are real people.  Let this picture serve as a reminder of that.

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The picture of this empty Russian train heading from Moscow to the Ukraine caught my eye because it brings back so many memories.  Over teh years, I have spent a fair few days and nights on Russian trains and this is not what they should look like!  Usually they’re full of life, crowded with people who have brought enough food to last for 2 weeks, rather than the 20something hours the journey should take.

Very quickly, a temporary community is built, food and drink shared.  And if you’re lucky enough not have someone near you who has had rather too much to drink, they can be fun times.

Now the trains are empty, no one wanting to head to the Ukrainian coast for a holiday.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27654442

 

Screen shot 2014-06-15 at 1.54.14 PMThis hit the news a few days ago.  Crowds attacking the Russian Embassy in Kiev, protesting against the shooting down of a Ukrainian plane.

The thing is, I have been in that building.  And waited in front of it for some considerable time.  Years ago, but still.  We had taken the overnight train from Moscow to Kiev (see above). Before going on to the conference we were to attend, we had to make sure we would be able to get back into Russia a few days later.  Which required getting a visa.  So we headed straight from the station to the embassy.  For what felt like a very long time, we had to wait for the place to open.  It was cold (February mornings in Kiev are definitely not warm…) and I seem to remember there being a lot of annoying dogs around.

At one point, it seemed like we wouldn’t even make it in.  Too many people ahead of us in the queue. But then one of the guards realised we were German. He had lived in East Germany and liked the place.  So he let us in and we got our visas.

Very strange when the news story we get so used to seeing suddenly feature places we know!

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