31 May 2017

The Wrocław Dwarfs: From Political Protest to Silliness for its own Sake

The Polish city of Wrocław was, in the 1980s, still in the thrall of an authoritarian communist regime.  A dissident protest movement, Orange Underground, evolved to peacefully protest against the regime as part of the wider Solidarity movement.  These protests would be as nonsensical as possible, so that the police could not arrest its members without becoming a laughing stock.  When the authorities painted over anti-government graffiti, Orange Underground moved to respond. In perhaps its most fondly remembered antic, its members painted dwarfs on top of the whitewash. This was commemorated in 2001: with the country now a democratic state, the council placed a sculpture of a dwarf on the city’s Świdnicka Street.  It didn’t stop there.

Product Recall

Fancy a slice of grown up science fiction that insists you do the thinking? Then you can’t go far wrong with Product Recall which will stretch your head to within an inch or two of its life. A different spin on the mad scientist movie, a frightening secret about the origin of matter is discovered but will it prove the scientist’s undoing? Written and directed by Ben Smith and starring Hans Longo, Product Recall will have you scratching your head for some time. Or perhaps it's just me...

White Nights in Saint Petersburg

One of the most glorious cities on the planet (in more ways than one) Saint Petersburg is made doubly special because of its ability to survive through thick and thin.  Kirill Neiezhmakov, professional photographer and creator of timelapses and hyperlapses par excellence brings us his latest work.  I don’t know what to be more jealous of, his globe-trotting or his talents. Either way, once you see this, Saint Petersburg is likely going to be on your bucket list!

29 May 2017

Marais Poitevin: France’s Green Venice

Probably the best known and certainly the largest wetlands in France is the Camargue. Yet the second largest is, outside of the country, little known. Marais Poitevin in the south western region of Poitou-Charentes covers a huge area – over 370 square miles. Its name means the Poitou Marsh but the French also know it by a more venerable title - la Venise Verte. This Green Venice certainly lives up to its name.

6 May 2017

The Jesus And Mary Chain - Song For A Secret

I had no idea that the Jesus and Mary Chain were still going but have fond memories of dancing to their early stuff in alternative venues more years ago than I care to mention.  I guess that must mean I’m out of touch.  So, it was a great pleasure to be reintroduced to the band via the director of their new video Jared Asher Harris.  Taken from their new album, Damage and Joy this is not the wall of sound I remember from this particular band but is… well, decide for yourself by giving it a whirl!

1 May 2017

The Beautiful Butterfly Orchid

Look once, look again.

This is not a butterfly taking a rest on a piece of shrubbery. 

It is Psychopsis papilio – better known as the butterfly orchid.  It has petals of an incredible length which look like antennae and its speckled brown and yellow sepals look like outspread wings. 

Little wonder that this amazing orchid reputedly started the orchidmania of the 1800s.