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22 February 2013 @ 01:42 am

This is a Russian campaign against Article 6.13.1 (of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation), the federal bill which is to ban the “propaganda of homosexuality among minors”. You can enjoy the full insanity of the bill in English here. It was already approved by their Parliament in its first reading, and has two more readings to pass.

So the Love is Legal site is where people’s photos and accompanying messages opposing the bill and supporting the Russian LGBT community are posted. I asked one of the Russian activists if I could join the campaign, and he gladly gave me his permission. I sent my photo and my message to the campaign’s email address, and this is the end result:

My message is in Russian (thanks to ilupin for the editing), so I’m translating it into English for you.

I am a volunteer who works with gay teenagers. I know from experience what it’s like to talk an underage boy out of killing himself over the Internet.

For such teenagers, the information that they are perfectly normal and no worse than the others can be literally life-saving. They need information and educational resources, and not protection from the “propaganda” of what is absurd to propagandize. They need to know that they are not alone on this planet. I am against Article 6.13.1.

Darina Ivanova

ETA: I'm making this post "sticky" for some time because I think it's important.

17 January 2017 @ 03:01 am
The weather got warmer in the meantime, and our camellia's bud started developing faster:

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A closer look:
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The ice and snow had half-melted, but it started snowing heavily again today; it was a wet snow, but it stuck, so the view from the kitchen window changed from this (15 January):
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to this (16 January):
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And now I can't tell if it's raining or snowing, or something in between, in the middle of the night, but the weather site says it's 3C outside, which is a little above freezing, and the branches of the trees are wet and the ice on the ground keeps melting. I'm afraid we are in for some very messy weather in the next (at least) three days.

I suddenly felt tired of the snow today, which surprised even me. But when I went out for a walk in the late afternoon, I discovered that things weren't too bad because most of the ice had gone too soft to be dangerously slippery and the slightly-above-freezing air temperature felt nice. It's good that my coat was waterproof because I got all wet from the snow that kept falling on me. :)

And it's a whooping 9C (48.2F) in the kitchen tonight, so that camellia may manage to go into bloom after all.
14 January 2017 @ 03:13 am
... that our camellia in the kitchen hasn't gone into bloom yet, unlike previous years. This is the most advanced bud:

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And this was the view from the window this afternoon:

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Today was a warmer day, and tomorrow is expected to be even warmer, so my winter wonderland is very likely to melt (ouch, we may even get the extra excitement of rain!). And I'm afraid we are in for a week of very messy weather.

I took so many photos of the ice and snow outside over five days that it's going to take me a very long time to go through them, select the best and edit it. I may post a few small series of the most interesting photos - unless you want a huge photo report or two of the road/street conditions in my area while we were having Real Winter. :P

And ouch, I have photos from before that to go through and edit. I'm afraid I'll have to get very much out of chronological order to just tell you about the few interesting events in November or December last year.
11 January 2017 @ 07:50 pm
A Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) Singing

Special thanks to everybody who tried to identify the mistery birds in my previous entry.

These birds seem to be recent arrival in my area - not necessary winter migrants because I now and then caught a glimpse of them last summer, but I have no memories of having seen them around before.

I've never managed to take a really good look any of them because they wouldn't let me come close enough. I looked at one that had perched on a tree above me, well out of reach, a couple a days ago, and it got scared and flew away!

From what I've managed to see, I think the ones in my area have lest red/pink on their breasts and bellies, but the colous of the wings and back look the same to me.

11 January 2017 @ 03:40 am
This is what I saw when I went grocery shopping today, and I was lucky that I had taken my camera with me. I don't know what the birds were eating out of those cardboard boxes.

There were the local sparrows, some kind of maybe thrushes (also local), great tits (these seem to come from somewhere in winter) and two kinds of mysteries: something with pink or red on tits breast gradually blending into the surrounding grey, and something not especially colourful with some kind of feather formation on its head.

The pink-breasted ones are very afraid of people; there have been many of them around this winter, but this is my first more or less successful attempt to photograph them There is one more or less clearly visible in front in the first photo, complete with the black and white pattern on its wing. puddleshark, do you have any ideas?

Alas, I didn't get any decent photo of the other kind of mystery bird, although one of them was very brave and I managed to get close enough to it - but then it  escaped because somebody else walked too close.
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I don't know what the birds were eating out of those cardboard boxes. There were the local sparrows, some kind of maybe thrushes (also local), great tits (these seem to come from somewhere in winter) and two kinds of mysteries
07 January 2017 @ 02:13 am
... when my mother tells me and I tell my English chosen son and the tells his mother that poinsettia plants do better in cooler rooms.

So now our respective mothers have started communicating through two go-betweens, one of whom is also a translator/interpreter, in a complex chain of written and oral messages. The wonders of the Internet!

That was last night, and today he told me that the plant in question looked "happier". Now we have to wait and see if it's going to thrive in its new location, or at least survive. :P
Current Mood: amusedamused
06 January 2017 @ 12:42 am
Who would have thought that I would take a trip to the seaside in winter after I didn’t manage it this last summer? Well, I went there to see a friend who had come back to his hometown Varna from Canada for the holidays, so it wasn't meant to be rpimarily a seaside trip.

And guess what, I realized too late that I hadn’t knitted anything from him, so I started another tiny bird and took it there with me to finish. And we never got any quality photos of it because it was too dark inside.

The relatively best of our early attempts with his cellphone camera:
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A bird in flight and special effectsCollapse )

And then I finally made one as New Year's gift for myself, and only managed to finish it on 31 December. This should be written in history, as we say here. :P

Here it is, looking very festive on my tiny Christmas tree, which I specially moved to the kitchen to get better light for my photos:

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But maybe the Azalea matches it better:
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It has the biggest tail :)
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And then one of my Bulgarian chosen sons (not the one with the Cheshire Cat!) liked the photos of my birds so much that I just had to make him one. I’ll give it to him when I next manage to see him in person. So here are his bird and mine perching on just about every plant in the kitchen that would support them (yes, they are lightweight enough to sit on cyclamen leaves!):

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05 January 2017 @ 11:42 pm
It's now been clumsier than usual since... at least 26 December, and uploading photos there is an exercise in frustration - when it doesn't unexpectedly kick you off. Even copying a photo's HTML code has become a painfully slow process.

Any other Photobucket users who could offer some insight? Using Chrome with Windows 7 here.

ETA: Now where did this come from? *confused look*

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Wow, enabling plugins did the trick! I wish I had figured that out earlier!
31 December 2016 @ 01:05 am
From this pattern (it's free): Tiny Window Cat by Sara Elizabeth Kellner

This kitty was a birthday gift for my mother (belated because I started with the wrong yarn and undid my unfinished work twice, but on the plus side this yarn makes a better-coloured cat).

I wanted to embroider a face, but my mother said that the variegated yarn had already kinda formed a face, so I left the cat as it was.

And of course I had to make legs (they are not in the original pattern), but I limited myself to one pair this time because I didn’t think there was room for another pair on such a small body. :)

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This is where my mother placed the kitty.
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26 December 2016 @ 03:14 am
File under "unexpected music discoveries": a Ukrainian version of Jingle Bells, which I find very cute. With bonus puppies in the video. But you can't have a puppy because they all got adopted. :)

I think the lead singer's whistling at about 1:10 is supposed to represent the sound of the wind in the chimney. LOL

Lyrics in UkrainianCollapse )