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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.

24 August 2016 @ 03:21 am
.. and don't forget that unperturbed cat at about 3:24. LOL

Bellieve it or not, the original of this song is Bulgarian "pop-folk" (if my research is correct) and is sometimes referred to as the oldest chalga song, although I won't be surprised if the music was taken from some Gupsy/Romani folk song (or just instrumental piece). What we have in the clip is a Turkish cover, with just a bit of the Bulgarian maybe-original at the end (the Bulgarian lyrics sound ridiculous to me, by the way, and I can only hope the Turkish version is better because I don't understand a word of it).

The music does suit these Turkish dancers though; I love it how joyful and positive they look, seriously. :)

Current Mood: amusedamused
19 August 2016 @ 01:24 am
(paging puddleshark)

This is what I saw surprisingly on the evening of 4 August in front of the apartment building where I live. (Ouch, I’m afraid that corner isn’t the best-looking part of the building :P)
The hedgehog “froze” in that position each time I managed to get near him and that is why all you can see in my photos is spines. :)

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There was a woman with two children (her grandchildren?) passing by, and the children wanted to touch the hedgehog and had to be warned about his spines. LOL Then he ran around the building and I didn’t see any more of him that evening.

And then I started hearing that slightly frightening noise at night in the garden below (I live on the first floor), and I thought it may be that hedgehog, but I wasn't sure it was until I actually saw him. He usually walks in such a shady place that there is no way to see him in the dark, but I spotted him from the balcony one early morning after a sleepless night in the worst part of our previous heat wave. He ran and hid under the nearest car, where a tiny neighbourhood kitten growled at him (which I found hysterically funny), then they both ran back into the garden just in time for the car owner to depart without hurting them. I sometimes still have to remind myself not to feel scared when I hear him at night. :)

I heard him again last night and then even saw his silhouette as he ran through a half-lit area, and a little later saw him more properly again in a spot where some light from a street lamp was falling. The noise he made while stomping on the dried fallen leaves (a consequence of that same heat wave, I guess) was amazing; it’s incredible how such a small animal can raise so much noise. I don’t know what he was eating there, but in the end I had to close the window to stop hearing even from my bed the rustling of his footsteps combined with the rustling of the wind in the leaves. It’s good that it rained heavily tonight, so I got a break from him. :)

P.S. I live in a very urban environment, but at the very end of town, so there are just fields or small hills around on three sides of our quarter, which explains why we get a bit of wildlife now and then.
17 August 2016 @ 03:09 am
Just photos from one evening (4 August) when I take refuge from the heat in the nearest park to my part of town, which we still call "the new park" because it was created last year. There was a very welcome cool breeze and no mosquitoes or other biting insects because the Municipality had sprayed against them and the effect still lasted. *sigh*

This is how that breeze was interacting with the water in the fountain:

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Current Mood: pensivepensive
14 August 2016 @ 01:58 am

We are finally got a cool day yesterday, after a downpour in the first half of the day that was much more than the little bit of rain we expected, but I didn't complain. It was a little too bad for my mother's big laundry day though. :)

So, this is what I saw during my evening walk, while the ground was still wet from that rain, so there was no need to water the plants in the park that time.

Roses and raindrops in the park:
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That electronic next-bus-or-whatever sign at another bus/trolleybus stop on my way back home showing a much more bearable temperature than the day before (Note for the Americans: 21C is 69.8F):

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Today was another cool day, mostly cloudy. It felt cold on the balcony tonight, at that same 21C in the sheltered place where the thermometer is, and a somewhat cold wind blowing. My body still desperately needed to be in a cool place, but not that cool. LOL On the other hand, I'm glad that the ground (asphalt, sidewalk plates, whatever) and the buildings are now cooling down; that will give us some break before the heat starts accumulating again during the next heat wave. Tomorrow is expected to be the last (decreasingly) cool day - mostly sunny, the weather site says, but a high of 26 to 27C (around 78.8 to 80.6F) is still much better than 37C (98.6F), so I'm determined to enjoy the cooler weather while I still can. :)

12 August 2016 @ 02:41 am

These are some photos I took when I went out for a walk this evening (look at the bottom right corner of the display - your right) The first photo shows the temperature at that moment, and the second photo shows the exact time.

A little information for the Americans: 32C is 89.6F and the date is written European style, day-month-year.

A little information for the Russians: могила is colloquial Bulgarian for "hill", so the name of that bus/trolleybus stop is not about anybody's grave. :)

And in case anybody thinks that's hot, the outdoor temperature was 37C (98.6F) in the late afternoon, and it was 29C (84.2F in the kitchen), while my sister's baby (also visiting) was sleeping in a slightly cooler room. The reason for their visit was that there was no water at their place due to some kind of road work nearby.

Thankfully, we've been having a strong wind all night; it blows mostly parallel to the open window, but still makes things bearable. Alas, we only got some drizzle earlier tonight instead of the rain they got in other parts o the country, but there is still some hope of rain in the morning, and tomorrow's forecast is for much more bearable temperatures, for a change... and if we are lucky, we may get another cooler day or two before the heat wave resumes.

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And this is what the whole sign thing looks like. What exactly do you call the whole thing in English, by the way? It says when the next bus or trolleybus arrives.
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30 July 2016 @ 01:18 am
We are having a serious heat wave here, with daily highs like 34 or 36C (roughly 93 to 97F). We still get realtively cool nights, probably as a result of the shorter days, but I don't like it how hot it was early this evening. I'm still afraid that we may again reach the point when the ground and buildings don't have the time to cool down properly until the next morning in spite of the shorter days.

I wonder if those yellow leaves I'm beginning to see here and there on the trees around (including our drought-resistant silver lindens) are a consequence of the hot and dry weather, or it's not really too early in the year for them and I've just forgotten. I don't like it when I get That Autumnal Feeling so early although I don't exect anything better than the worst heat of the year from the rest of summer.

Some photos I took this evening during my walk:

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I'm afraid the clouds that gathered early in the evening only made things worse by trapping the heat that was getting emitted back into the atmosphere.

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They water that precious ryegrass at the new aprk every evening (ugh!), but the local wild grasses in the residential areas are finally beginning to succumb to the sun. This palce is very shady though (including a walnut tree's shade), so the grass is still fresh:

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That garden s my favourite outdoor knitting spot, by the way.

This terribly invasive thing (Johnson grass aka Sorghum halepense?) has somehow got into the rest of the same little garden; well, at least it's a tough survivor:

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25 July 2016 @ 03:00 am
Hello, this is just to let you know that I'm spending a lot time these days finishing a buch of toys (those fish again :P) for a real-life charity market in another city. I need to send them in the mail on Tuesday the latest to make sure they arrive on time, that's why I'm in such a hurry. I'll be properly back to LJ (and Facebook, and even Ravelry) when I finish them.

xxx Dari
21 July 2016 @ 03:46 am
It took me only 10 or 11 seriously hot days and nights in a row in the second half of July to radically change my attitude towards clouds and rain. :) It's amazing how what felt depressing and annoying suddenly became a blessing. :) It was such a relief that the ground and buildings suddenly got a chance to cool down during the first cloudy and occasionally rainy days, so we could finally have cool nights.

So, I suddenly got obsessed with photographing the clouds "while they lasted" for a few days until it become clear that the relief from the worst heat would last more than it was initially predicted. I now still enjoy every cloudy hour or half-hour, every gust of cool wind (even the wind gets hot on the hottest days!), and every mostly cloudy day feels like pure blessing. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm glad that the days are now getting shorter, so when the next heat wave inevitably strikes, the ground and buildings will have less time to heat up and emit that heat back during the nights. I'm afraid we'll soon be back to a daily high of 33 to 35C (91 to 95F), so I'd better enjoy the cooler period while it lasts indeed.

And now here are at last those cloud photos I took in late June. (Ouch, there were very picturesque clouds this evening, but I didn't have my camera with me, so you are only getting old photos :P)

27 June. The inevitable swifts wouldn't stop getting between my camera and the clouds, so I decided to treat them as a feature rather than a bug. :)
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A closer view of the same white clouds - and more swifts (alas, they are too fast for my camera, so some of them inevitably become blurs of motion in my photos).
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AMore clouds and birdsCollapse )
Still 28 June, and the view that can be seen for my favourite spot for outdoor knitting.
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A different angle and a different section of the same view.
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14 July 2016 @ 02:16 am
Wild clematis flowers (Clematis vitalba) on a fence that I often pass by.

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