Wednesday, April 29, 2015

More Cherry Blossom Trees

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The weather has been a bit chillier this week, but the upside is that we get to enjoy the beauty of the cherry blossom trees a bit longer.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

No Place Like Home

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As comparison to the new apartment blocks along the river (above), representing today’s urban densification, I thought I’d also take you on a little tour around the housing estate/area where I live, which was built in the 1940’s.

Back then, just as today, there was a great need of new housing, but the planning had a slightly different focus: let the people have air, light, and wide open space in between the apartment buildings.

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In the panorama view above (taken from the nearby football field), you see the edge of “my part of town” to the left; while on the horizon to the right, you can also spot the modern highrise tower down by the river.

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Before the 1940’s, this all used to be farmland. For this town, which is otherwise rather hilly, it is an unusually flat area; and the ‘low’ buildings with quite a bit of space in between contribute to preserving the impression that there is still a lot of sky over our heads.

For a modern day family (with all the “stuff” we tend to add to our lives and homes) the apartments were/are a bit on the small side - but 70 years ago, they were next to luxurious for many who were used to much lower standards. (I have read about “back then” in a book about the local history...)

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The street (nicknamed “Yellow Brick Road” by me, but of course in real life it has another name) goes round in a circle (or oval), with lookalike buildings on each side…

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… and in the middle a large park area and playground.

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For a council housing estate, plenty of open space.

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At the south end,  yellow brick meets red. The yellow blocks were built in the early 1940’s, the red ones in the later years of that decade.

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Across another street we find more Red Brick blocks. Here, in the post-war section of the area, the buildings are still similar in style and height to the yellow ones, but built closer together. Like with a tad less optimism; or one step closer to the densification idea…

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There are playgrounds and lawns here too, but not quite the same generous feeling of open space as in the Yellow Brick area.

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One villa from “the olden days” (when this was still the countryside) breaks off the monotony. It has been serving as day care centre. I’m not sure about its future, though… It seems pretty worn-down.

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Cross another street in a different direction, and you’ll find other styles of architechture. That variety is one of the things I like about this part of town. Even when I don’t feel up to walking very far, there are choices.

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I intend to link this post to

Our World Tuesday Graphic

Friday, April 24, 2015

River View–For Some

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The building in the foreground was recently finished.

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Walking by today, I was pleased to see that it will soon be possible to walk along the river behind it.

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Those who have windows and balconies facing west will have a nice view overlooking the river. (On the other side of the water, up on the hill, is an old cemetery. So no high buildings there.)

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Looking east, the view won’t be too bad either – at least not when you get up a few floors from street level (it’s a rather busy street).

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I’m not so sure about the view for those in the new building with balconies looking south, though. Or those in the bottom half of high building to the left, facing north… They’ll almost be able to shake hands with each other from the balconies.

This is they way they are building now in several places in/near the town centre, though. ‘Urban densification’ is the new keyword; rather than extending the suburbs.

Linking to FMTSO (“Rivers and Lakes”)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Beginnings

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From the entrance of a florist’s shop, this week.

Ooops. I was going to link this to Friday My Town tomorrow, but just discovered that “Beginnings” was last week’s FMTSO theme. How fast time flies…

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Outdoor Wednesday: Cherry Blossom Trees

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Walking into town this morning, I noticed that the early cherry blossom trees are “suddenly” bursting into bloom. The photo above was taken with my phone, as I didn’t have the camera with me (going shopping).

Seeing this tree, I knew that I would have to go out again in the afternoon and check on a certain park in the neighbourhood of where I live too… And on that walk I brought my trusted camera as well.

Some camera photos first – they’re all unedited.

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And then I took some with the phone as well.

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As it’s rather hard in bright sunlight to see how you are managing to focus, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised when I got home and saw the result. The phone camera is definitely growing on me, now that there are more things in nature to practise on. I had not expected the close-up shots to come out that good.

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The collage was made directly in the phone – easy peasy… And then just a click to post it to my FB page… (Blogging takes a lot more work, even when not editing the photos!)

Linking to

Outdoor Wednesday

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Sure Sign of Spring

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Wood anemones in bloom everywhere.
A sure sign of spring!

Linking to Mosaic Monday

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Phew

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This heartbreaking sight met me at the recycling station earlier this week. Is there a shelter somewhere for homeless teddy bears?? … Anyway, he was gone this morning (destination unknown) …

Today was Spring Clean-Up day where I live, which means they come with a couple of extra trucks, where (during a couple of hours) we can leave things that don’t fit in the usual recycling bins. As I still have a little bit of a walk to the recycling station (about 15 min there and back again), and can’t carry very much at a time, I spent nearly two hours this morning “recircling” myself between there and my basement storage room...

Afterwards I felt almost as tired as Teddy looks… And of course as soon as I got back to the flat after the last turn (and it was too late), I found a bag of discarded small electronics that I had spent part of the morning looking “everywhere” for in vain. (You know, the good old syndrome of putting things where you should easily find them… and then you don’t! I had almost come to the conclusion that I must have got rid of them already although I could not remember when or how!)

I wish they had these days a bit more often…

Linking to Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Thursday, April 16, 2015

BTT: Unread

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Booking Through Thursday

“What proportion of the books you own are unread?”

I’d say that perhaps 20-25% or so of my books are of the “reference” kind rather than the kind you read straight through from cover to cover. Besides dictionaries and grammar books etc I have quite a few on for example history, religion and mythology that I have only used to look things up in - even if also some in those genres that I have read from cover to cover as study course books.

When it comes to novels, I don’t have many of those unread. Except on my Kindle… where I’ve collected lots of free ones in the last few years.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

500 postcards

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This is my 500th received postcard. It was sent from Malaysia, and travelled 9,633 km in 14 days.

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This was the 500th of my sent postcards to be registred as received at the other end. It went to Belarus, and took 18 days to travel 1,005 km.

Learn more about Postcrossing here.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Mosaic Monday–Spring Flowers

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Going for a walk in my neighbourhood on Saturday, I found a surprise field full of tussilago farfara,  also knowns as coltsfoot.

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This area along the railway was cleared from brushwood a couple of years ago. Not sure if they are going to “do” something with it or just let it grow back. But for now, the tussilago seem to be enjoying their chance of spreading!

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In sunny spots in the more park-like areas, the lawn daisies are showing up to greet the sun.

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And also these (below). But I don’t know (or can’t remember) their name. Can anyone help? They are quite small, not much bigger than the little daisies.

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I’ll be linking to Mosaic Monday.

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