29 April 2009

Vysocina scenery

I have a thing for trees. I just can't help it. Whenever I walk or drive through a forest, and I see sunlight hitting some of the trunks I am mesmerised. More often than not, I simply stop and stare in awe at nature's art without taking a picture. After all, we know what forests look like and in the back of my cynical mind I tell myself that probably, nobody really cares.

Well folks, now it's me that doesn't care, and I will share this with you. There are some pretty fascinating pine forests in the Vysocina region which I was fortunate enough to visit during my month-long stint. And here's the pictures:

12 April 2009


This is one of the aspects made possible by EU funding: turning unused agricultural land back into forests. The ministry of agriculture sponsors the seedlings and rewards landowners who plant tree schools on disused land. Whether this is part of balancing the EU's complex agricultural policy, or to help capture carbon molecules from the atmosphere to help combat climate change I will never know.

What I do know is that to make it happen in the tiny village of Nedvezi in the Czech countryside, a few bottles of rum, beer and a hearty breakfast were required to lure helping hands out of bed early on a sunny Saturday morning. With about 10 people, we planted over 2000 trees during a morning's work. After we finished the tree planting (and the rum), we progressed to the village pub. Nazdravi!

11 April 2009

Pork at home

This may not be for the faint-hearted, but that's what it looks like: slaughtering pigs at home, or rather, in your backyard. For those of you who like pork, chose wisely if you need to see this, as it may turn you into a vegetarian.

It's part of village life in my homeland and many other places throughout Eastern Europe and the rest of the world. That day, three little pigs gave their lives to feed a few hungry mouths who were prepared to do the dirty work.

3 April 2009

Big Brother is watching

Through circumstance more than persistence, I managed to get an intimate view into the workings of Westminster's CCTV Community Safety Centre, an underground surveillance operation like in the movies. Just... this is for real.

3000-odd high resolution cameras viewing most angles in the West End, remotely operated, fully stabilised and able to pick up a face from almost a mile away. Oh, and connected to the Police, of course...

Here's the pictures...