Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Bran Tub # 21: Jiminy Cricket, another oddball post …


As I do, wherever I am, I seem to muse about blog posts … yesterday I was happily sitting outside having lunch up at a local hotel – with a croquet lawn to admire, the English Channel waves undulating a few hundred feet away …

Outlook from hotel

...an idyllic sunny day to spend a bit of time with a friend … soon after we first met we were having lunch … as we were enjoying ourselves … a mighty seagull powered its way from the roof and whipped my friend's piece of salmon off her plate! Yikes and yugh!


Seagulls scavenging ... I must say that looks
quite a good tasty pasty - better than some

We haven't been eating outside since … but the manager informed us - they had seagull scarers now – so we risked it …



oh yes – we were safe! But no … a very pretty emerald golden spider was flitting around me … matching the thistles on my skirt … I managed to release him to the care of the earth …


He's quite pretty isn't he?
looks like he might have been a Cucumber Spider – they seem quite common, but I've never noticed one before, though they appear at this time of year …




but as I go to various group classes – history, memoir, life-science and music appreciation (today's class) and others … I ended up pondering humans … and how odd we all are … how our behaviours are all so varied … all good fillers for a blog post!


But I digress – I think! - and then remembered the Desert Rain Frog and my time in Namibia … that I'd intended to write about …


Desert Rain Frog


he's a plump species with bulging eyes, short snout, short limbs, spade-like feet, and webbed toes … charming little fella, n'est pas?



Added to which he has an unusually high-pitched cry similar to that of a squeaky toy.


Another view of a Desert Rain Frog

Also he's unique as he develops directly from the egg into an adult – so no tadpole stage. He pads happily about on the sand, not requiring water in his habitat for survival.



Their habitat is a very small strip of land in the Cape Province of South Africa, and the coastal strand in southern Namibia … where the Skeleton Coast Desert can be found – an area stretching from Angola in the north, into the Cape Province further south …


The marked edge of southern Africa -
where this little frog si found

The Desert is magical … fog provides most moisture in an otherwise arid and dry region and it's amazing how much can survive in the coastal dunes – about 24 miles wide, and 310 miles in length …



our little Desert Rain Frog is one of those incredible species … sadly its habitat is being lost to human 'needs' (mining and tourism) …


Namibian homelands 1978 - 
the Skeleton Coast is marked, as 
too the Desert


I'd like to think that we will realise what we have on this earth … and which we should be looking after for future generations …


My mother and I went there about 35 years ago … strange but true!


Thanks for visiting – another Bran Tub post … so many other subjects to get to: I'll get there …


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Bran Tub # 20: Wry Amusement … Act for Ukraine – renaming street addresses …


Street names – to be amused by, at least in my book – yes … this gently tickled me … soft ironic diplomacy …


Ironic diplomacy can be found ... 

I came across this online campaign … to amend addresses wherever there is a Russian embassy, consulate, or similar … trade mission …




I found the article here … and I'm afraid, in the appalling times of war the Ukrainians are going through, I found it lightly uplifting …



Surprisingly the first country to give the Russian embassy a new address was Albania … the Ukraine Embassy, that of Serbia, also of Kosovo, and so the Russian Embassy all now reside on 'Free Ukraine Street' … in its capital Tirana.


Free Ukraine Street in Tirana, Albania



Next came Norway … it changed an intersection address to Ukraine Square … and other countries/cities have followed …



It seems the NYT gave rise to an article on Danish MP, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen's drive for these name changes … and who was quoted as saying 'No Action is too Small' …



a simple but significant act of symbolic support for the courageous Ukrainian people who defend the values of freedom and democracy from one of the strongest military powers in the world.


c/o Strange Maps


The campaign continues on … please see the link


A rabbit hole I (logically! tba) went down – Mayakovsky Street has been renamed Boris Johnson Street (suits me ... if he's tucked away!) … renamed by the small town, population was about 6,000, to the east along the coast from Odessa ...


Mayakovsky Street

I will explain Vladimir Mayakovsky's connection … but this poster he created about 100 years ago … Agitprop – Communist propaganda – occurring in their Revolution 1917 – 1932.



Soviet Propaganda poster from
the Russian Revolution era
1917 - 1932


He was a Soviet poet, playwright, artist and actor … born in the Caucasus in Georgia, but after his father died they moved to Moscow.






Changing street names has occurred over the years … as you'll see in the article … but in today's age – these things can happen very quickly …



How frustrating to work for a Russian organisation and find you have to walk down, or across a Ukrainian street to get to work …



I'm around, but have been involved doing rather a lot … I'll be back soon – so enjoy this bran tub alternative post with its links ... 


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories