strange_complex: (Wicker Man sunset)
1. Human parents (mine)

Their visit over the weekend went very well, and essentially consisted of us doing the things I'd said we were going to do in this post.

The play )

Our drive around NE Antrim )

Sunday )

2. Blackbird parents (also, obviously, my personal property)

The other big news of the moment is that my blackbirds' chicks have hatched! I discovered this on Sunday, when I took my parents into my office on the way to the pub to show them the nest (knowing that, as bird-fanciers, they'd be interested). At first, we thought the female was still incubating, but then the male arrived with some worms, and she got up off the nest to reveal three healthy little chicks, with their beaks gaping open for their dinner. Since I could never see more than three eggs in the nest (although the viewing angle means that there might have been a fourth one hidden by the nest edge), I'm taking this to mean that all of the eggs have probably hatched successfully.

What happens next )

I'm normally not that bothered about birds, but as both Carrick-a-Rede and the excitement of my front-row seat at the blackbird nesting process have demonstrated, I can get interested when they're either underlining the beauty of a natural setting, or close enough to me that I can get personally involved with them.

Regular Blackbird Bulletins will continue as there is more news, and anyone in Belfast is welcome to pop round to my office and have a look at them if they're interested.

Imminent parents

Friday, 20 May 2005 14:21
strange_complex: (Default)
Within an hour, my parents should be arriving here for the weekend. I think the house is clean and tidy enough to pass muster now, and I've planned out and bought the necessary food-stuffs. So I'm having a little LJ-break before they arrive.

The plan is broadly thus:

Friday evening: going to see a play called The Dreamer Examines His Pillow at the Old Museum Arts Centre. Don't really know much about it beyond what it says on their web page, but it was just something I came across while browsing through events listings for this weekend, and thought they might enjoy. It's something to do, anyway.

Saturday: going to see the Giant's Causeway. I'm quite excited about this, as, not having a car, I don't really get much chance to get out of Belfast and see the rest of Norn Iron. The Causeway is supposed to be one of the best things the rest of NI has to offer in the way of sights, so it seems a worthy focus for a day excursion. The general driving around business may well extend into the evening - depends whether we tag other stuff onto the Causeway. Note to self: set the video for Doctor Who!

Sunday: lunch at the Crown Liquor Saloon, probably preceded and / or followed by some general wandering around. Mum wants a proper look at the Waterfront Centre, because she hears a lot of concerts from it on Radio 3. If the weather's decent, we might also make our way to somewhere like Malone House to stroll about the grounds. They then fly home on Sunday evening.

Should be a reasonable balance between not getting bored and having time to relax and enjoy each other's company, I hope.

Disenfranchised

Wednesday, 4 May 2005 12:26
strange_complex: (Default)
I chased up the issue with my election card, and the news is bad. They did receive my application to be registered, but then apparently sent me a letter asking me for proof that I'd been at my current address for more than three months. Except I never got any such letter, so obviously I didn't know to send them any proof of residence...

.... so that's it. I'm not registered, and I can't vote.

To say I am fucking pissed off about this is a serious understatement. I was already feeling 95% disenfranchised over the fact that I can't even vote for the party I actually want to vote for (LibDems) in this part of the world anyway, because they, like most of the other major parties, don't actually run candidates here. But now even my chance to vote for the only remotely sensible party in Northern Ireland (Alliance) has been taken from me.

I like elections. I get excited about them. I think they're important. And I like to participate. I am the kind of person, in fact, who even votes in local elections. So I did want to vote, very badly, even if I couldn't vote the way I really wanted to.

Reasons to be Angry (Her Name is Penny) )

So all I can do now is sit back helplessly and let everyone else decide on the country's future for me. I feel completely and utterly stripped of all social and democratic power. I'll follow the results, of course, but I won't be able to think at any point, "I helped make that happen". Which is what I really feel it's all about.

All I can say is, if you can vote, please get out there and do it on Thursday. I don't care whether you're going to vote the same way as I wanted to or not. Your very right to do so is precious. I always knew that, but I certainly see it with a new and painful clarity now.

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