Wednesday, May 31, 2006

And just to prove that Tallinn is not universally grey: view from our window. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

More antiquities from behind the railway yards. Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 29, 2006

Not an optical illusion: it's as bent as a banana. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 28, 2006

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When wheels of industry belong to the iron age, what do we say: wings of, waves of?

Friday, May 26, 2006

This old locomotive is in front of one of Tallinn's various technical high schools, in a street called Tehnika. Former rulers had noble-worker naming schemes for the new soviet, and behind the sometimes romantic sounding names of streets such as Tina, Pronksi & Pallasti lie others, more prosaic: Tin, Bronze, Ballast and so on. Note too the second chimney. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Tallinn station again. View from first floor over booking office. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Another view of Keila cemetery: "Hier ruhet in Gott ... Louise Johanna v. Gernet". Under the rule of diverse conquerors for a significant length of its history, Estonia's ruling-classes were Germans, "Baltic Germans", for several centuries. (Apologies for inelegant formulation, but v tired, and multitude of things to complete...) Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Estonians love trees. A rewarding piece of sensual self-indulgence here is to go up to a tree, deciduous or nay, who cares, and hug it, embrace it and allow its arboreal vibes to slither down the trunk into your bones. Haven't tried it myself so cannot guarantee the boost of energy claimed. Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 22, 2006

On the other hand, who (and of course I'm referring to my cockerel counterparts, Hi Joe!) would not wish to negotiate a piece of real estate with this lady? Estonian property prices have hit No.1 in Knight Frank's world rank of increasing prices, up 17% Jan to March 2006, and that's for Estonia as a whole which is still relatively sleepy compared to Tallinn. Price’s will continue to rise until steadily for the next few years and probably (my prediction) stabilise at 5-10% above Helsinki prices. Buy! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 21, 2006

In front of Kadriorg Palace, two lady dressagistes, one of whom the only (?) specialist in side-saddle within a couple of hundred (thousand?) km of here, readying up for a PR operation. Horses are believed to be great facilitators of dental floss sales. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 20, 2006

But not all the country's like this. Here, down by the station, you can still find miscellaneous "grey" markets where recycled woolies and socks can be had for maybe not a song but certainly a couple of notes.
Would you buy home-prepared meat-balls from this woman? Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 19, 2006

No prizes for guessing in which room they're offering wifi here... Is there no peace? Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tallinn seems to have been built of grey limestone, paekivi, they call it here. It is not a very dense stone (not too hot on geologiy, but I think it's quite porous and, with Estonian wetness and winters, suffers from freeze-fracture) and many old buildings have crumbling walls. Obviously too, perhaps, it depends on age. This one probably dates back about 100 years, and so is in reasonably good repair. I like the marrying of modern around the old. Or, rather, the rather boring modern structure is redeemed by the old. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

For those who think we live in violent times, a glance backwards should sometimes be enough. If this is to today's still young attempts to understand antisocial behaviour, how does football violence compare to mob attendance at public executions, how does satire compare to stoning, how does contraception compare to exposure? Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

On the town hall wall, standing discreetly among the cloisters, Dame Justice waits. Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 15, 2006

With urban sprawl, this once village then town (called Keila) is now a suburb of Tallinn. Stepping away from the Soviet-era housing blocks, there are some beautiful green areas like this. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Wall in Tallinn town centre. For those pining for a crane-operator's view of downtown T, "Estonia in World Media" recommends the following link: (PS: yesterday's book cover post removed - wrong blog...) Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 13, 2006

... a crowd, / A host, of golden dandelions... Interestingly, a quick doggy-paddle on the web to check punctuation gave 3 variants in 5 pages. I chose the commonest (3/5) (without even being sure).
Rarely has so much misinformation be available to so many so quickly. Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 12, 2006

Façade in downtown Tallinn with reflected bus and skulking person. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 11, 2006

What this building (500 m from town centre) is I don't know. It reminds me of some of the very budget-style hotels in the Amazon, but I couldn't imagine anyone near here using this for that. Maybe outdoor storage? Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Church of St Thingamajig in the Fields. Let's say meadow, or half-hour's graze for one goat. Today. Estonia is perhaps the least religious country in the world, certainly with the lowest church frequentation in Europe. So buildings like these (capacity 1 preacher, 17 faithful, 1 tintinnabulist) are rare and increasingly dwarfed by the might of Mammon. Good thing too. Posted by Picasa

Well... I posted this last night (before downloading Picasa but must have short-circuited an important click) with a comment along the lines of: Emergency, computer crash, builder sawing tiles for bathroom (new in old), building inspectors inspecting collapsing floor in bathroom (new in new, rental), baby screaming (lovelily), meeting painters for estimates, organising delivery of kitchen furniture to mother-in-law, removing rust from balcony, clearing up after dustmen remove waste, or something along those lines (who remembers?) as a paltry excuse for having no better picture to post than this of tables in the KUMU café. Post failed, so here it is again. And today's coming next. Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 08, 2006

Finalists in the pan-Estonian knitting and crochet tournament, sub-section “fleas’ undergarments”, sub-section “sensory deprivation”. Sirje, on the right, has won Gold medals consecutively for the past 9 years with her double-button short-johns. But this year’s pretender, Dax, daughter and next-door neighbour to the champion, has been practising hard on her own version of light-weight double-vent summer boxers (number of buttons undisclosed) and we are anticipating a gruelling match. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Tallinn does not have an overwhelming Chinese community, nor even its own Chinatown, but somewhere I heard that over 17% of its population practices tai chi. Le voilàPosted by Picasa

Saturday, May 06, 2006

No colours today, just the warmth of bricks old and new. There does seem to be a strong desire not to demolish too much of Tallinn's former industrial building. Here, a plain old juxtaposition seems to satisfy both schools: aesthetics and cash. Posted by Picasa