Europe

Swimming in the Baltic

It’s a warm sunny day. I’m sitting at a table outside a restaurant, on a terrace with a fountain. A man takes a photo of his son wearing a red baseball cap side on, like a ten-year-old rapper. There are roses in the fountain. Birds search for food beneath the tables. I’m in Nida, on the Curonian Spit. My phone rang just now. There’s a party in Vilnius but I’m not going. I took a walk through the pine forests to the Baltic, having just gone to the tourist office and secured a room here for tomorrow evening. Tonight I’ll…

Paluse, Lithuania

Sitting in the cafe in Paluse, eating what was described as roast chicken with stuffing but isn’t quite, a guy arrives and asks in Lithuanian if he can pull over a bench and sit down. I understand what he means and say yes in sign language. I’m sitting in front of my laptop, trying to catch up on the news. Britain has a new Prime Minister. The guy, in his late fifties or sixties, sits down and says some things that I don’t really understand. I stare into the screen of my laptop, even though the new prime minister story…

Cafe de Paris, Vilnius

The new Turnpiece Web Design website is now working, though probably needs some images on the front page, just not sure what of. (People seem to like images though, even if they’re totally irrelevant.) It took ages to get it to display correctly in Internet Explorer because Microsoft don’t bother to follow web standards, but think it’s okay now. If you use Internet Explorer you should get rid of it and start using Firefox – it’s much better. There’s now a portfolio page showing some of the gallery websites, though quite a few new sites have been created since I…

Lithuanian TV

Now that I have a flat I have a TV, but can only pick up Lithuanian channels. There was quite a bit of singing and dancing, some American and Russian programmes

Uzupio Kavine, Uzupio

Sitting in the Cafe de Paris yesterday drinking a coffee and old Lithuanian guy sat next to me and started talking to me, in Lithuanian at first. He asked me if I was writing a book on my laptop, and then started talking about rock music. He said he got lots of emails telling him the latest rock music news. I asked him what kind of rock music and he said the old stuff. I said like what and he said donovan. But then he mentioned Steppenwolf, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and Nazareth. Nazareth were Scottish, he said. I…

Kavine Uzupio, Uzupio

It’s French election day. I got an email from a French friend here attaching a cutting from a newspaper about a couple of French kids, 8 and 11 years old, who were arrested for some petty crime and told they would be photographed, fingerprinted and also their genetic “fingerprints” would be taken – “empreintes génétiques” in French – thanks to a law presidential candidate Nocholas Sarkozy brought in in 2003, which most French thought was just to be used for sex offenders but which is actually being applied more widely and has no age limits. I was listening to some…

Café de Paris, Vilnius, Lithuania

Reggae music is playing just outside the café on the unmadeup Didzioji street. There’s some development work going on in this area so the street is closed to traffic and usually fenced off, but the workmen put some concrete down yesterday and now there’s a sound system on it with a DJ on a small raised stage. There’s some kind of music festival happening all over Vilnius this weekend.

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