Irina draws Bulgaria

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The end of me asking Europeans to 'draw-your-country' is inching ever closer. Only 15 countries remain and, although they're elusive, I'm as keen as ever.

Excitingly, at a party this weekend, I met two Bulgarians, Elena and Irina. I asked Irina, an architect, to draw Bulgaria.

Bulgaria, by Irina

Irina, who has lived in London for thirteen years, thought it could be difficult to draw as the borders had often changed.

By coincidence, she had been having a conversation about maps with a map-maker just before I asked her to draw. This, she said, was probably the first map of Bulgaria she's drawn since school. Amazing!


So now, I've 15 countries left to find, and I'm getting a bit more proactive. So if you know someone from any of the these places, let me know: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Czech Republic , Latvia, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Slovakia, Turkey.

A Trip to Tallinn

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sights of Tallinn

I recently went to Tallinn, capital of Estonia, for a weekend. This year, Tallinn, along with Turku in Finland, is European Capital of Culture.

So I went there to see lovely medieval streets and cultural what-nots. Here's what I saw...

  • Cute, winding old streets and soaring spires on churches, towers and the city walls.

  • The first thing I saw as I wandered down the street was a display of old maps of Tallinn through time. Amazing!

  • The streets were alive with the sound of music. Singing has a politically and culturally significant in Estonia (they had a singing revolution) so street corners had stages and impromptu choir gatherings.

  • To that end, I also heard Eric Saade's Popular played 7 times in the one night. Now, that's popular.

  • A dank pedestrian tunnel turned into an art gallery.

  • An old lady who was very proud of herself for wearing blue, black and white (the colours of the Estonian flag.)

  • A international parade of nations during a medieval jousting display, with by Koreans, Japanese and Georgians (amongst others) living in Estonia.

  • My favourite sight was the town's old pharmacy, which is the world's oldest continuously-running pharmacy. Displays showed lotions and potions from the past few centuries, including sun-bleached dog faeces, parched bees and dried toads.
Old pharmacy, Tallinn

One 2 One Hundred

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

There's a group on flickr called The Design Disease. I'm a member. The name's not the most pleasant, but it refers to how design runs through your veins.

On the group founder's blog, he gives an idea about taking photos of numbers from 1 to 100. That was enough to give me an idea, so I set about finding numbers.

It's taken about 4 years, off and on, but here we are.

1 to 100