Friday, 19 September 2014
Saturday, 13 September 2014
I took all these photos during my recent visit to the zoo in Vienna. I hope you enjoy them.
For me it was a very enjoyable day out and a rewarding experience. The animals appeared to be enjoying the day too.
There have been many improvements and innovations at the zoo since my last visit. I shall definitely go there again, and go soon.
The staff at the zoo are doing important and meaningful work. And they are doing it well.
This is not a U-Bahn Station. And this post is not a Renee Magritte joke.
In the first instance I have told a white lie. Sadly the second statement is true.
The tunnel pictured above may stink like an unclean WC but it is in fact an exit from a U-Bahn Station.
It's to be found at a conveniently situated U-Bahn Station where the trains stop to disembark passengers bound for the Vienna Philharmonic and the Kunstlerhaus Museum, two of Vienna's tourist attractions.
Also it is convenient for the Imperial Hotel which is, as the name implies, the city's top hotel.
The reason I said it's not a U-Bahn Station is because when I had to go there recently the stench of stale urine was too dreadful to describe. I could hardly breathe.
Hardly anyone uses this exit unless they have to, especially during the hours of darkness.
As a public convenience it doubtless serves the city's homeless and wandering alcoholics. Two people were selling the fortnightly paper Augustin, a worthy project to help the homeless, when I passed.
Women with children in buggies, shoppers carrying parcels, the infirm, the less-mobile elderly, the wheelchair users who use this station in the centre of Vienna deserve better. Meanwhile we lucky others waltz by and scuttle up and down the steps.
Thursday, 11 September 2014
Flaka Haliti's cloud-faces are currently on display at Vienna's MUMOK. There are 10 to see. I show detail from one. They bring an airy lightness to a room. Now you may imagine them on the walls of a dreaded waiting room; maybe at the doctor's or dentist's where they might engender a soothing calmness. To be seen at MUMOK until the 5th October.
Wednesday, 10 September 2014
The subject of my poem is a rhino called Jange who was orphaned at the age of 6 months. His mother was killed by poachers in Nepal. Unprotected after the loss of his mother the young rhino was attacked by a tiger. You can read his story below and learn why and how he came to be in Vienna Zoo.
In the poem I tried through using the plight of the rhino to bring to the mind of the reader the thought that an orphaned child in a war zone is not only in danger but probably cannot enjoy a simple pleasure like eating an ice cream. But the poem gives hope at least, for like Jange they too may eventually see better times.
I fled from a war's breaking news on TV
and wandered the zoo
for the day.
One I saw there was Jange, the orphan
the tiger attacked
Bathing in watery mud;
and in it up to his chin
in the sun.
Armed with a cone of ice cream
I reflected. O lucky is he
this rhino, like me
At ease in the sun;
safe now from the guns
of the hunt.