The names of my city

In my imagination, I sometimes take a freedom to have Solaris-like meetings with the ‘ghosts’ of my friends. It involves imagined memories of how we went to see my workplace, or some places in the city, or walked through the forests, or just talked and were happy. This is different from having a dream, as there are no expectations. In reality, they’ve already said that seeing my lab would be totally irrelevant for them. Or they can hardly walk so much. Also, maybe some time later (if ever). So what wrong can the fantasy bring?

One of those trips is walking through the places, which bear some memory of the insurgents of the 19th century. The thing I’m most happy about, this is my own part of the town. In fact I live in a district which was in the suburbs during these times, but I only need to cross a couple of nearby streets, and the journey begins.

Here, in the New Town, Konarski, Sierakowski, and Kalinowski, prominent figures in the history of resistance to the Russian Empire, are mostly known as the people who have their own streets that kept their names for decades already. I could not resist casting glance at the bus stop. Once you have it, you are never forgotten, however very few would look beyond the sound of the name.
Also, a flower market. At least it includes a selection of burial wreaths.

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И ещё про повстанцев

Как заметно, на русском я уже исписалась, но тут чтобы и Натали поняла. Она (и Раиса, и другие) в 2009 году сделали игру про восстание 1863-его года. А я при подготовке познакомилась с людьми, и поехала играть за тысячу км (это вообще моя первая поездка по собственному пожеланию, не потому, что это придумали кто-то другие). И там ещё с людьми познакомилась.
А у нас после оползня раскопали вершину Замковой Горы и нашли там 20 захоронений повстанцев, казнённых на площади Лукишки и царскими властями спрятанных (только Ишору не нашли, но он казнён самый первый, возможно, его не там закопали). К слову, вспоминая легенду – как при постройке замка якобы пытались в фундамент заложить пожертвование. При том, как двоих закапывали, они фундамент пробили и их камнями завалили.
Суть в том, что это была закрытая армейская крепость, им в голову не приходило, что их тут не станет (и потом опять не станет), что гора с замком будет символом города-и-опять-столицы-Литвы, и что на таком сухом месте всё сохраняется так, что при наличии ДНК технологий и других средств всех можно будет прекрасно идентифицировать.

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The funeral of the leaders and participants of 1863 Uprising

What can I say... Some historical persons are local spirits already. There are the streets by their name nearby, one may even find a bus stop. They are in the textbook as well. They are just very well-known names. Then one gets into the circumstances where the names finally become people with their complex deeds, words and fates (I’m clearly grateful to Raisa in this case). Then one meets other people because of this involvement, things happen and lead to more things. Then life returns to normal, only being a bit richer because of what one has experienced and learned.
And then, the hidden remains of the historical persons are suddenly discovered (just in time for DNA testing), the story gets told up to its end, and one-and-a-half century later I walk with them on their final earthly road, some steps separating me and the carriage.
And there is my city all around, reliving its innermost essence, being just what it grew to be, what it was in hundreds of years – the capital of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the twain. I think one would better try to see it. The photos are on FB, unfortunately to re-resize them is a bit too difficult (and can’t find a way to share an album decently). One photo here, however. The remains of the leaders of the Uprising, Sierakowski and Kalinowski.


Edinburgh: the evening

And then the night came, and the Old Town is great in the darkness.
I’m happy I’ve met this old city, even if it was an afternoon, an evening and one long day. Sure one could explore it and get to know it much better, as there are many hidden ways and doors (how about a bar which says He who is without mathematics shall not enter?)

A lot of journal styles downsize the pictures on their own, losing the quality. Sometimes making the window wider helps. On LJ, viewing them in my own style, which I set to be wider does. I hope this can be done by entering the post and deleting your style from the URL, namely the “?style=mine” part. Usually this is not that important, but the previous post would really benefit from it.

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Valė iš Silio

Holyrood park

It’s almost painful to downsize those photos. I would rather show the originals on a good large screen. If you think this can be arranged please tell me :)
There were people eagerly ascending the path in the Holyrood park, even if the path was already beaten to mud, and I joined them. Climbing up required some boldness from me at the top, as the volcanic rocks give little sure footing (that’s a very old lava channel on the summit of Arthur’s Seat). Happily I’ve looked down only when almost there. By then, I could hardly keep steady on a relatively level place even, so just stood in place and then sat here. The scenery was impressive. The people were impressive as well. Quite some of them came here while engaged in a cross-country running, and ran away as if it were nothing. As for me, I find mere walking down the stairs tricky if they are lengthy and steep. And here I wore my best glasses which are for special occasions only, so the adapting to them for the precise eye-foot coordination is slow to set in. There is no vertigo on the streets... yet this was no street. The distortion of peripheral field of vision is specific to particular eyeglasses and very marked in this power range. So I climbed down the rock itself very slowly, stood on a grass here for a long time, and then took a path where no one was going, and there came my enjoyable nature experience at last. The path went round the hill, yet there was nobody, it was not steep and almost not dirty. And then, I could use the navigator to understand where I came.
(And here are the thanks to Werhamster and Exon who told me about this place).

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sidabrinis klevas

Edinburgh introduction

I gave a talk at an infection-themed conference in Edinburgh earlier this week. I’ve presented posters before, yet that was my first spoken presentation outside the Institute. There was this so rare opportunity when we had the financing especially for the conference and I was given a chance to go. While working in the molecular biology lab, I see the topic from somewhat different side, and here the clinically oriented picture was prevalent. The tablet and Wi-Fi made sitting through it quite different from purgatory where one has to absorb information presented in an awfully slow and confusing manner, meaning the speech (no matter what language it is). I even (and often) googled the things as they were mentioned. This way, a conference can really help to learn something without tedious suffering.
There was a couple of evening-walks (some impressions of them are on my Instagram, as they were captured using the tablet). And there was a Thursday with single lecture in it, and sunny (!) perfect day (BIG note to myself: no matter the forecast, the sun-filters are a must anytime anywhere, as the hand shielding the eyes gets tired indeed). And this day included walking through Princess Gardens, climbing the small Calton Hill, climbing the huge hill to the Arthur’s Seat, finding a way to get down in a more solitary and not so steep manner, eating haggis pie and soup at The Piemaker. And then, already well known Old Town with the castle, and coming back to Haymarket.

So there is the beginning, the peak on the last photo being the Arthur’s Seat.

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