• intimacy

    Winter is upon us, but here is an image of a golden autumn evening in one of my favourite places to walk the dog: Coole Park.

  • electric hugs and spinning

    Last weekend I went to a Silent Disco in the Big Top – a venue that’s erected for the Galway Arts Festival every year. The premise is that everyone is given a pair of wireless headphones, and there are two channels where different DJs compete for the crowd’s affections. At first I thought it would be quite weird, but it turned out to be great fun. It’s a strange combination of feeling liberated by wearing headphones and yet being part of a crowd experience. It’s interesting to watch the dynamics of the responses in the crowd as one DJ falls out of favour and another one catches on. There was…

  • arts festival parade 2011

    The annual Macnas parade during the Galway Arts Festival is always an event. Macnas is a street theatre company which has garnared an international reputation for its colourful and inventive parades. This year it did not disappoint with an extravaganza called This Fierce Beauty. One of the things I like about the parade is the typical relaxed Galway attitude, which means there are no barriers or cordons. People line the streets and are encouraged to keep back to a respectable distance by the stewards and the police, but without too much hassle. It started off with an intense red flare and smoke, and was followed by fabulous creatures propelled by…

  • graveyard red

    During our brief sunny spell at the weekend I stopped into the Forthill Cemetery in Galway city, an old graveyard I’d never visited before. It was ablaze with roses, and I seized the moment to take plenty of pictures, which was a good call as the lashing rain today probably stripped the bushes of their blooms by now. Under the blinding sun the atmosphere was upbeat and cheery. The roses struck supermodel poses against the stark, blue sky or the plain, grey palate of the gravestones. It was inclement weather for ghosts. I bumped into the caretaker, who was pleased I was so attentive to his roses. He gave me…

  • festival season

    This trio of buskers were offering up beautiful music on High Street in Galway on Saturday. It was a hot, sunny day, and the start of festival season in Galway. Actually, from about March onwards Galway is the host of festival after festival, but it reaches its cultural peak during July. Tomorrow sees the start of the Galway Film Fleadh, an internationally-famous film festival that’s an important marker on the Irish film calendar. The city can’t even hitch in a breath before the two-week Arts Festival descends, and then it’s the annual Galway Races. Before you know it it’s August and the summer is sliding away and the Oyster festivals…

  • travelling without moving

    I took this photo this evening of the kid’s carousel at the Galway Christmas Market. I like the manic energy and colour of the piece, yet the static figure watches the chaos tranquilly. And there’s a creepy quality to the kid’s face blurred in excitement (or perhaps demon possession!). That works for me. I’m amused by the ‘Crazy Bus’. I think I’ve been in that vehicle a couple of times, maybe even driven it. It’s a weird and wonderful world we live in. The title of the post and picture, Travelling Without Moving, is the title of Jamiroquai’s third album, and one of the tracks on it. The words popped…

  • soft sunset

    This weather makes life inconvenient in many ways, but it offers lovely photographic opportunities. Even if I had to sidle along a busy road to capture this one… The beauty is difficult to remember when your heat is out, or your pipes or frozen, or the drive home is scary. And today is Budget Day in Ireland so everyone is bemoaning that, and combined with our sudden freeze, this nation is rather grumpy. Yet, it looks like we’re due for a bit of a thaw by the end of the week, which will be most welcome. In the mean time, I hope all those affected by our sudden encounter with…

  • iced in

    Our severe cold snap (by Irish standards) continues. Tonight is supposed to be the coldest night we’ll experience during this period. Here in the West we’ve had two days of gorgeous sunshine, but the temperatures have not risen above freezing. All the snow that fell a few days ago is still on the ground. This means the roads in my area are dangerous to drive on, so we’ve doing as little of that as possible. Today I managed to get to the woods after a slow, careful drive. It was dazzlingly beautiful, although the tips of my fingers went numb as I tried to take photographs (I was using my…

  • get it while it's sparkly

    I snapped the above picture nearly a week ago, on the last bright morning before we turned the corner into Winter and settled into November. It’s been grey wet days since then. It was a lovely surprise to stumble upon a variety of mushrooms in the woods on that occasion, as it’s somewhat late in the season for a lot of them. The photograph of this duo was a special delight, because I managed to capture the magical quality of a sunny late autumn morning. I like the extra shine in the image, even if it could be taken for a flaw. We’re heading into colder weather soon, with a…

  • young pitchers

    Today I was part of a judging panel for the Pitching Competition at the 16th Galway Junior Film Fleadh. It’s the third year the event has run and the second year I’ve been one of the judges. The event took place in the Town Hall Theatre in Galway, and there was a sturdy turnout of people despite the gales and lashing rain. This year saw the largest number of applicants for the award, and from them three finalists were picked: ‘Rocky the Racehorse’ pitched by Aisling Dolan, Convent of Mercy, Co. Roscommon ‘Web of Lies’ pitched by Emma Finnerty, Ard Scoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway ‘Rineen Ambush’ pitched by Paul…