• photographs

    take a seat

    This is another image from my February trip to Mallorca. I snapped this in a tiny pebble beach in Santa Ponsa at dusk. Someone had set a plastic chair on the beach and left it there. Probably one of the locals or off-season residents, who would climb down the short set of wooden steps to enjoy the magnificent sunsets, even in Winter. There are many things I love about this image: the colours, the light, the contrast of the cheap and artificial with the natural and beautiful. But I also enjoy the sense of how you can project yourself into that seat, and how you can add details such as…

  • photographs

    off with her head

    My trip to Mallorca earlier in the year provided me with opportunities to capture a number of cool or odd images. Some of you might remember my blog post called Gothic Sacraments, which had photographs from the astounding Chapel of the Holy Sacrament in the Catedral de Mallorca. One of the most impressive Gothic cathedrals I’ve ever visited. Another section of the Cathedral that fascinated me was the Chapel of Saint Jerome, which contained several paintings. A set of two were particularly striking. Here’s the bottom image: This is Saint Catherine of Alexandria, a famous Catholic martyr. In typical fashion she refused to recant her faith and was eventually decapitated…

  • art

    old horror

    Today I was selecting photographs to post to my Flickr stream from those I took at the Church of Saint Bartholomew in Sóller, Mallorca. One of them was the above photograph of the eponymous saint himself, Saint Bartholomew. As I was examining the photograph I realised there was another face hanging from the Saint’s waist. It was a WTF? moment. I hadn’t even seen it when I’d taken the original photograph. Thankfully, a small bit of Internet research cleared it up. Bartholomew is reported as being martyred in three different ways, all of them bloody. The most popular variety is being skinned alive. Hence, pictures and sculptures of the saint…

  • personal

    thanks Mom

    Today is the 100th anniversary of the first International Women’s Day. The idea for it was proposed by German feminist and socialist Clara Zetkin in 1910 at the second International Conference of Working Women held in Copenhagen, and it was implemented the following year. Here’s what the IDW web site says about Zetkin’s aims: She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin’s…

  • nature

    sunset over mallorca

    This was yesterday’s sunset in Santa Ponsa, where the local fisherman cast their lines. Alas, my short break has run its course. Today I head back to Ireland. The next time I hope to come away to a place like this with more free time. I spent most of yesterday in front of my keyboard, rattling away at my latest project, and wishing the afternoon wasn’t so fine. I managed a short break in the evening, just before dinner, and dashed down to the water to try and snap some shots. I captured a number of good images, which I will look at when I’m feeling oppressed by grey skies…

  • nature

    gallery cats

    Mallorcans love cats and dogs. They are well-treated and indulged, and are everywhere on the island, usually not far from their doting owners. I snapped this mother and daughter duo in a Gallery in the incredibly picturesque village of Sóller. I caught the rickety train, with its old-fashioned wooden carriages, into the mountains to explore the town for a couple of hours. The train trundled upwards past almond trees shedding their blossoms, trees dripping with lemons and oranges, and ancient olive groves. Sóller’s buildings are relatively unaltered, with terracotta roofs, wrought iron balconies and sturdy, polished wooden doors. Many of its winding, narrow streets – loomed over by serrated mountains…

  • nature

    mallorcan tree

    I’m only a couple of days on Mallorca and I’ve already had blazing sun and blue skies, an afternoon of torrential rain and a nocturnal lightning storm. It’s mercurial and eventual staying on a Mediterranean island in February. I love it. The vegetation is amazing to my eyes – a variety of palm trees (tall, stubby, gnarled) with huge architectural fronds, a wide range of cacti, as well as pink, purple and violet flowers in bloom. And always the constant drumbeat of the waves pounding against the rocks. Most of the pubs, cafes and souvenir shops are closed. Santa Ponsa has a slightly forlorn feeling at times, but I don’t…

  • nature

    turn to the sun

    In mid-January I bought a flower pot that came with four Narcissus bulbs and compost. It took about five minutes to sow them, and after that I stuck them on the windowsill and watered them every now and again. There is something quite magical about putting a seed in the ground and watching it sprout into a plant. The stems are long and willowy, almost a meter, and I was very excited when they burst into bloom the other day. As seems usual, three of them were quicker off the mark than their smaller sibling. A late developer – perhaps it will be most wise. I snapped this picture during…