• photographs

    persistence and endurance

    It’s the summer solstice, and the weather has proved diffident. But where is it written that on the longest day in Ireland we shall be gifted with sunshine? An island buffering the Atlantic’s whims is never granted predictability. Yet, towards the evening the continuous clouds thinned in places so I ventured into the woods, in search of beauty. I was not rewarded with a triumphant, sunny breakthrough, but there were dramatic skyscapes. Conventionally pretty? Perhaps not, but arresting nonetheless. The woods were dotted with one of my favourite summer flowers, which returns each year to a glad welcome by me: dactylorhiza fuchsii, the common spotted orchid. We tend to associate…

  • photographs

    time to stop drinking

    A rather Dalí-esque clock on the side of a pub in Dublin, snapped during my last visit. I’ve seen this before, but I took the time to stop and take a picture of it on this occasion. Often, the landscape/cityscape that surrounds us becomes so familiar we don’t really see it any more. Then, during temporary sunshine in between downpours, an old element becomes new again.

  • nature

    primrose heart

    In the West of Ireland we’re enjoying wildly mercurial weather, as is typical for Spring. Today there were two downpours – one of hailstones – in between periods of glorious sunshine. The gusting winds rushed the clouds all over the sky. I guess they got annoyed and had a rain tantrum. Who likes being pressured? I took this picture of primroses in one of my local woods a few days ago. It was only when examining the image in close-up that I spotted the leaf uncurling in a heart-shape. So here’s some natural Spring Love. Don’t worry if the Spring breezes hurry in a shower. It will race away again…

  • 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…

  • Poetry

    beyond the wall

    This is a recent photo during our current sunny, frosty weather. It reminds me how photographs are so much better when you get good light… I’ve our holiday decorations packed away since Monday. I try not to let them linger too much after the festivities are over, but I do miss the blinking lights. They’re cheery during our long nights. Although, I’ve already noticed the extra minutes on our evenings, which is a delightful amuse-bouche of longer days to come. I’ve not made any resolutions for the New Year. In general I’m always working to a plan of improvement both personally and creatively, and I try (I don’t always succeed)…

  • Television

    healthy competition?

    I’ve noted before that I’m fond of the BBC Masterchef series in all its incarnations. My main reason is that I enjoy seeing people who are passionate about their hobby/profession demonstrating their skill, as well as watching their talent being nurtured over the course of the programme. Not all reality TV shows do that. Often there are competitive elements within the show that are orchestrated to create conflict between the contestants for the entertainment of the viewer. This can mean that the best and most talented person does not win the show. I can’t bear watching the worst examples of this kind of reality TV show. They’re just heartless. I’ve…