Archives for posts with tag: memories

In some ways, 2017 was a surprising year. I was expecting it to be all doom and gloom, and it certainly had its moments of awfulness, but lots of things happened and I’m surprised how much I managed to do over the year. Kids growing up: all teenagers now, some work trips to America and Singapore and a very enjoyable holiday in Wales. Day trips to Waterford and Kerry. Added to that were trips to see Brian Cox and Alt-J in Dublin, as well as hosting Professor Edzard Ernst here in Cork. I was busy at work though, and this resulted in me taking less photos and being less active online overall. I tend to get bored taking the same types of photo all the time.

Ballydowane, Co. Waterford

Ballydowane is a wonderful rocky cove near the coast road between Waterford and Tramore. It’s off the beaten track, but worth the spin. This tiny island is a regular subject of much local photography.  I took this photo in early January.

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Dromana Gate, Co. Waterford

Dromana Gate is located near Cappoquin, Co. Waterford. The gate is a Hindu-Gothic design originally built in wood and papier-mâché to celebrate the marriage in 1826 of Henry-Villiers Stuart and his wife Theresia Pauline Ott. It was later reconstructed in stone. It’s a fascinating structure – out of place for Ireland, yet a reminder of our varied cultural heritage.

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Pink Rock, near New Ross

I used to pass through this area of the country almost every week when I was a child. The River Barrow flows here, on its way to Waterford Harbour. It’s an area of steep ground and great views to New Ross and beyond to the Blackstairs mountains in Carlow. A large bridge is being built here at the moment, which will take traffic from Rosslare to Waterford, avoiding the narrow bridge in New Ross, which has been a bottleneck for decades.

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Fields of Barley, Co. Cork

During the summer, I took some photos in the fields close by the house. Some of them turned out well, I think.

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Lismore Castle

Lismore is a terrific place to go for a day out – the gardens are a real gem and the castle is such an imposing edifice over the Blackwater River. This photo was taken in May with the Rhododendrons in full bloom.

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Honeybee in flight

I took this photo with my iPhone in early June, patiently using burst photography to try to get the right shot. For a phone camera, the results worked out quite well.

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Coumshingaun Lake, Co. Waterford

In late June, I ventured with a group of friends into the Comeragh Mountains. We did the Coumshingaun Horseshoe. It’s one of my favourite walks in the country. A hard slog at the beginning, but it levels off quickly. The views are delightful.

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Waterford Greenway

This was the year we explored the Waterford Greenway properly – travelling over two different days the length of the route from Dungarvan to Waterford. It was fantastic. A relaxing journey, but not by any means trivial.  A great centrepiece of the Greenway is the viaduct in Kilmacthomas.

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Valentia Island, Co. Kerry

In July we travelled to Valentia Island in search of some of the largest tree-ferns in the country. We ended up in Glanleam house, walking through jungle paths, eventually breaking out to see some of the finest vistas Ireland has to offer. This picture was taken near the Tetrapod Trackway.

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Roche’s Point, Cork

On one of the summer days, we took a bike trip to Roche’s Point. This is the picturesque entry point to Cork Harbour, offering stunning views across to Crosshaven.

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Cardiff, Wales

I had a wonderful week with the kids in Wales. Cardiff Castle is one of my favourites – it dominates the city centre and it gives people an opportunity to walk through centuries of history. And what a history! Norman dungeons to gruesome medieval punishments.

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Stonehenge, England

I’ve wanted to go to Stonehenge for years. It’s one of the most iconic locations on Earth. And, right, it’s a busy place in summer – crowds of tourists everywhere. But I wasn’t prepared for the vast expanse around it, the barrows, the Cursus, the feeling that this area was a big deal millennia ago. A prehistoric Roman Forum, Mecca or Vatican City, of which no written clues have been left behind. If you are in England, I urge you to go.

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Bath, England

Bath is a city like no other. There is a deep sense of beauty in this Roman city, built of Jurassic stone. Modernity and great antiquity side by side with each other.

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Rhosilli Bay, Wales

I was here many years before, but I had forgotten how beautiful this place is. In the distance is Worm’s Head, a tidal island that’s connected to the mainland for a few hours each day.

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Silicon Valley, California

While Santa Clara valley is not the prettiest place, close by are areas of wonderful natural beauty. I was there in August, and one evening I took a trip up Sierra Road near Milpitas to watch the sun set over the valley. It was worth the drive.

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Shark Fin Cove, California

The Pacific Coast Highway is a favourite place of mine when I go to California. I always find something new on this route, and last August was no exception. This is Shark Fin Cove, not far from Santa Cruz.

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Comeragh Mountains, Waterford

The Gap is one of the most scenic walks in the Comeragh Mountains. Starting from the car park in the Nire Valley, it’s a relatively easy walk followed by a steep ascent to the plateau.

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Singapore

I was fortunate to be able to travel to Singapore again this year. It was so strange being in city so warm and humid when temperatures were in the single digits back home. After work, we would make a special effort to see different parts of the city. The area around the Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore River are particularly picturesque.

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So, quite a year last year, all said. Some great memories and interesting places visited.

Here’s to 2018.

2010 will go down as one of the most disastrous years since statehood for our country. Many will be thankful it is gone. Strangely enough, 2010 turned out to be a surprisingly good year for me. Borrowing an idea from my friend Linda, here are some of my highlights:

The trip to the Nordlingen and Steinheim craters.

My son running in a blizzard in Derry.

Twitter.

My Astronomy entry on WordPress that got thousands of views each day.

C’s surgeries and the pain and worry that followed.

TAM London 2.

Setting up Cork Skeptics in the Castle.

B and E’s wedding.

Hochgrat, Lake Constance and Ulm.

My two podcasts for the 365 Days of Astronomy.

The Saltee Islands.

42.

Sherkin Island and getting electrocuted on Cape Clear.

Climbing Slievenamon with my twins.

The drive back from Germany to Cork.

New responsibilities in Toastmasters.

My trip to Austin, Texas and the chaotic trip home.

Kites on Mount Leinster.

The boiler breaking down.

Climbing the Galtees in the snow.

Blogging for Blackrock Castle.

Helping to set up a new Toastmasters Club.

Moving apartments.

The Dead Zoo.

My daughter’s big day.

Doing the rounds with my better presentation speech.

I am thankful most of all for my wonderful kids, my girlfriend, my family, and all my friends. 2010 had a lot of ups and downs but looking back, the experiences were ones to cherish. Roll on 2011.

I’m not a huge fan of internet memes, however after reading Truce’s entertaining memories, I thought I would give this one a go.

  1. My earliest memory is falling off a swing in Shandon Park. I think I was three years old. 
  2. In 1978, my family took a boat to France where I danced to Gloria Gaynor sing “I will survive” and the Village People’s “YMCA”. It was the first time I began to take an interest in pop music. Of course, another song I was into was the “Chicken Song”, so I had a long way to go..
  3. When I was 11, I directed an audio movie featuring me (as hero), and my sisters (as villains). I had to coax, cajole and threaten them into performing in my masterpiece. The result was a mixture of bangs, screams, and shouts, with me (as hero) saving the universe while my sisters (as villains) cackled and died repeatedly. The marvelous thing about it was how awful my acting was – I stuttered my way through – compared to my siblings. Hollywood got away lightly.
  4. I played my first hurling match (at under-14 level) for my local parish in a pair of wellies. One of the players was never turned up, so I replaced him that day, complete with novel footwear. I wish I could tell you I went on to score 4 goals, but unfortunately I could barely hit the ball in those days. Despite never really mastering the skills of hurling, I managed to keep my place on the team for 2 years. Maybe having a father on the selection committee had something to do with it. Hmm..
  5. I went to an all-Irish boarding school for a year before I went into secondary school. It was a rather unpleasant experience as this was back in the days when teachers whacked kids with impunity any chance they could get. Nevertheless I managed to learn a lot of Irish. I was the first guy in my secondary school to ever get 100% in his Irish Entrance exam. 
  6. I never went to hospital during my childhood. This is despite driving a toy tractor out onto a busy road in the middle of traffic; nearly getting knocked over by a train while running after a small dog; falling off a tree in front of the house; almost drowning in Butlins Mosney; missing a bullet from a guy shooting magpies; and narrowly avoiding electrocution from a bar heater. I did however manage to cut the top of my finger off while making papier-mâché with a paper guillotine. 
  7. I was on holidays in Galway when Elvis died. Not that I knew who Elvis was. Another memory of Galway is locking myself into the boot (trunk) of the car. Is there a pattern emerging here?  
  8. Star Wars. I used to think that my white Liam Brady Texaco ball was the Death Star and that I was Luke Skywalker single-handedly fighting the Evil Empire. This was a time before plastic light-sabres or any of those fancy things. Nope, my Luke Skywalker had a hurling stick. There’s a thought.
  9. My cousins from England used to come over every year, regaling us about amazing TV programs such as Blue Peter, Doctor Who and the Magic Roundabout. They couldn’t believe that we had never seen them. The games we got up to brings back great memories. I remember pouring a full bottle of ketchup over myself in an attempt to pretend that I was grievously wounded. It would have worked perfectly except for the fact that they could smell the stink from a hundred yards…
  10. My granddad lived with us throughout my childhood. He frequently entertained us by spitting into the fire and going berserk any time he heard the words “divorce” or “abortion” being mentioned on the telly. We dreaded going on walks with him so we would often hide out in the wardrobes and under the beds. It’s strange though: the walks were invariably interesting as he told us about things like life during the War and his memories of the Titanic disaster. He would give us a few squares of chocolate at the end of each walk. 

That’s me done, how about you?

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