January 31, 2008


Reflection of a fence in Shannon floodwater last weekend.

Posted by Monasette at 11:31 PM | Comments (0)

The Back of Beyond

For me, the best bookshop (or anywhere in Ireland, for that matter) in Galway is Charlie Byrne's, on Middle Street. It's also the worst, for the same reason. Every time I go in there, I can happily lose myself for an hour or more, discovering even more books I never knew existed but, having done so, realizing that I can't live without them. Since I rarely part with books, my 'library' is expanded at the expense of living space. I went in there before Christmas to buy some books as presents and came out with at least half a dozen. For myself (I had to go back the next morning to buy the books I'd originally went in to buy for other people). Byrnes is also just across the road from Woodberry's wine shop which means I usually end up struggling with books in one bag and a couple of bottles another. The books remain unread longer than the wine undrunk, it has to be said (probably because I don't get help reading the books).

One of the books I bought was called "The Back of Beyond - Searching for the soul of Ireland" written by Charles James Roy. It is an account of how Roy (an American historian, who specialises in Irish history) was hired by an Irish travel company to lead a bunch of American tourists around Ireland on a historical tour. Naturally, not all goes to plan - Roy is clearly a better historian than organiser. The real entertainment - and this is a very funny book - comes from Roy's absolute hatred of blarney of any description, and at every stop along the tour, he tries to get across to his charges the bloodthirsty, treacherous nature of Irish history. I wouldn't necessarily agree with all of his interpretations, but I'd say it would be good fun to argue the difference with him.

The main reason I bought the book was that the tour visited a lot of sites in the west of Ireland, most of which I've visited already. He had bought an old castle in east Galway in 1969, not far from where I used to live myself. He has since sold it, I think. Roy's other preoccupation in the book was with how Ireland was losing its soul through redevelopment (he'd been coming to Ireland since the Sixties). I wonder what he would think, now ? The tour seemed to have taken place in the late Nineties, since he mentions a news item in Galway about a new development in the Galway Docks which depresses him. That development turned out to be the apartment complex I ended up living in myself for a few years, and didn't turn out too bad - it is certainly better than the derelict buildings that stood there before.

Roy owned Moyode Castle, near Craughwell - judging from some quick Googling, he has since sold it. Moyode is in the news this week, because there is a fear that Moyode Woods, which is administered by Coillte, is about to be converted to a quarry. The downside of all the road building taking place in Ireland is an almost insatiable thirst for sand and gravel, and the N6 motorway work [warning: 800k PDF] passes close to Moyode Woods.

The Guardian listed their 10 best bookshops earlier this month - Charlie Byrne's doesn't get a mention. You can find some more of Roy's books at Kennys.

Posted by Monasette at 11:13 PM | Comments (5)

January 29, 2008

Down the line

Iarnród Eireann (aka Irish Rail) ran adverts last year that haven't done my blood pressure any good at all. That's probably because (a) I'm a customer, and every Iarnród Eireann customer ends the year with more grey hair and higher blood pressure than when they started it, and (b) the gap between reality and the fantasy presented in the ad is just a bit too much.

They started the year with an ad which showed a grinning celebrity booking his seat on the internet and then showing up to take his nice comfy seat, stretching out on the journey as the sun-drenched countryside whizzes by outside. The film crew must have been just lucky the day they picked to film the ad - otherwise, they might have filmed an advert where the celeb arrives at his seat to find a skanger with a can of lager already in his seat, with little inclination to move.

The bane of every regular commuter's life is the stag or hen party travelling 'down the country' for the weekend. Every Friday, gangs of them will take over carriages, numb what little brains they have with lager, chain-smoke with gay abandon, and treat the rest of the train to their "rare ould Dublin wit". Still, mustn't complain too much - most of them sound like they haven't been west of Inchicore before, and for every dozen of them inside the train travelling to Galway, there are twelve less outside chucking rocks at the train as it leaves Dublin.

The tag-line of the original ad was "How easy is that", and funnily enough, I often asked myself the same question when travelling on the train. Why can't you buy a newspaper on the train ? Why can't you get a decent cup of coffee or tea? There's a guy in the weekend market in Galway that has a mobile coffee shop on the back of a three-wheeler. Want a cappuchino ? No problem. Latte ? Here it is. On the train, however, tea and coffee service consists of a poor unfortunate dragging what is essentially a giant flask on a trolley, doling out instant tea or coffee dust mixed with water. A couple of weeks ago, the guy doing the tea/coffee service went through the train (dragging his trolley) and prefacing his "Tea/Coffee" enquiries with a short explanation that, because of 'technical problems', the water had only heated to 50 Celsius, and might not be as nice as normal. Unsurprisingly, the reaction he got wasn't as nice as normal either - he was one of our 'new Irish', so hopefully he might not have understood all the 'terms of endearment' that he received.

Ah yes - technical problems. You know how Eskimos are supposed to have 50 different words for snow, or how Gort people have 50 different words for rain ? Well, Iarnród Eireann have at least 50 different problems that afflict their services on a regular basis, and use the same phrase for all of them - signalling problems.

Blocked toilet on the early morning intercity ? Outbreak of the ebola virus in Athenry ? Train just didn't turn up at all? That would be signalling problems. It always amazes me that an engineer at NASA can issue instructions to a small wheelbarrow trundling around MARS 20 million kilometres away and get a response within 20 minutes, and yet, ask a member of Iarnród Eireann when the next train will arrive (as opposed to when it is scheduled to arrive), his eyes will narrow, he'll stare out into the distance where the rail-lines converge to nothingness and mutter softly, "Soon….any day now". Estragon and Vladimir only had to wait for nothing to arrive twice in Waiting for Godot - train commuters get to experience that every week on any given railway platform in Ireland.

As it happens, the signalling system in Ireland is pretty good, and technically, it would be possible to show exactly the location of the train on the line. It needs to be good because, at least on the Dublin to Galway line (as well as many others), the track is single line. Trains can only pass each other at designated points, and they can only arrive at those points if they can 'see' (via the signalling), that their path is clear ahead. But then, if one could see the exact location, passengers might see that when trains are late, it's because a train never set off on time in the first place.

Now, you might have read about the new trains that have been bought. I've read about them too, and that's as close as I've got to one. The new trains are all locomotives - i.e. each carriage can propel itself, so in theory, a breakdown only affects a single carriage. Apparently, the heating works on them too. The current trains appear to have a system that guarantees that every second carriage is a sauna (with the other carriages providing the equivalent of an icy plunge pool) - it's as close as Iarnród Eireann will get to a Scandinavian rail service. The current crop of trains on the Dublin to Galway line also have a problem with the doors. Either they won't open or they won't close. I once watched three members of staff at Athenry have to put their shoulders against a recaltricent door, slowly but surely push it back into the closed position, so that the train could leave. Another time, a door wouldn't close at all so they staff blocked off the carriage and the train took off with the door open. Sometimes, a door or two won't open at all, and I often wonder what would happen if an emergency occurred.

There is a pecking order to how trains are assigned. Top of the heap is the Dublin to Cork line which is one of the most lucrative and busiest service in the country (all those "Dubs" going home for the weekend). They get the shiny new trains first - God knows the whinging if they didn't. Further down the line (so to speak) is Dublin to Galway, and Dublin to Sligo. The Dublin-Sligo line is legendary, but not in a good way. Years ago, my sister had to use it every weekend to get to and from Sligo and it was never less than half an hour late (and that was the best it got). More recently, the staff were forced to leave the locomotives running all night because they weren't sure the engines would start in the morning if they were switched off. The Dublin to Westport line is at the bottom of the pile - the carriages on that line bear the logo of British Rail from the 1960s and watching a Westport-bound train trundling along is reminiscent of a WWII movie - you'd half expect to see Frank Sinatra in a German uniform running after it.

Apparently, the reason for the non-appearance of the new trains on the Dublin-to-Galway is that the new marshalling yard in Portarlington is not yet ready. Now, I haven't been to Portarlington station in years - when I was 13, I was stuck there for 3 hours waiting for a connection and it took my parents several weeks to coax back my will to live. I'm sure it's a lovely place now, but back then, it was only one hobbit short of middle earth. The reason for the marshalling yard is that, for any service, there's needs to be a place to keep spare locomotives in case of a breakdown, and that place needs to be roughly halfway along the line. The new trains can run between Dublin and Tullamore, no problem, because they can send a spare engine from the main marshalling yard in Inchicore. But to run a service to Galway, we must await the construction of Gare du Portarlington. Alas, when I passed through Portarlington a few weeks ago, there didn't seem to be much progress on the construction work. Still, Frank Fahey has stated that we will have the new trains in May, so whom am I to doubt?

You'd think that it shows a marked lack of optimism to plan for the breakdowns before launching the new, and allegedly more reliable trains. And you might scratch your head at the logic of refusing to run a very reliable new service without a comprehensive breakdown recovery strategy, given that the alternative (and current reality) is to run an utterly unreliable service without any breakdown strategy. A highlight of my commuting year in 2007 was travelling to Athlone, only to have the train conk out on the bridge over the Shannon (about half a kilometre from the station). After a delay, the train was restarted and made it to within 100 metres of the platform, where the locomotive conked out again, this time permanently. Within sight of the platform, we waited for more than an hour while another locomotive came down from Inchicore in Dublin to help us complete the journey. A member of staff tried to cheer us up by telling us that the new trains , when they arrive, will have increased redundancy. I know where I'd like to start with increasing redundancy, and it wouldn't be the trains.

Still, I don't want to seem unduly negative. The regular staff are helpful, friendly and treat the challenges of their work with a sense of humour (though the passengers need an even greater one). The price I pay for living in Galway is commuting an 120 mile round trip into the interior every day, and I couldn't do that without the train service.

Over the last decade, the government have begun investing heavily in the nation's infrastructure. But throwing money at a problem without figuring out how all the elements should work together is usually a recipe for a disaster [Exhibit A: the Health Service]. Trains and platforms are getting a long-overdue upgrade and that's good. But most people don't live or work right beside a train station. A typical example was when Irish Rail decided to change the time of the morning service from Galway to Dublin in early 2007. Without warning passengers [you know, something complicated like mentioning it in advance on their website], they moved the train time from 7.45 to 7.15. They didn't tell Galway Bus either, meaning that the only way to get to the train was to drive [and you know how easy it is to park near Eyre Square]. As for cycling, I was told by a member of staff at the station is that it is company policy to remove any bikes they find and dispose of them. No - there's no bike shed either.

Getting back to the Irish Rail adverts, the grinning lug was replaced by illuminated stands in all the stations proclaiming the arrival of the shiny new trains in the spring of 2007. But they have all disappeared since the beginning of 2008. That's not a good sign…

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Posted by Monasette at 10:57 PM | Comments (9)

First we take Manhattan

I'm in Manhattan for a week starting Friday, so if there are any readers who want to meet for a coffee, leave a comment. If there is anything on that you could recommend to me, that would be cool too.

Posted by Monasette at 10:00 PM | Comments (12)

January 23, 2008

Donkey throng

By its horse fairs shall you judge a country. I like horse fairs; not horse shows or, heaven forbid, gymkhanas. A Horse Fair is a great social leveller - every class of person turns up for a look, and no class of creature is excluded - you won't find too many chickens or ferrets at a gymkhana, but they are practically de rigeur at a horse fair.

A key species at a horse fair is the donkey. Now, there is almost no practical use for donkeys anymore. No farm relies on them for any task other than to perhaps clear a field of weeds or briars - they will eat anything. A donkey doesn't make much of a pet either. You could spend your entire life caring for a donkey, and the moment you turn your back on it, it will happily sink its teeth into your arm, for no other reason than it likes biting things.

A donkey has a very simple philosophy in life - you want to go left ? Grand - the donkey's going right, then. Which is why it is so much fun to watch donkeys at horse fairs. An owner will spend an hour, dragging, hauling and swearing at his donkey as he drags it to the enclosure, only for someone to buy it and spend another hour dragging the thing to his trailer. It's not like the donkey has any objection to where its going - it just that, for a donkey, if a human is trying to lead it somewhere, it's time to dig in its heels. On principle, like.

I photographed the 2006 Westport Horse Fair back in September of that year, but never got round to putting together a gallery until now. Donkeys feature heavily.

By the way, if you have an hour or two to waste, fire up Google Earth and type Westport Ireland into the Search window. Google Earth have created a 3-dimensional photo view of the town which is pretty cool. It's not entirely accurate - you can't see herds of stag-party drinkers staggering about the streets, for a start. And there are no donkeys visible, either.

View a collection of pictures from the 2006 Westport Horse Fair here.

Posted by Monasette at 11:06 PM | Comments (4)

January 20, 2008

Salthill at dawn

Sunrise at Salthill Promenade, Galway on October 6th, 2007. Buy this picture ?

I've been laid low since last week with a bad cold. Doesn't matter anyway - the weather - relentless rain and gloom - means that I haven't missed too many photo opportunities.

Sometimes, an exotic time is as good as an exotic location to get some good pictures, and for some people, getting up before 6am on a weekend is just a bit too exotic (those people are neither commuters nor parents). I get up very early most weekends in the hope of some interesting light, and as often as not, I come back with nothing. But, as the saying goes, the more often I set out, the luckier I get.

The picture above is one of a series of pictures I took on the same morning by the Blackrock diving board at the end of Salthill Promenade in galway. I started taking pictures at about 6.30am and finished around three hours later. The light was perfect and I was happy with many of the pictures. That was a lucky day.

Camera = Canon 5D, lens = Canon 24-105@24mm, ISO=50, aperture = f22, speed=1/2 sec, tripod.

Full series of photographs of Blackrock diving board and Salthill Promenade, Galway.

galway, ireland

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Posted by Monasette at 09:35 PM | Comments (5)

Limerick Resurrection

Ripley: I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Burke: Ho-ho-hold on, hold on one second. This installation has a substantial dollar value attached to it.

Ripley: They can *bill* me.

Burke: Look, Ripley.Don't make me pull rank.

Ripley: What rank? I believe Corporal Hicks has authority here.

Burke: Corporal Hicks!?

Ripley: Yes?

Burke: This is a multi-million dollar installation, okay? He can't make that kind of decision, he's just a grunt!

[to Hicks]

Burke: Ah, no offense.

Hicks: None taken.

Hicks: Prep for dust-off. We're gonna need an immediate evac.[to Burke] I think we'll take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

There are a bunch of nasty creatures running around terrorizing the rest of the inhabitants in parts of Limerick right now, and, according to Saturday's Irish Times front page story, there is a fairly radical plan to solve the problem [the report will be officially launched on Monday]. While it doesn't involve nuking the area to eliminate the nasties (like cockroaches, they would probably survive), it does involve levelling large parts of Southill and Moyross and building new houses in their stead. The plan also calls for Garda vetting of the occupants of the new houses, to weed out any undesirables.

Limerick has had an unfortunate reputation for years - a small minority with a penchant for medieval savagery has tainted the entire city. Moving them out of Moyross would be welcome relief for the locals there. The question is - where would they move to ?

This week's Galway Advertiser runs a funny editorial on speculation in Loughrea that some of the displaced Moyross residents will end up there instead. All politics are local.

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Posted by Monasette at 05:06 PM | Comments (1)

January 16, 2008

When you wish upon a star...

One is a small creature that never wants to grow up...and the other is ...

"All you need is trust and a little pixie dust" - Peter Pan.

Someone call the Surreal Police....truck billboards parked in a yard near Killorglin, Co. Kerry.

Speaking of nominations, the closing date for nominations for the Irish Blog Awards closes this Friday. If you'd like to nominate this site [thereby raising me to the same exalted plane as Michael above], click on the link and do the needful. Otherwise, have a look through some of the other sites on the links page - there has to be at least one site you like.

Posted by Monasette at 11:01 PM | Comments (1)


If they ever let Larry David direct a Disney movie, we could expect a tableau like the picture above. I was driving towards Kinvarra on Saturday morning when I spotted a red fox tugging at a carcass in a field. The fox had an audience - five hooded crows stared hungrily at the carcass too. The carcass was that of another fox. It would be poignant to think that maybe the fox was trying to rouse his fellow canine as a kindred act. If so, it was fairly tough love. The fox was doing what a fox does best - scavenging - even if the prey was one of its own. It really is a dog - eat - dog world out there.

Camera = Canon 5D, lens = 100-400 zoom @ 400mm, ISO = 320, speed = 1/125 sec, aperture = f8.

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Posted by Monasette at 10:53 PM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2008

Tetris for Sheep

A maze of stone walls on the shore of Lough Corrib, near Clonbur (An Fhairce)

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Posted by Monasette at 09:21 PM | Comments (1)

The best camera money can buy

I was at a dinner last year when a lady at the table asked me about cameras [dangerous move - I can bore for my country on that subject]. I often get asked to recommend a camera for someone - sometimes even by complete strangers who see me out and about lugging my own gear around the place. The lady's question was a variation on that theme.

A friend was going to sell his camera and had offered it to her for a good price. It was an old Pentax film camera in near mint condition complete with leather case. What was my opinion, she asked, should she buy it ?

The dinner in question was the Galway Walking Club's annual Xmas party and it usually follows the same format - we have dinner (civilised enough), followed by some speeches (a tad rowdy) and then there is drinking and dancing (oh dear). If you had bought the camera already, would you bring it to this function, I asked. God, no, came the reply [she obviously knew the crowd better than I did] . What about bringing it on a club walk, then? She didn't need to ask any more questions from me - her answer was clear.

I give the same answer to everyone who wonders about what sort of camera they should buy - buy the one that you are prepared to carry around with you. The reason most SLRs sit in cupboards or are left in the boot of the car is simple - it's too much hassle for the owner to carry it around [which is presumably why the afore-mentioned Pentax was still in mint condition].

I bought the Rolleiflex pictured above in the mid-Nineties in a camera shop in Hornsgatan, a picturesque area of Stockholm. You'll just have to take my word for it that it is, or at least, was picturesque because I don't have pictures of it - not from the Rollei, anyway. I bought it with the well-intentioned enthusiasm of someone taking out a gym membership on New Year's Day. The Rolleiflex looked like a proper camera, and when I was buying it, the dealer even offered to take it back if it didn't suit me. I looked at him with near scorn. Who did he think he was dealing with ? On hindsight, I probably wasn't the first one to buy that camera in a fit of misplaced enthusiasm.

I never used the Rolleiflex much, and when I bought a Canon EOS soon afterwards (which was my first auto focus camera), it hardly was used at all. I had originally expected to have access to a darkroom, and when that didn't work out, using the Rollei (or rather, getting decent prints from it) became a chore. I've since learned to take my time taking a picture, but back then, I was more of a point and click man, and the Rolleiflex seemed to take an age to get ready for a picture. I was, of course, missing the point of a medium-format camera - which came with a small number of pictures on a roll of film - one was supposed to take one's time, and get a better picture as a result.

But enough about me. The vast majority of people (and indeed, the vast majority of pictures) are point and shooters - capturing a personal moment for posterity without too aforethought. And to do that, you need to have the camera close to hand, and be familiar with it. (At a wedding recently, a lady asked me to help her to switch on her camera - she hadn't used it since she bought it. She asked me this about a minute before the bride was due to walk up the altar). It's amazing how well your pictures turn out when you know how your camera works.

And it's even more amazing how many great pictures you take when you actually bring your camera with you.

Like the lady at the dinner, many people leave their camera at home to avoid losing it or breaking it. Those people have bought the wrong camera. My fellow walkers sometimes wonder why I bring an expensive camera out on hikes in the rain and mud. Well, why not ? There's no point in visiting some of the nicest places in Ireland and not getting a picture because the camera is at home [my Canon 5D has proved itself remarkably weatherproof ]. I'm not completely crazy - during the last 12 months, I brought my old G3 digital compact [old in digital camera terms - about 4 years old] and even a disposable film camera on hikes where there was a really good chance of getting drenched/falling into a stream etc. But most of the time, I bring the best camera I own.

The other thing to consider is to buy a camera that you are able to carry around. A chap walking his dog down in Kerry stopped when he saw me setting up for a picture one day to ask some advice [well, I'd say he really just stopped for a chat, and the camera advice was a bonus]. He like the look of the 5D and wondered if he should buy one. Until I let him hold it. "Em, bit heavy, isn't it?" I think I convinced him that a compact might be more practical. I'm lucky that I finally have most of the camera gear that I want to have - the problem now is carrying it all - either in the camera bag (wish I'd bought one with wheels) or out and about. Until Canon start supplying sherpas with cameras and lenses, I don't see any solution to this problem.

If you are the sort of person who doesn't care too much of photography but just want decent pictures of your kids at a birthday party/ sports event or piccies of friends at a wedding- just buy a decent compact. - they fit easily into a handbag or inside a jacket, and many compact zooms handle the same focal length that would require 2 lenses on an SLR/DSLR. Even when I'm going into town for a haircut, I agonize over how many lenses to bring with me (one day, I'm going to be glad I brought the 180mm macro on that trip to the dentist , and you'll all be sorry that you laughed).

Soon, this problem will be irrelevant. Culturally, people are already conditioned to bring their mobile phones absolutely everywhere. And in a couple of years, most phones will contain a fairly decent compact camera (some phones already have a flash and a zoom). And then none of us will have an excuse to talk about that great photograph we could have taken, if only we'd brought our camera…

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Posted by Monasette at 08:09 PM | Comments (2)

January 09, 2008

Signs from the Heavens

The high towers of monasteries across the west of Ireland have dominated the skyline for centuries. Though reduced in stature compared to the modern edifices raised in tribute to the Celtic Tiger, I suspect the towers will outlast them. And where better a spot to contemplate the heavens ?

Posted by Monasette at 10:26 PM | Comments (1)

January 08, 2008

Whinny, the Poo

The plaque above the old church (now converted to a library) reads :

Any person injuring Gate or Wall or putting Manure near the Church yard will be punished as the Law directs. - Mick D'alton Henry Butler 1810.

I wonder exactly how bad the dumping of horsepoo was before the locals decided to carve a sign in stone and hang it over the gate. Thankfully, roving gangs of equine defecators are no longer a problem in Sixmilebridge just outside Limerick city (guess how many miles).

Posted by Monasette at 09:38 PM | Comments (4)

January 06, 2008

You're so vain - you probably think this post is about you

Well, you would be right. Before I start into 2008, let me first thank all the visitors to the site during last year and indeed, at any time since I started the site. I'd do the things I do - hill walking, wandering over ruins, photography and the like - even if no-one visited the site. But it's nice to know that there is a wider community of people who share some of my interests. A particular thank you to all of you who left a comment or two - they are much appreciated [and apologies if I didn't reply].

The purpose of the site remains the same since I began in 2002 - to document stuff that interests me in the west of Ireland. Over the years, the photography has taken over from the words a bit more, but the subject matter remains much the same - archaeology, landscape, whinging about the weather, photography, nature and history. Expect more of the same in 2008. I didn't get out as much as I'd have liked in 20o7 - I'm hoping to do far more landscape photography this year.[ I'm as interested in politics as the next person, but there is enough of the internet devoted to arguing about politics - domestic and international - already. I try to keep politics to a minimum here.]

I hope to freshen up the site in 2008 [mind you, I said the same last year]. As it is, I've added an option to buy prints of some of the images that appear here, and I hope to put some order on the photo galleries. But nothing too radical.

So again, go raibh maith agaibh and here's to an interesting 2008.

Posted by Monasette at 08:13 PM | Comments (7)

Whatever the weather

A cyclist braving the snow and biting wind on Friday morning on Salthill Promenade in Galway.

Camera = Canon 5D, lens = 24-105mm@35mm, ISO=320, aperture=f5.6, speed=1/45 sec.

It was too much to hope that the snow would last more than a few hours in Galway on Friday before turning to slush. I had the day off so managed to take a few picture on the Prom in the morning. I've never gotten over the novelty of snow - even after spending 6 winters in Stockholm. The kids were also still on holidays which meant [good news] there were few cars on the road which meant that the traffic wasn't quite as bad as before [those people who were mocked for driving SUVs around the city finally had the last laugh]. If you were a kid, it was a wasted day - children were still on holidays on Friday but if they were not, the schools would probably have cancelled anyway [if terrorists want to attack Ireland, they could just scatter about 2 millimetres of snow on the road ].

Snowman in Knocknacarra, Galway on Friday morning (youngsters have no problem getting up early as long as it doesn't involve going to school).

Camera = Canon 5D, lens = 24-105mm@35mm, ISO=320, aperture=f5.6, speed=1/45 sec.

By midday, rain and hail [and a remarkably bitter wind] had replaced the snow. And yet, according to Met Eireann, this was the warmest year on record. Their weather summary for 2007 shows that temperatures are up and rainfall more or less steady. Even sunshine levels are up which might come as a surprise to the entire population. I had such high hopes for global warming -despite the statistics, it doesn't look like Connemara will be transformed into the Mediterranean after all.

The flooded road just outside Craughwell didn't deter every driver - in fact, for every driver [like myself] that turned back, there was another [usually young and male] that drove at full pelt through it. In the background is a building site for a new housing estate. Funny, the picture on the billboard of the finished estate shows hardly a sign of the nearby river that floods every winter.

Camera = Canon 5D, lens = 24-105mm@35mm, ISO=320, aperture=f5.6, speed=1/45 sec.

Click here to buy pictures of Galway.

Click here for more pictures of Salthill on Flickr.

Posted by Monasette at 01:40 PM | Comments (1)

January 02, 2008

The Heavenly Gates

The "Heavenly Gates" mountain pass, on the way down from Carrauntoohil in the MacGillacuddy Reeks in Co. Kerry on December 30th, 2007.

Posted by Monasette at 11:04 PM | Comments (5)