Thursday Doors


If you’re a regular visitor to this blog you’ll be thinking I’ve moved to Kinsale, as this is about the third week in a row that it features in Thursday Doors. I’ve included the building above in a previous post but this photograph was shot from a much better angle to show off its lovely quirkiness. A friend from America has been staying with us (hi Dana) and I thought it quite appropriate that we were standing at one point just in front of the White House.


I just love the little blue cottage in this slideshow, with its tiny yellow windows and the fact that it has a big name for such a little house. 

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We had a lovely lunch in Jim Edwards, a place we hadn’t eaten in before, but our friend had been there on her last trip to Ireland and recommended it. The Armada Bar looked tempting, too, but we hadn’t time to stop for a Guinness as there were lots more doors to capture, plus a castle at the top of the street that I was itching to explore.

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Desmond Castle was built by the 9th Earl of Desmond (Maurice Bacach Fitzgerald) about 1500. An urban tower house, it’s three stories high with outhouses at the rear. At one time the castle served as a prison but it was originally built as a customs house. It was used as an ordnance store during the Battle of Kinsale (1601) and during the Great Hunger it became a workhouse.

In the 17th century the castle became popularly known as the “French prison” and was used for prisoners of war, most of whom were captured at sea. The majority of the prisoners were French, but many nationalities were ransomed or exchanged for their British counterparts. Some prisoners were housed in nearby huts, and the conditions were grim, with overcrowding, lack of food, starvation and disease. A disastrous fire in 1747 killed 54 prisoners.

During the American War of Independence, the crews of many American vessels were held prisoner in Kinsale in poor conditions. Help came from Rev. William Hazlett, a Presbyterian Minister in nearby Bandon, and from Reuben Harvey, a Quaker merchant in Cork. Through their influence conditions were improved. In 1783, George Washington thanked Harvey for “his exertions in relieving the distresses of such of our fellow citizens as were prisoners in Ireland”. *

Nowadays, the castle hosts an International Museum of Wine Exhibition that documents the history of Ireland’s wine links with Europe and the rest of the world. You might have heard tell of The Wild Geese. Originally, these were approximately 30,000 Irish soldiers who left Ireland  in 1691 with their leader, Patrick Sarsfield. They had fought the army of William of Orange to a standstill and were given the option of sailing to France. Having negotiated a treaty guaranteeing the rights of their people, Patrick Sarsfield and his soldiers submitted to exile in France. Once they were gone, the Treaty was torn up and replaced by the Penal Laws, stripping Irish Catholics of their land and denying them any right of citizenship.

Because of this injustice, young Irishmen made their way to France to join its army and for almost a hundred years there was an Irish Brigade in the French forces. It is thought at least half a million Irishmen died serving France in the century after the violation of the Treaty of Limerick. French ships smuggled brandy and wine to the west coast of Ireland, then departed with recruits for the Irish Brigade. In the ships’ paperwork these passengers were listed as Wild Geese and this is how the name came about. In time, some of them entered the wine trade and are often referred to as the Irish Wine Geese. Their descendants today can be found all over the world.

Robinson Crusoe is also linked to Kinsale, as Don and Barry’s beautiful short video explains. Once you’ve seen the aerial footage of the town, you’ll understand why I visit so often.

I hope you enjoyed yet another trip to Kinsale. Next week, I’ll be posting a nostalgic Thursday Doors from the town. If you would like to explore some more doors from around the globe, have a look at Norm’s Blog and follow the link at the end of his post.


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Thursday Doors



Still in Kinsale this week for Thursday Doors and it was very tempting to pop into Bruno’s for a Carbonara, only it wasn’t lunchtime.


It’s a really quirky building (you can just see the end of it where the ‘Main Street’ sign is placed) and I had planned on taking a shot of it from another angle but was distracted by the amusing slate plaques on the wall opposite the restaurant.

I wonder who put them there?


Only an Italian restaurant would have a Vespa in it’s window. We used to have one of these, many moons ago – a blue and white one.


No, it wasn’t the red half-door that drew me up this street, but I do like that, too. It was the lovely old church, now used as either a private residence or holiday accommodation.



It had three fabulous doors – can you spot the third one?

Some more colourful buildings to finish off with. We eventually ate lunch in The Milk Market and I’ve included some of its interior shots in the slide show.

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Thanks for stopping by and joining me on the streets of Kinsale. Norm has some more Thursday Doors for your enjoyment over on his Blog and it’s always well worth a visit.

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Interview with a Holocaust Survivor

Frank Grunwald, holocaust survivor, interviewed by David Lawlor, with some very thought provoking questions.


Frank - Auschwitz Young prisoners in Auschwitz

Frank Grunwald was just 12 years old when he and his family entered the concentration camps. Terezinstadt, Auschwitz, Melk, Mauthausen . . . he was in them all. Unfortunately, neither his brother nor his mother would leave Auschwitz alive.

Frank was born in Czechoslovakia in 1932. His father was a doctor, as well as being a very talented photographer. Both of his parents, Kurt and Vilma, were musicians and instilled a love of music into Frank and his brother, John, who was four years his senior.

The family lived a comfortable life in Prague. Growing up, Frank liked art – he focused on it, as he did playing the accordion. For him, the instrument’s melancholy sound was both personal and human.

The notion of being Jewish never really entered Frank’s head. He was just a Czech, like his fellow citizens – but not in the eyes…

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Thursday Doors


This is where the inquest into the sinking of the Lusitania was held.

As promised, Thursday Doors this week comes from Kinsale in county Cork. The photo above is of the Courthouse and Regional Museum. It was originally built around 1600, with a further addition in 1706, and deserves a post all to itself. Unfortunately, as some of you might already know, I have a habit of spending so much time taking photographs that I usually miss the last tour of any historic building I am visiting. The Courthouse tour ends at 2pm, which is pretty early, so I had lunch instead. Next time I’ll make sure to get there well before the last tour🙂

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The images in these two slideshows are mostly of street scenes and some very colourful properties, with a couple of shots of the marina included – and a red door (or two).

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Image from website, you can read about the battle here.

Interesting video on Youtube about Charles Fort and the Battle of Kinsale.

Well, that’s all for now, but I’ll be continuing my tour of Kinsale next week, with another batch of colourful buildings. Thanks for your visit to my blog and if you head on over to Norm’s, there are lots of interesting Thursday Doors waiting for you there.

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Write Something Every Week

Thanks to Jack Cotner for sharing this quote.

Jack Ronald Cotner

It is no secret one of my favorite authors is Ray Bradbury. He penned and published some wonderfully interesting work including ‘Illustrated Man’, ‘Dandelion Wine’, ‘The Martian Chronicles’, ‘Fahrenheit 451’, ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’, and so many more.

He also left us with some inspiring and often amusing sayings. Here’s one of my favorites:


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So Long Marianne

Leonard Cohen, one of my favourites.


Leonard Cohen sent a touching final letter to his dying muse Marianne Ihlen, the subject of his song So Long Marianne.Ihlen, who was also the inspiration behind Cohen’s later song Bird on the Wire, died in Norway on July 29 at the age of 81.

Cohen met Ihlen – then Jensen – in Hydra, Greece in the 1960s. They became lovers, staying together for a decade.LC2Her close friend Jan Christian Mollestad told Canada’s CBC radio that he had contacted Cohen, 81, to tell him Ihlen was dying of leukaemia and had only a few days to live.

He recalled: “It took only two hours and in came this beautiful letter from Leonard to Marianne. “We brought this letter in to her the next day and she was fully conscious and she was so happy that he had already written something for her.”

Mollestad, a documentary filmmaker, read…

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Thursday Doors


Still on the Erne river for this week’s Thursday Doors, where we spent our August bank holiday weekend. The weather was mixed but warm and on our last evening we took the boat up river and saw this lovely cottage. What a fabulous setting, with its own private jetty. You can just about make out a white door, which I think is quite unusual on a cottage in Ireland.


The above photo was taken on the way into Belturbet, in county Cavan. This section of the river brings you into the center of the town, where there is free mooring if you wish to stay in the area for a couple of days. As you can see, I managed to photograph a red door, purely by accident, as I was focusing on the boats.


This was our dog, Tino’s first trip on the boat. He wasn’t too impressed until another species of animal caught his eye.


As it was early evening, the light changed every few minutes and it was impossible to resist taking lots of photographs, which made it difficult to decide on the ones to post.

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As this is a Thursday Doors post, I included a door, of sorts, in the slide show. It might close with a zip but it’s how we get on and off our boat.


We arrived back before the sun went down, thankfuly, as the lights aren’t working properly yet on the boat. Thanks for joining me on our trip up river. Next week I’ll be introducing you to Kinsale, county Cork, an amazingly colourful old town with quirky features and a huge marina. Don’t forget to surf on over to Norm’s blog and click the blue frog at the bottom of his post, to find some very interesting Thursday Doors.

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Thursday Doors


Thursday Doors this week comes from the marina where our boat is moored, in county Cavan. This little beauty is tiny and if you can call a boat ‘cute’ that’s definitely what she is.


She’s moored alongside a houseboat and in the background you can get a glimpse of the river as it winds its way into Belturbet, the nearest town.


Some of the boats there have no doors – just oars. The water was so calm on our last evening there, it amplified the quietness of the place.


All around the banks of the marina there are Brandy Bottles aka Yellow Water Lilies (Nuphar lutea) They flower from June to September and are native to temperate regions of Europe, western Asia and north west Africa. Later in the year, the flower will be replaced by a bottle shaped, green fruit. Pollination takes place by flies, which are attracted to its alcoholic scent. I wonder if this plant would make a nice wine – after all, it already smells like one.


Swans are also attracted to the marina, by the duckweed which grows in abundance. I didn’t get too close to take this shot, so I had to zoom in on my phone and the quality isn’t too good. Can you see him hissing at me? He was just doing his job, warning me to stay away from his young cygnets in the background. There were six of them with their mother, munching away on their greens, while Big Daddy stood guard.


With a mix of cloud and sunshine, the colours and shadows changed every few seconds as we sat on our deck watching nature’s wonderful display. Of course, the rain eventually fell, forcing us to retreat behind the deck cover.


That’s our little Megan, with the view behind us. She looks a bit like a cross between an old truck and a boat, with that top and it’s big square windows. It’s not the usual feature on a Freeman (or any boat) but was added later. Normally it would have a slant, like the one to the left of the image, making it more aerodynamic. The headroom inside is great, though, and makes it feel a lot more spacious, especially when the deck is covered in by the canvas. As always, it was great to have your company and thanks for coming on board. If you sail on over to Norm’s blog you’ll discover a lot of unusual, sometimes amusing but always interesting, doors from various parts of the globe.

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Teaching of Book Keeping in Irish Hedge Schools in the 18th and 19th centuries. — West Cork History

Originally posted on West Cork History: In Estudios Irlandes Vol 5, there is a fascinating article by Peter Clarke, of UCD, on the history of bookkeeping in Hedge Schools in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the Report of The Commissioners of Irish Education 1826 it transpired that over 500,000 children over 70% of Irish…

via Teaching of Book Keeping in Irish Hedge Schools in the 18th and 19th centuries. — West Cork History

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Bombs Away! The day America dropped four nukes on Spain

This might have been an accident but the results could have been catastrophic for southern Spain and other parts of Europe. Interesting piece of modern history from David Lawlor.


Usaf.Boeing_B-52 A B-52 bomber like the one which crashed at Palomares

It was January 17, 1966, and Jose Molinero was teaching class in his elementary school in the village of Palomares, on Spain’s southeast coast, when he noticed huge pieces of blazing metal falling from the sky.

A plane’s landing gear smashed into the ground just 80 yards away. He immediately ordered his pupils to stay indoors. One little girl later described how the sky was ‘raining fire’.

Others witnessed the debris, too. ‘I looked up and saw this huge ball of fire, falling through the sky. The two planes were breaking into pieces,’ local man Manolo Gonzales later told Public Radio International.

Plane crashes are rare enough, mid-air collisions even more so, but this was even rarer – and far more dangerous… this was the day an American B-52 bomber and its refuelling plane collided causing four nuclear bombs to…

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