Thursday Doors – Wee House

I know the house we’re renovating is tiny, but this little building is even smaller yet it has more toilets in it. This is the public toilets at Gougane Barra forest park in County Cork.

Alan Carratt Photo Gougane Barra forest park

A friend sent me this one for Thursday Doors, so a big thank you to Alan Carratt for sharing this cute little thatch with us. It’s definitely a ‘wee’ house in more ways than one.

Speaking of wee houses, I’ve been trying to take a shot of this one on every trip we’ve made to Cavan but there’s nowhere to park and I have to take it from a moving car. This is the best one so far – it was the red doors that caught my eye.


It’s said that Cavan has 365 lakes – one for each day of the year and from what I’ve seen so far, I believe it. What do you find on rivers and lakes?

Water fowl – lots of them.

And barges – I love barges.


Here’s a beautiful video of the Gougane Barra Forest Park, shot by AirCam Ireland.

Well, I’ve got to go help Mr. R. dismantle the flat pack furniture. I hope you enjoyed this week’s very random post. Thanks so much for stopping by. Norm’s blog has a link to a great selection of Thursday Doors from around the world. Click on the ‘blue frog’ at the end of his post.

Posted in boats, Ireland, nature, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel, videos | Tagged , , , , , | 43 Comments

Thursday Doors – A Dog’s View


Jean is so busy this week I offered to do her Thursday Doors post for her. I doubt she’ll even have time to check it out, as the big move is looming. See that crate behind me in the photo, with it’s door open? Well, that belongs to Alfie. He’s the dog on the right, almost as handsome as myself, and he lives with relatives of my family, so we’re kind of related. He’s just a nipper (in terms of age – not biting ability) so he respects my ten years of wisdom and humour. That’s me in the photo telling him all about the antics of Mr. and Mrs. R.’s DIY efforts. He found it so hysterical, he rolled around the floor laughing. I didn’t think it was that funny, but then again, I am eight years older and a lot more mature.


We had to wait in Dublin while the youngest member of the family attended a Green Day concert. I didn’t mind, as it gave me a chance to catch up with Alfie. Personally, I would have said it was a ‘grey day’ seeing as it was raining but apparently this was something amazing and well worth the hours spent standing in a muddy field getting squashed, just to be close to the stage, as you can see from her photograph.

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage, playing a musical instrument and concert

Humans, I’ll never fully understand them. But I digress. Back to the DIYers. The next day it was all hands on deck for another bout of renovating. I don’t know why Mr. R. was complaining about me looking over his shoulder while he worked, I was only keeping an expert eye on the job.


As soon as he left I jumped onto the other chair and had a good look at that doorway he was working on.


Not bad, but that doesn’t mean I can take my eye off them. I even had an extra person to watch over, the latest recruit to the crew, recovering from her wet but wonderful concert in that muddy field the day before.


In the end, all that hard work sanding was worth it. You can see through the doorway, how nice the walls turned out when painted and the floor, even with only its first coat of Jacobean Oak stain, doesn’t look too bad either.

During our lunch breaks we often have a game of cards, but of course I usually win, which doesn’t go down too well with the rest of the crew. This is my ‘poker-face’.


If I’m supposed to be the gaffer, why does everyone complain about me watching them work? This week, they’ve put me in charge of soft furnishing (I think they’re just trying to distract me) and it took me a while to learn how to use the strange contraption they gave me but I got there in the end.

Well, I hope you enjoyed a Thursday Doors post from a dog’s perspective. Speaking of posts, I must take a wee walk and find one. I believe there are a lot more doors to see on Norm’s blog, if you’d like to view them.


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Thursday Doors

I recently went for a drive up the Knockmealdown Mountains with an old friend of mine and we called on a lady she knew who rescues animals. Along with the dozen or more very friendly dogs that came to greet us there were some sheep and an imperious cockerel, strutting his stuff to his female companions.


The results of all that strutting is plain to see in this next image.


Adorable little black and white chicks. A couple of them had funny little ‘quiffs’ on their heads, which made them even cuter, and they live in a lovely little pink house.


Sitting in the sunshine watching the antics of those chicks was so relaxing. We were very high up in the mountains, although you can’t really see this from the photos.


When we lived in the area we had a view of the Knockmealdown Mountains and the Vee Pass from our house and often brought the kids up there on a picnic and to pick blackberries and bilberries. In some parts of Ireland the last Sunday in July was traditionally known as ‘Fraughan Sunday’ from the Irish name ‘fraochán’ meaning bilberry (much like a blueberry) and this was always a celebration as they are the first wild berries to ripen. In winter the mountains are always covered with snow, even when there isn’t so much as a flake on lower ground. I’m really going to miss them when we move.

Speaking of moving, my friend’s house is up for sale and I asked her if it was okay to feature it on Thursday Doors, so if anyone is interested, it’s in a beautiful setting. That drive to the mountains is on her doorstep and the sea is only fifteen minutes away.


I love the stonework (I think part of it was once an old barn) and it has a half-door, which is always a winner with me. Not to mention that fabulous garden, some of which I’ll be taking with me as my friend has been rooting cuttings from her plants for me – honeysuckle, jasmine and some beautiful roses.


I even managed to get myself into what Norm would call a ‘door-selfie’ 🙂

This is a lovely video of rhododendrons in bloom around the Vee Pass, from McMahon Studios. Unfortunately, it’s an invasive species, first introduced to Ireland in the 18th century as an ornamental plant. It is stunning to look at but extremely difficult to control, often threatening to smother native woodland.

I hope you enjoyed that little trip up the mountains, thanks for coming along. For a great selection of doors from around the world, have a look at Norm’s blog and click the blue link at the end of his post.

Posted in Ireland, nature, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel, videos | Tagged , , , , | 40 Comments

Thursday Doors – Cork City

I’ve been searching through some photographs I took in Cork City earlier in the year and managed to find some I hadn’t already included in a Thursday Doors post. As we’ll be moving house soon, I’m confined to quarters sorting and packing so I haven’t been able to get out on any ‘doorscursions’ this week – we emptied the attic yesterday. I heard that groan of sympathy you let out. You’ve obviously been there and done that, so you know what a pain it is finding items you were sure had been donated to the charity shops years ago. Worse still, you end up putting them in the ‘might-be-worth-holding-onto’ pile, which always seems to be three times the size of the ‘definitely-must-go’ one. I thought this photo was very apt, seeing as I’m in the process of a house move.


I like the Art Deco design on the pillars. The next image has pillars, too, which made it a bit of a challenge to get a clear view of a door – especially as this was a ‘drive-by’ shot from the car. It’s the entrance to St. Mary’s Church on Pope’s Quay (very appropriate address for a Roman Catholic church). The building dates back to 1832. If you look closely, you’ll see a man’s face on one of those doors. I have no idea who he is or why he’s been put there.


There are lots of old buildings with pillars and arched windows to be found in Cork City.

In contrast to the grandness of pillars and arched windows, many of the entrances to the older retail premises are plain painted wood. I like the look of the clothes shop below as it still retains that image of the drapery shops of my childhood. The kind that sold everything from a tablecloth to a Sunday suit for the man of the house. The Irish phrase over the door to this clothes shop translates as ‘Welcome in. The Best Men’s Clothes in Cork’ (they sell women’s clothes too) and it’s a long established family business. John Mannix, the owner, is an expert fitter. His father opened the store in 1928 and Mr. Mannix has been running it since the 1950’s when he was 19 years old. It’s great to see it still going today and still in the same family.


When you look through the railings to the other side of the river, you can just about make out the large doors of converted warehouses and above them some lovely arched windows. That spire you see to the right belongs to the Trinity Presbyterian Church, which has been used for worship since its completion in 1861.


If you think it is leaning to one side, you’d be correct. From the angle of this shot you can’t see it very well but there’s a distinctive kink in the spire. Now, there are two versions of the story as to how it got there; either the workmen did this deliberately to spite the architect or it was an accident through drunkenness! I quite like the idea of a bunch of well-oiled stonemasons looking up at their handiwork at the of the day and arguing over which of them put that block in the wrong place. You might see the kink better in this image from the Cork Heritage Open Day website. The longer I look at it, the more it seems to lean.

Thanks for stopping by this week and if you fancy checking out more Thursday Doors, have a look at Norm’s blog (he’s the originator of Thursday Doors) and click the blue link at the end of his post.


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Thursday Doors – Bristol


This week’s Thursday Doors photos were taken by one of our daughters while on a recent visit to her brother in Bristol in the UK. I asked her to look out for some interesting doors that I could feature on my blog, and seeing as she’s an art student, it was the street art that caught her eye. Thank you for your contribution this week, Megan.

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This one’s a Banksy

Of course, you can’t photograph street art in Bristol and leave him out. Born there in 1974, Banksy was involved in the wave of street art that took the city by storm in the ’80s. Over the years, his work has appeared in London, Los Angeles and New York, as well as in his home town of Bristol. More recently, he’s been busy in France. Whatever your views are on street art, Banksy’s pieces make a statement and get a reaction. Have you seen this one?

The son of a migrant from Syria.jpg

It depicts Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple, as a traveling migrant. (Jobs was the biological son of a Syrian migrant to the US). Banksy painted this one in the ‘Calais Jungle’, a nickname for the encampment in the French port were migrants lived while attempting to enter the UK. Talk about a picture painting a thousand words!


If you would like to know more about Banksy and Bristol, take a look at Visit Bristol. That’s where I came across the video tour and where you’ll find lots of links to all sorts of interesting places and things to do there, if you’re planning a visit.

There are lots more Thursday Doors to see over on Norm’s blog. Click the blue link at the bottom of his post to view them and you can even add your own.

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Thursday Doors


Does this look familiar? The front door hasn’t changed at all since I last posted it on Thursday Doors. That’s because we’ve been concentrating on the attic rooms, which are coming along nicely – considering we’re not exactly spring chickens. Downstairs makes a nice dry workshop, for now. Upstairs is beginning to look like a home.

We even have a couple of pieces of furniture in one of the bedrooms. That’s Tino, the gaffer, sitting on the best chair, keeping a shrewd eye on us. He looks exhausted because it’s very tiring watching people work all day. Of course, he does allow us to stop for a coffee break.


When he sees us sprawled out on the floor, unable to lift a nail (the metal kind) he gets the hint and calls ‘elevenses’. Being the slave-driver he is, that’s not usually until twelve o’clock!


But the gaffer’s efforts are paying off as we managed to finally get the plasterboard or drywall up and the first part of the partition walls done. We even have flowers, of a sort, in the garden.


I’m hoping this is what we call Rocket. If it is, I’d like to save it when we tackle the garden – we may have no money left by then and it’s an edible plant.

‘Dame’s rocket has an interesting history in terms of its names. It was called the Vesper-flower, because it emits its perfume in the evening, and this is how the genus got its name “Hesperis” means evening. Dame’s rocket can grow to heights of more than 3 feet and is a native of Europe and Asia. It has naturalized in North America and is invasive in several states. In Britain it has been cultivated for centuries, and so has become naturalized in some places being a garden escapee.’ *


The best part about working on the house is definitely staying on the boat. The sky always seems to be different each time we visit and the water reflects it so beautifully. This is what squally weather approaching looks like. My camera didn’t do nature’s colours justice.


Hope I haven’t tired you out with this Thursday Doors renovating post. I’m sure there are a lot more serene doors to be seen over on Norm’s blog. Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.

Source *


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Thursday Doors


We drive past this door almost every time we are in Cork City and it always catches my eye and cries out to be a Thursday Door. It’s set in a very long stone wall.


The wall eventually leads to a couple of windows but I’m not sure if the door and windows are part of the same property. There are lots of similar stone buildings dotted around the city and many of them are still in use, like Coláiste Daibhéid (David’s College) a post primary school that teaches through the Irish language. It’s in Sawmill Street and adjacent to St. John’s Central College that I featured in last week’s Thursday Doors.


At the top of  the Sawmill Street there is a row of lovely old Victorian houses in Newenham Terrace. The gates were closed so I couldn’t get any closer but you can see from the photo they are well preserved in their original state, even retaining their old sash windows. Nice to see a red door in there, too.


Sawmill Street leads onto Infirmary Road, a busy place to try and take photographs but I managed to get a shot of another old building – City General Hospital.


Next to this is the Victoria Hospital, which has a lovely arched entrance and an equally lovely red door.


The Victoria Hospital first opened its doors in a different location in 1874 and was known at the time as The County and City of Cork Hospital for Women and Children. It was moved to its present site in 1885. The name was changed to The Victoria Hospital for Women and Children in 1901 and male patients were first admitted in 1914.

The fact that I featured two hospital buildings in this week’s post might have something to do with my aching joints, having spent a week working on our old house. But it’s beginning to look and feel a bit more habitable now (on the inside, at least), so it’s well worth the effort.

Thank you for joining me on this tour of Sawmill Street/Infirmary Road on this week’s Thursday Doors. There are lots more doors to see over on Norm’s blog, from many different parts of the globe.

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Thursday Doors – College


For me, this is a very special Thursday Doors post. This month, our youngest has just completed a Fetac Level 5 course in Art, Craft and Design at St. John’s college, Cork. This is a long established portfolio course and many of its graduates go on to study in various art and design colleges throughout Ireland and the UK. By sampling a wide choice of components, students are given the opportunity to try out different branches of the arts before committing to a higher education course. The work done throughout the year was on exhibition at the college. I hope you can see from the photographs how much effort and creativity went into these projects.

This colourful door led us to Graphic Design.


Another door led to Jewelry & Art Metal Craft

Then we made our way to Fashion Design

There was even a course in Musical Instrument Making & Repair

Below are some examples of the Art, Craft & Design course that my daughter attended. I was amazed by the wide variety of creative ideas and how each student has developed their own unique style.

I was also very impressed by this student’s work.

But I’m biased – I’m her mother!

Thanks so much for stopping by. If you would like to view more Thursday Doors, have a look at Norm’s blog and follow the blue ‘frog’ link at the bottom of his post – and if you have a door or two of your own to share, why not join in the fun.

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Thursday Doors – Derry Again


I’m still in Derry for this week’s Thursday Doors and this was as high as I could go in the Tower Museum. The view from the rooftop is wonderful, with the River Foyle cutting through the city in the background.


The exhibits inside are pretty good to look at, too. One of them was of a WW2 American fighter pilot’s flying helmet and medical kit bag.


In 1941, twenty-three year old Roland ‘Bud’ Wolfe, from Nebraska, bailed out of his Spitfire when its Rolls Royce Merlin engine overheated. He survived both the crash and the second World War to fly in Korea and Vietnam. Wolfe died in Florida in 1994 at the age of 76. The plane, however, plunged into a peat bog in Derry’s neighbouring county, Donegal, where it lay twenty feet underground for seventy years. Following a number of failed attempts by others, the wreckage was discovered in 2011 by aviation historian, Jonny McNee, and his daughter, Grace.


The Spitfire’s Engine.

This particular Spitfire was the first of 20 aircraft commissioned with a £100,000 donation from Canadian millionaire Willard Garfield Weston, during the Battle of Britain. Here’s what Mr. McNee had to say about his find; “This is the Holy Grail of Spitfires because of the tremendous history involved in it and the fact that it was the first Garfield Weston presentation plane. It has ‘Garfield Weston No 1’ written in 4-inch yellow letters down the side of the cockpit.” (All you aviation enthusiasts will understand the significance of this).

Another interesting exhibit at the museum is this cannon, from one of the ships of the Spanish Armada.



This large bronze cannon from the ship, La Trinidad Valencera, is dated 1556 and bears King Philip of Spain’s coat of arms. It sits on a beautifully crafted replica gun carriage. An original wheel in the images below was found covered in solidified sand and silt. These siege cannons, with such enormous carriages and wheels, give evidence that the main intent of the Spanish Armada was for a land invasion rather than a naval conflict.

King Philip gave the restoration of England to Catholicism as his reason for the invasion in 1588, but commercial and political objectives played a large part in it. Spain’s interests in the New World were increasingly under attack by the English and needed protection.

Although it was one of the most ambitious military undertakings in history, the Spanish Armada was also one of the greatest failures. The ships were not only driven away by the English navy but were blown off course and scattered by strong gales. Many were wrecked off the coasts of Ireland and Scotland with a loss of one third of the vessels and two thirds of the men. With 42 guns, La Trinidad Valencera was the fourth largest ship in the Armada. She eventually reached Kinnegoe Bay, County Donegal, where she remained afloat for two days before breaking up and sinking, in September 1588. On 20th February 1971, she was discovered 150 metres offshore and 10 metres underwater by divers Archie Jack and Paddy Stewart, members of the City of Derry Sub-Aqua Club.

Most of La Trinidad Valenceria’s crew and soldiers got safely to shore. When they tried to negotiate an honourable surrender to the local militia, which was under English command, 300 of the 450 shipwrecked men were massacred. Sadly, only half of the 150 who escaped finally reached Spain.


Thought I should end a Thursday Doors post with an image of a door – a red one, of course. 🙂 For some more doors of various shapes and colours, have a look at Norm’s blog and thanks so much for stopping by.


Posted in Britian, castles and ruins, Historical buildings, Ireland, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 35 Comments

Thursday Doors – Secret Cargo


These Thursday Doors lead into the Tower museum in Derry, Northern Ireland. The Laurentic exhibition is on there at the moment and my granddaughter had just been on a school trip to see it. It must have been interesting if she came along for a second viewing.


25th January 2017 was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the HMS Laurentic by a German mine in Lough Swilly, county Donegal. The luxury liner was carrying, what was valued at the time, £5 million worth of gold. Sadly, 350 of the 500 crew drowned and they are commemorated in a memorial in a churchyard on the banks of Lough Swilly.


Image source; John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Public Domain.

99% of the gold was recovered by a British naval salvage team. But what happened to the remainder of the gold? The 1% still missing today is valued at approximately £2 million.

The HMS Laurentic was owned by the White Star Line, which was among the first of the shipping lines to fit out passenger ships with inexpensive accommodation for third-class passengers, along with berths for higher paying first and second class. On its last voyage the Laurentic was scheduled to deliver a very important cargo to Halifax, Nova Scotia, but at the time, the captain was unaware of what he was carrying. The secret cargo was a payment to America and Canada for supplying Britain with munitions and other machinery for the war effort. This was in the form of 43 tons of gold bullion, consisting of 3,211 bars. Today’s value would be in the region of £300 million. This last fatal voyage made the Laurentic famous, but not quiet as famous as other liners, such as the Lusitania and the Titanic.

Some of the items on display at the exhibition

Another interesting story associated with the Laurentic was its involvement in the capture of the murderer, Dr. Hawley Crippen, in July 1910. Having killed his wife, Dr Crippen fled with his mistress, Ethel Le Neve, to the port of Antwerp in Belgium, where they boarded the SS Montrose for Canada. They planned on crossing the border into the USA to begin a new life together. He traveled under the name of Robinson and Ethel posed as his teenage son. But they they were a bit too ‘friendly’ and their suspicious behaviour came to the attention of the captain. He sent a report off to Scotland Yard, making this the first time the new Marconi signalling device was used in a murder case. Chief Inspector Walter Dew, leading the investigation, gave chase by booking a passage on the fastest ship available, which happened to be – the Laurentic. Because of its speed compared to that of the older ship, he arrived ahead of them. Disguising himself as a river pilot, the inspector boarded the Montrose, arresting Crippen and his mistress. They were brought back to England to stand trial.

I’ll spare you the gory details of Mrs. Crippen’s untimely demise but if you’d like to read more, here’s the link on History Today.

It was lovely having you on board the blog today, why not sail on over to Norm’s for an interesting collection of Thursday Doors?

Posted in boats, History, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , , | 38 Comments