Thursday Doors


At a recent food festival in Dungarvan, County Waterford I found some very interesting subjects to photograph for this week’s Thursday Doors. I love the stonework in this old building which now serves as a supermarket. I think it might have been a mill in the past.


I suppose you’re wondering where the door is.


Of course, it’s a red one. Around the corner I found a white window, a narrow lane and an invitation – how could I resist.



Good food in a lovely setting with a bit of ‘wildlife’ for good measure – and I’m not talking about the pub scene.


Oops! Another red door. How did that sneak in there? The wildlife I encountered was quite tame. This beautiful barn owl was hand-reared from a three day old chick.


You never know what you’ll find when you venture through Thursday Doors. Have a look at what surprises Norm has in store and click the blue frog button at the bottom of his post.

WordPress informed me this morning that I signed up three years ago today (although it took many months before I had the know-how or the courage to publish my first post). I suppose it’s very appropriate that I celebrate my 3rd Blogaversary on a Thursday Doors post, as it has practically turned into an addiction for me at this stage.ūüėČ Many thanks to Norman Frampton, creator of Thursday Doors (who also celebrated his own Blogaversary this month) and to everyone who has taken the time to pay a visit to my blog.

Posted in food, Historical buildings, Ireland, nature, photo challenges, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 63 Comments

How I learned that grandad executed Erskine Childers

August 24th 2016 is not only the centenary anniversary of the Easter Rising but it is also the day that the people of Ireland will fill in their census forms. David Lawlor’s post shows the importance of this task as a record for future generations.


Do you know where you’ll be on April 24? Maybe not, but chances are you might just find yourself huddled over a form, answering innumerable questions about your personal life. Filling in the census may not be the most exciting of pastimes, but it sure is important. Without all those statistics it generates, we’d be lost in terms of planning for the future. Just as importantly, though, we’d be all at sea when it comes to the past, too.

The census proved invaluable when it came to discovering more about my grandfather, Michael Lawlor, as part of a family history project looking at his role during the War of Independence and Civil War.

Michael full image 2 Michael Lawlor

I’d heard some snippets of stories about Michael, but not much of substance, so I decided to do some digging. I started my research with the national archives, specifically the census figures for 1901 and…

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Shakespeare in April

Four hundred years ago today, William Shakespeare passed away.

April is a month that belongs to the Bard, a significant date is the twenty-third.

Seeing as today, April 23rd, is the four hundredth anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, I was inspired to break out in verse (well, two lines). He was also born in April (possibly on the same date as that on which he died) and was baptized on the 26th.

The next time you take a walk through the woods or alongside a babbling brook,¬†think of Shakespeare’s play ‘As You Like It‘ (Act II, Scene I – The Forest of Arden)


 And this, our life, exempt from public haunt


finds tongues in trees


books in the running brooks


sermons in stones


and good in everything.

William Shakespeare

Posted in Britian, environment, History, nature, The Good Things in Life, writers | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Guitars Gently Weeping

I hoped it was a hoax and even scoured the internet after Snopes declared the news as true.

What a loss, what an unbelievable loss. There are many weeping guitars around the globe today. I think this is a very appropriate video to share as a tribute to a great musician. Prince, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood and others perform at the 2004 Hall of Fame Inductions. It’s one of my favourites. A stage full of extraordinary musicians. A Prince among his peers.

‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’

R.I.P. Prince Rogers Nelson.

Posted in Writers Resource | 18 Comments

Thursday Doors


Plenty of Thursday Doors on this week’s post, although not all of them are in place. This row of cottages has three different roofs and the center house looks as if it was built as an afterthought, filling in the gap. The green exterior door is in better condition than the rest of the cottage (and its neighbours). I even managed to photograph the interior doors – without putting a foot inside.


Seven of them lay just inside the entrance pillars, entangled in the briars, their white coats peeling away. The gable end has disappeared beneath the ivy but the facade of the cottages has escaped being smothered – for now.


Further along the narrow road another row of cottages are in worse condition. The vine branches are so thick you can tell they’ve been there for a very long time.

I think these small dilapidated cottages once housed families of flour mill workers as there is a big old ruin of a mill on the same road. There’s a planning notice at the entrance, so maybe someone is going to take on the job of renovating and refurbishing. They will certainly have their work cut out for them, as you can see from the following image.


¬†For more Thursday Doors check out Norm’s blog, always something of interest there.

Posted in castles and ruins, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, nature, photo challenges, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

R.I.P. Victoria

Thanks for all the laughter, Victoria. You’ll be sadly missed.


Such a lovely, funny lady. A sad, sad loss to the world of comedy. R.I.P. Victoria Wood.

Posted in Writers Resource | 6 Comments



There’s eating and drinking in it!

In response to the Daily Post WordPress Challenge; Dinnertime

Posted in food, Humour, Ireland, photo challenges, wordpress daily post photo challenge | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

Thursday Doors


It’s back to Youghal for Thursday Doors this week and a visit to a medieval building, or what’s left of it. North Abbey¬†Dominican¬†priory was founded in 1268 by Thomas FitzMaurice FitzGerald. His¬†maternal grandfather, Maurice FitzGerald, 2nd Lord of Offaly, founded the Franciscan Friary of South Abbey, on the other side of the town, in 1224 but unfortunately, nothing remains of that structure. The¬†Fitzgeralds or Geraldines of Kildare were Anglo-Normans and came from quite¬†modest beginnings. The family arrived in Ireland with Richard ‘Strongbow’ de Clare in 1169 and the pioneering exploits of Maurice FitzGerald earned him the reward of land in County Kildare. Strongbow, who inherited the nickname from his father,¬†was a Cambro-Norman lord notable for his leading role in the Norman invasion of Ireland.

Giraldus Cambrensis (b. 1147), a¬†distinguished author who wrote ‘Topography of Ireland’ and ‘History of the Conquest of Ireland’ recorded his impression of Strongbow as this;¬†“His complexion was somewhat ruddy and his skin freckled; he had grey eyes, feminine features, a weak voice, and short neck. For the rest, he was tall in stature, and a man of great generosity and of courteous manner. What he failed of accomplishing by force, he succeeded in by gentle words. In time of peace he was more disposed to be led by others than to command. Out of the camp he had more the air of any ordinary man-at-arms than of a general-in-chief; but in action the mere soldier was forgotten in the commander. With the advice of those about him, he was ready to dare anything; but he never ordered any attack relying on his own judgment, or rashly presuming on his personal courage. The post he occupied in battle was a sure rallying point for his troops. His equanimity and firmness in all the vicissitudes of war were remarkable, being neither driven to despair in adversity, nor puffed up by success.”¬†


The ruins of North Abbey sit in the grounds of the local cemetery, which is located close to the center of Youghal town. By the amount of earth filling up the entrance, you can¬†see¬†how much of the old abbey is ‘sitting in the ground’ but at least that lovely arch is still visible.


Many thanks for stopping by and if you head on over to Norm’s blog there are lots more Thursday Doors worth viewing. Some even have doors in them – unlike mine this week.ūüėČ

Posted in castles and ruins, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, photo challenges, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , , , , | 53 Comments

The Leave-Taking

The Leave-Taking photo.

Recently, I came across an eye witness account from 1852 detailing the emotional scene of a group of families bidding farewell to loved ones who were about to emigrate from Ireland to far off lands. It was written by a Dr. John Forbes and his words reminded me of a poem I wrote some years back called The Leave-Taking (pictured above). Forbes, who was Scottish, was appointed court physician to Prince Albert and the royal household on 15 February 1841. In 1852 he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law by the University of Oxford and was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1853. He wrote books on homeopathy and how nature can cure disease, which went against the grain of his profession at the time. This is his account of a poignant leave-taking:

Taken from :¬†‘Memorandums made in Ireland in the Autumn of 1852’
John Forbes, M.D., F.R.S.
Vol. I ; London ; Smith, Elder & Co., Cornhill ; 1853

Chapter VIII
The Shannon – Athlone – Galway

We found the steamer waiting for us, and the little pier thickly crowded
with people waiting to go on board or to see their friends on board. The
deck was, indeed, so crowded, that it was not an easy matter to get from one
part of it to another: and the crowding and confusion were still further
increased by the whole of the fore part of the vessel being occupied by

It was soon seen that a party of emigrants had come or were coming on board,
and were now taking leave of their friends with every token of the most
passionate distress. With that utter unconsciousness and disregard of being
the observed of all observers, which characterises authentic sorrow, these
warm-hearted and simple-minded people demeaned themselves entirely as if
they had been shrouded in all the privacy of home, clinging to and kissing
and embracing each other with the utmost ardour, calling out aloud in broken
tones, the endeared name of brother, sister, mother, sobbing and crying as
if the very heart would burst, while the unheeded tears ran down from the
red and swollen eyes literally in streams. It was a sight no human being
could see unmoved: and when the final orders were given to clear the ship
and withdraw the gangway, the howl of agony that rose at once from the
parting deck and the abandoned pier, was perfectly overpowering. “O Mary! O
Kitty! O mother dear! O brother! O sister, God bless you! God preserve you!
The Lord in Heaven protect you!” and a thousand other wild and pious
ejaculations, broken and intermixed by agonising cries and choking sobs,
literally filled the air, and almost drowned the roar of the engine and the
wheels that tore the loving hearts that uttered them asunder.

Amid the crowds of people on the pier, swaying to and fro as they shouted
aloud and waved their hats and handkerchiefs. Several women were seen
kneeling on the stones, kneeling and weeping, with their hands raised
fixedly above them, and so continuing as long as they could to be
distinguished from the receding crowd.

The scene was altogether a most painful one to witness, and not soon
forgotten by those who witnessed it. If it told, in language not to be
misunderstood, of the warm and strong affections of a most cordial people,
it brought home the truth to the fancies of all, and to the memories and
hearts of many – that there is no greater pang in store of life’s ills than
Separation. And, indeed, such a separation as this, is often a greater
pang, to one of the sufferers at least, than death itself is; for here, on
both sides, nature still retains her full consciousness of loss and her full
strength to suffer; while Providence has most kindly so ordered it, in the
great separation of all, that the woe on one side at least, is more than
half lost in the weakness.”

Posted in History, Ireland, Poetry, victorian ireland, victorian society | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

Thursday Doors


Sorry, no old buildings or architecture on offer for this week’s Thursday Doors. Instead I felt the building that houses¬†Derry City & Strabane District Council offices deserved to be featured as it fits in very nicely along the waterfront – and it has a red door.


In the regeneration of the city’s riverside area, this was the first civic building to be located there. A local firm,¬†Tracey Architects,¬†designed it with a large central entrance hall which is glazed front and back to allow magnificent views of the River Foyle. The inspiration came from a previously demolished old warehouse, with granite cladding and natural slates being used in the structure, in line with the brief given to the architects.¬†Here’s a close up of the entrance – the biggest red door I’ve photographed so far.


At the end of the street I spied a few more doors worth snapping and I just had to include them in this week Thursday Doors.


Okay, okay. I know I said there would be no old buildings in my post this week but they just sneaked in. I was taking a shot of the building looming behind them and they sort of got in the way – well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Why not have a look at some fascinating doors from around the world by clicking the blue button on Norm’s Thursday Doors post?

Posted in Ireland, photo challenges, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 35 Comments