This is a replica of an ancient lake dwelling, it’s boundaries made of high wooden fencing. The Craggaunowen Project in County Clare, Ireland, gives us a wonderful insight into how the Celts made their homes on a Crannog, which means ‘young tree’.

It’s an artificial island on which people constructed thatched houses of mud and wattle, kept animals, and lived in relative security from enemy clans and invaders. In Ireland, Crannogs were used during the Iron Age and early Christian periods. Some were inhabited during the Late Bronze Age and even occupied as late as the 17th century.

The Living Past Experience

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Boundaries.”

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Got this email from an old friend…

Jean Reinhardt:

This gave me a good laugh so I’m reblogging to share the smiles. Thanks Chris.

Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog:


We were dressed and ready to go out for a dinner and theater evening. We turned on a ‘night light’, flipped the answering machine on, covered our pet parrot and put the cat in the backyard. Then we phoned the local taxi company and requested a ride.

The taxi arrived and, as we opened the front door, the blasted cat scooted back in the house. We didn’t want her shut in the house because she always tries to get at the parrot. So my wife walked out to the taxi while I went back inside to get the cat – who ran upstairs with me in hot pursuit.

Waiting in the cab, my wife didn’t want the driver to know the house would be empty for the night; so she explained that I would be out in a minute. “My husband’s just going upstairs to say good-bye to…

View original 105 more words

Posted in Writers Resource | 8 Comments

Thursday Doors

Street art and graffiti from Galway City for this week’s Thursday Doors.

Can you spot the giant circus flea from the mural in the video below?


Have a look at some more doors on Norm’s blog.

Posted in Art, Ireland, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments


Change of light as the sun sets

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Change.”

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Thursday Doors

thursday doors, portugal

My contribution to Thursday Doors this week comes from Lisbon, Portugal. On the way to Saint George’s (Jorge’s) Castle, I cut through a small courtyard and snapped a quick shot of these lovely red doors. I had to hurry, as my sisters were steaming ahead to get to the castle and I was afraid of losing them. But, as usual in Lisbon, there was something even more interesting than the doors that caught my eye.


Street art is everywhere on display in the city and you never know what you’ll bump into when you round a corner. This photograph is an example of recycled art and seemed to be made of steel mesh, like a Brillo pad. To some it may give the impression of a black cloud while others may see it as a tree. At first sight I thought it represented the latter. Parts of it were beginning to rust, but then again, it was October when I was there and leaves do change colour at that time of year. If you’re scrutinizing the photo, looking for the ‘trunk’ of the tree, you won’t find one as the sculpture was suspended in the courtyard, hanging in mid air. When I noticed that fact, the structure took on a totally different aspect and as I left the courtyard I turned for one last look and this time saw a black cloud. Strange how a little knowledge can totally change our perception of something.

For some amazing doors from around the world have a look at Norm’s blog.

Posted in Art, Historical buildings, photo challenges, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

Crime and Punishment

bars, prison

My last post got me thinking on how criminals were dealt with in the past, particularly as I recently bought Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. I’ve been meaning to read this for such a long time as I’m interested in the psychology behind his writing. I’m all for justice being dispensed but I think one British executioner in particular, William Calcraft, enjoyed his work a bit too much and his victims often met their fate because of very minor offenses.

The criminal justice system of  19th century Britain is often referred to as the “Bloody Code”. At its height, the law included some 220 different offences that were punishable by death, including “being in the company of Gypsies for one month”, “strong evidence of malice in a child aged 7–14 years of age” and “blacking the face or using a disguise whilst committing a crime”.

After reading about William Calcraft, who hanged 450 people over a 45 year period, I am of the opinion that the man may have been a psychopath. You can read more about him, courtesy of Alex Cox, at the link below – if you don’t mind the gruesome descriptions of his work methods.

William Calcraft: The man who hanged 450

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No Trace of a Conscience

My great great grandmother

My great great grandmother

My great great grandmother lived to be 102 years old. She died in her own bed in a house that had been home to her for many decades. A woman who cherished her independence, Catherine Richardson was a quick-witted and sprightly centenarian who insisted on making her way to the polling booth to cast her vote in every election. ‘Women were long enough fighting for the vote,’ she would say to my mother, who was twelve when she died and by her bed as she took her last breath. I think the last time Granny Richardson participated in an election was in 1948, a few months before she passed away. So determined was she to vote that the parish priest was sent for to bring her in his car to the polling station, as it was a bit too far for her to walk.

Recently, in a town where I used to live, an elderly lady was attacked in her home in the early hours of the morning. Two men in their twenties, with no trace of a conscience, kicked in her door and assaulted her for an hour. The woman, who was ninety-two years of age, sustained broken ribs and other serious injuries including blows to her back, that resulted in her being hospitalized. What kind of men can do that to a defenseless older person? Her life is shattered.

Having lived for most of her adult days in that house, she fears moving back home again. Unlike my great great grandmother, that unfortunate victim of such a cowardly assault may not get to live out her last years in her own home. Although the windows had bars on them and the doors were very securely locked, it didn’t deter those evil men. Probably because she was taken so much by surprise, the poor lady didn’t even get a chance to sound off the alarm she wore around her neck.

Such a disgusting incident serves to remind us of the elderly or infirm living in our communities, sometimes alone but very capable. Many cherish their independence and are to be commended for taking care of themselves, often under difficult circumstances. If neighbours can keep and eye on them and offer help, in a tactful way, it can make all the difference to them continuing to live in their own home for as long as possible. Sooner or later, if we live to a ripe old age, we may find ourselves in the same position.

The local Gardaí say they are following a definite line of inquiry. I hope with all my heart they find and prosecute those two men that have no conscience whatsoever, and that the judicial system gives them the harshest possible sentence.

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dog in garden

Early morning inspection of the garden.

Aha! A tasty morsel.

Aha! A tasty morsel.

This little nose can just about squeeze through that grid.

This little nose can just about squeeze through that grid.

Off to check out the end of the garden once more.

Off to check out the end of the garden once more.

As seen through the grid of a garden seat.

As seen through the grid of a garden seat.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Grid.”

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Thursday Doors

boats, thursday doors,

Can you guess where these narrow double doors belong? The rope is a hint as to where I photographed the subject for Thursday Doors this week.

thursday doors, boat cabin

That’s right, they are the cabin doors of a classic fiberglass boat, a Freeman 26 footer. A nice little cruiser from the early seventies. As it’s over 25 years old, it’s considered a heritage boat in Ireland.

cabin doors of a boat

A view from the inside, where my husband and myself sat each side of the dining table trying to pluck up the courage to bring it out onto the lake. We had just bought our first boat and had been given a twenty minute lesson by the previous owner on how to bring it out on the water and moor it. We were fine doing that while he was on board, but the thoughts of being in control of a boat once he had left us was quite daunting. So, we had lunch, a second cup of coffee and then grabbed the bull by the horns, or should I say “the boat by the hull” and set out, away from the marina and out over the lake.

sailing on an irish river

We soon got the hang of handling the boat and took turns at the helm. It was so nice to see the countryside from the river and not a building in site. Ireland’s inland river and canal system is the longest continuous inland waterway in Europe and we came across quite a few tourists on rented cruisers on our journey up river. As it was our first trip, we decided against going through a lock, so we moored at one of the free pontoons that are to be found all along the waterways. You can stay at any of these moorings for up to five days at no charge.

freeman boat, irish waterways

As the sun was shining and no threat of rain, we took a walk into the village and inspected the other boats moored along the river. Of course, none of them were a patch on ours and to celebrate our first night on board, we cooked two nice juicy steaks and washed them down with an Australian Shiraz. The setting was so peaceful and relaxing that any doubts we harboured on having bought that boat quickly disappeared (sorry about the pun).

For more Thursday Doors, check out Norm’s blog and click the blue button at the bottom of his post.

Posted in Ireland, nature, photo challenges, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments


Blackwater river Ireland.

Trees along the banks of the river Blackwater, Youghal.

portugal algarve, sunset on beach

A sunset on the Algarve, Portugal

beach, ireland, youghal

Sunrise over Pilmore beach, Youghal

budapest, hungary, snow

Budapest in January

I tried really hard not to use any of photographs of stone walls and castles for this week’s challenge, but I just had to sneak one in at the end.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Monochromatic.”

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