My idea of good company

My idea of good company… is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.

― Jane Austen, Persuasion

Bristol Royal York Crescent My idea of good company

Camera: Canon EOS 550D
Location: Bristol, England

Clare Abbey, at last

Continues from here.

Back in the car on our way to the motorway, we saw a signpost reading ‘Graveyard’. We followed it and aha, we found the Abbey!

Clare Abbey 9 Clare Abbey, at last

Clare Abbey 11 407x616 Clare Abbey, at last

Clare Abbey 13 407x616 Clare Abbey, at last

Clare Abbey 6 Clare Abbey, at last

Clare Abbey is a ruined Augustinian monastery founded in 1189 by Donal Mor O’Brien, King of Thomond. The ruins include a church and a cloister, several domestic buildings to the east and south of the garth, a gateway and… guess what? A graveyard.

Clare Abbey 17 Clare Abbey, at last

Clare Abbey 8 407x616 Clare Abbey, at last

I wish I had with me my beloved but neglected pinhole camera as I believe ruins make an excellent subject for these kind of photography.
I hope I’ll find the time to fetch it from the Narnia part of my wardrobe and make at least one photograph on the 27th of April as it’s Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day.

Camera: Canon EOS 300
Film: Fujifilm CN 200
Location: Clare Abbey, County Clare

Clare Abbey, almost

On our way back to Dublin and as a recompense for the disappointment I felt in front of the closed gate of the Ennis Friary, I decided to visit the ruins of Clare Abbey. Yes, my name’s Antonella and I’m a ruins-aholic.

As I had just picked up a brand new map complete with GPS coordinates of all the most important sites and buildings in the area, I typed them into my phone and off we went… to the end of a housing estate from where I could only see the Abbey in the distance.

Back on the main road, I luckily spotted a signpost which we followed… to end up here. See the state of the ground? That’s why you should always have a pair of wellies in the boot of the car!

Clare Abbey 1 Clare Abbey, almost

We crossed the field (… ah the green fields of Ireland) but we still couldn’t reach our destination!

Clare Abbey 2 Clare Abbey, almost

Back in the car on our way to the motorway, we saw a signpost reading ‘Graveyard’…
To be continued.

Camera: Canon EOS 300
Film: Fujifilm CN 200
Location: Clare Abbey, County Clare

Close-knit Ennis

Do you remember my Slowly but surely series? Well, I have such a backlog of photos to share that you might easily say that I’ll take it up.

The town of Ennis, in the West of Ireland, is famous for its atmospheric medieval streets as it grew up around its 13th century friary that unfortunately was closed for restoration when I visited. From O’Connell Square, where my hotel was located, I explored the town in several directions but because the town centre was quite busy with the Saturday afternoon crowds, I tried to stay away from the main streets and walked along the narrow lanes and into the alleyways cutting over to the river.

Ennis 407x616 Close knit Ennis

Ennis 2 Close knit Ennis

Ennis 5 407x616 Close knit Ennis

Doctor Who always cheers me up!

Ennis 7 407x616 Close knit Ennis

Immediately before my visit (… almost two months ago!) some very severe weather had hit the entire West of Ireland and the river Fergus was rather fleetly-flowing.

Ennis 3 Close knit Ennis

Ennis 4 Close knit Ennis

It’s been a fortnight since I wrote a post, but I won’t say time flies or it seems just like yesterday bla bla bla because I’ve done so many things during these past few weeks that I’ve been counting the days till my four-day staycation which will start… tomorrow.

Have a great Easter weekend everyone!

Camera: Canon EOS 300
Film: Fujifilm CN 200
Location: Ennis, County Clare

Walk along

Whenever I can I walk along this long stretch of Dublin’s medieval walls complete with a protruding tower called Stanyhurst Tower.
James Stanyhurst was one of the boy hostages taken by Silken Thomas’s men during his rebellion.

Dublin Walls Stanyhurst Tower Walk along

Just across the street are six panels that commemorate the rebellion.

Silken Thomas plaques Walk along

Silken Thomas Rebellion Walk along

And here is the description of what happened:

In 1534, at the age of 21 years, “SILKEN THOMAS”, of The Fitzgeralds of Kildare, laid siege to Dublin Castle from this vicinity.
The rebellion failed and, he was executed in London together with all of his uncles, by order of Henry VIII.
The fall of the House of Kildare, was a major factor leading to the Tudor conquest of Ireland,
which shaped the country we know today.
These wall panels, by Grace Weir, commemorate the Siege of 1534.

I hope you enjoyed the history lesson.

Camera: Canon EOS 550D
Location: Dublin

Going out of my way

One morning in February I miraculously managed to leave home a little bit earlier than usual. I wanted to finish a roll I had started during a weekend in the West of Ireland (more on that later) so I took a little detour on my way to work. Yet I didn’t miss the place where I performed my essential daily ritual of… grabbing a coffee. Some thing will never change!

How could I not take advantage of such a clear sky?

Dublin Castle Going out of my way

Dublin Castle Gate 407x616 Going out of my way

Sheep Street Little Stairs Going out of my way

View over Dublin Castle 407x616 Going out of my way

Camera: Canon EOS 300
Film: Fujifilm CN 200
Location: Dublin

One of the reasons I decided to spend a weekend in Cobh, was its proximity to a village I had visited for the first time fifteen-ish years ago when, during a two-week holiday, I drove the length and breadth of Southern Ireland. I don’t feel like saying that the village of Kinsale was the most stunning place I stopped by that summer, but for some reason it stole my heart and I’ve been thinking of calling around again since.

When we arrived in the morning the rain had been hammering for a couple of hours and the light was non existent.

Kinsale Bookshop Kinsale, aka my three hundredth post

Kinsale Market Square Kinsale, aka my three hundredth post

Luckily the weather picked up in the afternoon and we were able to take a stroll between showers.
Just around the corner from the place where we stopped for lunch (the village is buzzing with nice cafés and lively pubs) stood this amazing church.
St. Multose Church, built in 1190, is where Prince Rupert proclaimed Charles II as King after hearing the news that Cromwell had had King Charles I executed in London.

Kinsale St Multose Church Kinsale, aka my three hundredth post

In the meantime I had loaded the camera with a Kodak Portra 160. I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.

Kinsale Door Kinsale, aka my three hundredth post

Kinsale Guinness Kinsale, aka my three hundredth post

Kinsale Cottages Kinsale, aka my three hundredth post

And yes, there was a castle too.
Desmond Castle was built as an urban tower house by the Earl of Desmond in about 1500 and it has had many uses since then.

Kinsale Desmond Castle Kinsale, aka my three hundredth post

Those of you who know me best won’t be surprised to read that I’m very critical with myself. But because today I’m in a bit of a celebratory mood, I’ll say that I’m very pleased with the shot below. I love it so much that I might even frame it and hang it up somewhere in my house!

Kinsale Reflections Kinsale, aka my three hundredth post

As I’ve already said, this is my three hundredth post. WOO-HOO! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I’ve met so many beautiful, intelligent and interesting people thanks to this blog.

Camera: Hasselblad 500 C/M
Film: Lomography CN 800 + Kodak Portra 160
Location: Kinsale, Co. Cork

I’m not very keen on high ISO films because of the noise they produce, but experience has taught me that carrying a ISO 800 film in the bag while travelling around Ireland could really save your bacon, as it did for me this past January. Unless of course you bring a tripod, which I usually don’t do.

Cobh, which derives from the word haven, is a small maritime town in Cork’s harbour on the South coast of Ireland. The Cork’s fine natural harbour is the second largest in the world after Sydney and it has provided the town with a splendid history. Named Queenstown for a time after Queen Victoria, it was the final port of call for the Titanic in 1912 and an important British naval base until 1937.

Cobh County Cork Cobh, a haven of calm

Cobh JFK Park Cobh, a haven of calm

Cobh Harbour View Cobh, a haven of calm

The town’s hilly streets are dominated by the St Colman’s Cathedral, a Gothic Revival building which dates from 1868.

Cobh St Colman Cathedral Cobh, a haven of calm

Cobh Cathedral Interior Cobh, a haven of calm

Aren’t these colourful terraced houses pretty? It’s a pity the light was so pale on that day. They are known as the Deck of Cards.

Cobh Terraced Houses Cobh, a haven of calm

Colourful Cobh Cobh, a haven of calm

And this has to be the steepest street I’ve seen in Ireland so far. Dizzyingly steep, isn’t it?

Cobh Deck of Cards Cobh, a haven of calm

Camera: Hasselblad 500 C/M
Film: Lomography CN 800
Location: Cobh, Co. Cork