Waiting for the AA

Waiting for the AA

I’m glad my wife Jacinta insisted we join AA Ireland. I’ve had over 15 years of almost trouble free driving (ok, the electrics in my Alfa 147 died once, but stopping and starting the engine fixed that, and it’s an Alfa Romeo, what do you expect?) but this morning as we drove into town and approached Mc Curtain Street in the lashing rain and howling wind the windscreen wipers stuttered.

The wipers slowed down, they stopped, then started again, and just as we got through the lights at Coburg Street and Bridge Street they stopped completely. Jacinta was driving and I have to applaud her for keeping her calm as rain water streamed down the window, obscuring her view. Luckily we spotted a parking space just outside Dan Lowrey’s Pub further down the road. She pulled in, tried the controls but there wasn’t a budge from the wipers.

It was a really lousy thing to happen. In the lashing rain, in the worst storm of the new year our car couldn’t be driven. If it had been bright and sunny we could have carried on our way. It’s only the wipers. For weeks we had cold dry weather with clear skies. The only upside, was that we parked directly outside that pub. Jacinta and Adam and all our gear went into the pub and I waited (with Oscar our dog) for the various service people to come and help. Anthony, the owner of Dan Lowrey’s Pub made us all very welcome, and I can’t recommend his establishment enough!

After ringing the AA, a mechanic soon called out, declared the wiper motor dead and arranged for our car to be towed back to Blarney. Our cover included a replacement car for 48 hours and eventually someone from Enterprise Rentals rang and my sister (thank you!!) took us out to the Kinsale Road to pick up a 08 Opel Astra.

OK, it’s only an Astra, but it’s been a few years since I drove a newish car. It has bluetooth which I connected to my N73 and couldn’t resist calling Jacinta later while she was out. Sound quality from the radio is good, and while the ride is a bit harder than the Renault Megane I drive now it was comfortable. I must admit the indicator and wiper controls are fiddly. They spring back to the central position again. Very odd.

The Renault Megane is with Barry at Blarney Auto Centre so hopefully he’ll have it fixed before I have to return the rental car.

Already thinking of what to buy to replace the Megane. Any time something goes wrong with it, I hear, “Oh yeah, that goes wrong with these cars a lot.” The Toyota Corollas I’ve owned kept driving and driving and driving, so I’m tempted to go for that model again. The Ford Focus gets a lot of good press too. I’ll be buying used. I think it’s going to be many years before I can afford to buy a new car, and anyway, they really aren’t worth it. Depreciation on ’em is terrible!

Aperture ƒ/4
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/50s

No Through Road

No Through Road

Construction work on the building site between Emmett Place and Patrick Street in Cork continues at a pace. Despite the slow down in the economy high rise cranes can still be seen on the city skyline and are more prominent than the recently opened Elysian.

Aperture ƒ/4
Camera DMC-FZ5
Focal length 6mm
ISO 80
Shutter speed 1/160s

The Anarchist Postman

Graffiti of a postman, or could be a police officer on a wall off South Main Street in Cork.

This was taken several months ago but was still there last time I looked! Sorry for the large file size. Jpeg compression doesn’t like random pixels.

Daffodils in the sky

Lovely bright daffodils to brighten up your gloomy November Monday morning!

This was taken way back on March 18th this year on the same day I shot these daffodils! The image has been sitting in my WIP folder for months but after my gimp lomo post I decided to post this in a larger format.

Post processing: Auto-levels, gimp lomo and save. Resized version has been sharpened and I could have done more with the dodge and burn tool to bring out the detail in the flowers but this will have to do.

Paparazzi wait for Flatley at hospital

Film crews and photographers wait outside Cork University Maternity Hospital yesterday for a shot of Michael Flatley. His wife Niamh gave birth to a bouncing baby boy that morning in the hospital. Apparently Flatley gave a 5 figure donation to the hospital. Nurses I spoke to wondered where it went..

OK, maybe the people pictured are TV3, RTE news and a couple of photographers for the local paper but it’s not often one sees them about and in one place. I was busy helping Jacinta and Adam into the car and we weren’t about to stop and hang about. I told the reporters I had no comments to make except that Adam was in great form and that he and his mom were coming home.

I saw Michael Flatley on TV later and he was beaming! :)

Watching the fish underwater in Lanzarote

A young boy watches fish swim past on a boat off the coast of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. The boat’s staff threw food overboard for the fish while the passengers went below decks to watch from the observation windows. As it was the start of the season in May, the boat was nowhere near full and everyone got a good look at the marine life swimming past.

This is the first picture I’ve posted from our honeymoon in Lanzarote last year. I took so many photos it’s daunting to look through them and pick out the ones I want to publish.