Dog in a lampshade

Poor Oscar. It’s not bad enough that he got the snip but he had to wear what looks to all the world like a lampshade for two weeks. This was only a week after he moved in with us last Summer and the poor fella was not impressed.

Thankfully he got over it remarkably quickly and doesn’t have an aversion to lighting fixtures as we suspected he might have.

Our Oscar is quite a needy little character. He loves human attention. This faq on Shih Tzus is quite good, although it does contradict an earlier page I read that said they are a one human dog. Oscar definitely prefers Jacinta to me, but he goes crazy when he sees me after an absence too!

He sleeps in the kitchen and up to recently we kept the door closed to stop him coming upstairs but unfortunately he has the door half-ruined from scratching and his whining and barking kept us awake many times.
The solution? Train him and be more strict. He’s not allowed upstairs now and I leave the kitchen door open at night. No scratching, no whining. Sometimes he sneaks upstairs and we find him curled up on the landing but a quick and sharp, “Oscar! Get down!” and he’s scurrying down to his bed again.

So, it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks. Well, a middle-aged one at any rate.

Fun at the crib

Fr James McSweeney’s live crib in Ballyvolane was busy with animals and human visitors all through last week but I managed to get some shots the night when we visited.

As I mentioned already, there were all sorts of animals there, from sheep and donkeys to chickens, calves and puppies. Donations are welcome, and all proceeds go towards the renovation of St. Patrick’s Church. The crib last year raised 35,000 Euro for the Cope Foundation so hopefully they can beat that this year!

The crib is open from 5pm to 9pm until the 23rd, so if you’re in the area, call up to Ballyvolane Church and you’ll see the signs pointing the way to the crib.

I like this: Edward Scissorhands – my wife is a huge fan of the film. I wonder how long it took to get the model looking like that?

An Fear Marbh

An Fear Marbh, an island off the coast of Co. Kerry, Ireland, with the setting sun lighting up the cloud over the Atlantic.

“An Fear Marbh” translates as “the dead man” and is so named because of the obvious shape of the island – that of a man lying on his back.
This was taken last September but because today is the Winter Solstice, and the shortest day of the year, I thought it was the perfect image for the day. Days will get longer now, little by little each day.

On the day this was taken we had dinner in Dingle. I watched the sun set and the light travel down the mountains near the Conor Pass. After eating, we quickly drove west to the coast to watch the sunset. Driving down a small road we spotted a car pulled over and someone standing outside watching the sunset so we stopped and got out. Turns out it was another photographer shooting the setting sun! We stayed there chatting for a few minutes before heading off. A few moments later the road turned a corner and this beautiful scene presented itself. I had to stop and shoot a few dozen shots.

Last night we called to the crib in Ballyvolane. Fr. James McSweeney has put together a wonderful crib with chickens, pigs, calves, goats, sheep, lammas, a pony, 2 donkeys and 4 young puppies. I’ll post a photo or two tomorrow, and the crib is definitely worth a visit if you live in Cork.
Visitors are asked to give a donation, and this year money raised will go to the St Patrick’s Church renovation fund. The crib is located 200 metres from St Oliver’s Church in Ballyvolane on Kilmorna Heights.
Fr. James has a photography site at Today is my gift to you.ie where he posts a new photo every day. I’ll be converting it to a WordPress blog in January when things quieten down again!

Chistmas Tree Lights

St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Mallow is lit up by the lights of the Christmas tree in the church grounds.

The camera club social night was in Mallow last night and after a great meal myself and Jacinta left the rest to prop up the bar! I had my camera with me and I got some good shots of the town and the church above.

It gave me the idea of writing an article about night shooting, so expect that in a day or two!

Alcatraz Flowers

The entrance to Alcatraz Prison is up a series of steps near these flowers. I love how they catch the light while the background is in the shade of the prison.

After yesterday’s flood of posts it’s nice to get back to the one-a-day habit although I wonder why Technorati hasn’t picked up on my IT@Cork2006 tag yet. Grrr.

It seems that they haven’t looked at my feed or updated their records of my posts yet because if you look under Canon 20d several of the posts I made yesterday show up. Not this one just yet. I guess there are lots of blogs out there!