A view on an Alcatraz Street

Looking through a doorway onto one of the streets of Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco. Tourists congregate while listening to the electronic tour guide.

I think I should have all my photos of Alcatraz and San Francisco posted before my next trip there in July.

From the old hospital to the new

In stark contrast to the newly built Cork University Maternity Hospital this was taken in one of the older ones. If you look carefully you can read the notice on the wall which starts, ‘Central Sterile Supply Department’. This building is in a state of disrepair you’d hardly expect in a flourishing economy like Ireland but the public health services are underfunded and top heavy with too many managers and money is siphoned off into over-budget projects.

Part three of my old hospital series.

In other news, midwives voted against moving to the new maternity hospital in Cork from the three maternity hospitals in the city. The new hospital will be understaffed when it opens however, with staff numbers apparently being made up of unqualified porters, janitors and other personnel. The move was supposed to happen an hour ago, but has been set back to 4pm though doubts remain as to whether it’ll open at all today.

A tour of Cork University Hospital

A few days ago my wife Jacinta and I were invited to tour the new maternity wing of Cork University Hospital. It’s due to open officially on March 24, only a few days away now!

I asked the very pleasant security guard if I could take any photos but he said that I needed permission to shoot. Perhaps if I had time but the tour was about to start so I made do with remembering as much of it as possible.

I’ll update this post with details of the tour over the next few hours. We were really impressed, but they didn’t plan a few areas of the hospital properly, which is going to bite them in years to come.

Shadows of prison and freedom

A crow flies off into the freedom of the air with a crumb of bread he found on the pavement. The railings of nearby houses are like those of a prison keeping humans in and trapped and closed off.

Who is free?

Public Telephone

An old and empty phone booth lies neglected. Notice the lock and bolt on the door? I get the feeling this booth hasn’t contained a phone in a long time..

This is the other side of the window pictured yesterday in the mystery hospital.

I love you

A love message written on a wall for someone special.

“I love you”

This is the second time I’ve posted a love message on my blog. Those messages are the most basic human communications of our age and before. Many thousands of years ago men were writing on cave walls. How little has changed? Graffiti is everywhere and it doesn’t take much imagination to scrawl a message to a loved one. I wonder who made this message and for whom? Are they still together?

This message is written on a wall in an old building on the grounds of a Cork Hospital. After I took a number of photos around those ruins a security guard approached me and asked what I was up to and that I stop shooting. He was nice enough and friendly, but he said I’d need a permit to shoot on hospital grounds. I didn’t argue with him, and thankfully I was almost finished anyway.

Rusted, old and bent

This is part of another pillar near the one pictured yesterday but in much worse condition.

I love the textures and the way that rust practically flows down. It’s a shame I didn’t get everything in focus though.

I figured out why my posts started showing “This photo is currently unavailable”. On March 1st Flickr changed the way they name their images. Previously it was only a matter of changing _m.jpg to _o.jpg to get the original image, or swapping in “_s.jpg” to get a small thumbnail. Now the numbers in the filename change as well.

It’s a simple but tedious task to change the image before I publish a post but the thumbnails you see at the top of this page are generated by a small script which now needs to be rewritten and made a lot smarter.