Cold Morning Sunrise

cold morning sunrise

The sun had risen about an hour before this shot, taken 2 days ago in Blarney. Actually, across the road from my home. It was a beautiful morning with snow in many places, but the ground was slippy so I had to be careful. Nothing like as bad as this morning when rain and cold made the ground outside like an ice rink!

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 200mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/320s

Snowy Rooftops

snowy rooftops

This morning we woke up to the sight of snow falling. As it was still only 6am and dark outside the floodlight in the back garden picked out the falling snow beautifully. As it was still only 6am I was too tired/half asleep to go back upstairs to get my camera.

Luckily it snowed later and some of the snow lingered on the roofs, walls and cars of the neighbourhood. Here’s a photo of a neighbour’s roof, just in case we don’t get any more snow.

What with global warming and all that, I expect we’ll be basking in the sunshine next January..

Aperture ƒ/7.1
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 144mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/200s

Dan Lowrey’s Tavern

Dan Lowrey's Tavern

Dan Lowrey’s Tavern on Mc Curtain Street, scene of our brush with car trouble yesterday. It was a stroke of luck we found parking just outside this pub!

I’d write more, but my head is stuffy, my sinuses are blocked and I’m feeling under the weather. Hope my car is repaired tomorrow!

Aperture ƒ/4.5
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/50s

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

Push the Car!

Push the Car!

A modified car is pushed down Pana by the driver’s friends and a helpful passerby. When the engine finally coughed into life the oversize exhaust pipe emitted a very loud roar and his friends jumped in and sped off.

My wife Jacinta passed her driving test today. She drove us to the test center in Wilton, and even though I did my test years ago I couldn’t help but feel nervous. I think everyone who steps inside that single story building probably feels the same.

Remember your driving test? I remember a bus broke down right in front of me that I had to overtake. When I was asked to reverse around a corner a learner driver appeared and proceeded to reverse around the same corner. Twice!
After the second go, my tester urged me, “Quick, get around the corner before he comes back!”

Luckily I passed.

PS. Will Knott is spending a Sunday in St. James Cancer Unit in Dublin. They’re going to hold a fundraiser. They’re still looking for volunteers to photograph the event so please get in touch if you can spare a few hours on a Sunday afternoon.

Aperture ƒ/3.5
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/200s