Lifebelt in the grass

A lifebelt lay in the grass at a beach on the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry last September. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, beautiful clouds contrasted with the deep blue of the sky and a light breeze blew off the sea.

We were just going back to the car after a nice stroll on the beach. I had just taken footprints in the sand down on the beach when I looked back one more time and saw this striking scene in front of me.

The clouds were perfect, the sun was shining on the beach, the far away hills were in shadow and light. Perfect moment!

Pathway to Gallarus

If you visit the Dingle Peninsula you must visit the Gallarus Oratory. It’s an early Christian church, possibly built in the 6th century. There is a visitor centre but don’t be fooled into paying the entrance fee. The building is a national monument and the public have a right to see it. Your entrance fee does pay for a crummy video in a dark and musty room but to be honest it’s not worth it! Continue up the road and you’ll find a path leading directly to the church.
Your taxes pay for the upkeep of the building so why pay another charge to see it?

Looking out from Homely House

Last September we stayed in Dingle for a weekend and had lunch in Homely House, a restaurant in the town. Check out the previous link for a picture of Brian Lapen and EagleSpirit who ran the cafe.

Unfortunately for Dingle they’re now in Hawaii, and the building was destined for demolition last I heard so it’s quite likely this view is gone now!

The little red door

A small house is stuck between two larger buildings in Dingle, Co. Kerry. I’m not sure what caught my eye in the first place but I think it was the red door.

Shot on a wet morning that brightened up after an hour of intense rain.

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!

White and Red

Tourists in the town of Dingle walk along a street in late September.

I love the contrast between white and red and yet the two houses mirror each other in other ways. This was another entry in the Mallow Camera Club’s Patterns Around Us competition.

Pog Mo Thoin san Daingean

“Kiss my ass!” That’s what “póg mo thóin” means. This is from a shop display in Dingle, Co. Kerry. The town, also known by it’s Irish name, An Daingean, is in an Irish speaking part of the country collectively known as An Gaeltacht.

If you’re interested, you’d probably pronounce “póg mo thóin” in English as “pogue mahone”.

Interesting trivia – The Pogues got their name from this short phrase.

Both Ryan and Daragh got their free mini cards from moo.com but I’m still waiting on mine. They have been shipped so they’ll arrive soon I hope. Check out Daragh’s shot of his cards for an imaginative way of photographing them!

Homely House: Brian and EagleSpirit

Homely House in Dingle

EagleSpirit and Brian pose for a photo on their last day of business running Homely House, a small cafe in Dingle, Co. Kerry. Brian ran it for eight years, while his partner EagleSpirit has been an integral part of the charm of the little establishment for the past four. It closed on Saturday for the last time. They’re off to Hawaii in the next few weeks. Quite a change from Dingle!

They ran a very successful business. I was in Homely House a few times last year when I stayed in Dingle and it had always been packed! Last Saturday, Jacinta and I popped in for a quick snack and a chance to get out of the short-lived shower that morning. EagleSpirit greeted us with a huge smile and we really enjoyed our food. Jacinta is still thinking about the five-berry cake we shared after. Yum!

Good luck in Hawaii the two of you! Go n’eiri an bothair libh!