Moving from Chicago to Washington

Moving from Chicago to Washington

Barack Obama’s family probably had some help from America’s Secret Service when they moved from Chicago to Washington but for the rest of us, that journey would be a lot more mundane and would involve the services of a company like Hollander.

Photographed somewhere in Chicago in May 2005.

PS. Thank you if you nominated this blog for the Irish Blog Awards!

Aperture ƒ/5
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/60s

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

Last of the Construction Workers

Last of the Construction Workers

Recession, recession, re… The R Word. Construction workers on the site of the new shopping center in Cork City on Patrick’s Street. I walked past this entrance a few times and the guy in the blue jumper was standing in the same place, watching me each time. Scary.

Aperture ƒ/3.5
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/500s

QE2 Leaving Cork

QE2 Leaving Cork

The Queen Elizabeth 2, or QE2, flagship of the Cunard Line, docked for the last time in Cobh yesterday and left this evening just after 6pm. Here she is after turning in Cork Harbour and seconds before she increased speed and left the harbour for good.

In 2009, she will become a floating hotel in Dubai. A fitting ending for a luxury ship that has plied the waters of the world for the last 39 years.

I took over 300 shots of the Queen Elizabeth 2 today and filled almost 4GB of space with RAW images. In hindsight, many of the images would have been fine as Jpeg files but I had the space, so I used it. I hope to upload a gallery of my favourite images tomorrow.

Aperture ƒ/5.6
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/80s

Angela’s Shop in Fountainstown

Angela's Shop, Fountainstown

Angela’s Shop and Coffee Dock in Fountainstown Co Cork. This shop has been at the beach in Fountainstown for the last 20 years (according to the owner) but I had never ventured inside until today. We were served lovely cups of tea which we enjoyed outside in the blazing sun.

I had hoped to shoot the women’s mini marathon earlier in the day but we had a busy morning with the baby and weren’t ready to leave the house until 1pm. Sorry Ciara, would love to have seen you and the girls in wedding dresses!

Aperture ƒ/14
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 22mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/320s