Archive for August, 2005
While flying home from England, I pondered on what to do to break the monotony of the 1 hour flight. Having stowed my camera bag under the seat in case of emergency (i.e. in case I needed to take a picture) I wondered if the power-tripping airline refreshment technician (read: trolley dolly) would getting seriously miffed if I were to pop off say.. 40 or 50 shots. After all, I couldn’t just pop one off! 😉
As we left England and headed to Wales, the blanket of cloud below us broke and revealed the Severn bridge. Having never taken a picture from a plane at X thousand feet before, I was quite pleased at how most of them turned out.
Pretty soon we were over the Irish sea and seemingly within minutes we were preparing to land. An hour of tedium in cramped conditions successfully thwarted.
For a few more, fly to Flickr.
I have one brand spanking new 82mm circular polariser to get shot of. Case was only opened to make sure it wasn’t used as a beermat in a previous life. Never been put onto a lens. Going for around €130 locally, I’ll let this one out of my sweaty grasp for €80 or whatever change you can put together that comes around that mark. Interested?
In the last in the motherload of photos from our stay in the UK, this is Marwell Zoo(logical). Think Fota with more fences, barriers and thick glass seperating you from the cuddly animals with the sharp claws. By far the most photos yet, I think I got a relatively high amount of keepers from this expedition. I’ll let you be the judge of that however…
Oodles more on Flickr
On a somewhat related note; I’m now quite proud of myself. I’ve got over 2000 photos uploaded and over 4000 views of those photos. I guess the next big one will be 10,000!
Take the quiz: “Which Holy Grail Character Are You?”
Well, now, uh, Launcelot, Galahad, and I, uh, wait until nightfall, and then leap out of the rabbit, taking the French, uh, by surprise. Not only by surprise, but totally unarmed!
No, it’s not a dodgy 50’s horror film, today is “International Left-Handers Day”! I celebrate this wonderful yet oddly obscure day with fellow left-handed humans including our very own Bertie Ahern, Bill Clinton, Julius Caesar, Robert De Niro, Angelina Jolie (purrrr), Nicole Kidman (purrrr x 2), Leonardo Da Vinci, Picasso and my own personal hero; Matt Groening – creator of The Simpsons.
Lest we forget Sir Paul Mc Cartney and Kurt Cobain also belong in the list. We are among the sinister (Latin) in society, the strange ones (Ciotóg – Irish), the awkward and clumsy (Gauche – French) and more inslultingly the maimed (Mancini – Italian). We represent 10% of the population that for 40,000 years, history has saught to wipe out. The Inuit people thought us sorcerers, in Japan a man can divorce his wife if she’s a lefty and the less than level headed Spanish used to torture and kill us for favoring “the hand of the Devil”.
Even at home the reclusive left-hander wasn’t safe. As recent as 1960’s Ireland, students were forced to write with their right hand and punished if they used their left. God bless that wacky church mentality. The French put their (left) thumb on the answer. Left-handed people have survived because apparently we’re bloody good fighters. Everybody knows a “southpaw” often surprises their rivals with a knockout punch that seemed to come from nowhere.
Behold and Celebrate; The left hand of Rymus!
Lots of beach, big pier, way too many “dodgy lookin’ geezers” and a tens of thousands of proud homosexuals. That was Brighton when we visited on Saturday in the midst of the pride festival. The simpleton who I was affiliated with was duped by an elderly friend of Dorothy (his words), we made our way for a short stay to the centre of the festivities. A festival indeed! Everything was very festive. From the men with their assorted bits hanging out for all to see to the women who, even on second or third glance, didn’t make me entirely sure they were actually women. The fun, the frolics, the bollicks, the thrill of the fairground.
“Big Drop” or something to that effect – Full Set
Moving on from the field of festive folk, I opted to see a bit more of Brighton. It isn’t unlike many other cities with their old buildings and expansive green areas littered with tomatoe-red locals during the summer months. There was an extensive skating area in what appeared to be a childrens park; something which at the time I imagined the youth of Cork would wet their pantaloons if they had.
Graffiti around the skate park – Full Set
Although it seems like a harmless enough place to visit, I’m not sure I’d like to live there. The pier was an attraction, although not as much of an attraction as the 70-something year old cross dressing man perched in a wheelchair on the pier speaking with the voice of a similar aged docker whilst his half smoked cigarette rolled from one side of his mouf to the other. “But I am a lady!”
The inevitable deck chairs pictured with the pier in the background – Full Set
A fitting end?
Way more on Flickr
Just outside Gillingham where we were parked for a few days lies this dockyard. I presumed it to be one of those truly monotonous museum type affairs that attempts to make visitors learn as they go. Horribly educational claptrap!
Bomb Shelter – Full Set
Not so! It is, as the name suggests, a World War II dockyard converted into a tourist attraction. The old buildings are well preserved and there are three vessels in dock. HMS Gannet; a steam & sail ship, HMS Ocelot; a diesel submarine in dry dock and HMS Cavalier; a warship used in the Artic. Of all the three I found Ocelot to be the most exciting, probably because I’ve never been on a submarine before (and probably never will again).
There are several exhibits including lifeboats of past & present, a maritime museum, a Kent police museum and a ropery which is still in active use today. Of course there’s also a fully intact bomb shelter as pictured above, which we took a trip underground to experience the limited sights and rich sounds of an air raid in progress topside.
Manilla barrells in the Ropery – Full Set
In all the site extends over some 80 acres and took us about 6 hours to see most of it. A very worthwhile trip for our first day in Southern England. The full set of 190 shots is on Flickr
8:10am, touched down in Cork airport and waited to clear off the cramped easyjet airbus A319 in a hurried yet orderly fashion. Stood around a stationary baggage carousel(sp?) for 15 minutes or so until it sprang into life and my bag appeared. Home & sleep for a few hours before travelling to Gort to pick up & bring home Trilo, the faithful mutt (that only snaps/growls at me a few times a week nowadays).
Ahh England. Or at least the England I know. The land of freshly baked pies in the morning, a pint of cool vimto over lunch and perhaps, if you’re feeling saucy, fish & chips for dinner. Real fish with real batter. Not that cardboard, stamped out crap we get over here. Also, it would seem, the land of hideously ugly inbreeds (or maybe that’s just down south). Obviously that hateful remark doesn’t stand for everyone, but it would seem that the chronically ratfaced among the community seem to like their multiplication. Despite this alarming statistic, I continued to walk my feet off during the course of the stay.
I visited a ‘historic dockyard’ and although it may sound frighteningly boring, spent the best part of 6 hours there, walking around it’s 80 acres, climbing aboard different ships, a submarine and even getting to grips with a wartime experience in a bona-fide bomb shelter. Down to Brighton and a stroll along the peer, dodging suspicious looking cross-dressers that seemed as if they were straight out of a “Little Britain” sketch. A bit of a seedy location to be sure.
Next to a Zoo of sorts. It was more like a maximum security version of Fota Wildlife Park, a big field with a few more fences than Fota itself. Suitably impressed with the Meerkats, Ring tailed lemurs and other such hairy beasts. Note; that doesn’t include the punters who were equally as hairy.
Now I find myself having to sort through some 1600 photos, hopefully from which I’ll derive at least 300 which are anyway decent to look at. I’ll probably end up posting most of them anyway, simply because they’re cool. Like the submarine ones, that was bitchin’. Anywho, I’m back and indeed, back at work. Time to put on the coffee and load up picassa.