Monthly Archives: September 2012

A very Dublin couple of days

Two beautiful young ladies from Bolton came over to Dublin to significantly brighten up my weekend.

It didn’t hurt that they brought some serious sunshine with them on Saturday!

Here’s a selection of shots from a fun couple of days.

(Click for the bigger files)



The “Urban Vineyard” at Meeting House Square in Temple Bar, created as part of a wine promotion



Artificial and natural shade on the sunniest day of the year


A flower in Mahua’s hair compimenting both the natural and built environments

People enjoying the Urban Vineyard (and the wine)

Mahua and Priya

South William Street

A reflective Guinness truck on the south quays

Priya and Mahua on the pier in Dun Laoghaire

Dun Laoghaire flags

A view from Dun Laoghaire towards Poolbeg and its famous smoke stacks

Strong wind and ice cream on a pier in Dun Laoghaire – a very Irish experience!

Looking to the sea in Dun Laoghaire



Mahua surveys the Dun Laoghaire scenery from the “40 Foot” bar


Priya and a shy Mahua

Mahua exacts revenge and turns the camera on a face that definitely belongs behind it!

Mahua, clearly deeply impressed with me…

That’s more like it!

Strolling on the pier in Dun Laoghaire

View from Dun Laoghaire

The girls in familiar pose after another one of my riveting stories – low on consonants, high on vowels.

Priya struggles with the wind in Trinity College

Mahua, a surprisingly talented tree climber, in Trinity College


Mahua and Priya



My good friend Naomi came to visit me late last week as we had a lot of catching up to do.

On Firday night I took some photos of her in various locations and states of sobriety!

Life imitating art

A bird sitting on top of a lamppost outside Christ Church Cathedral on Sunday evening caught my eye. Click on the photos for the bigger versions.

Heroes come from here

I walk through Ormond Square in Dublin’s inner city on my way to the quays.

It’s a small, well-kept square of terraced houses, with a little green containing a playground area at its centre.

The low wall surrounding that green has a plaque placed discreetly on it, dedicated to the square’s most famous son.

John Giles, one of Ireland’s greatest soccer players, was born and raised in number 7 Ormond Square.

What I really like about this simple plaque is the message its last line bears, particularly for the local kids: “Heroes come from here”.


So firstly, the photography.

I got the opportunity, last-minute, to grab my camera and get some photos of the excellent John Rownan and Natalia Morozova last night after one of John’s Tango classes.

You can read all about the Dynamic Tango school (and John and Natalia) by clicking here.

The problem for me was the light: there was hardly any of it. As a result, it was very challenging and I couldn’t get a fast enough shutter speed to properly capture the action as these two fantastic dancers strutted their stuff for some of their students in a (fairly  dark!) room upstairs in Doyle’s Pub, beside Trinity College in Dublin’s city centre.

So instead, I decided to embrace the lack of light and try to portray a little bit of the mood and passion of Tango. I can’t say that I have, but I will definitely be returning with the camera for some Tango photography in good light!


And how did this last-minute photography opportunity arise? Well I had my first Tango lesson, with my friend Viviana. We decided to go following a discussion about our shared lack of dancing ability.

What better way to deal with our debilitating condition than a Tango class? Face those fears!

However, I may be somewhat of a slow learner when it comes to dining, but it was a lot of fun. John and Natalia are excellent teachers, offering expert instruction, while ensuring the class remains relaxed and fun.

There’s a good social element to it as well, which is where the fantastic dancing afterwards arose, causing me to make a beeline home for the camera. I should have picked up a spotlight on the way!

I think that if I get the hang of the basic movements, it will actually become fun, but whether or not I can get the hang of it is the thing!

Viviana and I definitely improved over the course of the class I reckon, despite there being a pretty significant height difference (I’d guess it’s about 50cm for you metrically inclined folks!) and thats before you factor in my substantial natural gift for awkwardness and lack of co-ordination!

My Sardinian friend and her sore toes seemed to be bearing up okay afterwards though…

Samsara: the three word review

Beautiful. Heartbreaking. Compelling.

This visually stunning documentary gave me a severe case of wanderlust tonight, while simultaneously making me feel like locking myself in my bedroom and never coming out.

Go figure.

Go see it.

Sometimes I think my sister is crazy

Sometimes I think my sister is crazy for having five kids.

But, mainly I’m just crazy about the kids.

And my sister is an amazing mother.

P.S. Trampolines are fun.

Gianna, Kaleb, Savannah, Atlanta and Shauna





Savannah, Shauna and Atlanta


Taking off



Sister pyramid…


Big sister, little sister



Atlanta and Shauna

Savannah and Shauna

Atlanta and Gianna

Jumping for joy


The beautiful Blake kids