So we decided to ward off Christmas cabin fever by getting out for a couple of hours earlier.
My brothers Declan and Pádaí, our friend Anthony and I headed for the nearby Cullenstown Strand.
It was a beautiful, clear day, with the clouds and inevitable rain only closing in just as we left.
The lads mostly played hurling and I mostly took photographs during the preceding two hours or so.
Anthony, for an Aussie who has never played hurling before, proved a natural.
The exercise and sea air primed use well for a delicious Christmas dinner back in the Cullen household.
It is known locally as the “Shell Cottage” and it is a charming, thatched cottage. What really sets it apart though is that it is covered entirely in sea shells – as are all the out buildings beside it.
The wide variety of shells, comprising all sorts of shapes, colours and sizes, were collected, carefully arranged and placed on the cottage by the late Kevin Ffrench, who is commemorated on a plaque on his former home (pictured below).
This is a fantastic piece of design work and must have required extraordinary imagination, skill and patience. It is not only beautiful, but entirely in keeping with the surroundings.
The intricate designs and patterns on the walls of the buildings include the well-known Wexford landmark Tuskar Lighthouse and the “Mexico”, a Schooner which was the subject of an ill-fated rescue attempt that saw nine members of Fethard Lifeboat die in 1914.
I am back home again this weekend. I woke up early on Saturday and Dad, the other early riser, and myself decided to go for a walk.
Cullenstown Strand is a short drive from our house and it’s a small beach, but just about the right size for Dad at the moment as he builds his health and fitness back up following major heart surgery recently.
He has been doing really well and walking a little bit more every day, but as he said himself, has been getting fairly fed up of laps of the house!
Well, he couldn’t have wished for a better change of scenery, as Saturday was absolutely and unexpectedly beautiful. The sun was splitting the stones in Wexford and as we arrived at Cullenstown we could have been somewhere on the Indian Ocean, not the Atlantic, in Ireland, in October…
I was in Duncannon recently with my friend Kevin when we spotted this trawler up on the beach.
It had been brought in to be painted, as we discovered when we went down to take a look – and we were far from the only people whose atttention it grabbed.
It was a great photo opp due to the setting, the unusual sight of a boat “washed up” on the beach and the fact that it was a really beautiful day.
Of course I hadn’t my camera with me, so I returned to my trusty iPhone, which – as a means of capturing images anyway – has been rusting in my pocket lately!
But, as I have blogged before, it was the iPhone that was instrumental in sparking my interest in photography again. That and the good influence of the talented Claire Hefferon, who is now doing her thing in Canada. I captured a lot of moments and images over the past 18 months that would have otherwise slipped by.
My iPhone really wasn’t able for the blazing sun that day in Duncannon, but in some ways I kind of like what happened with these, admittedly poor, images:
A few photos from a recent trip to White Rock, Killiney, with a stop in Dun Laoghaire on the way back for ice creams and a stroll on the pier. Click on any of the photos for the bigger version. It wasn’t an ideal day for photos (or swimming) so I’ll have to go back when the sun is shining… any day now!