Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

I am back to work now the last two weeks. Easing Stumbling back into everyday life… – funny how that happens so fast again even after almost three weeks off.

I had a lovely two weeks in Sweden visiting family. We have a few new family members this year and it was fun meeting everyone though I am not 100% sure of what they thought about meeting their “great-aunt”… lord, am I really a great-aunt!? Scary!

The two weeks were pretty hectic, seems like there were 50 people around most of the time. Not to mention several dogs, horses and cats. Even with all the visiting and seeing everyone; it was great. So much laughter and catching up.

I started in Copenhagen in Denmark and then went up the east coast of Sweden to my parents for a few days. I could only stay for a few days as they have a smaller apartment and with three adults, two cats and one dog it does get crowded. Not to mention that although I love my parents to bits; I can only take that many days before I go slightly mad. We then drove to my brother’s place which is inland. Well, I drove. I persuaded my Dad to let me drive his car. He was notably nervous as I mainly drive on the left hand side these days (he frequently reminded me every time we came to a roundabout…). Well let’s face it, I was not going to travel 200km at 60km/hour due to my Dad’s regrettably slightly diminished eyesight.

I stayed a good few days at my brother’s place. They live in the middle of nowhere. It is fab. So quiet at night. Surrounded by forest, horses, big dogs and seemingly a constant stream of people. Most days there were at least eight of us. I helped out a bit on the farm and loved it. Though I was less fond of those blasted horse flies and mosquitoes that took a liking to me. I did not understand why they were biting me like never before until I realized that they seemed to like the body-butter I used. So hint, hint… Body Shop’s Body Butter is great but avoid in the vicinity of horse flies. Though everyone else was grateful…

My sister and her partner (or maybe I should say boyfriend.. though can you really say boyfriend if someone is over 45?? Haven’t figured it out) arrived on her birthday so we had a great birthday celebration. I laughed until my belly hurt.

Then I left with my sister to go and see my nephew who lives in the most gorgeous idyllic place, in a place that is the essence of the county where I am from; Småland. He and his family live in this gorgeous red wooden house with white corners built in the 1600’s. They are surrounded by lakes, cows and more dogs and cats (seems to be an ongoing theme in my family).

Then as my last stop I stayed with my sister on the west coast of Sweden. Shopping, a bit of sunbathing (when the sun decided to actually make an appearance), a round of mini-golf (which I suck at ), lots of chats and laughter and meeting everyone else (and again some more dogs and cats).

The weather was not great unfortunately during my two weeks but I had so many laughs that it did no matter. Not to mention all the absolutely fantastic food. I normally do not have a second helping but during these two weeks I ate until I was stuffed til bursting point. Best food ever! Oh a few beers, cocktails and wine found its way to me as well…

Then it was back to Dublin for a few days of chilling. I rounded off my holiday with a long (20km) walk along the coast of Dublin with a good friend. The sun was shining (for once) and it was fabulous.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures. Hope you all had a lovely July as well!!

All quiet in the hood:

Småland:

Then there was a bit of time for just pure chilling as well:

Hello dear Blogosphere,

I am currently contemplating if I will have yet another latte on this lovely Sunday. Then I am pretty comfortable sitting here on the couch and getting aforementioned latte would mean I would have to rise from the couch. That does require some consideration.

Now don’t think that I have been a couch potato all day here. Waking up this morning I had no plans at all really, well apart from what I would have to eat. That was fully planned… I was going to attempt to make home-made Eggs Benedict and then I have this soup that needs to be eaten and finally I made this lovely Texan Chilli yesterday which will be my supper tonight. Don’t you just love it when you have friends from all over the world that can give you fab recipes, like Real Texan Chilli (not for the faint hearted!).

The Eggs Benedict… I cannot poach an egg for my life (need to work on that) so in the end I fried the little feckers the eggs. Then the Hollandaise sauce… I had found some ready-made one that I thought I’d give a try. Well now… the sauce was vile! I ended up scraping if off my (fried) eggs and ham and most ended up in the bin. Major fail! (At least the latte was great, cos that I can do). So lesson learned here; next time I want Eggs Benedicts – eat out!

I was eying the sky all morning to see if it would clear. In the end I decided to brave the heavy clouds where the sun peeked out every so often. Ended up going for a long walk and found a way down to the Grand Canal not too far away from me, a walkway that I did not know existed. It was sooo nice! Many others were out for a walk, the canal was surrounded by greenery and flowers and birds were chirping everywhere. I even saw a bird of prey. Now don’t ask me what type as I was a bit too far away and also I never got into bird watching so all I can tell you is that it was a bird of prey of some kind (the other bird he was chasing would probably confirm that).  It could have been a falcon as they are known in the area.

I also discovered that you can walk all the way into town via the canal. Will definitely try that at some stage. It is about 14km which is doable. Not today though as it looks like it will start to rain any moment now. I am glad I found that walkway. Definitely beats just sitting inside on the couch all day.

Well I believe that coffee is calling me after all. I will leave you with a few pictures of the Grand Canal and hope you all have a lovely Sunday.

 

 

 

Went for a longer walk today with some friends. In gale storm winds with the sand clinging to everything. Yeah, walking along the beach in strong wind might not be the best idea unless you want to chew sand for a good few hours but it was worth it. Lots of kite surfers and wind surfers out at the beach taking advantage of a windy day with no freezing rain.

I needed to get out a bit. There was no training at the club yesterday so instead I cleaned the entire apartment, for hours. Even cleaning the windows!! Which, if you know me, is a very rare occurrence. My cats have a clear view out again and the neighbors in, I guess… whatever perspective you prefer. So getting out and stretching my legs was sorely needed. As tired as I have been lately I did seem to have a weird surge of energy, I could have kept walking for many more hours. It was just so nice.

When I was younger I actually loathed “going for a walk”… I always thought it was boring and not fast enough and what was the point… yeah, funny how things change. Now I actually cherish to go for a long walk. It clears my head (and works my legs and bum – always a bonus). Walking with friends is great. You get to share some beautiful scenery, get out and about and can have a chat or just companionable silence and then finish of with a cold beer, glass of wine or good aul latte. There is no better therapy for a tired and fed-up mind.

That is really how things have been a bit… tired and fed-up, hence the non-existent blogging. So it seems the walking did the trick. Now I just have to pray, dance, sing to the weather gods that they send some decent weather to Ireland for a while (though my singing might have the opposite effect so might leave that out) so that we can have plenty more days walking. Preferably without walking into a sandstorm.

Monday is nipping at the heels once again. So I will enjoy the last Sunday hours, hope you all have a good one.

Right… time for a bit of a scatty post. Which is a reflection of how scatty brained I feel this evening. Thank God the weekend is nearing, though I was convinced most of the day today that it is Tuesday. Don’t ask, I have no idea why.

Having spend a fabulous weekend away over Easter (see previous post) I prepared myself for another weekend of great fun. In total we were 9 girls (with some who flew in from various destinations to Dublin) that had a blast. We used to all work together when everyone still lived in Dublin and now we try to meet up at least a few times a year.

This was the first time in 3 (!!!) years that we all were in the same pace. I have laughed so much this weekend gone by. Eaten way, way too much food and we also went for a great walk around the Howth cliff walk. It is definitely one of my favorite shorter walks around Dublin. Needless to say that did not make up for the amount of food consumed… I am not sure why our meet-ups always revolve around food but we had quite a few favorite restaurants to sample. Sacrifices have got to be made.

At the top of the walk

and Howth harbour

Oh yeah the cliffs did not attack… but you never know…

I was in addition dying with a cold so I stayed sober throughout the weekend… wow… there are some serious weirdos on the dance floor at 1am – things like that you only really notice when sober. It was concluded that there was maybe one decent looking guy in the ENTIRE place… maybe beer goggles are a good thing after all.

I am always amazed at how great if feels when we are all together. Or as one of the girls put it “… it is like balm for the soul”. Even with a cold those few days energized me and made everything feel just fine. Now to save up for the next meet-up. That is if my car ever stops needing additional repairs…. enough said.

By the way, have you ever seen a bar that you have to peddle to get going? A novel way of seeing Dublin by “bicycle”… and it gets the beer flowing – bonus!

I am also longing for warmer weather now. Today it has been your typical Irish four-seasons weather… lashing rain, hail storm, windy and the odd sunshine. All in all repeated every hour. It makes for good sleeping (I always sleep well when it is raining) but it is the waking up part that troubles me ever so slightly. So come on sunshine.

I did get some sun while I was driving home, even if it just was a glimpse.

This scatty brain will now direct her feet to the nearest duvet. And yes, I am now also talking about me in third person. Definitely ready for Friday to come rollin’ in!

 

This Easter weekend was great. I spend it with a friend, going to the west coast of Ireland. Staying in a lovely B&B in Salthill, within walking distance of Galway.

Getting away from Dublin was so nice. Sometimes it is exactly what is needed. The scenery on the west coast is fantastic, even though the roads were often so narrow that there was no place to stop and take a picture. A useful advice to visitors… don’t get a big car when visiting. Trust me.

Galway is a really nice city with nice restaurants, cosy streets and a good nightlife without the sleaze factor. It is not a big city at all, all is within walking distance. Perfect.

The days were spend driving around Connemara and enjoying the views. I clocked over 500 miles in the car and could probably done much more if we had a few more days. One thing to keep in mind though is that the maps and sign postings not necessarily always concur… I still cannot explain how following one road (the only road!) to lead us south ended up with us going north-west on the wrong side of the lake… It is a mystery to stay unsolved as we could not find any logical reason to what happened. It was a good laugh though so who cares really.

Oh and one important thing to remember… forget mobile phone coverage or an internet connection when out and about in Connemara. “No service” was a frequent message on my phone. It took some getting used to but after a while it was strangely relaxing (yes, I know how desperate this sounds…).

I did manage to take a few pictures this weekend.

Kylemore Abbey. A home for the Henry family and later for nuns from the Benedictine Order and it also used to be a girls boarding school… can you imagine going to school there? It was really in the middle of no-where. No sneaking out there…

The mist never quite lifted.

Killary Fjord. Ireland’s only fjord.

Connemara

The Cliffs of Moher. It was windy, chilly and drizzling with rain… as usual when visiting the cliffs.

 

The weekend just flew. I wish I could have had a few more days. I loved it!

Happy Easter!

Walking for hours (not quite knowing where the path would lead) in fabulous surroundings, taking a few pictures, soaking up the fresh air and the sun… it does not get much better for the soul than that. This weekend gone by was like balm for my soul.

Last week a very good friend and I decided to go away for the weekend. We decided to go to the northwest of Ireland, to an area called County Donegal – specifically to a lovely place called Killybegs.

It was a fantastic weekend. I could most likely write for hours but instead I will share with you some highlights and most importantly some pictures of this beautiful place.

  • The best little hotel in town Tara Hotel, highly recommended! Try to get a room with the view of the harbor – so you can see the fishing boats go out at night and come back early morning.
  • The seafood chowder… ohh soo good!
  • Sheep… lots of sheep…
  • Stillness – only disturbed by those cheeky seagulls.
  • A perfectly calm sea (just a few ripples caused by a few hungry seals).
  • Sea mist that slowly lifted, sunshine and hardly a breeze.
  • Absolutely beautiful views.

 

The harbor in Killybegs:

The beauty about being here off-season is that we hardly saw any other walkers/hikers around. Just a few locals and plenty of sheep (one was even leading us for quite some time)

The nearby Slieve League Cliffs are a must visit and absolutely stunning. The sea mist came and went but never fully lifted in the sunshine.

So 407.3 miles by car, several hours by foot and two fantastic days – makes one great weekend. The only bad thing was that it ended too quick. So for the next trip away it will have to be a two nights stay. Can’t wait!

 

 

 

 

For the month of February, Christy and myself, will run a photo challenge at our joint blog Living 3703.

The first post describing this in more detail can be found here! Feel free to drop in. We will post a picture each every day…. not sure if we are slightly insane or not…