everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

There is no place like home. Except when there is.

So, here’s my last travellin’ post for a little while. A collection of some of the pics from my final days in Ireland – after a fortnight of mostly perfect weather, these last few days have been rainy and pretty chilly, so it’s a good time to head home to the sun. Always tough to leave here, but I have had a fantastic holiday and it has been great to be able to catch up with old friends and check out some of my old haunts. There’s a line in that John O’Donohue poem (‘For the Traveller’, which I posted a few weeks ago) about old friends making it seem like nothing has changed since you were last with them, and that is exactly how it’s been. Whether it’s five years or ten years since I’ve seen some of my Irish mates, they’re the kind of friends who fit like a glove. Some people don’t have any place that feels like home – I know I’m super lucky to have two. Waa waa waa – here are the photos!

Beautiful day for a run in Phoenix Park, Dublin. I tried to get a photo of the herd of deer that live in the park, but from this distance they looked sort of like a pile of logs, so I didn’t think you’d believe me anyway.

Phoenix Park – it’s one of the largest enclosed parks in Europe. Yes, I did double check that fact online.

About 30% of the Phoenix Park is covered by trees, which are mainly broadleaf parkland species such as oak, ash, lime, beech, sycamore and horsechestnut. Yes, that’s from the PhoenixPark.ie website too.

Now THAT’s a Banoffee pie. With about 10cm of cream on top, at Avoca cafe.

The first rule of Cake Club? Talk to everyone about Cake Club, I’d say.

Ah, modern pharmaceutical art. From an exhibition at a Wexford art gallery.

It’s a Jedward chocolate bar. A twin bar, to be precise. The side of the packet says, “FULL ON, CRAZY, JEADLEY!” Yes, really.

Some of the locals saying hello in Wexford.

One of the many pretty thatched houses in Kilmore, Wexford.

Kilmore, Wexford.

Great name.

Ah, country life. Stuck behind this big guy for around 20 mins as it made its way along the narrow roads to the farm.

It’s real and it’s in Dublin. I was too scared to go in, though, so I can’t tell you any more about it.

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Hello, my name is…

Here are some pics from our morning walk in Dun Laoghaire, back in Dublin. (You pronounce it Dun Leary, in case you’re ever in town and want to sound like a local.) Really though, no one could really blame the non-Irish for mis-pronouncing Irish words and names – things here are rarely as they seem, so I generally ask before I try to pronounce. For example, test yourself on these Irish girls’ names: Caoimhe, Cliona, Ailbhe (yes, that’s right: Quee-va, Clee-na, Al-va); and then there are these Irish boys’ names: Daithi and Feidhlim (yep, Dah-hee and Fail-im).  There’s also a boy’s name that sort of sounds like you’re clearing your throat – Cathal (sort of Co-hol). Sometimes I used to think that my Irish friends were making the names up just so they could giggle as I tried my best to sound authentic.

An overcast day at Dun Laoghaire.

Dun Laoghaire walk.

Sure, just more ancient ruins on an emerald island.

And although he isn’t part of the natural beauty around Dun Laoghaire, I couldn’t resist this pic of Crocs Man, in the window of one of the shops there. Unfortunately, he’s not for sale. Although he probably wouldn’t fit in my suitcase anyway, so I think it’s for the best.

Hello, Crocs Man.

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Five thousand words

No, not really, but five pictures instead. Here are some snapshots from my day in Dublin.

Just doing my bit for Dublin tourism / PR – another beautiful sunny day. Well, the morning was, anyway…

A parking spot specifically for a family, outside a supermarket. Well, it’s either a family, or an image from the movie ET.

An ad for a nursery – the baby on the right appears to be thinking WHO ARE YOU AND WHY ARE YOU SO CLOSE? (And is it just me, or does he look a bit like Mr Bean?)

Latte art by Dublin’s own Ruslan, Irish Latte Art Champion 2012, at the Art of Coffee.

And one of my favourites – my lovely friends found this on the street near some fairly rough apartments here in Dublin (not today, but I couldn’t resist including it in this post). As you can see, it’s a comprehensive list of some kid’s enemies…hopefully he or she isn’t lost without it…

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A bat and a park

I’ll warn you now that today’s post isn’t terribly exciting – it’s about a cookie and a park. But since this blog is all about finding little sparks in the everyday, and it’s my travel diary while I’m on the road, here it is…

Today was a bit rainy, so we went shopping. We met Barry the Bat at a cafe. A nice take on the traditional gingerbread people and perfect for Halloween next month – although maybe a bit scary for little people to eat a biscuit with big fangs…

Then this afternoon I went for a run in a park here in Dublin, during a break in the rain.

It looks like a nice park, right? That’s what I thought too – then I saw this graffiti on the fence and spent the rest of my run looking over my shoulder. They were out.

 

 

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Jedward and the Olympic Torch

So, I don’t normally post on the weekends, but this week I saw some big news that needed sharing. Jedward (the real winners of Eurovision in my eyes) carried the Olympic Torch through Dublin. How they got so close without the product in their hair catching fire is a modern day miracle. Here’s a pic and a quote to get the weekend off to a great start.

“Thank you, guys, so much for all coming out and being so Jepic and so Jedicated to the Olympics. Last year we had Barack Obama and this year we have the Olympic torch.”

Totally Jepic, boys. This pic is from the UK MTV website, which featured the story here. But you can read about it pretty much anywhere that covers big news stories. If only these two could actually compete in the Olympics…that would be even better…Keepin’ the dream alive, Jedward!

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