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Cinnamon patrol

Mr and Mrs Lili Wedding


Photos: Smithfield, The Liberties and around

I've been "testing" my new lens (the 50mm f1.4 SSC old FD). These photos are mostly taken on my way to work over two consecutive days. The first day was a disaster as it was rainy and I didn't have anything to wipe the lens clean.

The Liberties is the area around my work. It's a bit rough and very olde worlde. It's one of my favourite parts of Dublin.

The film is Fuji Reala 100.

Slideshow here, album here.

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Very cold and very windy today with scattered wintry showers of rain, hail or sleet with snow showers on higher ground - though some snow will affect lower levels in the north and west for a time today. Risk of isolated thunderstorms also. Afternoon temperatures just 2 to 6 Celsius, coldest in the north, but the strong to gale force west to northwest will make it feel bitterly cold.



The Irish Meteorological Service delivers bad news in a charming, chatty way

3 Day Outlook

Very unsettled and cold weather in store:Very windy and rather cold on Wednesday night with rain becoming widespread and heavy overnight and early Thursday. The temperatures will rise a little but it will be extremely windy or stormy for a time. The rain should clear away later Thursday with extremely cold and wintry weather following for Thursday night, Friday and into early Saturday. There will be sunny spells but with very low temperatures the showers will turn to snow and there could be some significant accumulations of snow especially in parts of the northwest, north and northeast with the risk of thunder also. While the winds will ease somewhat later Thursday it will still be windy at times through Friday and feel bitterly cold. There will be frost and some icy conditions Thursday night and most especially Friday night, when the winds will decrease later in the night. Wintry showers will become well isolated during Saturday but it will be very cold with temperatures only rising slowly after a cold, frosty start.



One hundred and twelve

That's how many ends I have to sew in on my new niece's blanket.

Wait, hold on, there were a few extra threads there. Make that a round one hundred and twenty.

If anyone ever doubts my love of the babies, they only need to perform the requisit mathematical calcualtions involving my intense hatred of the end-sewing-in (really, hugely intense - I favour yarns like KidSilk Haze for their superb yardage per ball for precisely this reason) and the number of ends that need to be sewn in on my average baby knit. The result is proof that I do, indeed, love me the babies.


In related matters, I am so supremely dissatisfied with virtually everything I've knit for myself, including two projects currently still on my needles, that I plan to frog it all (unravel it, for you non-knitters). With two nieces and an almost-niece, plus a lovely husband who us slowly being won by the delights of hand-knit socks made to fit his very feet, I think I'll have plenty to keep me busy.

This means I've become one of those knitters who owns almost nothing they've knit. Well, almost nothing I'd wear in public, anyway. A scarf, some fingerless gloves, a hat that David's talked me into wearing... I do have a few cardigans, but they're all huge on me now, and rather selfishly, I'd rather keep my current shape.

Who knows, I might get really frog-happy and unravel all them too...

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Remembering Sir Ed

Most NZers feel a sense of shared pride in Sir Ed, as he was affectionately known. A good, solid, decent Kiwi bloke who excelled at what he put his hand to, remained humble, and gave more to others than he was ever given.

I remember meeting him one day at high school. He'd talked to our house about what he was doing in Nepal (our house was named after him, had a statue of him in the courtyard, and fundraised for his projects every year), and prefects and teachers were invited to have morning tea with Sir Ed and Lady June. (And finally I began to see the benefits of being a prefect.)

One of my friends announced he was going to ask Sir Ed to sign a $5 bill. Suddenly, we were all frantically looking for our wallets and borrowing money from each other, so we could do the same.

Sir Ed was bemused by it, but took it in his stride, signing each bill carefully and chuckling a little as he did. And then we had scones and talked about *really important* things, like what we were studying and how we felt about the upcoming internal exams. Eventually they left, and we had to go back to class, and life went on. But I kept hold of that $5 bill for a long time.

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More Barcelona photos

Click below or see the big slideshow.

Lately I've been reminded how much nicer prints are than computer images. The place I've found does brilliant prints with amazingly rich colour. Don't tease me, but I'm thinking of putting together a photo album or something.

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New camera body and lens

Near our hotel was a great camera shop and I bought a Canon T90 camera body and a FD (old style) 50mm f1.4 SSC lens.

The T90 is tank! It was the last manual focus SLR Canon made before going autofocus. As well as being one of the best 35mm cameras ever made (a general opinion, not just my own), it is also a design classic: the first of its kind, it is the granddaddy of all modern SLR cameras with its radical curvy, human-friendly design.

It's beautiful to use - I can see why people love it. It has just enough controls, but not too many. The perfect balance. I guess it will be my main camera, with the AE1-P as my backup, and the digital for when I want to travel light.

The 50mm f1.4 SSC was really a steal and I'm now only one lens (the esteemed 24mm f1.4L) away from a serious kit! (And maybe a 50mm 1.2L if I can find a bargain).

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Qiero dos cafe con leche por favor

Barcelona: Roman city, capital of the Catalan region, sparkling jewel on the Mediterranean, home of Modernisme, tapas, an airport with two runways, and a couple of great camera shops.

We enjoyed a lovely 2h10m flight over courtesy of Aer Fungus. The weather was clear (well, as soon as we left the British Isles it was) and from my window seat I watched as we zoomed along the French coast, then over the Pyrenees (what a view!!!) and finally along the Mediterranean coast and...

...three good days of sight seeing, tapas eating (my favourite was razor-shell clams a la Rick Stein), coffee, hot chocolate and cava drinking, walking and shopping. Most of the photos are still sitting, unborn, in my bag. But a tiny taste:

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Photos from old camera / new lens

In preparation for our Barcelona trip, I finally developed a role of film. Good news: the camera works (it has been fixed) and so does the lens!

The scans don't do the prints justice, but I'm pretty happy.

Slideshow here, must dash!

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Oh baby!

As of today, I am the owner of a brand-new little niece! Congratulations Mark & Reiko!

(No name yet, so I'm calling her little Laura. I bet they'll name her real soon now.)

She was a wee bit earlier than expected, so none of her knitted welcome gifts are quite finished. I'm off to sort that out now.

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It snowed!

16:54 Christchurch, Dublin

... and I was there!



A highly sentimental New Year's prattle

This time last year we were 2 weeks out from our first milestone - the-leaving-of-jobs (and the end-of-income), 6 weeks out from the-getting-married and about 10 weeks out from the-leaving-New-Zilland.

It was a crazy. Other people have accomplished more in less time, but they didn't have as much stuff to sell / discard / put in storage as we did nor were they burdened by a well meaning but not overly efficient wedding planner (me).

But we did it: we left our jobs, we wed (the weather came to the party), we sold / discarded and put in storage, and we left in March bound for Dublin via our honeymoon.

Now we have been here about 9 months. We've moved houses 3 times, but finally found a place to call home. We have a car (currently broken and at the mechanics) and two jobs (one each) and I guess you could say we've settled in.

We've also done a fair bit of travelling around Europe both for fun, and for retracing-where-your-family-came-from. Some of us (not me) has been to Canada and London (twice) for work. Others (me) just walk to work across the Liffey.

We spent a quiet Christmas together (photos below!) at our apartment and enjoyed all-your-favourite-foods meals consisting variously of artichoke heart casserole, salmon rissoles, potato latke and (for me) all manner of horse-radish based condiments.

And last night, we saw the year our at Bertram's (one of Laura's colleagues, from the Netherlands) apartment, his girlfriend Roberta from Sicily, his sister (also Dutch), an Irishman, and a New Zillander lately from New Plymouth. Roberta, a gracious host, had prepared a delicious meal, the highlight of which was two different kinds of cannelloni.

After leaving (very late at this stage), and together we Martin (the Irishman) we walked into town along Pearce St through the Docklands - a revitalised area with brand new apartments and office buildings cheek-by-jowl with abandoned Edwardian splendor. Then up into O'Connell St (the main drag) where the night's casualties were spilling out of the bars (and out of their high-heels) and into the soft rain (soft rain is a legitimate type of Irish rain). And then the final mile, along the LUAS track and back to Smithfield.

A good night to end a great year.

Happy New Year everyone!

Xmas 07