Tag Archives: ireland
February 9, 2014

Carlow’s Dolmen

I grew up on the west coast of Ireland only a few miles from the Burren region. It's a beautiful part of the world and has a lot of history.

Nowadays I live in Carlow, which is in the southeast of Ireland. It too has history, but even though I've been living here for 10 years there are still parts of the area that I'm not familiar with.

One of the things that Carlow is known for is the dolmen which is located a couple of kilometres outside the town centre in the middle of a field.

Last weekend, as my mother was here, we headed out to see it. It's worth visiting simply because the stones are so damn big - how they were moved into position is  a mystery:
Bit of heritage this afternoon

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December 24, 2013

Evening Echo Boy Statue

If you wander around Cork city you'll probably walk past this statue at some point.

"The Echo Boy" serves as a memory as the number of "boys" selling the local evening paper - The Evening Echo - has now dwindled to practically zero. The "boys" are now grown men if they exist at all
Echo Evening Echo

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December 22, 2013

A Bit of Schoolboy Nostalgia

If you went to school in Ireland you probably had one of these "maths set" cases at some point.

I'd forgotten about them until I spotted this one for sale in a supermarket in Midleton.

Of course if it isn't scratched and punched full of holes it probably isn't the "genuine article" :)

I'm not sure when I had the last one of these, but it was probably back in 1990 or 1991 - maybe even before then
Nostalgia

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December 12, 2013

French Beer, Herbal Tea & Cured Meat

James comes over to Carlow a couple of times a year and he usually brings me over a few products that I simply cannot get in Ireland.

Vanilla tea - while there are a couple of varieties available in Irish shops they're simply not as good as the Twining's one

Adelscott beer - I've been drinking this beer on and off since some time in the early 90s. Even in France it's not available on tap in most places. It's good beer, but it's quite strong, so you can only drink a couple before you have to call it a night!

Cured meats - sure, you can get some of these in Ireland, but it's not really the same thing

Oooo @forbairt brought me stuff!!

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September 29, 2013

Fresh anchovies from Ballycotton Seafood in Midleton

I love cooking and being able to cook with good quality fresh ingredients makes the entire experience even better.

Unfortunately a lot of good quality ingredients are harder to find if you don't live in a major urban centre. However Ireland is packed with quality food producers, so you can find excellent sources in the most unlikely of places.

Ballycotton Seafood is one such source. They sell fresh anchovies! If you cook with tinned ones normally then using the fresh variety is a revelation. It's a totally different experience and the flavour is completely different.

Fresh anchovies from Ballycotton Seafood in Midleton

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September 14, 2013

The Sage food philosophy

Sage Restaurant 12 mile philosophy

Sage Restaurant 12 mile philosophySage Restaurant is just off the main street in Midleton. Yesterday I was lucky enough to have lunch there and I have to say it was simply fantastic.

But what's more interesting about the restaurant isn't just the quality of the food. It's their food philosophy.

They source most of their ingredients within a 12 mile radius of the restaurant.While that could lead to a rather limited menu, in the case of Sage it definitely doesn't.

The owner of Sage explains the thinking:

Yesterday I had lunch there. It was relaxed, excellent quality and good value. Highly recommended.

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June 28, 2013

David Norris Speaks Out Against Abolition Of Seanad

I don't normally write about politics. That doesn't mean that I don't have strong feelings and opinions about them.

However when a government is trying to weaken the democracy of a country and that country happens to be my own I'm afraid I cannot be silent.

Fortunately there are others out there who are better at expressing their views on why the abolition of the Seanad is a bad idea..

Here's Senator David Norris speaking out against the Fine Gael government's plans to abolish the second house.

Watch it.

Update: the transcript of the speech is available here

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March 18, 2013

Life On A Plane?

Dublin-airport-tunnel-between-terminalsOver the next few weeks I'll be "on the road" quite a bit..

Tomorrow morning (early) I fly over to Brussels for the Alliance On Safe Online Pharmacy meeting. I fly back to Dublin in the evening .. and then the following morning I'm off to London for a meeting of the Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services (EWG)

The following week is Brussels again for the EURid Registrar Advisory Board meeting...

I get a few days in Ireland before heading to Beijing for the ICANN meeting..

In April I'll also be speaking at Domaining Spain in Valencia

It's a busy few weeks, but I enjoy it. If I didn't enjoy it I can't imagine doing it!

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March 16, 2013

It’s Paddy NOT Patty

This weekend is a long weekend here in Ireland. It's our national holiday - St Patrick's Day.

Now I could ramble on about the history or the culture, but let's face it that's not what I'm interested in writing about.

I'll keep it very very simple.

It's St. Patrick. Patrick or Padraig. So it's either St. Patrick's Day or Paddy's Day. Either option works.

It is not and has never been "Patty" or "St Patty". ("Patty" is actually acceptable as an abbreviation of Patricia, but the patron saint of Ireland is a man, so unless you want to go back in time and give him a sex change or try to do it posthumously ... .. )

I've no idea why so many Americans can't get this right.

Go read the wikipedia entry.

Do you see any reference to "Patty"? Didn't think so.

Someone else even went to the trouble of setting up a website to explain this all in plain and simple terms.

Unfortunately a lot of big brands still haven't got the message - I'm looking at you Disney / Pixar:

pixar-fail

 

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March 10, 2013

Irish Times New Site Is A Bandwidth Hog

The Irish Times has been trying to reinvent itself over the last year or so.

Both the online and offline editions of the newspaper have been given design overhauls, but the online version might need a few more tweaks.

Running it via a couple of tools that check how quickly it loads the results are a bit .. well see for yourself below ..

GTMetrix gives it a score of C and D. The frontpage is very very big and takes a long time to load:

gtmetrix-results-irish-timesRunning it through Pingdom's full page test gives similar results:

pingdom-test-results-irish-times

James has been posting a bit about speeding up websites over on his new blog, which is sort of why I was interested in this, though I've always been aware of how quickly a page will load for people on slower connections.

But even if you don't get into crazy technical analysis of a website's size in bits, bytes etc., the frontpage of the Irish Times website is currently too big to fit on  floppy disk!

By comparison Pinterest, which is 100% image driven, is only 853kB (if you're not logged in)

Yahoo! Ireland is under 400kB

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