Photographing the Alphabet ~L

L ~ Lichen

Ireland being a country where it is prone to rain on a daily basis, we are often referred to as having Forty Shades of Green. It is a wonder that the natives have not turned green before today! 😉 Mind you there are the rare occasions when the sun actually shines for more than a day at a time and my freckles take on a greenish hue!

I have collected many photos over the years of lichen in may colours and forms. I hope you enjoy them.

Cavehill Country Park

In the Glen at Crawfordsburn Country Park

Rocks on the North Antrim Coast

Gleno Waterfall

Returning to nature, Crawfordsburn Country Park

Old gate post near Buckna, County Antrim

Photographing the Alphabet ~ K

K ~ Kimba

Meet Kimba


I met this well mannered lady in the park on a recent walk. There are several paths that crisscross a large grassed area. I had entered the park by a wooden bridge and was in time to see Kimba being released from her lead and literally take off into mid air to follow a ball. Every muscle was stretched in the effort and the enjoyment of the freedom was really obvious.

Her owner kept to the pathway and we had a chat for quite a few minutes. Kimba came to join us and sat with the ball between her feet as she rested and listened to us. Then it was time for exercise to resume for all of us and we parted.

What a magnificent coat. I could do with one like that in winter.

Photographing the Alphabet ~ I

I ~ Instruments – Musical


The EWI is a musically versatile instrument usually associated with jazz/rock fusion and, more recently, with New Age music. EWI is an acronym for electric wind instrument, pronounced EE-wee, and it is the name of Akai’s wind controller, an electronic musical instrument invented by Nyle Steiner. The air pressure sensor allows for great dynamic tonal range, usually extending to 8 octaves.

Westbury Electric Guitar

Westbury guitars were manufactured in Japan by the Matsumoku Industrial Company. They made three grades of guitars: standard, deluxe and custom. Production ran from around 1978 to 1982. Charlie Francipane revived the Westbury brand name and began producing American made Westbury guitars.

Fender Acoustic Guitar

This Fender Acoustic Guitar, model Gemini II, is from 1990. It was made in Korea. It has a urethane finish with very good tuners that should keep it in tune forever, and as they say ‘Damn near indestructible’! Fender now makes guitars in the United States, Mexico, Japan and China.

Saxaphone & EWI

The saxophone was invented in 1846 by Adolphe Sax a Belgian musical instrument designer and musician who played the flute and clarinet. He wanted to create an instrument that would be the most powerful and vocal of the woodwinds, and the most adaptive of the brass—that would fill the vacant middle ground between the two sections. He patented the saxophone on June 24, 1846 in two groups of seven instruments each.

The above instruments all belong to my son-in-law George and the photographs of the Saxaphone & EWI are down to him. The guitars grace the walls of Grannymar’s bedroom, I suppose it is better to wake up to music than headstones! 😛

Now I cannot let George have all the fun, so I took a photo of my instruments:

Tuning the spoons.

What do you think?

Life is like a flute.
It may have many holes and emptiness but if you work on it carefully,
it can play magical melodies.

~ Author unknown to me.

Photographing the Alphabet ~ H

H – Haberdashery:

: a dealer in men’s clothing and accessories
: a dealer in notions

In an earlier post back in 2010 on colour I discovered from a comment that Former President Harry S. Truman, before he was in politics, was a Haberdasher. In his case, it refers to a Men’s Clothing Expert.

Today I am concentrating on the second option ‘notions’ found in a shop that sells many of the small items listed below:

Beads, Bows, Buckles & Buttons.
Crochet Hooks
Embroidery Rings
Knitting Needles
Marking Pen & Measuring Tape
Needles for crochet, knitting and sewing
Pins & Pom Pom Makers
Safety Pins, Scissors, Stitch markers & Stitch rippers.
Tailor’s Chalk, Thimble, Threads & Toggles.

The photos shows some of the items that came quickly to hand from my collection. I probably have as many more if time allowed to go digging for them.

Many of the items have lived in my work boxes for many a long year. A few still have price labels with shop names of Anderson & Macauley, Wellworths and Woodsides All three are long gone to the great big superstore in the sky. 😦

CRAFTWORLD – formerly known as Leisureworld can be found at Queen Street, Belfast.

Craftwoman Fabrics in Carrickfergus would be my first port of call these days and I now see they are on Facebook. I bet I know one follower who will go a drooling over there today (virtually)!

Now I am off to catch up on the first of four episodes from the Great British Sewing Bee on BBC 2 TV.

The spools at the top right of this photo were inherited and are at least 40 years old.

Photographing the Alphabet ~ G

G – Gates

Going through my archive the other day, I realise that I like gates.

A random selection:

Recently Renovated entrance gateway to Clotworthy House in Antrim.

Leixlip, Co Kildare

Graveyard at Donaghadee, Co Down.

Castle Upton Grounds, Templepatrick, Co Antrim.

Templepatrick, Co Antrim.

Old gates at Sixmilewater, Antrim, recently removed as part of the redevelopment work. Time I went to see if they have been repaired and replaced.

This is my favourite. I found it on a walk at Ballyrobert, County Antrim.

I forgot this one.

I call this my gate of hope.

It is always the first place I see snowdrops and crocuses every year, and it always adds a spring to my step.

Photographing the Alphabet ~ E (Part Two)

E + Egg.

I know. I know. I covered the letter E a couple of weeks ago, but, but……

I found an egg!

Yes. I found an egg when I was down in Dublin. Mind you it would have been difficult to miss it.

2.4 m ( 7ft 10 inches) high.
880kg ( (1940 lbs) in weight.

That means it was as heavy as 7.6 baby elephants (average elephant calf weighs 115kg). Or more than 15 full grown pot belly pigs (125 lbs each).

Or to put it in more manageable figures:

17,600  BARS OF CHOCOLATE! (50g each)

It was behind protective glass, so not so easy for me to capture.

To date it is the Largest chocolate egg ever created in Ireland and made entirely of milk chocolate. The egg was crafted by Lily O’ Brien’s in celebration of their title sponsorship of The Big Egg Hunt in Aid of Jack & Jill.

The Egg was decorated with white chocolate lilies, decorative leaves and jewels by Charlotte Marrifield.

This egg was not hard to find. Pity it was on my last morning in Dublin or I would have had fun for a few more days….

It was all part of ‘The Big Egg Hunt 2013’ an interactive public art display where 100 exquisite and uniquely crafted eggs designed by leading artists and celebrities took to the streets of Dublin. The Eggs were placed in key locations of the city from the 12th February to the 15th March before they were brought to one central location at CHQ building (IFSC, Docklands, Dublin 1) and displayed for one week.

During the initial period the general public were invited to take part in Ireland’s biggest Egg hunt and an online auction for the Eggs.

Supporting The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation

The event will culminate in a Gala Black Tie Ball at the Four Seasons Hotel Dublin Tonight 23rd March where the top 30 Eggs will be auctioned live. This event will bring old and new together by uniting the tradition of the egg hunt with cutting edge technology and beautiful art, which will be a first for engaging mass participation in this way and on this scale.

The main point of the whole endeavour is to raise awareness of & funds for the wonderful work of The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation and the 300 babies nationwide currently under their wing.

You can see the amazing eggs here best to view them as a slide show.

Photographing the Alphabet ~ D

D ~ Dry Stone Walls

A traditional skill in Ireland dating back thousands of years and still very evident today throughout the island of Ireland.

Drystone walling involves the construction of a wall, entirely made of stone. No bonding agent is used to stick the stones together, the “bonding” comes from the skill used to lay the stones. It’s a very labour-intensive work but rewarding in the end.

Unlike a fence that can be blown over in a gale, the gaps in the stones allows the wind to blow through, yet at the same time gives shelter to any livestock grazing in the fields.

Dry stone wall patchwork at the foot of Slemish.

The Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland (DSWAI) was founded in 2009.
They are a non-profit organisation which is run entirely by volunteers. The current committee is mixture of professional stonemasons and those with an interest/background in the area.

In the D.S.W.A.I.  our aim is create an awareness of the need for preserving the craft of ‘dry’ stone building in Ireland.

In doing so the association hopes to advance the education of the public and professionals in the knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the craft of building with stone, particularly the craft of ‘dry’ stone construction (i.e. without the use of mortars).

One of our goals is the formation and growth of a community of members (both amateur and professional), which involves itself in dry stone projects.

With these aims in mind the D.S.W.A.I. intends to promote the study and appreciation of dry stone construction by means of lectures, discussions, exhibitions, workshops, training and certification programs.

The Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland (DSWAI) in collaboration with The International Stone Foundation have been working on creating a big dry stone walling event to join in the nation wide celebrations of The Gathering Ireland 2013.

You are invited. The invitation includes the opportunity to bring a rock/stone from home and it you attend the event it will be added to the wall.
Click on the D.S.W.A.I link above for more information and a video ( best viewed on a large screen).

My Maternal Great Grandfather William Coughlan, was a Stonemason. His life began in Skibbereen, on the south west coast of Ireland, in 1852. It was the final year of the Irish Potato Famine. Family history tells us that William worked his way to Dublin, where with the eventuality of gradualness he met and married Catherine D’Arcy on 12 June 1879. My Granny was the third of their eight children.