Thursday, October 25, 2007

Shrine Arch


This is the entrance to the Meiji Jingu shrine.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, October 24, 2007



I am in Tokyo at the moment. To prove it, here is a picture (from my hotel room), of the Tokyo Municipal Government building, which is much more imposing than it is pretty. It's right outside my window. I have never been here before, so even though I have to work, it's been very interesting. The Japanese are extremely friendly, and to my surprise, despite its huge size, Tokyo is a pretty mellow city. Everyone seems to take their time and there are lots of people walking the streets and hanging out in the noodle shops and cafes - I was surprised, given their work culture is geared towards long hours. Surprised, too, are my Japanese colleagues when I told them I expected it to be more manic.

At lunch time today, one of my team members brought me to the Meiji Jingu Shinto shrine, which is near the office. It's a beautiful, peaceful place - you wouldn't believe that you are in the middle of a huge city, once inside the grounds. The temple is made of Japanese cyprus and then woodwork is stark, precise, and beautiful. Also, it seems like the Japanese gods like a good knees up, based on the size of the Sake offering below (one of several).


As luck would have it, some of the company brass were also in town yesterday, and I was asked to tag along to a dinner at the top of the Park Hyatt hotel. If you have seen the movie Lost In Translation, you might recognise the restaurant. The characters were staying in the hotel. One of the scenes has Bill Murray and Scarlett Johanssen drinking in the restaurant, with spectacular night time views of Tokyo as the back drop. I actually didn't cop on about the movie myself until someone mentioned it to me. The food was amazing and the conversation interesting, and despite having my camera in my bag, I never took any pictures of the view. Doh! It only dawned on me when I got back to my hotel.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Swans Ditton Park_20070926_0005_1 The company I work for has a campus just outside London. While the main building is new, the grounds are those of a 15th century country mansion. The mansion is still standing and in perfect order, and there is a little river running nearby. The weather was beautiful, so I decided to forgo the shuttle from the hotel, and walk to work. The mile or so meander through the gardens around the house is a very nice way to start the day. This lone swan was preening in the river as I passed over.

Labels: , ,

Monday, October 08, 2007

Limerick Moon

Moon Dooradoyle_20070927_0019_1

I took this when I was back in Limerick a few weeks back. It was a gorgeous harvest moon hanging low over the city. Unfortunately I didn't have time to grab my gear and head outside to someplace where I would have been in a position to take a shot that included the moon and the city.

Labels: , ,

Friday, October 05, 2007

Birthday Boy

Funny Kids_20070917_9_24 He's all of two today, our Cian. A rambunctious, boisterous, good hearted little boy, if ever there was one. Tash has taken to calling him Taz, after the Tasmanian Devil in the Bugs Bunny cartoons. In him, I may have found my little musician. He is obsessed with the guitar, and insists on being in the studio with me whenever I play. He will demand a pick, and strum one of the other guitars while I practice.
He has no awareness of his place in the sibling hierarchy. As far as he is concerned, even if he is the youngest, he is the King, and demands that respect be accorded him. His older brother and sister, who delight in his charm, are happy to play along...up to a point. There have been some older sister younger brother standoffs.

He had clonked his head while playing a few minutes before this photo was taken, hence the tears. He had been comforted before I took it, I'm not that cold hearted!

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, October 04, 2007

"Ta siad ag teacht..."

Anyone who lived in Ireland in the 80's will get the above reference. It's Irish for, "They are coming." Guinness are rightfully famous for their adverts over the years, and the quote is from a Guinness ad. It starts with a dark moody bar, and the sound of a clock ticking, (think a Western transported to the Aran Islands). Their are several shadowy figures loitering quietly. Then a man rushes into the bar and announces, "Ta siad ag teacht!" The next scene is that of a currach rushing over the waves, a keg of Guinness sitting in its midsection.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Kerry Sky

Duagh Scenes_20070922_0025
The vast skies of the American West are spectacular to see, but for my money, nothing beats the drama of the Dingle Peninsula. The light is constantly changing as the North Atlantic clouds mesh and break on the mountains. Blue skies quickly give way to temperamental storm clouds, and frequently, sunshine and storm coexist in the same patch of sky. I have taken hundreds of photos of the scene above, and no two are alike. The offshore wind sends rain-laden clouds over the Sliabh Mish mountain range, where the granite hills drag the watery bounty onto their steep slopes, filling the myriad mountain streams and lakes in the process. You can sit sunning yourself on the beaches of Brandon Bay while watching the rain falling on the mountains barely a half mile away.

Labels: , , ,