A Social Cycle on the Waterford Greenway

Cycling Ireland, the governing body of cycling in Ireland, have teamed up with AXA to provide some community bike rides throughout the country. Have a look at their website.


I will be running one in Waterford, Ireland. If you want to come and join us for a cycle along the beautiful Waterford Greenway, click the link and and sign up. First one happening on the 13th April 2019.


Leibster Award Nomination

Having had to Google LEIBSTER AWARD to find out what this was all about, I have decided to play along. I have also read the instructions, so I will try and follow them, but I’m not really a big fan of rules.


Well firstly thank you Alba, no really, thank you. Being someone who couldn’t even work out how to fill in the ABOUT part of their blog, being faced with a dozen questions isn’t the easiest.

So this is what I’ve been asked to answer:


  1. Why do you blog? (have to throw in a blogging questions, seeing as this IS a blog after all!)
  2. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
  3. Star Wars or Star Trek (remember this might be the most important question on here!)
  4. Favourite movie?
  5. Favourite book?
  6. Favourite song? (not being lazy, I’m genuinely curious)
  7. Do you like to cook and what do is your best dish?
  8. What makes you laugh?
  9. Most embarassing moment?
  10. Singing or dancing?
  11. T-Rex or Dragons?

I better start answering them.

Why do you blog? Why start with the hardest question? Seemed like a good idea at the time, something to keep me busy ….. or the real answer. I had read a few blogs by people that had been everywhere (I haven’t), but they had never been to Ireland (where I live), so I thought “Why not tell people about the places on my doorstep!”


The sunrise from my doorstep

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? I’ve never been a big world traveller, I look at people’s blogs and think “Wow, I’d love to go there!”, but I know I never will. If you were to push me, I would have to say some natural wonder, like the Grand Canyon or Monument Valley. I am so happy where I am, I really don’t have the travel bug, except for when I cycle on the Waterford Greenway.


Looking towards Waterford City

Star Wars or Star Trek? Has to be Star Wars. I would like to come up with a really technical answer, as to why, but I can’t. I think it might just have been down to budget, comparing movies with T.V. back then isn’t really fair. The new Star Trek movies are in a different league to the old T.V. series.

Favourite movie? I won’t say Star Wars, but it is hard to beat. I’m going to say Kind Hearts and Coronets. No! Just me then. Google it, it’s brilliant. How can I persuade you? Obi-Wan-Kenobi is in it. Yes Alec Guinness, from the original Star Wars (who negotiated his contract to be a percentage of the film’s take) played the whole D’Ascoyne family (negotiating a separate pay packet for each part).

Favourite book? I have to say Ash A Secret History. No! Just me then. Google it, it’s brilliant. I have it as one BIG book, but I believe it was cut into four separate books for the American market, I heard something about smaller hands.

Favourite song? So many to choose from. Take it as read that it’s going to be a Queen song, even then there are so many. OK, Love of my Life. No! Just me then. Goog …….. Do I have to do everything for you? Look at this.                                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUJkCXE4sAA

Do you like to cook and what do is your best dish? I wouldn’t be a great cook, I think of a cook as someone that can look at a bunch on random things and turn it into a meal, that’s not me. I can bake things though. Baking cakes is much more about the ability to follow instructions, to the gram, I can do that. The best dish I can do is chocolate cake, any chocolate cake, if it has chocolate in it, I’ll give it a go.

celestial star with truffle atop

Just in case you don’t know what a chocolate cake looks like


What makes you laugh? Everything and anything, sometimes also things that are meant to be funny. Funniest comedian is Billy Connolly, but one to see live is Tommy Tiernan. No! Oh don’t start that again, you’re not going to google him are you, so look at this then.                                                   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0v–fTVAWE8

Most embarrassing moment? Err ….. Um …… No, I’ve got nothing, probably means it hasn’t happened yet. Might happen if I read this back.

Singing or dancing? Well, dancing of course, unless I’m alone in the car when Ol Man River comes on the radio. Who doesn’t give that a go? When I say dancing, you may well be thinking Riverdance, but I might be in a more round and round slowly dance frame of mind.

T-Rex or Dragons? Oh for goodness sake, did you run out of questions? This must be the most stupid question in the list, why am I wasting my time even reading the question? It’s DRAGONS!!!!! Who would answer T-Rex? OK, apart from Marc Bolan, who would answer T-Rex? The answer is Dragons, every time. They can walk, fly, breath flames,  speak telepathically, have sex in mid air ….. what too much detail? Don’t blame me read Anne McCaffery.          https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/anne-mccaffrey/

Well, that’s it read them and weep. At this point I’m supposed to pass this on to a bunch of other blogs, but I can’t even work out how to tag Alba in this, and she’s the one that dropped me in it. Sorry I meant to say, nominated me, I miss typed. So I’ll miss out that part of the rules, but if you’re reading this and want to give it a go, don’t let my lack of ability stop you.

Transient – Weekly Photo Challenge

I like the idea of being transient, but being transitory has to be linked to time. A fly fisherman’s idea of passing time, differs greatly from a Formula 1 driver’s. But time for a city is measured in generations, or historical time periods that have affected the architecture, from Norman to Georgian and onto modern.

So, if you have seen my blog before, you will know I love living in Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city. After one walk around the city, you would be left in no doubt about the transient nature of the people who have walked the streets before us.

Modern architecture has to fit in to this historical frame work, but with the physical constraints of the past controlling the shape. It must cause huge nightmares for the planners, because whatever they do somebody will get upset.

The Vikings set the original city in the shape of a triangle, to make the most of the two local rivers’ natural defences. The Normans later extended the walls following the same shape. This has left the modern city with a number of odd shapes to fill. This covered space follows the shape of the old city, in a very modern way. The internet has many photos, with the addition of Darth Vader, by people who think it is too modern, but me I love it. In fact I like it so much I took a selfie.


A selfie, looking at the mirrored surface


Heritage – Weekly Photo Challenge

This topic, when I read it, felt like opening a can of worms. If you have read any of my previous posts you will know I love where I live, but am very aware that I am walking through history every time I turn down a new street.

The trouble with history and a built heritage is, you often only find out about the rich people, the land owners, the gentry who allowed their name to be attached to their gift to the nation. Rarely do you hear about the lives that were ruined in putting them on their pedestals.

Living in Ireland, I often feel I have clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, when I hear the news from England and America. Phrases constantly repeated by rich people, blaming the poor for being the problem, while giving more money to the rich. Poor people using Food Banks by choice, rather than, having no hope once they had funded their landlord’s millionaire lifestyle.

Sorry, back to the photo, I was getting a bit carried away there.

One of the threats used by teachers around here, to encourage unmotivated students, is to say “Get a move on Rover, or you’ll only be fit for breaking stones!”. Not the idle threat it sounds like on paper. You all would know of the images of Nelson Mandela, sitting in the prison yard breaking stones as a punishment, but in Ireland it was the basis of the social welfare system.


A Stone Depot, County Waterford, Ireland

This photo was taken on the road to my village, I suppose you could call it the original Benefit Street [a programme on English T.V.]. It looks just like a small lay by at the side of the road, mostly overgrown in the summer, un-noticed for the rest of the year. But these compounds were where the man of the house would go to be able to feed his family.

These stone depots were one step away from the workhouse, while able bodied men could still work, they came to break stones in exchange for food. He would have to work here for 10 hours a day, and in return he would be given sustenance for his dependants. I fear when I listen to modern politicians, that they would like to go back to this system, with ideas like Welfare to Work mimicking this old policy.

“the Commissioners recommend the Guardians to establish a system of breaking stones by Measure, as the most suitable employment for able-bodied males requiring relief. The advantages of stone breaking are, that it is easy to superintend and regulate as task-work-that the materials are generally available, the implements of labour few and simple and above all, that it is less eligible to the labourer than most other employments, provided that it be vigilantly superintended and that a full day’s labour be rigorously exacted from each recipient of relief”.


Reflecting – Weekly Photo Challenge

I took this picture some years ago, and have spent the week trying to recreate it. Bad weather, tide in, Sun in, tide out, Sun out, all added up to you seeing the old photo. I think this week’s lesson is you have to be in the right place at the right time!


Kilmurren Cove, Copper Coast, Waterford, Ireland 

For a few weeks in the summer, tourists discover this cove, for the rest of the year it’s our playground. Dogs, kids, kites, tennis, football, skimming stones and impressions of King Canute all in a day’s work at the beach.

Danger – Weekly Photo Challenge

Danger is a strange one, when you’re younger you don’t see it,when you’re older you see it every where. I don’t have a problem with heights, but I do have a problem with people at heights.

You go somewhere as stunning as The Cliffs of Moher, you see the wall is there to protect the cows not the people (It’s quite windy up there, and the cows could quite easily get blown off the edge, nobody wants to see that!). Yet you still have to go to the edge of the crumbling path to build yourself a tower from the crumbling rocks.

I don’t understand it. There seems to be some kind of competition, as to who can build the tower in the most dangerous place. I don’t know when this idea started, but I don’t like it.


Little towers, getting nearer the edge.

Wanderlust – Weekly Photo Challenge

I always have a list in my head of places I’d like to go, but I’ve never been to most of them, and the list just gets longer. I think maybe I will just have to settle for reading about the travels on your blogs, good people.

One thing I have noticed though, is how dogs don’t loose their excitement for going places, old or new. They know if I turn the corner towards the school, they have to be on their best behaviour, the beach, it’s party time.


I don’t care where we’re going, but are we there yet?

A dog’s sense of wonder is endless. They don’t just put their heads out the window for air, they want to know everything about where they are going. This was taken on the way to the beach, and she knew it.

Earth – Weekly Photo Challenge

Living where I do, in the South East of Ireland, I felt I had to share some photos of our coastline. And YES, that is the Atlantic, and, NO it is not part of the Wild Atlantic Way. Well you can’t blame them for leaving us off all the publicity for the Wild Atlantic Way, who in their right mind would travel all the way across the country, if they knew this beauty was closer!

Kilmurren - Copy

Kilmurren Cove, part of the Copper Coast Drive, Co. Waterford

Kilmurren is a beautiful little cove, looking south into the Atlantic, surrounded by spectacular cliffs and rolling green fields. This area wasn’t always a quiet holiday destination, it used to be a hive of industry. Recently this has been recognised by UNESCO, calling it The Copper Coast UNESCO Global Geopark, we call it home.


The Tankardstown 19th Century Copper Mine

On the cliffs above Kilmurren is the remnants of Tankardstown Mine, showing the earth giving up it’s bounty from beneath the soil. If you are ever walking around the coast here you have to be very aware of you footing, there are many unprotected long forgotten mine shafts, waiting to be rediscovered.

So the earth is always changing, but remember, most of all is it’s always fun.


Luna running in Kilmurren

It IS easy being green – Weekly Photo Challenge

Being Irish, this topic is almost made for me, Ireland’s national colour being …. yes that”s right BLUE. You didn’t expect that did you? Everybody associates Ireland with the colour green, and everyone who has visited the Emerald Isle will bring you stories using GREEN very often.


Tricolour, flying from Thirty Three The Mall, Waterford.

So, what should I use to picture being green. How about a few of these. You can see where the song came from “The moorlands and the midlands with their forty shades of green”.

I’ll end this post with the Waterford Greenway. I’ve used pictures of the Greenway for a few photo challenges over the last number of weeks, because I’ve been spending a lot of time there. The whole length of the Greenway, a disused railway line, was officially opened on Saturday 25th March, fifty years to the day that the last passenger train did the journey. It is a beacon for people thinking about recycling projects, old infrastructure and how things can be used into the future. It is a catalogue of civil engineering projects, bridges, viaducts and tunnels, all built to carry people from A to B. Turning this piece of history into a modern cycle track and walk way has had it’s own engineering problems. What do you do if cows want to cross from one side to the other, through an old bridge? Give them their own tunnel. What else would you do? I have a video cows crossing under me, but WordPress won’t let me attach it without paying, so you’ll have to believe me, it’s a sight to see.

You can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG1EInsqNAs