Monthly Archives: March 2012

Openings 30 ~ The Back Gate

This is the back gate to Glasnevin Cemetery and in true Dublin style the next door neighbour is a pub.  Well…. You have to drown your sorrows and give the dearly departed a good send off!

It is the final resting place for over 1.1 million people. The option of cremation has been provided since March 1982.

John Kavanagh’s Pub was established in 1833 and the current family are the 6th generation in the business. It is beside the old Glasnevin Cemetery Gate, at Prospect Square off Botanic Avenue, Glasnevin.

It is also known as “The Gravediggers’ because of its location next to the cemetery and its attached folk history.  A common spot in times past, for body snatchers and burkers to grab a pint after a hard nights work.  The place got its name as it was customary for gravediggers to bang their shovels against the pub’s wall to signify to the landlord that they were ready for a pint. Once the pints were drawn and settled, they were handed through the railings to the workmen.  A tally was kept behind the bar and the bill settled on pay day.

It is a genuine Victorian bar, totally unspoilt – and it has a reputation for serving one of the best pints in Dublin.

I asked permission to take photos and was directed to the old original bar with one proviso: Not to photograph the customers as some of them did not like their quiet drink interrupted.

No music, “piped or otherwise”, no TV or telephone and no singing allowed.

You have to chat!

You wont be alone for long, someone will say hello, I was drawn into conversation by the men (this section seemed to be a man’s pub) the banter was mighty and I had difficulty withdrawing to rejoin my two friends who brought me there.

So if you want to stay on your own….stay away!

All this running around and visiting pubs purely for research purposes, you understand, 😉 has helped me reach post 2000 today.  It is enough to give a girl a thirst!


This morning I was working at the counter in my kitchen with my back to the window and the sink.  I needed to add a few drops of cold water to the mixture I was working with, so I turned to go to the sink…..

Somehow, I found myself not at the sink, but with the pantry door open and looking blankly at the shelves. What in a month of Sundays would the cold water tap be doing in there?

On Wednesday, I decided this hanging about was for the birds so took my new (to me) Flip camera for its first outing.  I badly needed some vitamin D and it was the first day I felt like trusting my legs to carry me further than across the room.

“There is nothing to these Flip camcorders” said George when he quickly ran through the buttons. “Just point and click”. I took him at his word, a good son in law would never tell the mother in law from hell a fib, now would he?

I attached the mini tripod and used it like a handle, hoping it would give a more stable little movie.  The day was beautiful and the birds were rejoicing, so off I went on my travels. Press and go! Keeping it at a level with my face I could see the results and also speak softly to explain where we were and what you were seeing. I intended turning it into a YouTube video and posting it on the blog on my return.

It was grand and the picture seemed steady enough for a first effort. I was on my way.

Whaaaa ha ha! Pride came before the fall. Somehow in my uploading I lost it! So yet again I had nothing to show for my day.

This flu bug is sure showing its effectiveness in blowing my mind. I better keep a watch on myself or I might end up climbing into the airing cupboard instead of my nice cosy bed tonight.

Ramana had the choosing of our LBC topic this week and he chose – Effectiveness.  Now off you pop to read what the other active members have to say, while I check the palms of my hands….
Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, The Old Fossil, Will Knott.

Thursday Special ~ Tony and Yvonne

Tony and Yvonne were 85 years old and had been married for sixty years.  Though they were far from rich, they managed to get by because Tony watched their pennies.

Though not young, they were both in very good health, largely due to Yvonne’s insistence on healthy foods and exercise for the last decade.

One day, their good health didn’t help when they went on yet another holiday and their plane crashed, sending them off to Heaven.

They reached the pearly gates, and St. Peter escorted them inside.  He took them to a beautiful mansion, furnished in gold and fine silks, with a fully stocked kitchen and a waterfall in the master bath.  A maid could be seen hanging their favourite clothes in the closet. They gasped in astonishment when he said, ‘Welcome to Heaven.  This will be your home now.’

Tony asked Peter how much all this was going to cost.

‘Why, nothing,’ Peter replied, ‘remember, this is your reward in Heaven.’

Tony looked out the window and right there he saw a championship golf course, finer and more beautiful than any ever built on Earth.

‘What are the greens fees?,’ grumbled Tony.

‘This is heaven,’ St. Peter replied.  ‘You can play for free, every day.’

Next they went to the clubhouse and saw the lavish buffet lunch, with every imaginable cuisine laid out before them, from seafood to steaks to exotic deserts,
free flowing beverages.

‘Don’t even ask,’ said St. Peter to Tony.  This is Heaven, it is all free for you to enjoy.’

Tony looked around and glanced nervously at Yvonne.
‘Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol foods and the decaffeinated tea?,’ he asked.

That’s the best part,’ St. Peter replied.  ‘You can eat and drink as much as you like of whatever you like and you will never get fat or sick. This is Heaven!’

‘No gym to work out at?’ said Tony

‘Not unless you want to,’ was the answer.

‘No testing my sugar or blood pressure or…’

‘Never again.  All you do here is enjoy yourself.’

Tony glared at Yvonne and said, ‘You and your f**king Bran Flakes.  We could have been here ten years ago!’




Thank you Paddy for this week’s offering.

Hi Summer

Today I actually went out and said “Hi” to the wonderful sunshine.

I drove a little
walked a little
talked a little and then sat in the sunshine
eat the packed lunch I brought with me!

Food Monday ~ Almond Squares

Almond Squares

Preheat the oven to 190°C

Pastry to line a traybake tin.
4 ozs butter
4 ozs Sugar
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Almond Essence
6 ozs oatmeal

Line a prepared tin with pastry and spread a layer of jam over it.  Melt the butter and remove from heat.  Stir in the sugar, egg and almond essence.  Add the oatmeal and mix well.  Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden.  Cut into squares while still hot and leave in tin to cool.


Dancing Couple Stardust Memorial
Sculptor: Robin Buick

It is hard to believe that thirty one years have passed since the fire that destroyed Dublin’s Stardust nightclub in Artane, near Coolock, in the early hours of St. Valentine’s Day 1981.

The fire resulted in the death of 48 young people and injured and disfigured a hundred more. Even to this day, survivors and bereaved continue to suffer.

The fire had a tremendous impact on Dublin people and most of those killed came from the immediate vicinity.

On the tenth anniversary of this disaster, Dublin Corporation were asked to design and develop a memorial park to commemorate the tragedy. The main aim was to provide a park with a memorial, the design of which would be relevant to the tragic event.

The Stardust memorial park was opened on the 18th September 1993 on a lovely sunny day witnessed by hundreds of local people.

The memorial is a circular pool, 8 metres in diameter, the principal feature of which is a bronze sculpture of a boy and a girl dancing, designed by sculptor Robin Buick. Water is pumped by 48 jets in the illuminated fountain which surrounds the sculpture. Alas. the day I was there the fountain was off, but if you click on the link to Robin’s website, you will be able to see it in all its glory.

The pool is faced with limestone, which is also used as paving material around the pool. This area is enclosed by an incomplete circle, symbolising the short life of the 48 victims. The incomplete circle of 270 degrees forms an enclosure 20 metres in diameter around the entrance and its boundary is comprised of limestone piers with 48 railing panels symbolising the number of young people who lost their lives.

An avenue of lime trees is positioned 30 metres from the centre of the memorial. The park also contains a junior football pitch, an all-weather floodlit pitch, a playground, walks and plenty of tree planting all enclosed with mild steel railings on a pliant wall.

Coolock is a Barony which accounts for most of north Dublin city, from the coast in and stretching out to Swords. The civil parish takes in the land between the Tonlegee Road (as far as Donaghmede) and the Malahide Road, as well as the lands on either side of the Malahide Road between Darndale and Artane, and the lands either side of the Oscar Traynor Road on the approach to Santry.

Coolock has a history dating back over 3,500 years – a bronze-age burial site in the area dates back to 1500 BC. The settlement grew up around a small early-Christian church. The majority of the modern Coolock, was built-up as part of a programme of phased inner city slum clearance (between, roughly, 1952 and 1987).

This is enough to give me a relapse!

I know I went away for a few days that turned into ten with very busy and fun times.  It gave me little time to read or comment on my usual list of blogs.

By the time I reached home last Sunday a flu bug had entered my body and I slept and swam for four days with added sound effects of sneezing and coughing. Wakeful moments were spent replenishing fluids.

I did read the odd blogpost, but discovered a problem when I tried to add a comment.

A few weeks ago I was complaining about captchas on Blogger blogs, now the trouble is with WordPress.

The troublesome blogs all feature three little icons in a row under the comment box and before the boxes for personal details.  To me, they are a ruddy nuisance recent phenomena and seem to be on updated blog faces.

The three icons are

W for wordpress  A bird for Twitter  f for facebook

I am doubly annoyed (very easy at the moment since I am still recovering and very much under par) because the blogs I visited have been regulars for quite some time.  So regular in fact, that my information is already printed correctly in the required spaces, clicking the ‘Post comment’ button does nothing other than cause frustration. Nothing moves.

Clicking on the WordPress icon (even when I go through the rig-ma-roll) a box appears asking me to log in to comment.

My email address appears not once but TWICE! I am told it belongs to an account I am not currently logged into. HUH?

I am logged in through my regular browser and my email is busy with incoming and outgoing mails.

I have no wish to be forced to log in using either Twitter or the dreaded facebook.

So if I have not been to visit and comment, it does not mean I have forgotten you.  Give me a few more days to gain more energy and hopefully sort out the commenting problem.

Openings ~ 29 – – House for sale

“Welcome to my house! Enter freely. Go safely, and leave something of the happiness you bring!” *

No.  This is not my house, It is actually on the market for sale at the moment.

A perfectly ordinary looking house. (I bet that last thought went through your mind.) It is part of a Crescent (c.1792) which, had at that time great views of Dublin Bay. The Crescent was built in a particular arrangement to obstruct the view from Lord Charlemont’s neo-classical summer residence “The Casino” at Marino.

So back to this ordinary looking house.  It is of interest on many levels.  The family now in possession are children of that house, they are disposing of the family home their parents owned and lived in for over eighty years. There had been only two previous owners; The Bolands and The Stokers.              Three owners in total since 1792!

I wanted to take a photo of the front of the house, but since there was a car in the garden and house windows open, I decided to knock and ask for permission.

Well…, you heard me say it before…. My Camera Opens Doors! Not alone was I given permission to take photos of the exterior but invited in and allowed to wander at my own pace and take photos indoors too.  The wonderful young lady and daughter of the household was busy with the vacuum before a ‘viewer’ was due to arrive an hour later.

The young lady had returned to Ireland in the last year and was preparing for the closure and sale of the old family home, not an easy task, so I was careful to protect her privacy.

My new found friend appeared from time to time to make sure I had gone to the top floor or down to the basement….

To the basement kitchen where the Russian Crown Jewels had been hidden  (You need to scroll well down in that link to Time in Ireland). This was during residency of the Boland family.

I wonder where they kept them?

The First residents of 15 Marino Crescent, Clontarf, were Abraham Stoker a civil servant from Dublin, and his wife Charlotte, a charity worker and writer. They had seven children. Abraham and Charlotte were members of the Church of Ireland Parish of Clontarf and attended the parish church with their children, who were baptised there.

The church can be seen to the left in the view from the main bedroom window.

Abraham (Bram) Stoker was the third child, born November 8, 1847.  He was bed-ridden until he started school at the age of seven, when he made a complete recovery. Growing up his mother told him a lot of horror stories which may have influenced his later writings.

In 1864 Stoker entered Trinity College Dublin. While attending college he began working as an Irish civil servant. He also worked part time as a free lance journalist and drama critic. In 1876 he met Henry Irving, a famous actor, and they soon became friends. Not long after that, Stoker met and fell in love with an aspiring actress named Florence Balcombe.  He didn’t travel far to find her. She was a daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel James Balcombe of 1 Marino Crescent.

You can see No. 1 at the end of the row on the right.

We remember him for a different reason, but I saw no signs of Counts, Castles or indeed of DRACULA!

The little park in front of the Crescent is now known as Bram Stoker Park. The year 2012 marks the centenary of the death of Bram Stoker. He died in London on 20 April 1912. Several events are being planned in the year ahead.

The young lady of the house lives in hopes that the Bram Stoker Society, who have shown interest in the house, will find the funds to purchase it, and sympathetically restore it into a Museum.

*Bram Stoker, Chapter 2, Dracula


Complex = a whole made up of complicated or interrelated parts.

Now that sounds familiar! 😉

\ /
/ \

I am or was:

A daughter
A granddaughter
A sister
A niece
A cousin
A sister-in-law
An aunt
A wife
A mother
A widow
A grandaunt
and hopefully….

Our LBC topic for today was chosen some time ago by Conrad. Now while I curl up for a rest, please run along to see what our other active members have to say on the subject: Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox Magpie 11, OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, The Old Fossil, Will Knott.

Thursday Special ~ Failed Exam

Student obtained 0% on an exam – I would have given him 100%

Q1. In which battle did Napoleon die?
* his last battle

Q2. Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?
* at the bottom of the page

Q3. River Ravi flows in which state?
* liquid

Q4. What is the main reason for divorce?
* marriage

Q5. What is the main reason for failure?
* exams

Q6. What can you never eat for breakfast?
* Lunch & dinner

Q7. What looks like half an apple?
* The other half

Q8. If you throw a red stone into the blue sea what it will become?
* It will simply become wet

Q9. How can a man go eight days without sleeping ?
* No problem, he sleeps at night.

Q10. How can you lift an elephant with one hand?
* You will never find an elephant with only one hand.

Q11. If you had three apples and four oranges in one hand and four apples and three oranges in other hand, what would you have ?
* Very large hands

Q12. If it took eight men ten hours to build a wall, how long would it take four men to build it?
* No time at all, the wall is already built.

Q13. How can u drop a raw egg onto a concrete floor without cracking it?
*Any way you want, concrete floors are very hard to crack.




Thanks Big Brud for this one.