Category Archives: Openings


River Liffey with Upper Ormond Quay on the right

River Liffey with Upper Ormond Quay on the right

While walking along the North Quays of the River Liffey on a bright sunny summer morning, I was stopped in my tracks by the colours in the peeling paint of the panels on the disused shop front.

Peeling paint

I love old layers of peeling paint. The colours and texture are a work of art in themselves.

Colourful layers of peeling paint

Colourful layers of peeling paint

It was only when I had my fill of texture that I looked up for a shop name.



It was clearer on the side of the building, round the corner on Arran Street East.





‘Doh-Ray-Mee’ cottages, Raheny, Dublin.

‘Doh-Ray-Mee’ cottages, Raheny, Dublin.

The ‘Doh-Ray-Mee’ cottages in Raheny, were built around 1790 by Samuel Dick. He was a very successful Linen Merchant, who lived in Violet Hill, which later became known as Edenmore House and is known today as St. Joseph’s Hospital. He built the cottages for men who worked on his estate.

Samuel Dick was a director of Bank of Ireland and he held the top job as Governor from 1797 to 1799. He was also a director of the Hibernian Insurance Company and was a trustee of the Malahide Turnpike Road, which controlled the repairing of the Malahide, Howth and Clontarf Roads.

They are called ‘Doh-Ray-Mee’ cottages because there are eight cottages all together, just as there are eight notes on the musical scale. Their other name is ‘crescent cottages’ because they are built in a semi-circle. They are among the oldest buildings in Raheny.

Samuel Dick also built a school on Main Street beside the old graveyard of St Assam’s. It became known as ‘Dick’s Charity School’ because it was intended for ‘poor children of all persuasions’.

When Samuel Dick died in 1802, he left the Crescent Cottages in Raheny village to the people who looked after the school, so that the rent from Crescent Cottages could be used to pay the salary of the school’s teacher. At that time the government did not pay teachers or fund schools.

Over time the cottages fell into disrepair and by 1879 were in such a poor state that Lord Ardilaun, the owner of St Anne’s estate, paid £375 to improve them all.

The cottage closest to the Station House pub was once the village post office. The cottages have remained almost unchanged since they were built in the eighteenth century and people still live in them today.

Fishing for Letters

Fishing for Letters ~ steel
Alan Dawson Associates

These steel railings reflect the literary theme for Writers Square.

Alan Dawson Associates are based in Cumbria and specialise in the design, manufacture and installation of bespoke internal and external art and architectural metalwork. They have carried out many award winning schemes throughout the world.

Writers Square, which faces St Anne’s Cathedral, was opened in 2002, it officially recognises Northern Ireland’s rich literary heritage. Existing trees planted by Anglican bishops from all over the world have been carefully preserved and retained to enhance this city park.

The Arch is untitled.

The square, which links Donegall Street and North Street, is capable of holding up to 1,000 people at outdoor events.

Quotations from 27 deceased Northern Ireland authors have been inscribed in stone at various points across the square.

Robert Huddlestone

Robert Lloyd Praeger

Also included are the poets Lois MacNeice, and John Hewitt, novelists Sam Hanna Bell, CS Lewis and playwright Stewart Parker.

Openings 57 ~ Round House

This round house was rather a surprise to me, the photo was taken on a Thursday morning last August. Why the surprise? The gate was locked.

If you look closely, not alone can you see the padlock on the gate, but the disabled sign on the toilet door inside.

Unfortunately it is not the first time I have come across a public loo that was locked. Thankfully I arrived into this world with a good bladder and my mother trained all of us to ‘go to the loo‘ before we left the house, but I know plenty with hapenny bladders, who need to relieve themselves almost every ten minutes.

This particular convenience was in the carpark at Crumlin Glen, where I had a lovely adventure. I walked through the woods, with the sound of rustling leaves and the running water of the river and sudden rush from the waterfall.

I was on my way to find…..

The Cockle House

Openings 56 ~ Knaresborough Castle

Knaresborough Castle, near Harrogate in Yorkshire.

A per digital (for me) poor quality photo.

The year…? The clue is in the archway. It was a bright sunny day and we spent some time watching outdoor bowling on the green you can see through the archway.

Knaresborough Castle dates back to the 14th century and is perched high above the River Nidd with excellent views of both Knaresborough and the river valley.

The area around the King’s Tower serves as the focal point for the castle today. The Tower was the height of fashion when it was built in 1307-1312.

Opening 55 ~ Drinking & Driving

At the end of September Ramana wrote about how lunching with a friend lead to meeting Paul, a friend of his son Ranjan.

Photo taken outside Paul’s restaurant.

I was taken by the poster in the right hand window.

A recent Survey conducted by
the dept of motor vehicles
dept of health
indicates that

23% of traffic accidents are alcohol related

This means that the other 77% are caused
by people who just drink tea, coffee
carbonated drinks, juices and shit like that.

Therefore beware of those who do not
drink alcohol, they cause three times
more as many accidents.

Cheers! have fun, take care and drive safe!!!