Voodoo, Pixies, & Magic in Merlin Woods

ragairi

Peculiar is the only word I can think of to describe a rather bizarre experience that I had on Saturday afternoon. I’m not sure if perhaps I drank one too many coffees, was under the weather, banged my head, or if it was the bargain priced mustard from Aldi, that I had liberally slathered over my ham and cheese sandwich, that led to the following tale in Merlin Woods that I am about to relate to you, dear reader. Whether it was some form of hallucination, some momentary lapse of any sensible notions of reality, or whatever, I am not sure, but the one thing I am sure of is that the whole experience felt very real. Continue reading “Voodoo, Pixies, & Magic in Merlin Woods”

Advertisements

The Great Galway Bike Blur

DSC_0007.jpg

My plan is all set to work out flawlessly, I think, seconds before the start of my worst photography endeavour since My Pieta House Failure.

I have my gear set up, my camera settings perfected, and an umbrella over my head well in advance of those doing the Shan route passing by.

I got up early enough this morning to get the shots. Oh yes-sir-ree I did! I’m what you might call a cute whore. I’m ahead of the posse and I believe I’m going to get the money shots for sure! But I don’t. Continue reading “The Great Galway Bike Blur”

Sinking my Teeth Into Music at NUIG With a Four Part Music Trail

Paul Roe Clarinet.jpg

Arriving with a 6 year old to this occasion of musical enchantment possibly wasn’t the best idea I have ever had even though he was as-good-as-gold throughout. It is scheduled to start in NUIG’s Marine Science building and so me and my boy, Konrad, use our pre-show time to explore the delightful museum that the ground floor houses. Housed in display cabinets, there are a multitude of skulls and skeletons of monkeys, alligators, and even a hippo. There are lizards and snakes preserved in jars of some kind of liquid, and various taxidermied animals that make for a marvellous sense of wonderment to the unspoilt innocence of childhood. Continue reading “Sinking my Teeth Into Music at NUIG With a Four Part Music Trail”

Bin Standing, the Bruens, & Galway Girl Street Performance

Standing on a bin in Shop Street waiting for the Galway Girl street performance to start, I spot local author Ken Bruen with his daughter, Grace, in the distance. Excited, I crack off a shot as they walk towards me and then veer into McDonald’s.

ken-bruen-daughter-grace.1

Spontaneously, I decide to jump down off the top of my bin perch, go into McDonald’s, say hello and tell him I’ll email him the photo and he says to just pop it up on Facebook and add him as a friend. I find this rather exciting as I have read a couple of his books, have seen him on television, and Iain Glenn (otherwise known as Game of Thrones’ Jorah Mormont) is the lead man in the films based on his books. Continue reading “Bin Standing, the Bruens, & Galway Girl Street Performance”

Bear Hugged by a Hunter

DSC_0576

Racism, rape, feminism, sexism, and homosexuality jokes are all part of what make the show full of the kind of belly laughs that bring tears to my eyes and leave my stomach hurting. It is not that any of these concepts are particularly funny, they are not, but the sad fact is that it sometimes feels as if we live in a world where a man could be accused of being a mysogynist pig for saying his wife is good at cooking dinner. And so, by exploring these topics as part of a comedy show, Mr Hunter is, to me and many of his fans, a freedom fighter in the war against the terrorism of political correctness.

I arrived at the show with my camera, half expecting security to relieve me of it or pass some comment but they don’t, so I figure I’m good to take a few non-flash shots.

Canadian Mr Glenn Wool is the warm-up act and I use his show to make sure my camera settings are primed for Mr Reginald D. Hunter. I feel slightly ashamed for taking pictures of the former rather than giving complete attention to his jokes which had me laughing my socks off and accidentally spilling my beer, that I hadn’t taken a mouthful of, all over the floor.

Continue reading “Bear Hugged by a Hunter”

A Hero’s Welcome for the Connacht Rugby Team

DSC_0263

Tired from battle, the boys returned to Galway to a hero’s welcome. Under the yoke of defeat since many years before the 1916 Rising, these chaps are heroes of the same calibre of Michael Collins when he fought the Brits, King Leonidas when he fought with his 300 against the supposedly immortal Persian armies, or indeed Rambo when he freed the POWs in Rambo First Blood: Part 2. Yes, I’m aware that Rambo was just a movie, but heroes are heroes and that’s all there is to it. Continue reading “A Hero’s Welcome for the Connacht Rugby Team”

The New Tribes of Galway – Africa Day 2016

DSC_0158

Awash with vibrant colour, Africa Day was in full swing when I arrived. Outside, I met a semi-retired photographer from the Connacht Tribune, called Stan, and he’s talking to some very colourfully dressed Africans that are involved in the show and so I decide to say a quick “How are you?”

“I’m having an awful hard time spelling these names,” he says, “and you have to get them right or you could be sued.”

“Is that right?” I ask.

“It is,” he replies and proceeds to tell me of a case in England where a newspaper was sued for 50 grand for having published someone’s name wrong in the paper. Worrying stuff indeed. Continue reading “The New Tribes of Galway – Africa Day 2016”

Stunt Biking, Parenting, and Putting Your Balls on the Line (Part 2 of 2 Biker Fest West)

DSC_0609.jpg

Burning rubber scented¬†the air from what seemed like a hell-fuelled, gravity defying engine ridden by Galway man Mattie Griffin. Stephen Hunt immediately sprang to mind when he said, “If you’re not living on the edge you’re taking up too much room.”

Continue reading “Stunt Biking, Parenting, and Putting Your Balls on the Line (Part 2 of 2 Biker Fest West)”

Biker Fest West in Aid of Blood Bike West (Part 1 of 2)

DSC_0371

Exhilarating is the word that springs to mind after visiting this year’s Biker Fest West in aid of Blood Bike West¬†which was held last Sunday at The Galway Plaza, Kiltullagh, off the N6 motorway. Feeling like I was on the set of Easy Rider, I couldn’t help but be positively affected by the spirit of rebellion and freedom that the air was thick with. Continue reading “Biker Fest West in Aid of Blood Bike West (Part 1 of 2)”