What could be nicer on a fine summer’s day or evening? The lawn bowling green is to the right in this aerial view of the Blackrock Bowling and Tennis Club in Dublin. Sometimes I’m homesick for lawn bowling!!!
When Was This Photo Taken? January 17, 2015
This photo was taken by a family member at the Powerscourt Waterfall in Enniskerry County Wicklow Ireland. The question is when? We look cold. I think it was after Ian retired in 1994-1995 and we returned to our permanent home in Dublin. 20 years ago?
Trying to Play the Bass Recorder April 3, 2011
Now to the subject of this post. While we were living in Dublin in recent years I became interested in learning to play the recorder and proceeded to take lessons and to play with the Irish Branch of the Society of Recorder Players. This Irish Branch was quite small and as a relative beginner I found it a challenge to integrate with the group of more experienced and expert musicians. Nevertheless, I persevered and made other contacts as well so that I could develop as a player. It was very enjoyable. Now here in Seattle I have joined the Seattle Society of Recorder Players. This group is a different kettle of fish altogether. A very encouraging and welcoming group for all levels – at least that is what I have found. It is large and one can feel less conspicuous compared with a smaller group.
Last night was the monthly first Friday of the month meeting of the Seattle Recorder Society. This is held in the Maple Leaf suburb of Seattle. A lovely name but difficult to get to from Ballard, particularly in the dark and the rain. And it has rained each first Friday. Bad luck, but I got there and back each time.
Last night I wanted to play the bass recorder. That meant reading the bass clef – which I can do – but I just couldn’t seem to transfer that knowledge to my fingers on the recorder to produce the right notes. I can read the bass clef for playing the piano……but not for playing the recorder, at least not yet. I will persevere. I also want to get a special support for taking the weight of the instrument. It is quite heavy on the thumb. I enjoyed last night even though I really was not able to play very much. I will practise and hope to get better in time for the big workshop being held for a week in July down in Tacoma. This is the Port Townsend Early Music Workshop which is held every 2 years, only it won’t be in Port Townsend – it used to be but for this year has been shifted to Tacoma.
Swimming In Cold Water February 25, 2011
A few days ago I wrote about the Forty Foot in Dublin – a popular swimming spot for hardy souls year round. A few pictures of swimming there in July 2009 can be found here. Even on that sunny, warm day – the swimmers found it COLD. Hardy friends of mine in Dublin go there to swim even on the coldest of days – a cold day, cold water. Brr. I never did it. Even in the west of Ireland in the summer I was a reluctant swimmer. But when I spent the summer of 1957 in Ogunquit Maine I did get used to that cold water in July and August and I grew to like it – at least when the sun was shining, but not when water temperature dropped below 60 degrees.
My new-found Book Group chose a book with an intriguing title but I didn’t hold out much hope for enjoying the read. Swimming to Antarctica by Lynne Cox. One of the members of the group knew the author personally and it was she who recommended the book. And it turned out to be quite an inspiring read.
Lynne Cox’s swimming achievements really are quite something. At the book group meeting I was asked what was my favourite part – I didn’t have a good answer at the time but upon reflection I think it was the English Channel swim that she did, twice. My mind kept reflecting back to an image from my childhood of the first woman to swim the Channel – Gertrude Ederle in 1926. Not that I was a child in 1926 but 10-20 years later when I was growing up it was inspiring to read of achievements by women. I wasn’t a feminist but there was a degree of identification there in reading about an achievement by a woman requiring great courage and endurance.
To read more about the English Channel go to this link.
As to Lynne Cox’s achievements – well, I have great admiration for her dedication and her accomplishments and I enjoyed reading about them. She has set personal goals for herself and achieved them. The goalposts have been high – and quite unusual!! I couldn’t relate to the geography though and I think that remains a problem for me in thinking about the book. The Bering Sea in Alaska, the Straits of Magellan, the Cape of Good Hope, the Catalina Channel, the Nile (that was pretty disgusting), Cook Strait New Zealand. What was interesting though about the discussion was the fact that one of the women in the book group knows Lynne and had such nice things to say about her and her family. And that also comes across in the writing of the book.
Snow January 11, 2011
The news is snow, snow, snow. Well, not here in Seattle so far today but I’m thinking of all the family on the East Coast and picturing them out there shovelling their driveways, etc.
Here’s a photo I found of a bit of snow we had in January 1985 when we happened to be in Dublin, in between assignments further afield. This is Ailesbury Lawn and I was able to use my skis which had been stored in the garden shed. The caption on the back of the photo reads “1st time on skis since 1966”.
Marching Toward the Solstice December 18, 2010
We’re in countdown stage now to the Winter Solstice. Only a few days to go. And the afternoons are getting duskier and duskier. If I go out shopping in the afternoon I have little hope of getting home before dark. And I don’t like cycling in the dark. This morning I woke a little after 7:30 and I couldn’t believe how bright it was. Was it really 7:30 or had something happened to my bedside clock and it was really 8:30. So that lead me to speculate and look up a few facts and figures. I had thought that Dublin and Seattle were at roughly the same latitude. But no, Dublin is at 53 degrees North latitude and Seattle is a mere latitude 47 degrees North. And as a consequence, at this time of year the official length of daylight in Dublin is about an hour less than here in Seattle. I never would have guessed. Here are the official times of sunrise and sunset in the 2 locations for today. Dublin Dec. 17 sunrise 8:36 sunset 4:07 length of the day 7 hrs. 31 min. For Seattle Dec. 17 sunrise 7:53 sunset 4:19 length of the day 8 hrs. 26 min.
I didn’t take a note of the websites but just google accordingly and you can find this information. I find it quite fascinating, but then I did choose to study geography.
Here in Seattle there does seem to be more attention paid to the Solstice – maybe this is the Scandinavian influence. In Norwegian language class we learned that the whole way of expressing the time of day is derived from the cycle of the seasons and the sun retreating far to the south and then returning to the north. And we know that the ancient people in our Northern Hemisphere were very aware of and carefully measured these cyclical highs and lows – Stonehenge in England, Newgrange in Ireland, and many other examples. Here in Ballard there are going to be church services the night of the solstice and there is also going to be an all night cycle ride on the longest night of the year. (I think I’ll wait for the ride on the longest day!)
100 Years of the Girl Guides April 11, 2010
This picture and article were in the Irish Times a few days ago. It caught my eye particularly because I know some of the people in the picture and 2 of our grandchildren are considering joining the Scouts or the Camp Fire Girls in Seattle. Don’t you just love the uniforms. The Girl Guides are coming up to their centenary – in fact I now find that the Centenary was yesterday, April 10. The uniform worn by the person on the left is from the 1930’s, the Brownie uniform is from the 1920’s, another uniform is from the 1950’s, and the 3 on the right are the new Guides, Brownie, and Leaders’ uniforms. I also like the Irish Girl Guides sign over the door in the background and of course the typical red brick house so familiar to us in Dublin.
To quote the subarticle – ‘New uniform would not look out of place in a shopping centre’ The shopping centre pictured is our local Dundrum Town Centre. And four of the people modeling the uniforms attend my local Christ Church Taney
I found 2 more wonderful pictures from the WAGGGS website.