17 January 2009

Park and Ride

Transport at the Luas Station

15 January 2009

Urban Blackboard Jungle

The offer of breakfast is always welcome.

Breakfast Time

Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory?

The traffic in Dublin always get top billing.

You would imagine that we are all stuck in some
Bekettian universe, where mobility is at a premium
and where life stands still.

Not a bit of it...

During the past month I have been able to move around swiftly
and, when a passenger, take photos of the life going on
beyond the windscreen.

This photo pleases me.
It reminds me of what a pretty city Dublin can be.


13 January 2009

The Privileged Blogger

"Privelege" is an old word. It referes to laws in relation to one person
and it contains the idea of immunity as well as the advantage of rank.

So it puzzles me that more people do not blog, even rarely and when they have something very special to say. The democratic nature of blogging is often
negated in mainstream media, where experts refer to editorial policy which
is somehow regarded in high esteem.

As if it is the case that people will write better when controlled and
constrained by another person...

This has not been my experience.

During my schooldays I was allowed "page blanche" if not exactly
"carte blanche" to write pretty much at will. The English school essay was
always a favourite home exercise which is not surprising when I remember
hours spent in my English-Irish dictionary trying to decipher the
wild romances of the medieval mind and reiterate what had already been
said by experts who were older and very much removed from the world
in which I lived. Years learning to draw the inner workings of the
human body left me with at least one certainty...
I would never become a medic.
Botany was too obsessional for my vague mind.
Counting, measuring, listing... Science was too exact
and, in any case, after Darwin, I couldn't see much point
in finding anything else to say.

The essay set me free.

University was when I wrote letters.
They were the only reprieve from the flood of thousands of
years of language pouring into my soul.
I have a soul, because Plato says so...

And in university I learned to write with relevance.
When most of the ideas and received notions of human
experienc had already been dramatised, analysed, annotated
and rhapsodised, I learned to be precise to the point of curtness.

Exams were a nightmare:

"You mean you want me to write it all out AGAIN"
best summarises my irritation of spending time,
tired and under pressure, to produce twee précis
of what I already knew.

French dissertation? Enough said...
I have spent enough time in France as an adult to know
that Introduction/Three Points Developed/Conclusion
may express a culture that wishes for control.
It is not wild enough for me.

So here I am, years after writing light educational literary pieces
for schools and shopping advice during the 1980's when nobody had
much money to be able to buy what I wrote about,
sitting on my sofa thinking about where I might head next.

As bloggers we are privileged.

We get to have our say...

12 January 2009

Hand Crafts and the New Economy?

Friends who worked in the Irish Hand Crafts industry in the
'Eighties have decided to start making new items for sale in the
next year.

This started me thinking...

The computer revolution sent everyone into a spin,
especially during the past ten years.

It's possible we are about to emerge, divesting ourselves of
time-consuming computing practices, to return to a more
hands-on way of life?

My crochet hooks have languished in a ceramic jar for years.
While several years spent taking piano lessons replaced knitting
and crochet, I have to admit that I miss the hours spent dreamily
linking loops of wool into patterns and shapes.
It was a harmless activity.

Perhaps the "RECESSION", which is the new media weasel word,
is not all bad?
Perhaps we will no longer career round in expensive four-wheel drives
on suburban street and fret ourselves every time a computer firm
moves out of the country in search of cheap labour in the east?

Perhaps we are about to get our lives back?

11 January 2009

The Degenerate Bourgeoisie, C'Est Moi?

It has taken some time, but I'm back reading for pleasure

Not quite the Emma Bovary of the local library service,
but that might come, in time, too.

After a year of painstaking moving of snippets of code
from one part of my screen to another,
of hours of hip-crunching approaches to flowers
indoors, outdoors and in the National Botanic Gardens,
of endless discussions, virtually, and with very knowledgeable
interlocuters on the subject of DOF,
I am, at last, free.

Years ago, on the radio, I heard a famour American photographer
say that you could learn all the technicalities necessary to become
a good photographer in three months.
That was before digital systems and before the seriously
slow of wit took to this nebulous art.

If you would like to join in discussions on the philsophy of art,
photography and why we make the images we do,
you are welcome to join the discussion here:

Of the Beautiful and the Sublime

It seems that computer experts are now studying aesthetics
until the cows come home.

Happy Days!