Can we have 2 G and T’s please!

We were in Malta recently for my daughter’s wedding, and on one of the evenings before the wedding, a few of us went for an early dinner at a local restaurant in St. Julians called Sardinella.   As it was just after 6 p.m., my friend and I decided it was time to have a little drink before dinner, so when the waitress came over, we decided to have our usual ‘tipple of choice’.   ‘Can we have 2 G and T’s please’, I said and off she went.


Drinks anyone?

Drinks anyone?

We could only laugh when she came back….with two beautiful cups and a matching glass teapot, …..filled with TEA!!  Not quite what we had in mind.

Something got lost in translation, I think, so after that we made sure to ask for ‘Gin and Tonic’ and so we enjoyed the rest of our nights out.

Have you ever had a similar experience?


A Peaceful Garden of Remembrance

A month or so ago, near Kinsale, we came across this Garden of Remembrance to the 343 Firefighters that lost their lives in 9/11 in New York.  The Garden was started by a lady called Kathleen Murphy, who worked as a nurse for over 30 years in New York City,  When she retired and returned to Ireland, she decided to create, on her own land,  a garden in memory of these brave firemen.2015-05-31 12.57.57

A tree was planted in the Garden for every one of the firemen who died, along with their chaplain, Fr.Michael Judge, who was a personal friend of Kathleen Murphy.    Each tree has a name of one of the firemen on it, and when you walk in through the gates, you immediately get a sense of the peace and stillness of the place.

Walking through the garden of remembrance

Walking through the garden of remembrance

When we visited, the grass under the trees was covered in little white daisies, like a carpet to walk on.   The garden overlooks part of Kinsale farmland with the town in the distance.    Sadly Kathleen Murphy herself passed away from cancer just before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, but her family and friends look after the garden, and keep it as a tribute to a caring lady.

The Colour Red : Sunday Stills

Freighter in Valletta Grand Harbour

Freighter in Valletta Grand Harbour

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Red boats stand out, especially against the grey stonework and the blue, blue sea, in Valletta Harbour, Malta.

poppies popping up

poppies popping up

And these red poppies are just wonderful, and remind me of summer heat.

Linked to Sunday Stills


Travel Theme : Grasses

Dry mountain grasses

Dry mountain grasses

Grass is usually a shade of green, but sometimes in summer/autumn the colour can change as the grass dies and waits for the new growth in spring.

Clumps of grass

Clumps of grass

Here is a nice contrast to the two photos above, a well cared for edging showing green grass and daffodils

Crosshaven Walkway

Crosshaven Walkway

And of course golf courses often have the best grass, to help that little white ball run a long way!

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While the grass on the roadside looks different again…

Roadside grass

Roadside grass

The African bush looks a little different, but still the grass grows there.

African bush

African bush

Linked to Ailsa’s Where’s my Backpack

A Visit to the Casino at Marino, Dublin

Well, you may be wondering what I played at the Casino, was it slot machines, blackjack, or (my favourite) roulette…and how much did I win, or lose….It was not that kind of Casino!    This Casino, or Casine, comes from the Italian and means ‘small house’, and is an 18th century architectural masterpiece in miniature.

The building was designed in 1759 as a pleasure house for James Caulfeild, the 1st Earl of Charlemont.    James left Ireland at the age of 18 to do the ‘grand tour’ of Europe, and stayed away for about 9 years.   He fell in love with Italy and its many villas, and on his return to Ireland he commissioned one of the finest architects of the time, Sir William Chambers, to create a garden temple from which he could overlook the magnificent Dublin Bay, and the Dublin mountains beyond.

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Widely regarded as the most important Neo-Classical building in Ireland, the Casino is actually quite small, measuring only fifty feet square to the outer columns. In plan, it takes the form of a Greek Cross with a pair of columns framing each projecting elevation. Seen from the outside, the building has the appearance of a single roomed structure, with a large panelled door on the north elevation and a single large window on each of the other elevations. This is all illusion, however, as it actually contains 16 rooms on three floors. Only two of the panels in the door open to allow entrance, and the panes of glass in the windows are subtly curved, disguising the partitioning which allows what looks like a single window to serve several separate rooms.

Many other tricks are used throughout the construction in order to preserve the apparent simplicity of the design. Four of the columns which surround the building are hollow and,with a length of chain dangling in each, allows rainwater to drain down. The Roman funerary urns on the roof (designed by James Gandon) are used as chimneys.

The interior, by Simon Vierpyl, includes a basement level with a kitchen and associated rooms, a main floor with reception rooms and a top storey with servants rooms and a State Bedroom. It contains some very fine plasterwork ceilings and some elaborate hardwood parquet floors.

Originally the Casino was linked to Marino House by a tunnel, although this has been blocked off due to building works in the area. (Source : Wikipedia)

There are guided tours of the building, which are very interesting and informative, and we were amazed at all the different methods used to make the layout and the rooms look larger than they were, like the curved ceilings, curved doors, and the absolute symmetry of everything in each room – if there was a door on one wall, there was a matching door on the other wall, even if it only led to a cupboard.  The furnishings are in the Georgian style, and there are magnificent wooden patterned parquet floors.

The building was taken over in the 1970s by Heritage Ireland, when it was in a very bad state of repair, and they have done a marvellous job in restoring this miniature to its former beauty, and this work is ongoing.

I hope you enjoy the gallery, and if you are ever in Dublin, it is well worth going to visit this Casino,which is between Clontarf and Malahide.




Close Up : Weekly Photo Challenge

Today I have two contrasting photos, the first one of the ornate ceiling of a church in The Silent City, Mdina, in Malta.  Malta has many churches, and each one is more beautiful and ornate than the one before, most of them are works of art in the baroque style, (late 16th century) full of carved ceilings and gold leaf, and beautiful paintings.

Ceiling of the Carmelite Church in Mdina

Ceiling of the Carmelite Church in Mdina

And now, for something completely different …..sheep grazing in a meadow.  This is something you can see anywhere in Ireland, in fields and on the mountain sides.   Often the sheep graze on common ground, and so that the farmers can identify their own sheep, they put a mark on their wool with a special, long lasting, marking paint, (each farmer chooses his own colour) so they make a colourful sight on the mountain!

Sheep grazing in a meadow

Sheep grazing in a meadow

Linked to Weekly Photo Challenge

Axel, Marianne, Leonard


For all Leonard Cohen fans, this is a fascinating story of his younger days in a beautiful Greek Island.

Originally posted on kbvollmarblog:

Das Wort normal verursacht mir Erstickungsqualen. Ich muss an andere unheimliche Worte denken wie gemeinsamer Nenner oder Lochkarte.
Axel Jensen „Ikaros“

The word normal makes me suffocate. It reminds me on other eery words like common denominator or punchcard.

Könnt ihr euch an Leonard Cohens Song „So long, Marianne“ erinnern?
Do you remember “So Long, Marianne” by Leonard Cohen?

Drei Jahre zuvor (1964) hatte Cohen seinen viel beachteten Gedichtband „Flowers for Hitler“ nicht nur dieser Marianne gewidmet, sondern in ihm auch zwei Gedichte „For Marianne“ und „Waiting for Marianne“ aufgenommen. Wer war diese Marianne?

Cohen had dedicated his much discussed book of lyrics “Flowers for Hitler” three year before that song, but not only that, you find in this book two  poems “For Marianne” and “Waiting for Marianne”. Who was this Marianne?

Marianne war die Freundin und spätere Frau des norwegischen Autors Axel Jensen, die heute in…

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