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Day 11: Ornated door

This black and white gem can be found at 46 Fitzwilliam Square and has been touted as the most photographed door of Dublin (well, the hop-on, hop-off bus tours love to show this off, so no surprise there). Now, here’s a little trivia I learnt from a friend – while it is the entry to a Georgian townhouse, the door itself is from the Edwardian period. Still, I think it still fits well into the old English feel.

I managed to grab a few other shots of the more ornated doors to Georgian townhouses nearby and you can view them from this composite image at Flickr. The red and the maroon doors are both also located at Fitzwilliam Square, whereas the blue door is located at Merrion Square.

The majority of the Georgian doors, however, are less flamboyant than these but no less colourful and interesting in their own rights. There are many features to combine to make each door unique, including the colours of the doors (normally single colour per door set), the flanking pilasters (usually with doric or ionic capital), the entablatures (from simple to elaborated) and the fanlight transoms (may be plain, may be frosted, may be stained).

Day 10: Reflection of Georgian Dublin

Part of what’s beautiful in inner city Dublin, particularly in Dublin 2, are the Georgian townhouses (with brightly and solidly coloured doors) which surround a Georgian square. There are three Georgian squares in the southside of the city – St Stephen’s Green, Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Square. There are two other Georgian squares in the northside in Dublin 1 – Parnell Square and Mountjoy Square.

Back in the days, if you were some wealthy Lord or Lady, you’d live in these townhouses that face the greeneries of the square. If you were less affluent, then you’d be relegated to townhouses that flanked the roads nearby. One such example is Baggot Street where this photo was taken. However, not all properties along the thoroughfare remain in the same style. Some have been replaced by buildings with hallmarks of modern architecture. Not many of the new buildings are as pleasing aesthetically, but the distorted reflection certainly makes things a tad more interesting to anyone passing by.

I’ll try to photograph some fancy Georgian doors tomorrow and share them here.

Day 9: Kindness

Modern city life can be very impersonal. Add rat race to the equation and now, not only we can easily dismiss things that are irrelevant to us, we also often forget what is it to be kind to someone who crosses our path whom we don’t know and whom we may never meet again after that chance encounter.

This message, seen on Dame Court today, is a gentle reminder that I should always care. Kindness comes from the heart, is sincere, freely bestowed, and ultimately, there should be no expectations. Acts of kindness by others taught me to be kind in return. There is no place in society for excess selfishness.

Kindness can be as simple as a bus driver who waits for a passenger who is rushing to catch the bus but haven’t quite yet make it to the stop; a traveller offering a fellow traveller the use of mobile phone to tell his/her loved ones that his/her flight has been delayed; a passerby buying a hot cup of tea and some sandwiches for the homeless man huddling at the corner of the stairs; a worker extending invitation to a new colleague to join him/her for lunch at the canteen; a flash mob entertaining weary crowd and lifting their moods (let’s for a moment forget about the publicity value of this effort).

Day 8: Should be snowy…

I am playing an amateur weather forecaster tonight.

After the crazy amount of rain that we got last night, I woke up this morning to a thin layer of snow but otherwise a bright and sunny winter day. Sometime in the afternoon though, it started to drizzle and later in the evening, it turned frigidly cold. It feels like we’re getting all seasons in a day. I guess weather gods have hard time deciding which condition to unleash on us.

So I had a peek at the thermometer-barometer-hygrometer. The thermometer registers about 17-18°C/63-64°F (and yes, this is chilly for indoor temperature *), the hygrometer indicates a fair humidity level, while the barometer marks between “rain” and “stormy”. Somehow, I feel there should be a snowy option, perhaps sitting between “rain” and “fair”, where “change” usually is.

Afterall, rain is characteristics of low pressure, whereas high pressure is usually associated with a cold front that brings about clearer skies. Therefore, for the barometer to sit between “rain” and “stormy” right now, it doesn’t seem quite right. Hmmm, maybe the gadget is broken?

I shall recheck the measurement in the morning.

* Not that we have much choice. Current water shortage in Dublin means water restriction is in place (often, for some 15-16 hours daily – on New Year’s Day, 20 hours!!) and it wrecks havoc with our heating system that requires water to run.

Day 7: What’s your postcode?

Ireland is one of the few countries that do not use postal codes, but in Dublin city, there’s still some sort of code system in use in accordance to postal districts, numbering from 1 to 24 (although currently there are no districts of 19, 21 and 23). Areas to the north of River Liffey are odd-numbered, whereas southside areas are even-numbered. As you can see, Waterloo Road is situated in Dublin 4.

This may not be true for much longer. In recent years, introduction of national postcode have been discussed, delayed, tendered (and cancelled), re-tendered (and awarded) etc. It was supposed to be ready by early 2008, then early 2011, and now words have it that it’ll be in place by the end of 2011.

Day 6: Bickering

The big freeze is set to return to Ireland, with snow forecasted for the weekend. Daily temperature for the last few days have been dropping bit by bit but not enough to prevent me to go out for a walk and meet up with my friends.

The lake at St Stephen’s Green Park is today semi-frozen. On one of the frozen icy patches, a pair of mallards decided to bicker for some 10 minutes (I have no idea why I stood there and watched the going-ons for that long) before being distracted. Nearby, a little girl began tossing bread morsels into the water, effectively becoming the favourite visitor of the park among the mallards. ;)

Day 5: Red and gold, and floaty ribbons

The city of Dublin was bustling this afternoon, teeming with bargain hunters looking for discounted best buys post-Christmas celebration. My cousin and I were one of them, opting to shop around Grafton Street area, including in St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre.

The Christmas decors were still in place when we were there. I like it that the management didn’t overload the premises with baubles, tinsels, wreathes and fairy lights. I’d imagine these decors won’t stay up for much longer though. It is Epiphany tomorrow; traditionally this marks the time has come to take down Christmas trees and relevant festive decorations.

It seems like Christmas is coming to an end…

Day 4: An angel to watch over me

Because I could not stop for Death —
He kindly stopped for me —
The Carriage held but just Ourselves —
And Immortality.

— Emily Dickinson


Time stole away. It was a little less than two years ago that I first stood in this cemetery, saying a final goodbye to D who was near and dear to me. All around us were intricate Celtic crosses and guardian angels, lending an air of ancient culture meet religious symbolism, yet on a closer look, modern marble headstones are found peppered around the site, proof of style transition of death monuments over time.

Personal association aside, Glasnevin Cemetery is managed by Glasnevin Trust, which functions include operating the Glasnevin Museum and in winter months, it even runs daily walking tour. The cemetery is the largest non-denominational cemetery in Ireland, and the graves of many prominent figures can be found here. I guess that makes Glasnevin Cemetery the Père Lachaise of Dublin?

Day 3: The Irish Sea

The town of Wexford is by no means flat despite its proximity to the estuary of River Slaney. This means there are spots all over the town with breathtaking views. However, the hills are not steep in most part either, therefore it’s not particularly easy to photograph the vista and evoke the feel of heights. (Am I making sense here?)

The photo above is a view of the Irish Sea from Mulgannon in the southern direction, towards Drinagh and The Barrow. The sun was setting when I shot the photo but I have not seen much colour in the sky for the past week, and today was no exception. This is such a pity, because on days with vivid crimson and coral streaking across the sky, it is absolutely gorgeous out there.

Day 2: Art or Graffiti?

Each time I walk past the locked gate that leads to the courtyard of Wexford Arts Centre, I’ve been piqued with curiosity over the painted walls. Were they specifically painted, or were they the works of artistic vandals (which the Arts Centre then decided not to remove, since street art is still a form of art)?

I must admit, I can’t quite recall when I last went to the Arts Centre. Must be a good 10 or so years ago, when my friends were involved in a local theatre production. I can only imagine changes that it has underwent over the years. I should go pay it a visit some time soon.

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