A Fairy Song – Shakespeare

Who lives here in the Castlerea Desmene Fairy Village?

A Fairy Song
William Shakespeare

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.

New Header Picture: Bangkok sunset

Chao Phray River Bangkok
Sunset over the Chao Phraya River, Bang Sue, Bangkok

The Chao Phraya is Thailand’s major river flowing 372 km from the confluence of the Ping and Nan rivers through Bangkok and into the Gulf of Thailand.

In Bangkok the Chap Phraya is a transport artery for a network of river buses, cross-river ferries, and water taxis. The river buses are cheap and are an excellent way for tourists to see Bangkok.

According to wikiyoyage the prices currently are around 30 Baht (roughly one US Dollar) and there are a confusingly large number of different boat lines:

The photograph was taken in November 2018.

New Header Picture: the Plassey

reck of the Plassey
The wreck of the Plassey, Inisheer, Aran Islands

The MV Plassey started its life as HMS Juliet, a naval trawler in the Royal Navy built at the beginning of WWII. during the war she took part in Operation Torch in 1942 and in the Mediterranean theatre. After the war she was converted into a merchant ship and sold to the British merchant service as the Peterjon. Later, in 1951 she was acquired by the Limerick Steamship Company and her name changed yet again to the MV Plassey (sometimes written as Plassy).

She operated around the coast of Ireland until 1960 when she was caught in a severe storm and ran aground on Finnis Rock, Inisheer, Aran Islands whilst carrying whiskey, stained glass and yarn. Luckily, the entire crew was saved. Two weeks later, a second storm washed her off the rock and drove her up the beach.

The Plassey is probably most famous for appearing in the opening credits of the TV comedy Father Ted.

Photo taken July 2019

Global Golden Hour: Sunsets around the world

Amateur Hour presents: Global Golden Hour

The Photos app that comes bundled with MacOs periodically produces slideshows. Normally, these are themed around places or dates. One caught my eye though – it was called ‘Golden Hour’ and included photos I’d taken from many places. Usually, photos taken around sunset are better because the quality of light is better.

Sunsets from

China: Tianjin, Beidaihe, Sanya

Thailand: Bangkok

Ireland: County Roscommon, the Irish Sea

UK: Leeds

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to export it so it could be edited. I had to re-create it manually using iMovie. This is the result I call it Global Golden Hour: Sunsets around the world.

The soundtrack is “In Memory of a Free Festival Part 2” by David Bowie which I thought was appropriate. All rights remain with the original artist blah, blah blah, no profit is being made, blah blah, fair use, blah blah.

Click here to open in a new browser window

New Header Picture: Pingdingshan

Nei Mengu
The extinct volcanoes of Pingdingshan, Xilin Gol, Nei Menggu

平顶山, 锡林郭勒盟,内蒙古

Pingdingshan in Xilingol League in Inner Mongolia has a very distinctive landscape. There are many extinct volcanoes from a time when this was the sea floor. This photo was taken in early October and the lush green grasslands had already faded to their winter brown. Even so you can see a flock of sheep in the foreground.

The interactive map is a new feature which I’ll maybe use again now that I know how to do it.

For tourist info click here

New Header Picture – The Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare, Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare attrac up to 1.5 million tourists a year.

Rising to a height of 214 meters they stretch for 14 kilometres. They are made up of sandstone and shale formin distinctive layers as can be seen in the photo.

The award winning visitor centre is dug into the hillside so it doesn’t detract from the scenery.

Alternatively take a virtual tour:

This photograph was taken in July 2019.

平原县, 德州市, 山东省

Image

A memorial pagoda in Pingyuan County, Dezhou, Shandong Province
A bit different from but similar to Banbury Cross

Xanadu: Fragments

In Xanadu…
…did Kubla Khan
A stately Pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,

Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
It was a miracle of rare device,

A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
Kubla Khan (2002) Pandaemonium, Julien Temple

Kubla Khan

Or, a vision in a dream. A Fragment.

BY SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
   Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean;
And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
   The shadow of the dome of pleasure
   Floated midway on the waves;
   Where was heard the mingled measure
   From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

   A damsel with a dulcimer
   In a vision once I saw:
   It was an Abyssinian maid
   And on her dulcimer she played,
   Singing of Mount Abora.
   Could I revive within me
   Her symphony and song,
   To such a deep delight ’twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

Welcome to Craggy Island

Inisheer Island (Inis Oirr), Aran Islands, Co. Galway
More about the wreck of The Plassey: https://www.doolin2aranferries.com/blog/plassey-famous-shipwreck-inis-oirr/
The islands supports arcticMediterranean and alpine plants side-by-side, due to the unusual environment. Like the Burren, the Aran islands are renowned for their remarkable assemblage of plants and animals.
The grikes (crevices) provide moist shelter, thus supporting a wide range of plants including dwarf shrubs.