This Was My Winter Wonderland (And Camera)

Christmas Day at Lough Talt, Co. Sligo
Christmas Day at Lough Talt, lake frozen for the first time in “many a year”

FOR THE past three years I reckon I’ve told myself I’d get out, get some more photos, actually start pushing them out online as well.

On holiday in October I picked myself up a Canon IXUS 120IS and it’s gone a long way to re-invigorate the hobby photographer in me. I’m still using the D70 for commercial work but having the small one in the pocket made such a difference over the Christmas and has left me with a great stack of photos to sift through and upload in the next day or two.

Though not jinxing things for myself, it might be high time turned some attention on my neglected photoblog.

These (above and below) are from my winter wonderland, or Lough Talt, Co. Sligo, where I’d made the longer-than-usual-thanks-to-the-weather drive to be with the family for Christmas.

When I’d first picked up the D70, I was genuinely amazed and impressed by the technology within the camera. Flash forward a few years and skip over to the Canon compact and I’ve been left incredibly impressed all over again. In the whole of Christmas, and the two months or so that I’ve had the camera, I don’t think I’ve taken it off the automatic setting – the camera literally doing all the work for you and producing a fantastic quality image at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as happy behind a full SLR in crafting a photograph as I am in whipping a compact out of my jacket to catch a snap there-and-then but there’s a lot to be said for the marriage of technology, quality and convenience in this case.

Whether it’s enough to egg me towards revisiting my photoblogging, we’ll have to see. It could be fun though…

Christmas Eve at Lough Talt, Co. Sligo
Christmas Eve at Lough Talt, Co. Sligo

This Is Where The Magic Happens

Lough Talt, Co. Sligo

This is where the magic happens. Thought I’d pop this one into the blog as it’s a shot I’ve taken to rather quickly (and currently resides on my desktop as a wallpaper), one snapped over the Christmas period.

This is where the magic happens. Not the work life, not the music life, not the theatre life, but the unwinding part of life. Get in the kayak, hit the lake, top to bottom. Bliss.

In Collateral, Jamie Foxx would take a breather on the job by looking at the photo of the island he kept on his visor in the taxi. Me, I keep a picture of a lake on the desktop. It’s rare I get to see it during the day with all the windows and tabs open, but when I do I’m reminded that there are simpler things in life and that there are places you can go to get away from it all.

So when I’m tweeting about hitting the road to Sligo or sitting amongst mountains, this is where I’m hiding out. I think the next time I’m up is the weekend before the Blog Awards but you can be sure that if I’m up, I’ll be hitting the water.

Here I Go Again

Here I go again… I’ll be in Sligo until Monday, likely hitting the surf this afternoon (if I can get up off my desk to hit the road). The three day work week in Kilkenny has been a God send but isn’t it amazing what you can squeeze into three days when you put your mind to it? I’ve been flat out on all fronts in the office, culminating in a few hours out in the studio last night checking up on the progress of a local band’s EP (due this June I think) and talking music with this guy (check out the Dragons Breath).

Anyway, I’m off to the wilds, kayak ready to go, playing a gig Saturday, surfing Sunday before returning to normal on Monday night.

Enjoy your second long weekend in a row! (Why doesn’t this happen all the time).

Internet Silence For The Weekend

Kayaking TrioJaiku off? Check. Twitter off? Check. Internet profile on phone? Still deleted. Last.fm Radio? Nowhere to be found. Paddle? Check. ProTools? Check. Boots? Check. Bike? Check.

I’ve been waiting for March to hit for ages, this stretch of ten days or so to be more precise. It’s close on two months since I’ve had the chance to get up to Sligo but come lunchtime today I’ll be counting down the miles to the lake, all in the hope that I’m getting a head start on the bank holiday traffic.

I’m imposing internet silence for the weekend. Twitter and Jaiku mobile updates are off. There’s no broadband connection in the house above – which surprisingly suits me this weekend – no dial-up connection and mobile coverage is sketchy at the best of times.

The lack of any decent speed internet connection doesn’t sway me at all at the lake. I know if I drive 7 miles up the road that I can get a wireless broadband connection. I know if I make the trip into Ballina (Mayo, we’re pretty close to the border) and could bring my laptop with me, enjoy internet access and coffee in the town, but I choose not to. There are enough natural distractions in the area to enjoy as opposed to spending even MORE time logged on.

Barring one appointment I’ve got on Saturday I plan on getting back out on the lake, tackling some more of the waves at Iniscrone (I’m guessing we’ll have the weather for it though I must look up the surf reports), cycling the mountain roads until my legs fall off and if I’ve enough energy left, flesh out an idea on paper that’s been bubbling away in my head the last two weeks (good bubbles) and I’m NOT leaving until I’ve got one new track recorded for delivery on MySpace next week.

If you’re emailing me, DMing me or looking for me in general, don’t expect to find me until Tuesday – or maybe Monday night, depending on what happens on the 17th.

Yes, some of us still believe that St. Patrick’s Day and it’s traditional Irish activities should take place on the 17th and not a bloody Saturday.

Then we’ll do it all again next weekend for Easter.