Thursday, July 19, 2007


The past few weeks have been fairly busy at work but very rewarding. I just submitted a planning application for a small domestic extension to an old Georgian home just up the street from my current address . The building is considered a protected structure by conservation standards and so we've had to apply for permission to make any changes to the existing building. This particular project was good because I've been able to work on it from survey stage through design development, client presentations and then to planning stage which is rarely the case. Having a 10 month work period just lends to actually seeing a project through. Unfortunately, next week is my last week of work, so no chance of seeing it on site. I think I'm allowed to show just about this much of the project:

Sketchup model of the back extension.

I can't really believe it but next Friday is my last day of work. Then I'm going to sneak off to do some traveling and come back to visit J's ancestral village of Killishandra in County Cavan. And then my friends, it's home sweet home.

Copenhagen Consensus

Credit to Dave Viitala for posting this on his facebook page, but I thought it was really interesting and wanted to hear what you thought about it. This was a lecture that reflected discussions at the Copenhagen Consensus 2007, this particular topic a counter-argument or at least a readjustment of where we should stand regarding climate change. Bjorn Lomberg is head of the Consensus meeting and his talk is very persuasive so I'm extra skeptical...

Hugh Doran

I've come across these black and white photographs by Hugh Doran (1926-2004) and wanted to share them. Doran was a printer by profession for the Guinness company and these are some of his 'amateur' photographs which he compiled in his spare time. A lot of his photos are of Dublin and its architecture. His prints are on display at the moment at the Irish Architectural Archives.

These samples are from a new publication: Hugh Doran Photographer, Irish Architectural Archive, 45 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, 2007.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Torino - Genova

One week after seeing Northern Ireland with Jess, I took the last bit of my holiday time to see Andre in his ancestral homeland for a few days. We met up in Turin in the middle of the night, because of a terribly delayed flight into Italy on Ryanair. I checked in at our hostel at around 11:30 at night, without having dinner yet and woke Ghione just to say I arrived. I then headed out into the city to find some dinner until about 1:30am to settle the day's worth of hunger.

The following day, we said a more coherent hello to each other and headed out into the city. We caught a nice view of the city from the hills nearby the hostel - the Mole Antonelliana (pronounced moleh...with a bit of Italian flair) as the main focus with the Alps in the background. Haphazardly, we made our way towards it to see it up close and explore the city at the same time. After a nice long circle route with more catching up with each other than touristy sight-seeing, we reached the Mole. It looks like a church but it has been converted to a cinema museum. We decided to have a look. It was really worth it, the inside was full of activity - a nice break from just looking at the inside of a church which has become the usual in most European cities. In Dublin however most of the churches have been converted to lighting shops or pubs. Anyhow, we spent a while here then checked out the Royal Gardens from a closed fence and walked around for most of the remaining day.

The following day, we caught an early train to head down to Genoa (Genova). Before coming here, I was trying to place our hostel on google maps. You have to see this. It's quite a contrast to Turin's gridded map. In Genova, Ghione and I explored the old medieval town and later saw the famous La Lanterna (lighthouse). Architect Renzo Piano has redeveloped the main harbour, including a tensile tent (which was closed when we were there) as well as a floating butterfly bubble. The city is totally focused inward on its historical port, where Christopher Columbus is supposedly born. The harbour is filled with massive ferries and cruise ships. We visited the aquarium there as well which is known as the largest in Europe.

We caught a lot of sights together, but it was really nice to catch up with the old mountebank again. Our next proposed rendezvous will be in Thailand circa 2008.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Quick Update

Hi everyone, the last few weeks have been pretty busy. Three big events: second trip to Belfast with Jess, seeing the Leinster Final Hurling match at Croke Park, and a romantic getaway to the Siena region of Italy with mega friend Andre Ghione. There's plenty to report and I haven't even had time to upload the photos yet. Hopefully over the weekend I'll have it all sorted.

word of the day :: triskaidekaphobia \tris-ky-dek-uh-FOH-bee-uh\, noun: A morbid fear of the number 13 or the date Friday the 13th.

\/Take extra care today\/