Categories
General

Why do you do it?

I might miss something that makes my blood boil or make me feel sad that the world is so messed up.

I’m better off giving this little guy a cuddle. 😍

Thanks Reddit.

Categories
Health

The new normal

A month is a long time, an advert on the February 27th Naked Scientists podcast was run by the Local Enterprise Office here in Ireland for “Local Enterprise Week” at the beginning of March to “help local business grow in 2020”. I wonder will people become wary of meeting others after this pandemic is over? I’m slowly catching up on my podcast backlog. Many are being recorded at home or even on a park bench as happened with the March 16th episode of Planet Money.

Schools in Ireland closed on March 12th, so we’ve been at home since then. New restrictions were introduced on March 27th, as summarised by Gavin Sheridan:

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced:

1. For two weeks, to April 12, everyone to stay at home in all circumstances (except essential services, shopping, medicines, care for relatives, brief exercise)
2. All public and private gatherings of any number of people banned.
3. All non-essential shops closed.
4. All community centres closed.
5. Shielding introduced to all over 70s.
6. All visits to offshore islands banned.
7. No travel outside of 2km of your home (except reasons above), for any reason.

New restrictions announced

It has made a noticeable difference. I haven’t left Blarney since then. Even before that I had curtailed how much I walk but now it’s a quick walk around the park with the dog in the morning and evening. Pokemon Go gyms have been relatively stable. There’s one by the River Martin that hadn’t been attacked for over 100 days until mid-March but because more people were staying “close by” they were walking down there. That has stopped now and the gym hasn’t been touched in 7 days.

Google Fit knows I’m not going anywhere

Blarney Woollen Mills is blocked off, but you could still get in to the grounds there if you hopped over a low wall. One of the gyms in there remains untouched after 15 days!

Blarney Castle Garden was open until a few days ago, but the new restrictions closed them.

Dave Bolger created a site called 2kmfromhome.com where you can find out how far you can exercise. Simply launch it on your phone and allow it access to your location. It will then display a map around you with a circle where you can go.

Work on the construction site across the road from my home has ground to a halt which we’re grateful for. The road outside is still clogged with dust and of course they never clean it up properly.

PPE, Personal Protective Equipment, is a phrase that has entered everyday language. Every country has shortages of it but Aer Lingus are flying to China to pick up PPE worth millions of Euro.

If I remember correctly the Government expects to buy €225 million of it over the next months. Unfortunately the latest flight had to return and make an emergency landing after a bird strike.

People are queuing outside shops because the stores have limited how many people are allowed in at one time. Going shopping is stressful. People jump back from you if you get too close. This thread on Reddit compares it to a survival game.

Last Week Tonight was filmed at home. Other American talk shows are too. Ryan Tubridy presented a couple of episodes of The Late Late Show without a studio audience but a few days ago it was reported he had tested positive for Covid-19. Miriam O’Callaghan took over last week’s show. Irish radio shows are being recorded at home. My wife rang the bank this morning. The woman she spoke to is working from home and thought it was weird. She’ll get used to it.

Chris Hadfield offered advice for people staying at home

In a sure sign that people are getting used to this new normal some on Twitter were worried that bots were congratulating and supporting the government on everything they do. I somehow doubt that’s happening and others have pointed out that it’s really hard to get a Twitter username without trailing numbers unless you come up with something unusual. I bet there are a whole lot of new Twitter users now looking for the latest news.

Concern that Twitter bots are supporting the government.

Fine Gael are no saints and they’ve made lots of mistakes in the past but they deserve our support at this time.

the state hospital
with one bed

always full
always efficient

Even Jim Corr, he who fights the New World Order and the evils of 5G had choice words for Paddy Cosgrave who is repeating all sorts of nonsense and lies. Quite a moment.

There are two many cases where people have spat at Gardai and told them they are infected. A father and son in Cork did this and were arrested. A woman in Dublin did the same.

I saw on Twitter this morning that a 13 year old boy died of Covid-19 in London. Heartbreaking. 🙁

If you have a few minutes write a letter to Andrew McGinley. In January he found his 3 children dead in the family home. His wife was found nearby and has been charged with their murders. Andrew is feeling the effects of isolation.

He is getting lots of post but this one just breaks my heart.

Amidst all that WordPress 5.4 was released. Yay!

I love the header image on r/Ireland.
I love these Zoom backgrounds.

FYI – the first case of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland was reported in late February, with the first case in the Republic two days later on February 29th.

News from Italy is still dire but they seem to be slowly flattening the curve there. 17 more died in Ireland yesterday from the virus. 🙁

Categories
Ireland

Ballintemple on Sullivan’s Quay.

If you go over to Google Maps and click on the location of the now demolished IDA building you’ll be told that you’re in Ballintemple, somewhere that is a few km to the east.

A neat way to quickly get home if you happen to live in that area, but awkward when Google Timeline thinks I’ve been in Blackrock every time I head into town ..

Odd things:

  • The popup marker shows the old building there.
  • Clicking on it will zoom out and mark the real Ballintemple on the map.

Hopefully it’ll be fixed sooner rather than later as I remember this showing up several weeks ago but forgot to report the problem before now.

Categories
Donncha

Why is our car all dusty?

I have no idea. It’s only parked outside our home, where it’s always been.

Yeah, that’s where it comes from. When you live across the road from a building site. Where trucks queue on the road. Where they blast their horns on the main road to alert the crew on the site of their imminent arrival. Where I felt the air in my kitchen vibrate and resonate with the sound of the jack hammers and trucks passing. We fought it, we should have won, but we lost.

I had a really bad headache today.

Categories
Ireland

CervicalCheck Protest in Cork

More than 800 people marched through Cork on Saturday to protest the CervicalCheck scandal where 209 smear tests were misread and 18 women have died already.

Terminally ill Emma Mhic Mhathúna appeared at a protest today in Kerry.

In a poignant protest in Tralee town centre on Monday evening, the very day that she was told that her cancer has spread even further to her vertebra, Emma, in a moving and emotional speech, said that she would continue to fight for reform of the health service. 
“I am sick of being treated like nothing. Our health is the last thing that these people care about. The Dáil needs to realise that if they are going to take responsibility for our lives they better do it well or they need to be fired,” she told the crowd. 
“I promise my death won’t go unnoticed. I will make sure that they pay for what they have done to every single family in Ireland, whether you are on a waiting list too long or whether you are not being treated fair. Tell them you’re my friend and I’ll come and sort them out.”
“I can’t save my life but at least I can save yours and your children’s lives.” 

https://www.independent.ie/regionals/kerryman/news/kerry-stands-together-in-solidarity-as-emma-faces-death-sentence-36910803.html
Categories
Photos

St. Patrick’s Day 2018

The 17th of March this year was a very cold day. It was overcast and dreary. A bitterly cold wind blew. Ireland were playing England in rugby at the same time most parades were taking place, which makes it all the more extraordinary that people turned out at all to watch and cheer on the parades around the country.

The Blarney parade was smaller than previous years, and the crowd was definitely smaller too but they made up for it in sheer enthusiasm and good cheer. I have to salute those of the parade who walked the route dressed in uniforms or costumes. I could not have done it!

Categories
Ireland

Snowpocalypse Day 1

The snow has arrived! The #BeastFromTheEast is upon us! In Blarney snow fell this morning for about 40 minutes and left the ground looking lovely and white when you're inside. It was awful if you had to go out in it though!

-3C in the car this morning
The school run
I carried Diego most of the way to the school, and back. He was happy to get back in the car!
Clearing the windscreen on Carr's Hill. Photo Credit: Ki Bosch.
The Sun is shining

The snow fall didn't last long. Getting back up the hill into my estate was fun, involving high revs in first gear. Thankfully some of my neighbours had put gravel down on the road which helped. The relief as I felt the tyres catch on the rough surface was wonderful.

School is out at 11am though, so the kids get snow and bright pleasant, if cold, weather.

Tomorrow is Storm Emma.


Edit: Victor Barry posted a great photo of Cobh on Twitter.

"The National Emergency Coordination Committee has asked everybody in Munster and Leinster to be indoors by 4pm tomorrow and to stay there until midday on Friday.

Cork Safety Alerts on Facebook

All schools in Munster will be closed Thursday and Friday.

Aaron Woods has great photos of Cobh as well.

Of course people have panicked and shop shelves are empty. Bread is in great demand. Send bread!

Photos of Crosshaven in Co. Cork from Facebook.

Categories
Ireland

Liam Ruiséal’s To Close

I used to work in Liam Ruiséal’s bookstore more than twenty five years ago. I still remember sorting through books upstairs while Everything I Do I Do It For You played every day at 1pm as it sat at the top of the charts in Ireland for nine long weeks. I was so sick of that song.

The late summer, back to school, rush in the nineties was a crazy time to work in a school bookshop. I think I only worked there 2 or 3 years, brought in during the late months of the summer holidays, and worked those months in the store room around the corner. It's the shop across the road from the side entrance of AIB, an auctioneers now.

There were constant deliveries, constant orders being made up, piles of books brought up to the shop on a trolley. I haven't really thought much about it since but I wonder what became of the people who worked there in the early nineties? William Geoghegan pictured here looks very familiar and it appears Bríd was still running the place in 2016!


It's sad to see it close but the last time I bought a school book in there was the mid to late nineties. Unfortunately I never thought of it as somewhere to buy fiction.

One of the country’s oldest independent bookshops, Liam Ruiséal’s in Cork city, is to close later this year after over a century in business. Bríd Hughes, a granddaughter of shop founder, Liam Ruiseál, confirmed this afternoon that the shop will close “within a few months”.

Categories
Ireland

Clearing the Road of Fallen Trees

The trees that fell on the Waterloo Road were cut down and cleared off the road surface this evening, observed by Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy. A fire engine illuminated the scene, with a wood chipper at the side of the road, a small lorry and a JCB completed the perimeter of plastic railing surrounding the site. They made short work of the branches and other debris on the road. 🙂

Categories
General

The Aftermath of Hurricane Ophelia

Hurricane Ophelia hit Ireland yesterday and while it was a baby compared to the monsters that ravaged the Caribbean and US it still did plenty of damage and left 3 people dead. Many areas were left without electricity or running water for most of the day. A day later and there are still areas without those basic amenities. Telecoms services were disrupted too as lines were cut and exchanges and mobile sites ran out of power. 30,000 people were without access to phone or Internet access. A red alert was declared nation-wide. Schools closed (for 2 days), public transport wasn’t running, shops and businesses didn’t open. There was a definite fear and expectation that this would be a big one. And it was. Gusts of 156kmh were recorded off Roches Point!

We were without power from just after 11am, then the mobile phone network, Eir, went down, except my wife’s phone was able to go online for minutes at a time throughout the day. Winds really picked up around 10am, and lasted until after 2pm with driving rain almost horizontal in the wind. Later in the day I walked around Blarney village and from the far corner of the square got a weak signal from a remote antenna and had just enough connectivity to get a few text messages.

Trees behind our home were knocked down by the wind, blocking most of the main Waterloo Road. Luckily the very tallest trees survived as they’re within reach of some of the houses!

Even this stop sign was twisted around by the wind, and mushrooms flattened too..

Two trees were knocked down in the village square, and someone had attempted to drive a car and caravan up that narrow road before getting stuck and abandoning their vehicle!

Power came back late yesterday evening, as did mobile data, but friends are still without power even now so it’s going to take some time before things are back to normal. Our satellite dish is broken, and it’ll be early November before someone can come out to replace it. Parts of my garden fence blew over too, but that was on it’s last legs anyway! A TV antenna ended up in our front garden, but I have no idea who owned it.

This morning there was a lovely sunrise, and the sky was a gorgeous mix of blue and soft orange. 🙂

Next weekend we can look forward to #StormBrian apparently. Hopefully it won’t be as bad as Ophelia.