December

Waterford

Something exceptional happened, worth to mention. We have got a snowfall in Waterford.

It didn’t last long though. When I finally got downstairs and limped out in the street, there was almost nothing to see. I had to use a slow shutter speed to make the falling snow visible in the pictures.

Waterford

Aoife and Strongbow endured the snowfall well, despite their old age. Their marriage took place in August 1170, the day after the capture of Waterford by the Norman forces sent by Henry II and led by Strongbow who at that time was called Richard fitz Gilbert de Clare.

Waterford

But the Vikings came here first. They arrived in the 9th century and created a town in 914. The history of their reign is very complicated and violent, but so where the times.


As we are speaking about the Vikings – here is a link to the blog run by hamsters   of amazing author who wrote one of my favorite books  – The Viking and the Courtesan. Shehanne Moore, thank you for your fantastic books! Please visit Shehanne’s blog!


A local artist John Hayes envisaged a giant Viking sword carved out of a whole tree.  John Hayes is a well known carver, and I have already posted photographs of some of his other work: Greenway train  and   The Angel of Fenor.    You can read about the  Viking Sword     and here is a video I found on YouTube. You can come to Waterford to marvel at the carvings as the work is completed and the sword has been placed on Bailey’s New Street, in so-called Viking Triangle. The street starts from the Reginald Tower where you can find the source of inspiration – a Viking sword made in the 9th century in Norway.

 

 

And this is the sword itself. It is 20 m long and carved out of a single Douglas fir. A viking house in background is the place of the virtual reality show King of the Vikings. Don’t miss it on your visit to Waterford. You will find yourself  barely escaping arrows and axes, fire and deep waters, right in the middle of the Viking Invasion. Very fun 🙂

Waterford

Hopefully, John’s sword will be recognised as a world record.

Waterford

By the way, John Hayes also built this giant post box for the letters to be delivered to Santa. The box stands under the mirror roof of the Apple Market.

Waterford

I am not sure what I think about this roof, but I do love the reflections in the mirrors.

Waterford

The days are very short in December. In early hours of the morning when the lucky people were supposed to watch the Geminids, I was driving through the slashing rain to pick up my prescription. As much of an optimist as I am, I took my camera with me. To my surprise, outside the city the sky was clear and the thin waning crescent  Moon was so pretty with Jupiter below and Mars on the right. I had to crop Mars out because it was quite far and didn’t add to the picture, but I included the Waterford bridge. It was at about 6.30 in the morning. I saw two shooting stars while driving, but nothing major, no balls of fire or anything like that. I wish I had more time so that I could stand there until the dawn.

Waterford

This picture was taken 12 hours later.

Waterford

Last night I ventured out again to see if I can get some more pictures for this blog. There was a charity event in the Holy Trinity church and the gates were open. I used the opportunity and took pictures of churchyard and tombs.

The horse ride must be fun. Except, I think the carriage full of people is too heavy for two horses. I remember there were four horses in the previous years.

I set up my camera to take pictures of the Waterford Eye. I am not sure if I should take a ride. I might, but may be another day 😉 I am playing with the shutter speed – don’t want to get just a monochrome blurred disc. This picture was taken at 10 seconds, as the wheel is quite slow. The light show gives me the opportunity to get very different patterns which is really fun. The passing cars leave a red line in the picture.

Last December I took pictures of the smaller Vintage Ferris wheel. I might try out a ride on that one 😉

I walk to the other side of the wheel and take more pictures. Then I start experimenting with zooming the lens with a slow shutter speed after every three seconds ( shutter speed minimum 5 seconds; I didn’t want a completely blurred disc). I like the results 🙂

But what about Christmas? I didn’t see a single item that could be attributed to Christmas… until I looked down… wait, what is it there, under the porch, way lower than the pavement? A Nativity set! Tiny figures hidden from the people’s eyes, with the background made of garbage bags. Merry and bright it was. Sort of.

Political correctness is frowning at the use of the C-word, but I have never cared of anything political. It is the holiday I celebrate. What do you celebrate? Awesome! I already love your holiday, and your recipes 😉 Let’s celebrate together, and let’s hope your holiday will never get into the Political Correctness Naughty List 😉

www.inesemjphotography.com Have a wonderful week!

90 comments

  1. The life size (5′ tall Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, . . .) creche scene in our town is on the Courthouse lawn and says “Freedom of Speech” and next to it is a “Peace Tree.” 🕊

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      1. So far, okay! My brother Randy is improving since his brain surgery after his Thanksgiving fall. . .
        I joined a dating and thought I met the nicest man! Was excited in private and hopeful in quiet moments. I think somehow all the energy we seemed to show in agreeing with many topics has faded, alas. Oh well! xo ❤

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        1. So happy to hear that Randy is improving. Yay for modern medicine.
          Robin, the ‘fading’ is a normal thing. People get tired of being excited for a long period of time 🙂 Most important is to feel safe and to know that someone is interested in your life and makes an effort to keep you close and happy. “The nicest” is a good thing to say about someone, and it makes me think that there is a future 🙂

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  2. Fabulous photos, Inese, especially of the (moving!) Waterford Eye – and the snowfall! Of course, I love the Viking sword. What an achievement that was, and it’s very beautiful. Lovely nighttime photos and a delightful Christmassy post.

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    1. Thank you so much, Millie! I always write about the Winterval festival, but this time I was under the ‘house arrest’ after my operation and didn’t get to see any fun.

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  3. Is there still snow in Waterford?
    This is a very very holiday looking post. Your pics are lots of fun.
    Merry Christmas Inese, and Happy New Year! 🌲🎵🌲💝⭐️🎵🌲
    I do like the blog run by hamsters, so think I’ll head there next. Maybe the little critters will let me say hello to Shehanne!

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    1. Thank you! Have a lovely holiday Season! ❤
      I have overheard people talking that one of the horses was shaking and nearly collapsed after the ride 😦 Didn't see myself though, but it is too much of load for them two, obviously.

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  4. How on earth did I miss this gem of a post? I only wondered if you’d posted over the weekend. WP has been playing up when it comes to some of the blogs I follow – they are not (even my own posts) appearing in the Reader. Regardless, I got here in the end. I’ve been to Waterford once in a rainy summer. Its nice to be reminded of it. Have a super Christmas, Inese.

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      1. In my heart I know we must go back. I was told by a relative the other day my maternal grandmother was Irish…a thing my own mother always denied (for reasons never explained). I await the proof, Yet as a Remainer (in terms of the EU), if it is true I’ll kiss her gravestone and drink to her wellbeing, wherever she might now be, in a bar in Waterford and also toast the Irish legends.

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          1. If confirmed – I should know in a day or two – I shall be rather proud. I know on my fathers side we have a gypsy gal as my great, great…many greats grandmother (Eliza Mean) and I am also proud of her. My mother was of a different world, one full of phobias and complex illogical reasons in answer to questions no one ever asked in the first place. I am a tad annoyed that she never divulged much about my grandmother. I have but a single photograph of her…a very beautiful lady.

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    1. Thank you so much, Rose! I thought some people would love to see an evidence of the shortness of a winter day, enhanced by mysterious darkness of the old graves.
      I didn’t get a ride yet. I am growing the courage to ride the big one.

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    1. Thank you so much! I have got many different patterns thanks to the light show. It was fun. I haven’t been out much these days and missed most of the Winter festival. Had to find a blog-filler urgently and it happened to be the Ferris Wheel 🙂

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  5. A virtual Viking experience. I’d love to do that! The pictures of the Ferris wheels are wonderful – awesome experimentation, Inese. And who cares about political correctness when it comes to holidays – days of joy and celebration in general. Merry Christmas and all the rest. ❤

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    1. Thank you so much, Diana! The Vikings ruled over Waterford for about 250 years, including a hundred years after the official end of the Viking Age 🙂 Ireland has always been multicultural.
      Merry Christmas to you! Enjoy the end of the year ❤

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  6. Brilliant post, Inese, and I love all your Ferris wheel pictures, but especially the last. Hope you enjoy a Happy and peaceful Christmas, I didn’t realise snow was so rare in Waterford…but I guess its milder on the coast…
    best wishes
    Julian

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    1. Thank you so much, Julian! Great to hear from you, hope all is well. The snow was gone in an hour or so. I was not in condition to go to the mountains and make a snowman, but I would love to. Just a few miles north the snow had stayed a couple of days.
      Wishing you a wonderful Christmas!

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes, Waterford has strong Viking connections. They settled there and started trading instead of raiding. The Ímair dynasty ruled over Waterford for years.
      Ferris Wheel is a slow moving construction, not like a carousel, and to get a decent picture you have to use a really slow shutter speed. If I wanted a fully blurred image, I would use the BULB setting, as I did for the small Vintage Wheel, but for the big one I wanted to catch some pattern created by the light show, so I used 5-10” speed.

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  7. I’m totally fascinated by Vikings and that sword is just awesome! Your pictures of the Ferris wheels are beautiful and I love that you’ve played with different shutter speeds. Looks like spinning magic! And not much political correctness for me either when it comes to Christmas! 😉 xxxxxxxxxxx

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  8. Nice shots of the Ferris Wheel. Waterford looked like a Winter Wonderland. Thank you for taking me there! I had ordered a Waterford vase as a present for a family member a few days ago. I have Waterford on the mind. 😉

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  9. Oh you had little white noise there ❤ We have had snow many times, but it has melted the next day. Now we have a really thin layer of snow, and let`s hope it will stay through Christmas but I guess there is some rain coming so I think we will lose our snow again too.

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  10. That is exceptional low-light, low-shutter-speed photography. You have this exceptional gift of invoking historical moments complete with the protagonists, it lends a timeless aura to your posts.

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  11. You did great with capturing the snow and then coming up with a very creative blog as you took us along to unexpected places. History and political correctness! This afternoon we saw a local production of “A Christmas Carol.” To me the message for the season is to love one another.

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  12. Love the carving on the sword. On piece of Douglas fir is amazing and the sword tells its story with carvings. The mirrors with the white lights reflecting I liked but not with the traditional tree below.l I think a white tree with blue lights would be an accent. The shudder speed experiment is wonderful and amazing to see giving the Ferris wheel different looks. Thank you for another journey. ❤

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