Christmas

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!

Merry Christmas!

merry christmas

 

I truly wish this week is filled with good feelings, all are content, honest with themselves and comfortable with others.

I truly wish your life is simple, and you always have time when you need it.

I truly wish no one is hungry, scared or hurt.

I truly wish there is someone for you to love.

 

 

Yet, it is not always like that. Not with all of you.

 

DMC

 

Some of you are trying to keep your balance relying only on yourself. 

 

 

Some of you put their trust in God.

 

2015-02-08 060r

 

Yet, it is not always like that. Not with all of you.

Some of you have lost hope and have given up, both on God and on themselves. 

Please look out for those who might be having a hard time this Christmas – look out, even if you are one of them.


I traditionally share this Christmas video on my Facebook page. I think it is a treat to both believers and non-believers. Mike Masse performs acoustic covers at gigs in the US and internationally.

 

 

Joy and peace to the world.

 

www.inesemjphotography.comHope you are having a Wonderful Christmas!

 

Christmas story

christmas

Christmas story is a special genre. I love a good Christmas story – warm, inspiring, sincere, with a touch of magic an a happy ending. Not exactly the story I want to share.

It was the end of 2000. We had got a beautiful white Christmas and the snow kept falling. My daughter and I just left a meeting and headed home –  a short walk in a quiet street between a rich neighbourhood and old city cemetery.  Walking arm in arm we didn’t hurry: no one was waiting for us at home. The evening was magic, and when I noticed two silhouettes in the end of the street moving towards us, I immediately knew they were a danger. My daughter felt the same way; we grew silent and kept walking because there were nowhere else to go.

It all happened suddenly and lasted just a few seconds. They pushed us hard and we fell into the pile of snow, One of them grabbed my purse and they run. You probably know that some people get killed for just a handful of change. I felt humiliated and lucky at the same time. At that moment I knew that there were a pair of glasses in that purse, nothing else. When we came home I realised that there was also my ID. We had to call the Police. Beautiful, quiet evening turned into a nightmare.

Every day we had to come to the Police station to be asked more questions. In the notorious picture album we spotted our guy, and were told that our episode is #6, and some people got kicked and beaten. We were lucky indeed.

They got caught after 3-4 days. One of the victims run behind them and called the Police on the run.  I got my ID back.

Then we had to go to the court. One of the guys, the one who was beating the victims,  got a year in jail as a juvenile,  and a 6 months probation.

Some days later we met his mother in the market.  We came over and told her that we were sorry she had to go through all of that. She cried. We became friends. Soon she joined the church; it gave her strength and helped to fight her loneliness. After a year her son came home, they both visited us and he said he was sorry. He joined the Church following his mother’s example. After 6 months of probation, he was involved in a robbery and was sentenced for three years, this time in an adult jail.

To be utterly honest, I don’t know if I would feel compassion towards him and his mother if he hurt my daughter. I don’t know, and I don’t want to know. I am not a saint.

I remember this story every Christmas – the only Christmas story  I have been a part of.

I would love to be more compassionate and forgiving. God gave us the best gift – His beloved Son. This gift means that He loves us as imperfect as we are, and He will never give up on us. I guess, He expects us to never give up on our fellow beings too.

inesemjphotographyHave a happy weekend!