Living life to the fullest


People love sharing quotes on social media. Recently, I came across a Keanu Reeves quote – or, perhaps it was Richard Gere quote as some people state – anyway, this quote made me think not only about the trustworthiness of the Internet, but also about life.

The first photograph illustrates my life these days, and the second one – my life’s beginning. As you see, the richness of color increases over the years, and the dark areas only mean that I finally know that I know very little.


Let’s go back to the quote. I am sure you have read it many times. I just copied and pasted it.

“My friend’s mom has eaten healthy all her life. Never ever consumed alcohol or any ‘bad’ food, exercised every day, very limber, very active, took all supplements suggested by her doctor, never went in the sun without sunscreen and when she did it was for as short a period as possible – so pretty much she protected her health with the utmost that anyone could. She is now 76 and has skin cancer, bone marrow cancer and extreme osteoporosis.

My friend’s father eats bacon on top of bacon, butter on top of butter, fat on top of fat, never and I mean never exercised, was out in the sun burnt to a crisp every summer, he basically took the approach to live life to his fullest and not as others suggest. He is 81 and the doctors say his health is that of a young person.

People you cannot hide from your poison. It’s out there and it will find you so in the words of my friend’s still living mother: ‘if I would have known my life would end this way I would have lived it more to the fullest enjoying everything I was told not to!’”

I am honest with you – I have read this piece many times, trying to attribute it to Keanu Reeves. I couldn’t. My friend had eaten healthy and lost her life to cancer, leaving behind three children. This part I understand. What I don’t understand is the definition of “living life to the fullest” in this message. Somehow I feel that the old couple have nothing to do with the idea of a ‘full life’ measured in eating, drinking and challenging the common sense. Yet, it is not the first time I hear this definition – eat what you like, drink what you like, party, do stupid things, live your life to the fullest. I have done a good couple of stupid things myself, but obviously not many enough to experience the joy of fulfillment and achievement… So, instead, I am trying to fill up my life with the things that are more meaningful. You can guess that it is not as easy as simply eat my favorite food ( I have many favorite foods). Sometimes I feel discouraged, but then I think about many terrific humans who truly live their life to the fullest, and I do my best too, spending time with my family, learning as much as I can take in, traveling as much as I can afford, doing nice things to others. I know that this list is not impressive at all, and looks pretty selfish too, but it keeps me busy, and gives me many opportunities. I love being alive.

An overused proverbial phrase “When life gives you lemons…” has many recipes to get you through the unpleasant experiences. But what if life gives you garlic? I googled and learned that I can use it to kill vampires. Be happy for everything life gives you 🙂 There are some pictures from the English Market in Cork City.


Sometimes life seems so awful. Can it get any worse?

english market

Yeah, it can!

english market

But hang in there, it will all get sorted in the end 🙂

english market

Sometimes your life is a reflection in the river.


Sometimes it leaves lasting marks.


Life is never the same, and to live it to the fullest means to embrace all the aspects and do your best to enjoy it. Your best, not only your basics 🙂 With all my sincere love for chocolate…


inesemjphotography  Have a wonderful weekend!

Cork City Gaol: inside prison walls


I had many plans for the Halloween blog edition, but none of them worked out because of the rainy weather.  So I figured that it would be  better if I moved under a roof  for my photo shoots,  and a prison roof would do just fine.


Cork City Gaol housed prisoners for almost a century and was closed in 1924. This is an image of a cell. Like to try? You may get inside and close the door to experience what life might have been like for a prisoner in the Gaol. An Irish writer Frank O’Connor was one of those who served time in the Gaol for their part in the Irish Civil War, and he later wrote that the cots and blankets were crawling with lice.


There is a cell with some original graffiti left by  prisoners who served time here in the 1920’s.  I took a picture of that wall and when I came home and started processing it, something extraordinary happened: the ghosts of the prisoners and staff revealed themselves in my images…


This is Mary Sullivan. She looks like a bloodthirsty murderer, but in fact she is a seamstress and in 1865 she received a seven year sentence following her eighth conviction for the theft of cloth.  She is just after being deloused according to prison regulations, and ready to see the Governor John Barry Murphy.


This is Thomas Raile. He was convicted of stealing some books. Serving his time in a solitary confinement, he got an opportunity to contemplate his wrongdoings and has turned to religion for guidance. Rev. Nelligan is counselling him, but it won’t help much: on release from prison Thomas won’t be able to get good references and his life will speedily go down the drain.


This young woman is Mary Ann Twohig, a 16 year old mother. She was heavily pregnant when she stole a cloth cap and some kitchen utensils with an intention to pawn them and get some money. Due to the pregnancy she was sentenced to only two months, without hard labor.


This is Dr. Beamish.  A warder is walking him to the cell where he is going to attend a sick prisoner. Overworked and underpaid, Dr. Beamish  has spent many years carrying his medical bag from cell to cell and fighting all sorts of infections and injuries.


Two off-duty warders are playing cards. In this room lives a warder and his whole family.


This is a model of the Gaol. The wings are currently in derelict condition and closed to public. You might be interested to know what is that small building at the back. Well, there were always prisoners and prisoners. The small building is the Debtor’s Gaol. Some well off people fail to pay their debts and are sent to prison, but not to the main Gaol. They settle with their own furniture and clothes in the Debtor’s Gaol, and even have their food delivered to them.

There is a lot more to see, but to be honest, the wax  figures give me the creeps…  And it doesn’t matter either they are of the prisoners of the Gaol, or any other person…



And here is an appropriate piece of music – Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues!

Happy  Halloween to all!

Cork City Gaol.

Photography tip of the day: Do a research before you buy a camera or any photography equipment, including the batteries you are going to use for your Speedlite. Everything.

inese_mj_photographyHave a great Halloween weekend!