Peering closely

Shield on building

I browsed the Ireland photos from this spring looking for a nice image for this space…and, in near-thumbnail, I thought this shield highlighted binoculars. I zoomed in. Nope, castle towers.

This decoration is high on the wall of a building facing Grafton Street in Dublin, between the second and third stories (by USA count).

Cross-cultural comment

Gandy Jupiter Pluvius 1819

This painting is by the English painter Joseph Gandy (1771–1843), and is called Jupiter Pluvius, and is dated 1819. We saw it at the Tate Britain last spring, on loan from Ray Harryhausen (1920–2013), a legendary stop-motion animator. Harryhausen took “a huge inspiration” from this painting.

You can tell by the image that Gandy and his brothers were architects, no? The setting is an ancient Greek town named Lebadeia, and now called Livadeia. I can’t tell why this place appealed to Gandy as a setting for this imaginary architectural complex, as there are no heights next to the real river. Maybe the name was what appealed to him? Given how many figures are on the bridge, it’s interesting how many areas there are basically empty of humans.

This is an appeal to the imagination and being calm, as we hear about real-world destruction by earthquake and hurricanes, as Jupiter Pluvius is the rain-giver version/aspect/epithet of this god of sky-weather-thunder.

Yesterday, also…

Brooks church

During our adventure yesterday, we passed through the hamlet of Brooks and saw this classic clapboard church, white with green trim and a neon cross atop the steeple tower. I just checked GooStreetView, and not too long ago a stately oak stood near the stop sign in front of the church’s main portal.

Da booooot

You did get that this is the booooot of yesterday’s blog-title, ¿no?


Vézelay hotel view

Heh. My latest book requests came in at the library and the Guru picked them up for me. Starting to think about being ambulatory! and taking another big trip.

Looking around in GooStreetView, you can find unexpected details…like these security cameras above a street light…in a darned small hilltop town, in this case still with most of its medieval walls and gates.

Town name: Vézelay, in central France..

Foreign craftsmanship

Dublin street bricks

I’ve been checking GooStreetView and other mapping details (e.g., bus routes from Ranelagh to Stoneybatter—two Dublin suburbs) to satisfy wonder-where-that-is questions that arise in my mind as I read the Tana French detective stories…I’m on the last one published…in 2016….

Long story short, I found this alternate reality brick wall and window detail that I THINK is a result of Goo’s photo-mosaic-melding algorithms.

Talented brick work, no?

Eroded cross

Reefert churchyard cross Glendalough

Weathered cross supporting moss and lichens, in Reefert Churchyard near Glendalough monastic complex, County Wicklow, Ireland. Photo from May 2017.

This cross is in the churchyard of Reefert Church; the name is an anglicized corruption of Righ Fearta, meaning burial place of the kings. There was probably a church here before the present one, which is in ruins and probably dates to the 10th/11th C. Perhaps the hazel tree grove that surrounds it has similar antiquity.

Graves here include seven leaders of the Ua Tuathail clan. You probably would recognize the name as O’Toole—more anglicization. One of the 12th C Ua Tuathail’s associated with this church was Lorcán, aka Saint Laurence O’Toole (1128–1180), who became Abbot of Glendalough in his 20s and Archbishop of Dublin in his 30s.

River borders

Columbia bridge

Photo taken last December.

This bridge crosses the mighty Columbia at Longview, and is the second bridge upstream, at 66 miles from the mouth. Its drainage basin is about the size of France, so you know there’s a serious flow.

At some point today I was thinking about rivers and borders. Even small creeks can be borders, I guess in part because in pre-satellite days, most anyone could tell which bank of the river they were on. If that makes sense.

Of course, for its lower miles, the Columbia is designated the border between the USA states of Washington and Oregon.

Welcome to Cuba

Welcome to cuba

I snapped this during our Sunday drive last weekend. Papi’s is next to the famous Mary Mac’s Tea Room on Ponce, and it is one of a local chain of seven. In contrast, Mary Mac’s used to be a chain, but the Ponce location is the only one left.

I’ve been trying to figure out the fruits on the upper windows. So far, I’m going with mangoes, coconuts, and bananas—not to scale.

Never eaten here. Now on to-do list.

Not a “real dump”

Stair landing floor detail

Stair landing, Tate Britain, London, recently.

As a distraction, I’m working my way through Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series. I am not getting a strong Irish flavor, which is okay, although I was hoping at least for some slang. Of course, I’m only on the second volume, so maybe it’s coming….


Gantvoort s

My sweetie showed me “Doctor Strange,” and I thought about healing on another plane beyond Western medicine. Even so, I won’t be doing Tibet or throwing shards of glass. That means I won’t need the wifi password (see title) at the monastery Doctor Strange visits. Still thinking about ways I have never thought of before of improving my healing.

No connection between text and image. I’m pretty sure! 😎