Monday 20 April 2015

An afternoon | on the $tones


That's around us all, if you have | Take, the time to take a look..

The 'birds'

Thursday 16 April 2015

Like a virgin

Whilst recently in County Mayo in the west of Ireland I chanced upon this bygone relic of the MASA (Mayo Aeronautics and Space Administration) program. 
Now relegated to a field somewhere between Castlebar and Westport, the world's first poitín-fueled spacecraft was to have sent three Connacht-based astronauts to Saturn. Unfortunately the economic crash of 2008 put an end to Mayo's space race and emphasis of all things aeronautical reverted back to Knock International Airport, some 20km from the village of Knock where on the evening of the 21st of August 1879, Our Lady the Blessed Virgin Mary was, along with two other notable saints, seen to make the first Irish flight as she descended from space and levitated for two hours adjacent to the south gable end of the church of Saint John the Baptist.

Sunday 12 April 2015


I've never been to any of those mid-western states in North America but after a few days in County Mayo in the west of Ireland I felt as if I had. 
In much the same way Dungeness can accommodate a budgetary restraint, and as a location double-up as somewhere it's not, Mayo inadvertently became cowboy country. 
All the elements came together this week; remarkable weather, time of year, landscape, a Stetson hat as well as the slash-and-burn aftermath of commercial forestry.
Mind you, my Irish chum Elaine's Vauxhall was a bit of a giveaway!

Saturday 11 April 2015

Marc's new Shanty | B.K's... Auto hand 'soapy'

 Marc settles down in front of his brand... New digs..

Andy awaits early custom outside his new venture:
B.K's Carwash | Soapy...

Marc's new shanty

Andy's new business: B.K. Autos + 'Hand Soapy'

Saturday 4 April 2015

The Garden of England

"Kent, sir - everybody knows Kent - apples, cherries, hops, and women"
                                     Charles Dickens (The Pickwick Papers 1836-37 )

Wednesday 1 April 2015

You Lift Me Up

As my mother, who resides at Deal on the Kent coast gets older, my trips home from Dublin become more frequent. I generally fly to Gatwick, hire a car and drive for a couple of hours down the M26, M25 and M20 until I'm in the right bit of East Kent. 
On the last stretch I'm often tempted to take junction 11, drive to Hythe, make a sharp right and head off in the direction of Dungeness. I can't though, it's too much of detour and Daphne will be wondering where I am. Much easier though is Folkestone, I drive right past it. There's lots to see there and it's suitably crap. I'm intrigued by the 550 room Grand Burstin Hotel down by the harbour. It's a monster, seemingly a beached ocean liner. A trawl of the internet tells me that the Grand Burstin was built in the 1960's, the 70's with the latest date on offer being 1984. The most credible would appear to be a construction starting date of 1975 with completion in 1982. The web also told me that in the recent past the hotel has served asbestos with its horrid food and has provided sanctuary to 130 migrants from Iraq, Eritrea, Somalia and Afghanistan. Most interesting though is this marvelous video on Youtube entitled 'Tour of the lifts at Grand Burstin hotel in folkestone' - it's one of a series. As the twelve thousandth and thirty first viewer I can strongly recommend this somewhat niche audio-visual experience.