Monthly Archives: November 2013

Magnumlady gave me an idea

Magnumladys’ blog pointed out there was a flea market yesterday so I ventured in to see if there was anything (books) I could buy (cheap books). Thank you Magnumlady. It was full of something for almost everyone. None of it has ever steered me away from looking for books apart for that one time I became a child for five minutes and badly wanted a working steam train. It ran on steam. Anyway, there was a light frosting of books among the stalls so looking took a while, but buying a secondhand book is like diamond mining. You may have to dig through a lot before you find a gem.

And there it was. A pile of National Geographic magazines. From 1940. Beautiful – a whole world apart from where we are now. They contain adds quoting doctors for this and that. Car ads. Articles from a time when the USA had not yet joined WWII. Articles on the silk road, South America – all from that time. A real delight. There was also a small section on artefacts being wrapped up in the Louvre to be sent to the basement. The photographs were not of the treasures, but of the rude hands forcing them into storage. I will scan them and post once I get the scanner working. Anyone looking forward to Monument Men coming out?

I haven’t had a chance to go through them properly yet as I had to be up at 4am to travel and am just back. If anyone is interested in any of the articles that might be in them – please let me know and I will have a look and perhaps post a list of what’s in there.

Good night all.

 

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Books and their home.

Books are a good background.

Photo0697 Photo0698 Photo0699 Photo0700 Photo0701 Photo0702 Photo0703 Photo0704

The pictures are of the Library in the Yeats Memorial Building in Sligo. I recently heard about it and decided to go and ask if I could see it. What’s so special? The building is Arts and Crafts in style – build in or around the last decade of the 1800s for a bank of the time. It used the finest craftsmanship and materials and still looks quite well. The Library is in two rooms upstairs. The lady who runs the Café downstairs had the key and kindly allowed me to see it. She caters for functions there so if you are about and need it, by all means give her a shout. The books were donated by the Yeats family (of the Nobel Prize Winner Poet Yeats) so its something to look along their spines. Hope you like the pictures.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books and their home.

Looking for light in darkness, but couldn’t find the darkness

My wife and I went out to Streedagh to see if we could watch or even catch a glimpse of the predicted Aurora Borealis. It is an ephemeral vision at this low latitude, but if there is a chance who would miss it? We missed it. We went out to Streedagh because it is a north facing beach which would give a clear view if indeed it showed up. There was a light mist but the moon was making a good show through and the hope was it would clear over the sea. It didn’t and the moonlight hitting the low (very thin – we could spot stars) cloud basically set up a light screen.

So far a blog about what hasn’t happened. Onwards.

The beach was being pounded by surf – clear in the moonlight. Further along the strand the mist coming off the surf seemed to dissolve the vista beautifully. The camera could not get enough light to capture the beauty of the scene, but as our eyes adjusted everything was crystal clear. The camera couldn’t capture a shot, but I could see our shadows. Amazing. So we went for a moonlit walk on the beach. Wonderful. The thing is, the human eye takes a while to adjust fully to the darkness, so nothing looked familiar when we were walking back (the car was parked behind the dunes). Found it eventually.

Now the best bit for a random reader passing through – this was a beach where a Spaniard was washed up. From the Armada. Three ships actually beached there, but he wrote letters to his brother at a later point and these were kept safe and translated. I do like to work a book or reading bit in. Its potentially the script for a slew of movies – war, capture, escape, slavery, women chasing him, defending castles, pirates, chases and so on. He was amazingly lucky, a liar, or a bit of both – you decide. His translations can be read here – http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T108200/index.html . Its an amazing site with a vast number of ancient manuscripts translated. If you do read Captain Cuellar’s translations – no pressure, please let me know what you think of them.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books and their home.

Sunrise at Listoghil

Listoghil is tomb 51 at the Carrowmore Megalithic complex. Mention in past histories list the number of monuments at 200. Now less than 50, these monuments are gathering agreement among archaeologists as the oldest stone monuments constructed on the island. I recently met a family from Texas out there as well as 4 Dutch people, wandering around on a Saturday. The place was closed so no information was available. I found this amazing and was delighted to talk about the monuments (as much as I knew). Without the little I knew they would have wandered about and not have felt an impact.

I have heard that the vast majority of the tombs are oriented, not on a sunrise, but on Listoghil. Listoghil itself has been dated as a thousand years younger than some of the other tombs. Takes a lot to figure out the facts, let alone the theories.

Lstoghil from the top edge of the reconstructed cairn

Lstoghil from the top edge of the reconstructed cairn

The original Listoghil tomb inside the new cairn

The original Listoghil tomb inside the new cairn

This should show the avenue into the reconstruced cairn.

This should show the avenue into the reconstructed cairn.

The last picture is typical. You wait for a good shot with a clear lineup and out of nowhere someone jumps in. Happens quite often. Anyway, Listoghil was a cairned monument that had suffered substantial robout (theft of stones). Someone saw fit to raise a modern cairn like structure around the monument in the noughtes. I have heard “chamber of horrors, caged animal and Disneyland archaeology”. It is up to the person who visits to judge. The avenue is along the astro alignment so the sunrise still shines into the tomb or monument. The alignment is on a cross quarter day. These are the four festival points, Beltaine, Imbolc, Samhain and Lughnasadh – February, May, August and November. Samhain was the alignment we went to – sunrise was at 7.45am. Samhain is the time of the dead – the original Halloween type of thing. It was very early and very cold. I heard one lady mention it was so early she had left Micks breakfast on page 43 of the cookbook so she could be at the monument and didn’t miss anything.

Seconds to go.

Seconds to go.

Waiting

Waiting

Steady stream gathering

Steady stream gathering

Go in or stay out?

Go in or stay out?

Cold, but good spirits

Cold, but good spirits

Guessed there was over 100 people there, just curious and eager to hear from an archaeologist who was going to talk people through it. Nothing like the drumming, candles and chanting at a previous astro event.

Sunrise

Sunrise

And sunrise…… you have to admire the building of those people all those years ago – perhaps 6/7 thousand years ago, depending who you believe or need to agree with. For me it was the people there – after all that time people still gathered for the sunrise. The group I went with were absolutely class and helped make the morning. Well would you feel a wee bit daft standing there on your own in a field with stone constructions? For me, the crowd and the sunrise was more than the science and the sunrise. Cloud rapidly covered the horizon, but it didn’t spoil it a bit. Siobhans flask of hot toddies and the craic with Rory, Alan, Siobhan and Sinead made it more memorable again.

Just a note, all pictures were taken before sunrise by my inexperienced hand. The light gather in each makes some seem brighter or darker. Siobhan kindly lent me her camera as I had left mine charging at home (so I wouldn’t run out of power). The camera was better than I was.

6 Comments

Filed under Books and their home.