Monday, July 29, 2013

A Day Out in Kilmore Quay

Roma and I headed to South Wexford for much of Sunday and decided on lunch at Kilmore Quay. In glorious subshine we walked around the harbour which was packed with holiday-makers. There was a very clear view over to the Saltee Islands, and we also explored the Memorial Garden to those lost at sea. So many names.
We had lunch at the Silver Fox restaurant - pricey, but delicious seafood. We stopped at Our Lady's Island on the way home. This is a place of pilgrimmage in the Diocese of Ferns that I always remember being mentioned at Mass growing up in Carnew. We also took a short spin down to the end of Rosslare Strand - not terribly exciting, but there are some smashing looking holiday homes down there.

With Roma at Kilmore Quay, with Saltee Islands in background.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

It takes a long time to ride around Donegal #100corners

I have completed a ride around the coast of Donegal which took two and a half days to do. Setting out from Dunfanaghy at about 09.00, I crossed the border into Derry at Muff eleven hours later. In between I had seen fantastic beaches, though there are so many of them that it does get a bit monotonous after a while just looking at them. I stopped at Doe Castle near Creeslough though it is disappointing not to be allowed enter the castle. I crossed over Mulroy Bay on the Harry Blaney bridge and rode to Fanad Head and its lightnouse at the end. I could see Malin Head across Lough Swilly. It is a long ride around through Letterkenny where there was a torrential rain shower. I went into the Errigal Hotel for lunch and to sit out the rain. I had thought about giving up and coming back another day to ride the Inishowen Peninsula, but thanks to I could see that the band of rain would soon pass and I decided to keep going.

The most interesting part of the ride up the western side of Ininshowen was at Drumree Fort where there is a museum in the old fort and barracks that still stands here. Lots of old guns and tools for fixing them are well laid out - this is a most interesting location nand was well worth the break to see. I alos passed through the fantastic Mamore Gap and Amazing Grace country. I reached Malin Head at 6 o'clock and had a nice expresso served from a van located there in this, the most northerly point in Ireland. It's much like the dozens of other heads and points that I had stopped at on both this trip and my ride from Dublin to Sligo via the south coast last year.

After Malin Head I set out for Inishowen Head after which I enjoyed the coast road down towards Derry. After this it was time to head for Dublin, though a diversion through Armagh was required because the N2 was closed at Augnacloy. After so much riding on winding narrow roads, I let the bike rip on the M1 to get home to thunder and lightening over Dublin.

I had only ever been to Donegal on two occasions before: once for a diving trip to Mulroy Bay, and once to visit Kate in the Gaeltacht . It is a beautiful county, and I'm sure there are many beautiful sights and places of interest inland from the coast. But riding the coast is a great way to see this county, which is bedecked in green and yellow flags in support of the current All-Ireland football champions.

Looking northwards at Malin Head.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Coast and Hills of Donegal #100corners

Today I started out in Killybegs and ended up in Dunfanaghy in North Donegal. With the exception of a heavy thundery shower in Burtonport, it was a pleasant day for riding. M y first major port of call was at the Slieve League Cliffs, the highest in Europe. Though not quite as sheer and spectacular as the Cliffs of Moher, they are still very impressive. After this I moved on to Malin More and Malin Beg - nice views, but not a lot else. In Glencolumcille I stopped at the well and church of St Columcille. Just before Ardara I stopped at a fantastic view of a valley leading to the town. Naran and Portnoo were not so interesting, by now I am fed up of looking at the beaches on the Wild Atlantic Way.

I rode on towards Dunglow and Burtonport when the clouds suddenly burst open with heavy rain and thunder. I stopped at The Lobster Pot for a late lunch and to get in out of the rain. The photo below gives an idea of how heavy the brief shower was. In the iPhone screenshot from Met Eireann, I was under the yellow bit over Donegal.

Rain in Burtonport
Rain in Burtonport

I stopped in Bunbeg to check out the small harbour and continued on to Bloody Foreland. By now the rain and clouds had disappeared and my last port of call for the day was to Dunfanaghy and the wonderful Horn Head. In what was not a particularly interesting day for points of interest, Horn Head turned out to provide fantastic views and scenery. I am staying at the Forest Lodge B&B which is about a 15 minute walk from the village. My post this evening is from Patsy Dan's Bar on Main Street.

I should finish my tour of Donegal tomorrow and head into Derry City where I have never been, before riding back to Dublin. Hopefully the weather will hold up!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Back on the road #100corners

This time last year I abandoned an attempt to ride around the coast of Ireland - I had called the trip "The 100 Corners of Ireland". I set out from Dublin in a southerly direction making it all the way around Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Clare, Galway, Mayo, and to Sligo. The rain got the better of me and I gave up in Sligo town, returning to Dublin. Today I have had the chance to continue in much better weather and returned to Sligo to continue the trip around Leitrim and Donegal, finishing in Derry. I don't plan to complete the trip around Northern Ireland - perhaps next summer.

I am following the proposed Wild Atlantic Way (WAW) and stopping off at the points of interest suggested by Failte Ireland. I plan to deviate from the route as I see fit, following signs to any place that sounds interesting. First port of call was Rosses Point after which I stopped at Drumcliff to see the grave of W.B. Yeats. The WAW has a lot of beaches as so-called "points of interest" and I certainly saw my fair share of these today. I stopped at Streedagh Point, Mullaghmore, Tullan Strand (in Bundoran), Rossnowlagh, and Murvagh. In Ballyshannon I stopped at a statue to Rory Gallagher who was born and raised there. A man, calling himself "The Fiddler", introduced himself to me as one of the three men who placed the statue in its position. 

Donegal was my initial destination for the day, but after stopping in the Tourist Information Centre, which by-the-way is staffed by the most helpful people in Ireland, I decided to continue on the Killybegs where I am as I write this post. I am in the Tara Hotel overlooking the harbour, below is my view which includes a Dutch Tall Ship. I have booked into the Seawinds B&B in the town centre - small, but very comfortable.

Tomorrow it's on to northern Donegal - I don't know how far I'll get, but that's part of the experience of what I am doing. Some time tomorrow around 6.00 o'clock I will start my search for another B&B. THere are some spectacular sights ahead of me!


Friday, July 19, 2013

A fix for the embedding @YouTube videos into PowerPoint Problem @Office365 @Adobe

Over the past few weeks my email Inbox has been filling up with enquiries from frustrated viewers of my "How To... Embed a YouTube Video into a PowerPoint Presentation" (both versions 2010 and 2013). Initially the problem could be fixed by changing "version=3" to "version=2" in the embed code, but recently this fix did not work. Somehow PowerPoint stopped being able to embed the code provided by YouTube.
It turns out that another fix for the embed code is needed. A viewer on my channel posted this fix today - all it requires is that "http:" should be added at the beginning of each of the two instances of YouTube URLs in the code. the embed code now needs FOUR changes from what is provided in YouTube to work in PowerPoint, highlighted below in yellow:


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Some holiday snaps

Overlooking Keem Bay at the end of Achill Island, Co Mayo.

Cycling the Greenway from Westport to Newport.

On the Seven Arches Bridge in Newport, Co Mayo.

At Keel Strand, Achill Island, Co Mayo.

On the Atlantic Drive, Achill Island, Co Mayo.

Revisiting Newport Church, Co Mayo, where Roma
and I were married on 13th September, 1986.

At Old Head, Clew Bay, Co Mayo.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Blog Break

It's summer holiday time and I am taking a break from blogging to enjoy the good weather. Be back soon!

Cheers - enjoy your summer!

Monday, July 01, 2013

DIT e-Learning Summer School Presentation #elss13

Below is my presentation at last week's Summer School in DIT. It is strange watching oneself after a talk like this. I was happy with how it went, and very much enjoyed presenting and chatting to people afterwards. It's an hour long, so you probably won't watch it all, but do watch out for the 1970 Brazilian football team and a description of installing a satellite dish at the beginning.