This is a stamp issued in Berlin in 1961, on the 10th anniversary of the death of trade unionist Hans Boeckler.

This is one of the main reasons I collect stamps. It’s like collecting miniature works of art. Just look at this. The colour. The simplicity. The artwork. Love it.

Westport and Clare Island, August 2010

Ed and me in Westport and Clare Island at the end of August.

The ferry over to and back from Clare Island was an experience. Ed lost his breakfast, poor guy.

The guys on p23 are Pat and Darragh Ewen. Pat was one of my scout leaders from way back and Darragh is his younger son. Pat has a most gorgeous house on Clare Island which he renovated from a bit of a ruin. We hadn’t arranged to meet him on the island but we bumped into him on the road back to the harbour which was great. He gave us tea, the run down on the island and its history and let Ed drive his quad bike. And then he and Darragh gave us a lift back to the harbour. Nice guys.

This page turning book was created with the FlippingBook plugin (easy to install and use).


I came across Isobel Henihan, an artist, by accident recently. Twitter, which is effectively a source for the terminally curious, led me to her. By chance, she was just finishing a residency in the RHA in Dublin and I met her there when she was displaying her year’s work. She also has a blog and a photostream on Flickr.

I like Isobel’s art (realistic colours; bold and confident brushstrokes; great atmosphere). She does a lot of plein air landscape work around Dun Laoghaire, Dalkey and Killiney which I like. She also puts together some pretty good portrait work which you’ll see by following the links above.

I love this painting of a lightship moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, with the lifeboat in the foreground. The reflections in the water attracted me first but the more I look at it, the more I see and the more I like. Gorgeous.

(Her sister, Judith, is an artist too. I have a lighthouse of hers in the hall.)

Room on Top

This is by Andrea Joseph, a talented artist with a liking for shoes. She does incredibly detailed drawings with (often) cheap ball point pens. I like Moleskine notebooks, saw this drawing for sale on her Etsy site and couldn’t resist. I love it.

Yesterday’s dinner

Cooked this yesterday. The recipe is from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, in last Saturday’s Guardian.

I used a smaller shoulder (reduced the cooking time accordingly) and served it with a low(ish)-fat version of gratin dauphinoise and steamed baby corn, mangetout and carrots julienne. It was gorgeous.

“Slow-cooked aromatic shoulder of pork

I call this deliciously tender, succulent slow-roast pork “Donnie Brasco” because you put it in the oven and “fugeddaboutit”. Leftovers are great in all manner of salads, pasta sauces and sandwiches. Serves six-plus.

1 boned, rolled shoulder of pork (aka a spare rib joint), about 2.5-3kg
5 large garlic cloves, peeled
5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled
2 tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp brown sugar
½ tbsp flaky sea salt
1 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil
1 tbsp soy sauce

For the five-spice mix
2 star anise
2 tsp fennel seeds
½ cinnamon stick
4 cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 glass white or red wine

Heat the oven to 230C/450F/gas mark 8. With a craft knife, score the pork rind in parallel lines about 1cm apart and to a depth of 0.5-1cm (or get the butcher to do it for you).

Grate the garlic and fresh ginger into a small bowl, and mix to a paste with the chilli, ground ginger, sugar, salt, oil and soy sauce. Pound the five spices in a mortar (or grind in a clean coffee grinder) and mix a tablespoon into the paste (the rest will keep in an airtight jar in a cool, dark place for a month or so).

Put the joint skin-side up on a rack over a large roasting tin. Using your fingertips, rub just over half the spice rub into the scored rind. Roast the joint for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and, using oven gloves or a thick, dry, cloth, carefully turn it over to expose the underside. Using a knife or wooden spoon (the meat will be very hot), smear the remaining spice rub over the underside of the meat, which should now be facing up. Pour the glass of wine and a glass of water into the roasting tin, cover with foil (you won’t get any crackling, but you will get “chewling” – tender, chewable skin with a lovely, spicy flavour) and turn down the heat to 120C/250F/ gas mark ¼ and return to the oven for five to six hours, turning it skin-side up and basting with the fat and juices in the tin about halfway through.

To serve, don’t so much carve the joint as scoop the tender, melting, aromatic meat on to warmed plates.”

Here my version, being pulled apart, gently:

dramabooks.ie postcard

Really pleased with this. Graphics by BrenB. Finishing by Simon Roche in Smoke and Mirrors. I recommend these guys.

Colourful, isn’t it?

ISSUU embedding

Hopefully below we will find the IBSD syllabus embedded courtesy of the WP Issuu plugin

[issuu layout=http%3A%2F%2Fskin.issuu.com%2Fv%2Flight%2Flayout.xml showflipbtn=true documentid=100903105109-51aca728d3b740a5a6a3d42efa3091ee docname=irish_board_syllabus_2010-13 username=davidmdot loadinginfotext=Irish%20Board%20Syllabus%202010-13 showhtmllink=true width=420 height=422 unit=px]

Indeed we do. It works. ISSUU is the dog’s. Better than YUDU.

(Update a few days later: it’s a bit slow to load at the mo, for some reason …)

A sound woman

The new Australian PM is an atheist. She explains her position in clear, unambiguous and unpatronising terms here.


A Christmas tree from a few years back.

And again

Hopefully this will play through a plugin called Smart YouTube

Don’t link the url and put a ‘v’ after ‘http’

Return top