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Eunoia, who is a grumpy, overeducated, facetious, multilingual ex-pat Scot, blatantly opinionated, old (1944-vintage), amateur cryptologist, computer consultant, atheist, flying instructor, bulldog-lover, Beetle-driver, textbook-writer, long-distance biker, geocacher and blogger living in the foothills south of the northern German plains. Not too shy to reveal his true name or even whereabouts, he blogs his opinions, and humour and rants irregularly. Stubbornly he clings to his beliefs, e.g. that Faith does not give answers, it only prevents you doing any goddamn questioning. You are as atheist as he is. When you understand why you don't believe in all the other gods, you will know why he does not believe in yours :-) Oh, and he also has a neat English Bulldog bitch 'Frieda'.

And her big son 'Kosmo'.

Some of my bikes

My Crypto Pages

My Maths Pages

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Irish green reigns rains :-(

Now I understand why Ireland is so green. About ¾ of the time we were there it rained :-( It's what makes the grass so green, clean and healthy ;-)
BTW, those are real hills in the background, not sham rocks ;-)

Comments (2)
Carol (UK) complains "Forget the landscape photos, travel broschures do that better. Just show us the more unusual places you went." At least give me an A for effort! But yes, I'll focus on the weirder places for you; there were enough of them :-)
Hattie (Hawaii) wrote " Hi, Stu. Just catching up to you and your amazing Irish adventure! What an experience! And Ireland looked good to me, even in the sodding rain!". Because we stopped every day somewhere else, we were forced to ride in the rain. Otherwise I might have taken a day off :-)

Friday, July 29, 2016

Irish friendliness :-)

One of the things that most impressed us in Ireland was the generosity, friendliness and sheer helpfulness of the Irish people towards us tourists. Let me give you some examples.

Waiting in the rain for the ferry : the ferry company makes everybody queue. Car and truck drivers in their nice snug warm and DRY vehicles. But we bikers are left out in the pouring rain; the ferry company doesn't even provide a bus-shelter for us to wait in the DRY. But this nice truck driver took pity on us. He raised the hood of his flat-fronted truck so that we could at least stand under it, out of the sodding rain. Thankyou anonymous trucker!

Soaked to the skin in Ballycastle (County Mayo) : Mary welcomed us into her cottage kitchen although we were dripping wet and soaked her (stone) floor. She took pity on us sodden wet bikers, fed us warming soup and rolls and hot coffee, then didn't want to take any money for it. That's generosity! But we paid anyway and promised her a mention in dispatches :-) So, dear readers, if you are ever in Ballycastle, please give Mary your custom!

Similarly, a couple of days later. I just wanted out of the incessant rain and we stopped in a 5 house village where one was a pub (Carney's bar). We were the only customers so far that afternoon. The bar lady gave us free coffees saying she enjoyed the chance of a chat. Nice people in Irland.

And then there were all those nice, well-meaning people who "helped" us with our navigation. Example conversation - Me : "We're trying to get to [some tiny village]" Helpful Irishman : "Sure, and if I were trying to get to there, I wouldn't start from here!"

As friendly as the Irish were to us, they seemed to be on a permanent war footing with Spelling and Grammar, as this classic petrol-station sticker shows. Four words, two grammatical errors. We even found a cafe´ with a seven line menu containing eight spelling mistakes ;-)

I have to mention all the great B&Bs (and some intermediate lunchtime stops) which took our soaked M/C jackets and gloves and put them in a tumble dryer on low heat for half an hour so that we could start the next part of our trip warm and DRY. These were people who knew they would never see us again, yet took pity and helped rescue our trip. Thanks, all of you!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Grianan Ailligh - an ancient Irish royal citadel

On a hilltop just west of Derry, there is an often ignored historic monument, a large round stone-walled fort, Grianan Ailligh, which in this form goes back about 2000 years. It was the royal citadel of the Ui Neill from the 5th through the 12th centuries AD. And so we managed to find the various single-track lanes and cart-tracks that took us to the top of the hill to see it. The hilltop was in cloud, which lifted for these photos :-)

The wall is 4½ meters thick and 5 high (in 3 terraces). There are 2 long passages and various "rooms" within the wall, dark and dank. Within the stone defenses is a circular corral, presumably used for keeping goats etc.

The commanding views of Loughs Foyle and Swilly, over counties Donegal, Derry and Tyrone are spectacular, even on a rainy day.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Derry's Bogside Murals

For someone of my generation (I'm 72), the civil war in Ireland - more usually called The Troubles (1968ff) - remains a vivid memory; for Frank not so, he wasn't even born at the time. Most of the action took place in or around Bogside, a poorer area inside (London)Derry, now famous for the gable-end murals commemorating the events of the time. So we rode down the hill to take a look, starting at Free Derry Corner.

Some of the murals are more modern, but this is not expained there. The RNU pressure group did not become a political party until the 21st century.

More typical of the times are these two murals, depicting scenes from 1972. A protest march became violent, as you can see from the lad in the gas mask carrying a Molotov cocktail. The civil rights movement had learned nothing from Gandhi, resorting to violence instead, alledgedly financed by Irish-Americans who had emigrated at the time of the Potato Famine (1845-1852). On 30 January 1972 ( Bloody Sunday) in the Bogside area British soldiers shot 26 unarmed civilians during a protest march against internment. Those who died are shown in this second mural.

This civil rights picture shows - presumably Annette McGavigan - and Nelson Mandela; I have no idea why this is so, he had no connections with N.I., I guess the artist was just exploiting his fame??? Feedback anyone?

Thes last two photos show the Civil Rights movement demo mural and (elsewhere in town) the peace statue showing exchanging a handshake as peace returns (a couple of decades later).

There are a dozen murals in Bogside, but I've only shown you 5 of my 12.

Comments (1)
Doug, (Canada), has more Nelson Mandela info and sent this link.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Northern Ireland's coastal road

We lost several hours in Belfast fixing an electrical problem with my bike, then left Belfast (the sooner the better) to join the coastal causeway route at Larne, riding anti-clockwise towards Londonderry. Surprise! It even stopped raining after a while :-)

First planned stop was at Carrick-a-Rede where there is a rope bridge over the thundering surf to a small offshore island. Break step, walk irregularly, the bridge waves in the wind anyway; great tourist attraction :-)

A little further along the causeway coastal route we came to the next tourist attraction - Giant's Causeway. The huge basalt stones, hexagonal in cross-section, are of volcanic origin and are taller than a human being. There are many broken columns & rubble too, covered in lichen and tourists to such an extent that you had to beware of being poked by selfish selfie sticks :-(

Originally we had planned on visiting the "Dark Hedges", an avenue of gnarly beech trees near Armoy, County Antrim which was used as a location in "Game of Thrones". But we skipped this and the 1½ hour tour of Bushmill's whiskey distillery to catch up on our schedule again.

Instead we turned inland, riding toward Balleymoney, on a bikers' pilgrimage to Joey's Bar. Joey Dunlop was Northern Ireland's fastest pub landlord; he scored 26 I.O.M TT victories, 24 Ulster GP victories, won 13 NW200 races and 162 other road races! I saw some of these races I'm pleased to say :-)

And so I came to the honour of being served a pint of the foaming ale by Joey's daughter herself :-) The pub is the thriving social centre for locals and bikers from across the world even though it's basically just a railway station pub. We were made very welcome. Thankyou everyone there :-)

Finally we paid our respects in the nearby memorial garden to Joey and his road-racing brother Robert (the Mighty Micro) before riding to our excellent B&B (Arkle House) in nearby Londonderry. Next up : Bogside!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Dutch car-care products ;-)

So we refuelled our bikes at the last gas-station in Holland before the North Sea ferry. Like many gas-stations it also had a shop. Here you could buy car-care products : for example, Glass Wipes for cleaning the film of dirt off which condensates on the inside of the car's windscreen. Or Cockpit Wipes for cleaning off a child's sticky fingerpints from the dashboard, or where the dog barfed in the footwell, or any cream pie leftovers ;-)

Of coarse (sic!) you have to be more careful than I was when picking up the products, lest there be some kind of misunderstanding ;-)

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Wild Atlantic Way

During the past two weeks my motorcyclist friend Frank and I have been riding the Wild Atlantic Way down the west coast of Ireland, returning via Snowdonia in Wales, so I'll be showing you some diary photos in the forthcoming weeks.

The itinerary was : ride across Germany and Holland to Amsterdam, take the overnight North Sea ferry to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England, ride across the UK along Hadrian's Wall to Stranraer in Scotland, eating a Haggis there before catching the late afternoon ferry across the Irish Sea to Belfast in Northern Ireland. Then around the Causway Coastal Road to Londonderry, on to Sligo, Galway, Limerick, Killarney, Ring of Kerry, Cork (kissing the Blarney Stone nearby, as any good blogger should ;-)) departing Ireland at Rosslare for Wales. Then tour the Snowdonia mountains in Wales before taking the overnight ferry Hull-Rotterdam and taking the Autobahn home.

Yes, it rained about ⅔ of the time, so we got soaked and caught severe colds, had an electrical breakdown, but otherwise enjoyed ourselves thoroughly :-)

Some 4300 kilometers in total, so about 300 km (almost 6 hrs) daily average.

Comments (2)
Cop Car (Kansas, USA) wrote " "Some 4300 kilometers in total, so about 300 km (almost 6 hrs) daily average." Thus, your range is considerably less than that of the F-35B! ;) Welcome home!" Indeed! While the bike's range between refuelling stops is only about 220 km, I can only manage about 300 daily on country roads or 450 on the autobahn before tiring (needing a break every 2 hours). As I get older, the trips will get shorter, but this year we totalled about 200 km more than last year's trip to the Ukraine :-)
Schorsch (D) asks "Does that 4300 km include the 4 ferries?" No, just the distance in the saddle.

Recent Writings
Irish green ;-)
Irish friendliness :-)
Grianan Ailligh
Bogside Murals
North-Ireland coast road
Dutch car-care products
Wild Atlantic Way
AFK, so Hiatus.
OUTch :-(
Can you see the stars?
Weekend FAILs :-(
Stop'n'go staircase
Mama, laud him!
Rain stopped play :-(
Hallo, neighbour
On academic standards
The impossible barber
Heavy Metal Naked Girls
Going to Church ;-)

Ain Bulldog Blog
Balloon Juice
Cop Car
Earth-Bound Misfit
Fail Blog
Finding life hard?
Hattie (Hawaii)
Lagniappes Lair
Mostly Cajun
Not Always Right
Observing Hermann
Rants from t'Rookery
Scary Duck
Spork in the drawer
Squatlo Rant
Yellowdog Grannie

Archive 2016:
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Archive 2015:
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May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Archive 2014:
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This blog is getting really unmanagable, so I've taken the first 12 years' archives offline. My blog, my random decision. Tough shit; YOLO.
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This Blog's Status is
Blog Dewey Decimal Classification : 153
FWIW, 153 is a triangular number, meaning that you can arrange 153 items into an equilateral triangle (with 17 items on a side). It is also one of the six known truncated triangular numbers, because 1 and 15 are triangular numbers as well. It is a hexagonal number, meaning that you can distribute 153 points evenly at the corners and along the sides of a hexagon. It is the smallest 3-narcissistic number. This means it’s the sum of the cubes of its digits. It is the sum of the first five positive factorials. Yup, this is a 153-type blog. QED ;-)
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