Archive | September 2015

The Ogham Stones of Ardmore

Ed Mooney Photography

Ardmore Ogham Stones (1) (640x426)Within the ruins of the old monastic settlement of Ardmore in Waterford, founded by St. Declan in the 5th century, there are a number of interesting structures. My personal favourites where the two ogham stones I found sitting inside the ruins of the cathedral. We were heading back from a family break in nearby Youghal, and I was disappointed that I did not get to shoot as much as I had wanted too whilst I was there. So despite the pouring rain, when we passed through Ardmore, I was adamant that I would not go any further without stopping off to explore this fine monastic settlement. With the rain pouring down, the rest of the family stayed put in the car, whilst I braved the elements armed only with the smallest little red umbrella you could imaging. It was so small, that it barely covered my camera. But I…

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Yeo Valley

Source: Yeo Valley

The Story of Julie D’Aubigny, as told by Ben Thompson

image via Wikipedia

Ben Thompson’s blog “Badass Of The Week” is a veritable library of short, palatable descriptions of historical figures who closely resemble characters made by seasoned Dungeons and Dragons veterans during a drunken fortnight-long LARPing retreat.

I’d like to draw your attention to his recounting of the tale of Julie D’Aubigny, the 17th-century bisexual French opera singer and fencing master.

If you thought you were out of inspiration for your next Steampunk fantasy story, high-Dex Bard (or high-Charisma Rogue), you were wrong.

Can drinking tea turn you into a whore?


The History of Love


In eighteenth-century England, there were many reasons why families might have been torn apart, or why dutiful wives and hardworking husbands could suffer a fall from grace. Heart-rending tales of orphaned children, abandoned lovers and destitution fill the pages of contemporary newspaper columns and court records. For some, one of the prime suspects behind the nation’s idleness and debauchery was quietly, steadily taking root in almost every street in the country.

This terrible foreign invader encouraged young men to stay “a lurking in the bed” rather than earning an honest wage. It turned women to harlotry and insolence, caused atrocious child neglect, and was armed to carry everyone off to their grave a decade early. This enemy of virtue? Why, tea, of course.

The philanthropist Jonas Hanway lamented that “Men seem to have lost their stature, and comliness; and women their beauty. Your very chambermaids have lost their bloom…

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Dumha Na nGiall

Ed Mooney Photography

Dumha Na nGiall (1)

The first noticeable structure within the Ráith Na Rig or Fort of the Kings is a Neolithic passage tomb known as ‘The Mound of the Hostages’, or to give it its correct Gaelic name ‘Dumha Na nGiall’. This is most likely the oldest structure at Tara and is believed to have been built sometime around 3000 B.C. This makes it over 5000 years old.  The name is actually quite misleading; this was most certainly not a burial site for prisoners. Considering its location right next to the Royal Seat, the people that were buried here, would have most likely been of significant importance. The truth is that the term ‘Mound of the Hostages’ was a later name given to this mound and derives from the ancient custom of the Ard Ri taking members of lesser kings families into his own to ensure their loyalty. Although they…

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