Neoclassical Colonnade

Nine of the sixteen fluted Corinthian columns fronting the Neoclassical St George’s Hall.

Standing opposite Lime Street railway station in the centre of Liverpool, England, the impressive hall was designed by Harvey Lonsdale Elmes, who oversaw its construction until he died of consumption in 1847. In 1851 another architect, Sir Robert Charles Cockerell, was asked to complete the interior decoration and the hall finally opened in 1854.

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Silver Water Droplets

Low winter sunlight cutting through the trees pierces the water droplets over the fountain in the Millenium Park in Lismore in County Waterford, Ireland. The town is renowned for its early ecclesiastical history and the imposing Lismore Castle overlooking the town and the Blackwater valley.

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The Celtic Sea

The gleaming Celtic Sea, part of the Atlantic Ocean located off of the southern coast of Ireland was named by an English marine biologist (no less) in 1921 during a meeting of fisheries experts. Nearby Celtic regions have their own names for it; in Irish it’s “An Mhuir Cheilteach”, in Welsh “Y Môr Celtaidd”, Cornish: An Mor Keltek and Breton: Ar Mor Keltiek.

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The Prettiest Urinals – Ever!

Falling into the category of “Looscapes” or bathroom photography, these splendid floral creations are to be found in the gentleman’s toilet of a garden centre (where else!) in Ireland’s County Carlow.

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Yellow Road

A twisty yellow farm road in the hinterland of Spain’s Andalusia. A disappearing track, the golden cornfields and slightly ominous skies, elements that reminded me of the painting, ‘Wheatfield with Crows’, by Vincent Van Gogh.

Wheatfield with Crows: Vincent Van Gogh

According to the Van Gogh Museum, “the painting (left) is often claimed to be his last work. The menacing sky, the crows and the dead-end path are said to refer to the approaching end of his life, but apparently it’s a myth, because he went on to make several other works after this one.

“Although Van Gogh wanted his wheatfields under stormy skies to express sadness and extreme loneliness,” some experts think he also wanted to show a healthy and fortifying countryside.

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Harvest Seeker

The “Harvest Seeker”, drifting in the ethereal early morning light while collecting Mariner’s Mussels from baskets moored on the sea bed of Waterford Harbour, a natural harbour at the mouth of three rivers.

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Minerve and the Cathars

A decorative wrought iron cross next to the Marie’s (mayor’s) office in Minerve, a village in the Hérault department of southern France; in which a group of refugees sought shelter in the village after the massacre of kinfolk at nearby Béziers in 1210.

Followers of Catharism – a Gnostic movement between the 12th and 14th centuries – they were considered to be good Christians, but still underwent prolonged religious persecution by the Catholic Church, which did not recognize their unorthodox Christianity.

The village was besieged by the army of Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester for six weeks before it surrendered. Four catapults or trebuchets were set up, three to attack the village itself and the largest, to destroy the town’s well. With the town’s only water supply cut off, the Commander of the 200-strong garrison, Viscount Guilhem of Minerve, gave in and negotiated a surrender in order to have the villagers and himself spared from death.

However, the 140 Cathars refused to give up their faith and convert, and were burned to death at the stake. The victims of yet another religious schism are commemorated by a dove, roughly hewn in the peace sculpture just visible below the wall light on the right.