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No John keyes, Thank You!

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I got this in the post this evening.

The note came attached with a #sodcast coffee mug and badges. In a funny sort of odd last few days, this really did make me smile. I now have a great reason to slurp my mugga caffeine this Thursday.

I’m proud to say I know John Keyes.

Thanks John. 😀

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Go Raibh Míle Maith Agaibh

I am a really lucky fortunate guy. I have great friends. I know some really kind people. Really kind.

Now and again it’s important to say thanks. Put simply, that is all this post is……

Sunday just gone, afternoon, sitting at my kitchen table having coffee were Bernie Goldbach and his family, all the way from Cashel Co Tipperary – Bernie had come to Dublin to set me up with some new audio recording equipment; Phil Murtagh was there too – setting up my laptop that he got me out of bed to go and help me choose and buy [sunday rules apply here – hello Michael!]. Also there, for no apparent reason was George Foxe. I must make really good coffee.;)

The night before Luke Donegan [no relation] sent me this logo [see left] to spruce up my twitter page. No apparent reason. Luke has previously designed the #sodcast iTunes logo and the garden group logo’s. Watch this space. I hope he remebers me wants his garden done when he’s rich and famous 😛

Two days previous at around 9.30pm Krishna De spoke with me on Skype, just chatting about things I should and could do. krishna is a genius in her field [be dum] and to have that chat – money simply couldn’t buy it. She also has one of the best smiles I have ever seen 😀 Some time ago, Krishna gave me a lift. From Limerick.

This morning I spoke to Gordon Murray. Another tech genius. Another gentleman. He lives in Cork. The fact that the internet is not a garden helps a lot knowing that my computer and his garden have amazing similarities. He owes me a pint. It’s my notebook 😆

Take Brian Greeene and the sodcast intro jingle. Mark Rock of audioboo who I shall see shortly in London. Gentleman. Also Kevin Coleman of Back Page Football, Davy Mac Donald previously for my website header – Adrian McMahon and years [literally] of advice. Anthony McGuinness, Darren Byrne…. the list is literally endless. All in some form or other have been there for me and usually when I needed it the most.

Thanks also to Eoin kennedy, David and Daryll for Friday, it was an honour to be in your company. I think golf clubs would be a really bad investment. Thanks also to the lads at Simply Zesty for the lovely cup of tea 😉

There a long list of names I should have here, I know that. If I’ve left you out…. I know you know it’s not intentional….. Please do hollar and I’ll sneak it in. It wouldn’t be the same without you. I know also that in those above and so many more are simply great friends who I have laughed, possibly cried and smiled after with.

If you ever have the honour to work with any of those mentioned above, tell them I said thanks, again.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh.

Mr Michael Nugent, Senior. Gentleman. Gardener.

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In an odd variance of twists and meets… Friday past saw me park my jeep outside my good friends Michaels parents house. I know Michael [jnr] since I was about 19/ 20. Too many is the night I spent in the family home, traditionally on St Stephens Day at a minimum enjoying their company.

Michael Snr [that be Jnr’s Father] is also famed to those who have been in my home as the man who looks after the Guinness keg. Anyhoo…

I made it back about lunchtime. Sheets of corned beef, mashed potato and cabbage, milk, tea and brack later…. I found myself in what I can only describe as a big gardeners playground. I was blown away.

Michael Senior is an avid gardener. A great gardener. We were browsing some photographs of previous endeavours in the horticultural world when I realised he really had taken up all of the lawn so he could fit more plants in and so he didn’t have to mow underneath all the pots. That is the logic.

The conservatory is brimmed with geraniums, as is the top of the freezer, under the benches outside are packed with trays of vegetables….. even the bit of dividing wall between the neighbours house has seeds in trays germinating away. And all crammed ito a garden that is no greater than about 30 metres squared.

If ever one was looking for inspiration and a few free geraniums to take home… one could not do better than beyond the hall door of Michael Snr. Gentleman. Gardener. And great friend.

dubh linn garden

Nestled in behind Dublin Castle, just off Dame Street [palace st. to be exact] is one of the finest gardens I have ever entered in my life. You know when you just get that ‘feeling groovy’ kind of a nice feel….? That’s exactly what I got…

Only one problem…. there is little to zero information available on the **garden*** [Not the Castle…. the garden] to be found on the web….?

It drove me a little demented to be quite honest. Mainly as I was so impressed. But I was in luck on my day there. A very kind man on his lunch break who worked in the neighbouring Chester Beatty Library noticed my confusion and explained the cobbled lawns were ‘eels’; the fact that the glass balls are the eyes and that it was based on a celtic mythology design… 😉

It is also [he explained] where the river dodder and the river liffey met – this meeting is what created a black pool – traslated into Irish one gets Dubh Linn. And it is from this that Dublin got its original name. It is also the site upon which the garden sits today.

I didn’t stop my ‘research’ there, I rang the very helpful Margaret Gormley of the OPW. Margaret is an amazing lady that I know from spending too much time in the Phoenix Park making gardens;) Turns out the gardens were designed by a lady called Ana Dolan, who also works with the OPW [I did try to get in touch with Ana…].The plaques that are brimmed with names that I noticed on the walls…they’re the names of all of the people who took part in The Special Olympics; the sculpt being the emblem of. It is also believed that the gardens are approximately 15 years old. [Thank Margaret!]

On the 15th November 2004 the gardens received  The Best Landscaped Open Space Award by The Tidy Towns unit of The Dept of Environment, Heritage & Local Government….

The other amazing fact of note is that the lawn is best viewed from the State apartments or… a helicopter. The lawn doubles as a landing pad for those who can!

If you are planning to visit, The Chester Beatty Library is a must. The coffee shop, The Silk Road Café does ‘real’ really good coffee and cakes and personally I even like the gift shop. Do be careful on planning a day there and ring in advance if you must as it may be closed for official state business.

My 3 pin plug type frustrations aside, the garden is serenity at its finest. Go there. Enjoy! Absolutely amazing.

*if I do receive any further info I will update here

UPDATE 1st July ’09:

I received an email from Denis Mc Carthy of Dublin Castle with this information ‘copied from an OPW publication Dublin Castle Art by Róisín Kennedy.’

** I really do appreciate Denis getting back to me but – Once again it’s a pity it is not available online for the world [wide web] to see [and not in PDF format btw please ‘if’ it is]

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update #2 1st July ’09:

this update comes courtesy of Keith Nolan – as keith explained he eventually goes into that garden – that said the information is amazing. Thanks Keith 😉

Update 2nd July ’09:

and this beautiful overview of the lawns taken by Niamh. Thanks Niamh 😉

dubh-linn-garden courtesy niamh smith

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