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I think the guitarist is Eric Bell from Thin Lizzy, Mac.

It occurred to me that you might know. :-) Thin Lizzy occurred to me as a possibility, actually, I guess just because Garry Moore was with them at one point.

Those hexagonal columns at Giant's Causeway also extend under the water to the north. I've seen them on the island of Staffa in the Scottish Hebrides, and I was told that they were part of the same geological formation as is seen on the northern Irish coast. I think they're pretty terrific.

It looks like you had a great trip.

That last picture is stunningly beautiful.

I have not been at all jealous of your trip; however, now I am a bit because ever since I saw a picture of those hexagonal stones, I have really wanted to see them. The first picture I saw was the opening page of Windows one day, so I guess that is something in Microsoft's favor. ;-)

Good thing about the heatwave. It hadn't been so hot, you might have been too cold.


I concur that Eric Bell from the first three Litzy records is the other guitarist. Very good player.

Glad you like that picture. Of course the real sight was even more rich and silvery but this isn't too far off.

It actually was chilly at night--down in the mid 50s.

Microsoft has a lot of good desktop photos.

I did, Craig. And it hadn't occurred to me that the formation extended out into the sea, but of course it makes perfect sense--why would it stop at the shoreline?

Something about this bit of the Giant's Causeway that isn't very apparent in these pictures: where the exposed formation blends into the soil-covered hills, it's quite high and steep--30 feet at least, maybe more. and almost vertical in places--more or less a cliff. And of course the footing is treacherous. It occurred to me that in the U.S. fear of lawsuits would probably mean much of it was fenced off with dire warnings and threats. But people are allowed to clamber all over it. Only in a couple of places they have guards with whistles warning people off the most dangerous climbs.

Might have known you would know that, Fr. Matt. :-)


Assuming that those leaves belong to that tree, I think it is a Beech. I can see so many things in it! A sad-sack dog in the dark part on the top left, a mer-child with its head hidden behind a burl near the top on the right, a sort of malevolent little head just to the left of the middle of the picture, and a tiny penguin, middle bottom.


I was about to say I wasn't aware that you take drugs, but by golly I see some of them, too.

Beech was my one guess, actually. Those leaves do belong to it. First reason for the guess is that I often see beech mentioned along with oak as a grand tree in British Isles lore. And this is certainly a grand one. Second is that there's a tree in my yard which I think is some kind of beech, and which has similar but smaller leaves. So if both are beeches they must be different varieties. Or else *extremely* slow growers, because I haven't noticed much growth in mine over 25 years. Nothing like our sycamore or our live oak. The former went from three-foot stick to forty-foot shade tree over that time.

For a second I thought that Max Schreck was peeking over Van's shoulder -- "Wait a minute...he's not Irish!"

In or out of his Nosferatu makeup? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Schreck)

I don't see anybody peeking over Van's shoulder, actually. But I did notice for the first time just now that there's a lion at the top center. That would be Aslan, I guess. There is a C.S. Lewis Square which has a somewhat strange but I think effective Aslan statue.


List of everyone on the mural.


Thanks. I never would have gone to that much trouble. So the lion is not Aslan but Lewis himself? I'm trying to see Lewis's face in it but it's just not working.

I don't recognize the names of anyone of the writers.

Nah. It's Aslan.

By the way, I have no trouble loading this, and I have trouble loading everything.


Good. I noticed that it wasn't slow for me but didn't know if that would be generally true.

Schreck as Nosferatu: it's actually Van's fist in the air, but on a small screen it looks like the top of Nosferatu's head with his eyebrows and right ear peeking over Van's shoulder.

One of those visual oddities, I guess. I can't see it as that at all.

Yeah, when I look at the pic in a bigger version it immediately becomes Van's hand. Must have to do with the size/tone of the image on my monitor.

Great photos of the trip, by the way. Looks like it was great fun.

It was indeed, thanks.

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