From San Francisco to Waterford

Back in 1983, I was fortunate enough to spend three months in San Francisco as a Graduate student at the University of California in S.F. While there was plenty of study, I managed to find lots of time to visit Golden Gate Park which was close to where I was staying and at the weekends I used to walk down to the Bay and treat myself to coffee and cake at The Cliff House.  Believe it or not, I didn’t take one photograph while I was over there.

Years on, I was browsing in Jackson’s antique shop in Waterford and happened upon two postcards in a box on the counter. They whisked me back to those surreal months and the places I had fallen for: Golden Gate Park


and, yes, The Cliff House:


I’ve had the postcards stashed away for ages now but questions about their history have played around in my subconsciousness.

One of the cards is very legible and was sent from 1206 Florida Street, San Francisco to 59 Lower Yellow Road, Waterford, Ireland.


It doesn’t surprise me that the stamp has been removed from the postcard as foreign stamps had great appeal even in my childhood. The fact that it was 1 cent for the stamp suggests, from my research, that the card was sent sometime between 1919 and 1952.

Here in Waterford, a trip to take a look at  59 Lower Yellow Road the other day brought something of a surprise. Here’s how it looks now:


Number 59 is to the left as we look at the building which is now Calvary Waterford Christian Church and prior to that it was a pub. I’m still in the throes of trying to find out if and when it was a residence of the Nolan family.

I was rather taken by an old postbox on The Lower Yellow Road and had visions of Mrs Nolan perhaps posting letters to San Francisco from there, though a visit to the Post Office might have been necessary.

Old Post Box on Lower Yellow Road, Waterford

The view of Lower Yellow Road from No. 59 looks like this:

Lower Yellow Road, Waterford

So many questions ~ so many memories ~ and what of 1206 Florida Street in San Francisco? Perhaps somebody will help me fill in the gaps at both sides of the Atlantic.

Meanwhile, one has to wonder if many postcards are being sent from San Fran to Waterford these days or is it all Skype, texts, Facebook and the like?




How Long to Write a Blog Post?

I sat down well over two hours ago to write a post and got so engrossed in what I was doing that time ran out on me as I have to dash off and do some taxi-driving!

Got me wondering, though, how long people generally spend writing their blog posts?

Pondering Time: Photo by Son, Harry

Sussin’ the Scene

Jean was on the verge of deleting this little video off her phone and I am risking a lot by nosing in and trying to post it here. I may end blowing Social Bridge as well as Jean’s trust in me asunder.

But, you see, I like the clip cos it shows how it’s not all about racing around when your’re a puppy dog.  You’ve got to sus out the scene and hold your horses until you’re sure about things.

I think a lot of people could learn from this little message as they tend to rush into situations without giving enough thought to what they’re letting themselves or other people into.

So, here it is. Let me know what you think and if you never hear from me again you’ll know that Puppy Stan is in the Doghouse forever and ever!!!

Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.  (Saadi)





Puppy Love


Strange as it may sound, among all the millions of countenances with two eyes, a nose in the middle, and a mouth below it, no two precisely resemble each other. (E.V. Lucas)

I spend hours and hours looking at faces and expressions and, believe me,  this thing about eyes, noses and mouths is true as true, especially when you look at how much one face can change in the space of an hour.

I love smiles and come-walk -with -me expressions the best. But, if someone needs to cry, they should be let and given a snuggle-buggle.

Hope you’re having a fun day or, at least one in which your tears are being understood and pawed with love.

Your Friend,

Puppy Stan.

Hydrangeas and Melancholy Babies

Hydrangeas spell melancholy to me as their bittersweet beauty signals the end of Summer.


The mere mention of ‘melancholy’ always brings me to Melancholy Babies shared with my ice-cream loving father when I was a kid.

In case you don’t know what Melancholy Babies were ~ think of  tall glasses, long spoons,  layers of different coloured ice cream, tinned fruit salad,  red jelly, chocolate sauce and sprinklings of hundreds and thousands on top of the blob of cream that rose from the glass like the last peak of a very high mountain.

Melancholy Babies certainly weren’t served in every town and village in Ireland and I associate them with being on trips to Dublin with Dad, when he’d make a point of heading to the best Melancholy Baby places he knew and they all seemed to be in O’Connell Street.

The fading days of August were often a time when we’d be in Dublin for a last trip before going back to school so maybe that’s why there’s such a connection in my mind between hydrangeas and Melancholy Babies.

Vivid Memories





Just a Few Words

I mentioned the word ‘banjaxed’ in a post recently and got quite a few queries as to what it means. I was a bit surprised as I thought everyone knows it means and how it’s used.

Here’s a few examples of how I’d use it:

Should have told you, my phone’s banjaxed. It hasn’t recovered from that little swim in the loo the other day.

Oh, I can’t be bothered cooking. I’m banjaxed from racing around like an eejit.

Okay, so ‘banjaxed’ is about being broken or messed up either temporarily or permanently.

It’s a close relation to a few other words and phrases you should probably know about. The first of these is ‘poleaxed.’ Maybe, you use this all the time!  You’d be ‘poleaxed’ if you got an awful shock and were kinda rocked back on your heels. So:

You’d know by the look of her that she was completely and utterly poleaxed when she heard that Johnny was so ill.

Here in Ireland, we talk, too, about being ‘trína chéile.’ (Pronounced ‘tree naa k laa.) Now this is a first cousin of banjaxed and poleaxed but is of a slightly lesser order than them in terms of severity.

Ah, we’re still trína chéile from the jet lag and arriving back to find that some galute had reversed his car into ours.

While banjaxed and poleaxed tend to relate to the more negative side of the continuum, trína chéile has a positive side to it as well which makes it a very appealing Gaelic phrase.

She’s beyond trína chéile since she won the Lotto. download

Before I rush off to buy a Lottery ticket, let me tell you about another little Irish beauty that covers the same kind of territory as trína chéile. It’s part of everyday parlance in our family and with words like banjxed, poleaxed and trína chéile in my head, I jumped to attention when I was chatting on the phone with my brother last night and heard him describe someone as being a bit ‘idir eadar’ (pron: idir =wither without the ‘w’; eadar = lather without the ‘l’).

To us, ‘idir eadar’ means ‘a bit all over the the place,’ or ‘neither this but that.’

So, to sum up,IF  WHEN, I win a few million in the Lottery, it’s fair to say that people like Big Bro will be thinking that I’m delighra and excira, trína chéile, idir eadar and eventually banjaxed and poleaxed from all the celebrations.










Seeing Red in Tramore

There’s times when I feel I’ve got rose-tinted glasses on and yesterday evening was one of those occasions.

I was out around Newtown Cove bringing Puppy Stan for a walk on what was a lovely warm, sunny evening and here’s what drew mine eyes:

Anyone for Ice-Cream?
On the Way!
Perfect Balance