Just wan't to relate this story to you guys. For as long as I have been living in this street here in Ashburton, there has been a guy,Ray, 3 doors down that has put on one of the best displays of Xmas lights on a house that I have ever seen. This all changed in the early hours of this morning. Some useless p*%&k decided to rip the lights down while Ray and his wife were away on a short break and arrived home to find most of his lights with the wires snapped and in the garden and on the footpath outside his house. The strange thing about this whole disaster, was the fact that it must have been done in the very early hours of the morning. The local paper even showed interest in this story and when I read of the damage, I went down to see if I could possibly repair Ray's lights for him, free of charge of course. And well, that's what I'm doing on Saturday morning!. People like this really annoy the hell out of me, always willing to take away other people's fun. The lights were originally set up for the Rest Home across the road, so that the residents could look out the window and see a decent Xmas display.
What really annoys me is the attitude taken to Christmas displays by some funless christmas-spirit-less dower spoilsports around here.
E.g. one road of houses where 3/4 of the houses have REALLY gone all out to put up xmas lights in very elaborate displays. In my opinion they look great and it's a bit of fun. However, one of their neighbours wrote a letter of complaint and forwarded it to all 4 houses with loud displays. She was even accusing them of "devaluing the property in the area".
I wonder could it have been some slightly whacko ultra-conservative neighbour with a grudge against all things fun?
They're the same kind of people who like to paint everything battleship grey and complained for years about people using loud colours on their homes, which I think has made Irish towns and villages, particularly here in the Southwest look really pretty.
I think it looks a lot better than having them all painted shades of white and grey anyway.
And Mmm that lamp post was hit by a bus
[This message has been edited by djk (edited 12-29-2003).]
Re: No Xmas Spirit!#139801 12/29/0310:43 AM12/29/0310:43 AM
That town looks too much like Disney Land. Where are the cracks in the walls, the coating of soot and the chunks of missing plaster?
I'm just kidding. I'm so used to seeing such "marks of character" on old buildings here in New York that when I go to some other towns like San Diego or some little city in the South (or see pictures) and see a 100 year old building with a nice, freshly painted and kept-up facade and it looks so fake.
You gotta remind yourself that that's how those buildings looked like when they were new.
Re: No Xmas Spirit!#139802 12/29/0311:06 AM12/29/0311:06 AM
Well all of the spaces on the left are actually legal and marked up. I'm not so sure about the spaces on the right though!
Since most Irish towns predate "the horseless carriage" by quite a few hundred years they didn't really take on-street parking into consideration when they were "planning" them ... Planning would be a very misleading word as most of them just evolved organically. So in general you either park off-street (in multi story carparks) in cities or else on-street wherever you can find space. Cities and some towns can be very fussy and will clamp and remove cars found to be "malparked" or who haven't paid up with a disk/meter. Outside of cities parking is quite a casual affair and the main rule is just not to cause an obstruction. People drive very slowly in towns (like 10-15mph) pedestrians wander everywhere and you're expected to be nice, wave and let people cross the street.
Also please not that in most parts of Ireland, particularly here in the southwest, use of the car horn and flashing the headlights is reserved for saying "hello". So if you honk at someone expect them to wave rather than jump out of your way
Here's another shot of the centre of Kinsale, not too far from here..
A bit too Disneyland? I like it though..
Re: No Xmas Spirit!#139804 12/29/0304:48 PM12/29/0304:48 PM
That picture makes me wonder about Irish parking habits. Is it normal to park on the right hand side?
Same in the UK – park which ever side you want during the day. After dark, it depends on the presence of street lights but I think with no streetlights one has to be on the correct side of the road to display the correctly coloured parking lights – it’s been a long time though!
I like the house colours, makes the place bright and cheerful. Considering the amount of rain the southwest gets I would think that the brighter the better.
Interesting differences with the UK though: No zigzag lines approaching the pedestrian crossing and hence parking of cars right up to the crossing. The Belisha Beacons (what do you call them in Ireland?) are on poles painted blue like the lamp posts instead of black and white. I see the town has two layers of street lights – do these illuminate together? There looks to be more overhead wires that the average UK town center.
I’ve never been to Ireland – must make a plan some time. Sorry – gone completely off-thread.
[This message has been edited by Hutch (edited 12-29-2003).]
Re: No Xmas Spirit!#139805 12/29/0306:41 PM12/29/0306:41 PM
Sven, I haven't actually fixed them up yet. But I figure I can splice the wires back together with insulated crimp sleeves. The type that I have in mind, have a coating of heat-shrink and a layer of meltable adhesive underneath, so once you've shrunk the coating with a heat-gun, the whole joint is sealed against moisture. I've never liked the idea of just covering joints with tape, especially with Mains voltage stuff, as these lights were, just a shame that the lights had an RCD protecting them!.
Re: No Xmas Spirit!#139806 12/29/0307:10 PM12/29/0307:10 PM
Hutch: Not sure what they're called here but they're disappearing rapidly at the moment usually being replaced by traffic light controlled crossings you only really see them in smaller towns.
The poles would normally be painted black/white here too. However, I think the town council has taken that aspect of the road markings into its own hands.
You rarely see zig-zag lines approaching a pedestrian crossing here. Jut 2 large diamond warning signs with pictures of a pedestrian crossing a zebra crossing on them.
While, theoretically you should park with your rear reflectors pointing into the traffic I don't think that rule is ever enforced... although if someone crashed into you you might find yourself fully liable if it were outside a light-up area.
I find Irish local athorities have had a culture of being very casual about road signs and marking though and tend in towns to adopt weird versions of the national standards. National routes are all controlled by the NRA (national roads athority) so are very uniformly marked thesedays.