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September 17, 2015 / Aware of the Void

Rub me for Luck – OurNewEyes Reblog


Today in Dublin I visited an Irish gift and souvenir shop to buy a trinket for a pal that is leaving Ireland for a while. As I searched the isles of gewgaws and gimcracks I happened upon this selection of “Irish Condoms”. It’s pretty amazing to see this considering that until comparatively recently in this country you could only get contraception on prescription from your doctor.

Between 1935 and 1978 there was a total ban on the sales of contraceptions here mostly as it was at odds with the teachings of the catholic church. There were loop-holes where you could “donate” money and in return receive condoms but for the most part chemists and shops did not stock them for fear of prosecution or upsetting the “morality” of the local community.

By the late 70’s it was found by the supreme court that because of the right to marital privacy it was allowable to use condoms from a legal point of view but at the same time it remained illegal to obtain then.
The law was loosened slightly at this stage and you could then buy them in a pharmacy as long as you had a scrip from your Doctor. This is the original “Irish solution to an Irish problem” that is often used in more modern times to describe pretty much any stupid act by our government.

The mid 1980’s saw a liberalisation of the laws governing the sale and advertising of contraceptions. It was then possible to buy them in certain “categories of places” once you were over the age of 18. The 90’s saw a further relaxing of these laws.

The availability of condoms grew to the extent that a mere 36 years after they became legal they are on sale in gift shops as a novelty item.

First posted on the blog


August 30, 2015 / Aware of the Void

Developing Fomapan 100 in Rodinal

This is the short version of my film development technique. In the tank here I have three rolls of Foma Fomapan 100. Two of them are 120 and one is 35mm.

Here I mixed my Rodinal at 1+50 so with my three reels I made up 1500ml of developer.

My recipe for this was.

  • Pre-soak in water for 5mins
  • Rodinal 1+50
  • Gentle inversions for 1 min (about 30).
  • 5 x gentle inversion at each min
  • Stop bath for 1 min
  • Ilford Rapid fixer for 5 minutes
  • Final rise for 10 minutes
  • Photo-flo bath for 30 seconds

And here is a few shots using this developer and film.

Camera:Nikon F100 Film: Fomapan 100  Dev: Rodinal 1+50 9mins

Camera:Nikon F100
Film: Fomapan 100
Dev: Rodinal 1+50 9mins

Camera:Nikon F100 Film: Fomapan 100  Dev: Rodinal 1+50 9mins

Camera:Nikon F100
Film: Fomapan 100
Dev: Rodinal 1+50 9mins

Camera:Nikon F100 Film: Fomapan 100  Dev: Rodinal 1+50 9mins

Camera:Nikon F100
Film: Fomapan 100
Dev: Rodinal 1+50 9mins

Camera:Nikon F100 Film: Fomapan 100  Dev: Rodinal 1+50 9mins

Camera:Nikon F100
Film: Fomapan 100
Dev: Rodinal 1+50 9mins

Camera:Nikon F100 Film: Fomapan 100  Dev: Rodinal 1+50 9mins

Camera:Nikon F100
Film: Fomapan 100
Dev: Rodinal 1+50 9mins


Camera:Nikon F100 Film: Fomapan 100  Dev: Rodinal 1+50 9mins

Camera:Nikon F100
Film: Fomapan 100
Dev: Rodinal 1+50 9mins

Camera:Nikon F100 Film: Fomapan 100  Dev: Rodinal 1+50 9mins

Camera:Nikon F100
Film: Fomapan 100
Dev: Rodinal 1+50 9mins

August 23, 2015 / Aware of the Void

Sloppy Kisses – Sri Lankan Style


Probably the most interesting fact that I learned this week is that in Sri Lanka meringues are called kisses. This tickled me so much that I decided that for the first time in about 15 years I would try and make meringues just so I could write a blog post calling the dessert Sloppy Kisses, this is my own take on the classic Eton mess.

For Kisses

  • 3 x eggs at room temperature – you will just need the whites
  • 100 x grams of caster sugar

For Sloppy

  • 100 x ml fresh cream
  • a selection of fresh fruit  – I used raspberry, blackberries and strawberries but anything goes


  • preheat the oven to 140c
  • add the egg whites to a super clean glass or steel bowl (plastic generally holds residue of all previous meals so can inhibit the foaming of the eggs)
  • whisk the eggs until they foam and then start to form peaks
  • image imagewhen the eggs have stiffened start to add the sugar
  • do this very gradually – I done it one spoonful at a time whisking after each spoonful
  • repeat until all the sugar is in the eggs
  • the mix will get pretty thick and glossy with the addition of sugar


  • spoon the mixture onto a baking tray
  • I was not too worried how these looked as I had planned to “Brendan Smash” them anyway
  • you can shape them with spoons


  • I baked mine for about 1 hour and 20 mins
  • you want them to expand and then dry-out/ go hardish
  • when cooked let them cool in the oven (open the door a bit if you can)

Thats it for the kisses/meringues, for the sloppy I whisk the cream until it thickens considerably. You can add more sugar to the cream but I find the kisses are sweet enough for this dish.

image image

  • layer the broken kisses, cream and fruit in a big bowl and enjoy.

I find that where possible you should share your Sloppy Kisses with a loved one! As always let me know if you make this or have your own alternative.

August 17, 2015 / Aware of the Void

iStreet Photography Exhibition Opening Night 2015

Videographer extraordinaire  Peter O’Doherty made a short video on the opening night of the 2015 iStreet exhibition. The standard on display is incredible and it is nice to see the works of 56 Irish and international photographers under one roof. If you ever wondered what I look like – that’s me at the start of the video doing the blah, blah….

The exhibition runs until the 27th of August so pop along at let us know what you think.

Sol Art Gallery Opens:
Mon-Sat: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm Sun: 12:00 am – 5:30 pm
8 Dawson Street, Dublin 2

This is the shot that I have on show – I took it during my travels in India last year.



August 15, 2015 / Aware of the Void

How to Load a 120 Film Reel using an Irish Accent

I have gotten a few request from people to demonstrate how to load a 120 film reel its pretty similar to the the 35mm video so I hope people find it helpful.

I decided to make this one without text so hopefully its pretty clear and to those of you about to be surprised my use of an Irish accent it’s just something i’m trying.

August 9, 2015 / Aware of the Void

Carrot Sweet – A Cure for Night Blindness?


I don’t normally cook desserts for reasons of  self preservation but carrot sweet is very tasty and I assumed since the main ingredient is carrots that it could potentially be a health food packed with vitamin A. I have since learned that this may not be the case and I urge you never to attempt to make this and enjoy a few carrot sticks dipped in natural yogurt instead.

For those of you wanting to try and bring on type 2 diabetes or grow obese overnight I list the details for your information only.

We made this for a party and served it to about 20 people so my quantities look a bit crazy – you can scale it back for your own needs but to be honest it would be possible to eat a whole pan of this yourself.


  • 4 x Kg of Carrots
  • 3 x Litre of whole fat milk
  • 1 x large handful of cardamon pods
  • 500 x grams of sugar
  • 500 x grams of butter/ghee
  • 100 x grams of raisins
  • 100 x grams of nuts (cashew and almond)


  • Peel and grate the carrots
  • Place the milk in a large pan and add the cardamon pods (I bruise the pods first to release more flavour) Basically the milk will simmer until it reduces by half – be careful not to boil it as the milk will burn.
  • Add all the sugar to the milk (I know, I know, I know, I was horrified too by the amount of sugar)

IMG_6516IMG_6524 IMG_6525


  • In a pan fry the raisins and nuts in a lot of butter and set aside for later
  • When the milk has reduced remove the cardamon pods
  • Fry the grated carrots in batches – again use way to much butter
  • The carrots should go reddish maroon – add them and the butter juice into the reduced milk and stir

IMG_6531 IMG_6533 IMG_6536

  • Add in the nuts and raisins and allow the whole cauldron to simmer until the carrots are soft and start to absorb the milk


  • Give it all one last mix and then let it sit. Any remaining liquid will be absorbed over the next few hours.


So there it is folks. I like to enjoy this dish near a hospital with a good cardiac surgery team on standby or if you live too far from a hospital I suggest that you invest in your own defibrillator.

This is easily one of my all time favourite desserts and I really wish I did not know how to make it!!

Let me know if you decide to make this or any other insane desserts.


July 30, 2015 / Aware of the Void

iStreet Photography Exhibition

I feel very lucky to have one of my photos included in this up-coming exhibition.

It runs from the 14th to the 27th of August in the Sol Art Gallery Nr 8. Dawson Street Dublin

Features over 50 Irish and International Photographers.

Full credit for the promo video goes to Peter O Doherty.



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