* take nothing for granted    
Unless otherwise indicated all photos © Richard McKie 2005 - 2020

Who is Online

We have 123 guests and no members online

Article Index

Coleraine/Portrush (Bushmills)


This is along the picturesque northern coastline of the island and is a popular holiday region.  We stayed in a comfortable yet isolated B&B at Bushmills and seemed to do a lot of driving. 

The nearest town for shopping and meals was Coleraine, home the University of Ulster and one of the oldest human settlements in Ireland. The Mesolithic site at nearby Mount Sandel has been dated from 5935 BCE.  So like Sligo (see above) Coleraine's ancestors were definitely preadamite. 

Coleraine is a pretty place and has some of the highest property values in Northern Ireland. It's predominantly Protestant. This made the town a target for the IRA during the Troubles.  In 1992 a van bomb destroyed several important buildings in the City centre and the Town Hall was heavily damaged. IRA bombs elsewhere in region killed a total of 10 civilians. For their part Ulster Loyalists shot and killed three suspected IRA supporters.

Portrush is a small seaside resort town, reminiscent of the south coast of England, featuring some fine Victorian buildings and having rocks instead of sand.  One of the attractions for holiday makers is the rugged coastline known as the Giant's Causeway.  On the coast beyond Bushmills are the ruins of Dunluce Castle that feature in the television fantasy series Game of Thrones

Despite the relative proximity of the Causeway Coast to the Arctic circle it benefits from the Gulf Stream so that even in October it was temperate and a pleasant place to spend a day or two. 

See the Ireland Album - Click Here...  




# Michael 2020-08-28 06:06
This article is brilliant. I've learnt a lot from reading about these travels
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

    Have you read this???     -  this content changes with each opening of a menu item







A decade ago, in 2005, I was in Venice for my sixtieth birthday.  It was a very pleasant evening involving an excellent restaurant and an operatic recital to follow.  This trip we'd be in Italy a bit earlier as I'd intended to spend my next significant birthday in Berlin.

The trip started out as planned.  A week in London then a flight to Sicily for a few days followed by the overnight boat to Napoli (Naples).  I particularly wanted to visit Pompeii because way back in 1975 my original attempt to see it was thwarted by a series of mishaps, that to avoid distracting from the present tale I won't go into.

Read more ...

Fiction, Recollections & News

The Wedding Party

January 29th 2011


See some of it on YouTube (some websites may block this)...

Read more ...

Opinions and Philosophy

Manufacturing in Australia




This article was written in August 2011 after a career of many years concerned with Business Development in New South Wales Australia. I've not replaced it because, while the detailed economic parameters have changed, the underlying economic arguments remain the same (and it was a lot of work that I don't wish to repeat) for example:  

  • between Oct 2010 and April 2013 the Australian dollar exceeded the value of the US dollar and that was seriously impacting local manufacturing, particularly exporters;
  • as a result, in November 2011, the RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia) reduced the cash rate (%) from 4.75 to 4.5 and a month later to 4.25; yet
  • the dollar stayed stubbornly high until 2015, mainly due to a favourable balance of trade in commodities and to Australia's attraction to foreign investors following the Global Financial Crisis, that Australia had largely avoided.



2011 introduction:

Manufacturing viability is back in the news.

The loss of manufacturing jobs in the steel industry has been a rallying point for unions and employers' groups. The trigger was the announcement of the closure of the No 6 blast furnace at the BlueScope plant at Port Kembla.  This furnace is well into its present campaign and would have eventually required a very costly reline to keep operating.  The company says the loss of export sales does not justify its continued operation. The  remaining No 5 blast furnace underwent a major reline in 2009.  The immediate impact of the closure will be a halving of iron production; and correspondingly of downstream steel manufacture. BlueScope will also close the aging strip-rolling facility at Western Port in Victoria, originally designed to meet the automotive demand in Victoria and South Australia.

800 jobs will go at Port Kembla, 200 at Western Port and another 400 from local contractors.  The other Australian steelmaker OneSteel has also recently announced a workforce reduction of 400 jobs.

This announcement has reignited the 20th Century free trade versus protectionist economic and political debate. Labor backbenchers and the Greens want a Parliamentary enquiry. The Prime Minister (Julia Gillard) reportedly initially agreed, then, perhaps smelling trouble, demurred. No doubt 'Sir Humphrey' lurks not far back in the shadows. 



So what has and hasn't changed (disregarding a world pandemic presently raging)?


Read more ...

Terms of Use                                           Copyright