Ashley Morrison's Blog

June 17, 2022

Farewell my young friend.

Filed under: Family,Work Rest & Play. — Ashley Morrison @ 8:30 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Almost nine years to the day I took this picture out in garden just after we got back from County Westmeath…

.. where Royal Princess was born, as you can see on her Registration Certificate… 

.. but we decided to call her Venus instead.

My parents always loved Dobermanns, and always had at least one for as long as I can remember – trained them, showed them and breed them too – so this was mums latest one which I helped her bring home that day.

One month later…

.. one year later…

.. there was never any doubt, she was a princess.

I would have called around most evening to see my mum after my father passed away – and Venus would have always greeted me at the back door, plus it seems she would have also stood at the window each night waiting for me to arrive. So yes, even though she wasn’t actually my dog, she always made me feel very welcome – like I was part of ‘her family’.

Nevertheless, she was very much my mother’s dog and would have rarely left her side – up until mum went into hospital around this time last year.

Naturally, at first, I assumed mum would be back – but in the meantime I knew Venus needed looking after. So I put her red collar on once again and took her down to the beach…

.. and then that’s what I had to do every morning after that – because she clearly loved it – as you can see from these images that I took of her over the next few months…

.. which I would have shown to mum each time I visited her.

Anyway, after mum said “good-bye” I basically stopped taking pictures for a while – of Venus, that is, because… well, that was like the end of a chapter.

Naturally I continued to walk her every day, but it wasn’t until February of this year that I started to take pictures of her again, at home enjoying the good life – as this was now her house…

.. and so I basically let her sit and lie where ever she liked – which naturally included on the sofa…

.. which obviously she loved…

.. and in the meantime Holly & I started painting everything white…

.. while she watched with great interest.

Happy

.. happy

.. happy” – as we tried to match her black & tan look throughout 🙂

Life was good…

.. but then about a month ago, around the time I took this picture of her on my father’s chair…

.. she started acting a little strange – lying more on the floor and then among the bushes outside…

.. in the garden where I took that first picture of her – which isn’t a good sign, I have been told.

Anyway, on Monday of this week I took this picture of her lying in the back of the Land Rover outside Claire Ferris Veterinary Practice

.. again, much like the first picture I took of her – with my arm around her – expect unfortunately this was to be the last time 😦

According to Claire, “Dobermanns don’t like growing old” – the problem it seems was her heart – which now leaves me with a broken one.

Farewell my young friend…

.. I’m lucky to have known how hard it was to say goodbye – to you, my Royal Princess.

October 1, 2021

Mum said “good-bye” this morning.

She will be greatly missed by all the family – especially by her three sons, Terence, Nicholas and me.
Mary Morrison

According to the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages document, which she kept in the safe…

Mary Isabella Gallagher's Registration of Birth.

.. Mum was born on the 31st of May 1932 in the District of Fannett, in the Irish County of Donegal – and they called her Mary Isabella.

Under her bed my daughter, Chloe, found a large box that was full of pictures – many of which none of us had ever seen before – like this one of her Mum & Dad,  Kathleen McKemey (18) and Daniel Gallagher (33)…

Catherine McKemey and Daniel Gallagher on their wedding day.

.. which, according to what she wrote on the back, was taken in October 1924 on their wedding day.
And so it’s some of those pictures that I would now like to use here, to help me tell this story about this amazing person that I was always so proud to call my Mum

She was the eldest girl in a family of eleven, eight boys and three girls.

One of the earliest pictures that I found, was this one of her when she was 14, with her two sisters, Sadie (10) and Ann (7), taken in 1946 outside their family home in Moross…

Sadie, Mary and Ann Gallagher

.. with a note beside it saying the “summer after mum died”.
So yes, she lost her Mum when she was only 13 – which is hard to imagine.
Anyway, on the 8th of April 1953, she began her training at Ards Hospital in Northern Ireland – and on the 30th of May 1956, according to framed certificate that I found, she “passed the examinations held to test her proficiency, and has preformed her nursing duties to our satisfaction.”
So she, along with her two sisters who followed her led, became a State Registered Nurse…

Mary Isabella Gallagher

.. and it was around that time it seems, that she met John Morrison (a young farmer from the Ards Peninsula) at a dance in Regent House.
And on the 19th of September 1957, she became known as Mary Isobel Morrison from that day on – as seen here with her brothers (Dan, John, Robert, Tommie, Charlie, Jim and Alfred) and sisters (Sadie and Ann) on her wedding day…

The Gallagher family in 1957.

.. along with Dan’s wife, Joan – and John Morrison…

John and Mary Morrison on their wedding day.

.. who a few years later became my Dad

Swimming was a big part of our lives when I young – and she, as seen here at the back on the far left of this picture of INST swimming club…

Inst swimming team

.. was very much into it as well.
She even flew out to Australia to watch me compete in the 1982 Commonwealth Games – to my surprise – because she never mentioned she was going before I left, the week before the Opening Ceremony…

Opening Ceremony at the 1982 Commonwealth Games

.. which she clearly enjoyed, as she took loads of pictures of that.
So yes, one of the nicest memories that I have of her was at the start of my first event, looking up into the spectator gallery as they announced my name and seeing her with her sister, Sadie, waving their arms and cheering.

I couldn’t believe it – but that was my mum

She loved to travel – and as did my father – seen here together at Thousand Islands on their way to Kingston in 1995…

Mary and John Morrison at Thousand Islands

.. with a note on the back saying: USA on the far side.
So there are lots of pictures of the both of them in various part of the world – as well as lots of pictures of herself with her two sisters, Sadie…

Mary and Sadie

.. who lives in Sydney – and Ann…

Ann and Mary in New York.

.. who lives in New York City.

Many of which I had never seen before.

The picture that I use at the start, by the way, I took of her in a kitchen we were shooting that was featured in the October/November 2005 issue of 25 Beautiful Kitchens magazine…

October/November 2005 issue of 25 Beautiful Kitchens magazine.

.. which she kept in her bedside table – where she stood-in as the homeowner.
So that was definitely one of my favourite images of her, as well as this one…

Mary Morrison's 71st Birthday party.

.. which I took at her 71st birthday party

One thing is for sure, I will miss her and she will be greatly missed by all the family – including her six grandchildren, Ross, Ryan, Amber, Chloe, Holly and Ella – and her dog, Venus…

Venus

.. which the people of Ballywalter knew was always by her side.

The end of a chapter, Mum – but not the story  – as you live on in each of us

July 21, 2018

Billy, it’s Ashley and Ashley.

Look, it’s Ashley & Ashley…
“Billy McGoldrick with his daughter Ashley Hayes and me in the garden of his and Kerry Johnston's place in Dundee.
.. together for the first time.

Because yes, to follow on from Making a wish come true, I felt it time to not only meet Ashley, but it was also time to meet my once ‘best friend’, roommate and training partner, Billy McGoldrick…
“Billy
.. who can be seen here standing in front of our Motel’s front door, after having shaved his head for the 1983 South West Conference (SWC) swim meet, which was held in Austin that year.

And so it was, some 35 years on, outside in the garden of his fabulous gate lodge…
“Ashley
.. in his Scottish hometown of Dundee. As his daughter, Ashley, was over from Houston for a few days, to let him see her beautiful daughter – who’s name is Roisin…
“Ashley
.. Ashley, it seems

So “I’ll be back”, is how it was left, because the next time I want to meet his son, Billy – so then naturally the title will be “Billy, it’s Billy and Ashley”

July 23, 2017

Nelligan’s Bar

The 3rd and final shot in Nelligan’s Bar was the return angle.

OUR THINKING:

KL-0643 is our favourite angle – however, this angle does show the size and overall layout very well.

“Original
Would need bar staff and possibly a member of staff serving the people at the back dining area.

Which the following morning – after some serious work…
“Behind
.. the night before, to produce this image…
“Family
.. to show their Family Rooms or inter-connecting rooms…
“Inter-connecting
.. if you prefer – we set up to shoot:
“One

Lights up…
“Behind
.. and so the fun began…
“One
.. as bit…
“One
.. by bit…
“One
.. it all started to come together – as I stood and watched…
“Behind
.. the team working very hard…
“Behind
.. to complete the story we were trying to tell smile

Seriously though – once everyone arrived…
“One
.. it was all over in minutes, due to what all they had done.

Which then just left me to zoom in to let Jack’s Grandfather here…
“Behind
.. see how well he looked…
“Zoom
.. in this the final overall result…
“Screen
.. which you can now see on their website about Nelligan’s Bar.

Time for a coffee – as the big smiles on our faces says it all…
“Behind
.. because we were all totally delighted with this one…

.. before heading up to shoot the various bedrooms.

So more on all of that the follow – from Dianne, Claudio, Ivan & me at ampimage.com smile

July 22, 2017

It’s tables they want to see.

The 2nd shot in the bar that Jack was keen for us to capture, was this raised fireplace area…

.. which he was also wanting to promote.

Our Thinking:
“You mentioned you liked the Trump fireplace shot (see below) – so we will try to recreate something with a similar feel.”
“By

Which we talked about shooting here: The Clubhouse.

“Well now that you have talked the talk, Ashley…
“Behind
.. what are you planning on doing ?” – because it’s tables they want to see, rather than armchairs in front of a fire wink

Okay, TV down to start with…
“Behind
.. and I’ll try to find an angle…
“Behind
.. while Ivan, you workout how you are going to put a mirror up there…
“One
.. because how else am I going to explain this very romantic image of the two of you wink

So while I put the camera in it position…
“Behind
.. Ivan and Dianne started working on table setting…
“One
.. as well as the flowers…
“Behind
.. books…
“One
.. and everything else that was in front of the camera.
While Claudio (besides taking lots of great pictures of us all) worked on the lighting – as I tried to explain the look that I was after…
“Behind
.. before returning to take a few quick shots…
“Behind
.. which I reckoned was 99% there…
“One
.. bar fixing the hair…
“One
.. and there you have it…
“One
.. Capture-198262 looked good…
“Behind
.. which got the thumbs-ups from everyone…
“Behind
.. as it can now be seen on their Home page:
“Screen

So “Cheers” – from Claudio, Myself, Ivan & Dianne here…
“Behind
.. as it was time to make full use of the props smile

Nine years on.

Filed under: Family,Photography,Web links — Ashley Morrison @ 10:39 am
Tags: , , , ,

Nine years ago, we produce this image…

.. in the Nelligan’s Bar at Kilmurry Lodge Hotel – which I always remember as being quite a difficult one to light, as one wants to maintain the atmosphere, but yet not make it to dark or moody.

Anyway, back in April of this year, Jack asked me to have another look at it, as they had made a few changes – which they most certainly had.

Our Thinking:
“This angle is our favourite…
“Original
..it gives a really nice atmosphere with lots of interest.
Actually, love the grouping of people in this shot – family looks perfect here – as does the placement of the other quests too.”

And so that was to be 1 of 3 images Jack wanted of this bar – which ended up looking like this…

.. but started out looking like this…
“One
.. at 8:30 the following morning – after the Dusk shot and serval pints of Guinness in this very same room the night before wink

So with at image on screen…
“Behind
.. the team went to work…
“One
.. like a well oiled machine…
“One
.. as it was time for a coffee…
“Behind
.. lots of pointing…
“Behind
.. thinking…
“Behind
.. and the final touches…
“Behind
.. just before our family arrived…
“Behind
.. at 10:30.

So with the camera in position…
“Behind
.. and a Guinness on hand…
“Behind
.. one last look at the screen…
“Behind
.. and then it was time to press that button…
“Behind
.. as all eyes were on the Stars of the show…
“Behind
.. while I wounded on the camera as fast as I could…
“Behind
.. and captured the moment…
“Behind
.. before checking the screen…
“Behind
.. and then inviting them all over to see themselves…
“Behind
.. and how well they looked when I zoomed in on them…
“Zoom
.. and so this was the final result…

.. which was created for Multiple Media use – “As it’s easy to crop but harder to add on” as I would often say to people who ask why I still like to produce square imageswink

And so 9 years after the first image of this bar was created – this new image can now be seen on the Home page of their website…
“Screen
.. along with this one…
“Screen
.. which was the next image that we produced – so more on that to follow – from Dianne, Claudio, Ivan & me @ ampimage.com in Nelligan’s Bar.

May 25, 2017

Wanting to be close.

This was an interesting one and a first for me…
The Liffey Deluxe bedroom to show the Pull-Out Sofa at the K Club in County Kildare.
.. as they were wanting an image to show that they offered a Pull-Out Sofa too, in their Liffey Deluxe Rooms.

So having seen what the camera would record if I where to shoot the room with a wide angle lens – it was agreed that a tighter shot may look more appealing.
And so this was our suggestion:

“Mum with her daughter – possibly about 3 or 4 years of age – reading a story in bed.
Lots of Teddies including a K Club one !!
Dressing robes for both.
Flowers for table.”

Having got a ‘yes’ to that idea – that meant it was now time to take a picture…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the K Club in County Kildare
.. to see if we could create the type of image that they would actually want to use.

Which started out looking like so…
One of the last pictures taken in the Liffey Deluxe bedroom to show the Pull-Out Sofa at the K Club in County Kildare.
.. before the pillows were straightened…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the K Club in County Kildare
.. and the curtains were fixed by Ivan here…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the K Club in County Kildare
.. who’s talent for climbing and fixing things, I know far exceed something as simple as this – as he recently showed us all some pictures of him on top of some of the highest mountains in the world, which totally blew me away.

And so while Dianne sat in for a quick test shot…
One of the last pictures taken in the Liffey Deluxe bedroom to show the Pull-Out Sofa at the K Club in County Kildare.
.. Ivan was climbing out the window…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the K Club in County Kildare
.. setting up this…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the K Club in County Kildare
.. which then created this…
One of the last pictures taken in the Liffey Deluxe bedroom to show the Pull-Out Sofa at the K Club in County Kildare.
.. which both he and Claudio here…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the K Club in County Kildare
.. were clearly very pleased about smile

And rightly so – because there is no way I could have done that, especially if I’d been on my own – nor would I have even tried too.

So a big thanks to both the guys for the beautiful light here…
One of the first pictures taken in the Liffey Deluxe bedroom to show the Pull-Out Sofa at the K Club in County Kildare.
.. which one may get naturally in the early morning, as the sun rises on this side of the building.

Anyway, with that now done, it was time work on what we should ask our ‘Mother & daughter’ to do.

Claudio made a suggestion – which is what we were looking at here…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the K Club in County Kildare
.. just as Oral walked in with our ‘Mother & daughter’.

So I’m sure you can imagine the look on their faces when I zoom in on this…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the K Club in County Kildare
.. and then tried to explain our thinking here smile

Anyway, once everyone stopped rolling around the floor – it was time for the Stars of the show to take-up their positions…
One of the last pictures taken in the Liffey Deluxe bedroom to show the Pull-Out Sofa at the K Club in County Kildare.
.. as everyone watched…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the K Club in County Kildare
.. the two of them having fun talking to the bears…
One of the last pictures taken in the Liffey Deluxe bedroom to show the Pull-Out Sofa at the K Club in County Kildare.
.. who spoke back – due Dianne having hidden one of the walkie-talkies under the quilt wink

Team work at it best – much of which I know goes unnoticed – which is part of the reason behind me writing these blogs, because I don’t want to forget all these wonderful moments that lead up to us creating an image like this…
The Pull-Out Sofa in the Liffey Deluxe Bedroom at the K Club in County Kildare
.. which you can now see on their website…
Screen shot showing Family Accommodation on The K Club's website.
.. as The K Club offers a range of family friendly accommodation including Interconnecting Family Rooms” – which was the next shot we did…
Screen shot showing Family Accommodation on The K Club's website.
.. “Luxury Pull-Out Sofa beds”, as seen above – “and Two-Bedroom Suites”
Screen shot showing Family Accommodation on The K Club's website.
.. which I talked about us shooting here: The Presidential suite.

So an interesting one that’s for sure – which just leaves me to say a big thanks to everyone involved here – and especially to Ivan for all that he did, who I believe is still in therapy, as he never knew he had another big son smilesmilesmile

May 23, 2017

Indulge yourself.

Next up was the River Room Restaurant – which like with the The Pantheon Suite, they were busy redecorating when we were last down…
Original picture taken of the River Room Restaurant at the K Club.
.. but we knew this room well, as this was where we had our breakfast each morning – so the concept was simple:

“This is a big room so we feel it will look better with a few people about.
Breakfast setting – with the early morning sunlight pouring in across the room.
Family having breakfast with possibly the father at the self-service”

So as soon as the last guests had finished their breakfast…
One of the last pictures taken in the River Room Restaurant at the K Club in County Kildare
.. we started to do what we do…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the K Club in County Kildare
.. while Claudio and Ivan worked on the lighting…
One of the first pictures taken in the River Room Restaurant at the K Club in County Kildare
.. then there was the ironing to be done…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the K Club in County Kildare
.. repositioning of the chairs…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the K Club in County Kildare
.. and before you know it we were basically ready to shoot it for real…
One of the last pictures taken in the River Room Restaurant at the K Club in County Kildare
.. just as the Stars of the show arrived…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the K Club in County Kildare
.. all of whom we knew, as we had worked with them all before.

So while Claudio had fun briefed them…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the K Club in County Kildare
.. poor Ivan waited patiently by the lights outside…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the K Club in County Kildare
.. but he didn’t have to wait very long – because it was basically all over in less than 5 minutes…
One of the last pictures taken in the River Room Restaurant at the K Club in County Kildare
.. as they all posed to perfection in almost every frame.

And so this was the final result…
The River Room Restaurant at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Country Club in County Kildare.
.. which I was delighted with, once it was pieced together or amped as we would say wink

And so that’s the story behind this image that you can now see on their website…
The River Room Restaurant page on the K Club's website.

“Indulge yourself with a Full Irish Breakfast in our elegant River Room Restaurant while overlooking our extensive landscaped gardens.”

.. at the fabulous Kildare Hotel, Spa & Country Club in the beautiful Irish county of Kildare smile

July 28, 2015

Congratulations!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I will just let the pictures here of my daughter, Chloe…
Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony in July 2015.
.. and her friend Vicky…
Vicky Baillie and Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony in July 2015.
.. graduation ceremony at the University of Northampton speaks for themselves – as I recorded them throughout the day having fun…
Vicky Baillie and Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. and is very much part of the iPhone & Selfie generation…
Vicky Baillie and Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. which is how I and no doubt they will remember it…
Vicky Baillie and Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. for years to come…
Vicky Baillie and Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. as they will have lots of pictures…
Vicky Baillie and Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. to remind them…
Vicky Baillie and Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. of their big day…
Vicky Baillie and Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. and the proud smiles…
Chloe Morrison with her Mum and sister at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. which was recorded from every angle…
Chloe Morrison at the University of Northampton during the Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. right up to the end.

So congratulations Chloe, from a very proud Dad…
With my daughter Chloe in front of the Congratulations sign at the Royal & Derngate during the University of Northampton's Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. who enjoyed every minute of it too.

The Official Picture…
Chloe Morrison during the University of Northampton's Graduation Award Ceremony.
.. by Tony Rundle.

November 2, 2010

A good day for ducks…

Filed under: Family — Ashley Morrison @ 5:02 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

.. as they would say in this part of the world – when it’s raining.
But it was also a good day for the ‘new’ wagon to arrive.

After 9 years of driving 3 different black VW Sharan’s, we decided it was time for a change.
So here it is, our ‘new’ and very wet Land Rover…
XLZ-1904
Discovery II – which will hopefully transport us and all the gear, to many far of places, for years to come.

Want list:
Side Steps.
Sports Bars.
Access Ladder.

Wishlist:
Expedition roof rack.
Mondial alloy wheels.

So no doubt over the coming years, we will in & out of The 4×4 Store, in Ards, a few times to see Ian 🙂

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