Ashley Morrison's Blog

September 18, 2018

Classic design that stands the test of time.

Homes & Gardens is one of Britain’s oldest decorating magazines, which has been in circulation since 1919.

“Aspirational yet accessible, stylish, sophisticated and indulgent, Homes & Gardens showcases classic design that stands the test of time.”

Back in 2015 Jacqui and her husband, Peter, returned to Ireland and bought this large, derelict house…
“Large
.. as a renovation project.

Unoccupied for a while it seems, therefore in a terrible state of repair – so they totally stripped it back to brick…
“Totally
.. and removed virtually all the woodwork apart from the staircase – as it seems they really did want a challenge

Anyway, after receiving a call from Janet McMeekin, a London based writer who also once lived here, we were recently invited to take a look – and the rest is now history, as they would say…
“Dianne
.. because before very long Ivan had the lights up and Dianne had everything, including Jacqui here…
“Jacqui
.. looking like something you would see in a magazine.
But not just any old magazine, because yes I’m delighted to say, that 100 years after Homes & Gardens was first launched, you will now be able to see our work in that magazine too

So a big thanks to Ivan & Dianne here…
“Ivan
.. as well as to Janet, because it was “great teamwork” like you said – but most importantly I’d like to congratulate Jacqui and Peter, because if the icing on the cake was winning a heritage award, then this has got to be the cherry on top of that

One to look out for at the start of next year…
“The
.. in Britain’s oldest decorating magazines which showcases classic design that stands the test of time

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August 10, 2018

Lane 5.

Each year on the University of Houston swimming & diving team there would have been around 40 of us in total – approximately 10 would have been divers – so in the pool that would have meant there would have been about 5 of us in each of the 6 lanes during training.
Lane 5 was the lane I remember swimming in – along with Billy, who I recently talked about meeting here: Billy, it’s Ashley and Ashley – and Andrew Gray, who was a very good long-distance swimmer from South Africa, who can be seen here…
Christina Anderson (Christina Ica Hörbäck) and Andrew Gray playing on one of the mats in the diving pool at the Universtiy of Houston.
.. with Christina from Sweden – who I remember we called the “Strawberry Girl” – but don’t ask me why, as my memory isn’t that good

Anyway, since signing up to Facebook back in 2009 and saying “Hi” once again to many of those who were on that team, Christina was obviously someone who I became “Friends” with and have followed ever since – especially since she was clearly still swimming, which in turn (unknown to her) inspired me to get back into the pool as well.
So naturally when she wrote to say that she (along with her husband, Bjorn Hörbäck, sister, Annis, and her husband, Philip Josefson) would be coming to Ireland for a few days, the answer was: “Yes, I would love to meet up” even before she asked

And where better to meet than at McDonald’s…
With Christina outside McDonald's at Sprucefield Shopping Centre, which is where we meet before I drove them all into Belfast and around the north of Ireland over the next few days.
.. because besides occasionally looking at all the pictures I took of everyone back then – many of which I have posted here on Facebook: University of Houston swim team 1979 to 1983 – nothing reminds me more of all the wonderful times we had together, than seeing those Golden Arches.

Anyway, after booking them into the Europa Hotel – which this book that my work can be seen in…
The book called 'In the Headlines' - the story of the Belfast Europa Hotel - by Clive Scoular.
.. tells the story about how it was once known as the “most bombed hotel in the world” – they all piled into the Land Rover and I drove them along the scenic Antrim Coast Road towards the Giant’s Causeway – where I enjoyed taking lots of pictures of them…
Christina Ica Hörbäck with her sister, Annis Andersson Josefson, and Annis' husband, Philip Josefson, at the Giant's Causeway.
.. taking pictures of themselves…
Christina at the Giant's Causeway.
.. as well as of the Causeway itself …
Christina Ica Hörbäck with her sister, Annis Andersson Josefson, at the Giant's Causeway.
.. before heading to the Dark Hedges
Christina with her husband, Bjorn Hörbäck, her sister, Annis Andersson Josefson, and her husband, Philip Josefson, at the Dark Hedges which has been used as a location in HBO's popular television series Game of Thrones.
.. which has been used as a location in HBO’s popular television series Game of Thrones
Christina with her husband, Bjorn Hörbäck, her sister, Annis Andersson Josefson, and her husband, Philip Josefson, at the Dark Hedges which has been used as a location in HBO's popular television series Game of Thrones.
.. as that was on the road back to Belfast. Were we enjoyed a lovely meal in the Europa, before heading across the road to the Crown Bar, as a few pints of Hop House 13 awaited

Next day I first drove Christina and her sister, Annis, to see the Peace Wall
Christina Ica Hörbäck with her sister, Annis Andersson Josefson, at the Peace Wall which separates the nationalist Falls Road and unionist Shankill Road areas of West Belfast.
.. which separates the nationalist Falls Road and unionist Shankill Road areas of West Belfast…
Christina Ica Hörbäck with her sister, Annis Andersson Josefson, at the 'Peace Wall' .
.. which I hadn’t actually seen myself before – even though it’s now a major tourist attraction – before taking them to Titanic Belfast – which is a monument to Belfast’s maritime heritage on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard in the city’s Titanic Quarter where the RMS Titanic was built…
Christina Ica Hörbäck at Titanic Belfast.
.. where one can hear the many stories about the ill-fated Titanic, which (as you probably already know) hit an iceberg and sank during her maiden voyage in 1912.

Anyway, something which I had completely forgotten (and/or couldn’t have told you), was who else swam in ‘Lane 5’ besides Billy, Andrew and myself.
Well now I know, as it was none other than the unforgettable Christina…
Christina Anderson (Christina Ica Hörbäck) on the mats in the pool at the Universtiy of Houston.
.. a.k.a. the ‘Strawberry Girl’ or ‘Wonder Woman’ – which she was also sometimes known as.

Anyway, just wanted to post this to thank her here for the past few days, as it was not only lovely to see her again…
Christina Ica Hörbäck at the Dark Hedges.
.. but it was also lovely to be able to show her this wee part of the world where it’s believed giants once used to play…
Christina Ica Hörbäck and myself at the Giant's Causeway.
.. which I call my home

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”

June 2, 2018

Making a wish come true.

Back in the early 80’s, I took this picture of the men’s swimming & diving team in the changing rooms at the University of Houston…
Members of the 1982 men's University of Houston swimming and diving team in the changing rooms.
Glen Evans, T.K. Ponder, Ang Peng Siong, Kevin Lee, Hassa Bergqvist, Mike Turner, Wayne Welborne, Nicky Gray, Andrew Back, Kevin Richards, Richard Cahalan, Chip Martoccia, Philip Osborn, Garth Parsons, John Linklater, Ed Pierce, BIlly McGoldrick, Per Matsson, Jeff Farmer, Tom Cook, Iain Campbell, Sven Schultz, Andrew Chandler, Ulf Peters, Kevin Evans, Simon Draver and Andrew Gray at University of Houston.
.. which includes many of the guys that I have stayed in touch with over the years – thanks mainly to Mike Collins (who was on the Track & Field team) as he suggested a number of years ago that we all become “Friends” on Facebook.

Which in turn then naturally lead me to open ‘The Box’ which contains all the prints and negative I had taken back then – as well as newspaper cutting, scrapbooks and lots of other stuff from around that time in my life too… which I would refer to as “My swimming years”.

Anyway, after years of saying I would love to meet up with all of these guys again, this year I finally made a start at making that wish come true.

Tom Cook, who can be seen here on the pool deck at the Universtiy of Houston…
Tom Cook at the Universtiy of Houston swimming pool.
.. is definitely one of the guys on that list – and so when he contacted me to say that his wife, Lisa, and son, GreySun, were coming over to Ireland for a few days, the answer was “Yes, I would love to meet them” even before he had to ask

And so it was, as you can see at the Old Bushmills Distillery
On the 18th of May 2018 Lisa Tanner Cook posted this picture of me with her and her son GreySun Stattin at the Old Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim.
.. in County Antrim.

“Bushmills Irish Whiskey is made at Ireland’s oldest working distillery in County Antrim, Northern Ireland on the beautiful North Coast. Our original grant to distil was signed in 1608 by King James 1st and there has been distillation on this site since then, using the unique water from our own stream and Irish barley.”

Plus, at the Giant’s Causeway
On the 18th of May 2018 Lisa Tanner Cook posted this picture of me with her and her son GreySun Stattin at the Giant's Causeway in County Antrim.
.. “Shaka Brah!” Tom.

“Flanked by the wild North Atlantic Ocean and a landscape of dramatic cliffs, for centuries the Giant’s Causeway has inspired artists, stirred scientific debate and captured the imagination of all who see it. Is it the handiwork of legendary giant Finn McCool or the result of volcanic fury millions of years ago?”

Ashley Morrison: It was an honor and a pleasure, Tom – just wish you could have been with them.
So time to work on Plan H… which I will keep you all posted on
🙂

Lisa Tanner Cook: … And maybe Plan C 😎🌊🏄‍♂️

Tom Cook: Plan C – California Cook’s

Time to make another wish come true

May 16, 2018

The Duchess Slant.

With the Royal Wedding coming up, naturally, there has been a lot in the news about Meghan Markle recently and how she is quickly learning her future ‘acting’ role – and who better to learn from than Kate Middleton: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

Anyway, one of the things which I found very interesting, which I hadn’t actually picked up on before, was the ‘duchess slant’.

“The knees and ankles are clasped firmly tighter and the legs are slanted to the side, creating a flattering silhouette.”

“Typically the ‘duchess slant’ is used when a lady has to sit for an extended amount of time while keeping poise and posture,” says Myka Meier, royal etiquette expert and founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette. “It is the perfect pose for when a camera is shooting directly in front of you because by slightly slanting the knees to create a zig-zag effect when wearing a dress or skirt, your legs are angled so that the camera only shoots the sides of your legs and protects your modesty.”

And so with that in mind, it was time for some Afternoon Tea…
Screenshot of the home page on the Killarney Park Hotel's website.
.. in the Drawing Room…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. where one practiced…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. and practiced…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. and practiced one’s pose…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. before the ladies arrived…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. to show us how it was done…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. to perfection, at the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry – from Dianne, Claudio…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. and me

May 15, 2018

The ironing board

The ironing board was put to good use – so here are some pictures to show how we used it to produce this image…
The Innisfallen Suite in the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. in the Innisfallen Suite…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. which can now be seen on their website…
Screenshot of the Suites page showing the Innisfallen Suite on the Killarney Park Hotel's website.
.. and this…
The Innisfallen Suite in the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.

One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. .. at the Killarney Park Hotel
Screenshot of the Suites page showing the Innisfallen Suite on the Killarney Park Hotel's website.
.. in the beautiful Irish County of Kerry

May 13, 2018

Total tranquility in Killarney.

Keeping it simple…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. so it was Lights…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. a few candles…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. a Camera…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. a quick check…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. Action…
The Spa in the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. and then basically repeat…
The Spa in the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. in the Spa & Wellness centre.

“One of the finest spa hotels Killarney has to offer, the Killarney Park Hotel Spa is the perfect place to unwind and luxuriate. Devote a day to your relaxation and regeneration or indulge in some post-sightseeing pampering; however you decide to use our indulgent Spa facilities, you will emerge refreshed and renewed in our oasis of calm.

You will find a wellness space that encourages total escape from the pace of everyday living.”

Five-star massages & reviving treatments…
The Spa in the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. at The Spa
The Spa in the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. your haven of peace and total tranquility in Killarney – by Dianne, Claudio & me

May 12, 2018

The Whiskey Room.

The picture the Killarney Park Hotel sent us a few weeks ago to let us see the area they wanted us to shoot…
Whiskey room.
.. and the first picture I took last week, didn’t really look that different…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. so that was basically our starting point…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. as John, who is the hotel’s Marketing Executive, looked on…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. and this week you can actually see the final image that we created…
Screenshot of the Home page on the Killarney Park Hotel's website.
.. on the hotel’s homepage

So below are some of the pictures to let you see what all happened in-between – both inside…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. and outside…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. as tables got moved…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. test shots were taken…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. and Claudio had to be reminded it was only 10 O’Clock in the morning…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
Wink.

Seriously though, we wanted this image to clearly let the viewer know that this was the “Whiskey Room” – so with that in mind, the placement of some of the whiskeys one could sample; as well as the placement of the people within the room…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. was all important in my opinion.

Well, the look on my face here says I wasn’t convinced we had still got it right…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. as the first of our models arrived…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. but with everyone’s help; as well as the shirt of Dianne’s back…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. final instructions were given…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. and I’m very pleased to say that this was the end result…
The Whiskey room in the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. to show the Whiskey Room…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. in the Garden Bar…
Screenshot of The Garden Bar page on the Killarney Park Hotel's website.
.. at the Killarney Park Hotel in the beautiful Irish County of Kerry

April 14, 2018

One, two, three.

Last year we produced a series of images at Dunboyne Castle Hotel which included this one…
The Alder Suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. which we talked about shooting here: Boardrooms.

Well, we were back last week as they have now renovated this and their other meeting rooms, by basically turning them all into one much larger room…
The Cedar Suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. which can then be divided back into smaller rooms again, using a ‘roll out room divider’ system.

And so that was what they wanted to show, i.e. how this newly renovated corporate/meeting room can be used in different ways.

Executive Boardrooms

Dunboyne Castle Hotel features three contemporary boardrooms. The Alder & Copper Beech Suites can cater for up to 20 guests, while Cedar Suite caters for up to 60 delegates. The Suites overlook the mature woodlands on the estate and are ideal for intimate business meetings.

One done, two to go – type of thing – as 2 rooms would look like this…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Cedar Suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. which after some fine tuning, both inside…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Cedar Suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. and out…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Cedar Suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. looked pretty good…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Cedar Suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. especially when Dianne & Claudio stood in for a test shot…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Cedar Suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. just before everyone arrived…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Cedar Suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. the overhead projector was turned on…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Cedar Suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. and a few minutes later…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Cedar Suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. we were all happy with that:
The Cedar Suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.

Two done, one to go – as I moved the camera back…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Cedar Suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. everyone moved in…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Cedar Suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. and did their thing…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Cedar Suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. so before you know it, I was pressing the button once again…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Cedar Suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. to produce the final image before packing the wagon…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in the Cedar Suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. to head home.

And so there you have it – one…
The Cedar Suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. two…
The Cedar Suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. three…
The Cedar Suite at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. at this Georgian estate in County Meath called Dunboyne Castle Hotel from Dianne, Claudio & me Smile

March 28, 2018

An experience like no other.

Luxury accommodations, breathtaking views, and unparalleled service await you…
The Easter Bunny at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in County Clare.
.. at Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Doonbeg.

Set against a spectacular backdrop of rugged landscape and shimmering sea waves, Trump Doonbeg offers a haven to golf enthusiasts, city-escapees, families…
The Easter Bunny at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in County Clare.
.. and surfers alike.

We treat you to old-world luxury and refinement in 5-star hotel suites…
The Easter Bunny at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in County Clare.
.. each uniquely crafted to ensure that your every expectation is exceeded.

In addition to world class golf, break away and experience our spa, award winning dining options…
The Easter Bunny at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in County Clare.
.. and other outdoor activities at our luxury golf resort.

An experience like no other…

One night with Teddy Bear Breakfast and Easter Egg Hunt at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in County Clare.

.. so make it a great Easter from Bunny…
The bunny in the bedroom of Alan and Marie McMillen's house in Belfast at Christmas time.
.. and all of us too smile

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