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.

March 3, 2022

A Real Character

Featuring Jamie Trimble…

..and Danny…

.. his German Pointer, in their two bedroom Georgian terrace house in the County Down town of Dromore.

Both real characters – hence the title of our latest published work, which can be seen in the April 2022 issue of Ireland’s Homes Interiors & Living magazine…

.. on pages 66 to 75.

Thanks to his creative eye, photographer Jamie Trimble was able to turn a rundown property in Dromore into a stylist home.

His first renovation project…

.. which he talks at length about…

.. which therefore just leaves me to say: Congratulations, Jamie…

.. for making it into Ireland’s largest selling interior magazine for 27 years – from Marie, Mandi & me.

May 19, 2019

Rain, Hail or Shine

Beautiful outdoor terraces are a rare find in Dublin city center…
Screenshot of The Nurserie Terrace page on the Dylan Hotel's website.
.. but rain, hail or shine the secret is out!

As we created an image…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. of The Nurserie Terrace
One of the captures taken during the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. which like it says on their website is the ideal location to catch or even capture…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. the evening rays or light, in this case…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. as the terrace enjoys direct sunshine from early afternoon until sunset.

The partially covered and heated terrace, which can be enjoyed all year round…
One of the captures taken during the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. is the perfect spot to retreat to…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. which Claudio was obviously happy illustrate smile

Brimming with freshly potted plants and flowers, it is a decadent urban oasis
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. which we clearly wanted to show. A place to relax and unwind
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. with a cold glass of Rosé
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. a delicious cocktail or one of the Dylan’s very own, low kcal, refreshing Champagne ice pops, certain to put you in the summer mood – rain…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. hail…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. or shine – because this is Ireland at the end of the day smile

Seriously though, guests can [now] choose to dine al fresco in The Nurserie Terrace
The Nurserie Terrace area at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. for breakfast, lunch and dinner, from 6.30am till late… at Dublin’s leading five star boutique hotel smile

April 29, 2019

The new Dylan Bar.

Enjoy some delicious light bites at the newly redesigned Dylan Bar…
Screenshot of the Dylan Bar page on the Dylan Hotel's website.
.. in Dublin’s leading boutique hotel.

“Open for light bites and mouth-watering pastries all day long.

Rich in tones and textures, the redesign of Dylan Bar has walnut paneling, which perfectly complements a beautiful tonal colour palette of orange, slate and mustard with subtle scene-setting lighting to create atmospheric silhouettes.
A striking portrait, by Cian McLoughlin, is one of the many beautiful pieces of artwork that adorn the Dylan Bar…
The Wood Panel Room in the Dylan Hotel which is one of Dublin's leading five-star boutique hotel.
.. while the centrepiece, the walnut fronted bar.”

One of the first pictures at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.

One of the first pictures at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.

One of the first pictures at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.

One of the first pictures at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.

One of the first pictures at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.

One of the first pictures at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.

One of the first pictures at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.

“Dylan Hotel believes in treating yourself to the finer things in life…
The Wood Panel Room in the Dylan Hotel which is one of Dublin's leading five-star boutique hotel.
.. that’s why we offer the best 5-star afternoon tea in Dublin.

Served in the modern surroundings of the Dylan Bar, each afternoon tea is a retreat into luxury. The tower of decadent delights is served while you relax into crushed velvet couches, deep upholstered seats. Whether you’d like to indulge with friends, family, or take time out for yourself, you can be assured of a fine dining experience.

Imagine your visit now…
Screenshot of the Dylan Bar page on the Dylan Hotel's website.
.. by seeing what mouth-watering delights are on offer.”

One of the first pictures taken of the bar at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.

One of the first pictures taken of the bar at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.

One of the first pictures taken of the bar at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.

One of the first pictures taken of the bar at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.

One of the first pictures taken of the bar at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.

Bright, light and comfortable, the Dylan Bar is ideal for morning meetings, lunch with friends…
The bar in the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. or an evening get together with delicious drinks and moreish bites.

The newly redesigned Dylan Bar…
Screenshot of the Dylan Bar page on the Dylan Hotel's website.
.. in Dublin’s leading boutique hotel… and the creating of those images by Dianne, Claudio, Ivan & me at ampimage.com smile

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

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 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

February 14, 2018

Twinkle

Filed under: Photography,Work Rest & Play. — Ashley Morrison @ 10:52 am
Tags: , , , ,

Life sometimes has a way of carrying us all in different directions…
“Never
.. as change does seem to be the only constant.

Anyway, it’s been a while since I have done a shoot with Marie – however, we do stay in touch and hook up from time to time, as over the years we have created a pretty major picture library together – plus being good friends for so long, we do talk about lots of other stuff too…
Though we may seem far...
.. which included her laughingly telling me about this new project she had started on – which was this 20-year-old “granny wagon”…
20-year-old caravan
.. is how she described it

“Sooooo – what’s my vision ?????

I’d actually like to give it a kind of Neptune feel…
20
.. It will be fun”

– she wrote a few months ago.

Anyway, long story short, last week we decided to combine a business catch up with a fun shoot of her little caravan – which she called Twinkle btw!!

And all I can say is her vision…
Marie
.. and ability to transform something so ordinary…
Marie
.. into something like this…
Marie
.. once again amazed me.

So here’s to a day filled with good food…
Food in the caravan
.. and good friends – on Valentine’s Day with a Twinkle

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