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The search started in 2018 and thanks to a number of circumstances we found the place we were looking for in February 2019. On a frosty morning, I arrived in Derreennaclogh, just north of the village Ballydehob in West Cork. There was an old farm house with a few outhouses and a semi-derelict barn.

After a closer inspection, most of the buildings were more or less derelict but there appeared to be enough old solid parts to enable a slow DIY restoration. Most of the original stone walls – 90 cm thick – had been covered with cement probably 40 years ago, while the original walls had been pointed with mud and lime mortar. There were ample problems with damp. Days, weeks and months of work chipping away cement and repointing with lime mortar followed.

All infrastructure had to be re-done – plumbing, electrical, etc. By late summer 2020, we moved in on the first floor of the house. The restoration work continues.

At art&craft fairs, you see some visitors who look at your handmade artefacts but lacking understanding of the difference between a handcrafted object and imported mass produced things. Therefore, they don’t understand the value of real unique handcrafted work and things destined for landfill.

It is increasingly important for crafts people to show how things are made, on-site, to help develop an understanding of the processes and the hard work for making authentic crafts. Let your visitors try too!

We are looking for a house in West Cork that we can “rent” for, let’s say, €1 per year. In return, we’ll do it up to become a living studio-gallery-house. It may be semi-derelict or run down at present.
I am quite confident that whoever can offer us this can also get a tax break in return.
I never bought a house. I always rented a flat or a house. When moving from Sweden to Ireland in 1991, I continued to rent. Irish people looked at me in horror when I told them I was just renting a house.
Now, I have lived in the same rented house in Co. Limerick for 22 years, payed rent and maintained it, but when I retire we won’t be able to afford the rent. Further more, we’d like to settle down in West Cork. We need to move on.
To contact me, see details here


After a year of life transformation and an autumn of intense work, I am finally finding myself looking forward to the future, again. This year have forced me to seriously re-evaluate so many things and ideas. I’m now, more than ever, striving for that simple is better, less is more, etc. Life is much more than the work-sleep cycle. I have also found a new kind of inner stillness that I never envisaged before.

It is difficult to start writing again. It is also strange and amazing how I find myself, at this point in life, facing a completely new future. I feel grateful. But I am also scared, as all the new possibilities may be too challenging for me to live up to. On the other hand, I never give up. Obstacles may be ahead, but if so, I’ll work my way around them, underneath or somehow navigate as if they didn’t exist – or that they are not my problem. Or, perhaps redefine the problems.


Mona – the love of my life.


An ash I know,
Yggdrasil its name,
With water white
is the great tree wet;
Thence come the dews
that fall in the dales,
Forever green it grows
by the well of Urd.

From there comes maidens
mighty in wisdom,
Three from the dwelling
down beneath the tree;
Urd is one named,
Verdandi the next,
On  wood they carved,
the name and Skuld the third.
Laws they made there,
and life allotted
to the children of humans,
the fate of humanity.

She saw Valkyries
approaching from afar,
Ready to ride
to the ranks of Godtjod;
Skuld carried shield,
and Skogul rode next,
Gunn, Hild, Gondul,
and Geirskogul.
Now Herjan’s maidens
the list have ye heard,
Valkyries ready
to ride on the earth.

The sun turns black,
earth sinks in the sea,
Flaming stars down
from heaven falls;
Fierce grows the steam
and the life-feeding flame,
Till fire leaps high
about heaven itself.

Now she can see
the earth anew
Rise all green
from the sea again;
Water falls,
and the eagle flies,
And fish he catches
beneath the cliffs.

A better burden
may no one carry
than lots of wisdom.
It is better than gold
when traveling on unknown ways,
And in grief a refuge it gives.

Only one knows
that have traveled wide
and afar
what manner of mind
that guides us all.
She knows the wealth of wisdom.

Fire is best
for children of humans
And power to see the sun;
good is health
if one can keep it,
and to live a life without shame.

Not bereft of all
is she who is ill,
some are blessed with children,
some with kin
some with wealth,
and some with well done work.

Cattle die,
kindred die,
Everyone is mortal:
But the good name
never dies
of she who has done good deeds.

I tell you, Loddfafnir,
and my advise you should receive;
You will benefit, if you follow,
it will be of good use
If you fain wouldst win
a woman’s love,
And happiness get from her,
Fair be thy promise
and well fulfilled;
One is happy
for what good one gets.

The powerful songs I know
that king’s wives don’t know,
Nor men that are sons of men;
The first is called help,
and help it can bring thee
In sorrow and pain
and all suffering.

Hail to the Asir!
Hail to the Asynjas!
Hail to the beautiful earth!
Words and wisdom
give to us all,
and healing hands
for as long as we live.

(an attempt to translate a selection of verses from the Poetic Edda)

This is an excerpt from a dream (possibly a nightmare) I had last night.

What if we added a citywide chromakey feature to Limerick City. Chromakey is commonly known as green-screen or blue-screen, a technique widely used by photographers and moviemakers to modify a scene, mixing real and virtual (make-uppy) visuals. We could paint every ugly and derelict building with the selected colour; ugly-looking people, cats, dogs, cars, etc., would be ordered to be dressed or painted with the same colour. Then, the likes of RTE can superimpose whatever virtual landscape they want to support their message when making programs about Limerick. On a good day, we may add some visuals form Limerick 2030 (when the whole place is converted to a large shopping mall along the river Shannon, with a few rich and beautiful people strolling along). On a bad day, add some visuals from some battle zone or shot’m-up game. Or we can have virtual graffiti. Or just leave the undesired stuff blank.

That would leave room for re-branding.

I was delighted to follow the developments today in Limerick, culminating in the resignation of the CEO from Limerick City of Culture 2014. One down, a few more to go, before there may be a possibility to build a board and a structure that can actually see a successful year of City of Culture through. A proper board only needs one bean counter. I doesn’t need any Gombeen-men (or women). It needs people who are experienced culture workers, with roots in Limerick and with a global outlook.

A good working board should be able to multiply the State contribution of €6 million, raising funds from other sources, if the successful delivery so requires. A real board should be transparent, making a year-long experience of high impact possible.

It was a public meeting, following the resignations of the artistic director of Limerick City of Culture 2014, Karl Wallace and two of his co-workers.

Many of us at the meeting requested that the board of Limerick City of Culture 2014 take their responsibility and step down, or at least, that the CEO steps down. Over the past few days, all the bad headlines in media have been caused by the Board – not the culture workers or people of Limerick.

The honest questions from culture workers and members of the public were met with political platitudes, such as Pat Cox’s statement that Karl Wallace’s resignation “was only a bump in the road”. Cox also claimed that the board, altruistically, “works for free”. I think we need to see the full accounts and ledgers of Limerick National City of Culture 2014 Ltd if we were to believe that statement. From where are the €120,000 coming, to pay the CEO?

Limerick National City Of Culture 2014 Ltd (Company Registration Number: 533149) was set up on Tuesday the 24th of September 2013 in Limerick. The company’s current directors Conn Murray and Tom Gilligan have been the directors of 16 other Irish companies between them, 2 of which are now closed.

With the year 2013 now a closed chapter, here’s a short reflection….


The highlight of the year, without any doubt, was the performance of Amhrán na mBeach (Song of the Bees) at Glenstal Abbey. It was the happiest moment. All events leading up to that moment were also very enjoyable, and sometimes scary. It wasn’t until the day before the performance I felt confident that the eminent monks would actually perform the choral part of the score (many thanks to Wolodymyr Smishkewych for making it happen). The rehearsal with the ICO in their studio was pure magic. Something happens when a score is moved from my imagination, through the computers, to the paper, to the musicians, and they play it. The Softday Apiary Ensemble also turned out to be a real buzz, and I hope the friendships that developed over all our workshops will remain and continue to develop in some future project. Jenny Kravis readings filled the space between the sonic elements, like beeswax between cells in a honeycomb – it made all the parts stick together in its final structure. It was also amazing to work with our friends Dave Carugo, Lette and Keith Moloney and Bob Corrigan who formed a professional audio, video and photograph team documenting the performance.


The feeling that washed over me at the end of the performance made me think that THIS I have to remember and THIS is the way I would like to feel more often.


When it eventually got started, the Irish summer was beautiful. I reworked my herbal garden and we had several pleasant evenings with BBQ and watching the sun set in the west.


Then, we went for a holiday break in Sweden to visit friends and relatives, which turned into a medical and emotional frenzy with elderly parents in different hospitals.


Moving the Interaction Design Centre, from Engineering Research Building back to the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems. This was not an easy move, as we didn’t want to move.

Engineering Research Building

Engineering Research Building

CSIS building

CSIS building

We lost some high-quality space and we gained some. We’re building a new design lab in the CSIS building. In the CSIS building, the heating is insufficient during winter months. My office gets to a maximum of 15 degrees C with its only radiator turned on. I know, from having spent years in the building before, that in summer it will be too hot. Apart from the lack of climate control, corridors are very narrow and we are more isolated from our research students, not by distance but by the structure of the space.


The recession continues. From my perspective the cost of living in Ireland is increasingly expensive while net salaries continue to fall. The politicians and their mates are getting top-up payments, while the rest of us are getting cuts. The only way to survive the political Fine Gael + Labour propaganda is through positive disengagement.

protest(from Softday‘s Silent Protest)

If someone searched my office or my house, or even my car, it would be almost impossible not to disturb the precious layers of dust in what may look like chaotic piles of stuff lying around. The chaos is actually an illusion. If left undisturbed, I tend to know where things are. For many years, I have kept stuff around me when I work (and play). I don’t like the idea of filing cabinets, inboxes, outboxes and there are never enough bookshelves (or enough walls) available to hold all books. Anyhow, there’s all this stuff apparently lying about and it is probably possible to use some forensic archaeology technique to find out how long it’s been since I last accessed various piles of things. But if anybody else moves my stuff, I notice (and may not be able to find things).
Now, in the digital world it’s different. We’re forced by operating systems to have files and folders/directories, everything has a number of date and time stamps, permission settings, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have some kind of digital dust, slowly settling on our digital file systems so that we easily can detect if someone (3 letters, probably) have snooped around. Perhaps some accumulative encryption. Perhaps it should be probabilistic. For the intruder, the probability of any particular bit being 1 or 0 will be getting fuzzier over time.
All of this is, of course, pure speculative imagination. But the idea is tempting.

digital dust