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Worldcon 5: Memory in the Landscape

Monday, August 12, 2019 - 13:17

Today was the only pre-booked tour on my schedule. Some friends were going on a bus toor to Tara and Newgrange and I took the opportunity to tag along. Tara is the sort of site where you need some deep background to understand what you're seeing. The tour guide did a great job of sketching in the background in the available time, but I suspect for many of the tour members it was simply a big hill with a bunch of bumps on it. The tour was enjoyable, but there was a certain sense of being processed through a tourism machine.

Newgrange stands more by itself in terms of impressiveness. As it stands today, with the exterior stonework revealed, you can still visualize how it lay concealed as an ordinary hill for most of its lifetime. There's still a sense of being efficiently ushered through An Experience, but when you file through the narrow passage into the tomb's interior, the physicality is still there in a way that Tara can't provide.

Although I took some closer pictures, I think I like this one best, looking across the Boyne with the mound of Newgrange at the top of the horizon.

Newgrange seen across the Boyne

In preparing this blog, I have become immensely frustrated with changes to how my Apple products are managing my photos. For some reason, I can't AirDrop photos from my phone to my laptop any more. It was working as expected two months ago. The iPhone has also changed the default format for saving images from jpeg to something more annoying and I had to do some research to find out what had happened and how to change it back. Although the movies claim to be saved in QuickTime, they then claim to be incompatible with QuickTime and I haven't yet found a way to play them. At the moment, the only way I seem to be able to move my photos onto my laptop as jpegs is to email them to myself. Painfully. In small batches that won't choke my server.

Presumably if I were willing to process all my images through the Photos app, this wouldn't be an issue. But I've had annoying problems with trying to extract them from Photos to do anything else with them. And I still remember Apple dropping support for iPhoto leaving all my carefully-organized albums and edited images lost in the ether. I've become very distrustful of leaning on Apple's operating systems to manage my media, but they're doing their best to make it hard to use anything else. I have no idea what their long-term strategy is, and if I knew, I probably wouldn't like it any better.


There ended up being six of us on the tour connected through the overlapping SCA-fandom-medievalist network. (Omitting names because some of them are selective about which identities they employ in social media.) After we got back to Dublin, we finished the day with dinner at Le Bon Crubeen where I again had an excellent lamb dish. I seem to have inadvertently started a Dublin Local Lamb Tour. There are worse ways to live. Two more days before the start of the convention proper and my social media is abuzz with people at airports. Time to store up my sleep now!

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