Late Night Studio

I’m currently on-air at 8Radio.com till 2am.

That lovely heady vibe of a late night radio studio, lights down low, music up loud.

There really is nothing like it!

20130407-010951.jpg


LW 252 Tower (Ireland) – Pics

Some shots of the 252Khz Longwave transmission tower in Co. Meath, Republic of Ireland, currently broadcasting RTE but originally erected for Atlantic 252.  Pictures taken Sunday 17th March 2013.

You can click on any picture for the high-res version. This is the tower as seen in the landscape of Co. Meath. It is actually a better shot than the close-up ones, as there are so many obstructions of the view from the roadway closest to the site.

You can click on any picture for the high-res version. This is the tower as seen in the landscape of Co. Meath. It is actually a better shot than the close-up ones, as there are so many obstructions of the view from the roadway closest to the site.

I don’t normally go out of my way to photograph broadcast sites – I usually prefer to think and talk about the content rather than the technology – but a friend in the UK asked me for some pictures, and as I was walking in a forest only about 20km away today I thought “why not?”.

The base of the tower. Thiswas taken through a wire mesh fence, and a small gap in the trees, so only possible to get one part of the tower at a time in shot.

The base of the tower. This was taken through a wire mesh fence, and a small gap in the trees, so only possible to get one part of the tower at a time in shot.

The upper sections vanishing into the mist. It is planned to paint the top 84m of this tower red and white, and to replace the current warning lights with ones of lower intensity.

The upper sections vanishing into the mist. It is planned to paint the top 84m of this tower red and white, and to replace the current warning lights with ones of lower intensity.

Planning application notice on site for retention of modifications, also revised colour scheme and lighting.

Planning application notice on site for retention of modifications, also revised colour scheme and lighting.

If you are a motorist . . or a terrorist . . be warned!

If you are a motorist . . or a terrorist . . be warned!

When I last passed here about 15 years ago, it was very easy to see into the site, but the boundary trees planted around the tower have all grown up now.

When I last passed here about 15 years ago, it was very easy to see into the site, but the boundary trees planted around the tower have all grown up now.

So there you have it, 252 site on a typically misty St. Patricks Day.

Steve

 

 


Happy New Year? Let’s Make it So.

Walking in the Kerry mountains on the last day of 2011

2011 has mostly been a year of transition for me. It involved opening doors to a few new outlooks, and closing doors on other parts of my life where things weren’t working or it was time to move on. A few spots of difficulty, mostly self-inflicted and quickly recovered from, were outweighed by many cherished moments with friends and family, including a stint on the Ross Revenge at Easter and one at sea with Seagull in June, a novel and wonderful trip around London of which I will write more later, and my best Christmas in years.

Mostly though 2011 involved making changes and laying plans which will come to fruition in 2012, and I’m greatly looking forward to many of these things.

My second book, Running Away From The Circus, will be published in March (more details on that here in the weeks to come) but before that I will have another short story – Schrodinger’s Bus –  in print in the third Seven Towers Census Anthology in February. After Running Away From The Circus,  a further book is already half-finished, and I hope to complete it in 2012, so that in 2013 I can begin serious work on the 4th, which is structurally planned and a small part written.

I am happy with my shows on Radios Seagull and Caroline, but have something else planned which will increase my reach in the radio world, in fact more than one something. Details, as always, closer to the time . .

I’m planning a trip to Canada, and hopefully a return visit to the wonderful folk of the Ramsgate RNLI too.

I want to develop my mind in 2012, and reverse some of the neglect of my body – for the last month I’ve been walking every day, and I hope to have the drive to keep this up and push further back to youthful fitness in the year ahead.

Whatever 2012 brings, it will stand or fail on my own efforts – If I want it happy, I must make it so.

For you, can I wish you a peaceful New Year, and the opportunity to reach your goals in the next 12 months too.

All the best,

Steve


October 2011 JNLR (covering Oct 2010-Sep2011) Radio Audience

Phantom 105.2 – increased reach in latest figures

RTE steady nationally

Good first year for Nova

4fm struggles in Dublin but gains 2% in Cork


The latest JNLR figures reporting Irish radio audiences have been published today, covering the period October 2010 to September 2011.

As always, for the full result tables your should visit the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland website.

Figures produced & published  by JNLR/Ipsos MRBI 2011/3

All changes are compared to 1 year ago.

*** THIS PART OF THE REPORT LOOKS AT “LISTENED YESTERDAY” REACH ***

National stations steady on “Listened Yesterday”

All RTE and Commercial stations held their % reach of “All Adults 15+” in the results, with overall reach down slightly by 1% spread across the total for these stations.

NATIONAL RESULTS

Listened at all 84% (down 1%)

No change on individual national stations:

Any RTE Radio was listened to by 35%

RTE Radio 1 by 25%

RTE 2FM 11%

RTE Lyric 3%

Today FM 13%

Newstalk 8%

Any Local/Regional/Multi City 58%

DUBLIN – First results give Nova 5% and see Phantom overtake 4fm (in “listened yesterday” reach, though it’s the other way round in % share)

Listened at all 85% (-1%)

Any RTE 37% (no change)

RTE Radio 1 31% (no change)

RTE 2FM 8% (-1%)

RTE Lyric FM 6% (+1%)

Today FM 10% (+1%)

Newstalk 12% (no change)

Any non-national 53% (no change)

4fm 2% (no change)

Radio Nova 5% (first result)

98FM 13% (no change)

FM104 20% (-1%)

Q102 13% (no change)

Sunshine 106.8 3% (-1%)

Spin1038 14% (-1%)

Phantom 105.2 3% (+1%)

MULTI-CITY: 4fm score 3% overall, with an impressive 7% in Cork (up 2%) but is stuck on 2% in the Dublin market.

*** THIS PART OF THE REPORT LOOKS AT SHARE OF TOTAL LISTENING ***

Share of audience listening (% share of all the time listened) shows more movement that the simple reach (how many people listened to you).

NATIONAL SHARE

Any national 46% (+0.6%)

Any RTE 33% (no change)

RTE Radio 1 23.3% (-0.2%)

RTE 2FM 7.4% (+0.1%)

RTE Lyric 1.8% (+0.2%)

Today FM 9.1% (+0.2%)

Newstalk 4.4% (+0.3%)

Any Non National 53.3% (-0.6%)

DUBLIN SHARE

Any National 54.8 % (no change)

Any Non-National 45.2% (no change)

Any RTE 40.8% (-1.1%)

RTE Radio 1 31.4% (-1.2%)

RTE 2FM 5.8% (no change)

RTE Lyric 3.4% (+0.2%)

Today FM 6.8% (+0.6%)

Newstalk 7.1% (+0.3%)

4fm 1.1% (+0.3%)

Radio Nova 3.3% (first result)

98FM 9.5% (+0.5%)

FM104 11.4% (-1.0%)

Q102 10.3% (-0.4%)

Sunshine 106.8 2.3% (-0.1%)

Spin 1038 5.9% (no change)

Phantom 105.2 0.8% (no change)

As always, for the full result tables your should visit the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland website.

Figures produced & published  by JNLR/Ipsos MRBI 2011/3


What Lies Beneath – Why Dundrum Town Centre Flooded

Steve digs out his photos of the construction of South Dublin’s fashionable (and flooded) mall, and remembers what it was they built on top of . .

From the front page of Irish Times 25th October 2011 – © Irish Times

The dramatic scenes of water bursting into the upmarket Dundrum Town Centre mall were some of the defining images of the Dublin floods of October 2011, and the front page picture from todays Irish Times shows how badly the centre has been affected. Since its opening six years ago it has been my favourite of the Dublin suburban shopping centres, but its devastation by floods does not surprise me as a local with intimate knowledge of the grography that it replaced.

It could be, in fact, a perfect example of of the boom years building frenzy taken to its logical consequences, as the building of hundreds of apartments close by in the following years helped seal its fate.

The village of Dundrum has always perched on a slope at the bottom end of a narrow valley, with a good-sized stream (or small river) running through it. Various complexes lined the high ground on one side of the valley – the old PYE Television factory, later industrial estate, the 1970s original Dundrum Shopping Centre, and the old H Williams store at the southern end (which became Super Crazy Prices, and then Tesco). But the bottom of the valley and the river was always left pretty much wild, and I used to roam along its length in my childhood years, fancying myself as a fearless explorer as I waded upstream and forced my way through undergrowth.

In more recent years, as I made my way to work on a sluggish 48A in 2000 and 2001, the glimpse of the stream surrounded by green land as we crossed over the valley on the Ballinteer Road bridge just before the crossroads always gave a little glimpse of forgotten rural idyll. Until the day the bulldozers moved in, and they started building.

Dundrum bypass and Dundrum Town Centre under construction

Here is a shot I took sometime during 2001 or 2002 which shows both Dundrum Town Centre and the Dundrum Bypass under construction.  The picture is taken from a temporary pedestrian bridge over the valley errected during the period when Ballinteer Road was closed to traffic as a new, wider road bridge was built complete with car-park ramp downwards into the centre.

On the left is where Dundrum Town Centre now stands, and you can see the spot where the underground car-parks and delivery section join the bypass.

The valley floor has been leveled, and the stream boxed in, ready to be buried underneath the new development in a culvert.

When this photo was taken, it had been dry for a good period, and the stream was low, however it often ran much higher in wet periods. Nevertheless, the culvert once roofed would seem more than proof against even a four or fivefold increase in flow during very rainy periods.

However, in the years following the completion of the centre, hundreds if not thousands of apartments in dozens of new developments were built upstream, with much of the run-off from all these acres of new concrete flowing into the stream or the local drainage system. The huge flow of water from the Ticknock Hill development alone can be seen during wet periods cascading down a series of steps beside the M50 junction, and into the watercourse of this stream. Plus, all of the green land that lay undisturbed in this little valley is now built over, no longer able to absorb rainfall and run-off.

In the exceptional rainfall of the last 24 hours, when a months rain fell in a day, once the culvert was at full capacity, where else could the water go?

I’m not saying the planners failed here, this is an exceptional event, but perhaps, when we have building booms in future, we should be looking at things like runoff in the context of what else will be built in the area later, and planning for “once in 80 year” events.

Yes it will cost. But as much as the damage that now needs to be made good?

Steve


Night Watch

A sequence of shots taken as I stood the overnight anchor watch on the Radio Seagull / Radio Waddenzee ship off the Dutch coast on Fri/Sat 3rd/4th June 2011.

They show:

Sunset over the Waddenze

Screenshot of us in location southwest of the uninhabited island of Griend.

The first pre-dawn lightening of the sky at 0336.

Fully light by 0500

Zoom shot of the low-lying island of Griend at Dawn

Sunrise.

A privilege to be here to enjoy such nights and see these sights. Steve.

20110604-051557.jpg

20110604-051706.jpg

20110604-051747.jpg

20110604-051826.jpg

20110604-051851.jpg

20110604-051946.jpg


Arrived at Sea

I’ve now arrived safely in board the Lv Jenni Baynton, anchored in The Waddenzee.

I’ll be on air with Radio Seagull this evening from 7-10 Dutch time (6-9 UK and Irish time).

Catch Seagull in 1602AM in Holland, it via www.radioseagull.com

I’m looking forward to an interesting 10 days afloat.

Pictured here are the radioship Jenni Baynton as I arrived today, and a lively historic sailing ship that has just passed close by.

Steve

20110602-142922.jpg

20110602-143024.jpg