Everyone makes New Years resolutions, but at the turn of the year one of mine was to travel more and especially to do more by myself. After all I’m approaching 32 in July (I’m not sure how) and I’ve never been brave enough to venture out into the big wide world by myself that was until I decided to book my first solo travel experience back in January.

I’d been to Dublin before for a fleeting visit back in December of 2010. It was funny going over again at how little I remembered of that previous visit. Anyway Wednesday 22nd March 2017 I hopped on the train to Birmingham from Cheltenham and hopped on a flight to Dublin.

The next three days were spent wandering around the sights, mixed with dropping into various pubs & bars (see list below) camera in hand snapping away. Most of my previous photos have been landscapes. I never feel 100% comfortable with street photography, plus it’s a little weird taking photos of random people going about there normal business. Anyway here are top pictures from the three days, some better than others. Full Flickr album here. To be honest I never really like any photos I take, I always feel there is room for improvement!

Pubs to Visit in Dublin

  • Confession Box
  • The Cobble Stone
  • The Celt
  • Toners
  • O’Donoghues Bar
  • The Hairy Lemon
  • Long Hall
  • Kehoe’s
  • McDaids
  • Stags Head
  • Brannigans
  • Madigan’s Abbey Street
  • Flowing Tide
  • John Mulligans

Oh… I couldn’t go to Dublin and not visit the Print Museum could I. My next New Years resolution is to buy a Heidelberg and learn how to typeset (probably not realistic though).

I also discovered Bushmills, a whiskey that is actually drinkable. The Irish are obvioulsy great at creating whiskey and authentic pubs. We’ve sadly closed most of ours and are now every pub opening is trying to back track 200 years and replicate the old/worn style. Sorry but you can’t fake it!

Side Projects: The Cheltenham Pub Guide

I’ve always been a fan of producing side projects, it keeps the creative juices flowing! In our time at Maple Rock Design we have produced a few – from our Cheltenham Infographic followed by Our “Rock Box”.

Our latest project has been somewhat of an undertaking but it finally landed in Cheltenham this week. It’s the “The Pocket Guide to Cheltenham’s Pub & Bars” which is available in both digitial and print formats. The guide features x88 pubs all within walking distance of Royal Well (in the town centre), accompanied by a short description of what to expect and its facilities!

We’ve also started to distributing the printed version throughout hotels/bars/pubs within Cheltenham – so feel free to grab one if you see one lying around. It comes complete with a handy map to guide you way between each venue and local attraction!

New Year, New Blog

My first blog post… Well not really some years ago I ran a blog with various bits and bobs mainly music. I’ve not blogged since 2012. I’d also not updated my personal website since about 2010/11 so I thought it is about time I did, hence this post. At the time of writing I’m not sure what I’ll post about but my intention is to post about life in general, the ups and downs of being at the helm of a graphic design business, website tips, design tips, web development ideas generally anything that comes to mind that others may find interesting or useful.