My Birthday in Belfast

Yesterday was my birthday. I got to go out with mom. We went to a tea house for tea. It was the first time since I left home that I got to have waffles. With them I got whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Then we went to look for a chocolate cheesecake. We had to get a lemon cheesecake. When we got back I got to help make supper. We had salad that I made, chicken and salmon in the salad. I had a great day

Egyptian cotton

I have been out of commission for a little while. In fact, I have seen only two things in Belfast so far: the train station (generic) and the apartment (spectacular). We were all feeling iffy in Dublin and I thought going out a few times to walk around the city and see the sights in the cool weather was a good idea. In fact it was an excellent idea … at the time. It, however, led to the aforementioned week spent inside the apartment and primarily in bed. I am out of bed now–just in time to pack and get ready to go to Edinburgh. I have every hope of taking a look at Belfast sometime today.

Now, you might suggest that being mostly useless in bed (or perhaps, if you are being kind, being in mostly useless and in bed) is not an unknown phenomena for me. This may all be true, but I have never been in such a state in such comfort. I will not judge all Egyptian cotton by the lovely bedding that covered the navigable bounds of my erstwhile convalescence; but it was wonderful. Being ill made it impossible to go to the Giant’s Causeway (I have now missed it twice in fifteen years and am very disappointed–as are the rest of the family) and to visit Enniskillen (the home of some of Janet’s ancestors–also disappointment) but I have had the enviable pleasure of discovering the comforts and joy of Egyptian cotton bedding. The contrast between the threadbare linnen in our Dublin apartment and the bedding in this apartment could not be more black and while (or semi-transparent and white). I love this apartment.

This also brings me to one of the surprises, or perhaps better stated, unknowns of the trip: “What is it like in Belfast?” The last time we passed through Belfast was in the 1990s when things were somewhat tense (not as tense as they were in the 1970s, but still tense) and even then we only drove through from the train station to the ferry terminal. Even before we came up here there were some incidents in Derry involving things going boom and vehicles burning that made us a tad nervous. We did not know what to expect. In fact, we knew surprisingly little about Belfast at all beyond the conflict and violence that has made the news for decades.

It has turned out that Belfast is doing quite well, thank you very much. People are struggling with the economic downturn (banking and real estate) but not as much as in Dublin. There are some very well-to-do areas and some that are not. People are capitalizing on the history of conflict by offering political tours of the city and things appear to be very much … stable. In my opinion, most people (worldwide) just want to get on with living. This appears to be happening here. The concerns of the day are interest rates and government debt and less oriented toward violence and fighting. The depth of my analysis comes from watching television news programs (primarily BBC and RTE so my viewpoint is skewed) but I like to think that the halloween party the girls attended was more indicative of life in Belfast than plots and violence. I intend to do my best to maintain my illusions.

I am now off to start packing for our journey tomorrow. If I do not get to see more of Belfast (beyond my traditional train station and ferry terminal visits) I will be returning when I can truly find out about this place.

Halloween party at a mall in Belfast

Last night I went to a Halloween party. At the party there was face painting and a scavenger hunt. You had to look for spiders in certain shops. When we found the spider we got to take a treat from a bucket. I got my face painted as my costume. Before we went to the party in the mall, we went out to eat at the mall. We went to a restaurant on at the mall. It was an awesome party at the mall in Belfast.

Going in to Town with mom

Today I went into town. I went on a city bus that was not a double-decker bus. Some of the city buses are double-decker bus like we used to have back home for tours of Charlottetown. We went out for lunch then we went to a book store and got I Shall Wear Midnight. The book cost some pounds. Mom and I found a market in the same building as the restaurant. I had a great time out with mom.

Halloween Hooray

Yeaterday I went to downtown Belfast, to get my Halloween costume for a party tomorrow in downtown Belfast. I bet you know what Sarah is going to dress up as, but not me. She is going to be a gypsy queen. I’m not going to tell you just yet what I’m going to be. Instead, I’m going to give you hidden clues in this post. If you want to guess, please write your comment before you read this whole post please. Oh did that sound like a threat? I’m sorry if it did. My hat goes over my mind sometimes. {abracadabra} Now you will tell me what you are going to be for Halloween in a comment. Now for my riddle hint.

Some nights are black, and some are white with stars. Mine are not one or the other. Mine are full of brooms and spells, but not all my nights. Other nights are full of people and a normal night sky.

Do you know what I am yet tell me in a comment soon because my costume will be known after I say a weird spell

-/:;()$&@.,?!’,[]{}#%^*+=_\|~<>€£¥.,?!’,roromono-/:;()$&@.,?!’,[]{}#%^*+=_\|~<>€£¥.,?!’,

I’m going to be a which.

Going to get my Holloween Costume

Yesterday I went to get my Holloween costume. I am going to be a gypsy princess. There is a costume store where you have to wait outside to get in. We did not go to that store. We went to a different store. I have for my costume a long skirt, a blue shirt, a necklace, and a green scarf. That is what I am going to wear. Robin is going to tell you in her post what she is going to wear. I had a sore foot from walking too much. It was a really fun and sore day.

In Dublin Fair City

Our experience in Dublin was not as good as it could have been. We loved the city, but we were not able to get out and about much after we visited Newgrange and the hill of Tara. A combination of cold/flu and not being able to sleep really wore us all down. Our apartment was simple and clean, very sparsely equipped, but most importantly the bedrooms backed onto a street where the tram line ran and it also had a bar on the corner just across the street from our apartment. Luckily the girls were able to get to sleep before the band started playing. Gordie and I never seemed to be that lucky.

I love Irish music! The afternoon that we spent browsing the book market in Temple Bar was made wonderful mostly because of the music coming from the bar across the street from the book stalls. I was singing “Wild Rover” along with all the others who were in the bar even though I was on the sidewalk and I have not been able to get “Molly Malone” out of my head since the train ride into Dublin. If the bar across from us were playing Irish tunes, I would have sung along, perhaps had a Guinness and been disappointed until it was over. I would have been happy to be awake. I don’t know about all of you, but to me it just does not seem right that an Irish pub should have a band that plays Elvis cover songs. Playing them so poorly that it took Gordie about halfway into the song to realize they were playing “Jailhouse Rock”. Gordie who can often name the song with an opening chord. Too me it just seemed cruel that the tempo was so slow that I kept thinking that the song was over only to be disappointed over and over. But hey maybe I was just cranky from being sick and tired.

The lack of sleep did not turn me off Dublin. I still really like this city. I had been there once before with Gordie and his parents in 1994. Once of my goals of that first trip was to have a Guinness in Dublin. Sadly I did not get that beer. The month before the trip Gordie and I started trying to have a baby. Had I known we would be so fast off the mark, I might have waited a month. I spent the first half of the trip waiting for my period to start and the second half, pretending that I suffered from motion sickness just like Gordie’s mom. It was in Avoca, where Gordie’s ancestors came from in Ireland that we realized that ready or not we were going to be parents. In hindsight it was a great decision, at the time we were terrified.

It took over fifteen years, but I finally drank my Guinness. I poured it myself and savored every drop. It really was wonderful. So much better than in a can or bottle. I can attest to the fact that “Good things come to those who wait” and that definitely “Guinness is good for you“. As you can tell Robin and I had a blast watching some of the old commercials for Guinness. I am now signing both “Molly Malone” and “Guinness is good for you – cha cha cha” in my head. Going to have to get a new song soon… definitely won’t be “Jail House Rock”

Going on a walk to the grocery store in Belfast

Today I went to the store with Robin and mom. Robin and I found some Halloween costumes. The path we walked on doesn’t allow dogs. I had a great day today. I think that Belfast is an awesome place if you are on at trip with your family or a school trip. I have start to get souvenirs when we go to a new city around the world. We may go to Austria. A bag for packing groceries are cost us 10 pence each (that is like cents to us). I really like it in this part of Northern Ireland.

Coming to Belfast( leaving Dublin)

Today I came to Belfast. I came on the train. I got to ride in a taxis with 4 seats; two are looking forwards and two are looking backwards. This is a different way to ride in a car. I came into the house and got to pick out my bedroom. I got a room that is really close to the stairs. If you have been in Belfast, what do you think I should do with my family? I can’t what to see more of the world.

Moving day

Today we moved to Belfast, by train. On the way I colored in a designing book. On the train I got a bottle of water that lasted me to the end of the ride. When we got off the train we got a cab to our house. The driver was a nice man; the cab was nice too, but too crowded, in my mind. The cab driver did not know where our house was. So it took us a while to get to our house. When we did get to our home the lady we are renting this house from was there and she showed us around then left. Then we unpacked and ate then wrote posts.

That was our day, a busy one.