Sunday 22 February 2009

Bite Size Belfast

Despite the fact I have had only about 5 hours sleep in the last 2 days I am a happy and contented auntie.

Belfast was lovely, small, friendly and easy to get round, my kind of place. We did a fair old bit of the eating and the drinking and the sightseeing. We went to the Shankhill Road ( very protestant and British) and the Falls Road (very Catholic and Irish) to see some of the murals and I've taken masses of pictures of them but have restrained myself from posting them all.

To get from Shankhill Road to Falls Road we walked along Northumberland Avenue, which looks like a very nondescript road bordering industrial units. The thing that makes this one different is the fact that it has 50 feet high impenetrable metal gates with barbed wire atop which are used to separate the Shankhill from the Falls during the marching season. They regularly have to close the road to stop the 2 estates fighting. This may seem incredulous to some readers but in Belfast, Catholics and Protestants still fight over religion.

Coming from Glasgow as I do, I am well aware of bigotry and it's a very strange thing to try and explain and comprehend. I grew up Catholic but married a Protestant and I had to change faith. I have no wish to offend anyone's beliefs so I've tried to be careful what images I show. It was an unsettling walk

After a lovely Starbucks visit, where they gave us free have a drink on us vouchers to come back, how good is that ? We spent a wee whiley exploring the University quarter, which is really lovely, great little bars, restaurants and cafes and of course the very beautiful Queens University.

Quick shower and change then out for the evening. Many thanks to The Dotterell for this tip

And then on to the real reason for the visit

When I got home I found children all well, ex husband had done the ironing and had made me a pot of soup and I'd had a delivery when I was away.

So to my lovely friend, who sent me these flowers because they knew I've been down and having a hard time, I thank you most sincerely. My friends are the best and I do appreciate it. Like I always say, I AM a lucky, lucky girl.


DAB said...

Welcome back to the Land of Milk and Honey. Ex husband - ironing? Send him my way. So you're all fresh and ready for work then? Groan!!! Glad you had a fab time m'dear :) TFx

Neil said...

Hey... you can see that song live in Falkirk on Friday ;)

Tim Atkinson said...

And you did have a Guinness there, I take it?

Frankies' Cornish Farmyard Ramblings said...

Bloody hell auntie, can't even get the current hubhby to iron, you truly are a lucky girl. I got fed up with going away as nobody does a thing to help!

Anonymous said...

Aww sounds lovely. Yay!

Laura said...

Glad you had a great time, nothing like seeing a fave band to cheer you up. Loved the Mural photo's.

Dusty Spider said...

Thanks for sharing your trip with us auntie. Your description of Shankill and the Falls was very interesting. Glad you had a lovely time. flick xx

Dusty Spider said...

I have an award for you over at my place, comes with a task of course but you can't have everything! xxx

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you enjoyed yourself - you needed a bit of that huh?
Welcome back xx

Nota Bene said...

Wish I had an ex to do my ironing! Hope the Killers was a killer gig! As an Englishman, I felt evry, very uncomfortable in Belfast...and the bigotry made my skin crawl...
...lovely flowers! Oh and another exclamation mark because I seem to be putting them everywhere!!!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Glad you are feeling better and lucky too - What beautiful roses, beautiful Auntie Gwennie!

Those pics of Belfast were very, very interesting, thankyou! x

indigo16 said...

By a bizarre twist of fate both my current and previous partner worked in Belfast at the same time! I went to stay with my current partner a few years ago and LOVED it. Isn't it lovely. We too drove down The Shankill road but I did not go to the Catholic side. Like you I was amazed at how the division is so obvious but most bizarre of all were the painted curb stones.
Glad you had a good time worth the lack of sleep!

auntiegwen said...

TF - oh yes the ex h is a whizz at the ironing, work bleaurghhhhhhh!

Neil - the things people'll do to entice a girl to Falkirk !

Tim - Ah the Irish Guiness !!!

Frankie - my ex h is the only one who helps, the children certainly don't !

Lisa - it's great just getting away, isn't it ?

Lolly - you should go to Falkirk and see Neil's band on Friday, they'll sing "All these Things" for you ! and you're a lot nearer

Flick - thank you kindly me dear, I've done my tag xx

Pen - I so did need it, I'm only back and I need it again ! xx

NB - yep, the bigotry truly awful and thank you, the flowers were beautiful

Fhina - why thank you, not that my photos are anywhere near your standard ! I was very touched by the flower sending gesture, I have very lovely friends

Alison - yep, the painted kerb stones are so bizarre ! but I do still love Ireland and it's mass of contradictions

scrappysue said...

sounds like a great trip! i'd love to visit ireland some day