Saturday, 30 January 2010

Driving back home

I love the drive back from Ballymena. Babyshambles and Dirty Pretty Things were blasting and I was looking out the window at the enormous yellow and full moon and the Northern Ireland countryside flashing by. 

Such great moments!
We stopped in at Ginger Root for an Indian takeaway, which was the perfect (almost ending) to a really good day.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

~ better ~

So, the last few days, I’ve been pretty mean to myself. There’s no reason for it and it’s not healthy, so I’ve decided to just stop it.

And so, I pulled on my jeans and (Lee's) jumper and left the apartment with a slice of toast and headed off into the city for nothing in particular. I walked randomly for two hours amongst all the shoppers and people on their lunch breaks and those with places to go to. I walked with purpose to nowhere.

My shoes rubbing holes into my toes, I sat down besides St Annes Cathedral by the colourful painted buoys and watched the students going by.

I sat by the Lagan too and listened to some sweet and sappy songs before walking back in the direction of home.

With a much improved frame of mind, I think may become semi articulate again, slightly more coherent and less hysterical and unbalanced.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Ireland Albion

We listened to lots of Libertines and Babyshambles this weekend, what with having gone to see Pete play at Mandela Hall, then just continuing with the theme and listening in the car. Walking through Belfast in the week and listening to ‘Albion’ I realized it’s just not the same in Ireland, but hearing him play it at the concert made it seem somehow a little bit better. Driving home from Ballymena and it came on and I was feeling pretty darn great.

We had our early morning trip to Randalstown to see our wedding photographer and realizing it was so pretty and I couldn’t possibly dislike the town despite kind of wanting to.

We’ve had Lee’s friend staying in our spare room for the last few days. Aidan is the chef at Café Vaudeville and when we mentioned going for dinner he made a booking for us. It was my first time there, it’s gorgeous and charming with the bellhops at the front door, enormous chandeliers and pretty décor.

We had a steady stream of starters coming out one after the other, the bread and olives, the duck spring rolls and smoked haddock risotto followed by our beef short rib and vegetables with a side of chunky chips…and wine, lovely lovely wine.

We went to the Garrick down the road when the kitchen closed and were later joined by Aiden and more kitchen and waiting staff.

I was pretty much aware and conscious of my glasses but I think I (mostly) held it together…just one small incident with a mild panic attack building up…the noise, the crowd…the beautiful blonde and skinny chef...

Standing by the bar, the tall and pale bloke next to me looks over and confides that he’s wearing his contact lenses.

I’m not even sure where that came from.

Some Doherty

We went to see Pete again. It was the rescheduled concert from last year when he was in hospital with alleged exhaustion. We stood upstairs to avoid the crowd stamping on Lee’s fractured foot and it provided a great position for photographs and actually seeing the stage at all, which is kind of the point if you ask me…

Pete was supported by Adam from his Babyshambles and another bloke with big poofy (poofy as in big, not poefy as in a bit gay) hair and some awful woman who got booed. And rightly so.

Pete was late coming out and we suspect it may have been due to a spillage of something on his suit, because the usual snappy dresser was dressed in an ugly suit which looked as though he may have borrowed it from his (fat?) manager. That or he went missing and had to be found, ‘cos we had to wait long for him to come out! But he seemed in pretty good shape and managed to play and sing. And was coherent.
It was just him on the stage with his ballerinas and the ocassional fan who managed to breach the security and jump up and sing along side Pete before been dragged back down again. ‘cept for the one guy who managed to get on stage then dive back into the crowd again. For which he was congratulated.
The crowd was nuts and security wasn't all that good, and I was half expecting a riot. The Belfast crowd was nothing like the calm and well behaved Camden crowd.

We ended our night with pizzas from Little Italy (the best pizza in Belfast) and beer in the living room.

This really makes me laugh every time I read it.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Lost and found

I had to decide today not to wear my contact lenses. It’s not an easy decision to make, but I had to put my glasses back on again, suck it up and stop being so damn vain. It’s resulted in a wee bout of self consciousness and doubt. But it’s not forever. And no one cares if I wear glasses or not. It’s just me. And probably Lee [though he still thinks I'm pretty].

I may plan a trip past Spec Savers and see what (less geeky) frames I can get, just to soften the blow a bit.

Fecking pride.

On a positive, I found my gloves and have resolved to lovingly stitch them up where the wool has come apart from my engagement ring wearing a hole through the seam. I may give them a wash too…

Oh, and another positive! I think my compulsive exercises might have begun to pay off…my wee belly is definitely looking wee-er. Hooray for fabulous-ness.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Somewhere to go

After cleaning the apartment this morning I pulled on my coat and mittens and took a walk up towards the Lisburn Road. I was way early for my appointment and so I detoured past the Botanic Gardens and the Ulster Museum.

Walking through the city…wearing my new(ish) brown and purple checkered coat, ‘old man’ hat and jeans, I felt good, almost rock star again, despite the removal of my eyebrow ring and (hopefully temporary) loss of my ‘rock star’ gloves.

I wish I could find them!

It was lovely having somewhere to go to, some direction to walk in…even if it was just a registration doctors appointment.

I need to get out more, and I've been inspired.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Sunday, 17 January 2010

The falls and Shankill

Lee drove me to the Falls Road today, so I could photograph some murals. I found myself up that way when I first arrived in Belfast in 2008, but that was ages ago now.


We went passed The Shankill road too, where there were some less colourful pictures, but nicer than the East Belfast variety.

I do, I do, I do....

I love the internet, I love the wealth of information which is so so easily available. I love social networking, photographs, emails and news and weather, and clearly blogging, and how easy it is to press ‘publish’ and anyone who knows me, and some who don’t can read what I’m thinking, feeling and doing. I’m not even anonymous…that much is obvious from phrases typed into popular search engines across this United Kingdom. They make me smile.

I do love the internet. Every so often, I have to remind myself of that.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Back to the bars

Lee came home yesterday with news of an outing with work folk, so after we supper-ed we dressed and took a walk into the city and back to the Crown Bar. We didn’t get one of those cool booths this time, and sat by the bar amongst all the old men in their long black coats.

We also did the customary stops at Kelly’s Cellars and Maddens, since that was where it all begun, and just ‘cos they’re charming and Irish and all kinds of awesome.

The meeting of work people went excellently. New friends in Irish bars and lots of Guinness and Baileys makes for an awesome night and I went home happy and excited…ate all the supper left overs and passed right out.

I can’t keep up with the Irish people.

Oooooh…so much to look forward to, and I’m so excited!!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Shopping in the city :)

It’s not been an awesome day…no day ever can be what starts out at the A&E at stupid o’clock…fractured bones and what resembled a massacre in a horror movie, only more bloody. Thankfully, I think it’ll be okay.


So the weekend was pretty good anyway. We took a walk to the Crown Bar, ‘cos it’s pretty and touristy and really really lovely. We sat in one of those booths and closed the door and drank our Guinness and wondered if pushing the button on the wall would blow up the Europa (’tis the most bombed hotel in Europe, so they say) across the road. I was too shy to take photos (fear of looking like a tourist) so I had to take this one from the website.

We also stopped at White’s Tavern before heading home in the snow.

Yesterday Lee’s mum, his wee sister and I took a walk to the city and we found bridesmaid dresses, shoes and other wedding-y stuff(s). We were so organized and afterwards we lunched on baked potatoes, lattes and cake.

And that’s okay because I’ve been really rather good with the eating less and exercising more endeavour.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

A snowy white world

With three and a half months until the wedding, I figured I still have some time to tone up a bit and with any luck fight the belly monster. I’ve signed up on and have started tracking what I eat as well as my (feeble) attempts at exercise.

I’ve started by eating all the Pringles and Quality Streets so that in the days to follow I might do better. You know, 'waste not, want not' and all that…

The snow finally fell in Belfast. I opened up the living room sliding window and caught the snowflakes while they were coming down rather heavily.
England and Scotland are pretty much panicked by the amounts of snow they’re having…and Belfast can only manage half a centimetre. Still, it’s lovely and pretty and white :)

 Our apartment building in the snow and a snowy parking lot.

Monday, 4 January 2010


A couple of things happened today. I got up early 'cos there was much to do (of the boring house work-y variety). I did lots, I cleaned, changed the bedding, washed, scrubbed, pottered and sorted out my drawers. I got my delivery I was expecting too...the first of the wedding dresses to try on! It's lovely, but hard to tell without having tried on others. There's still time :)

...and today I took out my eyebrow ring.

It's been a good six months and I shall miss it terribly. I miss it already. I have lots of pictures to remember it by as well as the scar that'll no doubt stay with me. I did love it.

 I just keep holding it and turning it over and over.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Twenty Ten begins

Twenty ten arrived to find us drinking bubbly with Jools Hollands Hootenany on the telly dancing and holding hands to Auld Lang Syne scanning the skyline for fireworks.

Just me and Lee. It was a cozy little party of the two of us. There were no resolutions made besides getting married this year. That we've resolved to do. Given a bit of time, I'm sure I'll resolve to do a few more things too. Things like explore more of Northern Ireland, go for more walks and take more photographs, ooh, and read more books...good ones. Of the proper literary kind. Oh yes, and save up enough so we can go to the Maldives on honeymoon :) So I'm done for resolutions for now!