Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Missing in Action

Our beautiful cat is missing. Last seen first thing on Sunday morning and we are beginning to panic. Cuddles has always been fond of his home comforts (this is a cat who runs in from the rain and stand still until someone drys him with a towel) and was definitely home for bedtime every night, but over the last couple of weeks, he has been staying out late and coming home not hungry. Now he seems to be gone altogether and we're not sure if he's been catnapped by another family, gone off on the tear now that he's reached his teenage cat years, or worse... Am planning to leaflet the local area, here's hoping he turns up soon, he is so very much missed.

Monday, 26 February 2007

The Victoria Grocery

This very faded old shop sign is painted at the back of a shop on the Cregagh Road. I've seen a few of these old signs in the brickwork of older buildings around this area - I'm not sure exactly when they date from, but they're a nice reminder of the past.

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Come to Ulster

This poster hangs on the wall of one of my favourite local cafes.
I'm not sure if it is an original poster or a print (it looks fairly authentic, but is too high up on the wall to get a really good look). The original poster dates from the early 1930s, produced by the Ulster Tourist Development Association (forerunner of the NITB), encouraging vistors from GB. I really like this poster as it is beautiful and harks back to a time when Northern Ireland must have seemed like a pretty idyllic holiday destination. Hopefully, with the positive political changes over the last few years, and increased interest in Northern Ireland as a tourist destination, our visitor numbers will continue to grow.

Friday, 23 February 2007

Not a day for going out

Oh dear, just when I thought spring had arrived, we get this sort of weather...

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Georgian Terrace

Corner of Hamilton Street and Joy Street in the Markets area, Belfast City Centre.
These Georgian terraces are some of only a few remaining in Belfast. Having fallen into severe disrepair during the 1970s and 80s, these buildings were almost demolished but were restored by Hearth and are now back in use as family homes.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Soda Bread

If the Ulster Fry is our national meal, then this, I guess is the quick, on-the-run version. Bacon, egg and sausage, all fried and served in soda bread. Not very healthy - but, judging by the number of cafes in town selling it- a very popular breakfast. Soda bread is lovely however, especially when very fresh. It is quick to make and a good bread for anyone avoiding yeast. Recipe at the link below: http://www.europeancuisines.com/Peters-Mums-Soda-Bread-Recipe Or, a healthier, brown soda version at : http://www.bibliocook.com/archives/2005/11/irish_brown_sod.html

Monday, 19 February 2007

Lion Dancers

There was such a crowd at St Georges, I couldn't get close enough to take a photograph of the Lion Dancers (all I could see was the back of other people's heads!), but here they are, packing up their costumes afterwards.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Year of the Pig

Chinese New Year was celebrated in Belfast today with a special event at St George's Market - dragon dancers, musicians etc., chinese food stalls and lots of entertainment for children (face painting, mask making etc.)

Saturday, 17 February 2007


A cold Saturday afternoon, Belfast city centre is thronged with shoppers.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Wig Shop

Down in Dublin today, and this wig shop caught my eye in the way into the city centre from Connolly Train Station.
The name of the shop really made me laugh -it is such an Irish thing to say.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007


Stuck in the house today with a sore throat, so no photographs taken. This photo was taken in Donegal last autumn.

Monday, 12 February 2007


Here is proof that tourists do actually come to Belfast! - two tour buses waiting in Castle Place. These tours cover the city centre, the docks, the university area, and the Falls and Shankill Roads.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Nine Cats at a Castle

These cats live in the Cat Garden at Belfast Castle. As you'll see from the plaque (top picture) a white cat has always lived at the Castle. These days, the white cat is picked out in snowdrops.

Saturday, 10 February 2007


View down through the main street in Hillsborough Village. Just a few miles outside Belfast, Hillsborough is a pretty village with a number of georgian style buildings. It is also home to Hillsborough Castle, home of the Secretary of State.

Friday, 9 February 2007

Elections looming...and a shameful statistic

This week election posters have started to appear on lamposts all over the city. Anna Lo is standing for the non-sectarian Alliance Party in our local assembly elections on 7th March and, as far as I am aware, is the first person from an ethnic minority background to stand on behalf of a mainstream political party in Northern Ireland elections. This has got to be a good thing for our country, especially in a week when a University of Ulster report has announced that Northern Ireland is the most racist country in the western world.

(No post yesterday as, for some reason, blogger wasn't letting me in.)

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Foggy Day

View from Stormont Park across Campbell College through to east Belfast. Another photo taken with my new TZ1.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Stone Cross

A cross carved from stone in a graveyard located in the north of Co. Donegal. The church nearby was in ruins, but the graveyard is still in use. The map of the area indicated that there was some rock art (carvings) in the area though we were unable to find it. Rock is always difficult to find because you have to be right beside it before you can see it. Another problem is the ever present moss which tends to cover anything that is stationary.

Monday, 5 February 2007


Parliament Buildings at Stormont, where, if they ever manage to agree to work together, our local politicians will form a new assembly after the elections scheduled for 7th March. In front of the Building is a statue of Lord Carson, the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland and a hero or villain depending on your viewpoint. In his earlier career as a leading barrister, he was also famous/notorious for successfully defending Lord Queensbury against Oscar Wilde's libel action - effectively leading to Wilde's arrest and imprisonment.
The smaller picture is of the long drive leading up to Parliament Buildings.

Sunday, 4 February 2007


This bronze sculpture, by Josefina de Vasconcellos, sits in the grounds of the Stormont Estate in east Belfast. Other casts of the sculpture can be found in the ruins of Coventry Cathedral, at the Berlin Wall Memorial and in the Hiroshima Peace Park. (This photograph is one of the first taken by my new TZ1 - with which I am delighted - quick to start up, very portable, and with a great zoom.)

Saturday, 3 February 2007

Down at the allotment

Taken by my husband this afternoon at his allotment. There isn't much growing at this time of the year, but as it has been such a mild winter I'm sure it won't be long before everything starts to take off. The allotments are a little patch of green in the middle of the city. At the extreme left of the photo you can see new flats - part of a massive development built over the last couple of years. The developers wanted to buy the allotment too, (offering new allotments outside the city and financial incentives) but the allotment holders refused to be bought and held on to their little piece of nature.

Friday, 2 February 2007


Into February now and the sales are still running. This camera shop has just started a winter sale, and there do seem to be some genuine bargains
- this TZ1 is even cheaper than Amazon's price. It looks like a great camera - amazing zoom for such a small body - does anyone know how well it performs?

Thursday, 1 February 2007

Love in the air

January over and all the florists have gone St Valentines' Day mad. This shop is promising to 'deliver passion'. I wonder if anyone will sue if their bunch of roses doesn't get the result required?