Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Merry Christmas

No white christmas in Belfast this year - but still a lovely clear frosty morning with a big moon in the sky. Merry Christmas everyone.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

santa's little helper

Spotted this today in M&S - a little stall set up in the underwear department to assist confused husbands (or to separate them from their hard earned cash, depending on your point of view). It reminds me of that episode of Father Ted where all the priests got lost in the largest lingerie department in Ireland...

Saturday, 15 December 2007


Well, IKEA has opened - and the expected crowds didn't turn up after all. It is a lovely store, massive (noticably bigger than the Edinburgh and Glasgow branches), though by Friday the lamp I wanted to buy was already sold out....

Friday, 14 December 2007

Christmas cheer

Sorry for the poor picture quality - I just snapped these two as I was walking through the city centre today. The man on the left is wearing a 'Crist died for our sins..' tabard, and the man on the right is dressed up as a chicken - for a Trocaire appeal. The juxtoposition made me laugh - especially as they both look so grumpy.

Monday, 10 December 2007

home from home

IKEA is opening its first Irish branch this Thursday - and there are reminders all over the city - advertising hoardings, leaflets etc. This room set appeared at the bus stop in Donegall Square West today. (I wish this lady had gone to sit on the settee, I'm sure she would have been much more comfortable.)

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Rush Hour

at Donegall Square West.

yet another view

of the big wheel, viewed from the other side of the City Hall.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Christmas Market

Has opened again in the City Hall Grounds. We visited it tonight and it was great to see Belfast City Centre full of families on a Saturday night.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

at the end of the rainbow

Is Goliath (or possibly Samson, I've never been able to tell the difference).

pink morning light

.......and mist lying along the River Lagan. This photo was taken on Thursday morning. Sorry for not posting for a few days - blogger seems to be on a go slow at the moment.

Monday, 12 November 2007


Not sure what to say about this shop in Belfast city centre. I really can't see that any city (and particularly not Belfast) needs a shop that sells swords, crossbows and, deactivated guns. Just horrible.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


Sweet little robin - I tried to get a little closer, but of course I stepped on a twig and the robin was gone..

Monday, 5 November 2007


A branch of Avoca has finally opened in Belfast. One for the ladies really - two stories of fabulous clothes, books, food and fripperies. And a lovely cafe (v good coffee cake).

Sunday, 4 November 2007

view from the top

Finally made it onto the big wheel today, for 15 minutes of stomach-churning terror... Actually, once the first turn of the wheel was over it wasn't too bad, and the views over the city were fantastic. That green bit in the bottom right hand corner of some of the photos is the partially turfed roof of the new Victoria Square Shopping Centre.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Halloween Night

Another attempt at uploading a video.... I missed the main fireworks display on Halloween night as I was out collecting my daughter from a party, but people were letting their own fireworks off late into the night - I took this film at about 11pm.


At Streamvale Farm.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Happy Halloween

From spooky Streamvale Farm.
I took this photo from inside the mouse barn - the mouse tank was decorated for the occasion with a little haunted house and even a severed arm. Very cute. Sadly you'll have to take my word for it - it was very dark inside and I didn't want to use a flash (I didn't want to frighten the little critters to death....)
For anyone with small children to entertain, Streamvale is well worth a visit. The main farm is closed for the winter, but you can still visit lots of the smaller animals - the chickens, sheep, goats, deer and these gorgeous bunnies. (This is my first attempt at loading video onto Blogger -I hope it works.)

Saturday, 27 October 2007

The wheel really cheers up the Belfast skyline - especially at night.

Friday, 26 October 2007


Not yet Halloween but all the local shops are starting to decorate their windows for christmas. These lovely little tin boxes are on sale in a local interiors store (£21 each - for empty boxes!!)

Wednesday, 24 October 2007


All the pods are now on the big wheel. It looks great, can't wait to have a go.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Belfast Eye

The 'Belfast Eye' is going up at a cracking pace - I took the first photo this morning, the second in the afternoon. (I see Dr Adder has beaten me to this post!)

Friday, 19 October 2007

city centre

Another view of the Victoria Centre dome - I took this photo from my bedroom window this morning. Behind it you can see the new spire at St Anne's Cathedral. I've been finding it hard to get excited about the spire, but it did look good this morning - really glittering in the sunlight.

Sunday, 14 October 2007


The dome of the new Victoria shopping centre looms over the victorian buildings on Chichester Street.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Templemore Pool

Commemorative plaque at the entrance to Templemore Baths. The baths were built at the end of the 19th century (along with baths at Ormeau Avenue, Falls Road and Peter's Hill), when very few houses had bathrooms. (Doesn't bear thinking about.) Since then, generations in east Belfast have learnt to swim here and Templemore now has really excellent swimming tuition. (I see from the plaque that James Ellis and George Best both swam here - along with pretty much everyone else in East Belfast - which makes me wonder why no reference to Van Morrison? He grew up only about half a mile away - surely he went for a swim sometime in his childhood??!)

Saturday, 6 October 2007

harvest fair

Held in our local church hall this morning. All under one roof - lots of games, a wishing well (with actual elf), a chance to have your photograph taken on a tractor (quite an attraction for us city folks) and as much tea and coffee as you can drink - not bad for £1 entrance fee!

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Cinderella's lost her shoe again

Another discarded silver shoe - again in Queen Street. (Queen Street is obviously a lot more interesting out of office hours.)
And today the BBC has published my favourite local news story of the year - certainly the silliest title I've seen for a long time...

Saturday, 29 September 2007

an enchanted evening

Enchanted Evenings are held every autumn at Botanic Gardens. For four nights the Gardens are open at night and full of families with lanterns, light-sticks, fairy wings... We're just back from a wonderful evening meeting pixies, Sean Connery the dragon, and the tree lady (above).

Tuesday, 25 September 2007


Construction has started on the new Fitzwilliam Hotel, in the narrow strip between the Opera House extension and the bottom of the Grosvenor Road. Apparently this hotel will have 131 rooms - I can't imagine how they are going to be fitted into this strip. Perhaps they'll look like this. In any case, this view of the mountain will vanish.

Friday, 21 September 2007

This stiltwalker was haranguing shoppers at yesterday's official opening of Marks&Spencer's main Belfast store, after months and months of refurbishment.

Monday, 17 September 2007

ugly building...

Really ugly. This block of offices/flats has been thrown up on the site of the old Victoria Centre on Chichester Street. Given that it is right beside the new flagship Victoria Square shopping centre, you'd think someone could have tried a little harder. (The oddest thing about this building is that no matter what angle you look at it from, it looks slightly off-balance. )

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

bird on the bellsbridge bus

This blackbird (?) sat on the bus stop sign this morning for at least 15 minutes (certainly until my bus - heading in the other direction - finally arrived). Maybe he was waiting for a bus too - tired wings maybe? As a regular user/victim of the slow torture that is Belfast's bus service, I think he'd be better off flying.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Bank of Ireland

This art deco building at the top of Royal Avenue used to house a branch of the Bank of Ireland. It is now lying empty - I've no idea what is being planned for the building, but hopefully it won't be ruined by any future development.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

One last photo from Rome before I return to rainy old Belfast. This nun was shopping in Testaccio - her carrier bag caught my eye. I wonder what she bought?

Wednesday, 5 September 2007


Back from a wonderful holiday in Rome.

We stayed in Testaccio, a really lovely area, just south of the Aventine Hill, not too touristy with lots of really good (and very inexpensive) restaurants, and within easy walking distance of the city centre.

Testaccio has a fantastic market.

This stall sold only tomatoes - there were at least 15 different varieties available.

Of course, like in any market, there were stalls devoted to selling general tat.

Outside Volpetti, a fantastic (but very expensive) delicatessen just down the street from the flat we rented on the Via Marmorata.
I liked the name of this shop.....I guess this is all you need really.

Clearing up after the market in Campo di Fiori.

Cafe on the Piazza Navona.

I'll freely admit that we spent most of our time scoffing excellent pizza and industrial quantities of gelato, but we did manage to visit some of the sights ....
The Colosseum

and the Pantheon