Saturday, 31 March 2007

the Lorne Walk

Brownies, Rainbows and Girlguides from all over NI took part in the annual Lorne Walk today. The older girl guides walked for 10 miles from Bangor, but the Brownies, including the troupe my daughter belongs to, walked a 5 mile route from Crawfordsburn Country Park to Lorne House in Craigavad.

Friday, 30 March 2007

I'm told that this shop (that is really just the front room of a house) has been on the Woodstock road since the 2nd world war years. The old lady who runs it is finally retiring tomorrow, so I'm afraid the inhabitants of the Cregagh area are just going to have to go and buy their socks and pants in Marks & Spencer like everyone else!

Thursday, 29 March 2007

The snow has long gone and the hills around the city look a lot more spring-like. These photographs were taken at around 8.00am this morning.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Reflections in a mirrored panel at Forestside shopping centre.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

A lovely sunset, with a view over to west Belfast.

Monday, 26 March 2007

In the last couple of months there has been an influx of eastern european street musicians into Belfast. Some of them, including this accordion player who works in Fountain Street, are really accomplished.
There is one big story in NI today, viewable here . Here's hoping it all works out.....

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Another wonderful spring day - with masses of daffodils on display here in Victoria Park.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

This is what happens if you don't pay your road tax....
The DVLA are really cracking down on unlicenced vehicles at the moment, and we came across this today - an unlicenced car that had been clamped, and now was being impounded. I guess the owner is going to get a nasty shock when they go to look for it.

Friday, 23 March 2007

Skater girls

After the snow earlier this week, spring seems to have arrived and today has been cool, but beautiful, with a gorgeous blue sky. Great to see children playing outside - my daughter and her cousin had a great time today, rollerskating in Ormeau Park in the late afternoon sunshine.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

the Albert Clock

Belfast's very own leaning tower, the Albert Memorial Clock is a memorial to Queen Victoria's husband. It was built on reclaimed marshland by the river Farset - which is presumably why it now leans more than four feet off the vertical.
The immediate area around the Albert Clock was once notorious as a place for prostitutes. But the whole area has now been (literally and metaphorically) cleaned up, and adjoins Customs House Square, a popular venue for family and musical events.

Monday, 19 March 2007

white mountains

These photographs were taken early this morning from my bedroom window. (They look better if you click to bring up to full screen size. ) The top photo is of the Cave Hill and Belfast City Centre (with Ravenhill Rugby Ground in the foreground), and the second is of Divis mountain and west Belfast. The snow seems to be vanishing already.....but more is predicted for later in the day.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!
I'm feeling very lucky - got this wonderful card, a poem, and some homemade buns....

Saturday, 17 March 2007

St Patrick's Day

It's a tradition here that the weather on St Patrick's day will set the tone for the rest of the year.
If St Patrick 'turns the stone' on the warm side, then we hope for a good summer. But, oh dear, he has obviously turned the stone on the cold side today - we've had a really cold blustery day, with snow threatened for tomorrow.
There was an open air St Patrick's day concert in town this afternoon, but I think most people probably stayed inside watching the finals of the rugby. Ireland had a convincing victory over Italy, but congratulations go to France - who have won the 6 Nations on points.

Friday, 16 March 2007

Belfast Movie

A little excitement in the city centre yesterday as a film crew, including Holywood actress Heather Graham, began filming a new romantic comedy 'Beg, Borrow, Steal'.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Red Nose Day

Tomorrow is Red Nose Day. The city centre will be full of people in fancy dress brandishing collecting tins......but all for a very good cause.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007


Like all cities, Belfast has a lot of fly-posting. I don't mind it in the city centre, at least its colourful. But I've definitely reached the age where I don't know who any of the musicians on the posters are...

Monday, 12 March 2007


Northern Ireland is still a fairly religious place - certainly in comparison to the rest of the UK, and you often come across businesses with religious names - such as this fruit shop. I've also seen Bethany chip shops...

Sunday, 11 March 2007


A contrast to yesterday's photo of Marie Curie Volunteers, Chuggers (professional street fundraisers) are a daily sight on the streets of Belfast city centre. Most work through an agency on a salary/commission basis to try to get passers-by to sign up to pay monthly direct debits to various charities. Public opinion on this type of collection is divided - their approach is undoubtedly very successful for the charities they work for, but a lot of people find their approach very 'hard-sell'.


Friday, 9 March 2007

The Great Daffodil Appeal

Marie Curie Cancer Care - a charity that provides specialist nursing care for cancer patients - is holding fundraising events and collections throughout March, and this pair were collecting (and handing out sweeties) on the Cregagh Road this morning.
PS. The election results are almost all in now, with no big surprises - the DUP and Sinn Fein have been the big winners. Good to see that Anna Lo was elected in South Belfast.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Polling Day

Outside a primary school, being used as a polling station in East Belfast. Lots of primary schools were transformed into polling stations for the day - I'm sure the pupils and teachers were all delighted to get a day off.
Results of the Assembly election will start to come in around lunchtime tomorrow, although as the electoral procedure is complicated, with a lot of recounts, the full list of results probably won't be known until Saturday morning.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Election Eve

Our latest Assembly elections take place tomorrow, and if our parties actually manage to agree to work together, this is where the Assembly will meet - Parliament Buildings at Stormont. (An awfully big government building for a very small country.)

Sunday, 4 March 2007

the Europa

The Europa Hotel in Great Victoria Street.
Belfast's most famous hotel, its location - right in the centre of town - gained it the dubious distinction of being the most bombed hotel in Europe (during the troubles, it was bomb damaged on more than 30 occasions). Many famous visitors have stayed here - Bill Clinton has been a guest twice.

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Evening Sun

Late afternoon sun and a lovely sky, taken today at Belvoir Park Forest.
There are bird feeders hanging in the trees by the car park and I stopped by for a look as there are usually lots of birds and squirrels around here. I thought I saw a squirrel, but when I zoomed in....a big brown rat!

Friday, 2 March 2007


Well, our lost boy is home again.
It turns out he was spending his days with a near neighbour (less than 100 metres away!) and her cats. We aren't sure where he was sleeping at night, but as you can see from the photo he certainly doesn't seem to have come to any harm! We've been advised to ground him for two weeks - apparently that's how long it takes to break a cat behaviour. So, he's spent all of today in the house, and apart from a few scratches at the window, he's been fine - here he is basking on his favourite sheepskin rug. We're now thinking of getting a second cat as company for him, although maybe that will just mean two cats to worry about...

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Child Labour

I see that this month's theme is 'Men at Work'. I still haven't worked out how to register for here is the best I could come up with. My daughter is currently very keen on helping with the housework - do you think this will last?