I'm not bräve, just naïve...

Monday, August 29, 2005

3000 acres of sky

And that was the holiday that was...

My first few days away from Belfast after finishing work were very strange. My body took some time to adjust to the sudden drop of caffeine in my bloodstream; and my eyes expanded to take in a frameless view (no longer staring at a computer screen eight hours a day). The island of Muck was delightful: deserted, refreshing and stunningly beautiful. We lived the simple life in this cottage at the end of the single track road that crosses the small island, overlooking the sandy beaches of Gallanach.

We're now back in Belfast, preparing for the big move back to England. So much to pack, so many people to thank and say goodbye to... ;)


Sunday, August 14, 2005

the pint of no return

picture caption: ... we might possibly have been a bit tipsy by this stage.

A very big thank you to the dedicated crowd of Robinson McIlwaine who used my departure from the firm as an excuse for a heavy night out on Friday. I was really touched by the generosity of spirit of everyone who came along, and at the same time hate you all for the way my head felt the next day.

The photos from the night are online now, and you can find them here: http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/1681410 If you weren't there, well it was, you know, nothing special, just an unspecified number of pints, a meal I don't remember ordering, some unisex toilets, a bit of exploring around an unlocked and unfinished office building in the dark, avoiding a trip to Newgrange at 9am the next day and then a bit of jumping up and down in Whites Tavern with some burly Scotsmen in kilts. Just your average night out, really...

It's now Sunday morning, and I'm about to head to the Stena terminal in Belfast to catch the boat to Scotland. I'll be in the remotest part of the small isles for a fortnight, before one last weekend in NI.

See you soon,


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The end is nearing...

It's a sunny day in Belfast, and the clock seems to be ticking round faster than normal for me. Just three days left with my present employers, and then all hell breaks loose. Phones to disconnect, electricity accounts to transfer, internet connections to disconnect, bags and boxes to pack etc etc etc. aaaaaarrrghhhh...

Aside from all that hassle, I'm enjoying a pleasant week, coasting towards the finish. This week, long lost architecture-buddy Matt is over with his girlfriend and his brother for a few days r+r and s+s (shopping+sightseeing) in beautiful Belfast. Many thanks indeed to the Suffolk massive for our meal out last night too, sampling some fine Ulster cuisine (my mouth still waters at the thought of the way the meat just slipped off the bone of my lamb shank.... sorry folks, there's no way I'm ever going to become a veggie). I very much hope to be able to co-ordinate our diaries to catch up for Matt's reunion party in Sheffield in September.

Two days, six hours, fifty-three minutes to go...


Sunday, August 07, 2005

My car's just doubled in value

It turns out that my Saab's most desirable feature is not actually the Saab itself. The registration 'PIW 5660' turns out to worth more than the car.

So, if your initials are P.I.W. and you born on 5 June 1960, may I recommend you visit regtransfers.co.uk and have your credit card ready for the small sum of £750...


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

the part-ay is on

So the end is near. If you're in Belfast on Friday 12 August, please drop by all or part of my leaving celebrations.

Drinks from 1700hr at the Duke of York, Commercial Court.

Meal at 1830hr for 1900hr at Ba Soba, Hill Street.

And thence to some sleazy dive...


Monday, August 01, 2005

a rendezvous in a ruined abbey

Happy birthday BMM... just back from a wonderful weekend in deepest Pembrokeshire, where I managed to travel all the way from Belfast (taxi, bus, plane, car etc) to Wales without a certain birthday girl twigging my plans. It was all made possible with the collusion of Bea's mum, and a couple of flights on Air Wales (this photo, incidentally, was taken on my way down, during the first flight I've taken when I've been facing backwards...)

Beatrice is in St. Dogmael's with her brother as part of the orchestra for the Oxford-based Abbey Player's annual Shakespeare production, set within the ruins of the abbey in this small village, about 1km from Cardigan. While I was there rehersals were in full swing for the four open air performances taking place later this week. Due to work commitments, I couldn't get there for the play itself :( but if you can make it between Wednesday 3 and Saturday 6 August 2005, I strongly recommend this year's production, which is Romeo and Juliet.

You can find out more about the production here.