A local radio presenter had recently highlighted a hidden village as a place of interest to visit in Northern Ireland amongst other locations. This was a hidden village dating back to the mid 20th century. I am from Northern Ireland and have seen many of the tourist attractions here, however, I had never even heard of this place. This was extremely exciting to hear of a new place to visit, more so, as not many people have visited here as it’s off the beaten track. Today was the day to visit this fantastic location!
Known as Galboly, this little village along the Antrim coast was inhabited from the 1800s to the 1960s by people who made a living from the land and the sea. It was once home to about 60 people but by 1950 only a few people remained. By 2013 only one man still remained in the village, a monk who lived there until his death. I found the information from this site here very helpful.
Reading this piece made me want to visit the village even more! Thankfully this article provides very good directions and with the help of google maps and a couple of locals at the coffee shop, we found our way there.
After parking the car on the side of the road, we walked through the gate and ascended the steep track up into the mountains. This is what you imagine rural Ireland to be all about. It has a very ‘Star Wars meets Game of Thrones’ feel, which coincidentally, was a filming location for some Game of Thrones scenes.
Take a look at my photos below and please let me know your thoughts? Have you ever visited a hidden village before? This was definitely a first for me and it was absolutely magical!!!
We bumped into a local farmer on our descent who still owns the land. I asked him if it bothered him that tourists were now visiting frequently. For him, it was a mix of emotions. On the one hand, he and his family were glad to see people, as they had never really had much interaction with others before and on the other hand, they do not want too much activity on their land. I can completely understand this and I really hope that people do not tarnish the area or its wildlife. It is SUCH a special place that deserves to be respected.
I feel very fortunate to be able to say that, yes, I do very much remember life before the internet. I remember the first time I was exposed to the internet. I was 15 or 16 years old and in school we had weekly computer lessons. We were taught about the internet and how to type in a web address to search for a specific topic. Typing in www. for the first time was very surreal and I couldn’t believe we could look up anything at all on the World Wide Web and find information on that subject . It wasn’t until a year or 2 later that we had dial up internet installed in our family home. We would hear the internet dialling up every time someone wanted to go online and you would have to ensure no one else at home was using the phone. The amount of times I heard my parents say “get off the phone” when they were trying to connect to the internet!
What do I remember before the internet?
– Having to use a map and asking people for directions if I needed to go somewhere. There was no google maps in my growing up.
– Playing outdoors until the sun went down.
– Using pay phones to contact your friends or family when you were out and to make arrangements about where and when to meet up.
– Reading all the time. I was obsessed with books growing up, not so much anymore sadly.
– Visiting the local library, a lot!
– Having to visit a travel agent to book a holiday. Hard to believe as it is so convenient now to just book a quick flight online.
– Looking at cook books for cooking inspiration.
– Attending the bank in person to lodge money with my lodgement book.
– Making photo albums with real photos and in real albums.
– Writing to pen pals from countries near and far.
– Using a typewriter, this was such a novelty for me to type and then I progressed to the next level…
– My Commodore 64. My first computer where you could paint, play games and type in different fonts, even before the internet had entered my life.
Ok that’s my lot for tonight. That’s plenty but I’m sure there are many more things to remember. How about you? Do you remember life before the internet? It’s quite sad that the new generations will not know life before the internet.
I STRONGLY dislike cold weather and here are my reasons why –
1 – I don’t like the sensation of feeling cold, I find it extremely uncomfortable. Have you ever washed your hands in freezing cold weather and it’s been painful?!
2 – I feel like I can’t think straight, which is actually a biological trait for when you are really cold, your cognitive function slows down or becomes sluggish.
3 – It affects my mood. I don’t necessarily feel down about the cold weather, I just know that when I’m warm I feel much better in myself and everyone seems to be in a better mood around me too. It’s been proven that people are happier in warmer climates.
4 – Goosebumps. I just don’t like them, even though I know they’re just trying to do their job and keep me warm.
5 – Clothing. I prefer not having to wear more clothing in the colder weather, i.e. coat, hat, scarf, gloves. Plus it’s more expensive! Furthermore, I have been scarred from having to wear woolly jumpers as a child, the itching would drive me insane.
6 – The price of oil and gas. I love having a warm home but it is so expensive to keep your place warm, more so recently with the ever increasing prices. Many people are having to live in cold homes due to the inability to afford fuel.
7 – Dangerous. Snow, sleet and ice can cause a lot of issues, especially when you have to drive.
As you can clearly see, I am not a huge fan of cold weather. However, I can appreciate that it’s not the worst thing if you are prepared and it can be very pretty to look at. I was recently in New Zealand at winter time and it was absolutely stunning! I can also appreciate winter fashion, especially when I’ve been wearing shorts and T-shirts for the past few years, however, I will always pick that over winter clothing.
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of fantastic doors. This week I took a look in my archive from doors taken in Northern Ireland a few years ago, just before I left for Australia. It’s funny to look back at my old photos and realise I have loved doors for many years now without even realising it. Please let me know if you have a favourite this week.
My favourite this week is number four. It’s extremely quaint and I do appreciate a red door! Can you believe next week will be my 50th post showcasing my favourite weekly doors? I need to create something special for next week 😅, so stay tuned!
The Balmoral Show is a four day extravaganza that happens every year in Northern Ireland (with a break during covid times). It is the official agricultural event in the country and also the oldest, with the first show having been held in 1872. It offers the chance for people all over the country to come together and be involved in farming exhibitions, competitions, championships , sample local cuisine and check out the farming fashion.
As a child and teenager, I had been to this show many times. As part of the school curriculum, our classes of pupils were taken here yearly for a day out. We all loved it, the chance to roam free (from teachers) through all the stalls on offer, see the variety of animals on show, marvel at the sheer amount of tractors, see what it is like to a part of the farming world, try the different food stalls and collect as many freebies as we could, mostly pens!! (we would see who could obtain the most).
I had always wanted to return as an adult and see if the magic was still alive and to my delight, it really was! The event was previously held in the King’s Hall but is now held outside Lisburn at the Eikon Exhibition Centre at Balmoral Park. Luckily for us we could walk to the venue and I was super grateful as the traffic was pretty busy and you had to pay for parking (crazy considering the ticket prices were £25 each). On display were numerous stalls with local food, gifts, clothing etc. We were able to watch some sheep competitions, dressage, horse jumping and quad bike jumping. There was so much more on offer and with your map (given on entry), you can plan your day with what you want to see and do.
Have a look at my highlights below from spending the day at the Balmoral Show and please let me know if you have anything like this where you are from or would something like this be of interest to you. I would love to know!
Thank you all for taking the time to read my post, I was delighted to be able to attend the show this year and thrilled to share a little of my day with you all. Have a great week everyone.
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of local doors. My entries for this week are from a town called Newry in Co.Down, Northern Ireland, close to the border with Ireland. I have been here a lot over the past few weeks and have enjoyed coming across some new and beautiful doors. I hope you like them as much as I do and let me know if you have a favourite this week.
For me this week, I kept the best for last. I love number 6 for its colour and regal appearance. The archway, pillars on either side and transom window really make the door pop! What do you think?
I have to say I really do love emojis. I know, I know, they are not too popular here in the blogging world and that’s ok. I do try to keep them to a minimum here but I do use them a lot in text messages or in my social media apps. Not everyone has to like them but for me, they add a bit of fun and colour, plus sometimes the one emoji can really some up your mood, rather than a few words. Find below some of my favourite emojis 👇🏼
😊 – you just can’t go wrong with a smiley face. This is my number one go to emoji and it often sums up my feelings as I’m a pretty happy person most of the time.
🙏🏼 – I always use this as a way of saying thank you or thank goodness if I’m worried about something. I don’t pray too often but I use this also if I am hoping something goes well.
– I am a big heart person and I use the hearts to show if I love or care for something or if I am thinking of someone. I love the different colours of the hearts 🖤🤎💜💙❤️🧡💚💛🤍 and at the moment this one is my favourite as it’s a new colour and my favourite colour is blue.
🤷🏼♂️ – This one is great if I have no idea about something. Used more than I care to admit too 🙈
✌🏽 – My signature sign off emoji especially on my blog as I think it’s cool and it’s the symbol of peace.
😂 – I love this emoji and use it A LOT. It sums me up to a tee and it’s great if you find something really funny.
Ok so these are my most used emojis but I love SO many more and I could be here all day so I won’t bore you with them all 😂.
What are your favourite emojis? I would love to hear what you all think.
I love this question as it is SO important to wind down after a hectic day, both for your physical and mental well-being. I have a few things that I do to unwind, sometimes all in one evening and other times maybe just one or two of these. See below my top five ways to unwind after a demanding day.
1 – Chat to my partner about how our day has been.
2 – Have a cup of tea.
3 – Take a warm shower.
4 – Go for an evening walk (delighted now with the light nights).
5 – Read some blog posts and / or catch up on social media.
I want to share this amazing town with you all that is situated right in the heart of Ireland. We were heading to a wedding in the nearby town of Glasson and decided to stay in Athlone due to the location to the wedding venue and this is where we managed to find a reasonably priced place to stay.
We stayed in the most amazing B’n’B called Riverdale House that I managed to find on Booking.com. This place has a lot of character, has a fantastic proximity to the town, delivers first rate breakfasts and has the best hosts that we had the absolute pleasure of meeting. To be honest, our hosts Neil and Avril made this stay so perfect for us here. They were unbelievably friendly and extremely knowledgeable of the local area. Not to sound over the top but we really enjoyed chatting to this lovely couple and learned a lot about Athlone from them. Excuse my ignorance but I had no idea we were in the centre of Ireland, despite driving there but I was absolutely amazed to be staying in the heart of Ireland. Also Neil gave us a few suggestions of places to check out, including Sean’s Bar that, not only is the oldest pub in Ireland but also the oldest pub in the world!!! As proven by the Guinness World Book of Records.
Of course we had to check out Sean’s Bar and I can see why it is so popular. Obviously it attracts a lot of tourists due to being the oldest bar but it also has a lot of character and charm, as well as selling the most delicious pints of Guinness. It was actually really lovely to see so many tourists in the pub, almost like pre covid times. Situated on Main Street, Athlone, you are right in the heart of the town where there are lots of restaurants, bars and cafes. It is also a really colourful and quaint area that is a complete feast for the eyes. Also a very popular spot for tourists, stag doos and hen parties.
After a couple of pints at Sean’s Bar, we were able to hop over and try an Italian restaurant nearby as we were really in the mood for a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine. Pavarotti’s was really delicious with a lovely warm ambiance and really friendly staff. Highly recommend!
You can also take a walk along the River Shannon, check out Athlone Castle and another cool place to visit for a drink is Dead Centre Brewing (sadly we didn’t have time to try here but was highly recommended, maybe next time). There is also a lovely park by the river to check out, some lovely art work in the town, impressive architecture, an abundance of shops over the bridge and beautiful scenery.
I hope from my photos you can gather an idea of what this stunning little town looks like and maybe one day you can also visit the heart of Ireland.
We loved our stay here in Athlone and would be delighted to return one day. Feeling very grateful for all these amazing places to visit within driving distance! Thank you all for taking a look at this blog post and I hope you all have a lovely Sunday.
Since being back in Northern Ireland I just haven’t had the time to attend the gym as much as I would like to.
I work long days here so by the time I arrive home, have dinner, take a shower, prepare for the next day, it’s time for bed again.
I would love more hours in the day so I can exercise and / or attend a gym class. It really makes me happy to be exercising, feeling fit and releasing those endorphins.
I’m hopeful now that I have moved house and am closer to work that I will have more time to exercise, be that the gym or even a long walk in the evening, especially now as the lighter nights are coming in. Roll on this weekend when our clocks spring forward 😊😊.
Happy Thursday from a very cold and snowy Northern Ireland. We are into our first week of spring here, so of course that means snow here! Without fail, we become excited when winter is over, only to be hit with a cold front. This happens year in year out, with the possibility of this right up until April and even May. I’m not sure why we are always surprised by this!!
For this reason, my doors for this week aim to brighten up your day or even week as I pick out some of my most colourful doors from my archive. Please let me know if you have a favourite.
I’m finding it difficult to choose a favourite but I really do love the yellow door from Carlingford. The colour and design of the door, fitting snugly into the brick wall just oozes quaintness overload for me. I hope these doors add a little colour to your week. Enjoy your day everyone.
The short answer is YES! I really do enjoy my job. Luckily for me, nursing is a career path, therefore, you can have numerous types of nursing jobs available to you and you can travel the world. Any job that I have had in nursing, I have thoroughly enjoyed and that includes my present job.
I am a haemodialysis nurse, caring for patients with chronic kidney disease / kidney failure. These patients will have to attend for dialysis treatment three times a week for a few hours at a time to basically have their blood cleaned and possibly have fluid removed from their bodies. Their kidneys do not work very well or may have even been removed, so we as nurses, care for our patients by connecting them to a dialysis machine where the machine will do the work for the kidneys. It will take the blood from the patient, clean it using an artificial kidney and then return the blood to the patient. We will care for the patient before, during and after treatment with a holistic approach to ensure they have the best possible experience for their health and well-being.
That’s a very basic explanation but it’s a pretty complex and sophisticated process. For the patients there is also a lot to consider. Not only the physical difficulties of having to have dialysis but also the emotional, mental, sociological, psychological and even economical impacts on people who have a kidney injury or failure.
As a nurse, I love to help others and make a difference in their lives. Even if it’s something small like making them smile or helping them to be at ease with being on dialysis. I try to be empathetic and compassionate with my patients, whilst remaining professional and accountable to providing the best care for them.
Nursing can be a difficult profession, however, it helps to enjoy what you do. I couldn’t imagine being a nurse if I didn’t enjoy it. If that was the case, I think you would have to leave your job!
I’m sure I can speak for all nurses when I say, we would just love to be appreciated as professional people, be treated fairly and paid accordingly. Yes, we as nurses love what we do but we still need to pay the bills.
To be honest I am not the best at DIY projects, nor do I enjoy them. My most ambitious project was probably having to build our bed in Australia from IKEA when we moved into our first apartment.
Even with instructions, it will take me more than the average amount of time and patience but I will arrive at the finished project eventually. IKEA furniture is typically straightforward to assemble and requires very few tools, yet it still will be an unwelcoming challenge for me.
I did, however, manage to build the bed with the help of my husband. On my own, I fear that building the bed might have taken me many weeks to put together! Nevertheless, we succeeded not only once but on three different occasions as we had to mantle and dismantle the bed on a few occasions when moving homes.
Thankfully, it does become easier the more times you put the bed together, although never any more enjoyable. I’m sad to say this is my most ambitious project to date. Who knows what future DIY projects await in the future. I dread to think…
Hi everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying your weekend. Today I want to share with you an amazing landmark in Northern Ireland that is very well known here and is quite the spectacle. We took a drive here yesterday for a walk and some fresh air.
It is known as Scrabo Tower and was built in 1857. Situated on Scrabo Hill, Newtownards (just outside Belfast) you can see the most amazing views of Strangford Lough and across the whole of Co. Down, as far as the Mourne Mountains. I simply put the landmark in to Google maps to find this spot, very simple to do thankfully.
I had always wanted to visit here as I had seen some spectacular photos from other Northern Ireland fanatics and I also love buildings like this one, towers and lighthouses are my absolute favourites. I love the tower’s design and how it is made from stone found at Scrabo Hill, including sandstone. Researching about this tower, I was surprised to read that a family actually grew up in this tower for many years and they even ran a successful tea room, specialising in Irish country teas. You can read more information here if you are interested.
My photos do not even do the view any justice, you really need to see with your own eyes to truly appreciate the beauty all around the tower. If you want some information on the history of the tower and how to get there, you can click the link here. My advice would be to wrap up warm as this site, being so high from sea level, will be very cold and extremely windy. We nearly had our heads blown off! Also try visiting on a clear day to ensure you have the best views possible.
At the bottom of Scrabo Tower, just beside the car park, you can find Scrabo Country Park. This is a beautiful woodland park where the paths meander, taking you up and down and round and around. We actually got a little lost here believe it or not but it was worth it for the views at the top of the park that we happened to stumble across. We stopped here for some sandwiches and a cup of tea. This was a real highlight and I was just so grateful that the tea had managed to stay hot in my flask, very welcoming when it’s so cold. The view from our pit stop was out of this world and just encapsulated Northern Ireland for me. You could see hills, green pastures, Strangford Lough, the Mourne Mountains and even Harland & Wolff, the two most famous cranes from Belfast’s ship yards. Thankfully, there were also bathrooms at the end of the walk 😅.
This is a great park to walk in if you’re looking for somewhere different to try and you have the added benefit of having Scrabo Tower just beside you. I can’t wait to return, maybe in the summer and maybe even take a walk inside Scrabo Tower (only open in summer).
Yesterday we took a walk to Clare Glen Woodland. It’s less than 20 minutes to drive here from where I currently live in Banbridge and I used to walk here all the time growing up as a child and teenager with our family dog. It’s a beautiful place to become one with nature and really appreciate the beauty around you. It’s a short 2km loop walk in Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland, in between Tandragee and Markethill. You will find a variety of tree species including hazel, oak, ash and I always remember collecting conkers here to collect for the school playground from the chestnut trees. Does anyone else remember playing with conkers (or chestnuts to others) attached to a string and used to swing and break your opponents conker?
The walk takes you along the River Cusher and the sound of the river just resonates with tranquility and serenity. It is so soothing for the soul and really relaxes you and allows you to wash away your daily worries. The trees, greenery, nature, birds and even the mushrooms we saw here are just beautiful. In the spring time you can also see an abundance of blue bells, so I am extremely eager to return in a couple of months time.
Have a look at my pictures taken below and hopefully they can convey even a small amount of how fantastic this woodland is.
Walking through this woodland, you really feel that spring is just around the corner and believe me, I am extremely glad. Thank you for taking a look at my post today and have a lovely weekend.
Happy Friday to you all. It’s been a while since I have showcased a Friday flower / flower of the day but I thought today was very appropriate. These are Dutch crocuses and bloom in spring time, hallelujah it’s a sign that winter is coming to an end. I love the colour of these and you can’t help but smile when you see them. I am currently on day two of having covid and my only trip outside is for a walk where there are no people. I’m feeling ok, just tired with a runny nose. These flowers cheered me up, as did the walk and fresh air.
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of wonderful doors. Two weeks ago I flew over to England to visit my sister who lives just outside London in a small town in Cambridgeshire and of course I was able to spot a few lovely doors.
I only managed to picture five doors but I know there are hundreds more. I look forward to seeing more in the future and exploring doors from other parts of the UK. Please let me know if you have a favourite door this week. Not all the doors are clear to see but I love the design and architecture of the whole buildings, however, if you zoom in, you should be able to make out the doors 😉.
Thank you all for taking a look and have a lovely weekend.
Hi everyone! I recently took a trip to this amazing town in Ireland called Carlingford and I just really want to share this place with you. I had been here before for a day trip but had always wanted to return for a longer duration in order to really get a feel of this place. Carlingford is well known to us in Northern Ireland for being a fun place for hen and stag parties or nights out but I wanted to return to explore what else was on offer.
Carlingford has an abundance of things to offer the locals and tourists alike. It is a coastal town in Co. Louth, about halfway between Belfast and Dublin, making it easily accessible to either sides of the Irish border. It’s actually only 40 minutes from where I live by car and 11 km south of the border but you instantly feel like you are a million miles away when you stay here. It’s a coastal town, nestled between Carlingford Lough and Slieve Foy mountain, therefore, you have the opportunity to view beautiful scenery, taking lovely photographs, enjoy the walking trails, view the local attractions, have picnics and even partake in outdoor activities such as horse riding or surfing.
We stayed at Wildwood Lodge, a beautiful hotel style room overlooking the Lough and just a 5 to 10 minute walk into the town. I loved it here for the tranquility and the views were absolutely stunning, especially as you can see the sun rise every morning. I will highlight a few of the attractions/landmarks that we were able to witness on our three day break and to be honest, we could have stayed here longer as there is so much to do. I would love to have taken a few of the walks/hikes but that will have to be for another time, simply meaning I will have to come back 🙌🏼.
Before heading to Carlingford, I checked out the following website https://www.visitcarlingford.com/the-15-most-instagrammable-spots-in-carlingford/ for ideas and inspiration. This website was amazing to showcase the most popular things to see and I simply made my way through the list as best I could. There are a couple of things we didn’t manage to see but that will also be for a later date. I have highlighted my favourite tourist attractions below in the order that I seen them and hopefully they will inspire you to maybe visit the wonderful Carlingford one day.
1 – The Doors (and quaint/colourful buildings). I am an absolute door lover so I was in my element to see so many amazing doors, as you may have already seen and I will be posting more over the next couple of weeks. You can see my doors from last weeks blog post here.
2 – Thosel Street. I am obsessed with quaint and historic places so this street was right up my street, so to speak. It just oozes charm and character with its old stone buildings and historic architecture.
3 – Ruby Ellen’s Tea Rooms. We loved this place, so much in fact, that we returned the next day again for breakfast. Quirky and chic with delicious food and the friendliest staff.
4 – The Giant’s Chair. I love anything gimmicky like this for a fun photo but this was even better as it was located in the Leprechaun and Fairy Cavern. This was magical and although the tours are only on weekends, we were happy to take a walk around ourselves and marvel at the Irish folklore.
5 – Carlingford Heritage Centre & Carlingford Tourist Office. This was great for a history lesson of the town and for £3 you can have a talk from a local historian. The church building is exquisite and you can take a walk around and appreciate the old graveyard. The tourist office was fantastic for finding all the spots you want to see and the tourist officer was extremely friendly and helpful.
6 – Carlingford Marina & Anchor. This can be found just off the Lough front, a one minute walk from the town. You pass here to find the Leprechaun and Fairy Cavern.
7 – The pubs. These are fantastic for some great Irish beers, food and live traditional music. We had the best Guinness in Carlingford!
8 – Carlingford Abbey. This monastery dates back to 1305 and still looks impressive even to this day. I love these type of historic, stone buildings so I couldn’t wait to see this. Situated about a five minute walk from town, you can easily find this on google maps.
9 – King John’s Castle. Initially built around 1190 to defend the sea lough, this castle rests on a cliff overlooking Carlingford and its Lough. Although closed off to the public for repair, you can still walk around the outside and see some spectacular views. This was close to our accommodation so we would walk past this at night to return to our room and it was pretty special, albeit a little spooky.
10 – The Marina. I only stopped here to take a picture as it was beautiful to look at but there is a restaurant here too if you’re looking for somewhere different to eat. I believe the Greenway walk begins here also which I hope to do when I return.
11 – Flagstaff Viewpoint. This is actually outside of Carlingford, near to Newry. I had to add the location to google maps on my phone to find this spot but it’s well worth the short drive to see a stunning 360 degree view and Carlingford from a great height (without having to walk up). Sadly it was quite overcast for us but I’m sure this would be out of this word on a clear sunny day.
That’s my lot for Carlingford. I hope you enjoyed seeing this amazing town just over the border from Northern Ireland. I absolutely loved it and cannot wait to return to carry out some of the walks and view more of the outstanding scenery. Many thanks for having a read.
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of doors. Over the next two to three weeks I will be showcasing some of my doors from our recent trip to Carlingford, Ireland. I will create a blog post for this town also as it’s too amazing not to share with you all. Let me know if you have a favourite door this week.
I love the colours of these doors, bright and fun. They really give you a sense of what Carlingford is all about. I love door number five, especially with the wreath, however, the two houses in image six are my favourites this week, just beautiful and the doors blend in perfectly.
Stay tuned for more doors from Carlingford next week and enjoy your day everyone.
Last month we managed to squeeze in a few different walks here in Northern Ireland. Some of these, you can spend maybe an hour walking around and others you can spend longer as it will take more time to walk around or you may find yourself snapping away at the beautiful scenery. They are great walks for getting out of the house and taking in some beautiful views and fresh country air. I have provided the websites for each location so you can check them out for yourselves also. These are perfect if you are looking for somewhere different to walk or if you ever plan to visit Northern Ireland in the future. There are many other walks that I have taken or plan to take but these are just the last few that I have walked recently.
I hope you enjoy seeing the walks that I have taken over the last few weeks. They are all unique in their own way and offer a place that’s perfect for clearing your mind and taking in some fresh country Northern Irish air.
This beautiful sunrise was taken a few days ago when we took a trip to Carlingford, Ireland. I can’t wait to show this place off in a blog post coming soon. I hope you have all had a lovely Sunday. I’m just back from visiting family in the south of England and now counting down until work tomorrow. However, not before a Chinese meal and some Star Wars! See you all next week.
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of doors. I have a selection from three different places in Northern Ireland. Please let me know if you have a favourite. I love the last two doors, especially with the beautiful wreaths attached and I believe the home was lived in by the popular artist Colin Middleton ( a Northern Ireland landscape artist).
We have just returned from Carlingford in Ireland for a mini break and I have thee most amazing doors to show you all in the coming weeks so be sure to stay tuned. I will also write a blog showcasing Carlingford, highlighting the best things to do and see. It’s a special little town just over the border from Northern Ireland.
Can you believe it’s the last day of this blogging challenge? Blogging every day in January has been fun and it’s great to have a prompt, especially if you are struggling with topics to blog about. I quite like Bloganuary as it asks you questions that you normally wouldn’t ask yourself. So thank you WordPress and your people for providing us with some thought provoking topics.
Today’s prompt is a lovely one to finish on. I often post sunrise or sunset pictures on a Sunday as I thoroughly enjoy watching and photographing these. There were so many locations in Sydney to watch epic sunsets, however, I am yet to find the perfect spot near me in Northern Ireland to catch a worthy sunset. I did manage to see some amazing sunrises this weekend in my trip away to Carlingford (I will show case this very soon), however, the nicest sunset I have seen recently near me was literally outside my house in the town I am currently living in, Banbridge.
I will be making it my mission to find some amazing sunset spots near me in the not so distant future but for now, the sunset in my town will have to suffice.
If you know of any great spots to see the sun setting in Northern Ireland, please do let me know and I will endeavour to check them out.
Wow this is a tough and personal one today. I always think of my life in chapters funnily enough but not necessarily what I would call them. When I have finished with one part of my life or moved onto another phase in my life, I always say to myself, “ok Wayne, onto the next chapter”. I guess everyone’s chapters will be personal to them and not everyone will find them of interest. You would want a title that would give a sneak peak to the chapter but not revealing too much, you could even give a cryptic clue, although I’m not that imaginative!
Chapter 1 – The conception of me
Chapter 2 – The new norm
Chapter 3 – Big decisions and a newer norm
Chapter 4 – Everything changes when you turn 13
Chapter 5 – The teenage years – from a soft spoken, hopeful, unbeknownst gay, daydreaming son and step-son
Chapter 6 – Freedom and discovery
Chapter 7 – Fun, friendships and relationships
Chapter 8 – The Australian dream
Chapter 9 – Journey to finding my feet and beginning my career
Chapter 10 – When all the hard work pays off
Chapter 11 – Living your best life, even during a pandemic
Chapter 12 – The reality of adulthood catches up
Chapter 13 – A fork in the road
Whoa that’s it for now. I actually feel like I could write a book as I’ve had a pretty busy life thus far (although I’m sure we all have). Thanks WordPress for the opportunity to reflect on my life and try compartmentalise my journey to date 😅.
I have learned over the past few months that life cannot be taken for granted. We need to appreciate every day that we have and appreciate our nearest and dearest.
Life is short and you just don’t know what life will throw at you. I feel that being a nurse, I have somehow always known this but I think my life over the last few months has just reinforced this and I am more grateful than ever for the little things in life.
Take each day as it comes and have a little patience with what the word has in store for you.
What a very appropriate question. I love to procrastinate but I also hate it. It’s very 50/50 concept for me.
It helps you destress by taking your mind off the subject at hand. I used to play online games as a way of distraction but I believe it actually is good for you to clear your head and reset.
You end up achieving so many minor wins, for example, cleaning the bathroom when you should be studying. I end up doing lots of chores instead of doing what I should be doing.
You feel clever for fooling others that you’re being extremely busy and productive, when you’re secretly watching episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The thing you should be doing gets placed on the back burner and your work maybe doesn’t reach its full potential. Youcould have finished an amazing project but yet you failed to stay focused and ended up completing otherunnecessary tasks at that point of time.
It can make you more stressed as you freak out from “wasting time”.
You’re really only fooling yourself with pretending to be productive. You should just get back to what you’re supposed to be doing.
To conclude, I really sit on the fence with procrastination. I think it’s a good and bad thing. To be honest I have procrastinated a lot in the past, however, I do always manage to complete the work that I was doing. Therefore, it can be a necessary thing to procrastinate to keep you mentally sane but as long as you can stay focused. Some people work better under pressure. This isn’t really me but I do think a little nudge to do more work is something I subconsciously benefit from. Once I have procrastinated enough, my mind then kicks me into work mode and I become productive again.
How about you? What are your thoughts on procrastination?
I would love to be able to speak Cantonese or Mandarin. When I was nursing in Australia, many of our patients were from China and Hong Kong. Many of them were elderly and struggled with the English language. I would love to have been able to communicate with them better and make them feel more at ease in our care. I think they would be very useful languages to learn as they are spoken by millions of people worldwide.
Even here in Northern Ireland we have patients from China and Hong Kong, albeit not as many as in Australia but I would love to be able to speak a little to them. I am picking up a few basic words and that really does have a positive impact on their experience in our care.
I appreciate that these are difficult languages and at this moment in time, do not have the time or drive to learn them. Who know, maybe in the future.
I show love in small ways. I tell my other half that I love him every single day, sometimes two or three times a day…and I mean it. I tell my family and friends I love them, not all the time and probably not often enough (some people, especially in Ireland, can become embarrassed). I love to give and receive hugs, even once a day or if you or your loved one needs it. It can make such a difference to your emotional wellbeing.
I love to show love for people by giving them confidence boosts and reassuring them. For example, complimenting them if they have a new outfit or haircut, listening to their concerns and being there for them. I don’t often do big gestures but I like to be there for people I love, even being a shoulder to cry on if need be.
I also love the appropriate use of touch. A hand on someone’s shoulder or holding their hand. I feel these little things can make such a big difference and let’s people know that you care for them and their well-being.
As silly as this may sound, I don’t think I tell myself lies. I know my limitations and I have hopes for the future. I don’t lie that I’m good or bad at something. I just try my best, maybe not even all the time but most of the time and I’m realistic with my abilities. I’m not delusional to think if I have this or that I will be happy. I strive for happiness on a daily basis and try to appreciate the little things in life.
Even if I happen to play the lottery, I don’t think that I have zero chance of winning, as of course I have a chance, even if it’s the slimmest chance and that’s why I would buy a ticket, however, I am well aware by the same principle, that I may never win.
Maybe I’m missing something, I’m not sure. What do you think about lying to yourself?
My dream job as a child was to be a marine biologist as I had a real fascination with the creatures of the sea, for example, dolphins, whales and manatees. I had visions of working in the oceans, helping those animals in need and making a difference to their environment.
Sadly, when I began studying biology in school, I realised I wasn’t very good at it and also it didn’t really deal with marine life at that time.
Also our careers advice at school was next to nothing. There was no real support for careers that were outside the norm and so I feel like I didn’t know what different professions were available or how to obtain information on them. Even now as a nurse, I can see many different professions in the health system that I had never heard of at school, for example, dieticians, speech and language assessors, physios, occupational therapists etc.
As I grew older I did take an interest in local marine biology but it was never what I had imagined. I had envisaged warm waters and tropical environments, however, the marine biology in Northern Ireland seemed less appealing with our cold murky waters and bad weather, studying snails or eels or marshy landscapes. I now know there is so much more to the marine life here, now that I’m older and we do help a lot with orphaned seals and dolphins etc. among many other things.
In Sydney I did happen to meet a very successful marine biologist at a party and her job sounded fantastic, just what I had imagined as a child. I loved to hear her stories and it was so amazing to see others reaching their true potential and finding their dream job. I grew out of that profession years ago after thinking it was never really an option and luckily for me, I am happy in my nursing profession (more or less 😉).
This prompt made me chuckle today. I could write pages and pages on this but I am going to refrain. I am still living with my parents since arriving back to Ireland so all I will say is that the most irritating thing is that it’s not my own home. I have lived away from my parents for over twenty years now so you can imagine how difficult it is to be living with them again.
Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for their hospitality and thankfully we do have a great relationship and have good times together. However, it’s not my own space and I can’t do things how I would normally do them. I also really enjoy my own space and even company at times.
Roll on me finding my own place which will hopefully be in the next few weeks. Send all your positive vibes my way please 😉.
Happy Thursday to you all. For this week’s doors, I am running with the prompt from today’s Bloganuary, ‘Whatcolour describes your personality and why? I think of blue being my colour, so for this week I am showcasing some blue doors from my catalogue. Let me know if you have a favourite.
I have to admit, it’s number 9 for me, simply for the splash of colour as well as the bright blue door. It’s a feast for the eyes.
I would have to say blue because it can be bright and light, yet deep and sophisticated . Not that I’m very sophisticated but blue always puts me in a good mood, specifically if it’s blue skies or blue seas. I like to think I can do that with others, hopefully lift your mood or make you smile. I can be fun and have light hearted banter, yet I can also be a deep thinker and love to have meaningful conversations.
Funny enough, we just made this dinner last night. It’s our favourite meal at the moment, salmon, rice and pepper/capsicum (depending what side of the word you live). Our favourite meals to cook do vary over from time to time but this has been a favourite for some time now. It’s quick, easy and nutritious.
This is another tough cookie. I have had so many amazing days that I have lived throughout my life thus far. From my wedding, to receiving my permanent residency in Australia, to becoming a nurse, to passing my driving licence etc etc. However, the one day that sticks out in my mind, where I was so happy all day long and bursting with joy, was way back in 2017. I had just returned from an around the world trip in six days!!!
I had planned a world trip that would last for a year. I was going backpacking with my good friend and three months prior to departing, I had just fallen in love with my partner, my first real relationship.
My friend decided against travelling and I thought ‘I can do this on my own’. Off I headed after a very emotional goodbye with my partner and many epic leaving parties from my friends, family and my two jobs.
I traveled to New York for a couple of days and stayed with my friend there, before heading to my next stop in Boston. I was so sad every day being away from my partner. I was calling him every day and wishing we could be together. After six days I called my parents for advice and they advised to come home immediately. That was all I needed to hear. I stormed straight to the airport to book the next flight home. I was on standby and luckily for me there was one flight left and it was in business class but they would just charge me economy! I was over the moon!
Eight hours later I arrived back home to Ireland. My partner collected me and it was the BEST feeling ever, walking towards each other in the airport arrivals, smiling from ear to ear, a very ‘Love Actually’ moment, if you have ever seen the movie! This was definitely one of my best and most memorable days 😊.
Hmmmm interesting question. I have a few smells that I love and always bring back memories. The main one would be freshly baked bread rolls from Lidl or Aldi. The smell of the German rolls reminds me of mornings spent with my family in Germany. We would always have freshly baked rolls from the bakery, absolutely delicious and crunchy. I have many fond memories of these breakfasts with my cousins, enjoying the continental food, different meats, cheeses, salamis and jams. One whiff of the bakery and it takes me back to those childhood times.
Bloganuary day 15 – one of my biggest fears was moving home to Northern Ireland from Sydney, Australia. It is extremely scary leaving a good life in a country you love, with a good job and lots of friends. I conquered my fear by reminding myself why I moved home in the first place, for family. Furthermore, there are lots of positives to living in Northern Ireland, one of them being the ability to travel locally and travel more of Europe. Also, it doesn’t have to be definitive that I live at home. If I want to return to Australia, I can do so and for this I am very grateful.
Has anyone else had this fear with moving to our from another country?
Bloganuary day 14! This is a really tricky question today as I really enjoy pretty much all modes of travel. I really do love walking and if I can go anywhere on foot, I would prefer to always do that.
However, I love flying, be it long or short haul. I love the flights to Australia for the food, drinks, movies and generally being well looked after. I also love the smaller flights where there’s maybe only a few people on a propeller plane.
Travelling by boat is also pretty special. I used to love the ferry in Sydney from Circular Quay to anywhere else that you could travel nearby. I particularly enjoyed the ferry to Manly and I used to travel by ferry there for work. I used to love taking the ferry from Belfast over to Scotland many years ago but sadly I haven’t done that for some time now. Travelling on a cruise liner was special a couple of years ago, although, I would also appreciate a little speed boat taking you to an island somewhere. However, I’m aware these are not common modes of transport!
Cycling is a lot of fun and something that I used to do all the time as a teenager. We were able to cycle when we stayed in Fiji a few years ago to travel around the hotel complex. Apart from that, cycling has been neglected in my life for some time but is something I would love to embrace again in the future.
Driving by car is a great mode of travel and one that I am using quite a lot at the moment as we are living more rural these days. It is very practical and you can visit anywhere without having to worry about the weather or what time the next bus or train is coming. I used to travel everywhere in Sydney by bus or train and now it is such a novelty to have a car.
Nonetheless, I did used to love travelling by train as you had lots of free time to catch up on your emails, write a quick blog post, listen to your music or even have a wee snooze. The only downside was when the trains would be cancelled and you somehow had to find another mode of transport home.
In conclusion, I think walking would have to be my favourite mode of travel as it was the first one that I thought of and it’s something that I thoroughly enjoy doing. I miss walking everywhere in Sydney, it’s a great form of exercise and you can just get in the zone with your favourite tunes and take in the beautiful scenery. It’s a bit harder at the moment here in Northern Ireland as the weather is so wet and cold. Bring on spring!
Bloganuary day 13 – Okay! So that is an obscene amount of money. I would not wish to have that much ever. Too much money could destroy a person. If I did have a lot of money, I would like to think I would share it with family and friends first, give a good amount to charity and then use the remaining to enjoy life. Maybe no more work, travelling, and having a lovely home, nothing too grand or fancy. A billion US dollars, I just can’t even imagine that amount to be honest. What about you?
I had to quickly look up the word chore as I initially thought of it being a household task that you hated doing. Having looked up the definition, I discovered that yes, it can be a household chore but it can also be a tedious but necessary task.
For me, at this moment in time, it’s having to pack my bags every week as I’m living between a couple of different places until I finally obtain my own home. It’s completely necessary to pack my uniforms for work, toiletries etc but it’s definitely tedious and becomes such a pain in the bottom. Role on having my own place in the next few weeks.
Bloganuary day 11 – When I think of success, I think of being happy with what you have in life. Being happy with your relationships, with your work and not needing extravagance or wealth to make you happy. It’s appreciating the basic things in life that many of us take for granted, a roof over our heads, a warm bed, running water, a loving family and good friends. If I have these things, I am very successful.
It doesn’t have to be about how much money you have in your bank, how far up the ladder you are in work, working 70 hours a week or socialising with famous people. It’s not about bragging or name dropping. That does not impress me or show that you are successful. If you are a good, warm person, happy in yourself and kind to others,you are a success in my eyes.
You see so many people now, especially on social media, giving pep talks and trying to show you a life of extravagance, whilst appearing to work their asses off to prove how successful it can make you. This is not for me. Why work so many hours for a life of luxury? Are these people really any happier than your average Joe. I think not. Yes we need to work hard in order to have enough money to enjoy life but you need to have an adequate work / life balance. If I have this, I will be extremely happy and successful in my own life.
What are your thoughts? How do you define success??
I have thought about this for some time and the answer is NO. A book has never changed my life, at least not to my knowledge.
Many books I have enjoyed and maybe even helped me through times in my life but not one I can say has changed me in any way. I loved Life of Pi, this was given by my partner when we first started dating. I absolutely loved the book and we later watched the stage show in the theatre that we both worked in. That was a truly wonderful experience, one of my favourite books coming to life, simply magical.
I also loved The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, recommended by a good friend of mine when I was dealing with growing up in my university days. A really inspiring novel that leaves me with fond memories of my early twenties.
I also read a lot of Virginia Andrews novels as a teenager. These novels really helped me through my teenage years, as ways of escapism but also encouraging me through life when sometimes it felt difficult. It was the help of these novels that really threw me into reading and I became addicted to reading for a few years before I left my hometown for the big smoke of Belfast. Flowers in the Attic was and probably still is a complete classic, albeit slightly disturbing. I recommend anyone to read this book.
How about yourselves? Have you ever had a book that has changed your life?
Bloganuary day 9 – this one is easy for me. My most memorable gift was from my other half when we visited Uluru almost one year ago. He surprised me with an airplane trip to see the sights from the sky, an absolutely stunning experience and a really lovely surprise. You can read more about it on my previous blog post https://wrookieschu.com/2022/02/12/uluru-by-air/
Bloganuary day 8 – Sadly I can’t go back that far. I have tried a few times in my life and never seem to get past my great grandfather. It’s quite difficult in Northern Ireland unfortunately. There are lots of websites that can help if you live in Scotland or England but for us here in NI, it seems impossible. I can see my great grandfather on the 1911 census but I can’t see any previous censuses.
I am always fascinated with my family tree, I’m not too sure why, maybe as it’s a part of who I am and where I come from. In reality, it maybe doesn’t even matter as we will all be gone one day and no one will remember or care for us. Perhaps that’s a bit morbid to think that, who knows?! What are your thoughts on family trees?
I enjoy writing about my travels as a way of sharing my experiences with others but also as as way to remember my travels and my thoughts at that time in my life. It’s nice to be able to look back on previous posts and reminisce with my previous travel experiences.
Bloganuary day six! Why do I write? To be honest I don’t think I do that much writing in my blog compared to others. My posts are more like photo blogs, a platform for me to share my travels through pictures. However, I do like to write a little to explain the situation or location that I have been too, as photographs can’t always sum it all up.
When I do decide to write freestyle about a certain topic, I find it really therapeutic to expel my thoughts, almost as if they are having the opportunity to escape my head. I enjoy just writing my thoughts as I’m saying them in my head or how I would speak them. I’m not one for writing poetry or short stories, although the latter is something that I would be keen to endeavour in the future.
I also like to write, especially here on WordPress in order to make new friends, acquaintances and like minded folk.
To conclude, I write primarily to share my life and my travels whilst simultaneously keeping a record of my adventures for later reflection.
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to 2023. These are the first doors to be shown here on my blog this year and I thought I would showcase some doors all found in one street! It’s not often that you find a street where you appreciate every single door. I had seen this once in Sydney in Darlinghurst and now once here in Northern Ireland. As many of you will know by now, there is a quaint little town here in Northern Ireland that I absolutely adore, known as Royal Hillsborough. I thought I had seen most of the doors here, however, after having walked off the beaten track, I stumbled across a tiny street with the quaintest doors I have seen for some time. Please let me know what you think of these or if you have ever discovered a street where all the doors are as fantastic as each other.