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 wonderful doors. I recently shared a blog post of Athlone, Ireland and if you happened to check it out, you would have seen what a quirky and quaint little town it was. This week I want to show you a few of my favourite doors spotted in this amazing town. Please let me know if you have a favourite.
This week I’m torn between two doors. I love numbers 3 and 5 but I will go with number 3 as I really admire a corner door and the little hood over the frame is really quirky and reminds me of somewhere in Italy or France? Does anyone else agree or is it just me??
This park was a real gem of a find. I had never been to Rostrevor but I knew it was on the coast of Carlingford Lough, near Newry, Co. Down and thought it might be worth a visit as it is close by. We followed google maps to Rostrevor, parked the car beside the park and wandered in for a look around. Just to the left of the park is Fairy Glen, where it is believed that fairies have or had once lived, according to Irish folklore.
It is well known here that the famous writer C.S. Lewis from Northern Ireland, spent a lot of his time in the Mourne area and in particular, Carlingford and Rostrevor. He was inspired here and once said that Rostrevor was his inspiration for Narnia. In this park there is a dedicated family trail to C.S. Lewis where you can see memorabilia from The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe stories. There is also a play area for the kids and an outdoor gym.
You can walk through the woodland areas, as well as around the park area (where you will also find a cafe) and along the river. It’s a truly magical place that leads back to the small, yet enchanting village. Entering and leaving the park you will see the most beautiful and quaint houses with some impressive murals on the walls leading through the village.
I cannot recommend this place highly enough and I look forward to returning here soon in the not so distant future. If you’re ever in Northern Ireland, be sure to check out this park and village.
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of doors from around Northern Ireland. I am sticking with my north coast theme this week and showing you some doors from the Causeway Coastal Route that I posted about yesterday. Please let me know if you have a favourite this week.
I think my favourite has to be number three, even if it is a black door. I think it has an elegant appearance, with its transom window and archway. I also really admire the stone work of the building. This was once a school house dating back to the 1850s and is now a very popular cafe for tourists. It’s very quaint inside however it can be pretty pricey. We paid £7.50 for two teas!
Thanks for taking a look and enjoy the rest of your week.
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to my FORTIETH edition of Doors of WordPress. I thought with tomorrow being St Patrick’s Day in Ireland, I would showcase some of my favourite green doors that I have seen recently in Northern Ireland.
Sadly I will be working tomorrow and not seeing much of the Patrick’s Day celebrations. It used to be one of my most favourite holidays to celebrate, wearing something green, having a big fry for breakfast and then heading out with friends for some Guinness and Irish music. Even when I was in Australia it was always fun to celebrate the occasion, I guess as there are so many Irish people living in Sydney. I suppose there are so many Irish people everywhere as you will see huge celebrations all over the world, especially in America where many Irish people once emigrated to, just like Australia.
Will you be celebrating St Patrick’s Day this year or have you celebrated in the past? Also please do let me know if you have a favourite green door this week. I love to hear your thoughts.
For me, the favourite of the week has to be number 7 from Rostrevor. I think the door and whole building is absolutely fantastic, the windows, the greenery and that homely, country feel. Outstanding.
Have a great day everyone and I hope you all have a lovely St Patrick’s Day tomorrow ☘️☘️.
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).
So I have just transitioned to the Jetpack app (I wonder will I miss seeing the WordPress app on my phone?!) and now I appear to have prompts for writing. That’s pretty cool, especially on days that you’re maybe struggling to think of material. I maybe won’t always respond to these but this prompt I found interesting.
My favourite pair of shoes were a pair of Vans that my cousin recommended. They were black with brown laces and I found them to be stylish, yet extremely comfortable. I love a shoe that you can wear with chinos or jeans and appear smart but also look casual with a pair of shorts. The downside was that they didn’t last too long but I guess I wore them to death! They took me all over Sydney on many, many walks and also around Northern Ireland when I wore them home in 2019 when touring the north coast.
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of doors. This week I am showcasing a few more of my doors from my recent trip to Carlingford as they are too good not to share, in my humble opinion.
Please let me know if you have a favourite this week.
As much as I love them all, mostly for their quaintness and colour, I really love the last door. To me it looks very regal and sophisticated. The red colour really pops and I love the pillars/archway and transom window.
Thanks for taking a look and enjoy the rest of your week everyone.
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.
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.
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?
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another glorious week of doors. I have been thinking of Sydney, Australia a lot this week, therefore, I think it would be good to show some more of my Sydney doors, even if it’s just for me to be able to reminisce. Please let me know if you have a favourite this week.
My personal favourite is the first one. It’s the colour for me, so bright and full of life. The panelling and transom window are great features and I also love the greenery and picket fence in the frame.
Thanks for taking a look and have a lovely end to your week.
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.
Happy Friday everyone and welcome to the weekend. This little gem was spotted on our trip to Hillsborough Gardens last weekend. Thankfully it wasn’t covered in snow and we were able to spot this. It’s bright colour certainly does catch your eye.
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of doors, the last one before Christmas. This week’s Thursday Doors challenge is to show your favourite doors of the year, thanks for that Dan, not an easy thing to do! I have chosen my top 8 doors of 2022, from Australia and NZ, all the way to here in Northern Ireland. I have ranked them in my order of preference, some have been shown already and some are newly featured. Please take a look and enjoy these magnificent doors and hats off to their owners for doing such a fantastic job.
1 – People in Northern Ireland are EXTREMELY friendly.
2 – The cost of EVERYTHING has increased drastically since I lived here five years ago, from food, to rent, to energy bills (this one is worldwide at the moment). Everything has increased, except for wages, shocking really.
3 – It is BALTIC here in the winter. I had forgotten how cold it can be here. It is minus five degrees this morning!
4 – The pubs and restaurants here are very cosy and quaint. I have missed this. Pints of Guinness by a warm fire.
5 – Everything is so festive here at Christmas. I know it’s what you’re used to but I have really missed the cold, dark evenings, the smell of warm spices, mulled wine, hearing Christmas songs etc etc. For me it was never the same wearing shorts and T-shirts.
6 – The importance of family.
7 – The quality of television shows is pretty high here and I love the Christmas shows/movies that are available in the lead up to Christmas.
8 – We walk a lot less here. I miss doing my 15,000 steps a day in Sydney. My step count has dropped significantly since being home and that’s sad. I guess it’s the cold weather and lack of somewhere good to walk nearby.
9 – It’s dark for most of the day. I love the dark evenings but I forgot how much daylight you miss. You travel to work in the dark and drive home from work in the dark. That can be hard and we have this for the next few months.
10 – People in Northern Ireland say ‘Wee’ ALL THE TIME! Everything can be described as ‘wee’. A ‘wee’ cup of tea, put your ‘wee’ card in the ‘wee’ machine, would you like a ‘wee’ bag? I had totally forgotten how often we use that word and it’s not simply used for small items! It’s actually insane how much we use that word but lovely at the same time. You instantly know you’re home when your hear ‘wee’ being used.
Many of you here will have heard of Hillsborough from my doors posts, as there are many fantastic doors found in this quaint little village.
Hillsborough is well renowned for its character and charm but more so for its historic castle and gardens. This is the place of residence for when members of the Royal family come to stay in Northern Ireland and only very recently has Hillsborough been renamed Royal Hillsborough for that reason.
This was the first time I had visited the gardens and I was extremely excited as I had always heard how amazing they are and I have always wanted to visit here. We didn’t visit the castle today but that will be for another time. We just wanted to have a good stroll today and get some fresh air. It was made even more special as there was snow on the ground and gave the gardens a really festive and Christmassy feel.
The admission fee is £11 which is expensive enough (in my opinion) to go for a walk, however, the gardens are absolutely stunning and the castle is a true spectacle. There is also a light show featuring in the gardens at present that can be seen at night time, running until the beginning of January. It’s pretty pricey at £22 a visit so we’ll have to wait and see if we decide to return for that or not. From what I witnessed during the day today, it would be quite the display.
If you would like to read more about this wonderful place, you can take a look at the official website here. Thanks for taking a look and I hope you are all enjoying your Sunday.
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of doors. I have another handful from around Northern Ireland so please take a look and let me know if you have a favourite. I’m looking forward to seeing if there are any festive doors in the lead up to Christmas, seeing as today is the first of December. If you celebrate Christmas, do you have your tree up yet?
Have a great end to your week everyone and enjoy the beginning of December.
Happy Friday everyone. I spotted this flower in the Botanic Gardens Belfast and I loved its uniqueness. I have never seen this particular species before. I love the colour and find it a very uplifting flower. Have you ever seen a common borage?
Happy Thursday everyone. As it was Halloween this week and we are still in Autumn/Fall, I thought I would try to share my most autumnal and spooky doors. Let me know what you think and if you have a favourite.
I hope you all had a lovely Halloween if you celebrate at all. I was driving in the evening so I missed it all. I did manage to see a few fireworks in the sky though which was nice.
I love this week’s edition as it’s simple and fun, thanks Fandango! Also I have just realised that you also used simple and fun to describe your question! Or maybe I subconsciously repeated them, who knows?!
Let’s have some fun this week. Or what I hope you’ll think is fun. My question is simple. It’s all about favorites. If you were asked to name your absolute favorite in each of the following categories, what would they be:
Song – Bitter Sweet Symphony by The Verve
Musical artist or group – Mumford & Sons
Book – Life of Pi
Author – RL Stine
Movie – Big Fish
Television show – Friends (Series 1-5)
Movie or TV actor (male & female) – Luke Evans and Julia Roberts
Stage play or musical – Chicago
Live concert – Eminem, surprisingly one of my favourite concerts I have been to.
Oh what a dreary, dreary day. Window wipers wiping frantically and rain smashing to the ground.
Everything grey and melancholy.
Halloween today and eerie essences are encircling us. Not so much spooky, more Thérèse Desqueyroux. Dark and wet, I sip my coffee by the coffee shop window looking out to the puddles and grimaces on people’s faces.
Darkness begins to fall, autumn is laughing. It knows that winter is around the corner. The darkness is coming for a long, long stay, weeks that will lead into months.
Soon this will be a cosy period of time but for now, it’s pretty grim.
Are you a fan of cold, dark and wet evenings? I normally am but not today 😕.
The sunset I am sharing today is from 12 weeks ago in Bondi, Sydney. You don’t actually see the sunset but the colours that were on show were absolutely stunning. I haven’t seen anything quite like the colour changes here of the sky anywhere else, from yellow to orange and then pink to lilac. I was just standing in the middle of the road, outside our friend’s apartment, in complete awe, as were many other locals.
I hope you enjoy the colours and have had a lovely relaxing weekend.
Hi everyone and a very happy Thursday to you all. The sun is shining here in Northern Ireland after some horrendous stormy weather yesterday. I have been pretty quiet here in the blogging realm for a few weeks due to some family circumstances but I thought today would be as good a day as any to make a return, plus I love creating doors posts on a Thursday so it’s perfect timing.
I hope you have all been keeping well and adjusting to these seasonal changes wherever in the world you might be. I have been trying to keep an eye on other people’s blogs, as a means to stay in tune with what’s happening here but also for some light reading as a welcome distraction.
I hope you enjoy my selection of local doors from around Northern Ireland and please let me know if you have a favourite.
My personal favourite is number five. I love the colour of the door, the glass panels on either side, the arch around the door, the wreath on the door, I could go on and on and on. I just love this one. How about you?
I may be quite silent on my blog for the next week as my sister is getting married this weekend. Lots of family time upcoming and I am here for it all. I am super excited for the reunions and festivities, whilst also beaming with pride for my little sister.
There may be silence on my blog for a few days but definitely not much silence in my real life. Enjoy your week guys and gals and I will pop on when I can.
1. Do you prefer tea, coffee or juice first thing in the morning?
I always have a coffee first thing in the morning. It’s not that I need to have it as there’s been a few times I couldn’t obtain one before work and was totally fine without it (much to my surprise) but I do love a coffee in the morning. For the rest of the day I can drink tea until it comes out of my ears!
2. When it comes to food, what is your favourite smell?
Always the smell of freshly baked bread, especially German bread.
3. Do you prefer a take-out or to dine in a restaurant?
Dine in a restaurant. I love to eat out and try different places. I find take-out is often disappointing and I could probably do better myself.
4. If you are hosting a party, do you prepare the food yourself, get caterers in or ask everyone to bring something for the table?
I normally prepare food myself for others as we don’t often have large parties, just a couple of people. I do like the idea of everyone bringing a plate to share and this is very popular in Australia where I first learned of this.
Gratitude: What has been the highlight of your week this week?
As it’s only Monday morning here, I would say my highlight so far was the gym this morning and just completing my working from home for the week 😊
Thank you Di for the questions and I look forward to reading other people’s replies.
This sunset was taken last week at my parents home in Banbridge, Northern Ireland. Although we didn’t see the sun actually set, I loved the colours of the sky as it was setting. I especially like the way the buildings become a silhouette against the skyline.
I hope you have all had a lovely weekend. This is now almost three weeks for us being home in Northern Ireland. Where does the time go??
Happy Friday everyone! Today’s flower of the day was spotted at Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park when I was there last week. This flower really jumped out at me and I couldn’t believe it was another black eyed susan. You might remember I showed this flower last Friday but I feel that this flower looks very different from last weeks. Therefore, I thought it would be good to showcase this flower again. What do you think of this flower today? Does it look similar or different to my previous black eyed susan? I have placed the link to last week’s flower below my image.
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another Doors of WordPress. This week I thought I would show case some more doors from Sydney, as it has now been two weeks since we left and it is never far from my mind.
I think my favourite is number five. I love the colours, the panelling and the design on the windows. Do you have a favourite this week?
Ps. I have started compressing my photos and have seen a huge difference in my storage already. Thank you everyone for your help and advice.
This park is located in South Belfast and is a good walk from where I am staying at the moment. I have been here a couple of times and have always known it was famous for its many flowers and in particular its rose gardens. However, this was the first time I actually followed the map and purposefully looked for the attractions listed, such as the walled garden and Japanese garden. I also was not aware that there is a cafe here too, that was a welcome bonus. I will leave the official link for this park here so you can read a little history about this place and how it ended up being available to the public. https://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/things-to-do/parks-and-open-spaces/a-z-parks/sir-thomas-and-lady-dixon-park
I hope you enjoy reading about this wonderful park and please let me know if you have ever visited yourself.
Happy Monday everyone! The start of a new week and I’m just having a look at my blog memory. I have noticed that I have used 80% of my storage, presumably on images as I do tend to upload a lot of these. Does anyone here in the blogosphere know what happens when you run out of storage? Do you have to pay for more or is it best to delete some of my older images?
I already pay quite a bit for a yearly subscription for a personal plan and I have 6G of storage, so I don’t really want to pay any more. However, I am worried about deleting images as that may affect my previous blog posts. If you remove the images from the media library, does that remove them also from your blog posts?
There are quite a few questions there but if anyone has any advice, it would be greatly appreciated. Otherwise, I can contact the engineers and see what solutions they can offer.
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of Doors of WordPress. I have been in Northern Ireland for just over one week now and have managed to spot a copious amount of doors. To be honest, I was nervous leaving Sydney and not seeing any more amazing doors, however, I am pleased to say, Northern Ireland has a fantastic array of doors that I am very much looking forward to showcasing. Have a look below and let me know if you have a favourite door or if you have been to any of the locations.
Thanks for checking out my doors again this week. Have a great day everyone.
After our New Zealand holiday, we had another trip up our sleeves before heading home to Northern Ireland. Initially we were planning on Tasmania, however, New Zealand was freezing and Tasmania would be freezing too at this time of year. So we decided to cancel Tasmania and head somewhere hot. Bali had never really been on my agenda but it’s pretty close to Australia and a popular tourist destination. After some research online and speaking with friends, we settled on two locations to try, simply to break up the trip and have two different experiences. We opted for Ubud for the scenery and peacefulness, contrasting with Seminyak for the beaches and tourist vibe.
This was to be a relaxing holiday, lying by the pool and absorbing some much needed vitamin D. Normally I really dislike these types of holidays but I was fine on this occasion as we had just travelled quite a bit and packed up our whole life. Rest and relaxation was most definitely welcomed.
Arriving into Bali was a lengthy process with four different queues needing to be passed. Covid screening, obtaining and paying for your visa ($100 AU), immigration and declarations. I’m not going to lie, this was tough going after a long flight from Australia and we arrived late at night. By the time we passed immigration etc it was 12pm. Luckily we had pre booked a taxi and he was very kind to wait for us as we had another one hour drive to our hotel in Ubud. I felt so bad for the driver but he reassured me that this is the norm.
Element Bali Ubud – this was our hotel in Ubud for 4 nights and to be honest, it was the highlight of the holiday. We are absolutely amazed by this hotel and how fantastic it was. The staff were unbelievably friendly and accommodating, everything was so clean, the food drinks were delicious, the location to town was pretty good and we loved the amenities. We used the spa, the gym and the pool and were so pleased with them all. I would definitely recommend staying here if you ever come to Ubud. You can check it out here for yourselves.
Things to see in Ubud : We hired a taxi to take us around the key sites of interest that we had been researching. The Monkey Temple is a huge tourist attraction but we don’t really have a love for monkeys so we avoided that one.
1 – Seeing the rice fields. This was great to see how the farmers work the fields and grow their best prized crop.
2 – Tirta Empul Temple. A very busy temple for locals and tourists alike. This was built around a bubbling spring and is a fascinating place to see Hindu devotees purifying themselves by ways of ritual bathing.
3 – Sampling the Luwak coffee. This coffee is famous for its unusual methods of creation. The Luwak animal is a cat like creature that feeds on Luwak coffee beans (among other things). When they excrete the beans, the outer shell is removed to expose the inner bean, which in turn is used to make coffee. Seen as a delicacy, this was an honour to taste, alongside some really different and unusual tea and coffee varieties, such as avocado coffee and lemongrass tea.
4 – Saraswati Temple. This just looked amazing online so we really wanted to visit. It can be found in the heart of Ubud centre and was built to honour Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge, music, art, wisdom and learning.
5 – Dinner at Chora. I found this restaurant on Instagram (the benefits of social media) and thought it looked interesting. It was fab! Great healthy food with a Mediterranean influence, fantastic service and a truly serene experience.
Aloft Bali Seminyak – We loved this hotel and it had such a great location. It’s a good distance from the town but you are in a quieter location and very close to the beaches. We would walk 5 minutes to the beach and then walk along for about 30 minutes to reach Seminyak town. The rooftop pool and bar was lovely with stunning ocean views, the hotel served up some great food and drinks, plus the staff again were so, so friendly here.
To be honest we didn’t do many tourist things here in Seminyak and we were happy just to relax. Also, I did have a case of Bali belly during the trip (a common occurrence here for Westerners with sensitive stomachs), I think from the water, so I was out of action for a couple of days with pretty bad stomach cramps. However, I can show you a few places that we enjoyed eating in when I felt better, asides from the hotel where the food was really delicious.
1 – Shelter Restaurant. Shelter is a contemporary Middle Eastern and Mediterranean restaurant located in the central part of beautiful Pererenan. The food was absolutely stunning and the service was exceptional. There was a great tropical vibe and the musical really set the scene, even the bathrooms were impressive. This was our favourite place to eat from the whole trip (maybe as it was also my birthday).
2 – Da Maria. This was a fantastic Italian restaurant actually on the same street as our hotel. It’s great when you can walk to the venue and we had heard great things about this place. Food was lovely and there is a real buzz in this place.
3 – Potato Head Bali Beach Club. This is a really cool place if you want to come and chill out for the day. We loved the food here also and it was just a short walk from our hotel via the beach before you get to Seminyak Village.
One thing you do have to do in Seminyak is watch the sunset from the beach. You can be anywhere on the beach but we found the sunset to be popular near our hotel. The actual beach is called Pantai Batu Belig. People come to just sit on the beach and take it all in, it actually reminded me of Ibiza sunsets.
That’s a wrap on my Bali trip. It’s a beautiful place with the most gorgeous people. This was a great trip for rest and relaxation before heading home to Northern Ireland. Follow my journey home and I aim to highlight the numerous places NI has to offer.
Thanks for taking a look at this Bali blog post and have a great week everyone.
Happy Sunday everyone. I hope you’re all having a good weekend whatever you’re doing. We are adjusting to life at home and catching up with family and friends. Today’s sunset picture was taken last week on our last evening in Bali. We were sitting at the rooftop bar at our hotel and we were fortunate to be able to witness this sunset. I love the colour of the sky and the way it contrasts with the dark and moody looking cloud coverage.