What is something you learned recently?

Bloganuary day 29

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.

Wayne ✌🏽

Describe your perfect birthday cake.

Bloganuary day 28

I do love a good birthday cake. For me it can be a traditional vanilla sponge cake with buttercream in the the middle (and sometimes jam) and a good thick layer of icing at the top.

I really am a sucker for icing. So when the whole cake is covered, I love to eat a corner slice, with icing down the side also. This is my absolute favourite and only ever eaten on birthdays.

To be honest, I very rarely have a birthday cake, however, I do enjoy eating birthday cake when celebrating other people’s birthdays.

Wayne ✌🏽

What are the pros and cons of procrastination?

Bloganuary day 27

What a very appropriate question. I love to procrastinate but I also hate it. It’s very 50/50 concept for me.

Pros

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.

Cons

The thing you should be doing gets placed on the back burner and your work maybe doesn’t reach its full potential. You could have finished an amazing project but yet you failed to stay focused and ended up completing other unnecessary 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?

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V34

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.

1 – Woollahra

2 – Woollahra

3 – Paddington

4 – Paddington

5 – Woollahra

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.

Wayne ✌🏽

How do you show love?

Bloganuary day 24 ❤️

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.

What are your thoughts on today’s blog prompt?

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V33

Happy Thursday to you all. For this week’s doors, I am running with the prompt from today’s Bloganuary, ‘What colour 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.

1 – Arrowtown, NZ

2 – Belfast

3 – Hillsborough

4 – Hillsborough Castle

5 – Sydney

6 – Arrowtown, NZ

7 – Cushendall

8 – Banbridge

9 – St Kilda, Melbourne

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.

Thanks for taking a look at my blue doors.

Wayne ✌🏽

What’s your favorite meal to cook and/or eat?

Bloganuary day 18

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.

Ps. It has to be Thai jasmine rice 😜

Wayne ✌🏽

Describe the happiest day of your life.

Bloganuary day 17

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 😊.

This week we celebrate 16 years together. Maybe that wouldn’t have been the case if I had travelled solo for a year. What’s meant to be is meant to be ❤️

Wayne ✌🏽

If you had a billion US dollars, how would you spend it?

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?

Wayne ✌🏽

How do you define success?

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??

Wayne ✌🏽

Write a short story or poem about rain.

Bloganuary Day 7 – what are you doing to me?! Here is my little rain poem 👇🏼

Rain rain to go Spain,

And you will have a happy Wayne,

Don’t stay away too long though,

As ALL living things need you to grow! 🌱

Wayne ✌🏽

Ps I will never win any poetry prizes…

Doors of WordPress V32

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.

Wayne ✌🏽

What brings you joy in life?

This is a good question for day 5 of Bloganuary and is an easy for me. Being outdoors on a good nature walk brings me joy, especially if I am with my other half or friends. I love it. I really enjoy the serenity, the scenery, fresh air, feeling healthy, taking photographs and just generally appreciating life. It’s the simple things in life for me that bring me joy.

I do love walking in general, anywhere really, for example walking tours in the city. However, what really brings me joy is a walk in nature, be that by the sea or in the countryside.

I have accomplished so many great walks in Sydney, Australia and now I really look forward to some fantastic walks here in Northern Ireland and Ireland as a whole. Bring it on!

What about you? Do you love to walk? What brings you joy in life?

Wayne ✌🏽

What is the earliest memory you have?

Bloganuary day 2 asks for our earliest memory. Mine is living in a little village for the first few years of my life and having a friend in the same cul-de-sac as me. We did many things together until we moved house when I was six years old. I remember really missing her when we moved.

I love the eighties clothes!

It wasn’t until I was fifteen or sixteen years old that I bumped into this girl again at a new school that I joined. It was an amazing moment as we both remembered playing together when we were younger and cherished those memories. I don’t have one specific memory but rather a feeling of happiness when we were together.

Wayne ✌🏽

Welcome back Bloganuary!

Bloganuary! I am so glad to see you back. Today’s question is a good one for the first day of 2023.

What is something you want to achieve this year?

What is something you want to achieve this year?

One word springs to mind for me, FOUNDATION. I have just returned from Australia back home to Northern Ireland and my goal is to build my foundation for the next chapter in my life. I want to buy a house, settle in a new job and decide what is in store for my future. I am really looking forward and thinking of positive things for the days, weeks, months and even years ahead. I hope you will all follow me on my journey and very good luck to all those participating in this years Bloganuary. I look forward to reading everyone’s responses and making some new friends here in the blogosphere.

Happy New Year everyone and here’s hoping 2023 brings us everything we hope for.

Wayne ✌🏽

FOTD – Greater Periwinkle

Happy Friday everyone and welcome to my last flower of the day for this year. I can’t believe it’s the 30th of December 2022, however, I will be glad to have this year behind me and focus on 2023. It’s been a tough few months to say the least but I feel like this image below signifies it perfectly. This beautiful lavender periwinkle flower was covered in snow and now it’s slowly thawing out, ready to shine once again.

I want to wish you all a very happy new year and take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you very, very much for all your support with my blog. I honestly appreciate it so much, every like, every comment, every emoji and ALL the positivity shown here in this extraordinary space known as the blogosphere.

Greater periwinkle (fabulous name) – spotted at one of my new favourite places, Hillsborough Castle.

Take care everyone and I hope to see you all back here in 2023! I will be participating in this year’s Bloganuary as I loved it so much last year. Will anyone else be participating?

Wayne ✌🏽

Ballymascanlan Hotel

I was catching up with a good friend from Sydney at the weekend past and wanted to meet in a place that suited us both for travelling. My friend was coming from Dublin and I would be travelling from Belfast. We settled on the Ballymascanlan Hotel, just outside Dundalk. This was a one hour drive away for both us, making it a perfect spot for a lunch date.

This hotel was very easy to find from Belfast. Straight down the motorway, onto the dual carriageway towards Dundalk and then just off the roundabout towards Carlingford. I was aided with google maps but just be mindful that the mobile data may switch off, as did in my case, due to travelling from Northern Ireland to Ireland.

The hotel is very quaint, an old Victorian house in the middle of a stunning parkland. Inside was beautifully decorated, ready for Christmas. We had a three course Christmas lunch that was very tasty and really made us feel those Christmas vibes. We loved it and I will definitely be keen to return in the future. Be sure to check this place out.

Have you a favourite spot for a Christmas lunch? What do you do to feel Christmassy? Tis’ the season!

Wayne 🎅🏽

12 months and 12 photos (2022)

I love choosing 12 photos to highlight what I have experienced throughout the year and it’s a great little recap. This has been a big year with lots of changes, some good and some bad, however, I am grateful to have had a good year overall and ending 2022 on a positive note. Please feel free to have a look at my 2022 highlights below and feel free to share your highlights from the past 12 months.

JANUARY – starting the year off with a little trip to Mudgee, NSW. We had always wanted to visit here and this was the perfect place for us to celebrate 15 years together.

FEBRUARY – This was one of our most epic destinations and a huge bucket list ticked off. Our trip to Uluru was one that we will cherish for years to come.

MARCH – Rain, rain, rain. Two years of rain in Sydney thanks to La Niña. We had many days out in the rain, we wouldn’t let it deter us, it was certainly better than having bush fires.

APRIL – a lovely little trip seeing the bestie in Melbourne. So good to catch-up after so long apart and seeing these Brighton boxes was another item ticked off the bucket list.

MAY – Seeing Dermot Kennedy in concert was pretty special, especially with my Irish friends.

JUNE – BBQ with the boys. Some of my favourite people, fantastic Lebanese food and this was the beginning of my many leaving parties as I leave Sydney for the time being.

JULY – the beginning of our travels. Queenstown in New Zealand was an absolute highlight. We loved it here.

AUGUST – Next on our travels was Bali, Indonesia. Stunning place to visit and we welcomed the sunshine after being in NZ at winter time.

SEPTEMBER – a big reason for me coming home was to see my sisters become married. A beautiful day and I love this photos with my sisters. I’m a lucky guy to have not one but three amazing sisters 🤍

OCTOBER – the main reason for me to come home, my family. Precious time with my niece and nephew, priceless!

NOVEMBER – my baby sister has her wedding. A lovely day and feeling very proud here 🤍

DECEMBER – Home with my number one person. Grateful to be here together and look forward to 2023, side by side ❤️

Sunday Sunset – suburbia

Wayne ✌🏽

FOTD – Red Bistort

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.

Red Bistort, originally from the Himalaya Mountains, can be seen all over the UK. They can be found in meadows, pastures and along the roadsides. Traditionally they would have been used in deserts at Easter time, more so in England, I have never heard of this but fascinating all the same. These flowers can also be boiled, roasted and even used for making bread (The Wildlife Trusts, 2022).

Have a great day everyone,

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V31 – Best of 2022

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 – Woollahra

2 – Bronte

3 – Woollahra

4 – Hobbiton

5 – Auckland

6 – Banbridge

7 – Hillsborough

8 – Paddington

Wayne ✌🏽

10 things I have learned/remembered since being home in Northern Ireland

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.

Sunday Strolls : Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

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.

Wayne ✌🏽

FOTD – Poinsettia V✌🏽

Happy Friday everyone. So, I have showcased this flower before but recently I have seen a different variety and it looks so much different in another season and another country. You can see my previous poinsettia here from March when I was living in Sydney. This flower is always grown as a potted plant and is often used as a Christmas decoration due to its bright red leaves. This flower definitely feels Christmassy, more so as it is now the Christmas season and it’s cold here in this side of the world, unlike when I had previously seen this flower in summer in Sydney.

Have you ever given or received this flower at Christmas? It certainly blends in with our Christmas decorations.

Enjoy your weekend guys,

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V27

Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of doors. This week I’m really missing Sydney and Australia so I thought I would showcase some more of my doors from Sydney, taken just before we left for our travels home.

1 – Darlinghurst

2 – Woollahra

3 – The Rocks

4 – Woollahra

5 – Woollahra

My favourite this week is number 3 from The Rocks. I think these police doors are amazing and very welcoming for a police station. Do you have a favourite this week?

Thanks for checking out my doors. Have a great weekend guys. I will be at another wedding this weekend so won’t be online too much until next week.

Wayne ✌🏽

Banbridge Riverside Walk

Does anybody else love to take a Sunday stroll? I love to walk, as nerdy as that sounds but it really makes me feel good. Since leaving Sydney I have been walking less and less, mainly due to being extremely busy but also as there aren’t too many interesting walks nearby. This riverside walk in Banbridge is the nearest walkway to me and I really love it. The only downside is that it’s really quite short, therefore, it doesn’t enable you to obtain many steps for the day.

The name of the walk is pretty self explanatory, it’s a short walk along the river, the River Bann to be precise and it’s one of the longest rivers in Northern Ireland. The walk itself in Banbridge could take you about 20 minutes but it’s beautiful all the same. It’s especially scenic at this time of year with all the autumnal colours.

It’s a shame you can’t walk the whole length of the river, however, I am grateful to have even a small path to walk along when you need to clear your head and breathe in some fresh air.

Have a great Sunday everyone. I will be watching a Christmas movie this afternoon to get into the festive spirit 😉.

Take care,

Wayne ✌🏽

FOTD – Common Borage

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?

Also known as beeplant or starflower. The edible leaves of common borage, said to have the fragrance and taste of cucumbers, are often used to make salads, soup, and sauces. Its blue, star-like flowers can also be used as an attractive drink garnish and as an ingredient in some gins (Picture This, 2022).

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V25 🎃

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.

1 – The Gatekeeper’s Inn

2 – Banbridge

3 – Hillsborough Castle

4 – Elmwood Avenue

5 – Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park

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.

Wayne ✌🏽

Fandango’s Provocative Question #188

Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration. By …

Fandango’s Provocative Question #188

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.

Can you name any of your favourites too??

Wayne ✌🏽

Monday Musings – dark and gloomy

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 😕.

Stay dry and warm my friends.

Wayne ✌🏽

Sunday Sunset – Bondi

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.

Beautiful Bondi

I hope you enjoy the colours and have had a lovely relaxing weekend.

Wayne ✌🏽

FOTD – Pot Marigold

Happy Friday everyone. It is another wet and wild day here in Northern Ireland. I may get used to this! Lucky we have some flowers in our garden that are pretty bright and cheery.

Pot Marigold – found in my parents garden. I love the bright orange colour and it’s perfect looking petals.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V24

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.

1 – Finaghy

2 – Carnlough

3 – Glenann

4 – Malone Road, South Belfast

5 – Banbridge

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?

Thanks so much for reading and taking a look.

All the best,

Wayne ✌🏽

Tuesday Thoughts – Silent

This is a very appropriate word prompt for me this week, thank you WordPress 🙏🏼

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.

Wayne ✌🏽

Sunday sunset – Banbridge

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??

Wayne ✌🏽

FOTD – Black eyed susan part 2

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.

https://wrookieschu.com/2022/08/26/fotd-black-eyed-susan/

Enjoy your weekend everyone.

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V23

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.

1 – Woollahra
2 – Woollahra
3 – Paddington
4 – Bondi Junction
5 – Paddington

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.

Wayne ✌🏽

Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park

A map at the entrance of this amazing park.

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.

Wayne ✌🏽

WordPress Storage?!

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.

Many thanks and have a great week.

Wayne ✌🏽

Bali 🍃

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.

UBUD

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.

SEMINYAK

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.

Wayne ✌🏽

Sunday Sunset – Seminyak V2

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.

Wayne ✌🏽

FOTD – Spiral Ginger

Happy Friday everyone. My flower of the day was taken in Bali. I was amazed to spot this as I have never seen anything like it before. It is a species of costus and is native to Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Enjoy your weekend everyone,

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V21

Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to my latest edition of Doors of WordPress. This week I want to show you some doors that I discovered last week on my holiday in Bali. I will also be completing my Bali blog and hopefully have that up in a few days. I arrived in Northern Ireland three days ago and am enjoying catching up with family and becoming acquainted to the local area but I will continue to blog whenever I have free time.

1 – Element Hotel Ubud
2 – Ubud city centre
3 – Taman Ayun Temple
4 – Saraswati Temple Ubud
5 – Kerobokan Kelod

You may or may not know but Bali is a Hindu island that is part of Indonesia which is predominantly Muslim. Therefore, you can see many, many temples in Bali where the people can practice Hinduism. I really admire the temples and their architecture, some of them are absolutely stunning with such intrinsic detail. Do you have a favourite door this week?

I hope you are all keeping well.

Wayne ✌🏽

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