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 ✌🏽

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 ✌🏽

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 ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V30 🎄

Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to my 30th edition of Doors of WordPress!!! This week we’re showcasing some festive inspired doors, mine are all red as that’s the colour I think of when I envisage the Christmas season. I haven’t seen too many festive doors this week but I suppose it’s still early days. I love seeing all the Christmas wreaths on the doors too, a tradition that still makes me smile when I see it, so if I see any wreaths over the next couple of weeks, I will be sure to share them.

1 – Love & Death, a cool bar in Belfast city centre.

2 – St Malachy’s Parish Church, Hillsborough

3 – Hillsborough, I love this door, the frame and transom window, very regal in appearance and just beside Hillsborough Castle.

4 – Avonmore House, Banbridge. This house was built around 1791 and was the home of Francis Crozier, the Banbridge born polar explorer.

5 – Hillsborough, a great door and I love the Christmas wreath.

I hope you’re all enjoying the festive season thus far. I’m just working away and enjoying the build up, the Christmas songs and mince pies. I haven’t even started Christmas shopping yet, what about you?

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 V29

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?

1 – Cathedral Quarter, Belfast

2 – Banbridge

3 – South Belfast

4 – Banbridge

5 – Banbridge

Have a great end to your week everyone and enjoy the beginning of December.

Wayne ✌🏽

Share your World 28/11/22

Thank you PENSITIVITY101 for this weeks festive questions, perfect for getting into the Christmas spirit.

  1. Do you have any family traditions?

We normally celebrate Christmas Eve more than anything as we are 50% German in our household. We enjoy a raclette together as a family, basically it’s a small grill where we have lots of ingredients from meats, to potatoes to different vegetables all covered in a layer of melted cheese. It’s a great way to enjoy food and quality family time together.

2. With December on its way, have you ever been carol singing?

I remember carol singing outdoors in our home town with my school. I actually really enjoyed it and we even stopped outside my family home and sang a carol with my mum and baby sister watching from the front porch. That was pretty special.

3. Do you decorate your home for the Christmas holidays?

Absolutely yes! I love the Christmas decorations as they really make you feel warm, cosy and ready for the festive period. Normally we have a Christmas tree and a few little Christmas ornaments scattered around the living room. This year will be extra special as we are home to the cold weather and surrounded by family. We have been in Australia for the past few years and for us it hasn’t felt very Christmassy due to the heat and the attire being slightly different i.e. T-shirts and shorts.

4. Do you enjoy the Christmas rush for preparations and shopping?

This is a yes and no for me. I do like the atmosphere, people full of Christmas cheer and running about collecting my gifts, however, I really dislike queues and large crowds.

Roll on Christmas and the lead up to it! Enjoy your week everyone.

Wayne ✌🏽

M O I R A

As most of you know, I was in Moira last weekend for my sister’s wedding and I really want to show you all this picturesque and charming place.

Moira is a beautiful little village in Co. Down, Northern Ireland and can be accessed directly from the motorway, making it very easy to access. This was only my second time visiting here, which is surprising as it has always been a close enough place to where I had been living.

The last time I was here was in 2016 and it made a huge impact on me even then. I knew I wanted to return for a visit one day and luckily enough for me, I would be visiting for a wedding. It’s an extremely quirky place with many independently owned shops, quaint cafes and award winning restaurants. There is a very welcoming and homely feel to Moira and it has an abundance of character. I will run through some of the places I managed to see over the weekend and highlight a couple of places that I would love to visit in the future.

1 – Ralph’s Bed and Breakfast

2 – Tutta La Pizza

This is a lovely pizzeria across the road from Ralph’s that has amazing pizza, where you can grab a takeaway or you can dine in, whilst soaking in the rustic charm that it has managed to encapsulate.

3 – The StillHouse

4 – Moira Demesne

5 – Places to interest

A lovely sunset on the Main Street on a crisp autumn evening.

All in all this is a great little place to check out and spend a day or two. I personally can’t wait to return to explore more and try the coffee shops and restaurants, as I’m sure there are even more that I haven’t even seen yet.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend.

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V28

Happy Thursday everyone. It’s a cold and wet one this week in Northern Ireland (what a shocker) and the dark evenings have leached into the afternoons.

However, last weekend we were in Moira for my sister’s wedding and I was able to spot a few doors that I liked. Take a wee look below and let me know if you have a favourite.

1

2

3

4

5

Number 5 is my personal favourite. The quaintest and tiniest door I ever did see! I wonder if a bird lives in there?!

Have a great day everyone.

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 ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V26

Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another week of doors spotted in Northern Ireland. This week’s selection are colourful and full of character. Let me know if you have a favourite 😊.

1 – Hillsborough

2 – Lisburn

3 – South Belfast

4 – Cushendall

5 – Cushendall

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 ✌🏽

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 ✌🏽

Share your World – 05/09/22

Happy Monday everyone. It’s been a little while since I have answered questions from Melanie’s Share your World. I see Di has taken over for now and thought the questions this week were right up my street. You can check out the link here https://pensitivity101.wordpress.com/2022/09/05/share-your-world-5th-september/ and I have the questions for this week below.

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.

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 ✌🏽

FOTD – Black eyed susan

My Friday flower of the day seen this week at Hillsborough Castle. How amazing are these? I love how they look like mini sunflowers and I also love the name, black eyed susan. Also can you see the little wasp on one of the flowers? These are super easy to look after and have even been known to be good for gardeners with brown thumbs (I love that saying!).

Happy Friday and have a great weekend everyone.

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V22

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.

1 – Banbridge
2 – Hillsborough
3 – Belfast City Centre
4 – Banbridge
5 – Belfast City Centre

Thanks for checking out my doors again this week. Have a great day everyone.

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 ✌🏽

WordPress Monthly Word Prompt – TRANSITION

Two things spring to mind when I see this prompt. Firstly, the image says Week of August 8 which makes me think the monthly word prompt is now weekly!? I asked WordPress about this and they stated that they are trialling more frequent word prompts. Fair enough and I think it’s a good idea, especially if you are maybe struggling to think of a blog topic.

Secondly the word prompt featured is transition which jumps out at me as I feel this is personally very appropriate at this time. I am making a huge life transition in the coming days. As many of you know already, I have been travelling a lot over the past few weeks and next week I will be heading to Northern Ireland after three years of not being able to visit home. I have packed up all my belongings and moving across the world to finally reunite with my family and friends. Whether I stay there or return to Australia remains to be seen but for now I will be concentrating on catching up with loved ones and reacquainting myself with life in Northern Ireland.

I will be keeping you all updated and sharing plenty more on my blog as the next chapter of my life commences, hopefully showcasing the best places see in Northern Ireland, Ireland and even Europe. I would like to say thank you all for your continued support and for creating such an amazing blogging environment here on WordPress.

Take care and enjoy your weekend.

Wayne ✌🏽

Auckland

After Hobbiton, we drove for a couple of hours to reach our final destination of Auckland. We were here primarily to catch up with a good friend who lives here but also we were keen to see and experience what this city has to offer. I will highlight the places we managed to visit while in Auckland for three days.

1 – Cheltenham Beach

2 – Maungauika/North Head Historic Reserve

3 – Takapuna Beach Path.

4 – Wine tasting at The Hunting Lodge.

5 – Sunset at Muriwai Beach.

6 – Auckland Museum.

7 – Ponsonby.

There you have it! Our New Zealand trip has come to an end. What an amazing trip and so fortunate to have finally been able to visit after being in lockdown on and off for two years. I hope you enjoyed the journey and photographs from this truly epic country with the absolute friendliest of people. It’s a trip I will not forget in a hurry. Thank you all for showing an interest in my posts over the past couple of weeks, it really means a lot.

All the best,

Wayne ✌🏽

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