Last night I attended a Christmas Dinner run by a Social Meetup in Belfast at Crumlin Road Gaol – a former Prison turned tourist attraction run by two guys I know from my home village. They’re even married to two sisters from a nearby town; I know their mother-in-law.
I was glad to have attended the dinner especially as I was talking to a woman I sat beside on the bus over to Belfast who I found out, from speaking to her, is a relative of mine. And also, at the dinner, a woman sitting beside me was from a village in my neck of the woods; Bellaghy, the location of the Seamus Heaney Homeplace. (he was actually from Newbridge/Castledawson, to be pedantic) She became interested in me as I used the Mid Ulster idioms she never heard since she moved to Newtonabbey.
In the end, I had to leave early as the demon energy drink took over.
But, as you can see, I’m king of my castle.
Also, I have an Adobe Spark journal of creative ideas throughout this month;
My employment advisor is arranging for me to get a job through the workable program, at a new place opening in Toomebridge. Hopefully, that will provide me with much-needed income. It seems that those who want to work suffer, while those who don’t want to work profit. Bizarro World, indeed.
I need to spend as little time as possible on Facebook. It’s like a Vampire, sucking the lifeblood out of one. Fanboys see no other opinion other than their own. Don’t drink ANY political Kool-Aid; be it Tory or Labour.
Last Tuesday I attended a short guided tour of Monkstown Castle, as part of a Meetup. The Wednesday prior I had booked an online day return from Portadown to Dublin and back for £10 – Cheap as Chips – but I booked a taxi from outside Connolly Station and the car we were in kept dying out whenever we approached traffic lights. It was a fuel-efficient automatic. (thanks ever so much Al Bloody Gore) But I saw a burgundy Peugeot turning at a junction at Blackrock – unsure of the road – and nearly running straight into a cyclist in a yellow jacket. There, for the grace of God, go I.
The tour itself was dominated by the random musings of the organiser’s ten-year-old son. He probably has Asperger’s. But I chipped in with some tidbits of information. In the end, I really needed the loo and went to a Chinese Restaurant named Victoria – probably after the Capital of Hong Kong – Then I had just enough for a DART from Monkstown to Connolly and was able to board an earlier train back to Northern Ireland than planned. However, I didn’t have to pay extra thanks to me informing the conductor I was worried that the park where my car is might be locked at night.
My brother is back in Derry for his second year of University, he has placement year sorted as well, and now I have the place to myself. That both gladdens and saddens me. But I will soon be getting proper broadband, once I receive a 4G SIM from EE, and will hope to return to designing websites.
Yesterday I got a bus from Cookstown to Dublin to head to Killiney for a walk organised by a Meetup group; see previous blog post of my experience in Haiku form. And, having experienced Dublin yesterday, our problems here in Northern Ireland are a drop in the Ocean compared to what’s going on down South.
First of all, there is an ongoing industrial dispute between the Government and Public Transport workers. The DART drivers were on strike on Friday, but at least they were in operation yesterday, so I could get to Killiney without needing a taxi. Though Dublin Bus services were also in operation. The Unions are holding the city to ransom. The money is no longer there to satisfy every whim in the land. There isn’t much reported on how Unions in America bankrupted Detroit. 🙂
Resentment aside, I was at Killiney DART station and there is a Café there run by a Dutch woman who is extremely friendly and well known. I had a cup of tea there and it was an experience witnessing the abundance in the area.
Then came the walk. It was meant to be for two and a half hours, but I only lasted half an hour. I’m THAT unfit. Plus I paid the price for being dehydrated yesterday this morning with the runs. (too much information) We passed through Bono’s house; how fitting since I had bordering vertigo looking down at the scenery from the station. My brother has worse vertigo than me, though. But he now works for M&S. :p
I did manage to walk to Dalkey to get the DART back to Connolly Station and I noticed the flags and bunting for Cuala, the club that won the All-Ireland Club Hurling title on St. Patrick’s Day. They beat Slaughtniel in the semi the afternoon I had planned to go to Belfast for a Meetup. It was good to know things I should have known much earlier.
Then when I got the bus back to Cookstown there was a huge backlog due the the numbers looking a bus from Dublin Airport. One guy wanted to pay for a ticket to Armagh by card, only to be told ‘cash only’. But there was one guy at the Airport who wanted to head to Castleblaney, County Monaghan, to go fishing. His day was ruined. Puts things into perspective for me.
Now I feel that I have to cut back on the excursions and focus on finding work. I’m spreading myself too thin now. 😐
My Meetup on Wednesday night went pretty well. I realise that I have a hell of a lot to learn if I wish to develop proper WordPress sites, but I have learned some useful sites to have and utilise a website speed test site on a website I helped modify last year. (the website even has US School grades, lol)
However, weather wise, the snow didn’t appear until I got back home again. Yesterday evening I drove to the shop to buy petrol and to the Chinese for a feed and I hearly couldn’t get up the hill on our untreated road and on the way back stalled when turning to our lane. But this morning I went the same route and handled it much better.
The thing about a manual car in comparison to an automatic is;
- You CAN apply the brake when driving in the ice/snow; but only in minuscule increments.
- You have to drive as slow as possible in as high a gear as possible; however I was only doing 10 mph yesterday evening in fourth gear and this morning I drove between 15 mph and 20 mph in fourth gear.
I have to overcome an awful lot of fear in order to drive safely.
I am going to play it safe and I booked a taxi to a local park-and-ride to get a bus to Belfast and I booked a hotel for tonight using booking dot com at a hotel a few minutes walk from the bus station and Meetup location that I can pay for by cash. Smiles all round.
Apparently it’s going to snow this evening, so I’m taking no risks with my car. Especially after all the hareum scareum moments behind the wheel recently.
Hope that the Meetup will go well. 🙂
Tomorrow evening I plan to attend a WordPress Meetup. Hopefully I’ll brown-nose a few other bloggers to get more tips and tricks.
It’s gale force winds here tonight; hopefully it won’t be unbearable driving conditions tomorrow night. If need be, I’ll book a Hotel.
Keep taking risks! Fortune favours the brave!