the troubles

 

We’re Irish so I guess a little arguing is to be expected? There’s a lot of opinions come along with me on this family holiday…

I need to make the most of some brief alone time, stomach troubles, to recharge for the next round.

I hopped on the bus one day. Hopped on and off the next. Finally seem to have suppressed the jetlag and did some touristy things. One hour and a half in the Titanic Museum – never crossed my mind to be interested til Belfast but that is a very impressive place. One hour and a half at Crumlin Road Gaol – it’s a gaol, not so nice, and the hangman’s noose at the end… One hour and a half on a Black Cab Tour – I expected fascinating I got distressing and very sobering. Belfast has a dark side still…

The others are out, singing to Van the man, for an hour and a half because that must be the attention span of a tourist.

I’m not sure how I feel about Belfast.

There are some wonderful old buildings and some lovely friendly people. We’ve had amazing food, done lots and lots of walking, stayed in a crazy good hotel, heard birdlife I cannot identify out the window day and night. But also sirens… and the lads every night late. Today’s cabbie told me it’ll be the young rats from the nearby estates…and the gates between the ‘traditions’ are still locked at night, and on Sundays.

Tomorrow we’ll be on our way. A few less travellers with us and the Giant’s Causeway to see before our next stop. We’ll be on the road to Derry.

 

Belfast

The lads have finally gone to sleep, peeled off, or collapsed in an ugly heap somewhere. Saturday night / early Sunday morning Belfast is a noisy noisy place. It’s hot in the hotel room and jet lag is a menace. My mind takes off in anxious directions.

The sibling, who judges even while sleeping, shares the room – not the bed thank goodness! If I were alone I’d have coffee, turn on the tv, maybe have room service but I’m the inoffensive one. I won’t wake her.

In the morning we might hop on and off the bus. We might hear about the Titanic. And the next day my daughters will be here to share excitement and love.

May all beings be well and happy.

Belfast City Hall

Belfast City Hall

saturday, best day ever

 

Had a great coffee with the two girls, in Newtown, today. Just across the road from Stacks of Wax. Maxed out on wax after the caffeine. My car is so small that we only just fit three of us, and all the candles, on the way home. Wedding prep list – illumination CHECK.

We’re all at an age that there’s so much joy in time spent together. Smiles and so much laughter today.

First thing was breakfast closer to home. Ice whipped our legs while we queued for a table. Apparently the eggs benedict was ‘best ever’ and worth the wait and the shivering…

Then, the last dress fitting. I don’t know how to describe the love felt in that shop. What a wonderful job that young man has – creating such beautiful taffeta things, making countless women so happy.

We did the tiniest bit more shopping between bridal wear and candles, along with a mad dash through rain and an abundance of giggling.

Tonight, with the heater struggling to take the frost off us, and the cats a pair of curly curls in amongst us…we ate schnitzel and cabbage together, watched the rugby and talked about the holiday to come.

Probably a whole day of ‘best ever’. Saturday.

 

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major life changes

 

I’ve spent months panicking, preparing, and desperately doing living while counting down to the big trip.

I almost have work under control. I have no idea if I’m ready but I’ll fly away in ten days.

Early idea of an alone trip, an epiphany here and there perhaps, has morphed into a great family adventure. Adventure is not the right word – it’s a case of going places I’ve long dreamed about, and taking demons and dysfunction along with me. Planes, trains, automobiles and hotel rooms shared. Talk about having baggage!

Can’t even say I’m looking forward to it anymore.

And then it struck me. Life is going to change, drastically, soon. When I come back I will be alone in this huge set of walls. While youngest strikes out on her way back to independence I will also need to learn to be, again. All too easy to sit on the couch and eat after work but where’s the happiness? There’s a whole world out there in my own city, my own state, and I’ll have time to find my parts of it.

Responsibilities not quite done, lessened. Before long though I will be totally alone – aged parent care lingers frailly, and the big kids scour the real estate pages for their own patch.

Elusive ‘me’ time just might be rushing this way! Going to grab it with both hands…

 

caring for an aged parent

empty nest approaches

bucket list trip of a lifetime

 

How have you dealt with change?