Aug 22

I was back in Belfast, Northern Ireland for two-and-a-half weeks. It was great.

It’s actually the first time I’ve been there in August for a decade. I popped home for my grandmother’s death and funeral in April, but apart from that it has been almost three years since I’ve been back. And that was in December.

You forget what a big part the weather can play in a holiday / vacation, and well, in life in general I suppose. Like we don’t know the importance of the weather in New Orleans. Anyway, I’ve been on a cycle of winter trips back. Although it has been good to spend my birthday there, and last time my mum’s birthday as well, the summer is definitely the way to go. It stays light until 10pm – not dark by 3pm like it can be in the winter – and there is so much more to do when you can get outside.

We went to a (fairly) new park in the grounds of Stormont and it is the best playground I have ever been to. Anywhere in the world, ever. It was huge and fabulous and best of all – sunny and dry. My daughter was there for hours. Another day we walked up the hill to Stormont Parliament buildings, played football / soccer and then rolled back down. We went to another park in the grounds of Belfast Castle and that was great as well with a zip-line and a huge climbing thingy and everything. And we went to farms and museums and I even made it down to Donegal for the night.

And now I’m back in sweltering New Orleans and straight into the cut-and-thrust of gearing up for a new coaching season and more writing classes. And getting the house painted. The next wee while is gonna be busy.

But it was a great trip home, and like all good adventures it flew by and I could have done with another week. The timing was bad though as I missed my school’s 25-year reunion by just three days. Aw well, I’ll be there for the 50th…

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