Sunday, 19 August 2018

Photo on Sunday 2018-21

A gift I received from one of my young neighbours. A little boat she toiled over for some time. Thank you so much K!

Tuesday, 14 August 2018


The stable block, now in use as museum/shop/restaurant
I visited Antrim Castle Gardens last week. I didn't get to see everything, but that was okay. Another time will do nicely. And now we have picked another time as well, although not to see the gardens really. More to visit a festival that will take place there.

When I walked around there I saw this banner for the upcoming 'Spinning Yarns Festival'. After I told my sister and showed her the leaflet I had taken home, she was quite interested as well. Today I booked the tickets. 

And not only the tickets for the festival. Also tickets to make a rag rug wreathe (say it quickly please, several times, doesn't it sound just fantastic?) during the afternoon. It will be a three-hour workshop and I am really looking forward to it. I will have to wait just over two weeks, but still.

In other news, a local theatre group is putting up a musical of 'Little Women', and my sister and I will be seeing that as well. And to top it all off: my parents will be coming in a month's time and staying with my sister or me or both. Not sure yet. 

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Photo on Sunday 2018-20

Go somewhere nice and you have a week's worth of posts! In this case a Photo on Sunday! And it features...

A ladder! A great stonking big ladder. Which was used until recently to trim the yew tree hedges in the castle gardens. You couldn't go wrong either: the top of the ladder plus a person equals the top of the hedge! And you can see it's high: nearly to the top of the ceiling of the second floor! 

Friday, 10 August 2018

Flower Friday

As I made my way through the Antrim Castle Gardens, there were plenty of flowers to enjoy. Some already past their best, others just starting to bloom. And I thought: why not join Flower Friday as hosted by Arty, Jakey and Rosy with all those blooms! 

Most of the gardens were pretty green with trees and grass, but there were several borders with some flowers in them. Of course I don't know the name of most flowers (can name a tulip and a daisy, neither were there), meaning if you want to know more about them: don't ask me!

I do know this one though: lavender! I even ran my hand up one of them to smell. Don't worry: it was one without bee!

Walking around and trying to take nice photos usually involves getting on my knees as well (no photos of that). Fortunately, despite the heavy rain an hour earlier, the ground was pretty dry and I didn't get too dirty!

I loved these. They had a bit of the thistle about them (which reminded me of Yamini), but their bloom had gone. The colour of the stalks was lovely though: grey/blue/purple. 

Another flower that I should really know the name of, but nope. It never came to me. But they are as pretty without the name I can tell you!

These look like my favourite flowers (Sweet William) and might even be, but they weren't exactly the ones I prefer. Very pretty though!

Isn't nature incredible in making perfect round shapes without any bother? I try to do that freehand and I end up with an egg! Which apparently is not a flower!!

My very favourite photo of the day however was this one. The allium family I believe, so not all is lost. I don't usually crop photos, preferring to show as taken, but this one needed a bit, since there was a slight hedge border on the bottom. This one might actually end up being made into one of my 'arty' photos to hang on the wall! 

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The castle

The only part still standing
About two weeks ago on a Sunday, my sister and I wanted to visit Antrim Castle. So, we drove up to Antrim, only found Antrim Castle gardens (with a full car park) and eventually made our way to the blue and yellow Swedish shop. As you do...

Six Mile River
However, I still wanted to visit the castle and while working last night (waiting really), I looked up the castle and its gardens. Today I made my way over there. I did find the castle eventually. Well, what was left of it anyway, after a fire destroyed most of it during the 1920's and the remainder was mostly torn down in the 1970's.

Not quite a duckling, not quite a duck
The gardens however were still there and they were quite lovely to spend an afternoon in. I saw part of the ruins as I said, but I also saw old trees, teenage ducks, Six Mile River (so named because it is six miles long. Whodathunkit?) and flowers. I did not make my way over to the largest lake of the British Isles: Lough Neagh. Mind you, I live quite close to it anyway. 

The wolfhound that saved one of the owners from a wolf back in the day
It was definitely worth a visit and next time I will drag my sister along as well. Just to show her the 'castle'!

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

I want to you know!

My sister and I on our way to the choir competition
I really do. I want to write something today, but somehow inspiration has fled. Meaning I don't really have anything to write about. Really. 

But, let's start with the essential things: I am fine. After finally airing my feelings and even talking to my boss about them, I have become a bit easier within myself. Not great, but fine. The teary outburst I had at work probably helped as well: they had been sitting very high for about two weeks already!

Castle Ward in May
I have not heard from the other company as yet, well apart from an email by the person I was in touch with back in January/February saying he had moved on to another function within the company, but that he was going to pass my details on to the relevant person. 

As for the current job, the tears helped and the fact that they seem to be giving me fewer hours of late. Today for example I start in about an hour (5 pm) and finish around 10 I would say. Mind you, in the four days I did work last week, I still managed to accrue over 55 hours! There might be more hours coming my way this week as well, since this and next week are apparently quite busy. 

After our visit to the Marble Arch Caves in June
I scared myself and Miss Oswin today, by getting the vacuum cleaner out. Third time in a month of living here! Plus, I did the dishes and everything looks tidy. Not sure what has come over me, but I will 'enjoy' it will it lasts! It took Miss Oswin an hour of hiding under my bed before she deemed it safe to come out again though. 

Oh, something else: I have lost weight. I don't see it so much, but I definitely notice it: I keep having to pull up my work trousers. The stress of late plus a bad eating habit means that I have probably lost several kilos. Nothing like a bit of stress and loneliness eh?

Belfast Zoo in June
That's it! I have nothing more to say for the moment. I will leave you with some photos from my time here in Northern Ireland...

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Photo on Sunday 2018-19

I put this photo on Facebook of an itty bitty spider I found in the sink in the garage. It didn't bother me, it didn't jump out at me, it just sat there. So, I took the photo and left it in peace! 

Friday, 3 August 2018

All things medical

To prevent this, I need medication
Today was a medical day. I had tried to register at my local GP on Wednesday and had been given a mountain of paperwork to fill out. I handed it in again today and this afternoon one of the GP's called me about some medication (ie the birth control pill) I use to combat endometriosis. I had run out in early July, thinking I had another batch at home and realising I hadn't. 

Anyway, he didn't recognise the type of pill I used in Norway and had to consult with both the pharmacist and another pill-type person to find out if they had something similar here in NI. Which they did. My sister is picking it up as we speak, since I had taken another pill today (yep, the H) which prevents me from driving today.

Back in 2015 at the little cottage in the Norwegian countryside
However, before that, I had been driving. To the vet. With a howling Miss O beside me, who hid the minute I came up with the crate in my hand. She knows it's bad news! Not sure about this vet though. I guess she was nice enough, but she never even looked at Miss O, just gave her the shot. Oh, and at my request checked the chip number. That's it. She didn't ask about Miss O, she didn't look at her, she didn't check her over or anything. I know it was busy, but still... 

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

The three month mark

Full of hope
I had a little look back at what I did within my first three months in Norway. A country where I hardly spoke the language, barely understood anybody and where everything was completely new to me.

Here goes: a union meeting, dentist, accident & emergency (not necessary wanted, but hey), union party, an interview for the paper, another union meeting, a staff meeting. I went on walks and met a lot of colleagues at work.

What did you do?
So, what have I been doing in my first three months in Northern Ireland? Where I speak the language and understood most people most of the time.

I have worked. Worked. Worked. Worked. Worked. Worked. Been to some caves. Worked. Worked. Worked. Worked. Worked. Moved. Worked. Worked. Worked. Worked. Butterfly garden. Worked. Worked. Worked. Got the car MOT'ed. Worked. Worked. Worked. Worked. Worked. Oh, and I worked.

My head is nowhere near the sand!
Needless to say, something has to give. And as I don't want it to be me, I have decided it has to be the job. I am on an average of over 55 hours a week and I am tired and lonely, even with my sister so close. I have had no chance to meet anybody at all or join a club or something like that.

I will keep you posted, but let's just say, I hope the next three months will be better than the first three. 

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Photo on Sunday 2018-18

What do you mean? I needed the room to stretch and that bear was in my way!