Tuesday, 21 December 2010

"Do you eat chicken on the bone?"

Hello! I'm back. I meant to post this when I got back from Belfast on Tuesday (yes, I actually made it!) but I was struck with some kind of flu so I've been coughing and sleeping alternatively ever since I returned. Today has really been the first time I can sit up without nearly passing out.

On Saturday I flew to Belfast to stay with a couple of girls that I met on my travels over summer. Because Belfast was pummelled with snow on Friday and all the airports were closed, it didn't look like I was going to make it, but all went well and this weekend I visited Northern Ireland for the first time. I had an epic weekend. This is what happened:

I got the bus into Belfast city centre from the airport when I arrived, and because it had snowed so much and it was about minus a million degrees, it was like driving through Narnia. Very pretty. Unfortunately I fell asleep because I had been up since 4am and I drooled all over my own shoulder in front of 30 complete strangers. Classy. Emma and her bf Aidan met me and we went to some place that I have forgotten the name of (it had amazing art and photos and lights and creepy statues - I loved it) for what us English folk call a 'fry-up' but what the kooky Irish refer to as simply a 'fry'.Because I had my suitcase with me and I didn't fancy it dragging it through the crowds and snow, we decided to avoid the Christmas market until the following day. Now, I didn't know until this weekend, but apparently, apparently, the Irish like a good drink or twelve, so we then went to a pub with a lovely view of the market and the city hall, which is very beautiful.
In the evening we went into the city and met up with Roisin and her bf, and yes, more drinking ensued. I am not hardened to that sort of thing, and because I had been awake for about 20 hours by that point, I wasn't my usual charming, lively, fun-loving self (ha!). But how cool is Belfast at night?On Sunday, Emma and Aidan took me for a tour of the city centre. We went to the Christmas market and had dutch pancakes (more drooling on my part, I'm afraid).I saw lots of pretty buildings, including a clock tower that is actually wonky. According to legend (or Emma), that's where the prostitutes used to hang about, so the tower is wonky from where the ladies leaned against the building all night. Cheeky.Then we saw the docks where the Titanic was built. As in, the actual Titanic!Then another pub, which was opposte a hotel where Jedward once stayed. Whaaat! Oh, and Bill Clinton. No biggy.Then, then, then then then, it was time to see VILLAGERS. This was Emma's Christmas present to me. I've gone on and on about this band before, but that was before I saw them live and truly discovered how perfect they are. When they started their performance, Conor J. O'Brien, the singer, came out on stage on his own with his little guitar (and I mean little in the literal sense. There is no way that he is even 5ft tall) and he started playing Twenty-Seven Strangers, and his voice was so beautiful, so stunning and emotional, and the whole place was completely silent save for his voice. I got tears in my eyes, it was so perfect. And then the rest of the band came out and just completely nailed the whole set. For some inexplicable reason I was really ill half way through the gig (classic Emily) so I missed half of one of my favourite songs, but whatever, you know, the whole thing was intense and astonishing.This is Emma's dog, who obviously loved me.On Monday, Roisin planned to take me to the Ulster Museum, but it was closed, so instead we wandered around the gardens and then met up with her boyfriend, who let me borrow his library pass and I snuck into the university library to see the C.S. Lewis door (he was from Belfast - I didn't know that!).We then met up with her dad and he took us to have a look at some of the political murals. I won't try and explain any of them, because I know that I will just get them all mixed up, but it was absolutely fascinating hearing about the history and the politics of the city (even if I struggled to keep up with most of it).On Monday evening, Roisin made us all a delicious curry and then we watched The Hangover. I don't know about you, but I always find that seeing Bradley Cooper makes any evening a good one. This is the view from Roisin's bedroom.And then on Tuesday I got up really early......and flew home.If you thought warm thoughts to melt the snow so that I could fly on Saturday, then I truly thank you. And a big HOLLA! to Emma and Roisin for a class weekend. My place next time, yes?


  1. i think blogger is lying to me.
    on my page it tells me you updated 2 days ago, and on my dash 2 hours -___-

    anyway, pretty pictures :D

  2. oof i wish i was there with you, not really for your company but for those dutch pancakes they look delishhhh xoxo merry christmas eve!

  3. Wow looks like you had a brilliant time and I love your pictures they are so pretty! I've always wanted to go to Ireland and I would have loved to see C.S Lewis' door - it literally looks like it should be the door to Narnia x

  4. this looks bloomin' awesome, i barely know what to say. (so i'll just wish you a merry christmas instead, aha.) :)

  5. Glad you had a good time Em! By the way that Cafe with all the art is called Harlem, and I recommend it to anyone who loves eating surrounded by art. Reunion I think in York maaaaaaate! Im exsoited :D xx


Let's chit and chat