Day five of my holiday (or four if you don’t count Tuesday which was when I travelled) and this is my first post. I am sitting on a warm bus heading into Belfast and just beyond to visit Uncle Bill and his wife, and to go out to lunch with them and their elder son. I’m armed with a book for my uncle, chocolates for my aunt, and nothing for my cousin.
I have my ‘phone and its charger as since Monday the battery has starting running down very rapidly. I hope there is a power point on the bus home, or I may not be able to tell Cousin I am back at Toomebridge, and the walk to her house in the dark is not something I should like to attempt.
In contrast with my journey from London to Belfast n the summer, this time the ‘plane was half empty and we arrived twenty minutes ahead of schedule. It was still early afternoon, so we reached Cousin’s in daylight where I was greeted by Westie Boy and made Westie Puppy’s acquaintance. She belongs to one of Cousin’s daughters, and is a temporary resident while her toilet training is completed. She’s a rough and tumble scruff at the minute, and it’s hard to imagine her as a townie sophisticate in Belfast, sitting primly by her owners while they enjoy a cup of coffee in the city. Though she does love to sit beside you, to lie on your feet, so that bit will be fine, but I think we’ll have to get her used to the brush before her first public appearances.
On Tuesday evening four of us headed for the cinema to see Lion which was great. Unbelievably, at least for someone used to London cinema prices, our tickets cost just £3.50 each. Next week the same four of us are going to an event at the new Seamus Heaney centre at nearby Bellaghy to listen to stories and poetry. I’m meeting Fiona on Wednesady morning, and my friend Jo on Wednesady afternoon. Last night we were babysitting in Belfast. When both boys seemed determined to display their bottoms I said I was glad to see wasn’t part of the family. But you are part of this family, said the younger one, and since we are first cousins twice removed, he has a point. Not that I am going to join in with the bottom baring habit anytime soon.
I’m continuing my Year of Moderation and working my way steadily through Cousin’s supply of pulses, rummaging in the larder and coming up with all sorts of goodies. Cousin thinks I have lost weight, so that is a good incentive. However, today, possibly at our pub lunch, I intend to have a large glass of wine to toast Octavia who was at the palace yesterday to pick up a gong from the Queen. I’m missing the party she’s throwing to celebrate tonight, so I want to join in somehow, however remotely.
We’re arriving at the Europa now, so time to stop, zip up my coat and get my gloves out of my pockets. It’s greyer here than in Derry, and it looks just as cold.