The weekend just gone, I travelled over to Northern Ireland for the weekend – and a jolly time I had too!
As Dina’s mother is in town, I arranged a guided tour of Stormont for the three of us on the Friday evening by Peter Weir, MLA for North Down. Peter is one of those individuals who has a very high intellect, yet he turned up wearing a suit jacket about three sizes too big for him and his shirt tail hanging out! He is however extremely personable – even remembering me from my time at University – and funny. His tour of the Northern Irish Parliament was informative and funny. Both Dina & her mother thoroughly enjoyed their trip.
On the Saturday we managed to get my family together for a Saturday lunch in the Victoria Square shopping centre before Dad & I headed to Seaview to watch Crusaders v Portadown in the Irish Premier League – a game which Portadown won quite comfortably 3-0, despite playing on a ghastly 4-g artificial playing surface; a result that keeps the Ports joint top of the league.
After collecting Mother, I headed down to Fermanagh with my parents for the remainder of the weekend. It gave me a good opportunity to sort out stuff in the house (packing away the two boxes that UPS decided not to collect and other odds & ends) as well as visiting my Grandparents on the Sunday.
On the Monday I headed back to Belfast, where I met up with Dina for lunch before attempting to find a wifi spot for some of the afternoon. This proved extremely difficult. Cafe after cafe had no wifi. The one I did find has wifi, yet their internet connection was on the blink… so wifi, but no net. The Holiday Inn had internet, but a wifi that I couldn’t connect to… in the end I gave up.
All this was in stark contrast to my recent trip to Helsinki & Tallinn where free wifi was all over the place – they even had free wifi on the boat trip across the Baltic Sea!! We have so much to learn about how to present a modern city as well as a welcoming city to those who come to visit. Sure the people in NI are warm & friendly, but we let ourselves down at times by missing the blatantly obvious.