Portstewart, NI

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Tall Ships Belfast

20150702_172715So after 6 years the Tall Ships Race has found it’s way back to Belfast.  I can only assume the years in between consisted of constant sailing around the oceans, trying to find their way back to this glorious little island we call home. At least the build up by Visit Belfast would suggest that this is the greatest thing to hit NI(or perhaps that Belfast is the greatest thing to hit the Tall Ships), since, well since Game of Thrones started filming here.

So despite dire warnings from public transport about the crowds heading down to the docks, I grabbed a friend and went for a little wander.

This is what makes Belfast shine- when we try to do something we go all out, and in the sunshine and the general sense of bright eyed excitement, it works.  The crowds that are here are happy and ready to have a good time, even if it means waiting for a few minutes to get on board one of these lovely ships.

The ships are Tall. And pretty magnificent.  As you gaze up the River Lagan, from the brand new footbridge, staring towards the iconic Titanic building, it’s all rather beautiful and well worth all the fuss.  The crews of the ships are wandering amongst the crowds, happily chatting, while we queue to get on board their lovely boats.

There are street performers and food markets, with plenty of space to just stop and admire, as well as a funfair, where it seemed everyone was buying a large stuffed monkey (no idea why).  The map told us there would be Hot Air Balloons.  Bear is a big fan of a Hot Air Balloon, and as she was unable to make it, I promised her a photo. Sadly, we searched and searched but could not find them.  I wouldn’t have thought they’d be easy to hide!

There are 3 more days of this to go, and yes it will be busy, but it’s worth it.  There’s certainly a buzz in having an international event staged in Belfast, and in seeing the city embrace it with joy.  Welcome back Tall Ships!

60 Days around the World

Summer’s coming…allegedly.  The weather may not know it but the calendar never lies.

Summer for us is premium babysitting time.  The dotes have, what, 8 weeks of free time to their hard-working parents’ 2?  Maths would have us believe that’s 6 weeks of childcare needs.  Luckily, we aunties tend to operate on a term time schedule too, so nanny daycare gets some much-needed backup.

Expectations for the BEST SUMMER EVER run high so to keep us all from burning out , a bit of planning now seems clever. Continue reading

Where in the world?

‘Not all those who wander are lost’ so said Tolkien

Especially not if the great sites of the world are found on cards as gorgeous as these!

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We aunties have been lucky to travel in all kinds of wild and wonderful places and sharing this with the dotes is a big part of the fun with these travel cards.  (Probably more so than making them sit and listen to us, for now anyway…)

Continue reading