Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bank Holiday Weekend

Just in time to spite us, the weather has decided to shed it's silver and grey robes and dazzle us with its naked glory on our return to the working week. Still, the long weekend afforded me plenty of time to lounge around and soak up plenty of relaxation.

On Saturday we had a house-warming to attend and our friend had bought a flat above a row of shops 15 minutes by bus ride from the city centre. As seems to be a sign of the times these days or really a matter of the time when we get on a bus, there were the usual suspects on board. First up is the unruly young teenagers barely out of double figures that have an unholy grasp of the English language and spend their entire time on the bus listening to atrocious tunes on their phones and singing along to it giggling and attempting to insult anyone else on board that looks their way.

Next up is the drunk old man who attempts to look sober by walking at half speed but gives the game away because he not only looks drunk but of course is still acting like a drunk by leaning against the bus drivers window and taking an overly long time examining the change in his palm before offering the drive what he thinks is the correct amount before grabbing his ticket from the machine like he's taking part in a tug-of-war competition and staggering off down the bus, lurching forwards as the bus takes off. Luckily he sits several rows ahead so we can't smell his breath.

We get off the bus directly in front of the row of shops which is extremely handy if you're living here of course. You can tell that many decades ago there was probably a butcher, greengrocers and newsagents here to serve the local community but time hasn't been kind to local shops and there's a few closed shops and a laundrette. Nevertheless the area seems quiet and we make our way up the staircase.

There's already a dozen people as we arrive and we are introduced to people whose names I have already forgotten by the time we sit down and are offered champagne. The table is spread with all kinds of treats akin to a 5 year olds birthday party which is great and I tuck into a Fifteen.
There's a fairly eclectic mix of people here and we get into a talking group of a teacher, solicitor and her Scotish fianceƩ.

We get talking to the solicitor and husband-to-be about relocating from Glasgow to Belfast and tell them our own journey that will be taking place in four months time which doesn't seem too far away at all now and Lou and I are starting to get that feeling which lay dormant before as it was too far away to start getting excited about.

Saturday is then spent cruising on the internet looking at guided tours and plotting out the direction of our holiday from Auckland. Yesterday, the dialogue revolved around buying or renting a car or mobile home for the 6 week tour. We have decided for the time being that buying a car might be the best option and camping/hostelling around which gives us the freedom to do what we want and also have a means of transportation afterwards. Decisions, decisions!

Saturday afternoon afforded us the quickest shopping trip in the history of Knocknagoney as everyone must have buggered off for the long weekend before noon and pushing the trolley up and down aisles became almost a non-chore as none of my pet hates occured and we escaped in record time.

On Sunday evening, Keith popped over and we went through a series of awful horror films which we talked over the top of or ejected from the machine before settling on music and conversation. By 4am it was time to call the procedings to an end and I had a delicious lie-in until noon. The sun had decided to show its face and we ate lunch outside. Further lounging followed and the long weekend finished with watching a film in bed. Glorious.


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