Wednesday, 27 September 2017


Newcastle, Co Down 

September has been a busy month. Back to school and routine again which I like... for a while.  Now as the nights draw in and it's getting colder, I'm longing for the lazy lie-ins of summer.  Today, Wednesday, is my day off so I thought I'd add a post here.  My posts this year have been so infrequent that I'm in danger of giving up altogether. It's not that I don't have time or that I have nothing to say - it's just laziness really.  This morning I'm going to rejoin the weekly creative writing class I attended last autumn in the hope that it will encourage me to do a bit more writing.  Since my course in Ireland last year I've been meaning to start a new project but again haven't got round to it.  I borrowed the Stephen King book 'On Writing' from the library and he advises setting a fixed amount of words to achieve everyday.  I'd have to set the target low - 500 maybe. Surely I could manage that?  I have managed a bit of self-discipline recently on the exercise front so now need to extend it to my writing.

So a quick round up for the record of the last month or so.

Summer ended with a visit to Northern Ireland with husband, leaving teenager and dog at home.  He completed the 'Lap the Lough' cycle event with his brothers-in -law while my sister and I returned to Ballyronan to visit family there.  On Bank Holiday Monday, which was damp and cool in NI, while the sun shone in other parts of the UK, we had a day out in Newcastle, County Down.  My sister couldn't believe I'd never been there.  We had lunch in the 'Percy French' bistro of the swanky Slieve Donard hotel.  I didn't know who Percy French was. It seems he wrote the song about the Mountains of Mourne sweeping down to the sea.  The words of the song were  printed on the wall of the restaurant:

Oh Mary, this London's a wonderful sight
With people here working by day and by night.
They don't grow potatoes or barley or wheat,
But there's gangs of them diggin' for gold in the street.
At least, when I asked them that's what I was told
So I just took a hand in this diggin' for gold,
But for all that I've found there, I might as well be
Where the mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.

Newcastle is a pleasant enough little seaside town with the mountains providing a dramatic backdrop. but the beach is very poor compared to those on the North Coast.  We drove back via the Spelga Dam, but it was too wet to do much walking in the Mournes that day.

In the 'Percy French' I had a very nice fish soup accompanied by Wheaten Bread. Inspired by this, I did a bit if baking back in Chester, trying to recreate the taste of home.  My fish soup was Cullen Skink - not Irish but Scottish but it was very nice indeed.

I'll sum up the rest of September in list form:

1. The builders are making progress with a little delay because of the rain.  We should have a kitchen extension with a roof soon.
2. Because of the building we have no central heating and have already been lighting the log burner.
3. Kate has been writing her personal statement for her UCAS form. This was hard going for everyone. More on this later.
4. I took advantage of some free personal training advice at the gym and was doing quite well in the summer months, following the routine she gave me.  But I'm lapsing a little now.  I'll keep going with the Zumba classes. Yes I do look ridiculous, but I don't care.
5. Work is easier this year now I have a new colleague running the English department and I'm enjoying it again.

That's it for now.  Do have a book post mentally written so hope to get round to that soon.




1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a busy month! Your Cullen Skink looks delicious, as does the bread. I had Cullen Skink in a popular restaurant the other day and they spoiled it with generous sprinklings of coriander. Would you believe it?? The personal statement is a work in progress here.... Sam is almost a bit too independent for my taste, can't wait to see it. Wishing you a speedy progress with your kitchen extension. I always love visiting you here. You could always share your creative writing if you like, I'd be keen to read it :-) x