Saturday, 9 August 2008

The Siege of Ballynure

I live in a very small village in Northern Ireland called Ballynure which means ‘Farmstead of the Yew Tree’. The 2001 census put the population at under 700.

Now don’t muddle us with Ballynure Jamaica which is a little bigger and possibly a little warmer.

The village is split in two by the main Road from Belfast to Larne and I live on the west side. On the East side is my Church Ballynure Methodist and the shops, we have 3! But one of the shops is Jackson’s the best butcher in the UK, and that is not me being biased as it was voted best in 2007. People come to this butcher’s from all over and so on a Saturday morning it is actually a very busy place.

So what I want to tell you about is the road works, they are resurfacing this main road through our village, which first I don’t understand as it wasn’t that long ago it was done before, but anyway they started in June and it is meant to take 10 weeks. It seems to have gone smoothly except for the two weeks they went on holiday and left all their cones as a reminder. But today was a disaster.

I arrived at the main road and want to drive to the West side so I have to turn right and then left, and, for those of you who do not live in the UK we drive on the right so turning right onto a main road full of lorries travelling to and from our port at Larne you need a little patience.

The before mentioned butchers means that despite our modest population Saturday is a very busy day for the village and I was one of them. And today they are laying tarmac on the main road with men in yellow jackets and orange ‘babygrows’ directing traffic and it is chaotic! Most places have temporary traffic lights but we have men with lollypops, who cant hold them still let alone co-ordinate between themselves. So I finally get told to go and as I weave between the cones and tarmac layers there are cars coming towards me and another sign holder with his hands in the air, he has simply given up!!

When I left the butchers I decided to drive on to the ‘town’ of Ballyclare although my daughter would tell you it doesn’t really count as a town, anyway on the roundabout there is a new monument, some sort of topiary in honour of Wallace and Gromit . Made me laugh.

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