Sunday, 31 August 2008


So last week L and I plus other special Guernsey friends went to see Mamma Mia again ane ever since we have been singing Abba. There is a small set of lane's behind were L lives and i even found myself skipping along, until i thought If i fall over - how long till someone finds me?

Anyway last night we went to see a tribute band, Guernsey's own 'The Let it Beatles', they were brilliant. They are all from Guernsey and are actually away in England at University (I wonder if their parents still have to make sure they have everything ready like I do for my university darling?). They started the band last summer and now whenever they are home they have been gigging.

Not only did they play for 2 1/2 hours from the beginning to the end of the Beatles catalogue, they had ropped in a few musical friends to provide string and brass which just added to the feeling. The arrangements were quite complex, not just simply singing the words, you could see how much had gone into this.

What really appealed to me was their professionalism, no one took over, and they suffered from a few technical hitches which they simply moved on from. They were excellent. At the end when thanking everyone they included their parents who on the night had also doubled as fire marshalls. When most teenagers are embarressed by their parents it was fantastic to see this, we had one set of parents next to us, how proud must they have felt.

So boys congratulations, you make a lot of people feelgood, are a credit to your generation and proof that talent shines out, and all for charity. Well done. Only problem now, is i keep humming Beatles' songs!

Thursday, 28 August 2008

My Favourite Place - Guernsey

In my job I am lucky enough to travel the world, and I do make a point to try and actually see each city, I have done most of the Open Top Bus Tours around european cities I have visited and most hotels can arrange tours elsewhere.

But at least once a year i like to go to my favourite place - Guernsey. I suppose it doesn't sound as exciting as the other places I have been in the last 12 months (Singapore, San Francisco, Denver, Finland, Sweden, New York, New Orleans, Paris, Munich) but what Guernsey has to offer is friends and relaxation.

So why is being with friends such fun, well friends don't let you down, it doesn't matter about the weather we can still have fun. I met my friend L many years ago when we worked together in Berlin and that was before we had our daughters who are now 20! L is from Guernsey and over the years her family have adopted me, seen me through highs and lows and are always there for me. I have been included in her circle of friends who I now call my own. They have come to me in Ireland (for Robbie Williams concerts, great at Landsdowne Road, not so good the following time), we all went for tattoos when we needed (except L the coward :) ) to prove we weren't old, and have partied over and over again.

This year I have been to see Mamma Mia again, although their enormous cinema only seats 75!, 6 ladies of culture, who were later chastised for the noise in the restaurant, we thought our singing was in tune. I have managed only one swim in the sea, the weather is not at its best but chilled out in Herm ( a tiny island where we once lost our children, that includes mine you have previously read about, home next week).

Today L and I went around the coast in a Rib, I am a bit of a 'wince' and held on for dear life but it was fun, and we enjoyed it. I love water and especially light houses. We had to wear all the gear and it was like being in your own personal 'hug'.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

2012 Olympics Aquatic Centre

When ever a country hosts the olympics there is always a massive rush to get the building finished in time and within budget.

It is fantastic that London is hosting the 2012 Olympics and we have done so well in the Beijing Olympics it will be a great event, but there is talk of our aquatic centre, how much is rumoured to cost and will it be finished on time?

Well here in Belfast we have the answer - we have spent our £102 million pounds on our aqautic centre and it can be filled with 22 million gallons of water in just minutes.

Although I actually lie, this is the main Belfast to Dublin road as it runs through Belfast, a brand new underpass, that simply filled with water when it rained.

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.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

When's our Flight?

So if you are following the adventures of a scatterbrained teenager, you may have been disappointed there was no episode last week. Well I had a good excuse; I was busy getting her off to Europe for the great interrail trip.

So, this trip should be quite easy, Brooke and her friend Amy bought their tickets a while ago and had booked their flights to Prague. (2nd attempt at the flight tickets originally they had the wrong date, but that was along time ago so I’ll not dwell on it).

In theory all they need is the tickets, their passports and money, plus the obligatory credit card.

The intention is to see Eastern Europe, they don’t have a final itinerary as they want to be spontaneous and also if they tell parents where they are going we will probably interfere so we don’t know where they are going. The intention is to book the train and hostels for the next destination just a few days in advance.

Last Saturday they sat in my living room, searching for all the hostels in Prague and booking for the first 3 days, finally got that sorted and off Amy went both excited that the next day they were off on the adventure.

So no last minute disasters or forgetfulness…………..not a chance. A few hours later, Amy rings up and says ‘Brooke we are not going tomorrow, our flight isn’t till Monday’, well at least they were a day early and not a day late. Look out Europe they are your problem now.