My Wet ‘N’ Windy Wonderful Weekend… and I Got Kissed Again!

The most wonderful thing about the weekend just gone is that until a few days beforehand I thought that none of it would happen! I was supposed to be working, doing a software release the whole weekend… but that thankfully got canned and so it was fun, fun, fun.

Now, it has to be said, the weather was not good at all. One of the highlights of my weekend was another event with my walking group, a circular walk on Divis mountain above Belfast. I awoke early on the Saturday morning to get ready and although the sky out of my bedroom window was only partially cloudy, towards Belfast was quite grey, not a good sign; but at least it was dry… at the time. I broke no records for getting ready, and as usual cut it fine for getting to the walk on time, especially with the almost-obligatory loo stop at this stage. Alas within a few miles of the car park the rain showers arrived and, as I got out the car with woolly hat on to clamp down the hair, gentle rain continued, and the mountain itself was buried in mist. I parked next to two girls that I have met a few times before, Paula and Kerry, and they cheerily waved to me as I parked. I gave them Christmas cards as we zipped up coats, and then chatted a bit. As we set off a former (and, maybe actually, he still is) admirer Alan greeted me, and started chatting… and we ended up having a really long conversation about all sorts of things, with little bits of conversation from a few others as we went. As we continued the gentle rain caught by the wind stung our faces like icy needles, and I despaired what my made-up face was going to look like before we finished – I had visions of streams of foundation and mascara dripping off me! Half way round we stopped at a viewing point… except that with the mist nothing could be seen. I chatted with Paula and Kerry again, and we all hoped that we would not be stood still for long as the wind at that point had become very gusty; I had worn thick tights under my active-leggings and had four layers on top, but was still cold. Eventually we set off again, and I got chatting to a new girl called Aidin, who is EVEN more keen on travelling than I am, so it was really interesting hearing all about places she had been. As we neared the end of the walk and came to a National Trust building with a cafe, my whole face was half-frozen, and as we entered I headed straight for the loo to look at my poor face – after a wait, and a chat to a new guy who politely let me go to the unisex loo first, I looked at my face… and ALL was good!! A few moisture drops had captured foundation, but a quick dab with toilet paper and a dusting of compact powder and all was well! So, a FAB and successful weather test for my face. We all queued up for hot drinks and cake/scones, and I chatted to another new guy called Andrew who has a really cute dog of the Jackadoodle breed – he was quite nice to talk to (Andrew, not the dog), and I got him all his cutlery for his snack, and then we headed off to sit down; the cafe was fairly full, so I ended up next to my dear friend Margaret, a Belgian girl I had never met (who turned out to be quite nice), and Alan. We enjoyed nice conversation, good scones, and a hot chocolate, and after a while, as Alan was about to go I gave him a Christmas card; I had written just a small number, for the people who have been most friendly to me. He was genuinely quite overwhelmed, and he got up and gently leant in to give me a peck on the cheek which I naturally offered; it was all very nice… apart from him being rather prickly with his wiry white beard! Eventually it was time to go, and we walked back to the cars, and I chatted to Michael who I had met once before who said it was nice to see me again as we parted.

Next on the agenda was to get two new tyres for my car. I considered this a new challenge, garages and thing are, well, dare I say it, a bit of a male environment. I changed out of my walking attire into jeans and top in a MacDonalds loo and drove over to a tyre place called Kwik Fit on the Lisburn Road of Belfast, parked, and went in. I said what I wanted, didn’t want to pay the earth but didn’t want a budget tyre either, so we settled on Good Year (that they had an offer on) and I gave him my phone number which he wrote next to “Mrs {surname}”! 🙂 I headed off for lunch nearby, stopped on the way to browse in a boutique… but at £99 for a smart top I was hardly going to purchase. In Starbucks I had a panini and a mocha… another hot drink to help me defrost! 45 minutes later Kwik Fit rang, and I returned to pay – I had some nice chat with the guy, mostly about the weather and where I had walked (which he said was a nice spot), and it was all just normal… and good!

Owing to my fortunate change of weekend activities I had at the last minute managed to book a table for dinner with Kirsty (who unexpectedly found herself free at the last minute too). I had time to kill though so ended up going to a couple of shopping centres (that I have not been to before), and bought a few bits and bobs, including some Minnie Mouse slippers for my daughter. I also went into a large homewares shop (called Dunelm Mill on Boucher Road) where I had a good browse and eventually bought a present for one of my friends (not you Kirsty).

At just before 7.00 I arrived at support group HQ to meet Kirsty. I was, unbelievably, slightly early (sometPheasant with Kirsty - ed1hing I am not very good at) and so Kirsty left the door unlocked for me to go into the lounge part to change my outfit into smart/casual evening chic as we were going to more of a gastro-pub than restaurant. Kirsty eventually appeared, in a nice woollen-look red dress, perfect for autumn/winter; she looks good in reddish things, I don’t think I suit them. For a change I drove, while Kirsty navigated, well, Kirsty’s iPhone navigated… though it was hopelessly pessimistic with journey time and we thankfully arrived more or less on time. The place we went to is called The Pheasant, near Annahilt, and it is rather a characterful building, both inside and out, with wooden beams and old pictures surrounding our table. Well, the whole evening was just lovely, great company and chat for almost three hours, and surprisingly good food – we both had a scallop and pork-belly starter, then I enjoyed a tasty meaty main with a lovely sauce and good Brussels sprouts, and a trio of mini desserts to finish off. See photo of me and my mocha, alas no photo of the two of us as when Kirsty tried that hurried selfie-idea her iPhone switched to flabby-face mode! We drove back to HQ and said fairly hurried goodbyes, as Kirsty was already late for returning home.

By the time I got home I had some good-to-meet-yous from my group, and a message from Alan saying how humbled he was by my charming gesture (the card). So he has offered a bottle of homemade blackberry liqueur in the New Year!

Sunday I had a fairly relaxing morning, catching up with a few emails, and in the afternoon headed out for more Christmas shopping. I went to the Banbridge outlet near me and spent an hour or two there, partially successful Christmas-wise – had a good chat with the girl in Thorntons who I think I have seen before. I bought a number of boxes of chocs and I said “They honestly aren’t all for me!” and thus chat ensued. I went in quite a number of other shops, partly also looking for a new hat and gloves to use at my walking group; unfortunately I wasn’t successful with either, part of the problem with me is that I have quite a big head, and with the rug as well then a large proportion of hats do not fit. After all that shopping, and no lunch, some sustenance was called for and so I went to Costa for a mocha and a Christmas muffin; it was very busy but, as with everything else that weekend, I had no bother from anyone.

I headed onwards to Lisburn to get my eyebrows threaded – they were getting untidy, and I had a forthcoming event to get them sorted out for. I parked at Tesco and walked to the shopping mall which was fairly busy. I had my eyebrows done at my usual place, though by a younger girl than usual – on the whole it was fine, it was nice to have the pampering treatment… but she clipped my (wig) hair back and when she had finished the fringe was just unnaturally sticking out everywhere, so I had to hurriedly brush it back in place before paying; I look forward to the day I can go there with REAL hair and not have that bother.

I headed over to my friend Andrea D in Whiteabbey, and had some nice catch-up with her over a cuppa before hurtling home to change and then pick my daughter up from Newry who had had an evening out with her friends; originally I was supposed to pick her up at 5.30 from my ex-, but with her evening out I had several extra hours as ME… so I was fortunate to have that, even if the pain returned as I had to wipe it off and pack it all away. But that won’t be happening much longer…

8 thoughts on “My Wet ‘N’ Windy Wonderful Weekend… and I Got Kissed Again!

  1. That’s the second time you’ve written about buying a gift for a friend and qualified or with a “not you Kirsty”. Starting to feel paranoid!
    Thank you for a lovely and unexpected night out on Saturday 😊

    • Second time/paranoid? I know… but it’s such fun! 😇 I had an idea what to get you and on Sunday went to get it… but in most sizes it was sold out. Except for my size…. so I bought it for myself instead! 😀

  2. Is there such a thing as a ‘good’ Brussels sprout?? +o( Apart from that, it sounds like the two of you had a wonderful time, and all the more special for being unexpected.
    Well-done for braving Kwik-Fit. I find places like that intimidating enough as Bob, so you have my utter admiration!
    Lovely photo 🙂
    R xoxo

    • Thanks, Ruth. A good Brussels sprout? I’ve not liked ’em for years and years, but maybe it depends on what they are served with… or how many weeks they have been simmering away in a pan!

  3. What a wonderful weekend you had. And all the more so for being unexpected. Have a look on line for a good waterproof hat & gloves, it can save alot of time hunting stores. Though I suppose getting the correct sizing could be a bit more difficult as you cannot try before you buy.

    Kwik Fit. Not a place I would go to for myself as I feel they are sharp operators, but on the otherhand probably a little more civilized than most independent operators

    I agree with Ruth re a good brussels sprout. I sometime think this added to our Christmas dinner just to rub off a bit of the festive cheer.

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