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AUTUMN GOALS

  • Declutter apartment, bit by bit and room by room.
  • Learn Don’t Worry Be Happy on my Ukulele.
  • Get December holiday plans confirmed.
  • Up my exercise and get a routine firmly established to take me into the winter months.
  • Get out with the camera more.

These are small goals but will take up a lot of my time this autumn and that is fine. Hopefully this autumn I will add a wee fur ball to my household but you can’t really rush these things.

Posted by Poppytails.xxx

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Time for another Wednesday Words. This week my mind has moved to decluttering again. I love the idea that a tidy space around you gives you a tidy mind so this past weekend I got the clear out fever again and after two black bags of shoes I no longer felt the love for and spending time arranging the ones I did in their own little box I forgot how brilliant a feeling it is to have your house in order.

I know this might sound crazy but for me it really does provide a positive outcome when I declutter. I am not a horder you see on tv but I just want to be surrounded with things that as Marie Kondo says ‘brings you joy’ as best I can and my apartment is a work in progress. I have taken a lot of inspiration from Marie Kondo but also for others such as Vicky Silverthorn’s Start with the Sock Drawer and I like her little and often approach. I guess it’s whatever works best for you but just to get started. So this Wednesday it’s all about clear space, clear mind.

Posted by Poppytails.xx 

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Thought it would be helpful to get a currently post up before it’s the end of the month. September seems to be flying past! So currently this month….

Reading:  I have been really going through books recently well in my terms I have. I finished I Let you Go and then randomly purchased and have started getting into The Watchman of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley. I won’t lie the cover is what originally got my interest and since I am eternally looking for another The Night Circus book I thought this one looked intriguing. I am on page 54 so that is promising as often with books I buy I just don’t get that far if they can’t hook me in straight away.

Listening:  I know this will sound silly but its only been recently I realised you could download an Audible book and listen to it whilst driving without eating your data so now it’s created a monster ha ha. I finished Nicholas Evans The Loop and loved that now I am in-between three audio books depending on my mood. All the Light We Cannot Sea by Anthony Doerr I must admit I am so glad I didn’t buy this book as I would have never got past the first couple of chapters, I am struggling to get into this one but am persevering. Then there is The Lynching by Laurence Leamer it’s a Oprah recommendation. It’s quite a heavy book about the KKK but super interesting hence I need to be in the right mood for it. And the last two are Presence by Amy Cuddy (remember the Superman pose?) I am really enjoying this and I just started The Untethered Soul by Michael.A.Singer. I must admit I don’t normally chop and change so often but I don’t feel like I am fully into any one of them hence mixing it up.

Learning: So last week I had my first Ukulele lesson and despite the jokes being made at my expense by family and friends I am properly loving learning a musical instrument. I had a patchy at best episode with the recorder at school and was a drummer for a short time in a pipe band but nothing really stuck. This I really like although I can’t feel the tip of my finger on my left hand. I am told this is normal – yikes! Anyways I am strumming away in the evenings learning ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’ and really enjoying it. 

Visiting: My sister and nieces for the day. It’s always so lovely catching up with the family.

Planning: I seem to have ants in my pants since I have come back from Vegas. Other than a brilliant trip to Belfast you can read about it here and here I hadn’t planned to do anything this side of the year but well we all know that wasn’t going to last so over the next couple of weeks I am planning another long haul trip – watch this space as I will be looking for some recommendations.

Working on: Some Autumn goals, I will be posting more about that this week.

Burning: Candles again, is it me but I don’t really burn candles in the Spring/Summer and more in the Autumn and Winter. I love this season we are coming into.

So that’s it for another month, be sure to let me know what you’ve been up too!

Posted by Poppytails.xx

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So hopefully you had a chance to view my first part on Monday of my 48 hours in Belfast. This is the second part, after the heavens had opened all Saturday night we woke to a beautiful morning in Belfast, with our tummies full from a lovely cooked breakfast we were picked up by our Black Cab Tour driver who would try to explain to us the troubles in Northern Ireland and rather un-nervoulgly took us to the heart of where the troubles lie in Belfast. 

I thought long and hard about posting this as I am not sure who would read this and I don’t wish to cause offence so I want to explain why I have decided to post this. I firmly believe the best part of travel is that it allows us to gain knowledge and to really get to know a place is to know it for the good, bad and indifferent.

I remember almost every evening coming home from school and seeing on the news the bombings in Northern Ireland and to be honest that is about all I knew or remembered so to go to the heart of this was uncomfortable but I think necessary. This first photo shows the gates at the bottom of the picture that is dotted all about Belfast that separates Protestants and Catholics. I think for me the most worrying part was realising how close all of this is to the city centre. I should say that the troubles have simmered and there is a state of relative peace for about 30 years. Our driver was truthful in that he explained it isn’t completely peaceful and possibly won’t ever be but its 100% better than it has been.

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As part of the tour the driver took us to the political murals of the Falls and the Shankill tell their own graphic story of what has been called “The Troubles” in Ireland’s recent history.

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These murals were done by ex prisoners who had learned to paint and draw whilst in prison. These murals are indeed a work of art.

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We were then taken to the infamous peace wall. This wall is something to be seen it apparently goes for 2 and a half miles and is 44 ft high. It has been visited by all kinds of famous people, we were told Bill Clinton, Rhianna, Justin Bieber if you would believe it have all visited and written something on this wall.

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We were then taken to the exact opposite side of this wall on the Catholic side. You can see from the photo below they have special guarding on the tops of their houses to protect from things being thrown over.

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I haven’t stopped thinking about this tour since that Sunday morning. For one thing to be there brings a different feeling, to realise that it is literally that wall that separates both areas is something that is unbelievable. We were told by our driver that even in times of ‘peace’ every single night the gates that separates these areas are closed at 7pm. And sometimes kept closed when they think there might be trouble. I don’t know how anyone can live this way but they clearly do. The driver more surprisingly says that as an explain of say the Berlin wall it came down because both sides wanted that but he didn’t believe this wall will ever come down as he didn’t think either side wanted it to. This tour was an hour and half and as you might imagine there was some very uncomfortable moments that I have chosen not to share out of respect. I would however throughly recommend this tour as I firmly believe knowledge is power and to know a place is to know it in the good light and the bad. 

After the tour we were dropped off in the city centre (pretty much everything is walkable in Belfast) we were in great need of a coffee but rather surprisingly none of the shops in Belfast open until 1pm so we had a wee wonder around until the shop we really wanted to visit was open. I fell in love with Avoca on Arthur Street, what a treasure trove of lovely clothes, books, and goodies. After that we stumbled on Granny Annies where we decided to have some lunch out in the lovely sunshine. We had the best seafood chowder ever. This is such a quirky restaurant that makes it even better to have food outdoors. Try it you won’t be disappointed. 

So after having a full couple of days we had an hour or two to spare before we were to head back to the airport. We decided to have a wee wonder around St George’s Market which was a lovely friendly market filled with food and drink and clothes and accessories. It’s a great atmosphere and worth visiting.

Taking everything into account Belfast was amazing, in so many ways it lived up to my expectations. It has certainly not wanted for its troubles but is thriving in a newer and more peaceful space that suits the city well. Be sure to pop Belfast on your to do list. You will be glad you did I know I was:-)

Posted by Poppytails.xx

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This Wednesday’s thought is all about timing. Have you ever tried to push something you’ve wanted to do or see and its just been a struggle and not quite right? Timing is everything, I lost my dear Poppy cat a year and a half ago and shortly after thought it would be a good idea to start finding another cat – but not surprisingly for me the timing was off. On and off over the past year and a half I have thought about giving a home to another cat but the timing again hasn’t quite been right. However, recently the timing has started to work right. This weekend I visited Sunny Harbour Cat and Kitten rescue to see if there might be a cat that was right for me and I for it and well it didn’t feel wrong. I was introduced to 5 possibilities to think about. I will be visiting again to spend more time with the ones I think would be best. I can’t stop thinking about the cats and so I am thinking the timing is getting better for me.

I guess what I am trying to say is don’t force something, let nature take it’s course because whats meant for you won’t go past you as they say!

Posted by Poppytails.xx