Epic adventures, memories and something to look forward to
Has anyone’s life been taken in a new direction during these last 2 years? It’s been a rollercoaster for sure as I’ve been taken on a ride up and down, through loops and spun upside down. I’ve totally settled into my new routine of a career in a garden centre, that was unexpected but also a return to my roots. As a teenager I started earning pocket money as a gardener and continued that for about 6 years cutting grass, hedges and tidying flower beds. Then briefly in my 30’s I worked in a garden centre at the weekends. And here I am again.
It’s all a far cry from my days as the man about town and writing my column for Northern Woman magazine when I covered what events I’d been to and what was coming up, and lots of travel updates mixed in with date.
My business has taken a turn as well. I’ve closed my stall St George’s Market and now sell online on this website, and stock in more shops than ever. I’m fact I’m meeting up with someone this weekend to potentially stock greetings cards in two more locations.
The Belfast Times as an online magazine is changing as well. You’ll not see press releases on here any more, because it’s time for me to start writing again, to go back to my Belfast Times roots and write about what I’m up to on my outings. That could be anything from a review of something I’ve tried out, a review of a night out, a book, a product, or a project I’m working on or one of my epic adventures. That’s how it all started and that’s where it’s going back to. Just Jeff and his thoughts, tips, recommendations and things that I’ve spotted are happening that I like the look of.
Where do I start?
Well, first up, there are a few things that have caught my attention in the last few days from press releases that have come through. And they triggered memories for me of epic things I’ve done since I started Belfast Times 11 years ago.
Titanic Belfast: A decade of memories
10 years ago I was at the launch event for Titanic Belfast, I can’t quite believe it was a decade ago! I’ve so many memories of visits there, launches and amazing events inside and outside Titanic Belfast. Do you have a favourite memory? Titanic Belfast want to create a memory show reel. If you want to be part of it you can share your Titanic Memories by emailing your photograph and a short blurb telling the story to firstname.lastname@example.org or sharing your entry via social media, tagging @TitanicBelfast and using #TBTurns10 by Sunday 20th February. For more information, visit www.titanicbelfast.com.
My Game of Thrones Journey
Another epic journey I’ve been on is a Game of Thrones one. I’ve flown by helicopter over key sites along the North Coast, I’ve previewed exhibitions, been on tours, seen all the GoT doors, visited the Belfast Studios and stood on the actual Ice Wall and much more. This week the new studio tour in Banbridge opens, the only one in the world! I couldn’t make it to the preview day, but hopefully I’ll be there soon, immersing myself in GoT once again. More at https://thebelfasttimes.com/blogs/news/got-studio-tour
2022 - Another Epic Year for NI events
Over the years there have been so many fantastic creative events here. Does anyone remember the Land of Giants event on the Titanic Slipways; that was an epic night of sound, art and performance, or maybe you remember Derry~Londonderry’s Lumiere light festival in 2013? Well 2022 is continuing the theme with Illimunate in Derry and Unboxed.
Using outdoor projection, sound and animation, Illuminate will tell some of the city’s history through digital animation and innovative design. You will be able to enjoy the show over two weekends, 17th – 20th February and 24th – 27th February, and it promises to deliver an immersive and stimulating experience that is totally unique to our country. For more information on Illuminate, click on www.visitderry.com/illuminate
Unboxed is a UK wide project with NI playing it’s part. Two elements of that will be Our Time in Space and Green Space Dark Skies (More here https://thebelfasttimes.com/blogs/news/unboxed2022)
Our Time in Space will happen in three locations in 2022, Derry, Divis and the Ulster Folk Museum/North Down Coastal Path. It’s capturing my imagination.. and reminded me of a school prize giving and the book I selected to get for my prize was on Astronomy! I guess I’ve always been a bit of a sky lover, from the amazing Northern Lights I witnessed when I worked for the Met Office on a night shift, and also that night on a cruise ship off the coast of South America our captain turned off all the lights and we star-gazed for an hour, our own little dark skies place in the Pacific Ocean. Wow!
Unboxed Volunteer opportunities
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer guardian for Our Place in Space, email email@example.com
Register your interest to be a Lumenator for Green Space Dark Skies at Lagan Valley AONB (30 April); Causeway Coast AONB (date tbc); and Sperrin AONB (June) at https://greenspacedarkskies.uk/events/
That’s all for now
That’s my update for this week. Keep an eye out for blogs about epic days out in County Down, Spa Days, and my adventures around our fab country. A few of you have asked for garden and allotment information, also for sea swimming, mindfulness and self care details and even men’s grooming! It’s so great to be taking the time to write again!