When I left off last time, I was stilll talking about my trip home to Northern Ireland. I'm still thinking about it, not being ready to give up my holiday just yet! The rest of my week at home was fairly restful. Nic had a deadline to meet so he spent Wednesday working while I spent the day trying to put sunglasses on the dog. That evening we had a 'tweet-up' with fellow Dungannon-ite, Mark. He and Nic bonded on twitter years ago over a shared love of comics, and when we realised he hailed from my home town we decided to meet up. We went for a drink in Dungannon landmark The Square Bar. It's in The Square. Nic: "Why isn't the bar square?" Derp. It's been years since I've been in there but it's such a great wee bar with friendly staff and a good atmosphere. It was really enjoyable to make a new friend and to regale Nic with Dungannon tales - it's not nearly as Royston Vasey as we made it sound, though!
On Thursday we took a walk into Dungannon to spend some time there by daylight. It's a really beautiful walk from my parents' house into town as it takes you along country roads and around the Black Lough. It was a bit dreary so I asked to borrow a coat, and my mum presented me with this lovely trench coat, which she said I could keep. Spoiled!
Trench coat from F&F at Tesco, Sewaholic Cambie dress and Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Ultragirl shoes
The Black Lough is gorgeous and a wonderful place to bird watch, if that's your thing. My favourite thing is the view you get of the town from the bank:
Nic enjoys watching for the Beast of The Black Lough, which may be fictional:
We didn't do much in town except for poke around the shops and have a coffee in Menary's but it was grand all the same. We were back into town that evening for dinner with Emma and Adrian and some Emma's family, which was brilliant. We ate in Bengal Spice on Thomas Street. I'd eaten in there once before, many years ago. The food was good - cheap and plentiful - and so was the wine. I was extraordinarily amused by the declaration on the front of the menu:
"In Northern Ireland we are the first restaurant to offer such a wide range of tastes and choice from renowned and qualified Indian and Chinese chefs. Our variety of dishes are sure to quench your hunger and leave you feeling hot both at the same time. So for the spicy food lovers and the Oriental lovers we offer both Indian and Chinese to satisfy all the family's appetites and stop those quarrels over where to go to eat!"
They don't lie. My hunger was quenched.
Friday slipped by in a blur of family engagements and playing with the dogs. It was a very doggy week:
River Island apple print dress and Topshop shoes
That evening we called in with Kelly and Mickey and their menagerie - at last count they have two dogs, three fish and a goat.
Kelly and Pinky
Here she is with Sonny, sadly the photo doesn't do justice to how fluffy he is (VERY FLUFFY)
As our flight home was from Dublin on Saturday afternoon, we decided to spend the day in the city. We parked up at Smithfield, right next to the Jameson Distillery:
Observation tower at Smithfield
It was a really beautiful day and we enjoyed ourselves having a dander around. I paid a visit to one of my favourite Dublin stores, Retro in George's Street Market but was disciplined (and aware of my extremely limied luggage space) and contented myself with window shopping. Sadly my dad's favourite restaurant, The Alamo, had closed, so we had to go elsewhere for lunch. We satisfied our desire for Mexican food at Boojum in Millennium Place:
There are a couple of branches of this burrito bar in Belfast and it came highly recommended to us. It was MEGA. If you're in Belfast or Dublin, go to Boojum - the food was great value and so tasty!
Nic with my parents in Boojum
It was really hard to say goodbye to my parents at the airport. After almost 11 years it doesn't get any easier and, while I can't see myself moving home at any point I really do get so homesick. I've been hit badly with it since coming back, but at least I'll be home again in a few weeks to celebrate my birthday!
That's your lot for now, I'm afraid. But I will be back later in the week with more polka dots and more doggies, too! Happy Monday, everyone!