Of Queens and history

Yesterday was a pretty wonderful day.  Journey to Stormont wasn’t too bad: very quick car drive in, wander around Belfast, managed to get a shuttle bus before the 500 people queue formed and then a gentle 70 minute journey (normally takes about 15) through multiple police checks.  The estate entry itself was easy and there was a tonne of stuff to see and do (food stalls, bouncy castles, amusements, live music, etc) while waiting for HRH to arrive.  Was extremely warm and, after a couple of heavy rain bursts (we were bone dry; tree umbrellas at Stormont are great) the humidity factor did start hammering me so body/breathing was getting ropey but managed to remain vertical until The Queen’s arrival and drive-by … including having a Mackenzie on my shoulders so that he could see (yes, I am paying for that one now!).  Was definitely worth going to, of course; how many kids can say that they were at a Jubilee celebration for the Queen of England, in Stormont, on the day that she shook hands with martin McGuinness?!  That’s history, that is ;)

Exit from Stormont was mad – we stayed around for a good hour or so after HRH left (watching the exodus of people thereafter) and did the bouncy castle again, got some ice-cream, listened to music, etc.  There was STILL over an hours wait for the shuttle bus, and no cabs were taking bookings for the area due to congestion and lack of cars, so decided to go to the Stormont Hotel instead, to grab some dinner.  At 5:15pm we were told it would be 7:30pm before they could seat us and decided to just go and queue for one of the shuttle buses … only to find a beautiful taxi-man right outside who drove us back into my carpark for only £20 (normally £15 ish so not bad at all!).

Carole, on the taxi ride back into the centre of Belfast, had the foresight to book at table at Eds Bar and Grill so we stopped and had a wonderful (if tired) dinner at their fabulous eatery … though I did forget to pick up the £10 voucher I won (again) whilst there, so really must do that sometime soon.  Great service, entertainment for the kids, and good food – what more can one ask for?

Very late night for the boys as it was after 9pm when we got them in bed … I say ‘we’ but, by this time, i was somewhere between horizontal and vertical on the couch trying to decide between aching, breathing or staying awake.  Ultimately I didn’t make the decision but, at about 11:30, Carole woke me up and dragged me upstairs were I don’t recall anything until just before 7am when Nathaniel wandered in and asked it if was time to go to nursery.  It was his taster session (an hour or so) in his new nursery while it was Mackenzie’s first day in P2 (again a taster as he spends a couple of days there before summer).  More history in the making, as both boys are now officially in full-time education – forget HRH’s 60 years, where on Earth has my childrens’ time gone?!

Mackenzie is still at school, Nathaniel had a blast at nursery (didn’t want to leave) and is now with his grandmother, and I’ve got a car with a flashing maintenance light just as I’m meant to be driving 50 miles through rain and floods to work … life, ey?  One day your at a party for the Queen and the next you are tired and sore and wondering if your car will explode :)