Weeping Window Poppy Installation, Ulster Museum, Belfast




Julian Fellowes adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s 1908 The Wind in the Willows

As I am on annual leave, I am not listening to politics, at least not during July, but I could not resist Andrew Marr’s interviewing Julian Fellowes this morning. Julian Fellowes has adapted Kenneth Grahame’s 1908 The Wind in the Willows into a family musical.


Guardian Critic commented that:

‘Green-haired Rufus Hound captures the bumptious likability of Mr Toad, Gary Wilmot lends Badger a ramrod-backed military air as well as a cautious mix of belt and braces, and Neil McDermott invests the Chief Weasel with a spivvy, Arthur Daley-style raffishness.’


Lisbane Old Post Office Tea Rooms, Pantry and Gift Shop

Recently I paid a visit to Lisbane Old Post Office Tea Rooms, Pantry and Gift Shop. It is located close to the shores of Strangford Lough.

‘The Grade II listed building dates back to the 1840’s and having lain derelict for many years, it has been lovingly restored and it now makes a charming home for Trevor and Alison Smylie’s tea rooms and gift shop.

Trevor has years of experience as a baker and pastry chef in Australia and the U.K. and is now responsible for producing all the mouth watering scones, gateaux, pies and tarts which can be enjoyed in the three atmospheric tea rooms, each with its own cosy peat fire.’ http://www.oldpostofficelisbane.co.uk


The Gallery, Dublin Road,Belfast New Apartment block and Bar-Café

I had a meal in The Gallery this evening and it was very busy. There was a graduate celebration taking place and other groups of friends were meeting up for a meal at the end of the week, or perhaps for some other event, maybe a leaving-do or a birthday party.


‘The Gallery is the first new build apartment block in Belfast City Centre in nearly a decade and presents 58 one and two bedroom contemporary apartments  designed for city living.
Located at the midpoint of the Belfast art scene, halfway between the Cathedral Quarter and the Ulster Museum, for years the Dublin Road has been a meeting point for artists. From William Conor, Paul Henry and Gerard Dillon to the poetry of Richard Rowley, who was born and raised just a few doors down, art in all its forms played a large part in shaping this area.

 The 4,000 square foot ground floor space will be occupied by a bar-café with 6 metre high floor to ceiling windows and an outdoor seating area, providing a new meeting point for the artists of today.


Old Balloo House and Barn, 15–17 Comber Road, Balloo, Killinchy

Yesterday I paid a visit to Old Balloo House and Barn, 15–17 Comber Road, Balloo, Killinchy, BT23 6PB and was given a tour by Moira Concannon and Lesley Simpson 

‘Gardens of approximately one acre, developed around a late Georgian house and outbuildings, leading down to the River Blackwater. The garden immediately around the house, created in the mid 20th century, has been restored and extended by the current owner during the last 30 years. A wide range of plants is placed artistically, within radically different spaces. Winding paths take you through the garden where spring bulbs, especially daffodils, cherry and apple blossom, primula, flowering shrubs, roses, clematis and specimen trees abound. The planting offers carefully framed views to both the garden and surrounding farmland. Herbaceous material is used throughout the garden as under-planting or in the New European Perennial style. Many of the plants have been propagated on site. The garden includes many interesting features such as a water-trough cascade, feeding a rill which empties into the pond.’



The Ulster Folk Museum, Cultra

Yesterday I paid a visit to the The Ulster Folk Museum and was enchanted by its variety and layout.



‘The Folk Museum houses a variety of old buildings and dwellings which have been collected from various parts of Ireland and rebuilt in the grounds of the museum, brick by brick. 170 acres (0.69 km2) are devoted to illustrating the rural way of life in the early 20th century, and visitors can stroll through a recreation of the period’s countryside complete with farms, cottages crops, livestock, and visit a typical Ulster town of the time called “Ballycultra”, featuring shops, churches, and both terraced and larger housing and a Tea room.’