Blind Bucket List – Week One (May 30- June 11th)
It’s been a little over a week since I arrived in Ireland, but I will keep updating my adventures on Mondays, and will still be bringing you an article every Friday while I’m away. I was a bit late this week with the regular Friday article – it shouldn’t happen again, just a few hiccups in the adjustment period. Jet lag set in last Saturday, but I think it’s finally left me.
It’s been a great time so far. I’m still figuring out my way around and getting my circadian rhythms on track. I have big plans and so little time to get everything done. Today my eyes are playing up, as they do, but that just tells me that I need to have a break in the next day or two and stop trying to burn the candle at both ends. It’s so easy to forget that I’m dealing with an illness that must be managed through adequate rest, good nutrition and a fairly regular schedule. Chaos makes the eyes act up and then it’s only a matter of time until they give out completely and I’ll be forced to sit some time out. I can’t afford that right now, so I’ll take a day, thank you.
I haven’t done as much in Belfast as I wanted to, so I’ll have to make a point of planning to go and do all the marvellous things there is to take in there. I’ve spent most of my time getting to know my incredible family all over again. I haven’t seen most of them for nearly twenty years and although we keep in touch as best we can, it’s good to see everyone in carbon form and just have the time to be together, joking around and telling stories.
On Thursday, June 7th I headed to my Dad’s hometown in County Antrim. This incredibly beautiful area is where the tv series Game of Thrones is filmed. There have been many other tv shows and movies filmed in this incredible location and it has become very touristy compared to how it was when I was a child. There are areas that we used to drive to when I was young that you must either walk half an hour to get to or take a tourist bus. The beach towns are filled with people and are buzzing with various activities. Coffee shops and bed and breakfasts are everywhere with holiday caravans filling up every nook and cranny. I guess the secret is out – Northern Ireland is the place to come for an amazing holiday adventure.
I’m staying with my Aunt and Uncle in their unbelievably lavish home with a view to die for. I got settled in on my first night, enjoying a lovely dinner with another Aunt, Uncle and cousin, and then in the morning took a lovely video of the scene. It was overcast in the morning, so my Aunt insisted that I do the video again once the sun had come out. She was right, it made for a much nicer shot when everything is bathed in the intense sun we have been experiencing since I arrived. We spent Friday running around and having a look at how much the area has changed – I still haven’t really gotten my bearings. Saturday was a lovely little parade for Larne Alive and then dinner with more cousins – I am lucky enough to have a huge, close-knit family who enjoys each others company.
We spent Sunday driving around the Antrim coast and through the Glens. We had a lovely stop at the Portstewart Golf Club and headed back to Larne on the new highway. I was supposed to go back to Belfast on Sunday but we all agreed that I should stay an extra couple of days. Today, Monday I’ve spent writing and catching up on emails and messages. We also had a fun trip with an old family friend, Marlene. She had an appointment at the Antrim hospital, so Aunt Sandra decided to drive her. We got lost momentarily and after an emergency call to my Uncle Robert, we were back on the right road again. The parking lot at the hospital was pure madness so we didn’t get staying.
The road back to Larne was a very interesting one. We were driving along when a police car came roaring up past us. Then a second one came screaming by. They got in front of the traffic and held up both lane, slowing the traffic down to crawls. The next thing we know there are two more police cars and a silver car flying up on the shoulder. We still haven’t found out what that was all about, but it was interesting.
Back home to a quiet night and the bus to Belfast tomorrow. I still haven’t got next week completely planned out but I’m sure it will be as much fun as this week has been. Until next Monday – Seek the joy in life and your eyes will be filled with the simple pleasures of the everyday!!