December 21st 2010–Belfast, Northern Ireland

IMGP1031We’ve been in Belfast for just over 1 week and the weather has been dreadful.  They had the lowest temperature in history with an overnight low of –18 Celsius.  It’s extremely cold with lots of ice and snow.  Even getting into Upperlands (my sister and her hubby’s other home) is difficult.  Gritters, our equivalent of snow ploughs, are scarce, so it’s just help yourself to a mixture of salt and grit from a box on the sidewalk.  A local business just outside Belfast who supplies all the sand and salt for Northern Ireland, South of Ireland and most of England is fast running out of supplies.  As everyone will have already read most of the airports in the UK are at a standstill.  Our plans are to leave Belfast on Dec 31st to travel back to Amsterdam and the following morning to fly to Frankfurt and then Toronto.  Our flight to Florida is on January 4th to catch our world cruise on January 5th.  We’re keeping fingers crossed we can get home in time.  However, in the mean time we’re catching up with family and having a wonderful time.

 

My brother Tony was just so surprised and delighted when he came home from work to find Gert and I sitting in my sister’s living room.  He just just speechless Crying face and very very happy.  We’ve spend some time shopping (although it’s been almost too cold to go out) and meeting up with my sister Helen and her wonderful daughter Michelle – who live south and west of Belfast in Waringstown.  Michelle treated the family to a wonderful evening at her new house (although it was Helen who did all the cooking).  We’ve had some incredible meals at Gordon and Shirley’s house – Gordon is a really good cook and has been most wonderful in helping keep meals as veggie as possible.  We’re spending as much time with Tony (brother) as possible as this was the main objective in us coming to Ireland.  We’ll have Christmas Day with my sister Helen and then Boxing Day with Shirley et al. 

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We’re having a great time with the family and spending the holidays here is just a real special treat.

IMGP1094Top Left (Shirley, Pat, Tony and Helen) Bottom Left (Niece Michelle and Nephew Neil – Helen’s kids)

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