Lumpy meets Granny and Grandad

28 10 2013


This weekend marked another important milestone for Lumpy. FFOMC and I made a trip to Northern Ireland to celebrate our baby news with my family. FFOMC went into overdrive, checking the all knowing oracle that is the internet for information about whether or not it is safe for me to travel by plane, to add to his ever growing knowledge about enjoying a healthy pregnancy.

We arrived on Friday evening to a warm reception at Belfast International Airport where Granny and Granddad admired my already visible bump before treating us to pizza and drinks by the fire – for me this meant just under half a glass of red wine (although it was a damn good one) followed by lots of Shloer.

On Saturday my sisters, their partners & my two lovely nephews arrived in my childhood home for a catch up before a Halloween party that evening complete with decorations, supper and fireworks. The fireworks were operated by FFOMC – sure I may not be able to fly but the soon to be father can play with matches and explosive material!

Telling close family friends about Lumpy was great – I explained how I have spent three months working on my Halloween costume before revealing that I came as a Mummy – hugs and congratulations all round 🙂

Sunday meant a visit to a carvery at The Stormont Hotel before a return trip home which was surprisingly stress free despite the storm warnings.

It always surpries me how quick these visits home seem and especially with such big news to share. I mis everyone already and am keen to organise my next visit – although my family may need to come to me next time as I am assured it will be become increasinly unsafe for me to fly myself 🙂


Visiting home

22 10 2013


In 5 days I will be off to good old Norn Iron to visit my family and indulge in my favourite supper of the pastie variety.

This trip will be especially good not only because it coincides with my parent’s annual Halloween party but also because for the first time in a LONG time FFOMC will be joining me.

No matter how long I live in Southern England, Norn Iron will always be the place I call home and I look forward to a few precious days there with good company and great craic.

Northern Irish Time Warp

25 08 2013

Northern Ireland

At the time of writing it is 1am.

Less than 48 hours ago I flew home from the Dominican Republic on an overnight flight.

As the Dominican Republic is 5 hours behind the UK, my brain still currently thinks it is 8pm.

I stayed up from 8am (Dominican time) until till 11pm (UK time) the next day – 23hours in total – then I got up at 8am (UK time).

My parents have booked tickets for me to fly home to Northern Ireland to visit them and my family tomorrow.

The flight is at 10:50am – my brain will think it is 5:50am.

In order to make it to the airport on time I need to catch the train at 7:30am – at the absolute latest! My brain will think it is 2am.

By way of summary regarding my current thoughts on this situation:

  • I am very jet lagged.
  • After my 9 hour flight on Thursday/Friday, I swore blind I was done with planes for the year.
  • I want a lie in tomorrow.
  • I do not want to be on another plane tomorrow – sorry I mean TODAY!
  • I may dislike my parents a little bit right now.
  • I need to call my mother immediately, wake her and continue to call repeatedly throughout the night so she is as tired and irritable as I am on arrival…
  • …but it will be lovely to see them…
  • …and my nephews…
  • …and dearest Granny, Peggy and Arthur…


Heart Attack on a Plate

11 03 2013

Ulster Fry

I think I am missing home this week because I seem to be craving all my favourite comfort foods from good ole NORN IRON.

The title of todays post is an affectionate reference to the unbeatable Ulster Fry.

Until recently this was a meal that was denied to me when since my move to England 15 years ago. The fry-up is a well known breakfast meal loved throughot the UK but there are regional variations and of course none will ever compare to those prepared by my Dad.

This breakfast meal always features beef or pork sausages, rashers of bacon and eggs and a range of side dishes that differ in each region. Some of the side dishes I loved when I was growing up included vegetable roll, fried tomato, mushrooms, and fried onions. But my absolute favourite part of this meal was the fried bread that came with it: pancakes, soda farl and of course my favourite potato bread. It is also compulsory to have a strong cup of milky tea with an Ulster Fry and popular choices include: Nambarrie, Lyon’s and Barry’s.

When I first moved to England; potato and soda bread were not available anywhere.  It was a product I would usually buy in the airport and bring over in my hand luggage on my return trips to England. My husband used to look forward to our traditional breakfast when I got back and was feeling homesick each time I left my parents. But as security measures in airports and restrictions surrounding food and drink became increasingly restrictive this option was removed and I was no longer able to indulge in my favourite breakfast at home in England.

Imagine my delight the first time I happened upon potato bread in an English supermarket – it was akin to discovering the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

In some ways I suppose it is qute sad – I always look forward to one of my Dad’s Ulster frys when I visit my folks in NORN IRON but  its not quite the same somehow if the ingredients that I used to crave and look forward to are readily available here in England as well. As high streets across the globe are losing their individuality and we can now walk into the same stores and buy the same products almost anywhere; it nice when there is something that is unique to our own little corners of the world. Saying that – potato bread is one of the best things ever! It would be selfish to deny the rest of the world this NORN IRON treat to accompany their fried breakfast but not too often!

I'm part of Post A Day 2013