365:088 What happened to spring?

Welcome to Northern Ireland; home of the "Vivaldi Climate" - all four seasons in one sitting.

365:087 A nice cup of tea and a....

Sometimes, life's little pleasures are all a girl needs at the end of a long, busy day.

365:086 Getting dug in

First day at "God's Garden" today - and Jona came to help with the heavy stuff. So glorious spring day with birdsong and that lovely satisfied feeling at getting the first planting done. A carpet covered patch needed little clearing, but lots of breaking up to do - I've enough clay to start a pottery. (Now there's a thought!) We have rhubarb, onions, red onions and shallots in so far. Seeds to go into trays over the next week too. Lots to keep me busy but it's so good to get back.

365:085 Grand Opera House, Belfast

Was at the Grand Opera House last night - "Beauty and the Beast" (Belfast Operatic) and was incredibly tight production - very impressive. I love this building - really cheesy and OTT but it works. Tea with the family before hand was just lovely too - good to catch up with Betty, Jack and Sian.

365:084 Seahill

Through the window of the train today... the Seahill halt. Maybe the place for inexperienced Irish water skiers? (Beats looking for a lake with a slope.....)

365:083 rainy train

Bit of a change in the weather, but I'm happy - no sitting in traffic jams, no stress, just me, the book and a drink. Bliss. (And I liked the reflection!)

365:082 Blitzed

Recording a drama about the Belfast Blitz today... and the entire cast is under 15 years of age. Was good fun.

365:081 getting desperate

Desperately dusty keyboard (any tips on de-gunging them?) and desperate for a photo of something - anything for today.

365:080 Ouch - I've got piles

How does this happen? You turn your head for two minutes and the stuff leaps off shelves and out of drawers...

Anybody got a deliverance (of clutter) ministry?

365:079 More ahhhhs.....

Today is just one of those beautiful spring days you long for - cold, yes, but sunny and in the sheltered spots, just lovely. On the way home from a long, leisurely lunch with a friend I hadn't seen for ages, I spotted this lovely mare and foal.

A field further up the lane, a farmer was ploughing much to the delight of the terns (?);

By the drive-in at home, the dwarf daffs in the wall planter were still looking fresh despite having been out for a couple of weeks.... ... and a suprise bouquet of roses and lillies was waiting for me in the porch - from American friends who enjoyed a concert in the Belfast Waterfront Hall - Sharon Shannon and the Ulster Orchestra (St Pat's day).

Could you want a better day. (Ok, a win at Croke Park would have been nice!)

365:078 Say Ahhh...

Dentist this morning - most upsetting part was trying to get parked. Happy to keep it that way - though back in a few weeks for a little treatment. Say ahhh.......

365:077 freaky throw

As someone who could go half a game of ludo before throughing a six to get "out", I was fiddling with an old camera film box to see why it was rattling, and out fell the six "farkle" dice - in sequence, one through to six. How often does this happen?! I've never placed a bet on anything in my entire life, but maybe I should have had a flutter or something today!

365:076 Celebrations

Wearing the work hat here - our team's been working flat out to produce this site for a launch date today - think it's well worth a poke about. My favourite bit's the kids describing the man himself here.

Ok, shameless advertising over - normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

365: 075 Anticipating St Pat's day

St Patrick's day tomorrow .... this artwork is in St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast - and not a pint of the black stuff or daft wee green men in sight.

365:074 Inspection day

Tourist Board inspector gave our rental house five lovely stars today... and we celebrated. Dad by walking down to - AND up from - the Giant's Causeway and the rest of us by walking down, getting the bus up and stuffing ourselves with ice cream. Very proud of dad - it's a good leg stretch to walk back up - just proves how good a knee replacement can be!

365:073 Mother's day in the UK...

... and a game of Jenga gave us all a giggle after lunch - though you wouldn't think it from this shot! My brother's in-laws joined us (the out-laws) and we had a lovely day in Bushmills.

365:072 New Irish

Lovely concert in Ballymena tonight - chamber choir and some musicians - lovely lovely lovely music. The guy in front wasn't taking part....but he had a great "ear" for music....

365:071 Inside out?

A snatched pic from the car today while waiting for the lights to change (does that still count as driving?!). Not sure what the idea was but the site was close to the art college.... so some great meaning no doubt. It's colourful.

365:070 Posh nosh

A leaving "do" here this evening for yet another work colleague who's taken voluntary redundancy. Name means "son of William" - so do daughters get a look in?

365:069 Ignore the mug... the contents are an illustration.

So, a nice story that illustrates beautifully the (mystifying) reverence held by Irish mothers for their sons. A colleague's brother had just started university and was visiting another student's flat.

"Would you like a cup of tea?" asked the host. "Lovely, yes please" was the reply.


"Yes please."


"Yes thanks."

"How many?"

"I'm not sure, my mother usually puts it in."

You couldn't make it up could you. Needless to say, this story will follow him for life.

365:068 No red sails in the sunset

Groomsport harbour with the Copeland Islands in the distance - taken on the way home from work - around 6.30pm. I love this clean cold spring light. Still too Baltic to be in a boat mind you!

365:067 Bye Mary...

Despite being in Omagh today, my pic of the day is from Good Book Club this evening. Mary's heading to Scotland to work and we're going to miss her. Great to see everyone this evening - especially Zarina - and Anne G called from teaching practice in Cornwall. I love these gals.

365:066 good to go...

...not that a few dollars will take me far - and I'm only going as far as Omagh tomorrow anyway - but am tidying up the bureau tonight. I was emptying a travel purse and liked the shiny 2009 bucks. I have another sack of coins from European countries in the pre-euro days - francs, marks and lira etc. No idea why I've still got them since I'm really not a hoarder, but can't bring myself to part with them.

365:065 teeny weenys

I love these wee pencils a colleague bought me a while back. Having seen me colour coding script takes in studio with a big set, he reckoned these would be easier to carry. I reckon he thinks I have borderline OCD -so just to prove it Simpso - I haven't put the pencils in the right order. (Ok, it's killing me...... but they're still random!) They're so tiny. Such a thoughtful thing to do and since I've a script to work on this week, they're back in action.

365:064 Spring beckons

So it's time to get the seed store built up...looking forward to getting some planting started. Couldn't resist the flowers and the kids stuff - serious veg list underway.

365:063 eggs

I love these soapstone eggs from Kenya - always cool to the touch and they bring back lovely memories.

365:062 Memories

So, a treasure today. My grandfather who was with the RAF in Italy sent this box home to his family in Belfast and no one could open it! Dad - who was 11 or 12 at the time worked out the secret opening mechanism and the goodies inside were for everyone - silk stockings for gran and all the sisters, sweets and postcards for the children. It's been a great conversation piece as others try to work out how it opens.

365:061 potty

Being a "bucket of tea a day" girl, I'd been too busy all morning and was absolutely desperate for a cuppa this afternoon - so when it eventually arrived... ah bliss.

365:060 Spring bulbs

Irises this time... maybe a floral theme this week? They're the first of the spring bulbs to pop out in the wall planter among the violas. Just bootiful.