To my shame, whilst I can get myself from A to B in England (even the epic journey from Bure Park, Bicester to Broad Haven, Pembrokeshire!) without requiring sat nav, it is taking a long time for me to find my sense of direction here.
My new over-reliance on my phone for directions was highlighted last weekend. Joel was observing that two of our family have the initials ‘SS’ when Luke piped up, “No, you forgot Sat Nav Sellars, she’s ‘SS’ too.” Erm, maybe she’s overused in our car!
Anyway, I’m getting better. I can do the school run (on foot – it’s on the same road!), get to a petrol station, get to the International Airport, and some of our already well loved tree-climbing destinations. But I have some way still to go.
Having friends here for visits means I can practice on them (so, when you plan your visit, know you’re aiding my personal development…).
Last weekend we had friends from Bicester here, and we had a couple of great days out.
Delamont Country Park (I can do that one without sat nav!) gave the kids the opportunity to explore the enormous play park after we’d had a walk down to the shore to throw rocks into the Lough!
We also made our first visit to Oxford Island. How fitting that we should live near somewhere with this name!
On the shores of Lough Neagh, which you can see from the end of our road, this enormous nature reserve is a fantastic location for woodland explorations, bike rides and tea & scones.
This weekend we’ve been on the roads again, with Oxford guests.
After a trip into Belfast on Sunday morning, the boys headed home while us mums went on a mission to inspect the Irish Border.
I am very grateful to Mrs S for indulging me and coming on this nostalgia trip, passing Newry (where I grew up) and driving out to Carlingford, on the south side of the border.
This is a place we visited frequently when we lived in Newry, and I love looking across Carlingford Lough at the familiar view of the North!
And then today the obvious, but the brilliant, Giant’s Causeway. It is almost exactly 10 years since I was last here, with dear friends from Oxford (& Simon!), so we enjoyed exploring the awesome new visitors’ centre. My heart beat that little bit faster too*, as we climbed the coastal path listening to the smashing of the waves against the causeway, and looking right out to Scotland. This is why we live here!!
We set off first thing, and were very glad to have done so since it was lashing at lunchtime!
By then we’d walked along the cliffs to the Shepherd’s Steps, over to the towering Pipe Organ, and spent ages clambering around the main causeway.
Oh, and of course we had a cuppa and a lot of snacks!
*nothing to do with the uphill walking.