Friday Photo -A Damson Dream

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Downhill Beach

I have dusted off the Fitbit in effort to get more active and fit. It is also in combination with a determined effort to start losing weight. I have become very very overweight and it is making me extremely unhappy. I am the only who can do anything about it. So this morning I went for a walk on the beach and am at 5.5k steps already so onwards and (weight) downwards!

There was a low tide this morning so we got to explore further along beach than usual.

Donegal in the distance.

Mussenden Temple

Summer

Like most Northern Ireland mums it’s time to start thinking about the children going back to school in a little over 2 weeks. How time has flown again. When the 8 weeks of summer holidays first start I dream of long hot summer days and evenings at the beach, in the garden and it seems like such a long time we have. Then in the blink of an eye it’s nearly over and the dreams of long hot sunny days and evenings remained that … dreams. As with much of the summer the weather has played havoc with our plans for fun days out so we have just done bits and pieces in between the showers.

Yesterday we had a lovely day in Cushendun (for the second time this summer) which has become one of my favourite places for a day out. My brother and his family came along too so it was nice to spend quality time with them.

Cushendun is a little village on the coast of Co Antrim and most of it is maintained by the National Trust. It is very picturesque so bring a camera. The village was designed by Clough Williams-Ellis who also designed Portmeirion in Wales. Quaint it definitely is.

You can read all about it here:

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cushendun/features/cushendun—an-unspoilt-village-in-the-glens-of-antrim

We started off with a walk to the caves. We parked at the little car park at the beach (the entrance is beside The Corner House tea house). The caves are featured in Game of Thrones so might be recognizable to some readers.

CAVE CROP

Cushendun Caves

CAVE2

Cushendun Caves

After the caves we spent what felt like hours on the beach. The youngest children splashed about in the sea while we walked, talked and beach combed. It was lovely.

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There’s a great little play park in the village at Glenmona House with a few picnic tables and public toilets. We had our picnic there and refreshed we headed along the coast to Kinabane Castle outside Ballycastle. The castle is just a ruin but what a spot!! It has a car park and toilets too. Access is down a long narrow road so be prepared for oncoming cars. There is a car park. The castle is accessed by a set of steps which are numerous and steep but worth the trip (I did feel like I was going to have a heart attack by the time I got back up the steps though – it is VERY steep).

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Kinbane Castle with Rathlin Island in the background

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The ruins of Kinbane

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A Smuggler’s Cave?

 

Glastonbury clear-up begins as music fans head home – in pictures

Glastonbury clear-up begins as music fans head home – in pictures

https://www.theguardian.com/music/gallery/2017/jun/26/glastonbury-clear-up-begins-as-revellers-head-home-in-pictures?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_WordPress

I was looking through these photos of the aftermath of the Glastonbury festival and they show really well our disposable, throw-away society. Unbelievable how people care so little that they can buy tents, chairs, sleeping bags … and just leave them behind. And the rubbish strewn fields make me sick. I know the bins are overflowing but I could never just drop rubbish where I stand. Does anyone else feel the same way?

Portrush Coastal Zone

The family went on a wee trip to Portrush today to visit The Coastal Zone which opens for the summer months. http://www.portrush.org.uk/listing_detail.php?SLT=153&SSC=Attractions&SC=Experience

We hadn’t been there for a long time. It’s a great wee spot and the 4 of us really enjoyed it. There are a few live exhibits such as pipe fish; starfish; anemones; sea urchins etc. There are also whale and dolphin bones etc.

We asked one of the members of staff about the mermaid’s purses which were suspended in a tank. We quite often find the empty purses washed up on local beaches.

My youngest had a great time taking photos and the following are his:

Peek-a-boo

Emerging …

Minke whale washed up in 2003 at Giant’s Causeway

We never find hermit crabs this big

 

 

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The Mermaid’s Purses

18 Summers

I was reading something recently and it said that we only have 18 summers with our children as children, young people. It really hit home with me just how short a time we have with them as children. 18 short years …

I am determined to make the most of my time with my boys. I have been lucky to have worked part time since my eldest was a baby (with just 8 months full time at one stage). I have absolutely no regrets. I could have worked full time and gone for more promotions. If I had  we would have had more money to spend on the house, on better cars and more foreign holidays but what I hope my children remember was that I was there a lot for them, that I was at every sports day, Christmas concert, Nativity Play etc.  They always say they like it that I can leave them to school and am here after school. When my eldest was born I really wanted to stay at home and was quite jealous of the stay-at-home mums but we needed another wage so part time it was. That was the right thing for me and my family and is absolutely not a criticism of those mothers who work full time. I have many friends and family members who work full time. I have followed my heart and that is what has worked for us.

I hope that the boys have wonderful childhood memories like I have of my childhood. It is our role as parents to give them the childhood they deserve. I see lots of quotes online about motherhood and there is so much pressure on mothers to be ‘perfect’. There is so much criticism of mothers on social media and I find it quite disgusting how a seemingly innocent comment can attract such nastiness and hatred. We can only do our best and follow our hearts.

My house is loud and messy.

That’s OK, because someday it will be quiet, spotless and lonely.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥