So, Belfast! That was fun. Apart from getting up at 4.30am on Saturday morning, that is. But even that wasn’t so bad as it was exciting to be off on a jaunt. There is something about air travel that makes these weekends much more exciting.
Anyway, we got to Glasgow airport, now thankfully free of terrorists and burning Jeeps and got all checked in. We were slighly worried about the enormo suitcase we had full of stuff for our stand on the Sunday, as it was really quite heavy and Jo was adamant about it being 20kg baggage allowance, but as it dawned on us that it was 20kg each, we began to relax!
The flight to Belfast takes approximately 12 minutes – no sooner than you are in the air, you are back down. We got on to the bus to the city centre with no problems and before long we were at our bed and breakfast on the east side (the nice bit) hammering on the door to get in, all this before 9am! Jo had warned them we would be very early, but they were still in bed, which was slightly embarrassing for all concerned.
We got checked in and then went out to explore and immediately found a car boot sale at a church down the road. My first ever car boot sale! We got some great vintage finds as well as a hunk of homemade soda bread which was very delicious and some beetroot chutney (which sadly we never got to taste thanks to stupid airport regulations about carrying liquids) and generally had a good time rummaging.
We then headed off into town where the first thing we were met with was the enormous ferris wheel thing, which may or may not be known as the Belfast Eye (that’s what I’m calling it at least). I didn’t even stop to think about my slight fear of heights, and before I knew it we were on board and heading skywards with 2 slightly racist older Irish ladies! I was panicking a bit on the first revolution, but come the end, I was literally rocking it. The view was spectacular – you could probably have seen Glasgow on a clear day!
After we got back to earth, we did what we always do – shopped and ate! We had a nice browse round some shopping places, some of the colonel’s batter for lunch (where we sat next to some bored teenagers being lectured by a religious nutter about the power of the holy spirit) and then on to an open top bus for a tour of the scary bits of the city. It was very interesting to see all the murals, flags and painted lamp posts and it certainly helped me to understand a bit better what their griping is all about, as I am a bit of a politics dullard. The most bizarre bit of the tour was when we were driving down one of the scary roads (the Catholic one I think) and the tour guide piped up that Mother Teresa used to live there – I simply could not fathom it. What utter nonsense! Research does indicate it to be true tho – how strange!
After our tour, we headed for what we’d been told was the trendy road for shopping, etc a la Byres Road – Lisburn Road. But we were very disappointed with what we found – just posh ladies dress shops and one or 2 overpriced homewares places. We did find The Chocolate Room tho, where we bought some little chocolates to scoff later and some owls and bunnies for our loved ones.
Along the road we found Springsteens Diner which looked like it was right up our alley, and the decor certainly was. Sadly tho, the food was terrible, with some of it downright inedible. The only saving grace was the fantastic onion rings. Don’t have the corn on the cob or the burgers should you ever go! The toilets were filthy too, for the record.
By this time, having been up for so long, it was time for bed, so we headed back to our B&B and got into jammies and bed, not even able to stay awake long enough to catch all of X Factor before Jo was snoring 🙂
On Sunday morning we were up at the crack again, getting ready for breakfast from 9am – at 9.03 the guy was hammering on our door asking if we still wanted breakfast – jeezo! It was a nice breakfast with organic eggs and stuff, but shared with a slightly deranged woman who quizzed us about soap operas whilst we tried to chew our bacon as quickly as possible.
Then we were a quick taxi ride to the Ormeau Baths Gallery where the Belfast Vintage Fashion Fair was taking place. And what a fair it was! The gallery itself was a great space. As the name suggests, it’s a converted Victorian swimming baths with several halls, all cleared of art to make way for more vintage clothing, fabrics, bags, accessories, furniture and homewares than you can imagine. There was room after room of it – it was quite overwhelming! We were in a gallery with some handbags, more clothes, homewares, custom tailoring, posters and soaps – it was a vintage hound’s dream!
The whole event was very well organised, with a press preview and everything. By the time we had opened to the public, who were literally queueing round the block to get in, we’d already sold several emo-broideries and some vintage homewares. We’d been worried that it wasn’t going to be worth the effort going over there, but in the end we sold out of most things and we had our best day’s takings ever! We also got a commission for suppling a shop in Belfast with our emo-broideries, so we were beaming from ear to ear by the end of the day! At one point the queue was so big, and the gallery so busy that they had to wait for people to leave before letting anyone else in – mental!
So we packed away the few things we had left at the end and repaired to the pub near the bus station for a celebratory Guinness and made a list of all the things we need to replace (i.e. everything!) and chatted to some crazy old men until it was time to go home! We had a great time all in all – can’t wait for the next fair there!