belfast tower

One song. That is how long it takes to jog from our cottage at one end of the village to the opposite end where it ends. I told him I would be back in four songs. The perplexed look on his face let me know he had no idea what I meant. 'About 20 minutes' I clarified, as I figured at four to five minutes per song in my iPod shuffle would equal close to twenty minutes.

Certainly it would take at least two songs to jog in one direction, I thought as I stretched in the living room in front of the now decorative wooden fireplace. As soon as I realised this was not the case, I continued along Portaferry Road as the morning before. I passed by two greyish white swans on my left. The same old discarded bicycle tire was in the same place it was yesterday as was the crushed cardboard coffee carrier.

After two songs I thought of turning back until I looked up and saw the sign in the distance. The sign I ran up to yesterday. 'I could make it', I thought. Four songs. It took me four songs to get to the sign as I ran against the wind and hugged the stone wall as large trucks passed me by. I then turned around and returned to the warm cottage where we ate fresh baguettes for breakfast before heading to the bus stop.

We walked out to the bus stop a few feet from our doorstep ten minutes before its arrival as there was no rain this morning. We rode alongside the shore with the occasional spray from waves below splashing up onto the bus. We arrived in Belfast an hour later at 12,50 and walked towards the same shopping area we visited earlier in the week. We parted ways as I walked down Skipper Street which turns into Hill Street. Established Coffee was my destination. The bank was his.

The coffeehouse was crowded but I managed to find a table. The same table where we sat the first time. I looked at the display case wondering if I would find a scone and noticed a label with the words 'Apple Cinnamon Scone'. It was a cinnamon roll not too different from the ones in the States. I decided against anything from the case and ordered a cappuccino for £2.70.

The cappuccino arrived in a smaller cup than either of the two coffees we had in Greyabbey. In addition to it looking like it contained more coffee than milk it was a cappuccino where you can taste the pure flavour of coffee, not overly steamed milk. It was so good I had to order another. This time I ordered a flat white which was not too different from the cappuccino. I also ordered a brown butter and cinnamon loaf.

I moved over to the large communal table and waited for my flat white to arrive. In the meantime, I jotted a few notes in my travel journal. My boyfriend showed up, an hour after I arrived, and sat with me as I drank my coffee and enjoyed the sweet treat. A baby across from us caught my attention. I played peek-a-boo with him and watched his eyes light up. Those are the years of a child's life where it does not take much to make him happy.

A light drizzle awaited us as we left the coffeehouse and walked a few feet over to The Harp Bar. The bar is beautiful with its copper tabletops on the café tables and a large copper trough sink in the bathroom. We talked about our future plans as we each drank a pint of Guinness.

Many challenges await us as we move forward with our lives together whilst living on separate continents. Though we both await the day when we can live under one roof, we realise the reality is far from soon. But at least we have this time together in Northern Ireland for another week before we return to Ennis where we have another five days together though he will be working most of those days.

the harp bar window

The drizzle turned to rain as we walked in the direction of Primark. Once again, we went our separate ways for no more than half an hour. He to Primark whilst I headed to Easons bookstore where I found a large section of books and games in the downstairs portion. I spent no more than 15 minutes perusing the various sections before he arrived. Since our mission this trip was to buy food we cannot find at the village, we did not spend more time at the bookstore. We will take one more trip to Belfast this weekend and will return to the bookstore after our visit to the Christmas Market which opens Saturday at noon.

At Tesco we found most of the items on our list, including two bottles of red wine. The shallots for the night's pizza were nowhere to be found so instead we bought garlic. Flour was important as well for I had yet another week of baking ahead of me. The mascarpone I was also unable to find for the courgette and carrot cakes but knew it would not be an issue as we would eat them with or without the spiced mascarpone cream layer and topping.

We gathered our groceries into his backpack and made our way to the bus station. We were early but also tired from walking around in the rain with heavy bags. It was dark as we rode back to the village. Once inside our cottage, I changed before I went to the kitchen to start our evening meal. In the meantime, he walked over to the local store for something sweet since we had nothing sweet already made.

belfast rainbow

In the time it took him to return, I took the linens out of the washer/dryer combo and made the bed. Then I sliced various cheeses I brought from Scotland, baguettes, baby tomatoes, and cucumbers as an accompaniment to our wine before I baked the pizzas. We relished every bite of our meal this evening alongside the wine and enjoyed our time together.