I haven’t done a blog post in so long, it’s hard to know where to start. I have been devoting more time to building my YouTube channel recently, but I still love the process of writing blog posts. If only there were more hours in a day 🙂 If anyone wants to check out my YouTube channel, you can find it here: https://youtube.com/@thefunkythrifter
The Science Festival has been on in Belfast, so I took my kids to a couple of the events from it last weekend. We visited the planets trail at the Ulster Transport Museum. I hadn’t expected it to be so well organised, but there were staff waiting to welcome everyone with trail maps, they had food and coffee vans and the Land, Sea and Sky gallery is free while the trail is on. We started at the sun and made our way through the arches on the trail, stopping to get pictures of the tiny planets 🙂 The girls were delighted they got to do the green screen jet ski and tractor and watch themselves on the screen. (That never gets old.) We walked around the museum and stopped to have a picnic we brought with us. The girls got a little planet keyring each in the gift shop. They were so cute, I almost considered getting one too 🙂 We made it to Jupiter on the trail. Apparently, it is a three and a half hour walk from the beginning to the end of the trail and it goes from Belfast to Bangor. We walked along the seafront and almost made it to Saturn, but my kids were starting to complain about tired legs, so we turned back. I’m thinking about going again and parking further along so we can see some more of the trail another day.
While my younger daughter was at a pizza party with her friends, I took my older daughter to Pizza Express and used some vouchers we had. We rarely go anywhere alone together, so I appreciated the chance to get to do that. I love the way you can get free pizza with your club card vouchers 🙂
On Sunday, we went to Botanic Gardens in the morning. It was a beautiful, bright day, even though it was still cold. I wanted to soak up the sunshine, so we spent plenty of time in the park and had a snack picnic outside. Afterwards, we went to a talk in the museum called “What a Shell Can Tell.” It was taken by the author of the book and it was so inspiring. She shared stories about shells and lots of interesting facts that I hadn’t known about prior to going there. The girls and I are always collecting pretty shells on the beach, but it was good to learn a little more background about them. The girls got a signed copy of the lady’s book, so they can learn more about them at home. We got to hold some oysters that they had brought in a tank, which are endangered in Northern Ireland now. We also got to look at the museum’s unusual collection of special shells. My daughter was listening to the sea in a conch shell and the lady that had given the lecture explained the science of the sound to her.
Afterwards, we wandered around the rest of the museum and the kids went to the nature room and the art room. They had lots of new activities set up in the art room. The girls enjoyed the puppet show and the dress-up box with the picture frames. They got me to take pictures of them posing behind the frames. We also made some paper bag puppets with scraps of paper. My mum and I made one too and I enjoyed the slow process of it.
When we were finished, we went back to my house and I made an Ulster Fry for dinner. I am definitely far too addicted to using the deep fryer my mum gave me. She hadn’t used it, and since we got it, I use it for practically everything 🙂
This week, while the girls were in school, I decided to take myself on an artist’s date (from the book The Artist’s Way.) I went to a different part of Belfast and I found a cosy spot upstairs in a coffee shop to write in and look out the window. I was the only person there for a while 🙂 Then, I had a quick look in a vintage and charity shop. I got a new jacket that is really vibrant and probably completely over the top, but I love it 🙂 Then, I attended the Van Gogh immersive experience in a church in Belfast. It was recommended to me by a friend and I loved every minute of it. Whenever you enter the building, you are greeted by a huge sunflower installation on the ceiling. I enjoyed getting the chance to read all about Van Gogh’s background. Normally, whenever the kids are with me, I wouldn’t get the opportunity to read anything for that long 🙂 There were 3D images and his paintings were presented in interesting and unique ways. There was a deckchair room where you choose a chair to recline on and you just watch the changing images covering the walls whilst listening to calming music. I just sat there for a long time, watching it and enjoying the experience. After leaving that room, there was a colouring room where you could colour in one of Van Gogh’s paintings and then scan it and have it on the wall if you liked. I coloured in some sunflowers and had fun just making a mess 🙂 I had a quick look in the gift shop before I left too.
Whenever I got home, I felt really refreshed and better able to deal with the rest of the day. Sometimes, it’s good to set housework aside and do something you want to do instead 🙂