I have lived in Northern Ireland now for 25 years, and there are some things that are unique to this small place. And they get on my nerves.
- Weddings – I know weddings are lovely things, so much hope for the future and true love, but honestly, we must be one of the only places where even young girls are getting a fake tan before they step out in style. Truly, weddings here are completely over the top. No matter what the weather, and lets face, it is very rarely warm, the young lassies are all dolled up with bare legs, bare arms, their hair done, face done, nails done and a brand new frock on. And they are frozen. But it’s not even the young lassies, it’s the old dolls too! I mean, please? Bare arms? Please, take me back to the days when a coat was an acceptable accessory, and only the bride paid to get her hair and make-up done. A rig out for a wedding now wouldn’t see change out of £150. And it’s not just the lassies either. When on earth did it become the in thing for the blokes to get a spray tan too? And highlights? Jeepers I must be getting old.
- Religion – When I was growing up in England, nobody was described by their religion. We might have said, “That’s Sheila, she works in the bank”. Here, not only do people say, “That’s Sheila who works in the bank.” they add on at the end, “She’s a Catholic/Protestant” (delete as you wish), AND they drop their voice at the end like its a bad word. Stop it! Stop it people. We will never move on if a person’s religion is always more interesting than if she is a nice person, she shops in Tescos or last week she burnt her spaghetti bolognese because she was too busy posting selfies on her new iphone. Lose the religious descriptions.
- Everybody knows you – seriously! You might not believe me but it’s true. If you go on holiday/move house/go to university/sit on a train/plane/coach oh heck, if you do anything and then get talking to someone new, you will always be guaranteed to discover you are either related to them, or you are best friends with their next door neighbours’ child. You get the picture anyhow.
But if I had to mention the nice bits? Well, that would be the countryside, the mountains, the sea never being too far away, we have fantastic beaches and homemade ice-cream shops everywhere. Oh yes, and Belfast is never that far away, and the craic. You couldn’t get better banter than here.