BOOM – Belfast Bank Building


Today is a sad one for the city of Belfast. One of our oldest and most iconic buildings was devastated by fire.

Known as The Bank Buildings the landmark was much admired and also much loved.

It dates from the 1780s when it was indeed a bank but Belfast Boomers will remember it best as a beautiful department store.

As young girls my friend Carol and I would go there and sneak a spray of perfume from the samples on display at the cosmetics counters or we would quickly try on a fancy hat or shoes when no one was watching.

It was such a lovely place and always smelled divine. We aspired to be able to buy just the smallest thing in that store.

Over the years it underwent many transformations most recently being the flagship store for the PRIMARK chain.

Way before Zara and H&M, PRIMARK brought great fun and joy to all of us with their affordable trend setting fashion.

Just as the fire happened a total renovation of the store was nearing completion in time for the peak Christmas shopping season.

So what is the blessing in the events of today? Not the jobs lost or the loss of revenue for sure.

The blessings are that the store was safely evacuated and that there are heroes in our communities who fight such monstrous infernos.

The same dedicated heroes who battled so hard today to save that building will go out again tonight and tomorrow and for many more days and years to come to bravely fight other blazes on our behalf.

They are AMAZING!

Blessing # 84 –  Firefighters

BOOM – Bath, Bubbles & Book


Big stress at home this weekend. Poor Aaron’s car is suffering from a very serious condition.

He took it to work as usual and it started to make a weird noise and the steering got really stiff.

When he got home I took it for a drive and it was indeed awful. The poor lad is gutted.

We fear the worse but let us hope for the best.

In such situations what to do? Light a few candles, run a bath add some smelly stuff, bubble up and soak with a good book.

That was my only solution on a Sunday evening. What’s your go to solution to chill?

Blessing # 83 – Tried and trusted stress buster

BOOM – Bark in Bed


There is nothing quite as enjoyable as a wee lie in on a Sunday morning especially if you have a warm furry blanket at your feet.

This morning we had thunder again. Surprisingly, even though it woke Aaron and Krishna and me, for once Dibley did not stir.

He was in bed in a deep sleep and then he started to dream.

In his dream he must have been having a dreadful fight because he was barking for at least two minutes.

Those of you who have dogs will know that when a dog barks while dreaming the noise is really funny.

In the still of this morning I realized that this noise unlike a bark is really and truly a WOOF WOOF sound.

So in honor of all those fur babies out there who give us so much love happy Doggie Day and many happy dreams.

Blessing # 82 – Wet Nose Kisses

BOOM – Banjo

man person wall music
Photo by Gratisography on

Today I was at a meeting where we had a lot of music and singing.

The musicians played the guitar and piano most of the time and that was lovely.

We all had a real treat though when out came a banjo.

This immediately brought a big smile to everyone’s face and there was lots of clapping and stomping of feet.

There is something about a banjo that spells happiness and yet we don’t see it played so often.

What other instrument can you think of that brings a universal smile?

Blessing # 81 – A joyful noise

BOOM – Bunty


Today Krishna and I went for a little bargain hunting. We didn’t find a single thing at any of the yard, barn or garage sales. This is quite unusual. Maybe we are becoming too picky.

One of the garage sales was at Bunty Station Road about five miles from our home. I pass it fairly often but today for some reason it brought back a memory of  the weekly children’s comic book BUNTY that we British girls were very fond of.

The stories in BUNTY were either very sweet or very funny. At the back of each edition was a paper doll and some paper clothes that we would cut out and hook onto the doll.

These comic books brought great joy. Everyone raced to get the next edition as soon as it came out each week.

Boys had their own comics the names of which escape me now and then there were other comics like the BEANO that both boys and girls would read.

I don’t know if these comics still exist today but they sure did encourage kids to develop a regular reading habit!

One thing that always perplexed me though was I never once met someone called BUNTY!!!!

Blessing # 80 – A Good Read

BOOM – Banana Bread


Last week having hailed the bounty of the Banana, and faced with some very ripe berries, there was nothing left to do but make banana bread.

Thinking that some speedy on the go breakfast items might be needed this week the bread was made as muffins.

A few ingredients were hidden with the banana, butter and sugar including whole grain flour and oat meal.

Aaron ate one. Said it was “Ah OK” which means he hated it.  Dad doesn’t rate them either. Great  British Bakers have nothing to fear!

Fortunately a furry hero appreciates his mother’s efforts. Wonder is it because they taste like  his pet food kibble?


Blessing # 79 – A Connoisseur!

BOOM – Big Ball


You certainly have experienced children who are very attached to one special item. They take it everywhere with them and it is often a challenge to get it from them to wash.

For some this is a soft toy, for our Aaron it was a little blanket that we called Panda Duvet and that eventually totally disintegrated.

Maybe you have also experienced such a helpful go to pacifier with your pet.

Those of you who know our Dibley will know how important Big Ball is to him.

Big Ball was purchased for Aaron when he started baseball in spring of 2011. Shortly thereafter it was taken over by Dibley.

Being a spoiled pooch he has many toys but he took to Big Ball like no other. He plays with it, he sleeps with it but most importantly he seeks it out when he smells a storm in the air.

About thirty minutes before the lightening strikes Dibley will get Big Ball in his mouth and start pacing.  He will hold on to it till the storm completely subsides.

You can imagine that this must get a little uncomfortable especially when storms are lengthy as they have been in the past weeks.

Thankfully when the storm has past Dibley seems to have no problem quickly transforming Big Ball right back into a play thing.

Do you have a similar story?

Blessing # 78 – Comforter

BOOM – Bling!


Yesterday was beautiful, sunny but not too hot. It was an ideal day to get started on a restoration project.

Over the past months many little pieces of furniture have been picked up at yard and church sales for next to nothing. These sad little lovelies, that have been accumulating in our garage, may not know it yet but they are destined for transformation.

Yesterday the first was tackled in the sun. A little white painted jewelry cabinet that was purchased for two dollars was going to get glammed up!

Not being a patient person the cabinet got but a quick wash and sand down before it was slapped with some paint. This was to give it a bit of a rustic feel. You can tell that too much HGTV has been watched here!!!!

During this process disaster struck. First the paint got into the pink lining of the little cabinet so the lining had to be painted too and then the entire side of the cabinet fell off.

Not to worry out came the super glue. Of course once this was to hand more things had to be stuck. Out came the glass beads and finally the spray gold paint.

Cinderella is now happily at the bathroom ball and filled with costume bling.

My men folk are not overly impressed, they don’t get the glam rustic look.

Friends and family within driving distance look out the next transformation may find its way to your house at the holidays.

Blessing # 77 – Playing with Paint

BOOM – Bad Boy

AFE3FD13-3A13-4BCC-A739-64DB36ED85B7.jpegOur Dibley looks like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth but this thirty pound fur ball thinks he owns the neighborhood.

When he is out for his walk, be it the morning or evening one he has to pee on every mail box. He has a squirting technique that has to be seen to be believed.

If his walk takes him in one direction in the morning he will choose a different route in the evening. I am guessing this is to make sure that the dogs in all directions will smell his sent.

During his walks he generally ignores most people and if he decides to acknowledge them it is in a friendly way.

He also generally ignores dogs that are behind their electric fence in their own yard.

BUT and it is a BIG BUT if he sees another dog walking towards him he goes berserk.

He was attacked as a puppy by a dog on the loose so this behavior may have something to do with this bad experience. Or it may simple be my inability to discipline the rascal.

Based on advice from a friend, who is good with dogs, when I see another dog approaching I pull Dibley aside and rub his ears which he loves in order to distract him.

This works if I can keep him from looking at the other dog as they pass by.

On a walk last week we had a disaster. Our neighbor was out with her two big yellow labs who fortunately are very well trained and well behaved and obedient.

As I was pulling him aside to let the labs go past I didn’t realize that Dibleys leash was loose and I pulled it right off him.

So of course he now sees the labs and takes off across the road barking at them. My poor neighbor had to hold onto her big guys while I got hold of this pint sized scoundrel.

I was totally mortified, profusely apologetic and feeling like a useless case but all my neighbor had to say was “well I got a better workout than I thought I’d have”

Even though the fur ball is ten and a half I am determined he must be taught the new trick of obedience because I have had it with him this time!!!

Blessing #76 – Understanding Neighbors

BOOM – Basalt


The Giant’s Causeway is a wondrous place. In fact a place of legend.

It is right at the very North of Ireland in County Antrim on the Atlantic Ocean coast.

The Legend is that the Irish Giant Finn Maccool was having a barnie with his giant friend in Scotland.

The pair started to throw stones at each other. The result was the Causeway on the Irish side and on the Scottish side Fingels cave.

Today the Causeway is one of the most Instagrammed places in Ireland. Maybe even in the world.


But as this wonderful photo of my Daddy shows, when he was a lad in the early thirties, the more things change the more they stay the same.


With him that day, which was for sure a big event for them, his Mum my dearest Granny Barr.


Blessing # 75 – Rocks of Ages

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