Taenicht oan oor fact findin' toor we look at the capital o' the greater south aist Ards region, an' future UK City o' Culture, Ballyhalbert itsell. We hiv actually lukked at a few o' the attractions o' this settlement afore, but this time ah hiv driv doon til the Ards fur til take photas messel. This is actually quite a dangerous pursuit, fur anyyin hangin' aroun' ootside public toilets an' wain's playparks wi' a camera is likely fur til git a kickin', but luckily ah wus able fur til secrete messel like some kindae Privite Defective. This shud gae some way tae explainin' the unusual angles an' general low picture quality.
Rememberin' the key criterions fur successful cultural status, toilets, Orange Halls, swings an' o'er things, we first luk at.....
This time ah furgat tae take a picture o' the swings, but tae make up fur it ah gie yis the swings at Cloughey....
Thesuns hiv the unusual added danger o' fair chance o' the swingin' wain blowin' intil the sea, nat stappin til the Isle o' Men.
Oany a wee yin in Ballyhalbert, but sufficient fur both the meetin' in an' the signin' o' Ulster Covenants (when the naid arises, last time wus 1912.)
Public toilets provision:
These are somewhat inadequately placed, bein' doon by the harbour rather than in the village itself, slightly inconvenient if yer caught short at the Mace. When I called, there was a BT van workin' oan the wires, which proves that Ballyhalbert his at laist yin phone, albeit possibly in the public toilets.
The toilets themselves hiv a guid flush action, sufficient tae sink a veda loaf. When ah wus there they hid enough toilet roll fur sevral wipes, though this cannae be guaranteed til ivry user, accordin' til the wee cuddy at the council, when ah rang til check.
Provision o' o'er things.
As yid expect, Ballyhalbert his a range o' o'er things, awl o' which place it firmly oan the international cultural an' tourist map.
An international hoverport
Essential fur bringin' in foreigners fur the local folk tae welcome.
Fur til decorate the place an' make visiters aware o' when til keep their mouth shut. Sorry about the poor photae quality, ah tuk it through the windae o' the motor.
A shap that sells everythin'
Cultural visiters will hiv nae buther daein' the lottery, buyin' fags or tappin up their phones, if they hid any mobile signal fur til use them.
Fur lukkin' at an' maybes strokin', if ye kin git close enough. Thesuns are in the distance. But they are sheep.
We hivnae hid a pole in ages. Ah cannae think oan any. Suggestions please.......
As usual ah hiv somethin' til say afore ah begin the main diatribe, this time aimed at Rosie frae the Plum who his escreeded til me tae complain aboot a lack o' topical political postin' here oan the blog. Thrie points Rosie:
Yin: Nathin changes - themuns argue wi' ooruns etc etc etc.
Twa: Mafia Wars
Thrie: Cannae be arsed.
Howiver the wurld o' religins his bin takin by storm by somethin' involvin' the Pope an' the Archbishop o' Canterbury. Ah hivnae takin' much notice, bein' a Bible believin' fundamentiaslist ah am better than ivrybudy else. Wi' thy'on in mind ah accidentally did a "knae yer bible" quiz oan the facebuk thing, oan which ah scored surprisinly high (fur ah'm half pished). Thy'on gat me tae thinkin' oan how much ma raiders truely knae aboot the various wurld faiths? Nat much, ah'd imagine, especially since some o' them micht be Americans or, indaid, the o'er sort. Thus ah bring ye ma personal guide til the religins o' the wurld.
Yin: Muslims an' Jews
Nat normally lumped taegither, but boun' by a common thread - lack o' bacon. Fur gawds sake. An they tend fur til live in hat places an' be quite angry. About everything. Whit we here at 1690 say is "Wise up Muslims an' Jews, luk at whit unites ye, nat whit divides yis." Aside frae bacon ah'm nat sure whit thy'on micht be, a fondness fur crossness maybe.
Ah think they do Karma. This is o' coorse, the ancient philosophy o' Swings an' Roundabouts, as invented in the Portavogie playpark aroun' 235 BC. There is oany yin problem wi' this philosophy, Sammy Wilson.
Presbyterians believe that everybody else is wrong and they are right. Ye kin be a Woman pastor but nat a Gay. Nat sure why, fur both will talk aboot shoes.The bible ends at the Old Testament
Anglicans believe that everybody else is right an that they are required to cry about it and apologise. The bible begins at the New Testament. They think its OK fur ye tae be Gay oor a Woman an' still be a pastor. Except lots of them don't believe thy'on sae they're bucked.
Five: the o'er surt
Roman Catholics believe that everybody else is wrong an' they are right, an' are therefore entitled tae crab oan aboot it an' stap folk hivin' sex. The bible begins after the New Testament, wheniver they started makin' stuff up. There is nae danger o' wimmin gittin' til be their pastors, an' there are absolutely nae Gay yins. They alsae like tae try an get the maist mental Anglican tae join them,
As Wee Daftie correctly pointed oot in oor Hoke Oot column in the side bit, there his indaid bin a chronic lack o' postin' o' late. This is, howiver, nathin' til dae wi' Mafia Wars, it is doon til ma jet set lifestyle laidin' til a shortage o' interweb access. Ah kin hardly update the blog in ma wurk, fur nat oany micht ah be caucht at it by herrsel, ah'd be hard pushed tae drink the required amount o' mental lubrication wi'oot bein' spatted.
Thus it is nat til taenicht thit ah bring yis Bit Twa o' ma fact findin' report frae the Ards. Last time we lukked at Ballywalter, taenicht we skip oot Ballyhalbert itself, an' hap doon til Portavogie. Whit daes the Sandy Row o' the Ards bring til the City o' Culture table?
Provision o' Swings.
Wait til yis see this: Portavogie his nat yin, bit twa sets o' swings, providin' ample opportunity fur wains til fall frae grate heichts. Ah'm nat sure why there is twa sets o' swings, fur there nae distance frae eacho'er, a kin oany assume some kind o' Playpark related vote catching by the council, though the under sixes canny vote (usually.)
Swings yin: Note large grass area, guid toilet access.
Swings Twa: Less stuff, an' apparently fur smaller wains. Quite handy fur the Chinese if yer hungry.
Provision o' toilets:
A guid unit, convenient til both swings, carpark an' grass.
Provision o' Orange Halls:
Ah furgat tae take a photae, but, as yid expect, there is yin.
Provision o' o'er things:
Portavogie is comin' doon wi' o'er things, essential fur oany Cultural Bid:
Public Art: Portavogie is rich in public art. Yung folk are encouraged fur tae express thar innermaist feelings, regardless o' talent, givin' the village some o' the finest array o' painted things in Ulster. This includes madurn art, whereby the thing painted bears oany a passin' resemblence til whit its meant til be. In the example belaw ah think its meant til be a hand.
The artistic community o' Portavogie hiv taken an unusual luk at traditional artisitic crafts, deconstructing the wall murial til revail it in a new form - the road murial. This requires less ladders, fur its wile windy. There are no grey kerbs in Portavogie.
Guest Hoose accomodation:
The aforementioned Wong's Royalle, Chinese takeaway come traditional guest hoose.
Friendly Taxi Folk.
Ah noticed this sign in a taxi windae by the Mace. He disnae mean it, fur ah did a small poo on the bonnet an' he niver even noticed.