Archive for September, 2010

A day out and about

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Today was open house day in Northern Ireland (, where lots of places not usually open to the public open their doors to visitors.

So I got on my bike, and cycled down the Harland and Wolff drawing office. It’s a building I’ve been past before, and it looks impressive from outside. As you can see from the picture at, it was a beautiful building, full of natural light for draftsmen to work in. It’s also absolutely falling apart, which is a real shame, as even without the history, it was a lovely building.

I then pootled round to St Malachy’s church, which is the really cool looking one with all the battlements just off the Ormeau Road. Unfortunately, there was a wedding just about to happen, so I reckoned I couldn’t go in looking all scruffy. Perhaps another time.

Then, on my way past City Hall, I came across a Hari Krishna parade, as they towed a massive carriage past the front. Fortunately, only one of them was wearing orange robes, so it didn’t really look like an orange parade, but they still had a police escort.

And then on to the Freemasons Hall at Corn Market. This is a place I walk past often at lunchtime. The inside is not all that dissimilar to a church in many ways – lots of parts are obviously very old, but it has been nicely modernised. But it is an odd place. The bible and Koran side-by-side on an altar in one room, and in another a very old bible flanked by two Egyptian sarcophagi. And quite a few old harmoniums for playing hymns on. As a building, it’s not beautiful, but it is certainly interesting.

But I got soaked cycling home.

Ah well, you can’t have everything.

Bob Dylan

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

This came up on random play today:

God said to Abraham “Kill me a son”
Abe said “Man you must be puttin’ me on”
God said “No”
Abe said “What?”
God said “You can do what you want Abe
but the next time you see me coming
you better run”
Well Abe said “Where you want this killing done?”
God said “Out on Highway 61”.

Bob Dylan either knows nothing about theology, or a great deal. I can never decide which.

Another day on holiday

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Today I went out cycling with a group from the local bike shop. The rest of the group all looked a whole lot more professional than me, and it turned out they were. But not quite all of them. I ended up third from last most of the time, which I was happy enough with. Just happy not to be last! In my defence, myself and second last were the only ones riding the shop’s cheaper alloy road bikes, while all the others were riding flashy carbon jobs.

But unfortunately I forgot to start runkeeper, so I have no track of it. And the bike computer was set for the wrong wheel size, so I didn’t even have that. But from the other guys, we did 52 miles, in 3 and a quarter hours.

I then took some advice, and had a dip in the hotel pool.

And then ignored the rest of the advice, and spent the afternoon lying on a sun bed and reading Stieg Larsson’s “The girl who played with fire”, the sequel to the famous “The girl with the dragon tattoo”. It’s quite a read, as I finished it in 2 days. I’m not sure it’s just as good as the first one mind you. My major disappointment is the character of Ronald Niemann, who seems like a James Bond villain unexpectedly dropped into the wrong book. Maybe I am being picky, but I thought that this character kind of cheapened the book. But having said that, I enjoyed it, and I’m looking forward to reading the next one, and I suppose that’s the best sign of a good book.