Belfast stories

This week we have three(!) workshops, face to face and Zoom, to deliver. Which is exciting and terrifying at the same time.

The thing is, I don't do well in conversations, or in any speaking situation to be honest. I am too self conscious, too focused on my (perceived) shortcomings, and mistakes, and mostly on why I am the wrong person to be in the middle of this situation. My English, my accent, my knowledge - all lacking. 

Since I know it is (mostly) all in my head, and since I want to set a good example for the kids about facing your fear, not listening to your demons, and stepping out of your comfort zone, I always say yes to all these speaking things and then spend the rest of the time panicking quietly. 

Which is what I intended to do today as well (I have until Wednesday, plenty of time for some good quality panicking), but then Ron decided to go on his own to Belfast for yet another touch-rugby tournament, and now I am officially too panicked to eat chocolate (might sound like a good thing - I could do with a little less panic-chocolate-eating, but in reality it is more of a Red Alert kind of situation).

So instead of working, or panicking, I am going to write about Belfast. Because I love Belfast. It is one of my favourite places on the island.
I think I love it because it connects all my favourite dots - the soul, the art, the humour, and the complicated history. 
Belfast was the first place we visited on our first trip here in 2016.
It was the first place where we fell in love with the island.
And it was the first place that made us realise we really don't know anything about Ireland's real history. What we knew was what we were taught in school and what we heard on the news in Israel, which has a surprising tendency to not really dive into the complexity of situations. 
But it was that trip in 2016 that made us decide to come live here.

Salmon of Knowledge

Whenever we're in Belfast we try to do one surprisingly un-touristy thing. Over the years we were in the post office, the laundromat and tried a haircut. But the last time we were there, for my birthday back in May, we needed something really special, so we went to watch the Ulster v Sharks rugby match at the Kingspan Stadium.
Going to any kind of a match as a family is always a challenge - for Yon & I because we don't particularly like sport, don't know the rules, (which of course does not impede my ability to critique the players' performance) and hate the amount of people and noise. And for Ron & Hidai because they have to go with Yon and me.
But it was my birthday after all, so off we went. 
We had first row seats, a magnificent double rainbow over the pitch, an action-packed match, Ron was patient, Yon could mostly see & understand what was happening, no player got really badly hurt, and Ulster won. 

And that's the thing, isn't it? a rugby match might never have been on my "what suits me" list. And yet it was. So the morale here might just be to chuck the list...

(And just so it won't be a totally unbelievable story, apart from the rugby there was cake, gifts and a spot of shopping. 
It was a birthday after all.)

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