This is why Northern Irish People get so fed up - Coffee & Conversation

Are you from Northern Ireland?

Do you know anyone from Northern Ireland personally?

Do you know they are referred to as Northern Irish a lot of the time?

As a Northern Irish person who has lived abroad in both America and Belgium I have come across many people who have talked to me as if they know more about my country than I do. 

Including more about my city of birth than I do (no prizes for guessing which city that is - the one that has been heard of everywhere).

If we were to talk to Americans or Canadians, they would be very offended if we lumped both of their countries together and said that because they are both on the same (very large) island then they are both American or both Canadian.

Or what about the Spanish and the Portuguese; let's decide they are all one nation because Portugal is just a small part beside the larger land of Spain?

But we the people from Northern Ireland are too polite to do that.

Instead we just grin and bare it when Americans do not know the difference between the two countries of Northern Ireland and Ireland (Eire).

HINT!   One is part of the UK and the other is Ireland.

Just to educate everyone in the world because honestly it's not just the Americans that treat us this way, I have a short video which will also entertain you.

Yes I know just to confuse you all even more we have suddenly introduced the term 

The British Isles 
but one of those countries isn't British!

Who knows the difference between Ireland and Northern Ireland?


Christian Songs For Kids - I Can Do all Things

Do you find it hard to get visuals and recordings for different kids songs?

I have always found this a problem so I am now sharing songs that I have used with children providing you with

(Powerpoint or Picture or details of how you can make one) 

(chords also available)

(mp3 or video to learn the song) 

Then if you would like to download the visual of the song there will be a link provided to my creation, or I will direct you to where else you can find it.   

This month I am taking the theme of


The song I have chosen is 

I Can Do All Things
(Philippians 4:13)

I was planning to teach this Bible verse to the children in church one Sunday at the start of the service where we have a little spot for them but everyone in the congregation gets to join in to listen and sing with them and sometimes I think the congregation have as much fun as the kids.

Thinking of how to teach the verse I was trying out how it sounded saying it out loud in sections and I found I
kept wanting to repeat the words "All Things"

So that lead me to putting it to a little tune.

It also lead me to thinking of a way for them to do simple actions for the song and then the next thing was a Powerpoint visual.


When we sing the 3rd reference Philippians 4 13  we draw out the 4 13 a little at the end.

To Download a copy of this Powerpoint slide presentation for projecting    
CLICK HERE for (4:3)
CLICK HERE for (16:9)

To Download a copy of this visual for printing on A4 Card    


I can do all things, all things.
I can do all things, all things.
I can do all things, all things.
Through Christ
Through Christ
Through Christ
Who strengthens me
Philippians  4  13
Philippians  4  13
Philippians  4  13

To Download a copy of these words with chords for guitar and piano 

To Download a copy of these words with chords for guitar and piano 


I can do all things  - nothing
All things -  pump arms in the air twice
Through Christ   -  point upwards
Who strengthens me   -  make a strong man pose
Philippians 4 13  -  hold hands together in front of you with palms up to represent the open Bible


This song was written by myself so I have the copywrite for the song
But the words of course are straight from the Bible.

I Hope you enjoy the song and this is a help to you.

A short Song is an easy way to learn a Scripture verse like this one.

Previous Songs:   

Creation  -    Who Made?
Easter  -    He's Alive
Prayer  -    Whisper a Prayer
Bible Stories -    I will Make you Fishers of Men

(Click on the names of the songs above to view them)


Bratislava - A to Z of Places I have Visited

For the next few months I am going to write about some places I have visited and do them in alphabetical order.
Still wondering what I will do for the more unusual letters like Q and X etc. but maybe I will have a brilliant idea later.

Well I have visited several places that start with the letter B but I really wanted to pick Bratislava for 2 reasons.

Firstly we never started out intending to go to Bratislava but when we were there we had a very enjoyable time.
Secondly the other places I have visited that start with B could fall into other categories like one of the cities/towns of a specific country that I have been to other places in as well and I might do a little series later on those countries.

Well in 2010 we were planning to go to Vienna in Austria before we would be leaving our home of over 6 years in Belgium to return to live in Northern Ireland (another country I have lots of B places for).   So we started to see where we would fly to for Vienna and discovered that Ryanair flew to Bratislava which was in Slovakia and not Austria but just a train journey over the border to Vienna and it was a very cheap flight.

So we were in Slovakia a first for both Fred & I (even though he has travelled to far more countries than I have).

When we arrived we got the train from the airport to the city; it was still quite early in the morning and the weather was wet and windy so the first thing was a coffee.

Now Fred is not found of coffee and I love coffee but we hadn't a clue about the language and in the little cafe at the train station we had to guess the menu.

I found a coffee ok but he wasn't sure about tea so in the end he picked a coffee and it was different to any coffee we had seen before.   I was actually jealous of it but I just had to get a picture of him with that coffee.

That coffee was so good that he had the same sort of grin on his face after he had drunk it.

Then we felt the rain was not as heavy as earlier and we took a leisurely walk up through some of the the main streets of the city.

Photo Credit:  Pixabay

We came to the Market Square and really no market is very pleasant in the rain

and I was very glad I had my heavy, hooded warm coat for this morning adventure.

We did have a little wander around the market and got something to eat that we had never had before but I can't remember the name of it.  This is why I had decided that I should always carry a travel notebook with me but did I have it with me that day?  NO!

Here is a picture of the same square on a dry day.

Photo Credit:  Pixabay

On the way up to the market Square we had noticed something rather different on the ground so on the way back down we had another look and took a picture

of a soldier? in a manhole?

and then another picture closer up.

Apparently there are quite a few of these types of statues around Bratislava but this was the only one we saw on our short trip there.

We didn't have enough time to go to see the castle close up

Photo Credit:  Pixabay

but you can see it above in a picture over the city during sunset.

Photo Credit:  Pixabay

Then we also didn't get to see the UFO Tower which we didn't even know about.

Not very good at doing our research before leaving on this trip unfortunately and if we had known more and had better weather I think we would have really loved this city.  As it was I do have fond memories of that day.

Photo Credit:  Pixabay

We had to get back then to the train station to get the train to our destination of Vienna and we were glad that we had left ourselves plenty of time because when we got to the station we could not find where to get the train.

We were at the wrong station, there are two of them and the one we came to from the airport was not the one we needed to leave from to get to Vienna.  A little bus journey round the city was needed to find it.

Have you ever been to Bratislava? Check this out to see if it is worth visiting.

I would definitely recommend a day or two in Bratislava but hope for better weather than we got but if the weather is not so good just drop into the Train Station cafe and treat yourself to one of those delicious coffees if you can work out which one it is in the menu.

See Other posts in this series:

A for Alicante



Smile God Loves YOU! 1 John 3:1 - Sunday Scripture

This Sunday's Scripture on God's Love is  

1 John 3:1

John has often been referred to as the "Beloved Disciple" and last month we featured a verse about God's Love from the Gospel written by John -  John 3:16  you can read it HERE

Now this month we are starting with a verse from John's first Epistle another verse about God's Love.

This verse 1 John 3:1 tells us about the type of Love God has for us.

God is referred to here as the Father which immediately makes me think of a fatherly love which would obviously be a love that cares about our well-being and protection.

It also makes me think of a love that looks to the future and not just the present time because we expect our fathers to own the responsibility of always loving us and wanting our futures to be good.

God the Father has given us the greatest love because he has accepted us into His family as sons and daughters so we will experience His unconditional love that only He can give.

Being His son or daughter gives us great hope for the future because of His great love.

Parents are human and not perfect yet can love unconditionally.

God is divine and perfect yet He has chosen to make us His children 
and love us unconditionally and perfectly.

It reminds me of the the title of a hymn by Charles Wesley

"Love divine, all loves excelling"

God's Love excels all other love.
His love is far greater than any other love.

Of course I always like to make sure to take each verse in context as it was written so let's look briefly at 1 John 3:1-3

 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

If we have received His Salvation then we are His children and the world will treat us as it has treated Him but we have the assurance that He will pass on His characteristics to us and yes we have great hope for the future.


Alicante - A to Z of Places I Have Visited

For the next few months I am going to write about some places I have visited and do them in alphabetical order.
Still wondering what I will do for the more unusual letters like Q and X etc. but maybe I will have a brilliant idea later.

For a few years we found a lovely place to stay in Spain and enjoyed our different holiday weeks there in the small town of Calpe.

To get there each time we flew into Alicante and normally we just got our hire car and drove straight on to Calpe to get settled in to our little villa without even thinking about a visit to the town of Alicante.

However two of these holidays were shared with my sister and brother-in-law (yes the guy I wrote that post about gifts for his birthday  10 Gift Ideas for your Brother-in-Law )  and for the first one of them we were coming from two different countries to meet up in Spain.  Both flights were into Alicante Airport but several hours apart with Fred & I arriving first.  So we had plenty of time to pick up the hire car and go on into Alicante to have a look around and enjoy a coffee maybe!

Arriving in Alicante we found that the streets were full of people and there was 
a very noisy and joyful atmosphere.

We quickly discovered that the people had been gathering to await a procession.

Well being from Northern Ireland we have watched many parades and processions over the years in various towns and cities there but we knew that this one would be different.

We had previously seen processions in the Canary Islands so presumed that this one would be similar to those where a statue of a saint or of Mary would be carried from one site to another.

There were bands led by girls in very colourful traditional dresses and white headresses/bonnets and also banners with pictures.

Then after one section of the procession these girls in (we presume) national or local style outfits were all gathered together with many of them holding banners with numbers on them.  There seemed to be some sort of contest and perhaps it was between the girls or between local areas of the Alicante region and that would account for the numbers.

There were so many banners and they passed us by so quickly that we did not get a good look at them and unfortunately we did not get close enough for our pictures to clearly show the writing.

The bands themselves all looked very similar with the men (and a few women) all in white shirts and black trousers.  In Northern Ireland band parades we are used to each band having a different uniform.

With the man and woman both in green it made me think of St. Patrick's Day Parades.  If interested in that click on these links for posts I have written about them  Everyone's Irish on March 17th   &  St. Patrick's Day Parade in NI

The Ladies who were all dressed the same were led into this covered stand as there region or area passed by with their band - we never worked out why.

Occasionally there would be some men with the ladies in front of the band and they were also in a type of national costume.

They played the same instruments as we would normally see in our bands but they were perhaps more casual in their attire and their marching.

By the time this was all over we only had time for a lovely relaxing walk at the harbour area

Photo Credit:  Pixaby

which is beautiful and bright and open.   It is clean and the palm trees bordering it make it very attractive.  We were also surprisingly pleased by the state of the beach in Alicante because and that is good praise as we are spoilt for good, long, sandy beaches here in Northern Ireland.

Photo Credit:  Pixaby

But after that there was no time for that coffee before we had to drive back to the airport.

As my sister got into the car I remember her saying

"Well what was Alicante like?  Is it worth us going to see it?"  

and we all laughed when I explained what we had spent the afternoon watching - well it was somewhat appropriate as Fred & I were the ones no longer living in our home country where parades are a regular occurrence just as they are in Spain.

Have you ever been to Alicante? Check this out to see if it is worth visiting.

Later I tried to do a little bit of research to find out about the procession we had seen, well you know what I mean  -  I googled it.

Apparently for several days in the month of June they have a celebratory Festival of Fires and this was the "Feria Procession" that happens on one of the days and on other days they have different events some including fires in the evenings.  Quite appropriate as in NI we also have bonfires the night before some of our parades.

And did I mention that here we were two couples coming to this area also for a celebration?

We were celebrating my birthday and my sister's wedding anniversary. 


 my older sister got married on my 13th birthday and that's a story for another time.