10 Day You Challenge - Day 5: 6 Places

On the aforementioned bucket list there is a list of the places that I would like to go, some very far away... This is a list of places much closer to home that are very special to me for one reason or another

1) THE GIANT'S CAUSEWAY - a unique world heritage site that Samuel Johnston once described as "worth seeing but not worth going to see." But this was in the 18th century and local roads have improved since then... slightly...




2) THE MOURNES - "The mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea..." according to one of Percy French's appalling Oirish ditties... But the sight of the Mournes as you approach them along the coast road from Dundrum is a view that carries me straight back to my youth and innumerably weekends spent camping in a walking these pint-sized peaks...


3) NENDRUM - A truly "thin-place" in terms of Celtic spirituality... the site of an early Christian monastery. I have little doubt that I find it more of a spiritual sanctuary now than I would have done when it was at its zenith as a religious centre.




4) CAIRNBURN - I can't show you a picture of this or take you there because the Cairnburn I knew no longer exists. It is a childhood haunt where I and my friends would have escaped to explore from morning to night, in a way that children aren't allowed to today... It was a wilderness on the edge of the city, but first they drove a dual-carriageway through the middle of it all, converting it into the pristine grasslands of Belmont Park... and then they demolished the old dilapidated mansion at the head of the glen, to make way for a new housing development. I doubt there as many childhood memories forged in that manicured park or the anonymous detached des-reses..

5) SULLIVAN UPPER SCHOOL - I owe this place, and the teachers and pupils there during my brief sojourn, a huge debt of gratitude for the role they played in making me who I am today, for good or ill... But I think that part of it was the location alone... set in a large tract of green with a view out to Belfast Loch...



6) BEDLAM THEATRE - This dark, dingy, dilapidated former church/chaplaincy was a happy hunting ground for my 4 years at university in Edinburgh. It is where I met my wife, and a number of life-long friends. It is where I learned a lot about dealing with difference. And it is where I saw and was involved in an enormous amount of theatre ranging from the execrable to the excellent... I won't name which was which, at least not this time...


Cheers

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