Sunday, 22 February 2015


Belfast apart, Portaferry is where I feel most at home on this island. We spent our childhood Saturdays driving down the peninsula to visit our granny and grandpa, our parents imploring us to look at the lovely scenery, while we sang annoying songs or made ourselves sick by reading books in the back of the car. It's the place of generations of relatives - in the mid-nineteenth century one of my ancestors worked himself out of a Fermanagh poorhouse by selling tea door to door and town to town, until eventually he came to Portaferry, married a local girl and never left. 

You reach a certain age and see that the scenery is indeed beautiful, that the ancestors are important, and that this is one of the places of your heart.

I was visiting Portaferry this week and spent an hour in the biting cold and beautiful dusk, walking up and down the seafront, past Inglenook and Riverside, old family houses, shooting the sunset and the seagulls. Worthwhile.

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