A place called home


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From my profile you know I live in Northern Ireland, but that’s pretty general, I live in a seaside village called Ballyholme. This post will kind of be a tour of where I call home and what friends I have asked are reminded of.

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This is a picture of the promenade and beach years ago, and from what I’m going to show you in the next picture not much has changed.

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Most people when asked what they associate with Ballyholme would say the beach.

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In the summers when we were wee we used to play down here all the time, hours spent down at the beach to arrive home in our bare feet covered in sand. The memories of being hosed down at the back door and mum getting out the hoover to hoover the sand out of our hair! Yes we had the type of mother who hoovered the sand out of our hair!

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The three main places we used to like to play were down in the river (although there were always those who called it the sewers, but us kids never thought that, it was a normal colour and smell and we never got sick). Perhaps our parents just didn’t want us coming home in out clothes soaked from head to toe.

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The second, we’re the swings at the car park, this is a place as dare I say it a grown up we still go the odd time to sit and admire the view. The pictures below are a rare, these swings are free once in a blue moon, there always seems to be someone on them. Children, especially my little cousins love them, a place we always have to stop and spend at least five minutes after a dander along the beach, a day out in the sea and building sandcastles or an afternoon out savaging for shells and treasures like mermaid’s purses.

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Mermaid’s purses I hear you ask. This is what we were always told was a mermaid’s purse, I think it’s actually the sort of shell of a fish egg.

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The third were the large grass hills along the side of the promenade facing the sea. Looking at them now I don’t know how we did it, but we used to run and climb up and down these, I suppose as a child you have no fear. Looking at them now I wouldn’t even attempt to climb up them, they are so high and steep, so much that I cringe and have to look away when my little cousins play on them the way we used to.

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Next we go to the village, which includes about 12 shops and the worst place to try and drive through due to random spaces just placed on the road where people have to try and manoeuvre around. Not at all helped by delivery vans and those who are too wary to make the first move and drive. Oops I’m giving away my bit of road rage here.

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As you can see from the picture the terrible parking spots, but surprisingly a very quiet road for a change.

The village shops

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We used to have all you needed in Ballyholme, a bank, fruit and veg shop, newsagents, post office, bakery, butchers, chemist, hair dressers and dry cleaners. Over the years a few places such as the fruit and veg shop and bank have disappeared and been replaced by a couple of cafes, but more or less not much else has changed. The newsagents is where mum and dad would have taken us when we were wee to spend our money and get the paper every Saturday, the dry cleaners I would have gone into with my nana and the bakery, where dad bought us fresh baps and cream donuts every Saturday and where I started my first job as a ‘Saturday girl’.

Talking of shops there are a few more dotted around Ballyholme. The one shop that holds a lot of memories for me is Jean’s a small newsagents on the street next to me, this was the first shop we were allowed to walk to by ourselves and spend our pocket money, mostly on 10p mixes, nerds and gob stoppers.

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Another fab place that has opened beside Jean’s is The Nail and Beauty Bar, my neighbours actually own this salon, which perhaps some could say I’m biased but I don’t care, I love the place! They provide so many different treatments and products, lovely, friendly, qualified staff and such great prices. Definitely worth a visit! www.nailandbeautybar.co.uk

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Left on my ‘tour’ are three more places that friends of mine suggested . . .

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This is my old primary school, it’s changed a good bit since I was there, oh 15 years ago, wow that is crazy! From the outside it definitely looks a lot more modern and they have extended it, although I’ve heard some of my old teachers are still there!

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The Esplanade or Espi as locals call it, is a bar and restaurant with a seaside view. Somewhere I do have to admit I’ve never been to before, I know shame on me, I will most definitely have to check it out ASAP.

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Finally ‘the green’ this is we’re I think the boys go to play football, not somewhere that has much meaning for myself but I knew if I left it out I would get a good telling off from a few people.

So Ballyholme, this is where I love and call my home. I hope you have enjoyed my tour and come to visit one day, we have a few yummy places to eat and beautiful places to visit.

Love

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