I had to go to Ballyliffen in Co. Donegal for my uncle’s wedding. I’d never been to Donegal (much to the horror of friends and co workers) so I forgave the 200 mile round trip.
We left Belfast on the morning of the wedding. In hindsight we should have went up on the Sunday and stayed the two nights – I said it was because the hotel was booked up but I now think it was because I was being cheap (the hotel let me check in early – confirming that no one was in the room the night before).
We went to Glengormley McDonalds for breakfast then headed towards Derry listening to Queens of the Stone Age (in preparation for their gig a few days later).
We got as Derry and made a wee detour through the city. Leona had a work thing coming up in Derry so this was a dry run so to speak. Got some euros then headed for Muff.
I drove through the village and remembered that I had to get diesel. Stopped at a garage that had work being done to it and therefore wasn’t open. I didn’t realise and tried to use the pump anyway. I gave up and drove on assuming Ballyliffen had a petrol station – also postponing getting my photo beside the welcome sign until tomorrow.
Managed to get diesel just up the road from Muff at Quigley’s Point and Leona was nice enough to buy me a cornetto! Yay!
Got to the hotel and got ready for the wedding. I had intended taking two pocket watches – one for the service and one for the evening do – but Leona only let me take one. She also wouldn’t let me take my pipe.
It was a civil ceremony. It was the first I’d been to but it was short, which was good. We then cleared out of that room and waited around. There was alot of waiting. Dinner came a few hours later. The main was turkey and ham – which I love – but I just had too much of it so was very full. This meant I wasn’t up for drinking straight away, which was alright as we had to wait ages again for the disco part.
The disco was… bad. I honestly don’t think the guy was an actual DJ – just some fella with a laptop who thought “he’d give it a go”. The levels sounded weird and the volume was way too high so the sound was distorted. At one point the bride went to make a request and he stopped midsong and we had silence as he talked to her and the wait as he looked for the song. Oh, and most of the music was culchie shite. The highlight though being my American cousin’s look of bewilderment at five people doing Rock the boat – out of time – they mustn’t have that in America…
We left the wedding early enough and went back to our hotel. I ended up staying up until 3am as the residents bar was open 24 hours! Here I drank some more beer and annoyed the night porter.
The next morning I was up at 8.30 – had breakfast then went for a lie down to get some sleep before we checked out. Sadly that didn’t happen. Just before twelve we made our way back to Belfast but then decided to stop at the beach as it looked nice and we hung out there for a bit.
I was thinking of stopping at Carrick-a-Rede on the way home so when we got as far as Quigley’s Point Leona suggested we go to the Foyle Ferry as it would take out some mileage. So we turned right and headed towards Greencastle.
I stopped at a shop to get a bottle of coke and a Cornetto – and if I hadn’t we probably have made the ferry. We arrived at the port and the ferry was pulling away – the next one wasn’t for another hour. We decided to get something to eat and get the next one. We went to a seafood bar but by this stage the heat, tiredness plus hangover was taking its toll on me. I had haddock with chips, nothing crazy as my, now, severe hangover wouldn’t handle it. It was nice but I struggled. It soon became apparent that we weren’t going to make the next ferry either so I decided that I’d rather just head home via Derry – and make Leona drive. This meant that I didn’t have to rush eating my food but also I could nap on the way home.
Some local celebrity spotting – Mark Carruthers was having his lunch there too. I tried to sneak a peek at his infamous loud socks but he wasn’t wearing any socks!
Leona drove the rest of the way home and I managed to get a wee nap in after we passed Derry. We made it home at about four o’clock and the cat seemed pleased to see us yet demanded to be let outside. She brought us back a dead shrew so she must have been really happy to see us…