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Here we are, Easter and the bank holiday have passed and I am sitting down to pen a few words having give myself a couple of weeks off writing to eat Easter Eggs. I haven’t done a very good job, as there are still Eggs to eat in our house.  Talking of Easter Eggs, Lindt, the posh chocolate is dead on but nothing beats Cadbury in my opinion, call me old school if you wish.

I have spent quite a bit of time on the North Coast since Easter.  We have a family caravan, which we love and are trying to use as much as possible.   Portrush and the surrounding area means so much to us as a family.  Firstly my parents took me there with our touring caravan when I was a kid.  We stayed at the Margoth caravan site, which is now called Skerries.  Our clapped out Sprite Major caravan had a hammock style bed, which I loved.  That caravan did travel.  My Dad even drove it to France and Spain over 3-4 times from I was about 10 years old. Those holidays were amazing but ended when the caravan axle collapsed on a motorway in France at about 3am.  It was worth nothing by that stage so we took our clothes and left it, but that is a story for another day.  The other reason we love the Port so much is because Julia and I met there whilst studying at Ulster University in Coleraine.  Lush at Kellys was the venue and the rest as they say is history.

Easter was super as was the Bank Holiday weekend that has just passed.  Lots of time was spent on the Beach at White Rocks and the West Strand, having coffee in Babushka and lunch / dinner at the Harbour Bar.

If you pass Royal Portrush Golf Club you can’t help but notice the hive of activity as the stands and infrastructure are put in place for the 148thOpen Championship taking place in July.  I’ve mentioned it before but I honestly don’t think the vast amount of people know just how big this event is and the significance of it coming back to Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951.  Arguably this is the biggest event ever to happen on the island of Ireland. I was very lucky to receive an invite from Tourism NI to join media from right across the world for a special day and a chance to play the Dunluce Links.  The sun shone and the course was in immaculate condition.  I loved every minute of it, particularly walking up the 18thfairway and facing the huge grandstand right in front of me. Once the nerves settled after I got off the first tee, I played a few all right shots, but the course won that day! It was an experience I’ll never forget.

Getting out and about with the kids is what getting up the coast is all about.  Our new favourite walk is from Portbradden to Dunseverick, which is a few miles along the coast past the Giants Causeway. Over the bank holiday weekend we met up with a friend who parked in Dunseverick and we picked her up and drove to Portbradden, left the car and started our walk.  There was so much to see, and the walk was so varied; climbing rocks, stomping through fields along the cliff edge.  The kids loved it, they weren’t bored and it was manageable with no calls for piggybacks. We even managed to stash a few ‘portrush rocks’ and collect sheeps wool for craft !! 

In other news I had a chat with Snow Patrols Gary Lightbody on the radio show last week.  He and the band are currently on tour in the USA and Canada.  He was in top form and almost as excited as me for their return to Ward Park in Bangor at the end of this month.  You can listen to the interview here:

Finally for this week, I was delighted to walk the Kingspan stadium pitch alongside Rory Best and Darren Cave after they played their final home match in an Ulster Jersey.  Both players have called time on their Ulster Careers and Saturdays win against Connaught in the Pro 14 quarter final was the perfect way to say goodbye to the fans. They stayed in there thousands to hear from an emotional Rory and Darren.  It was an honour to ask the questions in front of the Ulster faithful. You can see the highlights here:

Thanks so much for reading.



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