We are so ready to lap it up.
The Sun is shining as I type, the light nights are here and Easter is upon us. I get a sense that there is optimism all around. Holidays, concerts and ‘the Open’ await the good people of Northern Ireland and we are so ready to lap it up. Ok, maybe I generalise; but for such a small part of the world we do all right you know. It wasn’t that long ago that we didn’t have high street with names like House of Frazer and All Saints. Anyhow as I ponder the good days and gigs that lie ahead, like Snow Patrol at Ward Park, I will come down of my soapbox before I get into the realms of having no government and that small matter of Brexit.
The top brass of the Civil Service (as the Political Leaders are taking a break) joined us this week at the Young Enterprise awards at the City Hall in Belfast. I joined Sarah Travers on stage to present a multitude of awards to Young Enterprise companies including the overall Company of the Year ‘Ragdolls’, from Bloomfield Collegiate. They created handmade dog toys made from 100% recyclable materials. Over 100 companies had entered and they stood tall as the company who will represent Northern Ireland at the UK finals. Many congratulations to them. I was one of the judges this year and the standard blew me away. The most notable thing was the self belief and confidence displayed by the participants. I look back on 17-year-old Pete and no way could I have presented myself and my young enterprise company in the same manor.
If you have followed me for a long time you will be well aware of my loves. Family, Music, Sport and Entertainment. You’ll know my teams and list of heroes. One who announced his retirement this week; Rory Best, has led Ulster and Ireland on the Rugby pitch for many years; as captain and before that as one of the most influential players of any of the teams he has represented. This week he has confirmed that he will retire from professional rugby after the World Cup this September. For me, he will go down as one of the best players and role models the game has seen. Quiet in stature, a true leader on and off the pitch and someone who took great pride in the jersey. He has a few more games to play when he returns from injury including helping Ireland try and get to the latter stages of the World Cup. Now that the decision has been made and those difficult retirement questions have been answered I imagine he can enjoy his last months leading Ireland and Ulster and focus solely on the job in hand. Although its not the time for thank-you and goodbyes I do believe it’s time to reflect and appreciate the job he has done and those rather large shoes he will leave to fill.
What do Danny Dyer, Carl Frampton, Arg and Chloe from Geordie Shore all have in common? They were in Belfast to support the ‘My Tribute’ charity match, which was set up by Calum Best. I reckon around 8000 people turned up to enjoy a brilliant afternoon of football and craic and raise a lot of money for the Irish FA Foundation and the charity NACOA who help kids with alcohol dependent parents. Congratulations to the team behind the event, I thought it was superb and I hope this will be the start of many more events of this nature. Click here to see what you missed
I will leave you with a tip this week. On the radio show in recent days amongst lots of topics we discussed, we celebrated the European premier of the new season of Game of Thrones being held in Belfast. Both Rebecca and myself have made no bones of the fact that we have never watched it to Paulo’s disbelief. ‘It’s the most watched TV show in the world and its made up the road’, is the line we get time and time again. Well if you’re like me and want to appreciate it but don’t want to start at Season 1 Episode 1 and face 7 seasons you can do what my wife Julia did. She too had never watched an episode. She got up early for the premier at 12.30am and watched an hour-long recap show which was available on Sky and then watched the new series episode 1. Boom! For what its worth she loved it and Paulo once again shook his head.
It’s time for the Easter break and to reach for those chocolate eggs you’ve been dodging each time you’ve been in your local petrol station. Hope you have a wonderful weekend with friends and family and the sun shines.