A Year in Northern Ireland

I am taking a mini-break from Monday Marketing just for this week (don’t worry, it will be back next week) as it is a year and a day since I moved to Northern Ireland.  So this post is about looking back on that year.

Title Image: A Year in Northern Ireland. Image: Cluster of Shamrock. Cloverleaves

For those who have been following this blog for a while, you may remember that my partner and I made the Bold Move to relocate from England to Northern Ireland.

Now that may not seem so bold, but for someone with severe anxiety and an overwhelming discomfort for any change (especially big change), it was an extremely bold move on my part.

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The Shut-In

For the first few months after the move, I was almost a recluse.  It took almost 4 months to get settled (anxiety-wise).  This meant I barely made contact with people, struggled to function with shopping and even working without assistance from my partner.

Now I had been to this location before so it wasn’t 100% new, but changing everything – your house, your living arrangements, your social circle, your comfort areas… it is a serious shock to the system.

Tragically, one of our cats passed away late in 2017.  She was 17 years old and suffered a variety of problems, including a heart-murmur, hyperthyroid and by the end high blood pressure and additional heart problems.

She was the best, most sassy cat I have ever known and I miss her so much.

Photo of Black cat, Marvel

I was still dealing with her death when I had to push through another comfort barrier by travelling ALONE back to England on the ferry for Christmas.

This was beyond stressful, when I had to drive my car onto the top deck (up with narrow, steep ramp… the whole time praying my car doesn’t stall and roll back into someone).

Image: Ferry

Upon arriving in England…I subsequently broke down.  In a dodgy area.  At night.  Yay for exceeding already high-stress levels.

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2018, the year of No Excuses

After making such a big change in my life, I wanted to make sure 2018 was better.  Which included not being trapped by my own limitations.  So we made sure to get out and visit several places of interest.

We have visited:

The Titanic Museum


The Ballynoe Stone Circle

(believed to be from the early Bronze Age)


Tropical Butterfly House & Pheasantry


Belfast Ulster Museum & Art Gallery


Local Nature Reserve


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I also had a number of achievements during this year in Northern Ireland.

Completed 1st Draft of Dark Hart

Image: Dark Hart Manuscript (stack of pages)

Hit 5 Year Blogiversary

Image: 5 year anniversary blog achievement award

OMG I can’t believe it’s been five years of blogging.  It’s been awesome.

Listed in Top 10 UK writing Websites

Image: Award Top 10 UK Writing blog

I was surprised to find my little blog listed as one of the Top 10 UK Writing Blogs, besides bigger and better ones, such as The Creative Penn.

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The journey continues

I have still got so much I want to see and do and plan to keep pushing against those comfort zome edges.  🙂

~ ☆ ~ ☆ ~ ☆ ~

Thanks to everyone who follows this blog, I love sharing this adventure with you.  I will be back with regular programming on Wednesday with a new guest post and the Thursday with a Blogger Series post.

Happy writing


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18 thoughts on “A Year in Northern Ireland

  1. Holly Millward

    Kudos to you for being so brave and for accomplishing so much in one year! ❤ And… Wow to the amazing places you've visited since your move! Thanks for sharing with us! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Holly. It has been an intense year! It is so lovely here and we are like 10mins from the beach which is almost always empty, 10mins from the wildlife park, 5mins from the nature reserve and 40mins from the mountains 😀

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