Bow St. limerick

Priceless Shoes once had a shop
But their profits continued to drop,
They packed and left town
Their shutters went down,
And our high Street continued to rot…


A Room of One’s Own (but maybe not in Lisburn)

I was having a coffee on Bridge St. Lisburn yesterday morning when who should pop in for a 80p filter coffee than Virginia Woolf.
She sat down and started staring at the art on the wall, paintings of local attractions such as Dobbies, Co-op and Glasgow’s carpets.
Virginia looked distracted, like she wanted to be somewhere else, like she was dreaming of a room of her own.

Perhaps a room with a painting of Jeffer’s bakery on it…

election flier – UUP

And so the local council  fast approach and we are subjected to mug shots of politicians up on lamp posts looking for election and re-election.

There are leaflets are coming through the letter box thick and fast, making there way eventually to the table to be consumed and ingested.

Take the UUP for instance.
You don’t hear from politicians locally until they need you to vote for them and then they come round to your house and set out their stall. They print out leaflets that set out their core values.
And what are the core values of the UUP?

Well as the centre piece of their red white and blue (of course) election flier says

“A Vote for the UUP will send a clear signal that the people of Lisburn will not permit Belfast domination of their interests. It will tell the world that Lisburn will no longer be treated as second class citizens”

So there you have it. The most important issue in local Lisburn politics is sticking it to Belfast.
I am just astounded that this is the main reason they put forward for voting  UUP. To fight the tyranny of the evil puppet masters in Belfast City Hall who somehow are making us live as second class citizens here in Lisburn. Is this the major issue of the day locally?

I’ve only been here for a few years but I suspect this has a lot to do with the John Lewis store that Belfast and Lisburn have been fighting over.

Once again the UUP election leaflet is amazingly stupid short-sighted. No, I did mean stupid.
If you build a large John Lewis store on the outskirts of the town centre how on earth is that going to help regenerate the city centre?
Would building it really reduce the number of unemployed people in Lisburn by 25%?
What about the people who worked in shops around Northern Ireland who are now unemployed because people shop in John Lewis instead?
Would only people who lived in Lisburn apply to work in John Lewis? Would people not travel from say Belfast (boooO!) to work in a John Lewis store 3 miles down the road?

The UUP leaflet also states

“we believe there should be a halt to the expansion of the Belfast City Centre retail outlets….policy is being created to force shoppers into its city centre to the great detriment of our own city”

There is something incredibly hypocritical about this statement.
For years people from the west of Northern Ireland, the south of Ireland have been flocking to shop in Sprucefield or Lisburn (now Dobbies, perhaps John Lewis), affecting trade in towns like Cookstown (my home town) or market towns and Lisburn has been more than happy to encourage that and reap the rewards. I find that attitude greedy and self-righteous.

Here is another example of UUP stupidity short-sightedness.

“we are seeking to encourage Asda to create a new supermarket in Lisburn”

I have to say this is a very good way to regenerate Lisburn city centre. I’m sure somewhere like Green’s Food Fare would agree that asking another large retail supermarket to join Sainsbury’s and Tesco on the outskirts of the town city is a good way to achieve that aim.

carpark at night

I had some dead time between the library shutting last night and waiting for my lift so I popped into Wetherspoons for  a quick pint.
There is something fascinating about the urban landscape and the way things appear in such places at night in carparks under neon lighting or filling stations.Sometimes I get hypnotised. The last time was looking out of The John Hewitt in Belfast and last night it was the quiet car park at Market Square. It’s at times like these I wish I could draw ‘better.’ But then again I was rapidly downing  pint of Abbott ale so perhaps it could have been worse…