Adrian's Pome for Northern Ireland Visit June 2019
29 Jun 2019 - 19:16 BY Angela Sanderson
Ladies and gents, before you go home,
To keep you alert I've written a pome.
Angela Sanderson was scratching her head
Lying on her sofa - or was it her bed?
"I know what, Charlie," she said in a fluster,
"We'll take the next party up northwards to Ulster."
So some reached this lovely old inn in good time,
And others arrived - well - I'm lost for a rhyme.
The Titanic museum was our first port of call
Where we learned how they built the biggest liner of all.
We saw all the workings by taking a ride,
And then all the fittings they set up inside.
The tale of the sinking, and all the lives lost,
Was movingly shown - and the terrible cost.
But then as we left there was quite a big panic:
Dee Blackstock was missing! Gone down with Titanic?
So we drove off to Stormont for a "masterchef" lunch,
And Dee soon arrived to rejoin the bunch.
Stormont is grand but is empty again.
They're trying to force D U P and Sinn Fein
To stop all their squabbles and settle for peace -
Our large guide was earnest and talked without cease.
That evening occurred one of the usual farces
When the writer of this rubbish mislaid his own glasses.
Next morning Mount Stewart - a fabulous place
With gardens that show ours as quite a disgrace.
The house Lady Edith had largely restored;
She had married a Marquis so well could afford.
Her scheme was return it to its former glory
At the turn of the century, what a good story!
There were portraits of girls such as Vane Tempest, Florence,
And pictures by Stubbs and of course Thomas Lawrence.
By then we were tired but we gritted our teeth
And drove to the mansion of Baron Dunlieth.
Ballywalther I think was the name of the Park
And the baron at first treated it all as a lark.
He described all the pictures and told lots of tales
Of how he and his wife bought the stuff at the sales
(He's an Etonian, his wife is a Dane).
We looked round the garden - we must go again.
Some of the party had signed up to go
That evening to Juliet and her Romeo.
The ballet was brilliant - you rarely can get
Such marvellous dancing from a young Juliet.
The next day we thought it would bucket with rain,
But it didn't. Armagh is a city renowned
For having a pair of cathedrals. We found
One on a site that St Patrick once blest,
But we thought the cathedrals were not the world's best.
Then we went to The Argery, the house of one Bond
With some rooms with a view of the river beyond.
At the entrance the chandelier temporarily replaced
By an odd sort of squiggle - not to everyone's taste...
A curious machine that Charlie thought fine
Was for putting the corks back in bottles of wine.
Next morning to Hillsborough, the home of the Queen.
The castle was reached through the gardens between.
The mansion was built by a fellow called Hill
Whose family lived there a long time until
It was bought for a pittance the Royals to please
As a place they could live in and greet VIPs.
Inside the castle the history enthrals,
With hundreds of portraits all over the walls.
We were told many tales by our wonderful guide,
Which I couldn't remember at all when I tried.
Our inn's food was so good it was hard to be ready
To eat a great lunch with the famous Daft Eddy!
The Rowallene gardens are great we were told,
And by golly they are - but by gum it was cold!
Next morning we travelled along the east coast.
Of spectacular scenery this had the most.
And one of the unexpected delights
Was our coach-driver Henry who embellished the sights.
We stopped off to look at the bridge made of rope,
Some people were on it - but not us - no hope!
Now some of the party came into their own
At the Bushmills Distillery where we were shown
Dozens and dozens of casks of great whiskey.
Having tasted a sample I felt really frisky.
We stopped at the Causeway that was made by the Giants
Who with Nature's architects made an alliance
To build a great passage across the wide sea
Arriving at Staffa in time for their tea...
Well. Some of us scrambled all over the stones
But luckily nobody broke any bones.
And now at the end as Honor's just said
We know we were lucky to be brilliantly led
By wonderful Angela who worked stunningly well
I can't find the words that can properly tell.
And don't forget Charlie who paid us his whack
By counting us out and then counting us back.
So let us now hope for an excellent flight.
Its high time I stopped with a hearty good-night.
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