The football season is back… abroad! Here in Ireland it’s been going all summer.
But football fans will ditch Cork City for Manchester City, Galway United for Manchester United, Longford Town for Liverpool.
And there is, of course, a rich business in ferrying and flying fans out to see their favourite foreign clubs.
Manchester United v Chelsea is one of the blue-riband games of the season (or red if that’s your colour).
And Celtic Horizon Tours offers the fixture on August 11 for €259pp for adults and €239pp for children.
Including transport by coach and ferry, hotel stay at the Holiday Inn Express, Manchester Airport, and tickets. Visit www.celtichorizons.com
And before you jump all over me, they do offer deals for your team too.
The good news is that you won’t have to show your passport to get the tickets.
And that’s my Monday Mourning Moan…. having to show your passport abroad at the ticket office.
I still owe the Son and Heir a match in Rome after turning up at the ticket office without a passport.
And then having to take the bus back into the city against the traffic of football fans coming the other way.
Passports to get tickets for football matches… did I not need one of them to get into the country in the first place?
Harland & Wolff – shipping jobs
Belfast people have a natural wit, not dissimilar to Glaswegians, of whom I am one, just across the water.
And they too built their wealth on shipbuilding.
And so they will cheerily try to convince you that H&W lettering on the Harland And Wolff cranes that tower over Belfast stand for Hello and Welcome.
Harland and Wolff’s impact on the city is as large as those cranes, ‘Samson and Goliath’, but today it stands to lose its famous shipyard.
The administrators have been called in.
And where once it shipped goods and people, now it is shipping jobs.
Harland and Wolff’s skilled workmen erected the Titanic.
And which has been around since 1861.
It was a bastion of Protestant rule in its day but then that was in those days and Belfast has changed and evolved.
I know the world has moved on too, they build ships cheaper abroad, and Brexit must be a part of it as well.
But why have we just thrown our hands up and meekly relinquished our once unequalled position as the shipbuilders of the world?
I can only take solace in the fact that the Titanic Exhibition Centre has become such a huge success.
And has among its many awards been named the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the World Travel Awards.
Belfast has rebuilt itself before – it will again.
And read my review of the city where the Son and Heir has made his home.
And Van Morrison has chosen among all the places in the world to return to. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/belfastvanmorrison/