Volunteering in Northern Ireland

downloadI volunteered for the Riding for the Disabled in Ballyclare, and also the Citizens Advice Bureau in Carrickfergus. I also volunteered for the East Antrim University of the Third Age in the beautiful town of Carrickfergus.  However, they tried to extort money from me, gave away my address to members and generally are a rum lot… cliquey doesn’t begin to describe it.

The Third Age Trust say they have worked with the committee to try to solve the problem, but there is no evidence of this anywhere…

When is an investigation not an investigation?

When the Third Age Trust say so!

Newsletter 21st September 2018


Architecture…. I went on a very good tour of the architecture in Carrickfergus on 15th September. I will be completing the write up next week as I want to check some details with the organisation concerned.


The start of the French Experience




Portadown Country comes to town.

A great day was had by all at the “Country comes to town” event… what a wonderful atmosphere!

Meet up in Portadown for Spanish English exchange in Bennetts pub went well….only two people turned up… but it is quality not quantity which counts… Lots more benefits for members of the Hispanic Society of Carrickfergus… events do not necessarily take place in Carrickfergus… we just want to keep in on the map as it started there.

Hispanic Society

New Duolingo opportunity for members of the Society

And a new members area… giving opportunities for engaging with native speakers on line.

Spanish lessons start in Craigavon at  The Hub on Tuesday evenings from 9th October for 8 weeks from 6.30 to 8.30pm.

If you want to think about Spanish in Carrickfergus with Duolingo support… please contact me.. I will be an Ambassador for Duolingo with specific support.  Only members of the Hispanic Society of Carrickfergus will be able to access this.  I am doing the same for Portadown. Spanish course is planned to start in January.

Joke told by Stephen in CastleHardware in Portadown… I just have to share it….

Question: “Why do Irishmen pour Guinness on the lawn?”

Answer: “So it comes up half cut!”

I have lots more from my Libyan days where the Irish contingent were just amazing… as they are in Ireland!  Look out for Adrian Keane’s book “Walking on Water” when he escaped from Libya on a windsurfer… He was from Galway….




What a week this has been!

North Highland Way

I discovered that Scottish Natural Heritage do not look after the EC Directive on Sustainable Tourism and the NC500 may not adhere to it.

I have had a major battle to get public services in Scotland to work together, but hope that I have resolved the problem and that they can all work together for the benefit of the area, and that the Highlands and Islands Enterprise don’t keep asking me to write feasibility studies and business plans for free… even if they don’t know what the project is about and don’t know what to put in a business plan for a project of this nature which would normally be led by public services.

Hispanic Society of Carrickfergus

Despite the problems with the East Antrim University of the Third Age, which are ongoing, we had a fantastic week in July. We are now planning a series of films, talks, and a Spanish class, if we can get the numbers. Sadly due to personal reasons, I do not hold classes in Carrickfergus at the moment. The next class will start in January. Meanwhile, feel free to join us at Bennetts pub in Portadown for a Spanish English exchange. 6.30 to 8.30 – all welcome.

The main things are now:

A Walking week in Loja 8-15 December 2018.
A tour of Alhama de Granada to do some bird watching and Spanish in a completely new area of Spain. Contact us for details.

I have created a special flamenco page here.


I have completed three chapters of “Nuala” – not yet published. I have to ask the professionals about what they think first.

Next week I will give you a taster about my exploits in France…. what fun I had…!


What I have been doing this week….


I have had an interesting week  so far… it’s only Thursday.

I got my GetOutside blog published… it looks fab and I hope to do a Winter Wonderland one shortly.

I wrote some more Nuala… not ready for publication yet though. Three chapters… Jan Carson will be delighted.  When I get back to Ireland, I will be joining the Irish Writers Group in Dublin.  This will be my creative side… the other side will be taken care of by my NUJ membership.

I swept leaves every morning, went to Auch.. without falling over!  I plan to write up my French trip starting in February… busy until then.

I did lots of drawing, made an appointment for my first piano lesson.

Most importantly of all I found that perhaps the NC500 does not follow the EU Directive on Sustainable Tourism.  I have contacted HIE.

I am now in a little village high in the Pyrenees… have bought my lovely friends Christiane and John a nice present.


I am on a roll…. except for my darling brother in law, Graham Brothers, passing away.


Andrew Marr

Andrew, I have a very interesting story brewing about the finance and economics in Scotland on which I have commented to Mr. Gove and Mr. Hammond. The Scots are trying to get money for SRDP but at the same time HIE and the SPSO are a drain on resources. Would you be able to interview myself and Nicola Sturgeon on the subject.

Tina Irving BSc PgDip Diploma in Freelance Journalism



What have I been doing this week?

North Highland Way.… a boost by writing a blog for Get Outside – yet to be published.

Updated the news service with the latest nonsense from HIE and the SPSO. Written to the politicians about same.

Sold http://www.letsgonorth.com to Shubham…. see what he says about me

“I am Shubham a full stack web developer and a passionate traveller. It was one evening in the office that I bumped on this name and I got super excited about it. It was really very catchy. I always wanted to start a travel blog of my own. I then searched to find that this name belonged to Tina in Ireland. I requested her to sell me the domain which she eventually agreed to. I went through her blog and found that she is doing an amazing job for the explorers. Scotland is indeed one of the most beautiful places on earth. I wish someday I will be able to visit Scotland and understand the culture and praise the beauty of this heaven on earth.”  It will go live shortly.

Written an article about LetsGoNorth meets LetsGoSouth

Written a chapter of Nuala.

Travelled to Carcassonne with mixed adventures…

And of course helped John and Christiane at Maison Manechal… gardening, sweeping up leaves, painting.. etc.






Why most of us are more creative than we think

Again from the book “Creative People must be stopped” by David A. Owens.

Are Innovators Born or Made?

“This comes to the understand it to be less about how organisations recognize a brilliant idea and more about how them mke innovation immensely difficult because they don’t understand what creativity is or how to foster it.” This is certainly true of the North Highland Way… public services don’t understand it. They only understand a walking route, not a multi use route. They don’t understand either that I won’t drop it and go away. I am finally getting recognised as the leader in the field….

TDM Consultancy Services