Saturday, 19 April 2014

The Sam Thompson Bridge: WhyNotSmile Investigates

So they opened a whole new bridge in Belfast, and, since I would basically go to the opening of an envelope, you can imagine my excitement. Even better, this bridge is part of a scheme to connect my house to The Dock Café*, thus joining up my two favourite places and enabling me to cycle between them with ease.
* This may not be the actual aim of the scheme

So naturally, I had to be there. I got off to a shaky start when crossing the road over to the bridge, as I was joined on the crossing by a lady with a microphone headset thing, and a lady wearing the sort of coat you wear if you're about to open a bridge, and I figured they were probably Something To Do With It, until the lady in the coat said "Is this the bridge?", and then I thought maybe this was just the sort of event you're supposed to wear a posh coat to. Particularly as this was roughly the view we had at this point:

Yes, love, this is the bridge.

Anyway, I got to the start of the bridge and was generally in the way, because I had my bike and it was quite a tight squeeze, but on the other hand I didn't want to chain it up because then I might Miss All The Fun. Some local dignitaries arrived, plus the First Minister and Minister for Local Development (I think that's what he is; anyway, I later heard him say nasty things about the Lord Mayor, so I don't like him, because that's just not a Nice Thing To Do). So they all got sent onto the bridge, and then the rest of us were ushered forwards. All the other cyclists pushed their bikes, but I cycled because then I got to be the first person to cycle across it, and it's not like there's much else in my life I can boast about.

We stopped in the middle for Speeches And A Poem, and then they declared the bridge open, and the fire brigade from the airport squirted a big jet of water across the river, which was exciting but also a bit "Ha ha we can make a bridge too".

Then we got given wristbands, so they could keep count, and I asked for an extra one for my unborn child* and got one, and then my wristband had a red spot which meant I had won a prize, so I got quite excited. At some point I also got given some keyrings. So we carried on to the far side of the bridge, where lots of people had gathered to come across from the other direction, and I annoyed quite a few of them by ramming them with my bike. Anyway, the atmosphere was very jolly, so I just kept smiling and walking.

(* Yes. For those of you who haven't heard, Baby Smile is due to make an appearance in September. I would post a scan photo, but, while my child is undoubtedly exceptionally talented in many ways, those ways do not include "Looking any different from any other baby in an ultrasound scan". Feel free to imagine any baby scan photo you've ever had to fake-smile at, and that's basically close enough.)

Next step was to track down The Former Housemate Formerly Known As Dozavtra, which I did by standing completely still until she phoned me to see where I was, and then came to find me. So we crossed back over the bridge because she hadn't crossed it yet, and then back over to get back to her starting point, and then we claimed my prize, which was tickets to a play. I was one wristband away from winning an iPod Shuffle, but still.

Then Former Housemate Formerly etc went off to go back to her car, and I cycled back across the bridge, panicking slightly because they were closing it off to let a fun run through, and much as the park that the bridge goes to is very nice, I didn't really want to be trapped in it forever, or even for as long as the fun run was going to take.

So all in all, it was very pleasant and we had a nice time, and I recommend going to see the bridge if you're in the area.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Always love to read your blogs and wonderful news about baby smile! Xoxox