Around a year ago one of my friends asked me if I fancied a golf trip to Northern Ireland. I love my golf and knowing there are some "bucket list" golf courses out there I said yes. I paid my money and didn't give it a second thought until a few days before we departed. Anyway, what was arranged for me was one of the best weeks of my life. So I ended up travelling with a group of 7 friends and we played in a well organised golf competition with a field of 68! I thought we were going for a few rounds of golf and some Guinness and felt totally underprepared. On our last day, we had a few hours to kill before the next round started. I took myself away from the group to have some downtime, enjoy where I was and reflect on what had just happened to me. This was done on a park bench in Newcastle, County Down whilst watching the locals walking on the beach and listening to Billy Connolly's autobiography! 

Here is my summary and why we take far too much for granted; 

- We had 7 days of wall to wall sunshine in Northern Ireland at the end of March! The locals couldn't believe our luck and nor could we. We assumed we would be drying out our waterproofs every night and it goes to show that we all have wrong perceptions stored up 

- I made a whole host of new friends from other golf courses around the UK. It was great to properly socialise again. I had become very solitary as an impact of Covid and it was great to tell stories and have a good laugh with new people 

- The seaside towns that host these golf courses have economies built around them and Covid demolished many livelihoods. Lots of building regeneration work had clearly started but been halted by Covid. Many of the hotels and restaurants were vibrant with chat, laughter and kindness but were still struggling to re-attract the staff they had to let go due to the pandemic. These small businesses need our help 

- The Northern Irish are an amazingly friendly bunch who made us so welcome. They were so open, kind, friendly and were so proud that we had chosen to come to their country 

- We are very blessed to have so many beautiful places to visit. I am thinking of the UK but that applies to any country. 

Sitting watching the waves crashing and the sun shimmering on the sea was fantastic but I had to stop my world in order to enjoy it. Life offers us the opportunity for so many great experiences and, at times, we put them off for another day. The reality is that "things" come out of the blue and get in the way so we need to welcome these opportunities with open arms and not regret obstacles preventing us from doing AND enjoying them.