Lock Keepers Inn
On a beautiful afternoon in September last year, my Beloved and I, together with her six year old daughter, strolled along a canalised section of the River Lagan in South Belfast to where one of the locks is being restored. This is part of an ambitious long term scheme to restore the Lagan Navigation up to Lough Neagh, and subsequently the Ulster Canal onwards from Lough Neagh to join the Shannon/Erne Navigation. If and when this restoration is completed, it will be possible to go from Belfast to Dublin by inland waterway, albeit by a somewhat roundabout route.
To my suprise, my Beloved doesn’t like canals as much as I do, (but then, very few people like canals quite as much as I do) but she does like a stroll, so she was prepared to put up with my burbling enthusiasm about the lock restoration project. Right by the lock itself is the newly restored Lock Keepers cottage, which was featured in the BBC show ‘Restoration’, and it looks like a great job had been done.
And to complete my ideal afternoon out, next to the lock and its attendant cottage was an excellent cafe, The Lock Keepers Inn, where I had a delicious scone and a latte served just how I like it, i.e. not in one of those stupid tall glasses, that cafes seem to reserve for those of its customers who are already feeling a bit effete after ordering a latte anyway. My Beloved knew one of the young staff, and chatted to him about his A Level results. A place I’d be happy to recommend to any visitors to Belfast, especially those who are canally inclined.
How extra-ordinary, then, that this attractive, well-run cafe has brought about the downfall of the repulsive Iris Robinson, and, I would be willing to bet, her husband Peter too. And who has enough support to replace him? My Beloved feels that there’s no one credible. And, although it might be hard to stomach for people in the rest of Britain, the DUP currently represent mainstream Unionist opinion. Thanks to the venal, hypocritical behaviour of one disgusting woman, the peace process has taken a knock, just as it needs support. This morning dissident republicans have exploded a car bomb in Randalstown. A PSNI officer is seriously injured in hospital. Iris is sulking in bed, unable to talk due to her sudden mental incapacity, and hope seems further away than it did even a few days ago. I do hope, however, that the excellent Lock Keepers Inn can survive the gathering storm.