I don’t know what it is about me, cars and driving at this time of year – see last year’s blog about driving with neanderthals in Italy – but I seem to get into incredible pickles in the summer months. And Sunday was no exception: yet another one for the ever-growing collection…!

River6 dominatrix show berlin

We were in Waterford for the weekend and I came back to Dublin to collect work I was going to submit for the Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition. I had done the same last year and I didn’t think much about it, except that this year I was driving an Irish registered car in Belfast – and only a few days after the 12th*.
Things started off quite badly in Dublin, where I got tangled up in the breaking-of-the-world-record for “River Dancing” which would have to be taking place just as I reached the Samuel Beckett Bridge. Anyhow, after a few detours I got up to Belfast in really good time, and was feeling quite chuffed with myself…no need for any of that sat nav guff, maps, or even the even larger font of knowledge, LSH/Marcus…  or so I thought!

I seemed to be going through places in Belfast that looked familiar, but couldn’t find Waring Street anywhere. I drove through Falls Road, Divis, even up Royal Avenue, (which I think was for access vehicles only!) Eventually I saw a couple outside a shop who seemed facinated at my antics, and I pulled over to ask them directions. It was then I discovered that the black and lurid pink premises was a sex shop. How do I do it? The woman was every inch the dominatrix, and the man, who looked a bit like a staffordshire bull terrier, was obviously “security”; he suggested he get in the car with me to bring me to Waring Street: I thought this wouldn’t be the best decision I ever made, especially with the southern car, Dublin accent and fairly vacant expression. Then the dominatrix took over (as she would) and gave me pretty good directions. But with all the stress of the encounter, I hadn’t gone 20 yards and every one of her directions went out of my head.

Another stop, this time to ask a fairly ordinary looking man directions. Wrong again! This time he was from Portrush, and purely visiting Belfast, but would I like to go for a drink! He hadn’t a clue where Waring Street was, but was insistant that he “help” me! It was then beginning to dawn on me that I seemed to have managed to get lost in the red light area…

Well I’m home now, safe and sound. But next time I will definitely bring a map.


*If this needs explaining, you clearly don't watch the news!