When Autumn offers up a delicious crisp and bright morning it seems a shame not to make the most of it. However, I am behind with my studies so I was in bit of a dilemma – go out and enjoy the sunshine or go home after the school run and delve head-first into my books? In a bid to find a compromise, I packed my books into my rucksack and after leaving the kids off to school I decided to stay out and about on my bicycle for a little while and savour the beautiful fresh and sunny morning. I cannot resist the invitation of blue skies and the colours of Autumn!

Victoria Park with Harland and Wolff crane in the background.

Taking to the fantastic Connswater Community Greenway, I was soon cycling through C.S. Lewis Square and onwards to Victoria Park where I was able to indulge in a leisurely circuit of the pond while the sun glimmered overhead. I could feel the cobwebs from the past few weeks flutter away and my energy levels increasing. The mild weather recently means that there are still plenty of colourful wildflowers to admire and as I did my lap I watched as the ducks and swans ducked and dived for their breakfast. It was so peaceful and I was also able to clock up some Beat the Street points along the way!

As glorious as it was cycling around the park, I reminded myself that I had come out with the intention of getting some proper study done! I have been doing my degree in English Literature and Language with the The Open University for the past couple of years and this module I am working on now focuses on creativity in language. I needed to focus and I find that oh-so-difficult at home, with chores calling to me left right and centre so I figured that brunch and coffee in a local café might just be the solution to my procrastination.

The gorgeous shop front at The Lamppost Café

I have been meaning to visit The Lamppost Café – a C.S. Lewis inspired coffee shop and eatery in East Belfast for sometime now and seeing as I was over that direction I decided to pop in, get some delicious food and bury my head in my books for a couple of hours before school pick-ups. So unbelievably glad I did! What an adorable little haven of all things pretty and Narnia-inspired.

Think dainty teacups, gorgeous printed wallpapers, cosy corners and flowers everywhere. The service was warm and friendly but in no way invasive, just as I like it! I was able to tuck myself away in a quiet snug, enjoy my food, coffee refills and pour over my textbooks without distraction. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend a visit to The Lamppost Café, the food is great, with a  good range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian choices. The quirky décor, welcoming ambience and yummy food on offer make it well worthwhile nipping in!

Once satisfied I had completed enough work, I made an impromptu decision to take the scenic route home. The sun was still shining after all, and it seemed too good an opportunity not to seize! So, I took little tour of some local graffiti art I had spotted from the car on various occasions but had never really had the chance to look at properly. These colourful works always make me smile as I drive by, especially on a rainy day, so it was kind of cool to be able to slow down and take a snapshot or two. They’re so much fun and definitely brighten up otherwise plain old buildings.

When I collected the boys from school I was in a great mood, pleased with my productive couple of hours study, but also happy from having had a great time cycling about in nature and being able to shop local and explore my local area a little. I think the boys picked up on my positive vibes because they’ve been in a great form all afternoon! Sometimes it really is the simplest things that bring the most joy and by taking some time to do a little bit of what I love it has had a knock-on effect and created a happy home – well for now anyhow!

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