Strangford Lough & Saint Patrick’s Church, Lisbane, Northern Ireland


What’s round the next corner? Starting the year as I mean to go on.

So it’s January 2017 and another trip back home to Northern Ireland has come to an end all too soon. It’s always a hectic time of the year, trying to fit everybody in and see as many people as possible. But in between the madness, I did manage to have a few relaxing days and even got to explore a bit of the countryside not too far from where I grew up. Anyone who has lived in or travelled in Ireland knows that the weather can be a total nightmare at the best of times, but low and behold, on New Year’s Day the sun was splitting the trees. As my parents and I drove out of Bangor and down the Ards peninsula hugging Strangford Lough, I was reminded how barren and beautiful this part of the world can be.


Saint Patrick’s Church in Lisbane

On this journey my parents wanted to show me a little church they had spotted the last time they were down this way. Built in 1777, the beautiful little chapel of Saint Patrick in Lisbane, Kircubbin, County Down, is the sole remnant of six Catholic chapels allowed to be erected in Ireland under colonial times. The chapel has never known electricity since the time it was built, and so each of its night services are held under candlelight with churchgoers huddling together for warmth. Located in the middle of nowhere beside a local bar, there was a pint of Guinness sitting outside the wall of the church – probably the most Irish thing you will ever see. I went in to have a look and got chatting to the church custodian who was cleaning up after Christmas.

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In one of the photos above you’ll see one of a white statue flanked by a framed picture and candles on the wall. When I went to take a picture of this my camera filled with static and the screen was totally distorted. The picture came out fine, but it was strange that the very first time this had ever happened to my screen should happen in a church.

Right now I am back in Tokyo, having landed in Japan again yesterday. I didn’t sleep a wink on the plane and so the jetlag has been pretty horrendous this time around. As always, a huge thank you to everyone I saw during my time back home, and apologies to those I didn’t see this time around. See you next time! Biggest thanks though to my mum, dad, auntie and uncle who are the main reason I go home in the first place.

To all the readers of IKIMASHO!, cheers for following me in 2016 and I hope you continue to do so in 2017 for more randomness from Tokyo & beyond…

Justin / Facebook


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