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Every year the Continental Market arrives in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which truly kicks off Christmas in Belfast.
The market runs from November 17 to December 22, bringing with it sights, sounds, and scents of Christmas well worth a visit if only once to savour it. But bring plenty of money, especially if you have children, because it is not cheap. It does, however, bring goods and food from all over the Earth, which are well worth trying, especially the roasted hog meals.
As you can see from the first photograph above, there are also a few rides for the children and a visit to Santa to be paid in his grotto, among many different stalls selling their wares from the four corners of the Earth. So, get yourselves out and about this Christmas season and visit dear old Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Happy Christmas from Belfast, Northern Ireland!
As you walk through the Continental Market in Belfast you will come across 90 packed and beautiful wooden chalets selling their wares and of course, it would not be Belfast, Northern Ireland without a bar or two to quench your thirst as you explore the Market.
If you walk across the road from the Continental Market and up Royal Avenue, Belfast, you will come to the snow slide which is a first for Belfast, and well worth a slide or two.
Access to Castle Court shopping centre is still blocked on Royal Avenue—due to the Primark building, a building being deemed unsafe after her recent fire that completely destroyed the building, and instead of pulling the whole thing down, Belfast Council wishes it to be built again—which has cost many shops around it millions in revenue, and at Christmas, with some shops even having to close due to the lack of shoppers now in the center of Belfast City. Numbers are down by 60 percent, so one building being destroyed has destroyed many other businesses after the fire.
Though a new walkway is almost built and Primark open again, shoppers can now travel past the damaged building which is being taken apart, brick by brick, so it can eventually be rebuilt again at some future time.
It is amazing how the older rides bring you right back to your own childhood, invoking visions of happiness and wonder, even though all you were doing was going round and round on plastic horses. But as a child, you were a princess upon her steed or a prince upon his.
Life was slower in those days, not like the fast pace of these latter days we now live in.
Helter Skelter Memories
Once more the Helter Skelter brings back many childhood memories and once more the fun was had upon such a simple creation, a bit like the toys from our childhoods as well, when expensive gifts were only for the wealthy... but no matter, Christmas was always a magical time of year.
There is plenty to see and do at the market if you have the money to do it because, like most things, in these latter days with every month and year that passes, prices are skyrocketing, which leaves many in debt from year to year just to keep up with the Jones and tech demands. Because if you haven't got the latest piece of expensive new tech then you are somehow behind the times and not tech savvy—or a kind of dork LOL.
My Sony Carl Zeiss camera is 11 years old, as is my Sony Disc Camera—and as for my mobile phone, it is a Samsung that I rarely use, never when I am out. But then again, getting out is rare as well due to a condition from hell called Cluster Headaches that restrict my photography, which is why, when I do get out I take as many photographs as I can from all subjects and angles.
The Subject and the Artist
I find it hard to mix with others due to my brain injury, unless I know the people I am with. Walking slowly alone in the market, even though I am surrounded by others, and quietly taking my photographs is a kind of therapy to me. Being stuck indoors most days, I do too much on the rare days out, and then suffer for it for days after—though the photographs I have taken help with the pain and loneliness at times and give me a feeling of achieving something special that I can share with others, as I am now doing with you, along with the stories that come with those photographs and the seconds of life they capture.
I wear a brace on my damaged right leg, so have to sit down every few feet and rest, so trying to take in all the market was a none starter and I did the best that I could. I hope you like the results as we now delve deeper into Belfast's Continental Market 2018.
This amazing stall is packed full of the most amazing pieces of carved wood art from all four corners of the Earth, and if you have the money, then you could own a piece of amazing wood art, fit to grace any modern or old house.
Taking a Moment
I love the way cameras capture seconds in time, which all who have cameras and technology do on a daily basis. They are memories stored of happy times, or even sad times, which when seen again bring the owner back in time to that very time and second the photograph was taken; that then invokes feelings of happiness or sadness.
The photograph shows the young man refreshing himself, but what are his thoughts?
Is he happy with sales or not?
Then we have the woman on the right, deep in thought, but what are her thoughts?
Is she happy with her sales or not?
We all live in our own little worlds, within bigger worlds of our countries, cities, towns, and villages, with a bigger world we call Earth. And all of us are actors and actresses within our own little worlds and the bigger ones we belong to.
Through the Wood
Whoever the artists are who produce such beautiful pieces of art are truly talented souls. Though I fear this 2018, with shopping trends on the wane so far this November and December, the more expensive stalls within this years market might struggle in sales, just as the shops in Belfast, Northern Ireland and the UK are struggling.
With Brexit looming on my birthdate, the 29th March 2019, people within the UK are being very cautious with their money so far this autumn and winter. Expensive gifts are for those who can still afford them, though even the rich are being cautious this 2018, preferring gold, which can be used to buy and sell if the financial markets crash again and money becomes useless.
To be continued...
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