first Saturday in Advent… Christmas approaches

It is coming up to Christmas and so it is the time for many places to have Christmas Fairs. Outside Belfast City Hall, for instance, is a Christmas Continental Market. Last weekend there was a Christmas Craft Fair at All Souls’ Church in Elmwood Avenue. Today was the turn of Belfast’s LGBT Centre.

There were stands from a wide variety of people and organisations including trade unions, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Belfast Pride, Cara-Friend, Belfast Front Runners, as well as many more. Many people from QueerSpace were on hand in both kitchens (on both floors) serving tea and coffee.

Whoever was planning the event must have realised that there was likely to be great interest. Sadly, to my mind, the building in which it was held is really not designed for the volume of people in attendance. The layout of stalls in the Community Room on the first floor did make it difficult to manoeuvre when in the room.

Perhaps I am getting too long in the tooth, or perhaps I have been around the sector for too long, but I came away feeling that I should have stayed at home. Unfortunately for me, it was not just in the LGBT Centre that everywhere was too full of people: it was the entire city centre.

A good hot drink and a welcome chocolate twist and mince pie were enjoyed in the new Caffè Nero in the old Delaney’s just opposite the Provincial Grand Lodge of Antrim in Rosemary Street. Perhaps Masonic brethren will enjoy coffee in the many coffee houses in the area before their meetings in that great building.

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