We had a Boy's Day Out today. To the Ulster Museum. On a Sunday, that should mean a nice, quiet time. A nice, quiet picnic in the park. A stroll through the Tropical Ravine. Perhaps a little diversion into The Palm House.
Not today. Oh no. Not when there's a flippin' carnival on. In the flippin' park. With a stage. Right next to the flippin' museum.
Now you might think: two young boys and a Dad, a sunny day, no need to hurry anywhere much and a carnival might be a recipe for a fun-packed Boys Day Out. That would be quite reasonable.
But you'd be overlooking one all-powerful, irrepressible component: Namely carnival people with big fucking heads. Massive heads. A monkey head the size on a washing machine. A huge rabbit head, the size of a fridge. A wrinkly old man's head, the size of a dishwasher, on the shoulders of…actually, a wrinkly old man.
You know, the kind of thing that is guaranteed to totally freak out your youngest massive head fearing son.
So, on leaving the museum for our picnic in the park, an emergency evasive manoeuvre was required: A sharp left, out onto the street and a swift dash passed the gates of the park (just in time to miss the giant rabbit-headed carni' tactically deployed there to entrap unsuspecting passers-by).
I had a plan. If we could just make it to Queen's, we could seek refuge in the University's Quadrangle. A plan that turned out to be even better than I thought. Not only was the Quad a perfect, peaceful place to eat our lunch with no fear of over-sized-headed performers, we realised, as we slipped through the entrance hall that upstairs in The Naughton Gallery, there was an exhibition of Neil Shawcross's Penguin paintings. Noah thought they were too blurry. I really like them. Well worth a short diversion if you're in the area, trying to avoid someone with a massive head.