TONIGHT we went for a wee jant around the Tall Ships.

This will have been my third visit to the ships. I didn’t queue up to get on them because quite frankly, I couldn’t be bothered. A ship’s a ship and all them middle class kids were doing my head in. I didn’t want to be stuck beside them on an anchored boat for half an hour.

We made the mistake of cutting through The Odyssey Pavilion. Jesus that place is grim. The piped supermarket music didn’t help.

We went over to the fun fair for a nosey. £3 to £5 for a ride. Sure they wouldn’t even charge that at the Albert Clock.

We walked into a tapless spide and his girl and chile slabbering at the cops. One cop was taking a statement from an amusement worker.  A crowd was beginning to gather and it made for better entertainment than selfies with foreign sailors.

At times it seemed like there were more cops (who all incidentally had beards) and Belfast Telegraph programme sellers than visitors.

I took a stand for journalism students and refused to buy the £6 glossy advertorial that was most likely written by them for zero payment in return. Poor bastards don’t know what they’ve let themselves in for.

So, enough of my Citizen Smith behaviour. Here’s some pictures I took.

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I read that Translink are charging £2.50 for Park & Ride from Boucher Road Playing Fields. We parked in their Laganside car park facing the Big Fish for £1.80.  Maybe the Tall Ships will save Translink from sinking into the red again next year.

On the way home we noticed a plume of black smoke. Turns out we drove into a parade of Orangemen and a band playing The Sash. I can play it too. It’s one of the first tunes you learn on a flute – be it in a loyalist or republican flute band. The reason being, its catchy and you use all the notes in the scale.

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I didn’t feel intimidated by the passing procession but it did give me a sense of dread. Even though we went out of our way tonight to see something that makes Belfast better – on the way home we were reminded of the negative parts of the city.  Setting fire to stuff and holding up traffic is not my cup of tea to be honest.  But each to their own.

EDIT: a few of you arriving here wanting to know what VTOT stands for. I had seen some graffiti saying ‘IBA beware VTOT’. I assumed it’s Village Tarts On Tour. 

Can someone from VTOT clarify?