I WAS standing in a queue in a sports shop a while ago and three lads behind me were having a conversation about where to go after one paid for his trainers: "I just want to get a pint and a few blues," he said.
The atmospheric stretch of road known as the Dark Hedges, outside Ballymoney in Co Antrim, was always a noted tourist attraction and has become internationally celebrated since it featured in the hugely successful Game of Thrones television drama.
Politics is often a cynical business but it is difficult to recall a more blatantly opportunistic intervention than the announcement by Theresa May yesterday that she plans to hold a snap UK general election on June 8.
It is 20 odd years since the IRA declared a total cessation of military activity; several months later the Combined Loyalist Military Command also declared a ceasefire. However, their ceasefire was conditional and dependant on republicans behaving, as these loyalists portrayed themselves as the defenders of Ulster.
There will be a very firm welcome for the indication from the Irish foreign affairs minister Charlie Flanagan that the Brexit negotiations could produce a major investment in the Belfast-Dublin train link.
IT IS to be hoped that a statement delivered by a spokesman for a dissident-linked group in Belfast during an Easter commemoration event will lead to a move away from violence by one of the organisations up until now engaged in attacks on police and members of the public.