No time to do blokey Friday

I’m writing this having just taken my first ever Christmas cake out of the oven and with J running round blowing up boxes with a bicycle pump and littlest fastened into the high chair (they’ve just eaten).

This is my cake!

It isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough! (I have made fruit cake before), just never done the keeping and feeding with sherry before. We will take it with us next Friday and decorate it there.

We’ve had the okay to collect the cottage keys next Friday now. The big shed is packed, we are getting there! It is amazing how many of other people’s belongings I’ve found whilst sorting through our stuff. Sorry if you’re one of the ones to whom they belong! Word of advice, don’t lend me books unless you’re very good at reminding me or don’t mind a wait of a few years. 😂

We’re off out tonight with friends, then having an early Christmas Day/dinner tomorrow afternoon with my folks. All this saying goodbye is fun but strange! (Thank you for it though!)

It’s official! We have electricity

We’ve just received confirmation today that the electricity in the cottage is in fact connected. We are very pleased, we’d been planning how to live there Just in case it had been cut off so that should make it easier! Yay for solicitors who check things and yay for electricity!

So it’s just about all coming together at once now. The Irish property is ready to close, we’ve exchanged and agreed completion on our Derbyshire one, so just the packing that we are still doing. It’s quite hard with two small children. I do so much and then have to stop. And do NOT get Chris started on the shed. (It has proved to be and continues to be a big job). Although it is looking good! We still need to bring everything down from the allotment too.

Removals day is next Wednesday and then completion on the Friday. So less than a week to be ready! We will do it, it’s just a bit of a madhouse!

I might try and get a blokey shed rant tomorrow off Chris 😂.

Sink on a log (Mk 2)

A little bit more about us and where we are moving to.

The cottage we are moving to has intact stone walls and wooden framed windows, it has floors, it has a roof which seems to be in pretty good condition. It has a basin with taps and a functioning toilet in the bathroom (No bath yet). There is a basin with taps in the kitchen. There is a water supply. There are two burners to provide heat, one in the living room and one in the kitchen area and there are some radiators in the house which heat up when the stove in the kitchen area is running.

We don’t have any central heating in our current home, warming it with fires when required so radiators are a luxury.

There is also electricity in the cottage, which does need checking out but it is there! We don’t have a phone line there yet but there is good mobile phone reception.

There is a small kitchen area with a Belfast sink. All I really need apart from that is a table, cooker and a bit of storage, then jobs a good un, at least to start with. We lived for quite a while at our current address with no kitchen at all, not even a proper sink. It wasn’t easy, but it was liveable. See below:

This was our very lovely and functional sink on a log, although there is actually no sink on looking. There is a funnel. We survived. Chris is very handy.

Also, when I first purchased our current house there was no heating, just two gas fires which got condemned soon after moving in and there were aluminium framed windows. It was cold in the winter. Very cold. We just layered up in bed, had halogen heaters, at some point got a log burner put in and got on with life. We’re tough, me and my daughter. We now have insulation, two wood burners and double glazing – it’s a lot nicer (it has to be admitted).

Chris and I are under no illusions that our new life will be easy, but we will be fine and I think we will enjoy it. I and I think Chris are not made to never take risks or have hardship. We think it is worth it and we will always, always make sure we look after our kids.

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7)

The above is where we are coming from I think. God is also our dream giver and our provider. However! If anyone has any tips on how to make the cottage homey until our stuff arrives, feel free to share. We will be taking all our camping things with us (including pots and pans), air mattresses, bedding, wool blankets, warm clothes, cooker, baby bath, towels etc etc. We will have a better idea closer to the time on when the removals company will be getting to us.

Chris has also purchased something called an eco fan, which you put on top of your stove. The warmth from the stove generates electricity, causing the fan to turn which circulates the warm air around the room and house. Our house has seemed a lot warmer since using it.


Chris got a cake!

Chris left work on Thursday, He had a good last day and was given the cake as a present. The lady who made it is the very talented wife of one of his work colleagues, Dave. It has everything on it! The mini talon (aeroplane), Rock crawler, a collie, the Irish flag, he has fpv goggles on, and there’s the jeep! the detail is brilliant. Her website is if you would like to take a look.

The cake was a very welcome total surprise. Thank you so much. Also, Chris has loved his job and will miss being there. He has been given a great reference and is very grateful both for that and for the job he has had and also for his friends/colleagues. I am so proud of him, his managers said they would employ him again if we came back, which is most definitely to his credit And theirs.

We’ve had a lovely card, someone has given us a plug in electric oven/hob (we didn’t have a cooker to take), another friend went with Chris to get a strimmer and got him a very welcome discount, so thank you, so much.

We are praying for Chris to get work once we’re out there but for now I think he’s hoping to be able to get organised and enjoy the time with us. There’s still his whole shed/workshop to finish packing up, so there’s a fair bit to do.

We also went out for a meal with our church community group that same evening to say goodbye really. It was lovely. It felt relaxed and was really good to be out with friends and talk about stuff too. So again, thank you. I’ve been part of our church for just over ten years now and I don’t think you really find friends and support like it anywhere else (that’ll be God).

13 days to go!

We Have Exchanged!

We have exchanged contracts this afternoon and completion is agreed. Such good news. No going back now!

It’s been a funny day, full of all sorts of emotions including joy and laughter but also tears and kicking and screaming (and that’s just me haha), we’ve started soaking the fruit for a Christmas cake (my first one I’ve ever made).

Good old Mary Berry. J is very interested in it. He likes cooking and baking.

I’ve also been looking into simpler ways of cleaning the house and clothes, washing up, shampoo etc. As in using household products like vinegar, lemon juice and bicarbonate. Also, traditional soap flakes and Epsom salts for various things. I’m not that genned up yet but I will be. It really interests me. One reason is that we will have a septic tank which we want to look after (which is new to us), but also, I seem to be getting more allergy prone with an itchy mouth and nose quite frequently, so want to go back to basics. I’m terrible when dust is disturbed, so have to damp dust and need to do it a bit more frequently! I also want to try to reduce the amount of plastics we use and live more frugally.

Chris finishes work tomorrow, then we’re out for a meal with our church community group. Then Chris’s eldest is coming for the weekend, which we are looking forward to. I’ve spoken to my eldest today, who is still in LA at the moment and it was lovely. Bittersweet in some ways because when she gets back we will have gone, but we’re not that far away and her dad and my family still live locally.

onwards and upwards!

Everything seems to be working out at exactly the right times. #inGodwetrust

Gods promises never fail and one promise is that he will never leave us nor forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:6 and Hebrews 13:5). That is why I trust Him with what we do and where we go. God is in charge and wherever we go we trust ourselves to Him.

Bye for now.


Blokey Friday (total rip off of CVM’s Man Friday) from the woman’s perspective

So this hasn’t been written by Chris but is by me.  It is my (tongue in cheek) perspective on his perspective on moving to a smallholding in Ireland (with land for a runway for his model plane).

So see below, item 1! The Rock Crawler

I can guarantee he will be found quite frequently in our cottage, or just outside, sat in a chair, with FPV goggles on, driving this redcat around. (J loves it too). 

Night driving below:

Then: Item 2! model aeroplanes!  Again, he will be found in our field with FPV goggles on, flying aeroplanes (in line of sight) on his (soon to be) mown out and marked runway. 

Item 3! Knobbly tyres

Knobbly tyres! For off roading up the field and basically being able to drive anywhere! They make a fantastic sound when you’re driving…like a hum…he loves his tyres.. (I like them too). You can tell wherever we are where there’s a field or some rough ground he’s dying to drive over it.

I may never see him. Haha. Then there’s the other toys such as the mega strimmer, chain saw, the tractor we may purchase! The list goes on.

Of course there’s also these:

Joking aside, he’s a fantastic gardener and such a hard working, friendly, practical man. He will be able to grow his flowers again (he loves growing cut flowers) and have a mega veg patch (I love this part too). We’re also planning fruit trees, to have chickens and probably other livestock (we will decide definitely over the next few months). I’m very glad I’m doing this with him not only because he is who I want to do life with, but also, he is so practical! He can make things (quite complicated things), mend things, turn his hand to just about anything really. He is a very good person to go to a cottage in a wood and field with. Especially when life probably isn’t going to be that easy practically speaking! In God we trust.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

I may actually get him to write a post and get the right “man’s” perspective soon. That alright Mr R?

I just want to say as well, I know his perspective involves a lot more than the above, a lot more. But they do make his life fun (and involve a lot of skill too). 

Over and out.

So this morning…

…Chris has realised he finishes work in a week because of holidays owed…so the move to Ireland is getting more real as each day passes. The bad point at the moment is that our English buyer has not yet confirmed the completion date or exchanged…so that is making me nervous. (Prayer would be gratefully received) All the paperwork has gone off quite a while ago, so I don’t really understand what is taking so long…and why it has not yet happened. I keep asking but am not having much joy. We have decided we are going on the 7th, everything is booked, but it would be so nice to just get the ends tidied up and sorted, the end of one chapter and the start of the next… I realise I gave the impression it was all wrapped up, but I sort of presumed it was……hopefully it is….sorry for the presumption…(but we are moving on the 7th). Moving house is stressful!

23 days to go…

Which one is it?

So we’re feeling slightly confused this afternoon, we’ve realised (or we think we’ve realised) that there is a Ballinaglera and a Ballinagleragh, both look as though they are in Leitrim. We “think” ours is the Ballinaglera, (by Lough Allen) that is how it has been spelt so far, but Google maps seems to think it is Ballinagleragh! But I think that’s wrong. Then, on further googling, there are descriptions of the place which have both spellings! aaargh, help! (I find it amusing but confusing). If anyone can enlighten us that would be great! I’m sure it will become clear at some point. I thought we were quite close to the border (closer than we are) because I googled the distance to Enniskillen (which is in the north) – sorry edit! to Kesh, Enniskillen, and suddenly thought Chris could work there because it wasn’t as far away as I thought. Turns out it was about 27 miles away, not 14 as I’d thought, so probably no good, although still fairly close.

It is interesting this moving lark! Especially moving to a different country!

24 days to go!



Four weeks to go!

Yes folks, all being well, four weeks today and we will be in Ireland. It’s a strange feeling, I’m full of excitement and am really looking forward to doing this together as a family but also have lots of other feelings whirling around inside me. It’s difficult to describe.

Nerves for one, I suppose. Will we be welcomed? What will they think of us? Will the kids be ok? Especially J as it probably isn’t long until he will be at school there (I’ll really miss him). Will everyone we’re leaving here be ok? Lots of things really. I think the answer is, we will be fine. Everything will be fine. In fact, much more than fine. We have Jesus, so even when things are not fine, they also are – topsy turvy I know!

Practically, we’ve seriously started packing now and have boxes everywhere.

Our three year old – J says he “just wants to get there now” (cute) and I have started making lists of companies and people we need to inform. It is surprisingly long. It also feels strange because for the utility bills, I actually need to cancel the accounts because we aren’t staying in the UK.

The process also feels quite freeing though, as I have a list which I am going through and cancelling services and payments off. With each cancellation there is a big line that goes through the company name. Really need to keep things simple in the future…

There’s still lots I need to look into, such as bank accounts, national insurance payments, getting our cars checked out once there and the plates changed, whether we can keep our mobile contracts or not. I think probably not, but we will see (it’s on the list) and we also need to look into medical care (I think we have to apply for a card once there, but I need to look at it again).

Plenty to keep us occupied anyway!

The ferry journey is booked now too and Chris has given his notice in at work, so here’s praying that it all goes smoothly!

This week has been good, I’ve tried to make some room for fun/time with the children. I sometimes get so wrapped up in what’s going on that I feel like I don’t play with them enough. So we’ve had some fun. Going out, Throwing the ball for the dog, walking, getting the bus, running round, baking, talking. I find it really difficult to be present sometimes because my mind gets sooo full. But I’m trying to practice just being with them (I mean with no distractions) and enjoying it for at least part of each day. Thank you God for our children!