We have a bath! I can not describe the absolute feeling of glee and pure luxury it gives us. The taps aren’t connected yet because we will need to move it out of the way again for painting etc but we can drain the water out using the plug! It is so much easier and less messy than filling and then pailing out the plaster tub, which we’ve been doing for a year (before that it was a large bucket that we were standing in to wash). I want to re-iterate this, it is awesome! May I never take the ease of a plumbed in bath for granted again. It really is pure luxury. It makes everything seem better weirdly and once in you don’t want to get out. Thank you God for baths and husbands who can fit them.
Six months! Really! Another month has passed. I’ve actually found the last month pretty hard, for various reasons. One being, I think if you live somewhere that needs various things doing, for a while it’s ok, then you start (or I do) doing the I wish thing which means you can become a little unhappy with progress. Even though for the length of time we have been here, the transformation is remarkable already.
It’s also difficult sometimes, managing the kids and doing what I have to (or think I have to) do. My mind goes mad sometimes, with alsorts circling around with what I could be doing, what I need to do, what I should be doing….and that is not productive and is very tiring! God calms me. I LOVE the outside of the cottage, the garden, the wood and the field and so do the kids, working outside and planning them when I can is really good.
Chris is also working very hard at work and at home and life sort of just passes by really quickly. I’m sort of managing this a little better now and trying to relax a little, spending focused time with God really, really helps this and being realistic (we simply cannot do everything at once). We are planning on sorting the bathroom out next, but for now we actually have a big plastic plasterer’s tub that we can bath in! We can actually use it as a bath, instead of using a tub and strip washing. It is amazing what sort of difference something like that makes to your attitude! I found it on Amazon and people had put things like this in the comment: ‘if you haven’t got a bath this is amazing, get it’. So I got it..
Next time I put a photo up there will hopefully be a different bath picture to add to the collection. We’re looking at them on t’internet tonight.
So I thought I’d add to the before and after theme:
There are so, so many before and after shots I could do…
I think I’ll leave it at that, I could do pictures of us as a comedy thing..but to be honest we don’t look that different…Chris has lost weight with his job, but that’s it really. I have been ill and stressed recently but apparently look quite good??!!
Ha. Well hello and goodbye for another day. God is good, we are safe, nothing that we rely on is guaranteed, apart from Him, so trust Him.
Couldn’t leave without mentioning the field, its gone from a boggy, reedy, place where you were up to your waist in places in rushes, to a cut, lovely field in which the grass and some flowers are taking over again rather than the rushes. Chris has worked so hard on it and it is really paying off.
I’ve just realised we’ve now been here 5 months. Seriously, it’s going so quickly it’s ridiculous.
So what have we learnt in the last 5 months and what has changed?
- God is good, Chris got a job actually in Leitrim in spite of it being thought to be unlikely and there’s been countless other blessings.
- When you feel like you can’t go on, you can.
- We’ve gone from having a dirty, dusty, coaly house to one that just has normal dust and gales no longer blow actually through the house.
- Electricians are difficult to pin down…
- Most of the Irish services we’ve had have been brilliant and turned up on time and done the work excellently. Despite being told by a few people before we came, we would have to constantly be on people’s backs to get stuff done.
- Children love being outside and will always find something to play with.
- I’m less lazy than I was. It’s just harder work than where we lived before. Even getting a wash involves planning!
- It doesn’t matter where you live. Material belongings or eating and drinking don’t satisfy us or make us happy. Only God does and that means we can be anywhere and be content if we live with Him and submit to Him. Put it this way, if you’re not happy in Chesterfield, you probably still won’t be happy in Ireland. Environment matters, but only to a certain extent.
- I’m learning (or trying to) that I can’t have everything immediately). Also, to try and be in the moment I’m in instead of constantly thinking of what I still have to do… I find this difficult.. The house drives me nuts when I let it..
- I can no longer flush anything or wash anything down the drain without thinking. Our water goes straight into the land and the toilet goes into a septic tank..I feel slightly more responsible ‘adult’ now. Fat gets scraped off, food either gets eaten or goes for composting, Bleach generally does not get used…etc etc.. still not queen of the green, but better than I was.
- It is a beautiful place and I am very thankful.
- God has plans for us that we don’t yet know about. I have a real sense of anticipation again. It’s exciting.
Along our road into the village there are quite a few empty cottages/buildings (and none of them seem to be for sale). I decided to take a picture of each one and actually add up how many there are on a relatively small stretch of road (about 2 miles I think). Starting from our end and working our way along the road.
An old school.
A 1960’s? Bungalow.
There IS a building behind there, a big old white schoolhouse.
the gate to get to the school is almost hidden in this undergrowth.
So! 8 in total along a small stretch of road. I hope nobody would mind me photographing their building. (let me know if you read this and do.) 8! Two school houses included, on that short stretch. They are owned and apparently some have land with them that is used for farming.
The older locals who can remember the schools being open say it used to be fairly busy round here and now it isn’t. Mind, apparently there were 9 children that lived in our cottage at one time, so that in itself is a lot of people I suppose. 11 people in one little house! My word, we really don’t know we’re born sometimes! It would have been very basic as well. It would be lovely to see the place becoming busier and more populated again though.
There is a fella who’s doing a place up further up the road in the other direction (when he’s in Ireland), who visited relatives in our cottage as a child and is hopefully going to bring some photos of the kitchen when it had an open fire that they cooked on. Really looking forward to seeing them.
It feels like longer than 4 months strangely.
So this morning I went to get the headlights focused on the car so it’ll pass the NCT to be told it’s better to have it done just before as a slight bump can affect them…how silly is that? That it can fail because you go over a bump..anyway! We’re going back next week to have them done.
We’ve also been outside again, I’ve done a bit of digging, J has been using the loppers (he really enjoys it) and littlest has been playing. Chris hasn’t been very well at all and has been off work and in bed, he has a sickness bug we think. He must be ill, he’s refused nearly all food and drink apart from water 😶
It’s a lovely day, it’s meant to be cloudy but it isn’t. It was a shame to come in. In fact J is creating because I’ve just brought them in…
starting a little bit of an experiment outdoors, nothing major but I’ll see how it goes! (see above circle). more to come…I’m still deciding on the exact plan..
The soil is majorly wet on the back of the veg plot so I’ve tried to cut a bit of drainage into the bed I’ve dug. It’ll hopefully dry out again over the next few days.
it’s so strange what you find when you’re digging, today it was a little clear bottle and some cutlery.
and before anyone says it, no I don’t think the cutlery is worth anything.
The bottle is a lot smaller and cuter then it looks there.
I’ve decided I need to start painting the walls soon…I may start with our bedroom (as soon as it becomes a bedroom and I’m not going to step on a plane…)
really need to get a shed sorted!..
Time seems to be flying by. Over the past week Chris has been getting used to his new job, we’ve had a skip delivered and have already filled:
The boys have been playing out a lot. It is fantastic for them here, they just run about and explore and play:
We went out for the day on Sunday to Lough Key (pronounced Loch). It was the first time we have been out for the day just to relax really since we’ve been here. It’s just been so busy, we haven’t made the effort until now. It was such a great day, there’s forests to walk through and Lough Key itself, and a cafe and play area (much to J’s delight). It was needed and it was great. It might sound a bit weird but it was also great seeing trees like oak, chestnut, ash and beech again. Round us there’s a lot of pine and I missed those trees! There are birch and ash around, they just seem to get subdued by the pine sometimes.
I think I mentioned before we’ve had one of the cars almost sorted:
new number plates! Love the Irish spelling of Leitrim. But we are still waiting for the other car to be sorted, apparently we are waiting for some sort of code, then we can go back to the VRT office again… and get the new reg plate number. The above car also needs to pass the NCT (MOT equivalent) because it failed. Chris is picking the parts up tonight and then hopefully doing the work at the weekend. It’s tricky for him juggling everything now he’s working full time but we are prioritising and I’m doing as much as I can at home too. He’s done so much already since we’ve been here it’s quite remarkable.
lastly! We found a garden centre, It’s near Lough Key, called Ardcarne. Someone from church recommended it. So we’ve now got our pots and compost so planting will begin this week. Yay! It’s also good to see the things we’ve planted so far, starting to bud and get leaves, despite the fact it’s been so wet and windy.
(I know rhubarb grows just about anywhere, but it’s so nice seeing something edible growing.)
Finally. I really missed my mum on Sunday. It is good here, but there’s also very hard parts. Especially since the recent death of my dad. I sometimes (quite often) feel like I’m still on catch up, like we’ve moved here, but my brain hasn’t really caught on or up yet. It was a bigger decision than I thought originally, moving here. It’s the right place for us to be I think, it’s just difficult when it affects others.
You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.” (Psalm 27.8)
It is indeed! It’s been a lovely day today, I took the boys for a walk up the lane and it was gorgeous, there are primroses coming up everywhere. The boys loved it, it was a little difficult keeping littlest to where I wanted him, he was all over the road, looking, picking things up, lying down when he didn’t want to go in a certain direction. He’s certainly found his legs. It was fun. J didn’t want to go for a walk and then when he did he loved it too. It was also good as because we were out and about we got to meet another of our neighbours that we hadn’t yet met.
We’ve nearly got one of our cars sorted at last! The transfer of residence came through which meant we didn’t have to pay VRT (vehicle registration tax), which means in turn it now has Irish number plates (you get given the new number and you have to get the plates sorted yourself) and we have got it taxed and insured here. It just needs to pass the NCT (national car test) now. We are waiting for the code to come through for our jeep so we can get the new registration number for that too. I’m hoping we can transfer the MOT over, we will see. It was a bit of a shock when we taxed the Alto, road tax in the UK was £30 a year, here it is nearly 300 euros. Quite a difference. Swings and roundabouts maybe, there are things that cost more and things that cost less here.
Our new Irish driving licenses came through too, everything just in time for Brexit, if it ever happens. A customs officer at a checkpoint stopped Chris when he had dropped me off at the airport a few weeks ago, it was ok when Chris explained we were waiting for our transfer of residence, but he told Chris to get the cars sorted before Brexit or we wouldn’t be able to and they have been. We also got told that in a no deal Brexit we wouldn’t be able to drive as residents in Ireland on our UK licences, so it’s good that they’re sorted too. We had to get a medical report each though to keep one of the classes. It was so easy to get the doctors appointment, we got it the next day! Must be because people have to pay to go to the doctors. Again, positives and negatives….
Been feeling absolutely &£&));;”!! today, physically and mentally, so thought I’d focus on some nice things:
a doorway that caught my eye in Drumshanbo on our way through..
our boys playing outside ❤️
Snail shells that J has been collecting today.
My evening view from the little wood when I went to get the dog.
The panoramic view from the top of our field, I sat on a big rock and stayed there for ten minutes just looking:
I needed those ten minutes to get a bit of perspective back and just have a little break. (The dog also needed a run.). It is certainly beautiful here. It’s also quite remarkable that we are here at all. #gottabeGod
Where to start today? well, basically whilst I was away in England Chris was really busy doing stuff here so I think I’ll stick to that mainly, today. Whilst we were away he almost finished strimming our field:-
He also got a big delivery of plants to plant, even in the pouring rain:
This was the delivery:
So he planted all those up and they are actually doing really, really well. It’s a bit of an experiment this year, to see what thrives and what doesn’t. We’ve chosen most plants that don’t mind acidic soil and a wet climate but with others such as annual flowers that we will soon sow, we may just give them a try and see what happens. We’ve just ordered our seeds from Higgledy Garden, so we’re very excited to get those soon and hopefully start planting.
We came home, this was how I kept two small children occupied on the plane I’m afraid:
This is back at Knock Airport:
It was good to see Chris and drive home:
Since we got home we have also bought a topper and a box for Chris’s tractor and had them delivered:
Had stones cleared out of the field in order to be able to mow it quickly and without damaging the topper:
The windows came whilst I was away and have now been fitted over a period of 5 days. Before:
They’ve done an amazing job, and it is so nice to have wind tight windows and door.
Finally, the littlest really enjoyed a trip we had to Smyths at Sligo retail park, we found it a little stressful, but the kids both loved it!
Just a quick word of advice too, if you hire a car, make sure you check it over when you get it, I didn’t and then realised there was a massive scuff. Thankfully, I told them I thought it was from before and they looked and agreed, but I gather not everybody has such a positive experience. I was really stressed when I got to England and didn’t think, but I will next time as it caused worry at a time when I really didn’t need it, but praise God it was fine.
Ta ra for now.
Post Script! – I forgot to put in that we’ve now applied and been approved to have Irish driving licences. So we’ve given in our UK licences! Apparently as residents, if there was a no deal Brexit our licences would be invalid.
That wasn’t the initial reason – the initial reason was that there seems to be no option to have a UK licence with the DVLA and an Irish address so it just seemed sensible to swap. Then when we went to the office with our application, the no deal thing was explained to us. If you’re just visiting from the UK, there will not be any problems, just if you’re resident.
My eggs arrived! it was a record, they came through the post in less than a day, fully intact and ready to incubate! An Post is great. If it was a courier it wouldn’t have got here nearly as quickly. Sorry but I haven’t actually taken pictures of the eggs yet. They went into the incubator tonight. They should take approximately three weeks to hatch (providing they’re fertile).
Our new fire was installed and (wait for it…) a radiator in the living room, we’ve been soooo warm:
We also had a range installed that runs our central heating, I don’t think I’ve lived in a house with central heating for about 14 years, it’s great! The surroundings will one day match the cooker. I made pancakes this morning, then pizza tonight, to try it out. It is very, very nice. The only thing I really have to watch is keeping the littlest boy away from it because it gets so hot and trying to tell the oldest boy not to put plastic objects on top of it. Might have to get the fire guard back out for a bit maybe.
Finally, Chris’s dream came true, yes folks, he has a tractor!
He just has to get the mower to go with it and he’ll be away up off to the field with it. Up, up and awwaaaaaay, off to sort the field out.
God bless you all and see you soon.