Tomorrow, it’s been two years since we moved here. Since we got up ultra early in the morning, vacated our terraced house and set off towards the almost unknown. I’ve said it before but we got here lateish evening, Chris lit a fire, we ate a ready cooked chicken I’d bought when I picked up the keys, we set up the airbeds and travel cot in the living room and all slept in there for the first night. The stove was an old pot bellied stove and belched out smoke while it got going, that was slightly worrying but it was all we had! It would have been a nice stove if it wasn’t for the holes in it.
Then the next morning we got cleaning, it was pretty grimy with cobwebs everywhere and as the house warmed up, with insects emerging, particularly upstairs. It gradually dried out but as it did so it could be pretty grim. You’d wake in the night and your hair and the pillow would feel damp. You had to make sure everything was away from the wall as well. It was quite the experience. We slept upstairs in the one bedroom together for at least a few months, using air beds and the travel cot and then after our beds arrived, we went to the other bedroom, sharing with the boys, using the original bedroom as storage. I was still feeding the littlest as well so it made sense to be in together. The littlest was about 16 ish months and J was four. The original bedroom was full of boxes and aeroplanes for quite a long time. It eventually got cleared and Chris and I moved into there. It was quite weird at that point separating from the boys but also good as well. We had to make sure the boys had a night light because if they woke in the dark they were scared, it is so very, very dark here, the good about that is that J is really not bothered by the dark any more.
I’ve been looking to see if there are any photo’s I haven’t shared already so here are some, I might have shared some of the already, but I’m sure there are some new ones.
Firstly, just before we moved and the journey.
Then some from when we first got here and before the ground was cleared (this happened very quickly.
The view was the view I had just before I got to the cottage, we’d come in separate cars and I had gone to pick up the keys, it was getting towards dusk and the sat nav took me over the mountains (Sliabh an Iarainn), it’s very beautiful but a one track road with ditches to either side of the road (there are some passing places), so I veered between isn’t it beautiful? and aagh I’m a bit scared, please don’t go dark and I can’t remember where I’m going. I prayed a lot!
Then there’s two of the front garden, pre clearing, the back through the kitchen window, it had been part cleared and the transit van that had been left there by someone previously had been moved. The room doesn’t look that Christmassy in the photo’s but it was to us, it was very bare and there was only one comfy (ish) chair that had been left there, otherwise it was camp chairs or the floor.
That fire in the kitchen had a back boiler which powered the radiators, it didn’t actually give out that much heat as a fire and it was extremely dirty. Littlest was constantly covered in coal dust. That’s all gone now, along with the fake stone back, well, they were stones but they’d been put in over the wall. We have the Stanley in there now. The kitchen’s been painted, but we still need to order the tiles to go around the cooker. The old tiles have been removed. The little electric cooker is what we used for all our cooking initially. It was given us by a friend of Chris’s. It was brilliant, especially since that was all there was! I did Christmas dinner on it in 2018, we had a ham that year. Admission – I’d never actually cooked Christmas dinner before! We had always been to my mum and dad’s to have it.
Back to now, well sort of, Chris got a job in March 2019 I think it was, initially working as a night porter, but then he very quickly got a different job as a welder. So after March he was at work full time. Then, a year after, in March 2020, lockdown began. So he was off for a while, and we were here together again for a while. Then he returned and has been working ever since. For the second lockdown his work place was included on the essential businesses. It was really good that he got a job as we thought that may be a problem in this particular area of Ireland, but it wasn’t. It is very demanding work as well, so combined with the work here that Chris has done I need to say he has worked so hard and it has been very difficult for him. But he has and is working wonders. So we have to try to make time for rest and we don’t always succeed so well!
So, even though we’ve been here two years and I returned to England a few times during the first year. The last 9 ish months have been pretty insular really, even more than before. So I haven’t really got to know many people. This will come though as time goes on. It’s been a year and three months since me or the boys went back to England (two years for Chris). So it’s quite a while since we’ve seen our friends or family.
We’ve got a lot of work done on the house and area around the house over the past nine months especially. We have a bathroom with a bath, a dining room, some storage in the kitchen, a chicken shelter, a greenhouse, as well as more that I can’t remember at this moment. There’s still a huge amount to do, but not as much as before, which is what we try to keep in mind. This Christmas we have loads more room than last Christmas, because the living room was the room we lived in, the dining table was in there and the coat rack and we did everything apart from cook and sleep in there.
It has most definitely been an adventure, a brilliant, beautiful, horrible, heart wrenching, amazing, lonely, different, faith instilling journey, which is still going on and will still go on, wherever we are.
If I have learnt one thing over the past two years it is to trust God always and always go to Him. I have had some help with this from a very good friend back home. It doesn’t matter what is going on, it doesn’t matter what I want to do if it is contrary to what He wants me to do, I need to trust Him, worship Him and obey Him and that’s it. I can tell Him anything, and to tell Him is key, not go telling all and sundry, but go to Him. He is trustworthy, He is worthy, His ways are the best ways. He loves us and there is more to life than what we see or know. I/we have veered all over the place since coming here, always coming back to him and each other, I even ran off with the kids and found myself on a ferry crossing the Irish sea at one point. (I was quite ill at the time and I did need some time to recover). We were ill a lot when we first came here, I don’t know why, but we were really poorly at times. Then after the first September it seemed to stop.
So, here are some up to date photo’s. I’ll leave it at that. There is so much that I could say and describe but it would be an absolutely massive blog, so I won’t :D.
As I’ve said, there’s still a lot to do, but there is so much more space to live in now! and is much more pleasant. The garden also looks a little ropey because of the time of year, but believe me, it is so different to two years ago. Looking through the pictures it’s easier to see for me, rather than just thinking about it!
It has been quite the adventure!
Love to all.