Monday, January 22, 2007

Citizens of Rural Ireland

The big move went down on as scheduled on Friday. Well, mostly as scheduled. We were delayed in getting to the storage place, arriving at about 1.10, only to learn that the warehouse was closed until 2pm for their lunch break. At that point, we knew wouldn't get down to the new place before dark, so we didn't stress out too much. When the warehouse guys returned, they were super-efficient and had our Transit van loaded in less than 20 minutes.

The rest of the trip was mostly uneventful. Peter's father had given us directions for the most direct route. Down the country, the most direct route isn't always the quickest route as so much depends on the quality of the roads. I think I'd rather go 50 miles out of my way on a fast road than go 10 miles on road that's just a step up from a tractor trail.

Six hours after stopping to collect our stuff from storage, we'd finally arrived at our new home. The landlord said he'd leave a key under the mat by the backdoor. After turning over three mats, I started on the heavier items near the back door and finally uncovered the key under a big brick.

The house was much bigger and better than either of us had remembered. Since it was the last house we saw at the end of a long day and an even longer search, there had been an element of "sure, it'll do for a year's rental" to our decision. Seeing the house with fresh eyes, we were able to see that it would more than do – it would make a quite cosy and comfortable home.

Since it was dark and we were tired, we decided to leave the unloading of the van until Saturday. After cooking up a quick meal of burgers, chips and onion rings, we settled down in front of the television to peruse our entertainment choices, which happen to be limited to RTE 1, RTE 2, and TG4. Through no fault of our own, we found ourselves watching the Late, Late. We lasted a whole minute and a half. The topics for the evening were what can be done to fight MRSA, why Irish women are leaving it too late to have kids, and music from Shane Ward. Why RTE thinks Pat Kenny, drug-resistant bacteria, and barren women are scintillating Friday night entertainment is beyond me.

Given the choices, an early bedtime seemed the best of all possible options. I was up before 6 am the next day to participate in my favourite morning activity – a little something I like to call 'elfing'. While Peter sleeps, I run around like the elves in the fairy tales and get loads of things done.

On my morning's elf agenda was unloading the van and moving some of the beds from the downstairs bedrooms to the upstairs bedrooms. The van was a snap – I got everything except the mattress and the box springs out. I probably could have managed them myself, but I decided to be extra-special careful.

Moving the beds was a bit more complicated than I anticipated as it required a screwdriver. I was relatively certain there was a screwdriver in one of our boxes, but I knew it would be a fool's errand to try to find it. I decided the easier option was to walk into the village and buy one. If I'd forgotten we'd become citizens of rural Ireland, which is an entirely different world from Dublin, I was well-reminded during my screwdriver expedition.

I couldn't see a screwdriver in the shop so I asked the man at the counter. He thought about it for a second and then said "No, we wouldn't have a screwdriver to sell. I could give you the lend of one though." I explained to him that I'd walked into the village and it would be several hours before I'd be able to return the screwdriver. "Not a bother. Just drop it back when you're finished so," was the cheerful reply as the man rummaged through a toolbox.

When I got back to the house, I was thrilled that Peter was still sleeping since I wanted to complete my elfing before he woke up. With the help of the handy screwdriver, I got the bed apart no problem but then got part of it stuck on the stairs. Discretion being the better part of valour, I decided to wait for Peter's assistance. By the early afternoon, we had the beds moved, the screwdriver returned and were off to the next big town to do some shopping. All in all, it was a very productive day.

Now, a few days on, the house is coming together nicely. Our upstairs is sort of like a dormitory – 3 beds in one room and 2 in the other. The kitchen is entirely unpacked and looking well, except for the stacks of boxes and packaging paper that need to be recycled. One room down…six more to go.


At 22 January 2007 at 23:24, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's what I love about the country. That's probably about it unfortunately :-)

At 23 January 2007 at 09:18, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think where moves are concerned, uneventful is exactly what you are looking for :)

At 23 January 2007 at 13:30, Blogger Shane said...

Wow. I'm amazed by the kindness and trust of the citizens of rural Ireland. When Patrick and I were wandering around Ireland it seemed like we could gage how far out in the country we were by the level of nice-ee-ness of strangers. Or perhaps I am just sensitive to nicities -- as I live in a place were I get dirty looks from strangers I say 'hello'.

BTW: I love the idea of elfing. You're short too so it works even better. ;)

At 23 January 2007 at 17:04, Blogger Col said...

Sounds good-- a pleasant start to your new life in the country. Was the stuff in storage all your stuff from Chicago? That you haven't seen in two years? How fun it must be to unpack! Is the house furnished, or at least partially? You didn't already own 5 beds?


At 24 January 2007 at 06:05, Blogger -Ann said...

Steven - Yes, I'm sure that in a few months, the lack of 24-hour shops and convenient multiplexes will get to me, but right now, I'm enjoying this different world.

Fence - Quite right. we had an exciting move to Chicago way back when. Uneventful moves are much better.

Shane - Yes, Icould hardly be a 6' tall elf. That would just be silly.

Colleen - It was our stuff from Chicago and it has been fun to unwrap it. I'd forgotten we'd even had most of the stuff. The only furniture we brought over was our bed (because it was the best bed in the world). The house is completely furnished - from appliances (inc. dishwasher, microwave, washer and dryer, TV) to furniture in all of the rooms.


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