We moved. But most of you know that by now.

Moving seems different here than it does in the States. For starters, rented dwellings come furnished: plates, beds, curtains, chairs, cleaning supplies. All these are scattered about rental properties and most of them are of low quality. Since He leased his own house to a young couple, all his furniture was left behind (including the leather sofa he nearly wept over). I was less than impressed with the furnishings we were seeing, until the Pink House outside of Bandon.

I really loved that house. It was only 7 kilometers outside of town, had a lovely big kitchen with Belfast sink, solid wood dresser in the kitchen, claw foot tub, big oak sleigh bed in the master, nice wood floors, open fireplace, exposed rock work…but alas, there was NO broadband. We rang every company offering service in the area, the estate agent (they aren’t realtors over here) rang around too, but no joy (that means, no luck). I was crushed. I really liked the look of Bandon and the only other house we saw that felt good was smack dab in town, which I wasn’t too keen on (after spending all these months in purgatory I couldn’t bear the thought of more car noises).

We weren’t sure what to do. Should we stay in temporary accommodation longer and hope something came on the market? Should we look in other parts of the county? Should we just take a short term lease somewhere we didn’t really like? That’s when he spotted it.

He was browsing, like he does, and happened to find something near Midleton. Where the heck is Midleton?? He had to practically drag me to look at it. I was pouty about it not being in Bandon and almost didn’t go. We visited Midleton first, to get a feel for the place, and again, I was bound and determined to find fault. It’s too modern, there is a big shopping center, there isn’t any public art, there is only one street in the old town centre (you can see what my attitude was like).

He patiently put up with me and we drove out to find the house. “Turn right between the pub and the school. Keep going. Up the hill you will see my car. It’s black.”, were the directions. Down the road, past the pub, up the hill, kept going…. kept going…passed a graveyard…kept going. WHERE IS THE BLACK CAR? Turn around, back down, knock at the first house with a black car (it was attached to the pub). “sorry, no, this isn’t Aoife. OH, THAT house! It’s up the hill, keep going, and on the left….AFTER the cemetery.”

We did. And…OH, MY! It was gorgeous!! I had been instructed to keep a poker face and not let on if I decided I liked it (he wanted to negotiate on rent). OH, MY! 300 year old farm house. Four gardens. Old wood floors. Belfast sink. Lovely furnishings. Big wood table. Wine rack. Stand alone tub that looks out onto the setting sun! Wood stove. One raised garden that gets FULL SUN! A For Real Registered on the OS Map STANDING STONE! Outbuildings. An iron age ring fort in the back pasture!! (that’s a Fairy circle, it is) I was in LOVE! …. and had to keep a poker face.

“Well. Think about it lads and give me a ring later”, she said.

I was beside myself. I wanted this house. The views from the house were stunning. The laneway peaceful and quiet and litter free (remind me to tell you about the litter issue sometime). And a train station, with regular service into Cork and Dublin was just down the road in Midleton!!

Now, I meant to start this post by sharing how our actual move went. Because we were only (ONLY) taking my clothes, his clothes, bits and bobs, my antique dressing table, the exercise bike, artwork, TV, stereo, and other non-furniture household items, we figured it would easily fit into a mid sized commercial van, which he could drive down to Cork while I followed in the car. HA! We completely filled the van with just the non-furniture, furniture! So, we rented a small self-storage unit in Dublin for a week. Then we came back to the house to load up the van with the other non-furniture stuff, clean the place, hand over the keys to his tenants by NOON, and then drive to Cork where we rented a second self-storage unit. Are we crazy yet?

All of this …. and we didn’t even have a house in Cork! (we did have temporary accommodation in the city, which consisted of a rented room in a house full of Italians! that’s another story) We were flying by the seat of our pants, and it was FUN!

Now, we are moved in….to the 300 year-old farmhouse and I have to pinch myself that it’s real. I went for a run this morning…my first in our new house… and as I eased into my rhythm under the warm summer sun, I thought, “I’m out for a morning jog on a tiny laneway in rural Ireland, and I LIVE HERE!” That’s when I looked over the low hedge to my right.

This is what I saw.