You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘expat life’ tag.


You know those quaint stone cottages we all fall in love with, the ones that dot the Irish countryside (or used to), fueling our vision of romantic country living?  Well, I live in one of those.  It’s been sensitively modernized, but the interior retains the rough stone walls, now sealed with a coat of white…something.  I’m not sure what the ‘white something’ is: it could be whitewash (maybe), it could be paint, it could be a substance I have no inkling of.

The sitting room has a wood stove.  Wood stoves are a god send during the winter – or any time of year here in Ireland!  Once those stones heat up, they radiate out delightful warmth for many hours.  There is a down side though.  If you know anything about wood stoves, you know they occasionally belch smoke.  Smoke and the ‘white something’ do no play well together. In fact, if they spend significant amounts of time together, the stone walls eventually look like this: photo 4 (3)

Not sure how visible the soot is, but trust me -these stones look pathetic!

Having never lived in a stone house, or in a climate where treating ‘damp’ is a yearly occurrence (more on that later), I had no idea what to do.  Should we paint the walls?  Is there a special cleaner?  Do we pray?  Since I was not prepared to invest the considerable time and effort to paint these nook-and-cranny surfaces, I opted for cleaning.  I got myself a sturdy, deep bristle brush and a sudsy bucket of water; moved all the furniture to the centre of the room; put down several towels under my work area, and then let the elbow grease flow.

After 2 hours, I had this:

can you see the 'clean' line?

can you see the ‘clean’ line?

And after 4 hours, most of the walls looked like this:

photo 2 (6)


It’s practically arctic out! The wind has a chill bite, and snow is still falling in some parts of the country.  Ireland isn’t suppose to look like Canada.  What happened to the Jet Stream?  

Oh!  Climate Change.  

Here comes the next Ice Age.  brrrrrr


For those of you not versed in the universe of Doctor Who — yes, I know you are out there because I was one of you until this Christmas — Whovians are fans of the British television drama Doctor Who.


Today, I stumbled upon a fun article highlighting 3 things from Doctor Who that actually exist out here…in the world outside the Blue Box.  (Yea, this is what I do when its FREEZING out: hide in the only warm room and surf the net.)

The Sonic Screwdriver: Scientists at the University of Dundee in Scotland are trying to make one to use in medical procedures!  How cool is that??

The Weeping Angels: No, they didn’t discover statues that want to feed on your time energy, but there ARE weird elements out there that only move when you’re not watching! The Quantum Zeno effect is all about certain elements, like uranium, that only decay when they aren’t being observed. Totally weird!  What if that’s how the angels start, as a single element, and then…like the Wolf that landed on earth by the monastery, they take 300 years to grow from a single cell!! Good thing Google isn’t building “uranium-based lifeforms” – oh wait, they ARE!!!

The Tardis: Well, for this one…go read the article.  All I will say is that according to a manuscript left behind by the Count of St. Germain:

We moved through space at a speed that can only be compared with nothing but itself. Within a fraction of a second the plains below us were out of sight and the Earth had become a faint nebula.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 457 other followers

Follow me on Facebook



Ireland and Back on Flickr

Twitter Updates

Y’all come back, ya hear!