The First 6 Months As An Expat

That first couple of months just felt like a long holiday, that we had rented a holiday home in Ireland which felt like the real scenario because we were living out of suitcases when we first moved in while we waited for our furniture and belongings to be shipped over. When the man turned to ne the other week and told me that we’ve now been living in Ireland for six months, I couldn’t believe him. It feels like we’ve been living here for years not months.

Blarney-castle

So much has happened in that time that I don’t even know where to begin, the house started to fall into disrepair rather quickly, we had a roofer repairing a hole in the roof and he fell off, 3 floors onto the patio right in front of me as I was sat at the dining room table was overlooks that area of the garden. I hadn’t quite mastered opening the patio doors by this point, cue me running around to backdoor in the utility room while dialling 999 and administering first aid. I was calm until the ambulances arrived and then I took Dylan who was sat in the living room on the iPad who thankfully didn’t witness it, upstairs so that he wouldn’t know any different. My state of mind had slowly started to change, the shock began to kick in, and this only started to vanish several cups of tea later. We later found out that he didn’t do any serious damage, which was a huge relief.

We then had an epic leak behind the kitchen sink which ruined the kitchen flooring, so that all had to be replaced. And only just last week the lawn mover produced smoke and a horrendous smell when the man started it up, slowly starting to think we’re jinxed in this house. As of this morning, everything is working perfectly fine in our house – touch wood, we”’ ignore the fact we are waiting for parts to be delivered for the broken hinges on the oven.

Charlotte started school for the first time and turned five the other week. Her birthday came out of nowhere, so we put together a last-minute tea party with her school friends, complete with cream cake & candles, pin the horn on the unicorn and lots of dancing to their favourite songs.  That begins the string of birthday’s I now have coming up, with Oli’s 10th & the man’s 30th next month followed up with Dylan’s 7th birthday in May. Oli did contemplate having several friends over for a sleepover; I’m secretly hoping we can discourage this in favour of a wall climbing party or even a trip to the new mini-golf place that has opened up in the city.

5th-birthday-cake

Looking around the house you can tell we’ve been here for months not years, you only have to open the understairs cupboard, and you would think we’ve only just moved in this week with the number of unpacked boxes. We have started renovating the two adjoining rooms to our kitchen, the utility room, and a bathroom. I think it’s taken us the last month to decide on the colour for that one bathroom, which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the house. I was outvoted on the colour by the man and the kids, probably the dog as well if he could talk.

As a family, we’ve settled well, the man in his job, Oli and Charlotte at school, the dog in his new surroundings. We’ve made friends much easier than we thought we would, we have a support network of people around us who we couldn’t be without now. We’ve got lots to look forward to the next 6 months, we had our first getaway last month, it was so nice to head to the airport knowing that we weren’t doing the back & forth trip to England we once did, but instead head to the sunnier destination of Marbella which was well needed after the stresses of work and the fight for Dylan’s school place.

Sadly Dylan is still yet to start school, this is a 500+ blog post topic itself but to cut a long story short, we currently have a school place for him, and we are waiting for transport for him to be sorted. We do love Ireland, yeah the special education needs area is horrendous along with the health care (6 months I have to wait for smear test results) but Ireland has us calling it home now, and we can’t see this changing anytime in the foreseeable future.

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