Randomly from the Sky

This is a bit late now but it’s time to catch up, so let’s catch up. 

In my last, long time ago post of November 2020, I briefly mentioned some of the craziness that had been going on in my life during lockdown

Fast forward to today and here I am living in Ireland!!! I don’t even know where to begin, why did we do this and why Ireland? So many people ask me this. 

So….no, this move was not for the same reason as of most young families – they move because of their small children (schools and education etcetera etcetera) our children are grown up and young independent adults and they are still back home. It was obviously not about small children but it was to be close to our children. You see, they had been saying for some time that they wanted to travel more and wanted to experience living and working in Europe, they still say that and will do it when the time is right for them. 

We knew that, one day, the day would come and we would want to move to be as close to them as possible. We shocked ourselves and the boys for sure, when they realised shucks these two old farts are doing this move before us. They are leaving us before we leave them, it’s not the other way around!! 

We had been thinking of selling our house and downsizing for some time, started talking about having a smaller place. Or buying somewhere where we could retire….on our holidays the visits to small dorps were always the most appealing to me. That’s where I wanted to settle one day, where ever peace & quiet lived, and preferably near the ocean. 

Many conversations later and I don’t even know how we got to this stage the idea of leaving South Africa appeared. And so we decided to come to Europe to be close to family, 90% of them living this side of the world and the other 10% in South Africa and Australia. 

So why Ireland? 

Well why not?

It is in Europe (hahaha) it’s English speaking and it has sheep. It has mountains, cliffs, beaches, castles, great accents and some confusing not so great ones. Potatoes, and lots of sheep. Damn, everywhere you look there is a green field with sheep on it. Literally. And of course the fantastic weather (she says with some sarcasm).

We visited Ireland in March 2020, got back home and painted our house. We put it up on the market and it sold so quickly. We sold furniture and we started packing, bubble and cling wrap everywhere and 103 boxes later our belongings were packed and shipped. There was no turning back. We were emigrating. I get hives just saying this. 

Husband left for Ireland in September and suddenly I was left alone in an empty house. My younger boy, our dog and the echo of an empty house, our last few nights alone. 

It was the most insanely stressful time of my life and I don’t know how I survived this period in my life. But survive I did!!

Anyhoo we made it here and now that we are here the kids can say they have a place to stay in Europe, as soon as bloody covid lets us travel.

I remember once reading that moving house or building/construction of your house was up there as one of the most stressful life events. I did a quick google search and actually can’t find anything that says that, it seems the list of most stressful life events has changed a lot in the last few years. Which makes sense. 

But in my search I found this image, which I think is very funny unless it’s not funny!  

 

Ireland is a pop-up picture book

We arrived in Ireland on the 11th of March. It was windy and raining, walking out of the airport in my new K-Way jacket I thought, I got this, it’s not so bad. What are people going on about this place being cold?

It was OK for the rest of that day, we got our car and took a long drive to the Airbnb in Malahide (little city just north of Dublin). We walked into a very warm house and room and it was dinner time. Time to hit a pub!

Just two minutes away from our accommodation, dinner for me was; soup and beer bread and hubby chose a vegetarian curry. We shared both. After a bit of chatting I escaped and walked down the road for my first shopping exhibition.                                I chose Tesco, it was also all we had right there at our doorstep, so I bought some things for breakfast and went back to the pub …. Conversation continued, but being visibly tired we called it a night and went ‘home’ to sleep.

Morning! We were greeted by a beautiful sunshiny day. Breakfast in bed alla me, courtesy of my Tesco shopping and we were finally ready to explore Ireland.

The first stop was the beach, and I just want to laugh at the thought of the wind, it was blowing so strong that holding the cell phone for a pic was a real blast!!!                    Next visit was the Malahide Castle and Gardens, and by now the weather had changed on us like four times. No lies!

We both bought a what I call Irish jackets, something proper for the rain and wind, and that was the last day I wore the K-Way.

From here on I don’t need to mention the cold anymore, protected and dressed for an Irish adventure I adapted by zipping up and putting on the hoodie or removing it just as quickly.

Ireland is beautiful. The road users are well mannered. People are friendly. There are lots of South Africans and Brazilians living there. Vegetarian and vegan options are available almost everywhere you go. People walking everywhere all the time! Anytime of the day, they walk, and you can see they love it. They eat potatoes with everything, which probably explains why they are happy and mostly friendly.

The accent is sexy and even I know how to say yeah, yeah. And that park and garden is actually pronounced with a smile and more open mouth so that the R sound is well … there but not there.

Parks, castles, gardens, green grass everywhere you look, it rains everyday so it’s not a surprise that everything is so green. I loved it all.

The impact of the virus was visible everywhere. Overnight stores had placed hand sanitiser at entrances for customers and there were lines at till queues indicating distancing. It’s as if they were all on the same WhatsApp group, it all changed instantly.

Places were starting to close up, either behind us or ahead of us. Schools closed and a day later all public and touristic places started closing too. It was almost time to go back to Portugal, we left on the 19th of March. I still looked at the e-ticket on my phone that we had booked for Bergamo, Italy and cried a little.

It was time to leave and we were getting nervous about places shutting down around us and our airline cancelling our flight back home. I was sad to be leaving like this, as if we were not saying goodbye properly, we didn’t do and see everything we had planned to. Still I loved my time there.

Ireland was like walking into a pop-up picture history book and that is the best way to describe it. ♥

Corona update on this day – Italy now had 41,035 confirmed cases, Ireland 557. Portugal would be in state of emergency and everything would be closed.