Ireland: Making A New Life in a new country during a Pandemic part I

I have said many times before that when I started this blog it was to encourage, or help those who wanted to change their lives by reading about our story and thinking ‘I can make change, they did!’ But it’s not easy.

I suppose the best place to start is how we have had to learn to let go of so many things including the houses we have renovated and loved, our jobs, of our knowledge of where we are, of the all the visual triggers for our memories. I know in the last few weeks at Montaigu I had strong memories of the fabulous summer of 2018, of three Welshies running round our garden, of Oscar joining in the fun.

I remember laying on a lilo in the pool on a baking hot summers day and looking up at the endless blue sky and thinking ‘I am laying in a pool in my garden’; the memories of friends who have visited, and looking out across at that fabulous view.

Sweet memories.

Then there is the logistics of just making the move, like we have, twice!! It is very stressful when you have two cats and two Welsh Terriers in tow.

But, it can be done, nothing is insurmountable only sometimes illness and always death. I learned that a long time ago when my mum was told that she was dying of cancer.

Once arriving in your new country there are all the things you have do when you move to a new country, add the pandemic and lockdown into the mix and it isn’t easy at times, this is my experience so far….

I have explained in a previous post that because of Brexit if you are resident in Eire (Ireland) you can no longer drive here on a UK driving licence, it has to be exchanged. But there is more to this, in that despite both of us getting our eyesight reports finally signed off you cannot get the licence without a PPS number. So that was my next point of call…

I applied for our PPS numbers, but to do that I had to register us both on This I duly did but to get a PPS number I needed proof of address which is difficult because we are renting an airbnb! So I changed our address on one of our bank accounts to this address but then I had to wait two weeks until a statement was available to download. That done I applied for both of us remotely because due to Covid the normal face to face interviews are not taking place unless in exceptional circumstances.

This in itself was a time consuming task because of numerous problems with the documents going wrong in their system when trying to send electronically, but eventually a lovely lady used her initiative and called us, then emailed us and bypassed the obviously useless system! Three days later letters arrived with our PPS numbers. ‘Fabulous!’ I thought. ‘I can apply for our driving licences now.’ But noooooo…..

To apply for a driving licence you have to enhance your account, and to do that you have to have a PPS card, and the only way to get a PPS card is to have a face to face interview!

So I am back to square one, and now our signed reports are out of date, as you only have twenty-eight days and we will probably have to pay again!

Today I am contacting the office near to the house we are hoping to buy to try and arrange interviews! It’s all part of the process, and there is more to come, but it’s all part of the adventure, thank God I was a civil servant in a previous life!




  1. Haha! I know it is frustrating, but you do see the bizarre humor in it. You will push through. As you say, there is no stopping a determined former civil servant. We know there is always a way!

    Liked by 1 person

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