This was the first view I saw after arriving in Ireland that absolutely blew me away. It was taken on New Years Day last year (2021) on our first walk with the dogs down to the beaches near the little cottage we rented by the Wild Atlantic Way. I stood on the beach and looked up at the snow capped mountain Errigal and I fell in love with Donegal.
I remember we were totally exhausted from the journey and the move, it was quite manic by the time we came to leave Montaigu, and whilst I would always encourage people to step outside of their comfort zone, I will not lie, leaving a place you have made home is incredibly emotional. Add Christmas into the mix and it seems to become even more poignant. So this time last year we gave ourselves some ’time off’ before the tasks of registering for social security numbers, opening bank accounts, sim cards for phones, finding out about how to dispose of our rubbish, and on and on and on started. I can remember phoning the local rubbish company, I had the man on loud speaker, after the call ended RD looked at me and said ’Not a word! I thought you told me I would understand the language! He might as well have been speaking French!’ Now RD understands the Irish better than me, and sounds more Irish than me, even though I’m Irish!
Ireland had gone into Lockdown, so we spent idyllic weeks walking by the local beach, in the biting winds, spending time with the puppies, amazed by the fabulous views and colours that are Ireland.
Not least of all the things we had to do was looking for a new home, and working out the complexity of house buying in Ireland: They advertise a house for a price but in fact know it is going to auction and will in fact cost four times that amount! Add to that they want you to give them €4,000 just to join the auction, which you will “get back” once you have purchased and it didn’t take much to feel like you were being conned. We opted out of that one!
Time flew and by April we had bank accounts, my eyesight had been saved and RD had nearly drowned! I can honestly say we learned to respect the sea after that experience! We were in the process of buying our house, and because it had been delayed so long, and our lovely little rental needed us out, we moved into our house before we actually owned it. It had been a cold spring, and I will never forget driving through the Derryveagh Mountain Range in the snow. Puppies in the back of our dear old van, Kittens meowing in their cage…
And we were home. We made it a home, the kittens were happy, the puppies love it, and we were warm, fully warm, for the first time in six years. Trust me when I say old stone French houses look beautiful, but boy are they cold! Our new house has central heating, and is so small we often use only the fire and the heat of the oven when cooking dinner to keep us warm. We learned our lessons well in France.
I got a part time job, and we managed. We finally had funds to visit places, from beautiful, mystical churches, to Glens, where there were tales of giant’s. There was some toxicity sent our way from people back in France, but despite this we were happy, and loving our new life.
But I understand that in life there has to be balance, where there is good there is bad, where there is happiness there is sadness. But when the negative things come they are not easy. In July Wiglet, who was only seven at the time was diagnosed with a terminal tumor. It came out of the blue, she was running around Tuesday and not expected to make it by Friday. Our life, as it so often is for us all, was turned upside down, the life we had was gone, we had a new life now.
We had just started to read and understand about energy, we thought we believed, but I asked for a miracle, and we got one. Wiglet is still here today, our days are limited, but we have been shown that Love is a powerful thing. So we followed her lead, she lives ‘Life’ every day, every single day, and we now have a ’Living list’. We have visited the lands of giant’s and walked in their causeway. We have seen ’Amazing Grace Country’. We have been for walks on blustery days by the Wild Atlantic Way. We have been, and are blessed. No matter what.
The dynamics changed, we couldn’t leave her alone all day, RD became her main carer, along with our beloved Harley, who is showing his age now. I stupidly ’went back’, to my old job, travelling to the UK, missing precious time, killing myself, but telling myself it was the right thing to do. ’Life’ sent me many messages, my leg played me up, on my first flight home the plane hit severe turbulence, to such a degree we landed 25 minutes early, I couldn’t get into the systems, it was costing me a fortune, but did I listen? No! So life took it away from me, I was told that it wasn’t possible to access the systems and work remotely so the contract was terminated. Despite that I knew I was where I was meant to be, in my home with the things I love. We had a mellow Christmas.
And that is where we find ourselves now, but I know that ‘Life’has a plan. It always does. This adventure, with all it joy and pain has been fabulous, and I know that whilst we cannot say ’Happy’ New Year, because there is pain to come for us, we can say make it a mellow one.
Rosie and RD.