BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Saturday, January 09, 2010


Emillie and Nikolai walking towards Main Street, Maynooth

This first blog will be brief as we're at Brad's office, and Nikolai's napping in the stroller. However my plan is to post once a week so a good description of Ireland should emerge at somepoint.

The flight was good. We got a third seat, so Nikolai slept well on a pillow. He was super crabby when we arrived in Dublin though. And we were a bit of a mess ourselves. The airline had lost our carseat, and crushed all our boxes. But most everything arrived!

Our house is strange, and I'll draw a map once we've bought our computer. We're
boardered by an old wall to the Carton estate. I think the complex had to be built around the wall, and our house was slotted into the vacant space. So many of our windows face out onto a wall about 2 feet away. To bring in light, they built courtyards into the house. So we have a total of 3 "yards". The house is kind of shoddily built, so there are some problems. I guess it's an issue of needing houses for the celtic tiger, coupled with longstanding Irish poverty.

Unfortunately, the weather has been remarkably "bad" since we've arrived. In fact, I think that the government has declared a state of emergency. This may seem funny to us Canadians, as it's only gotten as cold as -10 C and snowed no more than a few inches (a little nearly every day) but it usually melts in the afternoon. I think the issue is that there has been not a flake of snow in Ireland since the '80s and this is the worst weather they've had since the 60's. As such there are NO snowplows, NO snow tires (or even all season tires), NO salt, NO sand (though some has recently appeared, but I'm not sure they know what to do with it), and no one has a snow shovel. But they are gamefully trying to remove the snow with garden spades. Life is perpetually cold, even for me, since they also don't have insulation and open venting to outside is a construction standard. This means that 4 rooms in our house have constantly open vents to right outside (it's for protection from gas leaks). Brrr! Needless to say this has made our setting up difficult. People seem to take half days, or not show up at all "due to the weather". Unfortunately, we can expect some more of this over the next week!

Today we're going to buy some seed for all the song birds that are looking cold and hungry.


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