Slowly but surely we’re getting there!

Here’s a lovely photo of the house the other morning. It was the most beautiful morning, with the sunshine breaking through the haze! It turned into the loveliest day! I spent a good deal of it painting skirting boards, listening to the birds singing outside against the flow of the river..

In other great news, the tiling is all done, the plumbing is almost done, though I believe the tiles are so hard they’re breaking all of Florence’s drill bits.

The Electrics are all done, we have lots of light and electricity now and the Kitchen is almost finished. Photo’s will come soon when I get a chance to take and uploads them.

Today I took an ’emergency’ trip up to Dublin to pick up parts of the kitchen we were missing and a tool needed to drill stainless steel, without which the plumbing couldn’t be finished! I’m so glad that’s done now!


Day 255 – Bamboo Flooring

I realise, now that the house is so white, that I need to get my camera cleaned!

The last few days we saw the arrival and part installation of our tiles and bamboo flooring. The tiles came from Italy and are called ‘slate winter’ and ‘slate autumn’.

The bamboo is from China, but delivered through a company in England. Natural Strand Woven bamboo is one of the hardest materials you can use for flooring and compared to hard woods, is a great deal cheaper, mainly because bamboo grows so quickly! It is incredibly dense and so works wonderfully well with underfloor heating and has a beautifully warm finish. When we first heard about bamboo flooring we were intrigued by its hardness and liked the fast that it is sustainable product. When I ordered some samples we gave them to Josh, who was about 18 months old at the time. In typical Josh style, he started banging the living daylights out of them, and only one sample withstood his battering without as much as a dent or scratch, the natural strand woven sample. When I brought it to the site, I showed Florence the sample and proceeded to smash it with a large rock. Barely a mark!! That was the floor for us!

Here are a few pictures showing the tiles going in, the bamboo floor, some of the new window sills and the stairs. There is also a photo of the stairs going up to the attic. You’ll also notice in the background that most of the second fix electrics are also done!

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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Flooring, Internal Finishes


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Day 242 Sunglasses required! Shedding dust!

The painting is pretty much all done! Larry has done a beautiful job! He even cleaned our most inaccessible window while he was painting around it!

As I walked in the back door, Florence, looking for something, looked as though he needed a pair of sunglasses more than anything else. I found the slight squint in his eye a little amusing! The paint is such a dazzling white its takes a second to adjust to the brightness!! Truly lovely! The whole house is the same colour and I love it! The blank page excites me, and its the same with a perfectly smooth, white room! A canvas onto which you can paint any picture. The imagination runs wild when faced with a clean white surface!

I was delighted to see that one of Florence’s previous houses has been featured in another architectural / selfbuild magazine. Though I didn’t get a chance to read the article, the pictures did the house justice!

Today was light on light on light. We also got the news that we have received planning permission on our temporary entrance!  I’m so glad we didn’t have to take the original route. It was more expensive, more difficult.

Our bathroom and utility room tiles arrived today, and the carpet is ready to be fitted. I also finally ordered the Chinese bamboo flooring, which will hopefully arrive early next week (from England!!).

It was also a gloriously sunny day today and the daffodils are out in full bloom. I brought the first boxes to my parents home (so moving house seems a lot less daunting). Rob’s driving instructor was happy with his progress and I got a lovely gift of earrings.. I have yet to pierce my ears, but I’ve been wanting to for weeks, so now I have something to wear when I do!

All in all its been a lovely day! Tomorrow is our fasting month, so like the clean, white, house, I hope this next month will see a little soul spring cleaning. I need to polish my mirror and shed a little dust (a lot of dust).



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9 days and counting!

My sense of dread and anticipation are about equal at the moment. Maybe a little more dread right at this moment!

I called our landlord today and gave notice that we are moving out. I should have given a month, but finally only got around to it today, a mere 9 days before we are due to vacate our home. We’ve lived here now for just shy of 7 years, all of our married life, the only home we have raised our child in… the place I’ve wanted to leave, for about as long as we’ve lived here!

We always had plans to move on and now, in 9 days time, that moment will come. (just to be clear though, we’re not moving in to the new house yet, but just into my parents home down the lane as we can no longer afford rent + mortgage!).

For the last two years I have put off any spring cleaning, getting rid of unwanted stuff, saying to myself ‘I’ll do that when we move’ !!!!! I had great plans of organising all our stuff into neat boxes, with labels on them, saying which room they should be moved into. I had images of cleaning the house, so the landlord wouldn’t decide to keep our deposit. I had visions of us waving goodbye to the old house with a little tear of sadness as we drove off with all our belongings in a large white van, with Joshua sitting on my knee.

The reality is somewhat different. I started to pack today, in my panic, after I had spoken to the landlord, after realising that the day we are due to vacate, I’m working from 10am till 6pm. Realising that the day before we are due to move, Rob has a driving lesson and his driving test (which if he passes will mean a new job, local to the new house). The first box I packed consisted of a foot high pile to ‘to do’s’. Work that I have been putting off for the last two years. There isn’t a chance in hell I’m going to get to sort through them… indeed the way things are going, that box will be put into the attic and I’ll discover it in my 50’s when I finally decide to clean it out.

My new vision is that I’ll be throwing anything and everything into any box I can find. Clothes will be flung, plates will be broken, there won’t be a strip of bubble wrap in sight and all my piles of junk will find their new home inside closed, dark boxes, where they will stay for at least 6 to 12 months.

To be sure, I’ll get it done. To be sure, it’ll all be grand. In 11 maybe 12 days it’ll all be forgotten about… and Rob, Josh and I will get on with living our lives with my parents!!! Hahahahahaaaaaaa……

Did I mention my feelings about that!!

When all else fails.. I just have to remember one thing! NEVER GIVE UP! 

I also have to remember that no matter how stressed I feel or how panicked I get, my worries are miniscule compared to the worries of some. Today is Rare Disease Day and as a mommy, I realise there is nothing more difficult in life than having a sick child. Nothing more precious than seeing them smile and grow. 

"from small beginnings come great things"

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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in From the Heart


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Day 239 – Painting!

At last the painting has started!

I went to the house today to chat with Florence about the stairs and to my surprise the first coat of paint had already been applied to all the rooms upstairs. This is one of the benefits of spray painting, it’s so fast. It also leaves and nice even finish. The painter sanded all the walls first to ensure the finish was nice and smooth. It looked like a winter wonderland!

Most of it was already dry! The whole job will most likely be done by the end of the week.

I also had to call David, our heating installer, to figure out how to turn down the heating. The last two mornings the house was 27 and 25 degree’s and the builders are finding it way too hot. It’s been on a floor drying programme since it was turned on about two weeks ago, but now that the floor is dry we just don’t need it on 24/7. Hopefully now the temperature will settle to about 18 or 19 degrees. I’m told once the thermostats go in, the heat pump will pretty much regulate the temperature on its own, but we’re going to have to learn how to use the system. If its not set correctly, it will eat electricity, and that defeats the purpose of geothermal.

Here are a few pictures of the painting so far!

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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Internal walls


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Day 236 – Stairs

Last Wednesday our floor screed man came and did a moisture test to make sure the place was try enough to continue with work on the internals. We were keen to start painting so that the 2nd fix electrics could be done and then the flooring and the rest of the plumping. Thankfully we got the all clear and immediately Florence and Aiden got to work on the new stairs. They built a much stronger stairs than the original working stairs and started work on the wall that will run up the side.

This was the original stairs when it was first installed. Click HERE to see that post!

It’s lovely to have a stairs in the house again and the new one is nice and strong! The new steps will be put on closer to the end, so they don’t get damaged.

Here are a few pictures of the work done so far on the new stairs!

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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Stairs


Day 231 – Dealing with Delays!

It’s been a long month! We’ve been waiting for the ESB to connect us to the grid, but finally it’s done. We have power, we have heat and while we were waiting, the builders built an entrance, so no more ramp! Though the entrance isn’t finished yet, it’s looking good so far!

Here are a few catch up photos taken over the last few weeks! It has been wonderful walking into a warm house, even though there’s nothing in it yet! Once the floor is dry and we get the go ahead, the painting will begin and then floors, tiles, plumping and electrics (2nd fix). It’s going to get very busy, very soon!

We’ll start moving stuff into my parents home down the lane in just 3 weeks! Hopefully we’ll be in the house a couple of weeks after that!

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