Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mother's Day at the Dublin Flea Market

Today, for Mother's Day, I insisted we all go to The Dublin Flea Market in Newmarket Square.



I really like this maket, because its small and accessible (well at least compared to The Rose Bowl or even Pasadena City College Flea Market) and has a lot of fun stalls to browse. Its easy to pop down for an hour and see the whole thing. There are a few stands with mid century furniture, but mostly bric a brac and clothing. 


There are coffee and food stands and the Dublin Food Co-op is housed in the same building. The co-op is a pretty amazing source of organic and Fair Trade food and household items. I am blown away by the selection and prices here. SO not missing Whole Foods! Anyway, this was how I wanted to spend Mother's Day. I am in search of the perfect chair for my living room and didn't find it today, but I still had a nice time.



After the market we visited my lovely Donnybrook Fair and The Natural Bakery to get a lazy dinner that I don't have to cook.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Love/Hate Tuesday- Daffodils and Parked Cars

Except for the clothes that I wear, I am not really a "shades of grey" type person. I usually really like something or really dislike it. Being back in Ireland, I am starting to notice there are definitely things I love and things that I do not.

LOVE:

One thing I am loving right now: Daffodils! We have seasons here and right now Spring seems to have sprung, so there are daffodils EVERYWHERE. Not just in the person-who-likes-to-garden's fancy, covetable yard. No, they are really and truly everywhere. I love walking down any street or through the local square and being inundated with daffodils.



HATE:

What do I hate??? I really and truly hate that cars can be parked facing any direction. They do not have to face the direction traffic is moving in. It is so stressful. I am getting used to driving over here and I realize now that I use parked cars as a guage as to which side of the street I should be on and they are not conveying this information. When I turn onto a street and see cars on the side I turn onto facing me, I immediately panic. It totally throws me off. So, that is my peeve for this week.


Good thing there are so many daffodils!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Fridges

So, yes our new house is quite small, but not everyone has a small house here. There are some very grand, large houses in our neighborhood and houses out in the subburbs are also generally a lot larger than ours. But, even in those larger houses people seem to have very small fridges. Here is a photo of the fridge that came with our house:




I had a fridge that size in Los Angeles too, but it was only for wine! There is no freezer in this little fridge (or wine unfortunately), so you have to get a seperate freezer, which is usually the same size and shape as the fridge. I was a little worried about this little fridge situation at first (and DH was VERY concerned.) We looked at fridges in the stores (places like Harvey Norman ) and most fridges and freezers were just like ours. That's the norm. They did have a combo freezer/fridge, but it didn't really get you more space it just looked like this little fridge was sitting on top of an identical freezer. Granted it is possible to buy a big fridge/freezer though,  look they even call it an American fridge! We opted to put our little fridge on top of a freezer and put a dryer where the fridge was:


The good thing is they have a lot of shelves and I seem to be managing just fine with the little fridge:


What has really helped is that I now stick things (like sparkling water, beer and wine) outside the back door instead of in the fridge. Its cold out there! 


We are hoping to put in a small bike shed soon and I guess that can double as our drinks fridge. That's WAY bigger than my L.A. wine fridge, so I think the priorities are now in order.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Our shipping container arrived

On Monday afternoon, the crate that we shipped from Los Angeles was delivered to our home in Dublin. We had originally thought we would ship a big steel cargo container, or maybe just a half container. We soon realized however, that even a half container would not fit on our narrow, windy, steep, hillside, Los Angeles street.

So we started researching smaller options and decided on the Uhaul Ubox. Some companies that we called would not allow self-packing of our belongings into the container. They claimed that since 9-11, self-packing is not allowed. The fact is, that is totally untrue. Uhaul didn't have this restriction. Unfortunatley, the cost of shipping one 5'x8'x8' Ubox to the port in Dublin was going to be $2500. Custom's clearance and delivery to our home would be extra. Shipping a full 20 foot container would have been under $5000 and it would have held 4 times the volume of our Ubox. (Glad we didn't actually ship four times what we did though.)

We delivered our fully packed Ubox to Uhaul the day before our departure. Approximately 6 weeks later, we were informed that the box was about to arrive in Dublin. Our quote from Uhaul was an additional $2700 to handle the customs clearance and delivery to our home in Dublin. We decided to call around some local companies to see how much they would charge for this service. We got a variety of quotes and found some very helpful companies. The lowest quotes (and most helpful people) were at seaair.ie and Shipco . We ended up going with Shipco, because they were already listed on the Bill of Lading as receiving the box. The cost? 650 euros (~$900)! Saved us a huge amount over the Uhaul quote.

It took a little over a week from when the box arrived in Dublin for it to clear customs and be delivered. It all went off without a hitch and we were glad we went with Shipco. They were great. Our street is also narrow over here, so the driver parked his big truck out on the main road and drove the box up our street on his forklift. It just barely fit into our driveway and there it was left for us to deal with.

Looking out our front window- the container blocks the whole house.
We have been living in our new home for two months now. It came furnished, including pots and pans, dishes and cutlery. Though none of it is "my style", it has been really pleasant living in a minimally furnished house. Having to bring all those boxes and things into our small, but sparse and tidy house, was so painful. On the other end it had seemed like we were bringing so little, but here is seems like so much. We now have the long and arduous process of unpacking and finding a place for all of these random things. I kind of wish the container had fallen off the ship and was now on the bottom of the sea.

(One issue is that our house is not only small, but like every other house that I've been in here, it is heated by radiators. They take up a huge amount of wallspace in every room. So, once you put in a couch or a bed, then factor in the doorways and radiators, there is no more room for any other furniture- things like bookshelves or drawers that might contain "stuff.")

BEFORE:  a nice empty space (*note the radiator though!)


Though I hated the full attic in our last house, and just wanted it all gone, I am so thankful that this house has an attic and DH is handy. The plan is to saw the Ubox into pieces and lay those pieces down in the attic, so that there is a floor. Once that is done, we can put a lot of the contents of those boxes up into the attic, hopefully more organized and accessible this time around. Til then, I am squeezing through towers of boxes and the kids are scattering things that don't yet have a place. Even with the potential of an attic, I feel like we are back to drowning in stuff! Grrrr.

AFTER: Grrrr.