Response: 7 Reasons Why Enjoy Living in Ireland

7 reasons cover

I’m sick of not knowing what to write about. I feel I have done nothing but write for the last two weeks, but not one of those nasty paper squiggles has turned itself into a blog post. For the land of faeries, the writing faerie sure isn’t pulling its weight. And it’s driving me mental. My holidays are nearly over, I have barely stirred outside for two weeks, and I haven’t achieved a single thing on my project ‘to-do’ list (I’m looking at you, wedding photo album). Hopefully, that makes those readers who think my Instagram feed is heaps inspirational feel better about themselvesūüėÄ

So this evening, despite being in the middle of another project, I decided I’d had enough of this blog sitting around all sans post and went to get some response post inspiration from Anne over at, Nearly Irish. ¬†She really is such a source of joy for me and always has some delightful, expat-themed posts that make me think ‘Yup, that’s me.’

Earlier in the week, Anne posted about her 7 Reasons Why I Enjoy Living in Ireland. As usual, a bit of banter has grown up in the comment section, but I thought to myself, ‘Hey, why not do a response post.’ Wow, that’s two reflexive thoughts already!

Maybe I’m just procrastinating, but here we go – Rachel’s 7 Reasons Why I Enjoy Living in Ireland.

1. Being in Europe
Many antipodean migrants will say that one of the things they love about living in the UK and Ireland is being so close to so many diverse and interesting places. Australia is (still) 3 hours away from New Zealand and we’re so similar to each other (aside from some bizarre slang) that it never really felt like going anywhere to me. It just felt like visiting another town only the folk there talk funny. That said, despite being outrageously close to all these countries, I’ve scarcely visited any. Maybe next year.

2. The Isolation
Oh, the irony! So close to all these places and the thing I think of enjoying is the isolation! I don’t mind spending extended periods of time in my own company. Living in Ireland is pretty poetic for me, tucked up in a lough-side town, writing stuff, painting stuff and pretending I’m a great philosopher.

3. Work
As much as I want to be able to fund myself as a creative someday (unlikely) I have the great joy of working in a place that is amazing with people who are super cool and caring. I could spew paragraphs from my expounding plank about how nice it is to work in an environment where, although mental, your buddies will be there to work through it with you. Fair to say, if I didn’t have this job, we would not be living in the Province.

mount stewart

4. Old Stuff
This is a fairly terrible headline for such an awesome topic, but I love the depth and breadth of Irish history. It kind of tacks on weirdly to point 3 since I work in a place that is quintessentially ‘old stuff’ at its finest. Jesting aside. I remember sitting in a post-grad anthropology lecture and learning about the bog bodies I only got to visit in person by coming to Ireland. Seeing them, in all their mangled glory, really helped me connect that those words and graphics on a slide were someone. And that their life and experience has helped build the modern world. One peat bog at a time. For better or worse.

5. Adventures
I mentioned I hadn’t gotten across to Europe that much, but I do love the adventures I do have in Ireland. That’s not to say I couldn’t have adventures back in New Zealand (a short walk to Mordor, say), but there is inspiration around every corner here. I mean, hello…

dingle ireland

6. Going for pints!
Personally, I don’t drink, but I do like going to the pub for a coke and some chips while Tiernan has a pint. This is a tradition that we took back with us to New Zealand. Tiernan ended up getting a job at our local back in Auckland. Whereas I didn’t really go out for quiet drinks when I lived there myself. Just some pints and a match on the tv, maybe some trad or some local artist playing and every variety of chip one can imagine. In fact… I’m going RIGHT NOW!

7. This Sunset

Ed the Cat’s Baby Album

We’re at the pet stage. We’ve reached that point.

A few months ago I posted about how I found a kitten at work and took it home. That cat is Ed and he is one of a crisis of feral cats in Ireland. But this post is not about that. This post is where I share his limited baby photos from the last four months.

When I brought Ed home in June he was about 6 weeks old. Really too small to leave his mother and siblings but circumstances meant the kittens needed to be removed as quickly as we could catch them. So getting Ed was not like buying a kitten or even getting one that had been fostered. We had a baby feral cat who was too scared to come out from his covers except to eat.

baby ed kitten

To keep him safe and calm, we made him a nest inside of a puppy cage. Ed lived in the corner of the sitting room so he could get used to us coming and going.

It was a couple of weeks before he started sleeping on top of his blankets. Fortunately, at the same time, we moved to our new home. This home was super kitten friendly and entirely devoid of furniture. We started to see more of Ed.

ed chair kitten

Taming Ed was quite difficult. We had a couple of really scratchy, bitey, spitty months and I wasn’t sure if he would ever be a good boy! I had to really grow a pair while he was small to encourage him to be handleable. With treats to hand I spent a small amount of time everyday training him to associate hands with nice things.

This was a really good decision because I was getting sad about how fast he was growing! And that he was unphotographable (due to being hidden under blankets). I wanted to take some photos of Eddie and me for scale. My brother Jack got behind the lens and we managed to keep Ed from wriggling just long enough to get a couple of good ones. Next week will hopefully be the week for the reshoot!

ed kitten and rachel in ireland

ed kitten and rachel in ireland

Inevitably we had to start acquiring furniture. Getting a sofa didn’t help the training process¬†because Ed¬†decided that (after napping on it) he would rip it to shreds. We had some intensive scratching redirection to go through. The sofa now has cat scratcher corners which has solved that problem – even if the corners are already totalled. Thank goodness for cheap IKEA furniture.

ed kitten sofa

He also went through a phase of wanting to be fruit.

ed fruit bowl cat

But the softly, softly approach seems to have worked out. Some time during the Olympics, Ed decided he quite liked being a lap cat!

ed olympics kitten

Nowadays Ed doesn’t claw me at all (although he loves the taste of Tiernan). Everyday when I come home from work he is sitting in the window, watching the world. Then he spends the rest of the evening lounging about behind me on the sofa, watching whatever I am watching on TV – at the moment it’s Gilmore Girls.

ed sofa cat

And the Stockholm Syndrome is complete!

Hope you’ve enjoyed the album –¬†I’ll try to stay in touch!¬†I am going to do a video counterpart next week. I wanted to do it in a now kind of way but I’m sick. I has the cold. And not the sexy, husky kind. The tears, the porridge and the no one is putting a camera within five feet of me kind of cold.

Rachel x

When I share photos of the Edster on Instagram, look for the hastag #EddieandMe I love Instagram. I love looking at other people’s travel photos¬†mostly. They make me so mad and happy at the same time (which Tiernan would say is a normal day for me).

Tiernan’s Two Minute Ireland and Rachel’s Shame!

Hello, everyone!

Tiernan has picked up the slack for me this month! The last few months at work have been really busy. It’s been a great summer and the event schedule has been mad. ¬†The discipline to come home from work and do something other than watch Gilmore Girls has complete escaped me.

Fortunately, Tiernan has been around Ireland with groups and has filmed some short and sweet, but interesting little videos for our YouTube channel – just to tide you over while I recollect my marbles!

My personal fave is today’s video of King John’s Castle in Limerick.

Tiernan has made three little insights into the life of a tour guide in Ireland. Hopefully a good indication of more to come? Huh, Tiernan? Head over to YouTube to check those out. But only if, you know, you want to.

What’s to come?¬†

I am determined not to stop writing stuff and filming stuff altogether.

For October we have:

  • Our Kitten Update¬†to follow on from the June post
  • A new house tour video
  • More from Killarney
  • A trip to Waterford
  • Plenty of things to do in County Down
  • and… maybe… a little brother Jack update if we can work out A. how to film it and B. I ask him to do it.

Apologies and much love. I’m off to eat ice cream out of the tub!

Rachel x