This is what I wrote on August 1, but couldn’t upload the pictures:
Well, we’re here. A temporary apartment in Bandon, Co. Cork, about 25 minutes from Blaik’s work. After a week and a half, I’m beginning to feel a bit settled here, but the apartment makes it hard. It’s very contemporary, lots of chrome and glass, square edges, and everything is red, white & navy blue. Hardwood floors help, and so does the fact that our air shipment came yesterday with a few more kitchen items and some office stuff, like the stapler! We brought the laptop with us on the plane and bought a printer here.
The biggest plus to the apartment is that we overlook the Bandon River, which runs through a stone-wall channel right here. We like to just stand there and watch the water flow past. We have two herons who like to come, and a cormorant who shows up to fish sometimes. And a flock of ducks that live on the reedy area just north of the pedestrian bridge. There’s a weir, a small dam, just upriver and if we lean out we can see it. Across the river are the shops of Bandon, some with apartments up above. The streetlights reflect in the river at night and it’s very peaceful. At least until Friday and Saturday night when the teens and young adults are out in force.
In contrast to the lovely view, however, is the fact that the apartment is very modern. Wood floors, but glass & chrome everywhere—the tables, the electric fireplace surround, the kitchen. Everything is rectangular (we keep cracking our shins on the coffee table and the bed pedestal) or European modern (stone cylinders set on top of the counter for the sink, etc.). It’s definitely not homey, although it helped a little when our two air shipment boxes got here. A few books, more kitchen stuff, and some computer/office stuff. But we’ve been here 4 weeks now and we still don’t have a regular phone, and therefore no internet or satellite. And the cold water tank has a problem and doesn’t fill properly, so we run out of cold water at the end of a shower. Actually, the water just shuts off, and I don’t know if that’s better or worse. We have this tiny little washer/dryer combo that’s next to useless. You can wash 5 kilos of clothes, but can only dry 2 ½. I put two pairs of jeans in and it took 2 hours to wash them, and then 2 hours each to dry! And there are no American-style laundromats here, so I do our undergarments and delicates here and drop the rest at a launderette.
But I go to an internet café to get online a few times a week, and we finally got a bank statement, so we could get cell phones, and it looks like we’re only here another week—our main shipment has arrived and cleared customs very quickly. Now all we’re waiting on is the house to be ready. So we can live with the rest for a while.
Until a week ago, we only had one rental car, and Blaik’s work is half an hour away. So either I dropped him off and picked him up, or Tim and I were stuck in Bandon. So I’ve walked around the town quite a bit, sometimes for exercise and to get out of the apartment, and sometimes to do the almost-daily grocery shopping. There are two lovely Gothic churches as the town rises up the hill across from us. One is St Patrick’s, the local Catholic church, and the other is St Peter’s, the Church of Ireland (from my reading, that’s the Church of England renamed a few centuries ago). We can see St Patrick’s from the living room window. Out our back windows, right across the street from our driveway is Christ Church, the first Protestant church in Ireland, which is a Bandon Heritage Center now. We now have two rental cars because of the distance (company expense), so Tim and I have been visiting places. But you’ll have to read about that in other entries—this one has gone on long enough!