Our House & Home

Trip Start Aug 15, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Ireland  , County Cork,
Monday, October 20, 2008

The day we arrived in Ireland was a time of fulfillment & excitement. We landed in Dublin, & managed to hall 2 bike boxes, 2 big backpacks, a 50lbs camping bag, & 2 carry-on's across the country to County Cork in the far south. We just barely made it to Kinsale's only Hostel by sundown. There we stayed for a few days, scoping out our new neighborhood, and picking up a sense of the Irish culture we had just delved into.

For the following 2 weeks we moved into a shared house accommodation, which was significantly more cost effective than the hostel, and a little more central to downtown Kinsale. There we shared a cramped, wee, cozy, single room. After being away from each other for 6 weeks, there was no lack of resurgence over that time, spending hours reconnecting on long walks around town, & sleeping in our tiny shared single bed..... And I'm not talking Canadian standard single bed, we're talking 'Ye Old Irish' single bed..... Made for the leprechauns.

During those 2 weeks we tracked down just about every housing option available within a 10mile radius. We thought it would be great to live outside the town so that we could live in the country, and be forced to use our bikes everyday, while staying fit through the winter months. But in the end, we decided that for the first year (at least) we would stay in town, close to the action. Our options came down to 2 possibilities, on 2 opposite ends of the living & lifestyle spectrum. One was a modern, fully equipped apartment, with high ceilings, lots of natural lighting, big kitchen, and fancy gadgets all around. The other was a small, stinky, and dungeony cottage, with low light, a fireplace, and a backyard space worth humoring.... This decision was one that would completely shape our year here in Ireland. And for those of you who know either of us well enough, you'll know which option we chose. In one sense, we were looking for the cottage life, with a fireplace to come home to out of the rain. But it was difficult to envision a life in the dark cottage. But intuition & our initial intentions were guiding us, we just needed to focus into what it was really saying.... And that was "The Stone Cottage."

Oddly enough, in Ireland, many of the houses do not have numbers on the front per say... they have names instead for each house, as well as the area of town, which it is in. Our house's name is called "The Stone Cottage." Which is exactly what it is. The house is at least 200 years old (or older still), but our landlord doesn't know the exact age for sure. It's had its facelifts, but you can really feel an ancient essence, similar to the Island itself. As we were saying, it was difficult to envision living in the place when we first arrived. There was ugly blue china plates as wall décor, and a horrible sense of energy flow. But living in a home, older than Canada was appealing and fit well with our vision of living in Ireland. It just needed some work.

When we moved in, we got strait to it. In fact, we are still adding to it now, but feel that we have made enough contributions to the environment to call it home. We spent the first week painting every wall we
could. (Mainly in the upstairs, because the entire main floor is stonewalled. We put up our personal belongings, and even built an awning in the backyard for wood protection and a place to hang out. Turns out that the 196 ft2 outdoor space is like having another room to the house. The house's footprint is only about 246 ft2 (inside the walls, on each floor). If your not familiar with house sizes and measurements, we're living in a tiny little house. But every person who has walked through our door has eyes lit, and sparks of awe. From
the outside, the home is attached to a sting of stone houses, and unsuspecting. But as you walk in, it is like walking into a faery tale... A hobbits home to be precise. Yes, our love & respect for a positive space has proven itself again.... We've really created something special here.

Oh, and for all of those ambitious folk who are interested in coming over to have a little visit, we even have a spare bedroom, which is used as a meditation, arts and yoga space. You get an idea from the pictures, but this is a home that contains an energy, absent in photographs.

Needless to say, we are more than happy with our choices. We give much gratitude and blessings for our new home & those that have been helping us along our journey.

Our choice to live simply this year has really manifested in this home. As we are known to do, our energy (and money) has gone into our food, health, & environment... And in this way, we are living in abundance.... "As is the Permaculture way."


Daniel & Luna
ps. here are a few you tube video's of Kinsale, the town we're living in.

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm2wLFMoJUI&feature=related (a 30 sec view of the downtown area)
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zePkjIM4hO0&feature=related (a 25 min show on Kinsale's transition town initiative - born from our school... a little cheesy, but you can get the idea)

3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntW9wnBEB60 (Rob Hopkins is the founder of our school, and an important figure in the sustainable movement. THis is the 1st part of an interview with him on "Transition towns" - A now international concept also founded in Kinsale through our school.
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