• Aoife Lane

Updated: Sep 30

After 11 weeks living out of our suitcases, we’ve made the jump and set up in our first Irish home. We’ll start with some quick snaps from last Friday when we got the keys to our little terrace house just 48 hours after applying on the spot at the viewing. Needless to say with the rental market in Ireland being epically competitive when you find somewhere that hits the budget, location and specs trifecta, you find you’ll move heaven and earth to try to make it yours!


Prior to getting this place, we had been on the property hunt for a solid two weeks before we were successful in applying for this place — I say successful because I’d honestly lost track of how many properties we applied to look at, how many we managed to book a viewing for, how many we actually got to see, and then how many we applied for. Like I say, a very competitive market and if you’d told us this time a week ago that we would have a place let alone a place we like so much, we would likely have scoffed a bit and gone back to trawling the Daft app hoping that a property in our range had listed.

As Simon was up in Dublin for his first three days of work (training in head office), I traversed the city going to viewings and hammering out preliminary EOI messages to property agents. The moment I walked into our home I knew it would be perfect for us. It was adorable on first sight and easy walking distance to St Patrick’s Quay (20 minutes on the flat — so the same as a walk to James Street from our past Bowen Hills house), plus it had a surprise ground floor bedroom for Simon’s studio. Despite this, I’d learned after our first application disappointment that surviving the rental application game is 100% more about mental fortitude and odds-playing than anything else. You’ve got to be in it to win it and do the legwork of getting to as many viewings as possible. I knew better than to get too excited even with things looking so promising from the first seconds in the door.

And of course, this is where things hit a bit of a hitch with this seemingly perfect home: the third floor attic bedroom had a staircase so small even I have to crouch to get through the doorway. Adorable and perfect, yes. An absolute physical hazard for one Simon Lane, also yes! To combat Simon (or ‘My beloved’ as he referred to him) not being there in person, the property manager very kindly suggested I video call Simon from the house and so I walked him through the house from top to bottom, knocking my head a little along the way, then ultimately paid a deposit on the spot!

After a nail biting 24 hours, we received word on Thursday that the house was officially ours and then picked up the keys on Friday afternoon. A totally joyful and unreal whirlwind that’s wound up our second month here in Cork. My Uncle Barry and I collected Simon from the Friday afternoon train, then we headed to sign the lease before moving in on Saturday with help from friends. With only our suitcases plus a bit more ‘stuff’ we’ve acquired in the interim, it was the easiest move of our adult lives and we’re already trying to work out how to minimise our overall ‘stuff’ so that every move can be two carloads that are unpacked in an afternoon.




The area is historic and the house itself feels like a wee lighthouse with the stair bannisters reminiscent of a ship, little light portholes in the galley kitchen and a huge skylight in our bedroom that opens out over the street and water. It’s newly renovated and we love all of the furniture that’s part of the rental. The location itself is also magic: we’re right near the river, a 10 minute walk from the train station for both our jobs and about 25 minutes from Lidl (ahem, priorities). We also walked past a very cute bakery in the Victorian Quarter (about 15 minutes walk) on Sunday that I can’t wait to check out.

We will probably send a video through privately however here are some initial photos. To give an idea of the overall feel of the place, it’s a terrace home spread over three levels and with a view of the River Lee. It already feels like our own home and it just had a positive vibe the moment I walked in. It’s equally great that Simon has wound up loving it, too!






My final thought is that we wouldn’t be here in our new home without the support of our family and friends here, in Aus and NZ, and all around the globe. It’s bittersweet to be here in our new home (although Simon is back in Dublin for the week training again) and to dream of having people visit us from all over here all while not knowing exactly when that might be. It’s a bit strange to have that sense of the in between right as life starts to take up the shape of normal routines again. Another part alongside this is that while we’re so grateful to have this wee home, we are already missing our housemates we were living with initially, Rob and Rebecca, and all in all we so enjoyed our time together at Jacob’s Island. With this in mind, we hope to have them round for a Sunday Roast as soon as we’ve a table as this was a tradition introduced to us in our time living together.


We’ll have more updates soon as I have my first day of work tomorrow and we’re hoping to book some warm weather sale flights for another adventure in the coming months. Until then, wherever you might be, happy spring or happy autumn. The days here are still cool while the daffodils are blooming and the days are getting brighter and longer. It’s going to be a glorious stretch ahead that we’re in just the right place to enjoy most thankfully.

Updated: Sep 30

Well today was a big improvement on yesterday, both practically and emotionally. The best news of all was that we got a place to live(!)


In the space of 24hrs Aoife looked at a place on the inner north, facetime’d me a squiz, and managed all the leasing and paperwork while I worked up here in Dublin. A monster effort from her that paid off big time. Photos / videos to follow soon!


On the work front, it was better today spending a full day at work here. I was able to become more familiar with the processes and how a day plays out with the Dublin lads. A little bit of craic thrown in there too. I’ll be heading back down to Cork tomorrow, whereby we will get the keys and then move in over the weekend. I’ll then come back up Monday to Dublin, work the week, then head back down again thereafter.


Getting the keys will be a big boost for us no doubt, as finding a place is by far the biggest challenge the countries’ renters face. Followed closely by finding an affordable place.

Hopefully with a decent night’s sleep in the industrial complex, and provided no security alarms go off again during the night, I’ll be back to report on the move in over the course of the weekend. Until then…


  • Simon Lane

Updated: Sep 30

Today was a frosty start—literally. More snow had fallen last night than we’ve seen since being here. Cars and the countryside were an inch or two thick with it, which made getting to the train a bit slow going, and I had to catch the next one to Dublin.


Once here one of the lads picked me up and it was hitting the ground running on arrival with training.


Later on my trainer, Ian, and I drove around the corner to the uniform shop and picked me up some gear. I then drove the van around to Lidl and just couldn’t make the hill start without stalling it. Geez, talk about embarrassing. It’s been more than ten years since I’ve driven a stick and it showed right then and there! Given that 95% of vehicles here are manual I’m going to have to upgrade my license quick smart. Irrespective of if we need to get a car I would still like to get it and finally put THAT training to bed. Life has been so insanely busy recently that essential life stuff like that has repeatedly taken a back seat for us both.

Coming back to the accomodation, which is above the office, I felt pretty weird and lonely. I’m not gonna lie. I mean, it could be the fact that I’m eating a chicken tikka masala freezer meal (quality as expected) on my own in a flat above a warehouse in the middle of an industrial estate. I’d say a good dose of missing familiar faces and voices too. Something just feels a bit weird and sad though. It’s like an organ transplant and I’m the organ.


I was waiting for when I’d feel something like this; displaced or questioning motives etc. etc. Sure it will take time to get in the groove of things here, and we’re getting closer to finding a place to rent, but something about full time work has always felt like a prison to me. Like the cars, 95% of work here is full time. I’m not ungrateful for the job and the opportunity, quite the contrary, but I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge the need for art and life in the picture there too.


The tricky thing for an artistic type (which I believe both of us are) is that life can constantly feel like a procedural flowchart of either dead ends or impossible prerequisites. Chicken and eggs scenarios, and that’s even before getting to negative thinking in terms of lack or scarcity. It is hard no matter what you do. I know graphic designers, choreographers, instrumentalists, you name it and it’s the same for them. Everyone has to, or has done more than their fair share of, jobs that pay the bills. I think it’s fair to say we’re not lazy. It’s not that we don’t want to work full time. We want to work ceaselessly outside of a prison of time.

Sure, I’m generalising again here, that most people do something they don’t want to do, or at best have their great days and not great days at work. I also don’t know anyone who’s ever had a 10/10 first day at work.


Explaining it to Aoife earlier I just said that it feels like time is slipping through my fingers. I don’t think you necessarily have to be a creative professional to feel that on your first day, or any given day, at work. I guess my gist here is that we think Ireland should adopt the four-day week and/or six-hour workday too(!) It sounds like a good idea right? Do we have to strike and protest like the French? How can we make this happen? Let’s think it over by another cup of tea…

Button