Day 3 - we meet the neighbours

The six year old was in forest school today, so Mehdi collected him (smelling of smoke and leaves, with a collection of whittled wood) and then drove to get the two year old at the crèche. I raced down the quays on foot to grab some half decent side dishes from M&S in Heuston station before meeting everyone in SuperValu where Mehdi was hunting for a hot chicken in a plastic bag. Food is an issue in our new place: the kitchen is unusable, and we need to clear a lot of stuff out before we can even move in a kettle, toaster and microwave for an emergency kitchen in one of the reception rooms. Mehdi has considered ordering a pallet of cassoulet to see us through the winter, but I'm not quite convinced that this is the optimal solution.

Feeling somewhat prepared, we headed over to the house. As we drove up, I noticed the lovely Victorian or Edwardian street lamp outside our house.

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When we got out of the car we were greeted by a neighbour from over the road and her daughter. Then our neighbour on the right and her little dog, Blackie, (who she'd rescued from abandonment near the Luas) greeted us. The boys were super excited to have a dog as a next door neighbour. Then another neighbour came over to welcome us, bringing her daughter. Finally, a very sweet elderly lady came up to say hello. She's a long term resident having lived on the road since 1970. She was so elegant and kind - inviting us in for food, asking if she could boil a kettle for us - we were thrilled with such a warm welcome. However, after a while the two year old began to make it clear that he was angry, so we had to make our way in for another picnic on the carpet.

Our furniture has been in storage with family in Tyrone - some of it for years - we'll be glad to get a few basics like our tables and chairs and sofa. But before we can bring our things down we'll need to rip up and dump the old lino and carpets, and pull out the built in furniture.

While Mehdi measured the house (drinking a craft beer - one of 250 beers stocked in our local convenience store - which a neighbour tipped him off to) I slowly worked away at the kitchen, gently removing wallpaper, trying to pull up lino. It's all slow progress and while I'd love to write that I uncovered gorgeous period features, the truth is I simply uncovered foot after foot of rotten plaster and a rather big hole in an outside wall with a fresh breeze gusting through it. Tomorrow I'll be figuring out how I can hire a skip so we can start to redd stuff out.

Another latish night for me - we left at 8.30pm and got the boys to bed by 9pm. We've discussed having our first sleepover in the house this weekend - but I want a restful night in our snug and peaceful apartment before that. Friday night will be home cooked food served in a table with real knives and forks, followed by a movie watched under piles of blankets.

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