The Irish Homecoming: Marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade at home but thinking of New York
April Drew talks about St. Patrick's Day in Ireland
We are renting a rather large house (too big to keep clean and heat), but the space is fantastic for the kids and our entertaining nights. The great thing about renting -- and we were advised to do so by so many people prior to moving back home -- is being able to test out the country living, the house size and the bills that come with it.
In this current climate we could afford a decent size house, but the question is do we want to tie up all our savings (and eliminate future savings) on an oversized home with great curb appeal, or do we want to scale back and buy something much more affordable, smaller and possibly in a housing estate.
We are of two minds, but at the moment we have been leaning more on the latter because we would still like to get away on our holidays every year and afford to be able to have a few nights out as well.
We will see. No doubt our minds will change over and over so watch this space.
One thing is for sure, though -- houses in Limerick are selling. Several houses that we have been tracking online (daft.ie) over the past few years have just begun to sell.
The banks are lending again, albeit cautiously and rightly so. It’s nice to see things moving, but it’s putting a little smoke under us also to get going.
In other day to day Irish living news, I registered the children in an Irish speaking school not too far from here last week. There are four Irish speaking primary schools in Limerick, but they all have waiting lists a mile long. Sadie is one and Colum is two. I was told by several parents that I’m leaving it very late to register them.
We’ve also been in discussions about pulling the children out of the day-care and hiring a babysitter at home or an au-pair.
It breaks my heart to think about pulling them out of their crèche. They love the structure and routine. They have so much fun, learn so much and enjoy the company of other children.
But the figures are getting a little on the high side. It costs us €12,500 a year (about $16,000) to have them there. An au-pair is a little over €5, 000.
Several of our friends have au-pairs from Europe living with them for a year. I do not entirely love the idea, but again watch this space.
Okay New York and America, Happy St. Patrick’s Day and think of us all here in Ireland when ye celebrate over the next few weeks.