Here’s the story of our move to Dublin, at least so far.
Last Tuesday two men and a van turned up from the relocation agents to pack up all our stuff for shipment over to Dublin. The original plan was to do it all ourselves, and I’d already arranged for the hire of a van and booked a ferry ticket. That would have mean two long road and ferry trips in the space of a week, so news that my contract included a relocation allowance made things much simpler. After Lana had spent a lot of time packing stuff up into boxes we bought from Staples at over £2 each she was slightly dismayed when I told her they would be repacking everything themselves. 51 packages later and their long wheel base transit was packed to the brim. I have no idea how we fitted so much stuff into a 1 bedroom flat! It was then being taken back to their depot, put on a truck and taken over to Dublin where it is being held in storage until we require it. One thing I was glad of was that they crated up my LCD TV. The thought of moving it myself had been giving me kittens.
After our respective final days of work on Friday I left Lana at home for the evening whilst I popped out to watch the England v Brazil game. When I came back she had put the remaining stuff (clothes, essentials, etc.) together in the lounge, and was seriously worried about it’s ability to fit into my Ford Mondeo hatchback. So worried in fact that she decided to throw a load of stuff away, including a brand new duvet and the entire remaining contents of our bathroom 🙂
The Saturday morning involved loading up the car (it all fitted fine) and a final clean of the flat before returning the keys. Despite being our home for three years, there weren’t any tears shed about leaving it. Onto bigger and better things.
We then trundled up the M3/M25/M1 for two hours to reach my folks’ place in Luton for a stop, some lunch and to say goodbye. At around 8pm we started off on the trek up to Holyhead in Anglesey, about 250 miles away. We’d booked the ferry at 2:40am on Sunday morning, so had plenty of time to get there. The reasons for such an unusual ferry time were simply to avoid any bad traffic and also to enable us to arrive in Dublin at the start of a new day. We’d also prefer to go via Holyhead to Dublin than Fishguard to Rosslare as the latter still have a 2 hour drive up to Dublin after you get off the ferry.
The plan worked as we made it up to Holyhead in four hours flat, including a short stop on the M6. With a couple of hours to kill before the ferry we planned to get some sleep but this was thrown out the window when the guy in front got his four dogs out of the car for us to play with 😉
Once on the ferry (useless fact of the day: The Irish Ferries ship Ulysses is the largest passenger car ferry in the world – almost as big as Joyce’s book!) we found a spot, stuck our pillows down and were both dead asleep before we even left port. We woke up three hours later as we pulled into Dublin port, to be greeted by fog and rain – a real Irish welcome and a contrast to the hot, sunny day we’d had in England. A short drive through a 6am deserted city centre (if only it was always as uncongested) and we arrived at Lana’s folks in Lucan less than 30 minutes after leaving the boat. Straight into bed again then up a few hours later to unpack the car.
Since then we’ve just been relaxing and getting into the swing of things. Today is a public holiday, so everything is pretty quiet. The weather has been better so we popped out in the afternoon to do a dry run up to the IBM location at Damastown. It is 6.5 miles away and took about 13 minutes. The drive was quite similar to my old commute to Hursley – lots of country lanes. It remains to be seen how long it will take at rush hour though.
Talking of which, I start work on Wednesday, whilst Lana starts looking for a job. On Tuesday I have to go down to the Social Welfare office to hand in my Form 12a which will hopefully mean I avoid emergency tax. I also need to go to the Vehicle Registration office to notify them that I’ve bought my car over and start the process of getting it re-registered.
Of course, the other main item on the agenda is to start looking for our own place to live. The housing situation over here is a blog entry all of it’s own, which I’ll have to write someday. The first aim however is to get a place to rent. Sometime after the wedding and once we’ve fully settled down we might think about whether we want to buy.