In Which I Might End Up In A Hobbit House After All

So, my mortgage application got rejected.

I’m appealing, of course, with the help of my very lovely and supportive bank advisor. But the chances are slim. My advisor says it’s ridiculous, and also tells me she’s never seen anyone with their finances so well organised. I did learn my lesson there ten years ago, you see.

But I’m not a young, Irish couple with two incomes and a split of the risk, and 2.5 children. I’m an older, foreign, single applicant, and in recession-plagued Ireland, the banks have become super cautious. That’s the same banks who were throwing 3rd and 4th mortgages at obvious crooks only a few years ago.

Ah well. I’m not giving up of course, so no reason to become all doleful! I’m also looking for alternatives, which I’ve already alluded to in my last entry. The most exciting and beautiful of these alternatives is the Cauldron Community, an eco village a friend of mine is planning in the West of Ireland (please like the Facebook page as well!). Incidentally, the West is exactly where I wanted to go in any case; all I need is a work-from-home job, and Apple already offer those in Ireland. They are regular, full-time jobs with benefits and job security just like any office-based job, and I could work from anywhere in the country, provided I have a good stable internet connection.

The Cauldron Community is going to be a village of ecologically sound “hobbit houses” in the style of the one in the picture above. Obviously, I’m all for it! The only reason why I’m not 150% sure I’ll end up there is that my bird sanctuary is going to have specific requirements, such as a very quiet place and a separate room, or I won’t get any more sleep than I do now.

The one thing I know is that I’ll not stay in my current place any longer. It’s still a lovely place, and my landlord and family are still lovely people. But there’s more noise coming through the walls than ever – the daughter is now 16, and while she is amazing and not at all noisy, she is AWAKE at all hours (like I was at that age – I’m not going to be a hypocrite!), and with the thin walls and my light sleep, this dooms me, especially since I need to get up a good hour earlier than she does. It’s not good for the birds either.

It’s eating away at me and at my health. My lovely doctor, who’s amazingly open minded to alternative medicine as well as conventional, told me that my immune system HAD to get compromised eventually with the constant sleep deprivation. I also don’t live healthy – I mean, I do, but I don’t eat as cleanly as I did last spring because I’m just so stressed in my job and the one thing that’s always available is unhealthy stuff. In the evening, I’m often so tired I don’t want to cook and go to the chipper instead. I know these are my choices, but I’ve also chosen not to beat myself up at the moment; it’s what keeps me sane. But it can’t go on indefinitely.

So, either they approve me for a mortgage after all, I get a job working from home and buy a hag house somewhere in the West, or I don’t get a mortgage, and then I’ll look into renting a standalone house also in the West and also work from home, and help with the Cauldron Community. We’re hoping for the first hobbit houses to be habitable some time next year.

There are exciting times ahead in any case. And I know, I just know it in my bones, that something is going to work out for me. I’ll keep you updated!

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To Own One’s Day

Some weeks ago I watched a documentary about the rather mad but very likeable guy who invented “Earthships” (ecologically sound dwellings, google it for pictures). One thing he said about life in his hand-built house, is how great it feels to “own your day”, to completely have one’s time to oneself. There’s no job to go to, no money to chase, the food is grown in and around the house and the house consists mostly of recycled materials and is already paid-for.


It pretty much sums up my ideal, and something which has been my ideal since I was about 19. I don’t quite see it happening, not while I live in this expensive country and have very specific plans about a detached dwelling and a bird sanctuary. In fact, there is a project a friend of mine works on, an eco village in the West of Ireland, and I’m looking into that as well – it would mean the self-sufficient life I aim for, with planting our own food etc.

I suspect I’ll have to get out of my current living situation before that project becomes reality though, and if my mortgage does get approved, I might end up with a liveable compromise: a house with a decent energy rating where I can, after saving up for another few years, install solar panels and a geo-thermal heat pump as well as grow my own food – and have my bird sanctuary. I’ll still have to work, but I hope I’ll be able to work from home. The two hours I currently spend commuting every day could be used for the sanctuary, without making any other change.

To own my day would, of course, be the ultimate freedom. To Coach and look after cute featherballs, and to game, and to meet friends. To dance and sing, and celebrate the moon and the sun and the changing of the seasons. To sit in front of the fire with a mug of tea and a good book. It’s got to be possible, right?

And it better happen sooner rather than later, because my body is sending me signal after signal that all is not right. For the last week and a half, I’ve been battling streptococcus throat, and despite antibiotics I’m still not well and now I also have a cold on top of everything else. It’s alright, body – I got the message! I’m working on it! The wait can be very, very trying at times.

I’m not quite ready to talk or write about the other news, which is that my beloved Titus, my “big grey boy” as I used to call him, has died. I was with him as he softly fell asleep on the floor of the cage, slept for about an hour, and then fell over dead. I’m so very sad – it’s so cruel because he’d just started to trust me a little in his last few days, happily sat on my finger and ate out of my hand. I brought his body in for an autopsy, and it looks like he had testicular cancer. The toxicology report isn’t back yet, but there’s a chance I’ve no gastric yeast in my aviary after all. Then again, why is Talion throwing up? I hope he doesn’t have a tumor too.

That’s it from me this time, I’m going to play with “the babies” Leah and Miko for a bit – I’m typing this sitting on my bed with my laptop, watching over them as they play outside the cage, and about every half hour one of them flutters to the floor and needs to be rescued, hehe. That’s them in the picture above – aren’t they adorable? Once I know my aviary is disease-free, I’ll introduce them to the “big little budgies” (Talion and Tracey are older, but tiny. I suspect Leah and Miko might be from exhibition-type parents) downstairs.