Monday, July 14, 2014

Comes in 3's...or 4's if you're counting

There's a saying here in Ireland that bad things come in 3's.  If two bad things happen at once, well, just wait for the inevitable 3rd one to occur.

Back in January, I found that expression rather applicable.

Over the course of two weeks, an electrician, an appliance repairman, a plumber, and an exterminator were needed at the house we rent here in Ireland.

There was the electrician, who replaced the transformers in several blinking ceiling lights (yes, the light sockets have their own transformer) and the exhaust fan in the bathroom that had worn and grown very loud.  These issues were mostly existing when we moved in to the property, and had finally been scheduled for proper remediation in January.  We are very glad to have done away with the strobe light effect in the bathroom. 

That same week, the front load washing machine quit working mid-cycle while full of water.  While investigating the issue, it was discovered, as a bonus, that there was a leak in the plumbing behind the appliances, including a leak from the pipe that the dishwasher drains into.  Thus knocking that appliance out of commission as well.  Those issues took several days and multiple visits from repairmen and a deliveryman (new washing machine was ordered when a replacement part failed to correct the electrical issue).

Big surprise, the area behind the washing machine was mouldy.  I've spent a good amount of time cleaning the mould found in various places around this house in Ireland. 

Mouldy area behind the washing machine in the kitchen.

Cleaned up a bit on the parts I could scrub.

To top it off, there had been an occasional funny noise in the wall at night in the living room, but nothing consistent.  Until, of course, Z leaves town on business.  Then it became a nightly occurrence.  Right around 10pm, just as I was trying to unwind before bedtime, little tapping, scratching, scurrying noises pulled my attention to the living room ceiling, wall, and kitchen.  Eeeeek!  There is only one thing that does that.  Rodents. 

After the DIY store-bought traps proved ineffective.  An exterminator was called.  There were a couple evenings I called it an early night and hid in the master bedroom with a book so I wouldn't have to hear the nightly excursions in the ceiling and walls in the living room and kitchen.  About two weeks later, the noises abated.  Finally. 

Things mostly quieted down on the house after those eventful couple of weeks.  Until March, when the boiler started making a loud clicking/buzzing noise, also while Z was away on another business trip.  Apparently there was a problem with the circuit board and the buzzing was coming from an electrical contact causing the pump to run continuously when it shouldn't.  Every time I wanted to heat up the house, I had to manually flip the fuse on to get the heating to run for a little while, and then switch it off to keep the buzzing at bay.  Not as bad as being entirely without heat, but tedious nonetheless.  A replacement part was ordered, and after a few days, we had regular heat again. 

So perhaps bad things come in 3's in Ireland, but I honestly lost count with the maintenance incidences at the house we are renting.  Thankfully they have mostly been addressed by the landlord.

Ireland thus far presents many challenges.  We did, nonetheless, make regular visits to the seaside during the winter months.  In fact, we went more during the cold, windy weather early in the year, than we have this summer.  On windy days, the waves were quite a sight to behold.

A winter visit to the beach.

And for those of you wondering about the weather during the winter here in Ireland.  Well, this is about as much snow as we got: A light dusting on a couple occasions.  Temperatures rarely dropped below freezing.

It's raining light sticks! (but really just snow)

In February, we took a trip back to England for business and to visit friends.  Then in April, we took a long family holiday and traveled to a few different countries in Europe.  I'll try to write a post about about our travels when I can.



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