We’re ba-aack! We had a fun filled few days in Dublin caring for Mum in Law at home after she was kicked out of the hospital and not sent to rehab. Apparently, the Irish recession has had an effect on the health care system. Many Americans, myself included, are envious of the socialized medical benefits other countries receive. Michael Moore’s Sicko made it very clear where our system fails. It’s true! Our system sucks. But it’s not all rainbows and unicorns in Ireland either.
After waiting around the first day for the social worker and/or physical therapist who never showed, we rented a wheelchair out of pocket for the week. It got her out of the house, but if she ever wants to walk properly again, she needs the therapy, no? The appointment was a cable company kind of thing (“We’ll show up on Friday”) They didn’t pick up the phone either.
Luckily, Brother in Law Peter (rear) is a hard ass London lawyer, so he can work his magic. I’m sure many elders say “Oh now, I don’t want to make a fuss…” so they won’t know how to deal with someone who does talk back. The photo was taken on the grounds of the Newbridge House (I think) in Donabate where Brother in Law John lives. He lives in Donabate, not in the Newbridge House. Just wanted to make that clear.
But on to Mum in Law’s house. The armoire above was in Brother in Law John’s room when he was growing up. Ok, The Human League and Nick Cave were easy to figure out, but who is that in the middle? I just got it now as I was writing this, not because I recognized him, but because I know he’s from one of John’s favorite bands.
I love the Aga! She doesn’t really use it to cook much anymore, but it does heat the kitchen. Mum in Law does not own a proper toaster so the Aga is one way of making toast. See contraption below.
The other way of making toast is on that grill thing above the stove.
The house doesn’t have central heating. When I first started visiting over 20 years ago, there wasn’t a plug in heater in every room. I’m not sure, but these may have been purchased to appease the finicky American daughter in law. Originally, I was told to put on another sweater and bring a hot water bottle to bed. Most Dublin homes have converted to central heat now.
The water heater is located in a closet on the second floor. You can get two, maybe three showers and then you have to wait for it to refill. It also serves as a towel warmer.
Clean coal technology? For the fire place.
Peat or turf briquettes. I have no clue how environmentally clean these are, but Ireland has a distinct smell when people use these during the winter. It’s a good smell. Like rugged earth.
This is the dishwasher. Many people soap up the dishes and dry them without rinsing. I need to rinse!! But when I get lazy, I sometimes do it the way everyone else does and rinse just my own as I need them.
Elaborate shower system. When I first started visiting, this wasn’t in place. It was bath or bust. I’m 4’11” and I have to bend my knees to fit under this.
Ah, yes, my sanctuary! There’s one bathroom upstairs in the house. I won’t go into my privacy issues, but let’s just say I use the outhouse a fair bit when I need to do my thing.
The Home Depot of Ireland. We hit it one day when we were looking for safety bars and such.
Found the safety bars. Gee, can you tell he knows his photo is being taken?
If one doesn’t want to overwork their water heater or if they don’t have one, this is the type of shower they can get. Those dials control the temperature as well as the water flow.
Skinny house in Blackrock.
The Blackrock Market has been a favorite of mine for years! There are stalls of antiques and vintage goodies at reasonable prices. I was a little disappointed this time to see more new dealers. Many were selling handmade items, but I still prefer the old finds.