Ronan has been busy during the last two months creating a courtyard–just in time for the end of summer :D.
We were having some friends over for dinner on Saturday and needed some extra chairs. So I pulled out the old chairs that were left in the house when we bought it, gave them a wash, a light sanding and painted them with paint that looks more like wood stain but worked out well.
I added new seats I had bought online (a set of 6 for €49) and the chairs were ready just in time for dinner al fresco with friends that evening!
Total spend: €70
LINK TO WHERE TO BUY THE Chair seats
Before and After:
As any reader of my Rosie Life series knows, I have been trying to find a new name for The Sighing House since it was complete. It went from being called The Sighing House to being referred to as The Work House. While it is still a work in progress, I have gone through tonnes of Italian names and ideas but nothing seemed right. Then I realised, while the house is in Italy, we are Irish not Italian; I am quite boring, I don’t have a drop of any other DNA in me, I am 100 percent Celtic and we are now part of the house’s history, so why not give it an Irish name that has meaning to what we want the house to represent while we are living in it?
The last year and a half has not been easy and after my brother died two months ago, I have had some soulful experiences that have made me have a life-shift. A new purpose, which you will hear about in Book 5 (Out in the autumn. You can pre-order Book 5 here!). So instead of giving the house an Italian name, we have decided to give it a Celtic name. The Celts were around my town fighting the Roman’s with Hannibal over two thousand years ago so it’s not out of keeping with the history of the area!
The Celts believed that each person had a life-force that radiates light and energy around our physical body. They believed when people were genuinely open and transparent our life-force, or soul, could connect on a spiritual level, mingle, creating a powerful bond and in so doing become each other’s ‘Anam Cara’. In Gaelic ‘Anam’ means ‘soul’ Cara means ‘Friend’. The great modern Irish poet John Donahue wrote a wonderful book about Celtic Spiritual Wisdom called ‘Anam Cara’.
However, the benefits of this connection and profound bond could not happen until a person saw their own beauty and light. Anam Cara is a connection and exchange between souls – a genuine bond and true friendship.
And that is exactly what I want the house to be, a place where true friendships are made.
Welcome to Anam Cara. 🙂
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A Friendship Blessing
May you be blessed with good friends.
May you learn to be a good friend to yourself.
May you be able to journey to that place in your soul where there is
great love, warmth, feeling, and forgiveness.
May this change you.
May it transfigure that which is negative, distant, or cold in you.
May you be brought in to the real passion, kinship, and affinity of
May you treasure your friends.
May you be good to them and may you be there for them; may they
bring you all the blessings, challenges, truth, and light that you
need for your journey.
May you never be isolated.
May you always be in the gentle nest of belonging with your anam cara.
– John O’Donohue
Back in early September I had a meeting with our builder, Antonio or Tonio as he will now be called. His father, Giovanni, our current landlord, also attends. They are worried about our optimism of moving in, in November. “If it is an issue about money and not being able to pay the rent”, says Giovanni, through their friend who has come along to act as translator, “then you don’t have to pay for the final months.”
“It’s very generous of you” I said, “but it is because I want to move my parents to Italy as soon as possible so I can look after them here.” As soon as the translator has said what I say both Giovanni and his son have their head in their hands, “Ohhh the Mama e Papa!” They are both talking quickly to each other. Giovanni met my parents when they were over last year and treated them with care and attention like he would his own. He brought my mum little gifts and always asks after them. ‘Bring them to live in the other apartment beside you, no additional rent.”
“Again that is very generous of you but my mam can’t walk up stairs. There are no steps downstairs in our new house so it would be perfect for them. I need to get the ground floor finished. ”
“If only we had known this we could have waited to do the roof until next year.” says Tonio. Now he tells me, I’m gutted. “We could have waited?”
In hindsight I am glad we are doing the roof now and didn’t wait, the dirt and disruption after settling in to the house would have been a nightmare.
“I will put an extra two men on the job to speed it up,” announced Tonio.
And that’s exactly what he did. All the scary stories I had previously heard about builders disappearing for weeks and work being delayed has been the complete opposite of what I have experienced so far – long may it last. There are a gang of workers on site every week day.
However, I think the last six weeks must have been the wettest start to autumn in Italian weather history. Or maybe I am just more conscious of every drop that falls from the sky because we have lacked a roof during the whole time. The bad weather does not seem to have affected the work on the roof that much but it has soaked the inside walls.
We brought Lucia up to have a peak at the destruction progress this week. It’s looking awful. It’s like watching someone you love have open heart surgery. Black plastic pipes are sticking out from every orifice like unattended aortas, the walls look like they have been slashed open by a fake surgeon who forgot his glasses and possibly doesn’t know anything about anatomy so just keeps cutting deep until he hits the right spot. “The house feels so sad,” I say to Ronan and Lucia, “I can feel the house groaning and asking ‘What have you done to me? I thought you were here to help?’ But she’s saying it in Italian so I don’t quite know if I am getting the translation right.”
“The house has been sedated for the surgery, she’s sleeping through it,” says Ronan, trying to ease my gutted feeling of the house being gutted.
Lucia isn’t thinking of life saving surgery instead she is thinking it as cosmetic, and exclaims in an animated way, “She is going to wake up and go ‘wow look at my new boobs, look at my new waistline, ohh I have cheekbones again and my wrinkles are gone, I look so young,’ she will be so happy, don’t worry.”
Thinking of it this way does make me feel better, until Lucia says, “But you have moles in your walls.”
‘Moles in my walls? What the hell, is that a thing in Italy?”
“Yes they come because of the rain, look I show you.” She leads me up the stairs and points at the damp stain on the wall that has strangely formed into the shape of Ireland.
“They are there?” I’m thinking that’s an ironic place for them to take up residence as we don’t have moles in Ireland.
“I think when the heat is working the moles on the wall will go,” says Lucia matter of factly.
“Ohhh you mean mould.”
I’m not letting mould or moles stop our plans we still intend to be in the house for Christmas. Watch this space!
La Talpa – Mole
La Muffa – Mould
il miei genitori – My parents (who are not moles or mouldy)