Tribe of the Ring Fort

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Not Us (Barry)

By the way, this is where we live:

This house is in the Ashfield estate (= development/subdivision in U.S. parlance). I think this photo conveys its feel:

It is off the Greenville road, which shoots straight out to the west from Listowel town centre. We're half a mile out at most. This is the one regard in which this place fits with us: walking distance from town. Otherwise, it is not us. The style of our (rented) house is very not us. It is huge and, despite being somewhat furnished, mostly empty. It echoes.

It is not yet completed; two of the three upstairs bedrooms are unfinished (see "it is huge" above). We are, needless to say I suppose, the first occupants of this house. We used a "we won't demand the upstairs be finished" chip in bargaining over rent with the owners.

Its lack of history is only part of the story here. It is, to us, cold and impersonal in style, use of space, building materials and so on. Two shots of our back yard which give a hint of this:

Likewise, the style of the houses in this estate: not us.

These are Irish mini-mansions. Well, semi-mini-mansions. IMHO, they are in some respects actually more tasteful than the typical American counterpart. These are probably two of the better ones. But also not our speed in terms of space, color, personality and so on.

The co-head of household of the one on the right hung himself from the chandelier on Christmas day two years ago.

This is the Irish building boom, sprung from the Celtic Tiger economy of the past decade or so.