CHI Member Amanda discusses life in her new home in Roslevan, Co. Clare
I’m a teacher, I did my training in England. When I moved back to Ireland, I had surgery for a dermoid cyst, and I didn’t know it was going to happen – it was a spontaneous surgery. It took me a while to get back into teaching between health issues and then the government had changed in England which made it difficult for me to transition into teaching in Ireland because a lot of the frameworks I’d come through were different.
When I got back into teaching, I was in a school in Connemara for three years. That was around the time Armand, my son, was ten years-of-age. I was living in Ennis and commuting between Connemara and there, and it was bonkers. There were days I could be in the car four hours. I was doing teacher training and I was teaching religious studies.
I’m not working at the minute for health reasons. I had long Covid which developed into pneumonia. I was very tired with the pneumonia and didn’t realise I had it until my asthma doctor rang me, so I’d been unwell for several months beforehand. At the time I was unwell I was teaching part time in a comprehensive school and training Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) alongside that. I had to pull back on my hours because I became so sick and had chronic fatigue. Prior to taking on that work with SNAs, I had done a train the trainer course in Shannon which qualified me to train SNAs. I’ve recently gone for an interview with the ETB in Cahir in Limerick, and I got on the panel, so I’m waiting to see what work come from that. I’m learning music now, that’s why there’s so many instruments here, I was taking keyboard lessons until I got sick.
I have a vision for this place to make it a nice and relaxing home. I work by having a notebook, and I create a list of things I want to do and check them off. I’m a lot more on top of things than I would have been when I was younger. I’m going to put a desk in here to work at. I’ve already found one that measures, but my first thing to do is create calm in the space. I’m going to buy a media unit that has different shelves for books around it so I can store all my bits and pieces and display things. I found that you can buy it in pieces too, so I’ll get what I can when I can afford it. I’m going to paint in here a nice clean colour like white or grey, but something with a warm undertone to it instead of a cool one. Then for the stairs I’m not going with carpet, but cladding which I’ll sand. I didn’t realise cladding was a thing until I went into one of the local hardware stores and saw it. I’m going to go with a stain for the wood and then a white for the banister. I’m lucky that my stepdad does painting and decorating, so he’s going to give me a hand with things when he has time. I’m happy not to have carpet in the house. Since I’ve moved in, I’ve hardly had to use my inhaler for my asthma except before I do exercise. That’s a huge change from where I was living. In my previous house, I’d go in the door, and I’d have to take my inhaler straight away. I was living in my last house about eight years and there were so many issues with damp and mould. It really took its toll on my health and my son’s health. When I was moving to this place my body went bonkers for a while. It was like it had had enough of the old place and knew it was time to leave.