An English Lass in N. Ireland

For those of you who’ve been following this blog, you probably know that earlier this year my partner and I took the Bold Move to up sticks from England and move to Northern Ireland.

Banner - An English Lass in N Ireland over a Shamrock image


No big deal….right?

MENow, this may not sound like a big deal.

Especially as I am from the North of England so a quick hop on the ferry and boom, in N. Ireland.

However, I suffer from Severe Anxiety and the concept of moving out of my hometown, away from what I know was… daunting to say the least.

Never mind the logistics of the move and strange learning curves… like needing a new Driving License, even though Northern Ireland is part of the UK.  Weird!


Times they are a-changin’

One of the reasons we decided to move, was the company I worked for was closing its office in my area and my partner had left his job as it was making him miserable.  So we were in the best position to do something stupid radical.

We needed a fresh start and he had applied for a job in Northern Ireland and has family there (he’s Irish), so we thought.  To hell with it, let’s go!



We have 3 cats (2 elderly ladies and a thinks-he’s-a-kitten, gentleman) who did not make this move easy.  Though they were definitely in the thick of it.


Firstly, they all needed check-ups with the vet to make sure this journey would not, you know, kill them.

We then had to dowse the house in Feliway for like a month before we moved to keep them nice and calm-ish.

Next, there was the decision to get new cat carriers so they could survive the long trip without freaking out.

Since we were going to be driving, then taking the ferry, we needed carriers big enough for them to stand and move around/shift position.

c arrrierSeriously, I can’t recommend these Catit Design Cat Cabrio Carriers enough, they made putting the cats in easy as there is a front door and also a top loader option.

They are a lot bigger, had loads of ventilation and removable food/water bowls in the door.

In fact, when I removed these bowls my hand could fit through the space allowing me to reach in and stroke them 🙂

Our cats also made sure to check that the boxes I had, for packing all our items, were good quality and sturdy.  This included chew testing, sleep testing and hide testing.


Goodbye my feathered friend

20160608_195546.jpgSadly, we couldn’t bring our little budgie with us *cries* because he was an extremely nervous bird and didn’t travel well.

The welfare of our animals is the top priority.

We took the (sad) decision to find him a new home and a lovely woman who has other birds took him in so he has new friends and we’ve been told is having a grand time! 😀


Drama, drama, drama


Since this was a time we would be finding our feet, we were to move into my partner’s mum’s house while we get settled.  This meant we had to downsize…on a massive scale.

We had a few short months to go through all our possessions and decide what we were taking, what we were taking but storing and what we were donating/selling/chucking.

20160606_065724_LLSThere was a lot of strain in the downsizing and dealing with the general public while selling furniture and appliances.

Due to this, my anxiety was constantly at Def-Con ‘oh shit’ and I often had a few meltdowns and some crippling panic attacks every week.

When that happened we took a timeout and re-grouped with tea and coffee and had some general chit-chat with the feline management.


We’re leaving on a jet plane… ferry

boatI hate to fly and I knew our 3 indoor cats would not do well on a plane, not to mention the risks, so we ended up driving (with the cats) up to Scotland to get the ferry across to Belfast and then drove down.

The reason we did this rather than go to the Liverpool ferry was so we were with the cats for the drive and they only had to be on the ferry, alone in the car, for 2 hours (not 8!)

And damn does your ass hurt when you drive for 3 hours straight but the view was nice.

The ferry was only two hours.  We sat in the executive suite because heck we wanted to travel in style and we got this awesome window seat over the bow of the boat.

The sky was clear, water was calm.  Just what you want on a ferry crossing.  Also, free tea, coffee, snacks and pastries.  Other than my constant worry about the cats in the car, it was pleasant.


The Emerald Isles

We’ve been in Northern Ireland for 3 months now and while I am still settling in, I feel a lot better.

There are some days when I really struggle but overall, I am proud of doing this and managing my anxiety, that on some days felt like it was going to kill me.

We get stunning sunsets, warm sunrises and our view includes mountains!  Also, Ireland seems to have rainbows every week!  😀

This means I have more time to blog, more time to plan and write and even managed to get my manuscript plotted out into its relevant chapters one sunny morning.

We live 10 minutes away from a beach that we’ve been to (found an awesome rock, will have to add his photo later).  We’ve been to a local park that hosted a reptile event and I got to hold a pretty boa called Ruby (when I find my other camera card, I’ll add her photo!)

20170920_115039I have more time now so have been able to focus on my online shop (which is great since I am now in the middle of the Christmas rush) and my writing.

I still have some bad days.  In truth, today is a bad day but I didn’t want to get swallowed up by my mood or my anxiety attack.

So I wanted to write this post and remind myself of this adventure, and that we made the right choice moving.


Happy writing from bonny ol’ (Northern) Ireland

Signature & logo of Ari Meghlen


17 thoughts on “An English Lass in N. Ireland

  1. Pingback: Have you met my friend, Anxiety? | Ari Meghlen – Writer | Blogger | Bad card player

  2. Pingback: Goodbye, 2017 (Wrap Up) | The official site of Ari Meghlen

    1. lol I think that should be a medical term “moving hysteria” 🙂 Yes moving is just so stressful. I had only ever moved to local areas before so this move across the Irish sea was like beyond mental for me.

      How did you survive your move? Any tricks and tips (always good to know for next time!) 😀

      1. The worst move was one we had to make because of my husband’s work and I really didn’t want to go. Both daughters were much younger and I hated disrupting the youngest one’s schooling. We were all very miserable but I found that making sure I did something move-related every day once we knew we were definitely going helped a lot. Once we arrived I tried to make sure we got to know the area as soon as possible and tried to talk to neighbours and join in local activities. This is difficult for me and younger daughter as we much prefer to keep to ourselves! 😀

      2. I think moving is so hard, it can really be disruptive but getting to know the area is definitely a good way to deal with a change. I made sure to drive around as soon as we arrived so I didnt get trapped in the house and become nervous to go out.

  3. Seems like a lovely place, if your pictures are anything to go by! I hate moving, all the upheaval and changes, but once you are settled in your own place, I think you will love it!

    1. Thank you 🙂 Yes it is beautiful, it’s even greener than were we lived in England. Moving is always a nightmare and this was our biggest move but we survived and think it’s going to work out nicely 🙂

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