Offgrid Living Ireland  from Dogs & Coe

What’s it all about then?

You only live once but if you do it right once is enough.

Mae West

Steph and Simon Coe, two slightly strange over the hill singles who met on line, had one date and that was it. Love at first sight, or so I remember it to be. Simon might protest a bit but seeing as he proposed less than 3 months later I beg to differ.

1 wedding, 2 houses, 5 dogs, 10 chickens and 15 ducks later we are here in County Limerick. We set off with such high dreams of being the next Tom and Barbara but really just ended up being George and Mildred with a bit of Grisly Adams and well Steph at the weekends. That doesn’t mean we haven’t done good but it does mean that it has been a slog and we have still a way to go to be living the entire dream.

It really started I think when we chose to marry in Wales, green and lush, very different from the surroundings of our home. We envied the space, the green fields and I especially coveted the acres of space which was so different from the seaside where I had grown up.

We just couldn’t afford to buy land in the UK so a chance viewing of really cheap properties on an Irish site set the ball rolling. We could see it, a little slice of land for us and the dogs. We were fed up of trolling round for holiday sites that could take them. I would have nightmares about their safety in strange holiday homes and of course If they barked and disturbed other holiday makers well that surely would be awful. Our holidays were full of days checking whether the dogs would be ok, not too hot, not too cold, exercised enough, it was madness but we loved them so it was just what we did. So there you have it the real reason we initially started looking for land, the dogs. Once we decided to really look though we just couldn’t stop and suddenly we had a dream, a 5 year plan apparently – work, save and then leave it all behind for a simpler life where we had space and time to enjoy things more. As it turned out it was 3 years from payment to move, we pushed ahead, ditching our jobs, selling our house, seeing a self sufficient “Good Life” on the horizon. Oh how naive we were really, our taster holidays full of “working the land” made little difference once day to day reality set in, but let’s not get to that just yet, as for all of you who have a similar dream there will be no bubble bursting yet.

I don’t understand your specific brand of crazy but I do commend your commitment to it.

Lani Lynne Vale

If I had a penny for the number of times people looked aghast and probably silently questioned our sanity when we explained the house was on the market, the resignation letters handed in, the unnecessary possessions sold and the caravan that would be our home for a while was hooked up ready to go. They would then ask -“how will you live without running water and electric” only to then exclaim how exciting solar panels and rain water collection sounded. I guess I cant blame anyone because it did sound far fetched but it is how we lived and in fact continue to live now.

We are not by any means experts at this simple life lark but we do have some experiences and stories to tell so I thought it might be fun to try and write down some tales and hopefully let anyone else who fancies a real change of pace see what it could be like.

One last thing we have never regretted our move to rural Ireland and if this fast food loving pair of workaholics can do it – then anyone can.

Steph