Blogging After August

Due to my disappointment in the platform this website and blog is currently on, I will not extend its contract in August. I have recently canceled the plan and domain of another website I used to have with them and I do not regret it.

Yes, I will still be blogging about Ireland but it is going to happen on another platform and at a frequency of 2-4 posts per month. This will depend on the topics and the time I’ll have available. In other words, this blog and the German version of it will become less active in time.

The one I mentioned above, which I decided not to extend after February 2019, is now found at Mirjam Fels. It is about home education and writing. My other website called The Christian Homemaker contains posts about homemaking and is written from a Christian perspective.

All of these changes are not only because I’m disappointed in the blogging platform but especially due to the fact that I’m longing to finish my book about dog training by the end of this year. To reach this goal, I’ll have to simplify my writing life and cut down some of the blogging time.

Starting in August, my blog posts found at the web addresses mentioned above will talk about Life in Ireland as well. I will keep you updated on my move. As for now Carmen In Ireland will continue right here.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog/s.

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St. Patrick’s Day 2019

Big Celebration

Saint Patrick’s Day is coming up this Sunday. It’s Ireland’s National Day and celebrated in many places all over the world. On that day, people wear green, attend parades, festivals, Irish dances or banquets.

Stores offer all kinds of greenish things…

… headbands, badges, hats, flags, tiaras, and more.

And, yes, even dogs are celebrating that special day in some form or another. 🙂

If you just moved to Ireland, don’t worry. You will not miss this important day because you will see Irish flags on lamp posts along roadsides and bridges and many of the homes will show at least some sort of decoration around St. Patrick’s Day.

Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhaoibh!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all!

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Update On Our Life In Ireland and This Blog

Six months have passed since my Welcome post, here at Carmen In Ireland. Thank you for reading my blog and for your continuous support. Here is a quick update on what is going on at our place. I will also let you in on my future plans for writing this blog.

Spring is in the air! It’s lovely to watch the birds and listen to their songs. I cannot get enough looking at all the flowers popping up and bending down smelling them whenever I have a chance. Another thing I really love to do is taking walks at the beach. There is something so special about strolling along the beach and looking toward the Sea (or Ocean). This time of the year the water begins to pull back and soon there will be more and more sandy beach to walk upon – even while the tide is in. ❤

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up this month, which means the holidaymakers will be back; most of them will come “down” (south) to get their holiday homes ready for the new season. This also means that our little village’s population increases about tenfold during the holidays. However, early in the mornings, when most of the people are still in their beds, there is enough time to enjoy a lonely, peaceful and quiet walk at the local beach.

Talking about peace and quietness…

Some of you know already that I’m working on a book about dog training. For lack of time and peace, I have not been able to write much over these past months. But I’m very eager to have it finished, and possibly published, by the end of this year. I’ll keep you updated on this.

Some of you, who follow my other blog/s, know that I have had some issues with my provider and therefore switched to another blogging platform. I’m thinking of doing the same with It won’t happen until end of July, though. I’ll keep you updated on this as well.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post/s.

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Pancake Day

This coming Tuesday, the 5th March 2019, is Pancake Day, also called Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday — in German Faschingsdienstag. But do we really need a certain day to enjoy fluffy pancakes? Probably not. Americans like to have them for breakfast. The ones you will find throughout the US are a little thicker and slightly smaller than the ones in this recipe, though. Also, these pancakes are made out of whole wheat flour instead of plain white flour.


3 medium eggs dash of salt 300ml milk (1 1/4 cups) 200g whole wheat flour (1 1/2 cups) oil/butter to fry


  • eggs with a dash of salt
  • add milk (blend again)
  • add flour (blend again, first on low speed, then on high speed)


In a frying pan melt 1-2 tsp of butter/oil. Over medium heat fry each pancake for about 2-4 minutes on each side.

Keep warm

Preheat oven to about 100°C (210°F). Stack pancakes on a baking sheet. OR Place fried pancakes on a dinner plate, cover with same size dinner plate.

* Makes about 6-8 salad-plate-sized pancakes. **I usually use a blender to mix the ingredients; works well for this amount of servings.

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Travel Time

Plan enough time when you travel by car in Ireland. The road network isn’t always that great everywhere. If possible, stay on the main roads.

The M1-M4, M6-M9, M11, M17-M18, M20 and the M50 (45km half circle around Dublin) are all Motorways with an average speed limit of 120km/h. The others of the Irish road system are:

  1. N- National (primary N1-N50 and secondary N51-N99) roads
  2. R- plus three-digit number (R100 to R999) are Regional Roads, country roads which are usually (but not always 😉 ) wider and have a speed limit  of 80km/h to 100km/h. Note, though, that even though you are allowed to drive that fast, it isn’t always advisable to do so.
  3. L- plus four-digit or five-digit number (L1000 to L8999 and L10000 to L89999) are Local Roads, meaning these are link roads leading to villages and houses. On many of them you are allowed to drive up to 80km/h but beware that they can be quite treacherous, very narrow, winding and it is very hard to see ahead of what is coming toward you (including pedestrians and cyclists).

When driving in Ireland keep in mind that the “big roads” lead from and to Dublin. The roads between these bigger ones aren’t as wide and straight and using them it will take longer to get from point A to point B.



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Perfect Timing for NCT, Car Insurance and Tax

Last year we went too early to get the NCT done. It wouldn’t have been due until the end of April but we thought we could schedule an appointment and get it over with. Later on we’ve found out that going too early will result in an early due date for the NCT. Instead of 14 months (February until April) we’ve only had 12 months until this year’s test. In short, we’ve actually lost two months. Be careful not to schedule your appointment too soon.

Having said that, we are pleased it had worked out this way. Why? Now we have the perfect timing for the test and the following payments:

1 NCT comes first. Which means, as soon as the car passes we will be able to drive it for another year. If not, we would have to get it fixed or get another car. However, the date for the NCT remains the same (comes first) for this car as long as we won’t take it there too soon.

2 With the car being accepted to drive on the road for another year we can then get insurance for it. If it wouldn’t have passed we would be paying for a policy we might no longer need. Yes, the payment could be used toward the next car but only limited and along with more effort.

3 Next up is the car tax which can be paid annually, quarterly or monthly. You can save quite a few euros if you’ll pay it in full, once a year. But if you do and the car is taken off the road or sold later on that year, you will have lost money. You won’t get reimbursed for what you have paid ahead of time.

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NCT 2019

Our car is older than ten years so its NCT (National Car Test) must be renewed each year. Renewal of test for cars that are 4 to 10 years old is every two years and a new car doesn’t need to be tested for the first 48 months.

To book an appointment, go to their website enter your car’s registration number and follow the instructions. You will also find more information about where the testing centres are, how to prepare so you will more likely pass the test, check when your next NCT is due, and more.

As of January 2019, the test costs €55 (€28 for a re-inspection if the car has to go through the testing drive again, no fee, if it doesn’t have to). Beware, that you’ll need to give them at least 5 working days notice if you cannot make your appointment; otherwise you will be charged €22 for the first and €11.50 for a scheduled appointment for a re-inspection (credit card details are taken online while booking the test/s).

You will receive a booking appointment confirmation by email and/or text message (SMS). The confirmation will come along with helpful hints how to prepare for your NCT.

On the day of the test, bring along the Vehicle Registration Book, Registration Certificate or Licensing Certificate and your driver’s licence as identification. Also note that, on that day, the fee will be charged on your credit card.

Would you like to read more about this? Check out these links:

A post I have written in April of 2017: NCT in Ireland

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