Summer Break

Carmen in Ireland is now closed for the summer break.

The days are getting brighter. There is less rain coming down. Summer is here! Finally we are able to spend more time outdoors. 

One of the things I will need to work on is my garden. It is about time to plant the flowers. Two window boxes are waiting to be filled. The weeds have reached a certain height and need to be taken care of. This year I’m not going to plant many edible flowers. I only have a small amount of fruits and herbs to look after.   

I will spend more time writing and finishing my book about dog training (from a Christian perspective). Fact is, I have been working on this project for over a year now but I have been putting it at the bottom of my priority list. I want to finish it. I need to finish it — especially since the next project is already lined up.

I’m not placing all of my four blogs on hold, just the two Ireland ones. You will still find me at my two other blogs: The Christian Homemaker and Mirjam Fels’ Blog.

We will meet again end of July 2019. Have a nice and blessed holiday time and safe travels throughout the summer.  

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Driving on the Left

It must be odd, left-hand driving. Do you think so? Have you ever been in a country where there is left-hand traffic? Did you drive/rent a car there? How did it make you feel, driving on the “wrong” side of the road, with the steering wheel placed on the “wrong” side of the car?

Do you ever get used to driving on the left?


In fact, after driving in Ireland for nearly nine years now, I find it rather strange to go back to anything else but left-hand traffic. True, there are still some situations I’m not too keen about facing: parking in sideways and reversing. That’s when I’m still tempted for a few seconds to move my head toward the right to look over my right shoulder while parking or reversing. It doesn’t work that way, though!

The first few weeks, after we had just bought our car here in Ireland, had been a bit challenging. Unaccustomed, I had to get into the car at the opposite side of the car. Coming out of a store and walking toward the car I often unlocked it at the passenger side. Realising it, I just put some item on the seat, shut the door as nothing unusual had happened, walked around the car and got in on the other side. 🙂 Then, there had been several occasions when I had grasped at nothing instead of getting a hold of the seat belt. I also remember that strange movement of having to shift with my left hand instead of with my right.

It has been nearly three years ago now, that, for the first time in six years, I had been back in Germany again. My sister in law picked me up from the airport. Getting into her car over at the “wrong” side of it was very odd. She was driving on the “wrong” side of the road, flying across the Autobahn and passing cars on the other side of the road. That felt so strange. But do you know what had been the worst of it of all? Approaching a roundabout, due to the direction of entering and driving in it, I had nearly lost it and almost scream: “Oh no!” 🙂

The difference of driving a roundabout in Germany compared to in Ireland lies not only in the direction but also in the rules. That’s another story for another blog…

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Motortax Renewal

The Motor Tax for our car will expire by the end of this month. I’ve received a reminder by email. It contained the PIN which is needed to renew the tax online. So I went to Monday morning to extend the motor tax for another year.

Does your car’s tax expire in the near future? Did you already receive the email with the PIN? Then all you will need to get this job done is the registration number, the PIN, the car insurance policy and your credit card. Let’s get started!

Go to Motor Tax Online and click on the icon that says MOTOR TAX which will lead you to the login screen. Enter your car’s registration number and the PIN and click on Log In. You will be guided through the six steps, which are:

Step 1 of 6: Vehicle Details Check the details of your car. Suppose they are all right, click on

Step 2 of 6: Registered Owner Details In this step your details are listed (name, address, phone number and email). You can edit them if necessary. Then continue by clicking on

Step 3 of 6: Insurance Details Now you will need to fill in the required information (name of the insurance company, expiry date, policy number) regarding your car insurance. All done? Then click on

Step 4 of 6: Motor Tax Details this page contains data about the date on which your motor tax will expire and the date on  which the new task disc will commence on. Select to extend it for 3, 6, or 12 months. If you plan on driving your car for another year, and if you are able to do so, extend the tax for a whole year. This will save you quite a few euros. However, if you are planning on selling the car soon and/or trading it in for another one, you might want to extend it for a shorter period. As soon as you have made your preferred choice, click on
Continue to Payment>>

Step 5 of 6: Payment you will see the total amount to pay and then enter the details like credit card number, expiration date, security code, and cardholder name. Once you have filled in the information and you are okay to continue (immediate payment is required as soon as you will) click on

Step 6 of 6: Transaction Complete you will see a Payment Confirmation page where the Transaction Reference Number, the Vehicle Registration Number, the New Taxation Period, the Transaction Date, the Total Amount, the Registered Owner, and the Address are listed. Click on Print this page to print and/or save the document.

Then click on Logout which will lead you to this page:

Logout Motor Tax.JPG

You will receive a confirmation by email shortly after and your new Motor Tax Disc should arrive by post within about a week. Ours arrived today.

Tax Disc

PS: Your disc won’t have the squared paper piece on it, of course 😉 That was put there to protect sensitive data.

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