MUSINGS Room for rent


Vacancy sign

Room for rent

Diary of a home bird
Ciara Galvin

I’M only gone five minutes and they’re redecorating. The indoor putting green hasn’t been installed just yet, but I fear it’s only a matter of time. As I officially settle into the blissful life of washing, iron and cooking (what was I thinking?), the ahem, roomies, are going all ‘Changing Rooms’ on the homestead. The first victim to the DIY work? Me.
As the female roomie pointed out the new colour scheme in the hall, I noticed a picture was missing – a picture of my graduation day from NUI Galway in 2009. It was a proud day for the roomies, the day I was officially struck off the payroll, or so they thought.
Anyway, where my picture once hung now lies a myriad of pictures of the whole family, fair trade I guess. The picture in question has been added to the pile of belongings packed away into boxes that remind me each time I visit the parentals that I really should finish the whole ‘moving out’ thing.
The framed pieces of parchment displaying all those very tough hermit-like years in college have also been removed from the wall, making room for a scoreboard for the putting green, if there is such a thing. My degree certs aren’t essential items for the new house, however, but things like a colander, a potato masher and chopping boards are. The roomies better keep an eye on all kitchenware while I’m around. There’s only so much lumpy potato and soggy rice I can deal with.
The next area that’s been tackled is my room, which I now must refer to as ‘my old room’. Sniff, sniff.
The roomies are painting it in the hope of finding a new lodger, apparently.
“How much were we charging you again? We need to put an ad in the paper for a new tenant,” Mother joked. (At least I hope she was joking.)
In the interim, my little niece Saoirse has returned from Dubai and is acting as a temporary lodger. Last week, as I arrived through the door with a Frozen doll (Frozen fixes all ailments), the female roomie whispered in her niece’s ear. Next thing I knew, my little princess told me to ‘Get your stuff out of my room’ as the whole family rolled around laughing. In fairness, she was very polite about it.
So to make room for Anna and Elsa, I’ve started to remove the remaining boxes. I should have taken the hint a few weeks back when my 16 month old niece Aoibh started emptying the drawers in my room. Undoubtedly she too got a nudge from madré. And there was I thinking she wanted to play dress up.
The male roomie has been tasked with ensuring the prospective lodger has plush grounds to view from the bedroom. We’ve been fighting over rakes and shovels, though, as the garden in the new house needs some TLC too.
So, what are the roomies looking for in a potential tenant? Well, they must be tech savvy, for obvious reasons (these smartphones won’t figure themselves out). They must have an interest, pretend or otherwise, in golf. And finally, they must have good parking skills. The roomies treasure their pillars, as found out the hard way.

In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old trying to get used to living away from her parents.