We have put together a comprehensive Guide to the Cottage and the various things you need to know (there is a hard copy of this Guide in the Cottage, too).
Of course, nothing can be 100% comprehensive and things
often seem strange in a different house. We are on-hand to help, so please do
give us a call. However, we do ask that you spend five minutes before you call to see
if the answer is as simple as “switching it on”.
When you arrive, we will meet you to go over all the appliances and other "need to knows". For reference, here are the key details.
Ireland operates on 240v (13a) and three pin plugs (same as the UK). So, you may need an adapter for your appliances (like mobile phone chargers).
To turn on a switch you must push it to red.
For safety reasons, please turn off appliances when leaving the house.
The house is fitted with motion detector lights at the front of the house, so it is not necessary to leave the lights on all day when you are out.
The kitchen is fully equipped and includes:
The hob (or stove) operates on gas. In the countryside, gas is supplied in metal "bottles" (sometimes called Calor Gas). Outside the back door you will find the orange gas bottle (along with a spare). They last for ages. But in the event it should run out please swap over the bottles (or give us a call to sort it out).
Central Heating and Hot water
The central heating is from an oil fired boiler. Oil is expensive in Ireland and we do make a surcharge to cover the actual usage during your stay. Obviously, the cost depends on how often you have the boiler running, but it is typically EUR 15 for a week if you use the central heating. Hopefully in the Summer months you won't need it at all.
When the central heating is on it also heats water in the hot water tank. When the central heating is off (for example, the Summer) the hot water is provided by an immersion heater in the hot water tank. More about this later.
Central Heating Timer
The Timer (i.e. controller) for the central heating is in the kitchen (on the wall beside the kitchen table).
There are 3 settings – Off; On and Timer.
The first 2 are obvious in their functionality. The Timer acts like a clock, so you can set it to switch on the Central Heating at a certain time of the day. For example, if you were out all day but wanted the heat to be on when you got back you could set it for 30 mins before the estimated time of arrival. So if you planned to arrive back into the house at 6pm, you could set it for 17:30 (The Timer is in military time). You would then set the "off" for a couple hours later, say, 19:30.
For the Timer to operate, the small spigots are pushed "in". If they are "out" the timer will switch off. It is more obvious than it sounds and we will demonstrate the operation when we check you in.
We kindly ask that you help us conserve energy and costs by not leaving the heat on all day. Because the Cottage is small it gets warm quickly. A cozy and effective alternative is the living room fire place. You will be amazed at how the heat from the fire warms up the whole house! See Fireplace instructions for details on how to operate it.
The controller for the Immersion Heater is in the airing cupboard (on the left hand side behind the curtain in the bathroom).
We use the Immersion Heater for hot water when in the Summer the Central Heating is typically off.
The Immersion Heater Timer follows the same logic as the Central Heating Timer; On, Off and Timed. As with the Central Heating, it is wasteful to leave the immersion heater on all day.
The Timer comes "on" where a spigot is pulled to the outer ring (and goes off when it encounters a spigot in the inner ring). It is more obvious than it sounds and we will demonstrate the operation when we check you in.
We have set it for typical times people want hot water. If you need hot water and it has all been used up you can switch the timer to "on" and it takes around 15 minutes to heat up enough water for a shower etc (do remember to put the timer back to "timed" or "off" afterwards).
The Cottage is in an area with fairly good 4g coverage and we use a wireless base station for internet access.
The passcode for WIFI access is 0851531576.
If the connection does not work, try rebooting the modem. The modem is the small white box on top of the hi-hi. Easiest thing to do is to pull the power cord out and wait for 30 seconds. Brutal, but it works.
You will find that most cafes and pubs will have WIFI access.
Hot water for the shower comes from either the Central Heating or the Immersion Heater (see notes above on these). To turn the shower on, turn the knob clockwise. You can control the amount of hot water by rotating the inner ring of the knob also clockwise.
There is a stereo system and a small selection of CDs. The stereo also has a radio built in. We don't have a TV at the Cottage, because people are out and about most of the time and it was a waste of space and licence fee! If this is a big problem for you, we can arrange a "loan" TV during your stay.
Half doors are a feature of Irish country cottages. Please lock the top and the bottom (reach over and slide the bolt across). The front door lock requires you to pull the door towards you as you turn the key. When entering the house you will have to give the bottom half of the door a good push.
There are two alarms in the Cottage; one is a ceiling mounted fire alarm (smoke detector);
The other one is a carbon monoxide detector.
If they go off it is, typically, a false alarm. Each has a button to silence them.
Please do not ignore any alarm and always investigate the cause of a false alarm; be it burnt toast or smoke blowing back into the room from the fire. Be sure you understand the reason. Solving the problem by removing the batteries is foolhardy in the extreme.
There is no house (burglar) alarm at the Cottage.
To create a spare bed, first pull the futon away from the wall by about two feet. Stand in front of it and gently lift the seat up towards your face. That motion will unlock the back rest and it will slide into a flat position. To put it back into an upright position, go behind the futon (wall side) and lift it up in a folding motion as though you were closing a book.
To enjoy the fireplace we recommend that you buy turf briquettes or a small bag of Ready-Fire-Coal (this provides several hours of heat) and some fire lighters. There is a starter pack provided.
Place the fire lighter in the center of the mound of briquettes or simply light a match to the bag of Ready-Fire-Coal. Before lighting the fire, please make sure that the flue is open (the leaver on the right hand side of the chimney pipe). For the “open” position, the leaver should be in the vertical in relation to the pipe. As the fire gets going to can close the flue a little to keep more heat in the Cottage (but never close it completely with the fire lit).
To start the fire you should almost close the doors; just allowing a little air to slip through and then slowly open the doors once the fire is going.
To be honest, the fireplace is more art than science and a little experimentation will quickly find the best setting. Enjoy!
We ask that you not burn garbage, food, plastics, etc. in the fireplace. Please only burn briquettes, wood or smokeless coal; all of which can be purchased at most petrol stations or grocery shops.
At night, please ensure the door a fully shut and that the fire has burnt down before you retire.
Temporary parking in front of the gate is fine, so long as you park closely to the wall and leave enough room for the farmers with their big tractors to pass. For longer parking and overnight, please park on the driveway beside the cottage with the blue door. Please leave enough room for the residents of the Blue Cottage to park also.
Please proceed with caution when pulling out of the driveway, as on coming traffic cannot see you easily.
When re-entering the Cottage from the driveway kindly respect the privacy of the residents of the Blue Cottage and do not cut across their front garden.
The Irish government has initiated a major campaign to control waste and maintain a healthy environment. Consequently, the disposal of garbage is very costly (EUR 5 per bag of garbage). So please do try to minimize the waste you create.
There are two bins at the cottage; a black one for general waste and a blue one for recycling. Please do follow the rules on recycling as there are penalties if we send non-recyclables to the waste company.
Emergency Phone Numbers
In Ireland, the Emergency Services can be contacted on 999 (or the EU wide number 112 also works). This will connect you to the Emergency Services Operator and is, as the name suggests, for emergencies only.
There is also an Irish Tourist Assistance Service on +353 1 661 0562 (or 1890 365 700) who speak a variety of languages and can give guidance in non-emergency situations.
The Police Station is Ennistymon can be contacted on +353 65 707 2180.