3000 Days in Ireland

As of today I’ve been living in Ireland for 3,000 days.  That’s a little over 8 years.  And when you put it together with the 12 years I lived in Scotland, then I’ve been living outside of my home country of England for over 20 years.

In another few years, I’ll have been living outside of England for longer than I ever lived there.

And although England will always be my nation of birth, and my accent will always identify me as English, the length of time away has shifted my allegiances somewhat. For international sporting events, for example, I feel much more allegiance to the Irish team than I do for the English.

I guess England no longer feels like home to me.  Sure, it’s where I grew up, and it’s where I have family. But in my case, my feeling of connection to England has faded over time. And as such, I don’t really harbour any desire to return.

Cloning Remote Control Fobs

In my apartment block there’s an underground car park that’s accessed using a remote-control key fob. We have one allocated car parking spot down there, and as such the management company for the block only issued us with one key fob.

My wife uses the key fob for her car, but I also have a requirement to get in and out of the car park, because that’s where I lock up my bikes.

When we moved in around 18 months ago I approached the management company of the apartments to try and get a second remote control. And despite me explaining the situation, they refused to issue another one to me – even though I offered to pay the €70 they said it would cost.

After some discussion they reluctantly agreed to give me a key to the pedestrian gate, which I’ve been using ever since – but the inconvenience is annoying.

But then I was on the internet one day and found that you can buy cloning remote control fobs that can copy existing fobs, they’re less than a ten quid to buy, and they work perfectly!

Remote Control Cloning Key Fob
Remote Control Cloning Key Fob

I got myself one last week from an ebay seller, but they’re also available on Amazon and other places. The initial programming can be a little tricky to be begin with, but after that it works like a dream.

Obviously in order to clone a key fob you need an existing working fob for the gate/door:

  • To start the programming, press and hold the top two buttons (A and B) together for between 5-10 seconds, until the light blinks rapidly, and then release. This action puts the fob into learning mode, and also wipes any codes already stored on the fob, so if you want to program a new button you have to start again and program them all.
  • Touch the two key fobs together, and press and hold the button you want to program (say the A button) at the same time as the corresponding button on the original fob that you want to clone from. You may need to move the fobs around at different angles to pick up the signal in the cloning fob (end to side seems to work), and when you do the light will flash rapidly to say it’s finished learning. Then simply repeat the process for any other buttons you want to clone.
  • Timing can be an issue during the programming process, as the fob only stays in learning mode for so long – so you need to be fairly quick. Have everything ready to go, and have a few practice goes.
  • I actually stood next to the car park gate to do my programming, so that I could check the original fob was working (it was opening the gate correctly) during the learning process.

If you get into trouble, take a quick search on YouTube for key fob cloning tutorials.  When I first got my fob I thought it wasn’t working, but that’s because I wasn’t programming it correctly.

Moving story

We moved house last night!

We only started house hunting just two weeks ago, but the rental market in Dublin seems to move incredibly fast! And so it took us just 14 days to view a few place, find somewhere we love, process an application and get references, pay a deposit, pack up all our belongings, and move into our new home.

The packing bit was the hardest, as we had to fit it around work and numerous other commitments.  And it doesn’t help with me being a bit of a hoarder!  However, I did summon up the courage to finally cull my extensive collection of books, which I’ve dutifully carted from house to house over the years, but not actually had the time to read!

The move itself was relatively painless.  It took two hours to transfer all our stuff to the new place.  Instead of hiring a van for the day, we used VanTasks – a man-with-a-van service – to shift all the stuff.  It worked out at about the same price as hiring a self-drive van for a day, but you get the advantage of an extra pair of hands to do all the heavy lifting!  I’ve used these guys twice now, and would thoroughly recommend them.

The only problem now, though, is that all out stuff is still in bags and boxes.  We only finished moving at 9pm last night, and by the time we ate some dinner, we just wanted to get to bed. And so it was fun and games this morning trying to find some clean clothes for work.