Life is….

Some people say that life is just a bowl of toenails, or cherries, or even that it is a constant battle. This morning I got talking to Colum, our soon to be ex-landlord about property and rights regarding our recent scare over the appurtenant land rights on the new place.

Like any moderately successful farmer here in the wilder west, Colum is a careful man. I like him. He picks an objective and gently works his way towards it. “Patience and time.” was how he described his approach to property. His wife is, as we are, modestly successful as an investor. That is her part of his families ship. His small eggs are in many baskets, and that I truly respect. He might have an accent thicker than custard, and he’s not a fast talker, but he gets there in the end if you just let him talk.

We got to talking about the fallout over 2008 and all the properties the banks got lumbered with because people couldn’t pay off their debts. How drainage and sewerage on these properties were often on neighbouring properties under different ownerships, governed by what might be called ‘Gentleman’s agreements’. And how the deeds and titles were often a real buggers muddle of ‘rights’ ancient and not so ancient.

Which is probably why there were quite a few Irish properties up for sale at rock bottom prices as late as early 2020. Not so much now. However, if you are willing to take one on, there are still a lot of ruined houses with no roofs and hardly any walls, but these often come booby trapped in layers of informal agreements, easements and codicils enough to drive your solicitor (And possibly you) to drink and ruin.

While we were talking about property related matters, I got to thinking that some sources claim life is a battle. Yet, went my train of thought, as it gently chuffed through the sidings of our conversation, a ‘battle’ has a clearly defined beginning and end. Life is not a battle at all because the only clearly defined endpoints are birth and death, and there are often long periods when there’s nothing to fret about too much.

Before COVID, there was only the bugaboo of man made climate change, or the Russians, or next door neighbours cat, or the local council, or the idiot driver in front, or a thousand other of life’s daily little skirmishes and frustrations with opposing forces. And these little struggles collectively make up our existence. It’s a collation of events, not an event in itself. So the battle analogy falls over.

One of the other observations Colum made, based upon his experience of property negotiations in the wilder west of Ireland (And probably in the UK as well) is that there is “A little Hitler on every corner.” Always some mean spirited little sod who will try to spoil everything simply because they can’t have it. Human nature, eh?

Having given the matter a certain amount of thought, if you were to ask me, I’d say that taking everything into consideration, life is war.