Why did the duck cross the road? This is what the owners of No 10 St Ita's Road in Glasnevin couldn't figure out. Image consultant Ruth Murphy was working away at home one day when she saw a duck and her chicks on the terrace outside her kitchen.
There was no way for them to get down to the Tolka River below and animal rescue services were hours away. The mother then abandoned her chicks and went across the road, causing Ruth to panic because the local cats were now becoming interested in the situation.
"The mummy duck was going back and forth from my house to the house across the road and I was terrified something bad was going to happen," recalls Ruth. "Just when I decided I'd go out and take the chicks in, my neighbour from across the road came out with boxes to sort it out.
"Seemingly, this has happened a few times. The mother lays her eggs at the back of the houses and when they hatch, she can't get them down to the river, so she was looking for a way to get them into the water. We eventually got them all into the boxes and released them into the water, where their mother was waiting to give out to them. This is what is going on around us when we're just a few kilometres from the city!"
St Ita's Road runs parallel to Griffith Park in Glasnevin and the previous owners of No10 built a terrace around the house to make the most of the location.
"The terrace was definitely one of the main selling points for us," says Ruth. "I was so gobsmacked when I saw it first. I was thinking this is an urban house and yet when you look out, you see egrets, herons and swallows. We actually named the house Heron's Land because one day I looked up through the skylight in the kitchen and there was a heron above me, just peering down at me. I just thought 'wow'."
When Ruth and her husband Angus bought the house, it was already renovated and the messy jobs like insulating, rewiring and reroofing were done.
"What we got was very much a blank canvas, so it was great for us because we could make it our own without having to get the builders in and start from scratch," says Ruth.
They were determined to put their own personality in, so Ruth got busy hiring workmen to change this and that. It got to the point where friends were beginning to question the house she bought. "One friend said, 'Ruth, you told me you bought a house that was ready-to-walk-in'."
Rooms were reconfigured, walls were painted, carpets were lifted, blinds were fitted and the house became their own.
It now has a long living room at the front, which opens up into the kitchen and dining area across the back of the house. Doors from here open right out on to the aforementioned terrace, with the park below.
"The view, the park and the river below are just beautiful. Anyone who arrives just loves it," raves Ruth. "The tranquillity, the green, the sound of the river, I just love it all. Even on a horrible, rainy day, the park still looks beautiful."
Upstairs, there are three bedrooms (one has recently been transformed into a study for Angus) and the main bathroom. The colours throughout the house are calm and were chosen by the couple to make the most of their art collection, which is eclectic and eye-catching.
To get a bit of privacy at the back of the house without blocking the view, the couple bought pots, painted them and had them bolted down and filled with plants, which gives a bit of a screen from the park, but isn't as harsh as fencing.
Just as they come to the end of all the changes after living there for only a year and a half, the couple has decided that they are going to leave their beloved new home behind.
The pandemic and subsequent lockdown caused them to reassess what they wanted most from life and for them, it was no longer the city.
"During Covid, I was wondering what I was missing most in life and I realised it wasn't the shops and restaurants. What we were enjoying most were the walks and reading and watching the seasons go by in the park behind us."
They'll miss this part of Dublin though. "I love the history of Glasnevin. You walk down some of the roads and feel like you're back in a period drama. We love walking around and having a look at all of the old houses," says Ruth.
"I lived in London for a few years and I think Glasnevin now has that London borough feel, with nice cafes and restaurants and a great community.
"It's very sophisticated in a kind of way. It's a bit scary for us moving on so quickly, but it's exciting too."
No10 is for sale for €625,000 through Move Home Estate Agents (01) 8844690 and viewing is by appointment only.