Charting a couple's move from London to Portugal, tales, adventures and moving advice

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The weather outside is frightful….

Posted on January 19, 2010 by Ben Algarve

Anyone who has been reading the blog for a while will know that I pride myself on being a “Glass half full” kind of person. Unfortunately the last week or so has done its best to test my usual resolve.

Rain rain go away...

Rain rain go away...

Firstly, the weather….the Algarve is reported to average around 300 days of sunshine annually. That being the case, by my reckoning the sun should come out at the end of the week and stay out until next Christmas!  I wasn’t under any illusions that we wouldn’t get a winter here at all but, according to locals, this winter has been unusually wet and dull.

My wife and I never realised how much we would yearn for central heating. As mentioned in a previous post, damp is a huge problem in traditional Algarve houses. Before we moved here, we couldn’t understand why the Portuguese seemed to favour more modern properties. Now we know. Despite a team of cleaners de-moulding our house, investment in dehumidifiers and other steps, we are still fighting a losing battle against mould in our house which seems intent on destroying our clothes and possessions. There are so many different varieties of mildew appearing that I am sure groundbreaking medical discoveries could be made here if only we knew what to look for!

In all seriousness though, it is well documented that it simply isn’t healthy to live in this environment (especially with asthma!) My wife and I are taking it in turns to be unwell, and spending far too much of our free time keeping on top of mould. It isn’t funny anymore. We have had to step up our hunt for our next property, which is sad because this house is perfect in every other way.

The other small problem this damp issue is causing is that it is near impossible to get any clothes or towels dry. It’s amazing how much you take for granted the ability to dry undergarments on a radiator if required…Even though the rain has slowed, it does seem to know exactly when to return in order to drench the almost-dry clothes on the line!

Knowing we have to move again, having to rotate bedrooms relentlessly to avoid mould, feeling ill and/or “seasonally affected” half the time, and rarely having any clean pants, just doesn’t really feel like the dream that we spent several years building up to! It isn’t causing us to have doubts as-such. Although we have occasional home-sickness feelings, not helped by the issues listed above, we would still rather be here than in the UK. We have been very unlucky with the house we chose and just have to stick it out until the weather improves and we can get moved to somewhere more appropriate (and more modern!)

Apologies for starting the week on a negative note, but I do have a responsibility to people reading this blog who may be planning to make a move here, to not always present a rose-tinted view of things. It has all been a little bit bittersweet of late….

To conclude, some tips for anyone planning to move to the Algarve, based on our recent experiences:

  1. There is a clear reason why a lot of locals prefer to live in modern properties – if you fancy a traditional house, go and have a look at it after three days of rain and have a REALLY good look at the walls!
  2. Get central heating, or budget a small-fortune to keep your air conditioning on 24/7!
  3. Get a tumble dryer or a lot more pants than you would ever expect to need!
  4. Don’t be fooled into thinking there isn’t a real winter.
  5. Keep smiling!


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  1. 11 01 11 02:55

    Living in Portugal - Looking back after moving to Portugal | movingtoportugal

6 to “The weather outside is frightful….”

  1. Tony says:

    Who was it who said “the sun always shines on TV”..I think it was A-Ha wasn’t it? 😉

    Appreciating your honesty here. It will be interesting to see when the summer comes whether you will miss the “cold” of Britain. I guess with aircon maybe not. 😉

    I would also like to say – never underestimate damp! I have some in my house right now and it’s bad news. I too have asthma and I am sleeping in the back room as a result of damp in the main bedroom causing some nasty breathing episodes. (I have now found the source of the damp – dodgy windows – and need to decide whether to pay out or just move).

    Anyway, I’m sure in a few weeks when the weather picks up things will get much better for you.

  2. admin says:

    Hi Tony,

    Glad you appreciate the honesty – I never really feel like posting when all is not going well but I think it is important to give a true picture!

    Best wishes, Ben

  3. Andy says:

    Hang in there! The weather is indeed unusual at the moment and this is about as bad as it gets. All that rain is falling as snow futher north in Europe so all things are relative! Are you looking further afield than Tavira for your next property?
    Air movement is the best defence against mould so keep the air moving as much as you can. In BOX next to Jumbo in Faro we saw a gadget for drying clothes that was a heated tent arrangement, remember that drying clothes inside only adds to the humidity!

  4. admin says:

    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for reading – we think we have found our next place – not far from Tavira in Cabanas. Luckily the weather seems to be improving as you will see from my next post. Thank you for the clothes drying tent idea we will have to check that out next time we are at Algarve Forum.

    Best wishes
    Ben

  5. joanne says:

    Hi there ,Just stumbled upon your blog and find it fascinating ,like a parallel world .I moved from Bedfordshire to Turkey in 2005 and agree and understand all your posts.The cold getting to the bones and the layered clothes and blankets in the lounge – spot on for us ’emigreys’ here too.We have hot thermal springs here and those of us who bought new builds also have the advantage of a HOT jacuzzi ,which seems to be a fetish of the builders (every home should have one it seems)its funny how we couldnt imagine laying in a hot bath and assumed it would be cool showers ,which it is most of the time isnt it ? Same with the mould for those with older type houses and many people here have found that by fitting vents in every room seems to work.Same again with the high cost of running hot air con.Broken Britain post and the slight homesick pangs all so familiar ,thank-you for a good read.Best Wishes ,an ex-pat from Turkey.

  6. admin says:

    Hi Joanne,

    Thank you for visiting and glad you are enjoying the posts – keep in touch!

    Best wishes
    B

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