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It has been a hectic couple of weeks with yet another trip back to the UK due to another wedding. We are now settling back in to life in the Algarve, and it is now, thankfully, two whole months before I have to go anywhere again.
Our residency nightmare is on-going, and I’m not going to detail the complete and sometimes humorous debacle at this point, as I am going to save it all for a detailed post as and when the process is complete. Regular readers will, however, probably be able to fill in a few gaps from some of the points in my list below.
SO: here are ten “life lessons” I have learned since my last post:
1. However long you wait and however hard you try to get hold of a Portuguese residencia certificate, once you finally get your hands on it, it is unrealistic to expect it to be valid for the correct amount of time or feature your correct residential address. Sad but true.
2. It is best to avoid leaving your wallet in a seat-back pocket on a plane, and unrealistic to expect anyone to hand it in.
3. Even if you use a “wine bottle irrigation system*” several of your plants WILL DIE if you leave them on your terrace for five days away in 30 degree heat.
4. Do not fly out of London Stansted – it is FAR too small for the number of people who use it.
5. Do not expect the young ladies at WH Smith in Stansted to pause their inane conversation about who they kissed on their night out, no matter how many miles long the queue is.
6. Never expect the boarding process on an Easyjet aircraft to be anything other than a hideous experience that highlights the ugliest parts of human-nature.
7. Expats should never convince themselves that it is possible to do ANY trip back to the UK without spending a small fortune.
8. The ability of Ebay buyers to collect items they have purchased at the agreed time has not improved in the last six months.
9. Café Nero sells half-decent espresso, Premier Inn does not.
10. When it comes to the World Cup, I will always be an England fan, however long I live in Portugal.
*A wine bottle irrigation system involves filling an empty wine bottle with water and upending it in the soil in a plant container. The plant takes the water it needs gradually and some kind of vacuum effect keeps the rest in the bottle. It is very effective, but unfortunately in this climate the plants need litres per day. Perhaps I need to start buying wine in five litre bottles ?!