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Apologies for my absence last week – it was a rather unsettled week that threw a few curve-balls in our direction!
First of all we both came down with a nasty flu-bug – I guess we were due an illness of some kind, having been very lucky on our travels between London and Portugal so far.
Being ill forced upon me a life-change that had been long overdue: I decided it was time to give up smoking – something I knew I had to do before the low cost of cigarettes in Portugal
turned me into a lifetime chain smoker. I now have behind me eight days of really rather horrific “cold turkey” and am in possession of an “electronic cigarette” to give me a blast of nicotine in an emergency.
So, between flu and cold turkey, blogging moved rather far down my list of priorities last week!
Another reason for a slightly grumpy temperament last week was the Algarve in August. We had never been here in August before and I may even go far as saying I would rather not be this time next year. It was pretty horrendous.
Restaurants that are usually a pleasure to dine in became shambolic. Supermarkets were like Christmas Eve in London and we spent time in traffic queues for the first time since we moved to Portugal.
We had been told to expect it but we weren’t really prepared for it – it was a lot busier than July. If the first time we had visited the Algarve had been in August I would say there is a good chance we never would have returned!
And then, almost as quick as we had noticed all of these people, they all disappeared. This weekend they all, collectively, buggered off again – restoring the calm and serenity of our little town. I am looking forward to again swimming in the pool without having to dive underneath a film of sun-cream, and being able to buy prawns without having to queue for half an hour. Listen to me, the grumpy new “local.”
When we originally moved to Portugal, now ten months ago, our plan was to spend a year in the Algarve and then a year a bit nearer Lisbon to decide which lifestyle we preferred. At various points we have become convinced that the Algarve is right for us, making a Lisbon experiment unnecessary. After an Algarve August we are back to considering trying out somewhere a bit nearer the city next year.
The best advice we read while preparing for this move was to rent for the first couple of years – it gives us the flexibility to change our minds and experiment – and isn’t that what life should be all about?
I’ll be back next week, hopefully as a longer term non-smoker and slightly less grumpy with it!