We may earn commission from companies mentioned on this blog, however our praise cannot be bought!
Let’s get the bad bit out of the way first: the first couple of weeks of our 2011 in Portugal were pretty crap.
A rapid succession of stomach upset, flu and then ear infection, all accompanied by a heavy dose of post-Christmas blues, resulted in the very beginning of the year feeling quite some distance from “living the dream.” This serves to illustrate the fact that living in Portugal, or any other “hot” country doesn’t suddenly make you immune from the rubbishy bits life throws at you sometimes.
Thankfully by the start of this week, rest, antibiotics and a regime of early, brisk walks, had fully restored my lust for life.
I’m pleased to report that we haven’t so far had a repeat of last year’s soaking wet winter, and the weather in the last week or so has finally made us realise why the Algarve is a popular destination for winter sun. It’s hardly been shorts and flip-flops weather, but most days HAVE delivered t-shirt and shades weather.
The area is blissfully quiet, and my early morning walks have taken me past fields covered in yellow flowers, rows of almond trees dripping with pinky white blossom, and sparkling sea views, complete with locals wading in the Ria Formosa searching for clams.
Down the road where some of our family live, the orange harvest has begun, and we look forward to popping over there this coming weekend to assist, both in picking the fruit and finding ways to use the considerable glut of shiny citrus!
After such a depressing start to the year, it’s wonderful to feel inspired again, and it’s uplifting to wander around the quiet sunny streets in the morning, losing count of the number of smiles and “Bom Dia” greetings I have exchanged on my trek. It’s impossible not to feel blessed when my mind goes back to a couple of years ago, when we would have been fighting through the ice and rain on the morning drive into London.
My already high spirits were boosted when, earlier in the week, I received the exciting news that this blog has won an award from Expat Arrivals after being shortlisted from nearly 1000 blogs. This recognition for the time I have put into it has really spurred me on to take it to the next level, and this year I plan to take and upload a lot more photos of our adventures in the Algarve. A big thank you to all the regular readers of this blog who have helped to make it a success!
So – onward and upward! I wish everyone a sunny and positive 2011.