View of Lagos’ Avenida (main street) from the other side of the river
Well, doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun?!
It has been far, far too long since I posted a blog update so let me see if I can manage something of a catch up.
Since the boys went back to school, in mid September, it’s been a pretty hectic few months. We have had several trips back to the UK (2 for Nik, one for me) and a LOT of visitors out here to the Algarve.
As it’s nearly the end of term, let’s start with a quick school update.
Both boys settled into their new terms without too much trauma. Eliot has settled nicely in the new school and, according to his teacher, is coming on nicely. His language (written and comprehension) is improving steadily (can we have a “Hallelujah!”?!) and his verbal skills are, as ever, verbal (he has the gift of the gab in 2 languages now. Oh joys!)
He seems happy enough overall. There are a few trouble-makers in his class but nobody is giving him any particular grief, I don’t think (well, no more than they are giving anybody else anyway) Eliot doesn’t seem particularly troubled by it all and I’m inclined to believe whatever his position is. He’s not backward about showing his opinions and emotions and I’m fairly sure that, if there was a serious problem, we’d know about it.
Eliot at the skate park
Jake has also taken the new school year in his stride. He was very bothered by the fact that he’d been split from the majority of last year’s class (who he’d been together with since he started in the school) but has settled fine with the new class. He shares a few classes with his old classmates (French, I think) so he still sees them around and he’s making new friends in the new class. Academically, he seems to be doing ok. There are a few subjects he’s not doing so well at (including one or two that, perhaps, he ought to be doing better at) but there’s time for those to improve before it becomes a pass/fail-the-year issue.
They’re both ready for the Christmas break, I’m sure. This week is their last week of school (they finish Friday 14th) and then we can start to get ready for Christmas!
Like I already said, we’ve had lots of visitors in the past few months. Some have stayed with us (my Mum and Rod, Nik’s Mum) and some have stayed locally or elsewhere in the Algarve. It’s always nice to have visitors here, enjoying our beautiful local area and nice weather.
Recent visitor Tim and his giant club sandwich at the Skate Park (December 1st 2012)
Visitors Lee and Nicola on the beach (October 23rd 2012)
Mum and Rod (and Jake) at the Sand Sculptures (October 13th 2012)
We’ve continued to have some great weather this year. Once you get to October, it starts getting a bit unpredictable but, in amongst the odd raining or dull day, we still have some beautiful warm sunny days. Even in December you can get away with wearing a t-shirt if the sun is out!
Of course, the slightly cooler but sunny weather lends itself to better biking weather too. This pleases Nik greatly.
The bike parked up at Salema Beach (December 8th 2012)
I’m sure we’ll have some good weather over the Christmas and New Year period too. My sister, Wendy, is visiting again, this time for the whole holiday period, and she’ll no doubt be needing to be taken for regular walks (it’s kinda like having a dog!)
Plus, we have a Boxing Day tradition (if you can call “2 years so far” a tradition!) of visiting Alvor and walking along the river to uphold.
Alvor Christmas 2011
Of course, it’s not all lazy days here in the Algarve. We are still working (our visitors rarely see that side of us but we DO work when we are visitor-free, honest guv!) because, well, if we didn’t, we wouldn’t be here. Laziness doesn’t pay the bills, unfortunately!
It’s not all perfect sunshine either. As our autumn guests will tell you, Autumn in the Algarve brings with it unpredictability. Lee and Nicola (mid October) had 2 days of torrential rain during which they holed up in their rental apartment and watched movies all day. Tim and Sue (end November) also had a couple of rainy periods and, when it rains in the Algarve, it really rains!
Sometimes, although thankfully rarely, it does a bit more than that too.
Mid-November saw a freak tornado in the Algarve. From what I can gather, it passed us, here in Lagos, still out at sea (small mercies) and landed about 15-20km away in Carvoeiro. It then travelled inland to Lagoa and ended up at Silves, causing huge destruction on its way.
Destruction in Lagoa and Silves (image courtesy of Sul Informação) Click image to view more photos
There is also some “good” home video of this tornado as it arrived in Silves. How this person stayed at the window so long, I have NO clue!
I’m not sure I can embed the video from YouTube but please DO click and watch. It’s not long but it’s certainly impressive
Anyway, fortunately, this kind of weather is very rare here and we’re hoping not to experience any more like it. Hopefully, those affected by the damage and destruction can get at least remedial repairs done promptly and have some sort of normality in place for the holiday season.
Speaking of which, presents to wrap etc etc. Jake’s birthday is tomorrow so Christmas takes a back seat until after December 11th. No early decorations for us!
I’ll try to keep updated a bit more often in future