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If I thought for one minute that things would be back to ‘normal’ when we came back to England, how completely deluded I was.

I suppose, it depends on your definition of ‘normal’, but ours (well, mine) was working from home, kids at school, same old same old just with fewer sunshine and beer breaks (booooo!)

I guess I was partly right.
I was also dead wrong!

After a shaky start with Jake in (or not in) school, we settled into something that works for us for now. Jake does 2 hours (ish!) of Maths in the morning and then 2 hours currently learning coding or 3D design in the afternoon. He’s signed up to a great Maths website that he seems to be getting on with OK (after trialling several) and he’s working his way to starting GCSE Maths study, alongside English next year or soon after.

Exams weren’t in our initial plan, but then Jake decided he wants to do plumbing. That’s all well and good but he’s going to need him some GCSE Maths and English passes to get into college and so that’s what we’re working towards now. Whether it’ll be next summer or after that, I don’t know, but it’s a target and, much more importantly, an ambition. That’s quite huge for us actually. It’s certainly not even in the ballpark of what we’d have expected Jake to show an interest in, but hey, world needs plumbers!

So we have a sort of plan for Jake. That’s good.

And so on to Eliot.

He settled in well at school. He’s a social sort and made plenty of friends. And that’s all well and good but… it’s difficult to know how to get down how things went in my head but I think it boiled down to two words: Parents’ Evening.

Eliot was excited for us to come and especially so because the first teacher we were seeing was the dance teacher and he was loving dance, having been asked to join the lunchtime dance group. So we trotted along to see her and that’s about where it all started to unravel. The one thing she had to say, which seemed to take up her EVERY last word about Eliot and dance, was homework.

Homework!
I mean, honestly. Homework??
Now, I have a beef with homework at the best of times, but seriously? In Dance class?

I expected to hear the same from every teacher but didn’t really. Lots of how Eliot is a ‘very sociable and popular child’ but he ‘needs to focus more’, is ‘very easily distracted’ and should ‘concentrate in class’ and blah blah blah yada yada.

Quite honestly, what they want is for Eliot not to be Eliot but to be some good little worker bee to line up with the rest of the hive and enable them to churn out one more obedient sheep at the end of year 11.

No. Thank. You!

Eliot has never been the best in school. Anyone who knows him will know this, but he’s not stupid. Not by a long shot, and school was making him seem that way. It made him feel incapable and dumb and, coupled with the fact that he was so very clearly 4 years behind in the important parts of Maths and English from being in Portuguese school, it didn’t bode well for the long-term.

He may not be academically gifted but the boy is clever and he needs to see it. We needed to get back to basics and school wasn’t doing it.

My brain coped with about one more week of school and then it spontaneously combusted and, after a long heart to heart with Eliot (who was very mature in his reasoning for staying in school as well as being out of it) we de-registered him too.

It’s been a rocky start but we now have some sort of thing going. We found an absolutely awesomely fantastic maths website called Maths Whizz which is perfect for Eliot. It assesses as it goes and has been brilliant at filling in some really fundamental gaps in his knowledge. We’ve lots more to do but the fact that I’m even managing to get him to do an hour each morning on it during school half term speaks for itself!

It’s quite ingenious really.

If I could find an equivalent site for English, that’d be even better! Currently, we’ve worked on Nouns and used the free Grammaropolis Nouns section as an aid. It was a bit of fun but rather too childish really. Not quite what we’re looking for and I’m undecided whether we’ll pay to use the rest of the site. It worked, I suppose, but I’m still looking.

Meantime we’re still bouncing back to nouns every once in a while and I’m tackling his spelling (which is , quite honestly, atrocious. Partly due to not being educated in English for 5 years and partly due to the only reading/writing he had done in that time being picked up from chatting online: definitely NOT the place to learn!)

So anyway, it’s an hour of Maths, 15 minute break and 30-45 mins of English each morning – the important academic stuff – and a less structured couple of hours in the afternoon doing science or something more fun! He’s doing well with it so far and I’ve been amazed at how quickly he’s responding to learning this way. I can see huge progress already and, perhaps as importantly, HE can see real progress and achievement. It’s measurable in his Maths and it’s lovely to see.

That’s huge too.

So, I’m juggling my days with helping Eliot in the mornings and fitting work in before that, during the boys’ lunch break and after 3 when they’re both finished. It’s tricky sometimes but it’s working and it’s definitely beneficial.

What else?

That’s all so big that not a lot else has gone on really. Nik went back to Portugal for a week for the Jerez MotoGP (the git – we all went last year) and I had a very long weekend away at Wendy’s when we both went to Nottingham for 3 days to see John Barrowman Live. It was great!

See how close we were?! Second row!

We ate lots, drank lots and loved the show! Music was great and John is a great entertainer (and very, very funny!)

It was a fab weekend!

Oh, other news. We’re having solar panels fitted to the house. Slight irony really that we’re having them fitted here after living nearly 5 years in a country with a zillion hours more sun, but we were looking at financially viable ways to provide us with more economical power and this is the first step.

Our oil central heating (we’re off mains gas here) is not cheap to run. We went through 500 litres of oil (about £350-400) in less than 6 weeks when we first moved back in and that was with the heating on 6-10am and 6-10.30 pm. So we were STILL freezing in the office all day! We had to bump the heating down to 2 hours morning and evening instead (did that while it was still cold: mid March, I think) and so now we’re even colder in the office all day but we’re not using so much oil. We’re hoping that, with the solar PV panels, we can run any excess into a storage heater for the office (usual approach is to run it to the immersion, and we may or may not use that option instead) but either way the money we save/earn on electric, we can use towards our oil.

We’ve gone with WeRSolarUK by personal recommendation. We noticed that one of our nearby neighbours had panels fitted (last summer) and he’s said the benefits have been very good. He recommended the company and, even though we did shop around and get another local quote, we were certainly impressed with what WeRSolarUK could offer for the money. I’ll report back with an update at a later date!

We’re also looking at getting out oil boiler replaced with a more efficient one and sorting out our whole hot water system which is horribly inefficient at present.

It’s all a work in progress but it should result in a nicer, warmer workplace without increase in overall cost beyond our initial loan payback. We’ve borrowed over 4 years, but the system should pay for itself in around 6-7 (based on our home in particular) and carries on paying out from the Feed-in-Tariff for 20 years in total giving an overall return on investment of a considerable amount higher than having it sat in the bank!

It’s been a big step for us: borrowing from the bank. Mortgages aside, it isn’t something we’ve ever done. We’ve never had a personal loan as a couple (Nik had one before we met) so it’s been actually quite nice to know that we’re still credit-worthy!

We’ve been spending some time working on the garden here too now that the weather has improved. We had a huge (approx 70ft) Christmas Tree removed that had been in the garden for over 40 years and was causing a nuisance both our side of the boundary and next door. The needles made the garden a mess and the thing was enormous! We got it cut down and spent some considerable time clearing away branches and needles.

Under the tree : Before

You can see how big the job was! The debris filled the garden!

Oh the needles. We have gravel directly beneath where the tree stood and 10 years of needles (since we put the gravel down) had fallen in amongst the stone, making it squashy, dirty and grow weeds! (in the needle mulch itself)

After the tree and branches had all been cleared from the garden (luckily, our garden is very long itself), we set to sieving the gravel. We sieved about 10 square meters of gravel and it’s so much better now. We certainly cleared a LOT of needles! I’d guess about 6-8 big green garden wheelie bins worth! Back-breaking and time-consuming work but it looks SO much better for it.

While the tree itself didn’t shade us from the sun (it did next door though!), it did, of course, cast shadow and significantly obscure the skyline. The difference now it’s gone is amazing! The garden feels even bigger and lighter and much less claustrophobic for having it gone.

Now we’ve got that sorted, we’ve replaced the shed (building new one afforded us both the opportunity to get sunburnt on Saturday!)  and just need to clear the old one and shift the greenhouse off the decking and into its final place next to the new shed.

It’s getting there.

Anyways, that’s probably enough waffle for now.

Suffice to stay we’re still here, and we’re hoping for many more sunshiny days like Saturday!


Now isn’t that just the million dollar question?

If you’d told me 3 months ago that I’d be sitting typing this from our old house at Knaith Park, I’d have laughed at you. Hard.

And then laughed some more.
Because it would have been a ludicrous thought.
Ridiculous.
And I’d have told you so.And then I’d have laughed a bit more.
And probably drunk some more wine.

Yet here we are.

Nik is working on his ‘new’ van in the garage, I am on the laptop in the office, El is at school and Jake is…not.

We did get them both registered in the local school at they started back in January. Well, I say ‘they’.  J never really started properly. It very quickly became apparent that just expecting him to pop right back in to an English school – ANY school – was really not going to just happen.
And so he isn’t.
In school, I mean.

Currently, he is on a 4 week study-at-home period and school have sent work home for him to do while we wait(ed) for an appointment to come through with CAMHS. Well, they sent some ridiculously long maths sheets, and a couple of other things which I can only assume are perhaps English stuff (one definitely is, one I’m not sure what subject it originated from! It’s more like Business Studies!) which he’s worked through gradually, but oh my god how DULL! To be sitting at the kitchen table for hours on end doing maths worksheets? Really?

I mean, I love maths as much as the next maths geek but even I’d get bored with it (J actually doesn’t mind), and really, what are we achieving? He’s missed term 1 of year 10. He’s missing term 2 of year 10. Even if CAMHS could work a miracle, I honestly cannot see him going back to school this year, let alone this term!
And then where are we?A teen in year 11 having done NO GCSE work in school whatsoever.

No, I’m sorry, but that won’t do. The timing is all icky and it just won’t work.

That leaves two options.

1) Assuming miracle cure from CAMHS, he starts back a year at year 10 again. This is a bad option because a) miracle cures don’t exist and b) who wants to go back a year.

2) We homeschool him. (That hyperlink probably answers a whole ton of your questions right now!)

There, I said it.

The more I research it and talk about it, the more it seems like the only option. If he were in year 9 even, it’d be less of a problem but he stands more chance of learning anything properly if we’re doing it at home than the way things are going currently.

Exams are dependent on finding a school that will allow private candidates to sit them (a lot do but we may need to look at Lincoln or Scunthorpe) but it’s doable.

I can do Maths with him. I’m fairly certain we can get through Maths GCSE (or IGCSE) between us. We’re both strong in that area and I’m confident he can do well.
For English, I will source an online GCSE course such as Catherine Mooney. Her course comes highly rated and recommended. It’s not my forte, and I would not feel at all confident judging/assessing any written work.

We might look at a combined science GCSE but we might not. I’m more keen, from an exams point of view, to concentrate on areas in which he has genuine interest. We’re looking at IT-related courses. Perhaps ECDL and following some courses based around 3D design and printing. Something that he might have actual enthusiasm about.

Makes sense, right?

We perhaps don’t need to go quite THIS far back to basics!

Part of me is sad that my bright teenager has ended up losing the opportunity to excel in school.  I know he would have done, under the right circumstances.

But these circumstances aren’t the right ones.
I honestly believe that he WILL still excel, but in his own time; on his own schedule and not in some school-timetabled-cookie-cutter-universal time-frame.
We’re having to look at ‘education’ in a whole other way, and I’m using the opportunity to create something for J that he can USE, something he can be interested in and about excited about doing each day. Whether it works or not remains to be seen, but the status quo isn’t working so why keep fighting it. The outcome could be a lot worse if we do.

Aaaaaanyway, on a chirpier note, El has settled well into school. He’s made new friends and has a few favourite subjects (Drama, PE, anything in which he can make a mess (Art, Cookery, Tech generally)) and seems OK. Some days he’s loving it. Others he’s tolerating, but I think he will be OK for now. He takes the bus to and from school each day and seems to have grown up quite a bit with the move. I need to keep reminding myself to keep a reign on him though. He’s such an independent little thing that it’s easy to forget that he’s only 11 (I forget, he forgets, it’s a group thing!)

So we are sort of settled. Business is good, and we have lots of ideas to make it better and grow. We have J’s initial appointment with CAMHS. We’ll see what they say about him. It won’t change my school decision but I will discuss it with school so they understand the problem. I can’t see them being able to accommodate him and keep him on track, even if he does find himself able to return.

If you’d told me 3 months ago that I’d be sitting typing this from our old house at Knaith Park, I’d have laughed at you.
If you’d then told me that I’d be planning to deregister Jake from school and homeschool him, I’d probably have called the men in white coats for you and helped them load you into their van!

Funny how life goes, huh?


I have a spare while, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to update the blog.

We’ve been back in the UK since Sunday, and can I just take this opportunity to say “Brrrrrrr!”?

If you’re not used to the freezing cold, winter is really not the time to be moving back! That said, the whole Christmas holiday period certainly does help. It’s quieter for us with work, and there are more opportunities to catch up with family and friends, which all goes to soften the blow.

A bit.

It’s a shock coming back. That’s obvious, I’m sure. But what surprises me more is how much relief I feel already. It’s almost as if I’ve spent 4 years in Portugal holding my breath and NOW I can exhale. What’s weird is that it didn’t feel like that at the time. Maybe it’s just the accumulation of stresses and issues that led to our return that have amplified that feeling so much, I don’t know, but there’s a huge sense of relief that I feel right now, which is so completely opposite to how I felt when we initially left on Sunday.

It’s not all over, by any means. We still have big hurdles here. School, for starters. I’ve sent off their mid-year admissions forms, and I’m now playing the waiting game to see if any of our chosen schools have vacancies. I am hoping that our first choice will – because I really didn’t have a second or third choice – but what will be will be. It can only be better than what they have been through. (I’m saying that with a certain amount of denial, by the way)

Likewise, we have other challenges. Car insurance has been difficult, and even our home isn’t available to us for another couple of weeks (in the meantime, we are blessed to have a very accommodating family) and even then we have to completely redecorate before we can move in. That’s quite a job, but it’ll be so much easier to do while it’s empty. Unfortunately, it also means that we’ll be spending the Christmas and New Year period with paintbrushes in hand. Again though, the quieter work season helps.

What won’t help, however, is our new addition!

Meet Zac. How completely adorable is he? We’re hoping to pick him up on Monday. Nik has wanted another Springer Spaniel for years, and Eliot has ALWAYS been desperate for a dog. Nik grew up around working Springers, training and breeding them, and he has always said that, as soon as we lived somewhere that would accommodate one, he would get another. Well, it might be a little premature from the housing point of view (and he probably expected that the “somewhere” would be in Portugal, not the UK!), but some things are just meant to be.

He was only 20 or so miles away, and for a 5 month old Springer, his temperament was lovely. He comes from good pedigree, show grandparents and a working line of gun dogs with good temperament, and he is utterly gorgeous. Eliot and Nik were instantly in love, and I have to admit that even I was taken with him. For a pup, he was so well behaved.

We had already arranged to have a night away tonight so we couldn’t bring him back right away, but we’ll fetch him as soon as we get back. And we’ll make the most of what will be our final night away until he’s older, fully trained and vaccinated and able to be put into kennels!

For Nik in particular, he will soften the blow of having to come back to England. We’ve got to make the most of it, and this is our start. We have lots of business plans and ideas that will help us too: things we couldn’t have done from further away which we can do from here.

The boys are both so much calmer already. Granted, they haven’t started school yet, and that will bring a whole other set of stresses as they settle in wherever they are, but Jake already seems like a different person. It’s baby steps. One issue at a time, and we’ll deal with what’s left when we’ve tackled the first layers.

Maybe it was just our time, but I actually don’t feel like we’ve made the wrong decision at all.

And who’d have ever thought I’d be saying that from 2 degrees C in the UK in December?

merrychristmas


I got told off last week for my initial post being too brief. I think the main problem was that, because I didn’t do much explaining, Nik then spent several days answering the same questions over and over.
So here’s a proper explanation.

We are returning to the UK for two reasons.

Firstly, school.
The boys have coped here. Barely.

Jake started off OK but it the last 18 months or so, he’s begun to really struggle. Unfortunately, being a teenager, he’s not really told me that. He’s your fairly typical non-communicative teen, so I’ve found out by regular reading of his school books. Despite his obvious difficulties, he seemed OK at school so we were content to let it go in the hope that, if he really had a problem, he’d tell us.

Eliot has never thrived at school, in either country. He’s about as non-academic as they come and so scraping through has been his norm really. Long-term, he worries us less. He’s one of those people that you just know will be OK.

However, this (school) year has been a whole other beast. Eliot has struggled to cope, even suffering with panic attacks at times early in the term and, while he has friends there in school who he chats to in fluent Portuguese, his abilities in the classroom are lacking. He is pretty much illiterate in the language, being mostly unable to read and spell it. At this stage of school, it isn’t going to get any better. Even he has confided in me that he struggled in class, and when my outgoing and confident 11-year-old is breaking down, I know it’s bad.

Jake is another matter entirely. He’s one of those kids who says little and just goes about his day with resignation. He gets up, showers, goes to school, goes to class with barely a mumble or an objection.

That said, we’ve noticed a change in his behaviour. He barely eats, sleeps poorly and just hasn’t been right for a while. We suspected he was suffering with depression, but it is difficult to tell the difference between “normal” neanderthal teenager and depression. Turned out we may have been right though when he came back from walking to the school bus in complete meltdown and started talking. Really talking.
Enter reason two for leaving and our proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back”.

It didn’t take a genius to work out what we needed to do next.

Returning to England won’t fix everything. We all know that. Eliot won’t miraculously become some genius in school, and Jake won’t suddenly turn into a bouncy, bubbly teen. What it will do, however, is give them a chance.

It will remove a huge stresser from Jake’s life and that will go some way towards helping his mental health. There may well still be work to be done in that respect, but we shall tackle what is left when we know.

It’ll be a difficult transition back into English schools for both of them, but I’m fairly certain now that it will be for the greater good. For them both.

Neither boy is really thrilled about the move back (and it goes without saying that Nik and I aren’t). Eliot is quite excited about it, although he is anxious about changing school. Jake is being Jake and not really talking to us about it, but even he doesn’t really want to go back. I think it’s just change in general rattling him. I’m hoping that once he is settled into school, he will feel better about the decision.

And if one good thing has come from the last 5 years, it’s that we were right about one thing. We DO want to live here in Portugal, or somewhere like this. When Eliot has finished his eduction, we WILL be back. We are counting down the days!

Funny story: both boys have always been adamant that, when they’d left school in Portugal, they would be moving back to England again. Strangely, since deciding that we are moving back now, Eliot says he might move back to Portugal (with us) when he leaves school in 6/7 years.

Who knows what we will all be doing by then though, eh?


There’s news.

Some people already know, most don’t: we are moving back to England.

We don’t want to. None of us want to, but we have to salvage the boys’ education before it is too late. If we had more time or more money, we could probably sort it here, but, at this stage of Jake’s schooling, it’s too late. The only way we can pick up the pieces now, is to get back into the English school system as quickly as possible with the hope that the boys then manage to get through with some qualifications – ANY qualifications – because, at the stage they are both at right now, it’s more than they will manage here.

So, that’s what we are doing: returning to England. Soon. Like, next week.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a rash or sudden decision.
It will seem like it to everybody else, but it’s been something we’ve been quietly handling for a while, and with the addition of some health problems that one of us has been suffering with lately, it’s time.

So there you are.

The lorry is (all being well) picking up our stuff late next week and we are flying over soon after.

We have a ton of stuff to sort. The apartment this end, our house at the other end (it currently has tenants who now have notice), moving temporarily into the home of a family member who has very kindly offered us the use of her home until ours is vacant again, not to mention getting the boys into school.

So much to do.

So I’d better get back to packing boxes.

See you on the other side.
Maybe I’ll be able to get my thoughts on “paper” (virtually speaking) better then.


We were blessed enough to be invited to the Portuguese wedding this weekend.

One of Nik’s biker friends was getting married to his beautiful girlfriend.

At first, I was a bit apprehensive. Actually, we all were. We knew we wouldn’t really know what was going on and, on top of that, we had absolutely NOTHING whatsoever to wear. Nothing suitable for a wedding anyway. Neither boy owns “smart” clothes: not a shirt or trousers between them, let alone footwear that wasn’t Crocs or trainers, and Nik, having recently lost weight, didn’t fit into any of his.

I came across a perfect dress in a store in town and coupled it with a newly-purchased (2 days before the wedding, when I could finally work out what the weather was going to do) fake fur bolero.

The boys – all 3 of them – had to go shopping for the full ensemble: trousers, shirts, and, for Jake (whose feet are far bigger than anybody else in the house), shoes.

They didn’t scrub up bad, if I say so myself!

(Bolero not being worn here due to lovely mid-November sunshine at the time!)

We met up with some friends beforehand and headed to the church in Guia for midday, as instructed.

The groom (to his credit!) turned up with much of his party just before 12, with the bride traditionally (whether a wedding tradition or a Portuguese one is debatable!) about 20 minutes or so later.

There was a short part of the ceremony in the doorway to the church before we all moved inside for the main service. Thankfully, no singing because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have managed anything in Portuguese! It was all I could do to recite an English version of The Lord’s Prayer alongside their Portuguese one (and yes, I still remember it from school!).

After the church service, there was some standing around while the photographers did their bit with the church as their backdrop before we all headed off, in a convoy of cars, through Albufeira. This is apparently a tradition. The wedding party all attached ribbons to their car aerials and follow each other in convoy, beeping their horns loudly and persistently in celebration.

Many passing cars beeped back and lots of people came out to wave. It was great – even if Nik was too embarrassed to beep back and I had to keep reaching over to do it for him!

On arrival at the reception venue, we were greeted with drinks and snacks while the photographers took many more photos of the couple and guests in the beautiful grounds of the restaurant.

Both bride and groom are blessed with beautiful families, so I am sure their wedding photos will be stunning. Out of respect to all present and the photographers, however, I am not going to post too many photos here on this blog. It’s not the place.

The weather was lovely, considering it is mid-November. The sun mostly shone, the temperature was pleasant, and the rain definitely held off when it mattered.

When photos were done, we all headed inside for the reception and party. Fortunately, we were seated on a table with friends (English – no, English-speaking! Respect the Scots!) and the bride and groom’s friends and family were so lovely to us, ensuring that we understood what was going on at all time.

(Please excuse my moronic children!)

There was fabulous food, of course, plentiful drinks, and a very talented musician who not only sang beautifully, but also fully accompanied herself on the accordion (sometimes as she wandered around the room) and interacted with her crowd. She was fabulous.

A little later on, after the main food service (and much alcohol, of course), party games began and provided much additional amusement!

The food – and I feel I should give it a particular mention – was endless! The usual soup, fish and meat courses, followed by a huge selection of desserts (I wish I had photographed them!) and, a short while later, an even bigger selection of fresh hot and cold buffet! And just as we were leaving at around 9.30pm, more soup came out! I suspect the party continued on without us LONG into the night!

The whole day was fabulous and, as they head off on their short honeymoon to Italy today (me? jealous?), we wish Antonio and Ana Rita all the happiness in the world and thank them from the bottom of our hearts for inviting us to share in their special day.


You know how school terms seem long in the UK?
Well, I don’t think I ever actually truly appreciated the point of “half term”… until now. They don’t have half term breaks here in Portugal and the Christmas break seems like a lifetime away.

It must seem like only minutes since our two went back to school after their 3-month-plus summer break, but I am so over it already. With both boys having early starts (El starts at 8.25, and Jake has to catch a bus at 8), I’m finding out that I don’t function well, if at all, on 7am starts!
The worst part is that the mornings go…on…for…EVER! We’re child-free from 8.30, more or less, and that extra hour of “work” time in the morning means I’m reaching for the kettle for my “elevenses” when it’s barely 9.30!

Mind you, even Eliot experienced how interminably long a day was here when he was off sick last week. By 11am he was looking to the clocks, swearing that they were moving backwards in time. It does feel like that sometimes!

(Eliot is fine now, btw. He had some sort of throat infection or laryngitis which resulted in his being quite unwell and without a voice for an entire week! Eliot being silent is actually quite disturbing, it turns out!)

So anyway, we’re adjusting to new work schedules, I suppose. Earlier starts with earlier finishes. It’s all compounded by the fact that my eBay account has recently been banned from selling (long story: my fault) so we’ve lost a source of work/income along the way. That’s been a whole other challenge that is still ongoing and yet another thing to which we need to adapt. I can only be thankful that I had finished our Christmas shopping before it happened. Now, if the boys could just stop growing and requiring new clothes…

Speaking of Christmas, I am looking forwards to it. Not just the lie-ins, but the whole break from the norm. Work will be scaled back in general (there will be no dispatch from Jesters which invariably means fewer orders. Great for Christmas and New Year, less so for January income!) and we will ALL have a bit of time off. We’ve (well, I’ve) decided I am not doing a full turkey dinner this year. Quite honestly, it’s a pain. We’re going to do an all-day party food/snack buffet type Christmas. I like that idea much better. I can bake stuff (which I LOVE!) instead of cooking (which I LOATHE). Sounds like a plan. We also have Nik’s sister, Donna, here for the week, so that’ll be a change too.

We did look into eating out for Christmas dinner instead. You can imagine how that panned out!

A lot! That's how much!

It is difficult to think about Christmas while it still feels like summer some days. Sure, the weather is changeable at the minute, but, when the sun shines, it’s warm. Still over 30C in the sun some days, depending on wind direction. Having said that, there is a definite weather shift at the moment and, although I’m still getting my laundry dried outside most days, it’s definitely cooler once that sun goes down. We’re looking forwards to being able to light our wood burner. The dark evenings just make the fire seem right, don’t they?


We’re holding off at the moment though.
There’s something definitely NOT right about lighting the wood fire in the evening when you’re still sleeping with the balcony doors open and no duvet on the bed!

I think that’s all our news really. Nothing much is happening at the moment. We’re struggling a bit with work being a bit quieter this time of year (sales from the countries that are enjoying their Spring/Summer season right now never quite make up for the fact that it is Autumn/Winter in the Europe!) so I guess we’re not going to be doing anything mind-blowingly exciting any time soon!

If anything does happen, I’ll be sure to let you all know!

 

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