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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

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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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Boy, these summer holidays seem to be lasting forEVER! It seems like Christmas was more recent than my boys breaking up this year. My two have been off for 11 weeks already and they still have 4 left!

On the plus side, even El seems to be ready to get back to school, and anybody who knows him will know that this really is quite something! He’s missing his friends and, quite honestly, just missing something to do with his days. He’s a social kid and he needs school so much, especially the change of school. It’ll be great for him and he’s really excited about it. I honestly never thought I’d use the words “Eliot, Excited and School” in the same phrase. There ya go!

On the subject of school, I’ve just added a bit of information about school reports when moving from UK to Portugal. It’s neither gospel or exhaustive (different schools have different interpretations and levels of jobsworths, unfortunately) but it’s a very definite guide based on our and others’ experiences. If it helps someone, it’ll be worth the type up.

We’ve had a fairly uneventful summer really. Not too many visitors and pretty much just sunny weekends and working weekdays (with the occasional** obligatory trip to the Marina for a “business meeting”, of course).

Tapas at The Lighthouse on the Marina

A quick trip to Meia Praia beach

Lazing around by the local pool

 

Apart from back-to-school (can I get a “woohoo!”?), we do have a few other things to look forwards to too. At the beginning of October, I’m visiting my little sister in England for her birthday so that’s nice for us both! When I return from the UK, my Mum and Rod are flying back out here to Portugal for 8 days, so we’re all looking forwards to that also. Oh, and before I go, we have friends coming to the Algarve for a few weeks, so we’ll hopefully get to see them once or twice, which is always lovely.

By the time Mum and Rod go back, it’ll be mid-October! How the heck does it get to be two months until Christmas so soon? Good thing I’ve started Christmas shopping or it’d be homemade ginger cookies all round!

** in the loosest sense of the word.

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… although you wouldn’t really know it if you lived in our house!

The kids have now finished school for Christmas and already they are bored! Oh joy!

As you may or may not know, for the first time since we moved here, we are visiting the UK for Christmas and New Year. This means that all our Christmas preparations are not here, they’re there. Nik’s poor Mum has a room filled with presents which have been arriving steadily over the past month or so and are awaiting my attention when we arrive. I’d like to say that I can’t wait… but I’d be lying! The thought of having to sort through and WRAP everything in a short space of time is quite daunting actually, but hey, it’s for a good cause, right?

It sort of never quite properly feels like Christmas here in the Algarve, and I have a few theories why that is.

Firstly, the climate! It’s rather difficult to feel “Christmassy” when you’re sat outside the pub in a t-shirt in 25C! When we visited in mid-November, I commented on how odd it was that they were putting up decorations in the Marina already. ALREADY?? It was 6 weeks to Christmas at this point, and I had absolutely NO idea! I’ve no doubt that in the UK, decorations have been up for weeks, if not months, before that!

Sitting outside with a beer at the Marina in mid-December.

I can’t help thinking that this aspect of it not-feeling-like-Christmas will really come back to haunt me when I am shivering in the freezing temperatures of December in England. All I can say is, “Please don’t snow!”

Secondly, we work from home so there is no workplace Christmas banter, decoration or build-up to holidays. Also, we rarely visit town and we grocery shop in Aldi (who don’t decorate their store) so we don’t find ourselves lost in amongst oversized trees, baubles and tinsel.

Also, because we are not here for Christmas, we have no tree or decorations up ourselves.. Actually, that’s a little white lie. Eliot, quite put out by the fact that we weren’t getting a tree this year, asked if he could have one of the mini desktop trees, from our storage room, for his bedroom. At the same time as that was being raved out (our storage room is one of those rooms where, if you breathe on box wrong, the whole lot might go!) we pulled out another mini tree and some tinsel. So, there’s a light sprinkling of festive decorations, I suppose.

Last year's Christmas tree

Last year’s Christmas tree

As our UK trip gets closer, it is starting to stress everyone out a bit. We have so much to do and so many people to try to visit that I am slightly concerned that we won’t manage to get around to everything and everyone!

The kids both want to visit some of their English school friends: that alone will take some coordinating. Nik and Jake both want to meet up with Xbox Live buddies, and me? Well, quite honestly, I’d take 10 days locked in a room alone! Nah, just kidding. We have family to visit from all over. Nik’s cousin, Sue, and her family (husband, Steve, 10-year-old Beth and toddler Zac) are over from Australia for 3 weeks so it’ll be nice to catch up with them. We haven’t seen them since we visited for Christmas and New Year 2009/2010 (and we hold them entirely to blame for our leaving the UK and moving to Portugal!) except for a brief coincidence of visits to the UK between them and Nik a couple of years ago.

We’re also looking forwards to Boxing Day at my sister’s. She’s never really hosted Christmas (she’s been here with us in Portugal for the past 3!) and we’re visiting Boxing Day when more family are converging in one place!

It’s going to be a busy, busy 10 days, for sure.

So, those of you who I won’t see while I’m in England, I’ll see you all on the other side!

Meantime…

feliznatal

 

 

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Yesterday was my eldest’s 14th birthday.

archery-jake

Yes, that’s Jake. Fourteen years old and all grown up now. He’s long and thin, much like his mother was at that age. I haven’t the heart to tell him that it’s all downhill when you become a grown up, and what was once lean and slender, will spread and flop.

Hey ho. Let’s let him find out in due course, eh?

Anyway, having a birthday only a fortnight before Christmas means that he tends to get joint birthday/Christmas presents from us. He doesn’t mind this. It means he gets a more substantial present.

This year however, we were a bit mean about his present giving. He’s made no secret about the fact that he was desperate for an Xbox One this year. He sold his own Xbox 360 about 4 weeks ago (and has been driving us NUTS ever since) to part-fund it and asked for cash for birthday and Christmas. As far as he knew, that’s what he was getting, so we made him an IOU for a cash amount towards an Xbox One and put it in his birthday card. He was fine with it. He’d amassed a decent sum towards his new machine by the time he’d counted up his birthday cash (and his IOU).

So, off to school he went at 8.15, home at 1.30, at which point I asked him to fetch the IOU as I’d been to the bank and would swap it for cash (kids like to have hard money, right? Nobody wants a piece of paper masquerading as money, do they?)

When he came back into the living room, Nik handed him another present: his Xbox One.

Oh there were almost tears (from all 3 of us!) and it was lovely. Needless to say, he’s thrilled etc etc (as well as spoiled, we know!)

Setting up the new machine

So yesterday was all Xbox until we went out for dinner at The Lighthouse (Jake’s choice). It was empty (and early) when we first got there but a few other drinkers and diners did arrive during the evening. We ordered, and the boys played a few games of pool while we waited for food. As the Law of Sod would have it, as our meals were ready to come, we were told that the chef wasn’t happy with Jake’s steak pie and, as it was the last portion of the day, could he choose something else. Jake wasn’t bothered. He usually has the cheese and bacon burger anyway (which Eliot – who usually has pizza – had also chosen) so he had that instead.

I got a free second glass of wine for the trouble. Yay me!

We’d happened to mention that it was Jake’s birthday when our drinks orders were taken (anyone who knows us knows that we are… ahem… rather ‘regulars’ at The Lighthouse so we’re known in there) and, after the main courses were all done and eaten, out came two desserts. One with a sparkler and candle (everlasting one, which had us laughing hysterically as Jake got dizzy trying to keep the thing blown out!) and a second one for Eliot. Pretty thoughtful on both counts, I thought. Kudos to them!

After gorging ourselves on dinner and desserts, we headed home and ate birthday cake! Well, it had to be done, didn’t it?

Let me just say now that, in the making of this cake, I learned some things about my baking skills.

It’s the same recipe I always use when  making an occasion cake so I’m used to the cake process itself. I just experimented a bit to convert it to chocolate this time, but it came out fine, so all good.

Then I came to ice it.

I found a chocolate cream cheese frosting recipe which I’d decided to try which called for cream cheese (full fat) and butter – both at room temperature – to be creamed together to begin with. Well, if you ever come across a recipe that says this, take my advice, cream the butter FIRST. Trying to do it at the same time as the cream cheese is almost IM-flipping-POSSIBLE!

Anyway, that aside, another thing that I learned about myself in particular is that I am RUBBISH at piping icing! I’ve never done it before, and I should have listened to that instinct! I was rubbish. Truly, utterly rubbish. After doing a full spiral from the outside in, I took one look at it, laughed and then grabbed a spatula! It looked a million times better after I’d swooshed it about and covered it in M&Ms. I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to pipe it in the first place!

tn_cake

Of course Jake didn’t notice and it was agreed that it was super-yummy.

did_you_know

…. that at 14 years of age, in Portugal, you can ride a scooter up to 50cc.

Scary thought, eh? Jake out on the open road on a scooter. Lots of kids are though. It’s kinda normal here.

Want to know something worse?

The age of consent in Portugal is 14. But let’s not think about that one!

shocked_face

Aaaaaanyways, next stop England and Christmas!

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Firstly, oops! It wasn’t my intention to completely ignore the blog. It’s not that I had anything specifically better to do (just the usual routine of work and family life), I just… well, didn’t get around to updating.

The last time I posted (apart from our Italy posts), the kids had been off school for a few weeks and were (probably) already driving us bonkers. That pretty much sums up the remainder of the summer holiday up until the point where the boys went back to school on 17th September.

back_to_school

The return to school itself was a mixture of blessed relief and stress.

Eliot was fine. He was, I think, quite happy to be getting back to his friends, and there’s no denying that we were relieved to be getting back to some sort of routine and normality. Once we’d got used to the early mornings, that is!

Jake was less pleased. He’d been moved out of his class group AGAIN due to scheduling issues with his “Portuguese as a Foreign Language” that he does in place of mainstream Portuguese lessons. We understood completely why they’d had to do it, but Jake wasn’t happy about it at all.

That said, now that we are 7 weeks or so in, he’s settled in OK.

He does need a fair amount of blackmail and bribary this year though. This school year is a big exam year for both boys, and they need to pass this year in order to move onto their next stage of education.

If Jake passes, which we hope he will but it really is anybody’s guess, he will move into year 10 which is a change of school. I think in years 10,11 and 12, they choose specifically subjects or subject areas to study, rather than the obligatory set curriculum that they do up to the end of year 9. I have to confess that I don’t know nearly enough about Ensino Secundário (years 10-12 – secondary education) here in Portugal. If anybody wants to educate ME in that area, please do!

If Eliot passes his year (and, it is an “if”), he will move into year 5 and up to the school the Jake is currently in. This is a huge bonus for us because it is just around the corner and it means he will be able to walk or cycle to school rather than us having to drive him there.
There’s a very real fear that he will not pass this year though, specifically because it IS a big exam year. His Portuguese language skills are (apart from his speaking/understanding) just not good enough and he is reluctant to accept additional help. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it goes. Maybe failing this year is what he needs to accept that he does need some extra help.

Having said all that, I don’t want it to seem like we are expecting him to fail. I think, if he put his mind to it, he could do a lot well, but from a long-term “bigger picture” point of view, we are far less worried about him than Jake actually. Eliot is a strong, independent boy and will succeed in life, I think, whatever he chooses to do, and I don’t believe that his ultimate success will be governed by his academic abilities.

For example, he is outgoing and adventurous. He thinks nothing of chatting to people and being a general sociable soul. He has a particular love of dressing up and going out into town (on his own, I should add) just generally entertaining folk.

How many ten-year-olds do you know that would/could do that?

Eliot in his Morphsuit tn_IMG_1912 tn_IMG_1917

Eliot kinda freaks out some more unknowing lady!

As well as his green Morphsuit, he also has an Assassin’s Creed costume which he sometimes goes into town wearing. He does so love to entertain his audience!

Eliot’s Assassin’s Creed costume

This thing was (and is) truly a battle of wills. It was his birthday present and had to be ordered from overseas. Needless to say, Portuguese customs held on to it for 3 weeks before they delivered it (and they didn’t even charge duty or anything for it, so goodness knows why they held it!).

It’s made up of about 15-20 individual pieces and takes about 10 minutes to even put on! I actually don’t think it is correctly worn in the above photo but it’s the only picture I have of Eliot wearing it. Ask a few tourists from Lagos this summer. They probably have more photos of him than we do! In fact, when he wore his Morphsuit one time, we had got as far as the Marina bridge and it was up for a boat to go through. As we waited, several tourists had photo ops with Eliot!

He definitely has a calling… and i’m fairly certain it has nothing to do with his academic abilities!

So, what else have we done? Not a great deal really.

Back to school, work, general stuff. I visited Wendy for her birthday in early October. We’ve done a few trips out locally but mostly just been getting on with real life.

There have been a few beach visit.

Eliot body boarding

Eliot body boarding on Meia Praia beach.

And a few trips along to Praia de Rocha (the chippie here used to call to us occasionally – it has closed for good now so we probably won’t venture that way often any more)

Sunset across Praia de Rocha

Obligatory sunset “wonky tree” shot

Nik is off to the final round of the MotoGP in Valencia this weekend – lucky him! I’ll just stay home with the kids and watch it on TV. I’m not bitter about it. It promises to be a good end-of-season race. It’s down to two riders for the championship title. Defending champion Jorge Lorenzo or newbie Marc Marquez. We’re all rooting for Marquez here (even though Nik is a die hard Rossi fan!)

The resident Rossi fan (and yes, he’ll be wearing that at the MotoGP this weekend)

I say “Team Marquez!!”

Anyway, it’ll be a big race and I can’t wait to see it (on the telly!)

In other news, we are all going to England for Christmas this year. It was decided that we would do it as a treat for the boys, who are missing their English friends quite a lot. They’re both very excited about it, as are our families. Nik and I are kinda sorta excited mixed with a feeling of “what are we thinking? It’ll be freezing!”

I’m sure it’ll be fun though, and it comes with the bonus of not having to bother putting up Christmas decorations and suchlike and not having to worry about how we are sorting out everybody’s gifts this year. We’re just getting them all shipped to the UK and can do them all face-to-face, which will be nice.

Then, next year, we can get back to having our Christmas in more favourable weather! We shall miss our traditional Boxing Day walk in Alvor! I can’t see us finding a Lincolnshire location that would rival it!

We’re still having some wonderful weather here, with days still reaching high 20s in the sun. We’ve had a few spells of iffy weather, overcast and a few showers, but on the whole, it still feels like summer if you get out there in the sun. Obviously, we don’t do that as often as we’d like really, but we do try to make a point of visiting our local bar, The Lighthouse,  and sitting outside in the sun once in a while.

It doesn’t hurt that it means I can sup a pint or two at the same time, of course.

Quick pint at our local “The Lighthouse” in Lagos Marina

So, I think that’s all our news for now anyway.

I have my next “A to Z of Portugal” post topic sorted and will try to post that soon.

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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)

Sand Sculptures

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.

Early photo at Dona Ana Beach, Lagos (courtesy of Antonia Veigas Facebook)

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!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WJcdNHg23iI

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 🙂

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