Avec Agnès

Here we go. Slept like drains. Good start. LB having a bath. I’m just contemplating! Then the first poo of the new blog; a quick bath; and we are off!

First stop. Raunds! For diesel. What a start. Then past Cambridge and Stansted and over the Dartford Crossing and down to Eurotunnel. Check in and passport control remarkably straightforward. The female wrestler in the search area who swabbed and swiped everything in sight was a bit scary, but otherwise ok.

And, as if by magic, we were in France. LB said it looked a looked a bit like England!! Decent drive down to Alencon for overnight stop. Tilly morning well behaved apart from trying to take control of the pedals midway through a contraflow!

Pasta van tea and early night. Tired.

58 Rue de la Fuie des Vignes, 61000 Alençon, France

Decent nights sleep remarkably. Bit of time spent re-organising the van, then had a walk round Alencon. Pretty old town.

Bloody cold this morning.Winter jackets and hats deployed for the first time in ages. Stopped at services just outside Alencon for brecwast. LB bizarrely invited ten gendarmes and twenty French Special Forces into the ladies toilet with her. The mind boggles! Then she wet her pants when she saw the food display at ‘Paul’s’. We settled for a cheese and ham croissant type thing. Scrummy. Drove another ten million miles. Stopped somewhere for diesel reload and coffee. LB had a gallon of chocolate plus chocolate plus chocolate. I had a weird situation in the toilets when Pierre popped out of the shower and said he had a problem! I explained I wasn’t fluent in Francais, but agreed to tell your man on reception! The message was duly passed on. Hope Pierre ok.

After three and a half days, four laps of of the A23, we arrived at our overnight stop. We would have been here in July, but LB fell asleep at a crucial junction; Tilly unlocked the door; and then LB went on some weird manoeuvres in the van! God help us.

Aire de Bidart Ouest

Another decent nights sleep! And the bells rang out to celebrate LB’s rummaging!!.

Nice sunny start to the day. Got a tea from the garage. LB got a kilo of chocolat infused with hot water and we were off. Thirty sheets of paperwork ready at the Spanish border and no fecker there!! Never mind. Be prepared. And we ploughed onwards. Through sun, mist, fog and rain. Stopped for lunch somewhere and listened to Boris talk bollocks at PMQ’s. Passed Burgos, Valladolid and Salamanca and had our last toilet stop in a one horse town not far from the Portugese border. Think we were his only customers since August! And then we hit Portugal. The paperwork was prepared again. Emotions were running high. And! There was no fecker there! We sailed through.

I think I should have put this picture further up. When I was reflecting first thing this morning. It’s been a long day. Apologies.

Stopped at Auchan in Castelo for some tea stuff (frango) and then the last drive down into Monte Fidalgo. LB spotted Sirius waiting for us. And bloody Wiry. They were soon joined by Hercules. All got on well with LB. Hercules tried to roger poor Wiry on all the excitement! Don’t ask. Settled Tilly into the barn, I had a big row for keeping a mucky bath, which LB then tried out. Tea. Tired. Bed. Mission accomplished. Boa noite.

Unnamed Road, 6000-459 Castelo Branco, Portugal

First night in a bed in days and slept poop. Anxiety? Who knows. Had a bath then emptied some stuff out of the van. Checked on Tilly the cat and gave her some food. Sirius and Hercules back on site. Wiry must be at the Rape Crisis Centre!

Sorted the van out. Moved mist of the stuff into the ‘office’ then went to Castelo. Had a walk round the Forum. LB nearly passed out because she was hungry. Fortunately. We found a McDonald’s and a hooge burger and fries to satisfy her hunger!

Popped Lidl. Did an LB big shop! Entertaining! Popped in lawn mower shop. Hopefully, it might be ready after the vaccine is sorted! Maybe, I should just get get a posh one?

Back to MF, where LB went into full deep clean mode! Tilly was transferred to the cabin, then we had a nice salmoa tea. For tea.

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Better nights sleep. Tilly seemed to like it muchly in the cabin. Slowish start, then set about assembling a myriad of IKEA boxes etc. Much fun. Packed up late afternoon and went for a walk. Accompanied by Hercules and Sirius!

Nice bath with a scrap of toilet paper to dry myself. LB had confiscated all the towels! Nice veggie tea for tea.

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Semi lie in. Need a doctor! Then set about some barn sorting and office shifting. LB went ‘slow and steady’ early doors, then flew into action and sorted three days worth of slow cooker stuff and another ten kilos of washing.

Tilly seems even more settled and munched my leftovers! I’m the Queen of the Castle! Scrambled eggs and toast for lunch then off to VVDR to get some diesel and some bits from Auchan. Stopped at the lake on the way back. Peaceful.

Back for slow cooker tea. Scrummy. New plan needed for tomorrow!! Watched a Portugese cookery programme on Netflix. And so to bed.

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Drainy sleep for some reason. Rubbish. Never mind. Tea and toast then sorted the extra lights in the kitchen. Strimming and olive tree pruning is the order of the day. Decided to give the tree nearest the cabin a number one trim in the hope of improving the Wi-Fi signal. Seemed to do the trick!!

LB did good work sorting the barn kitchen out an continued to bond with Hercules!!

Loads of olive trees pruned and two full tanks of strimmer strimmed!

LB did a FaceTime thing with the UK and I went out on the bike. Nice and sunny, but a bit cold. Bit more sorting in barn and office on return and a go on the acupressure mats!! Log burner on full wack. Me and Tilly overwhelmed!

Excellent meatballs for tea. Played some silly games with Alexa at bedtime.

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Funny night.Woke at 4 am for pee pee. Then slept not too bad. Sorted the bottom of the barn. LB kept washing. Much progress made.

Stopped for lunch. Then Tilly finished my plato de dia. Computer desk erected with some minor adaptations. Sonos installed in barn. Lots of bedding sorted by LB and snuggled into secret compartment under sofa bed in barn. Various bits put under big bed in caravan. Viewing deck cupboard tidied. A few more olive trees pruned and lots of toiletries sorted. And breathe. Went for a walk last thing. Of course Hercules and Sirius came too. Saw Amorim on way back.

Nice pasta tea and watched the Crown.

Unnamed Road, 6030, Portugal

Woah. December has arrived. Sluggish start. Popped VVDR to get a few bits. Got some petrol and two stroke for strimmer at BP, then back to MF. LB did some printing and more bathroom work, then sat on deck in warm sunshine and FaceTimed Lesley. I did much striimage until I could strim no more! Nice walk at the end of the day.

First jacket potato and baked beans in absolutely ages tonight. Yummy. Another Crown episode. Aberfan. Interesting,


Pop quiz last night. 80’s. I was rubbish! Slept reasonable though. Pottering this morning. Man from Blevin Franks rang about Portugese pensions etc. Something else to think to think about.

Had a sort out, then made off to Coimbra. Three panic attacks after we tried to scout out the hospital for tomorrow, then went to the Forum for lunch and a walk round the shops. The queue at Primark was still bloody hooge, so we decided on a healthy lunch instead!

Got some bits in Continente, then battled the traffic and eventually found the park up not far from the hospital. Nice walk down to the same restaurant we had been to nearly 12 months ago!! Bizarre. Totally by accident.

Slow walk back up the hill to the van. More pop quiz. LB cleaned up. I was still rubbish. Early start amanha.

R. Pedro Monteiro 90, 3000-329 Coimbra, Portugal

IPO. Up early. LB on the porridge at silly o’clock.Climbed up the hill and negotiated seven sets of security to reach the first admin hurdle. Young old boy very helpful and we sailed through that reasonably well. Then a woman in yellow took us up to gynaecology where we had a big row for having the wrong sort of masks on! Downstairs and out to ‘mask exchange’ (I kid you not), then back to gynaecologogy where we had another row for being in the wrong place. We were actually in the right place. Taken downstairs. Then brought back upstairs! Then hoofed through to the doctor bits by the receptionist who kept giving us rows, but who was now our bestest friend.

I was banned from going into the consultation because they were looking at girlie things I imagine. Although I did see a doctor man pop in and out! Rude. LB stripped to her boots and placed in a paper frock. Full external and internal! Then I was allowed back in when she was re-clothed. Now her ‘bits and pieces’ had been checked, hopefully Oncology will sort her treatment for next week. And that was it. We were free. To celebrate LB wanted to go on a 10km hike around Coimbra. Stopped for brecwast first of course.

Both nearly ‘falked out’ coming back up cardiac hill, but we made it. On to Castelo for some retail therapy. Strange combinations. Paraffin and underwear!! Another episode of the Crown. Cannelloni for tea. Ricardo supposed to be on site amanha.

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

How ironic. Could have bloody slept this morning. Need to be up for Ricardo! LB decided today would be the ideal morning to try her new panties on!! Loon. They did look good mind.

Ricardo and Paulinho turned up on time and quickly sorted the electric bits out. New ‘hook up’ connection also established by about 11am. Tidy job. Computer set up too.

Scrummy scrambled eggs for brunch, then off to Castelo. Shelves purchased. Cookware purchased at ‘Homa’ then back to MF. Very cold. Stuff put away. Too tired to do much else. Steak and couscous for tea. Watched Taskmaster.

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

And the word of the day is shelving. Nice start, then a bit more sleep. Forgot to mention that Hercules is missing in action!! No sightings for a few days. Sirius and Wiry still about. Sorted some logs first thing, then had beans on toast for brunch. I set about the shelves, whilst LB washed her smalls and made some cinnamon pastry things. Yummy. Oh, and we also sorted the dangerous looking paraffin heater contraption for the bathroom.

After several hours, numerous shelves were erected in the office. Looked ok?

Log burner deployed early doors today and hit full capacity by 6pm. Tilly enjoyed!

A soup maker appeared this evening and beeped and whirred for a bit, before producing a piping hot leek and potato creation. Wizardry!!

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Sunday. I think? Tea and toast. LB on the yoghurt. Sorted some more logs out and trimmed another olive tree. LB did a different sort of bush trimming! Got big telly connected. Netflix, Amazon seem to be there. Swapped drawer units in cabin to accommodate LB’s bra and pants collection!

More clothes sorted. Paperwork sorted and I went for a bloody cold bike ride whilst LB ‘zoomed’ with East Northamptonshire. Warmed up nicely by log burner on return then collectively assembled a fish pie!

Another episode of the Crown and a yummy, scrummy tea.

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Gadgets fully charged and activated if you know what I mean!!! Detailed phone call with Dean the Portugese pension man. Lots of forms to fill in, which we managed to complete by the end of the day. Popped to VVDR to stock up and also to get an envelope to send stuff to IMT. Bit of a drama. Had a row in CTT for being ‘too many’ in the post office and for leaving the door open. LB thrown out! Eventually managed to purchase the only A4 envelope in Central Portugal and retreated sheepishly.

Back to MF for tea and cake. More admin, then LB immersed herself in the bath for several hours and me and Tilly relaxed in the sauna.

Rest of the fish pie for tea. More Crown. Then twenty minutes out in the storm in our nightwear trying to coax silly bloody Wiry back out of the field next door. What a loon! What a pair of loons. Eventually he just appeared next to us and ran straight home. Priceless!

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Terrible nights sleep. Very stormy which didn’t help. Both awake loads. Tilly like a demented wolverine for most of the night. Didn’t feel great in the morning, so decided to go for a jog. Managed 20 minutes ok with only a slight back spasm as collateral damage. Measured up the olive net as potential well covering (temporary) and checked with Ricardo about possibly doing a long term solution in the New Year. LB sorted a load more clothes and I went through most of the stuff from the caravan.

Nice lunch, then some more sorting.

Went for a walk down the lane to the left late afternoon. Sirius came too.

Delia sorted a really good curry for tea. All nice and tidy. Not smushed like I normally do!

Casa do Povo de Malpica do Tejo

Slept better. LB called IPO and managed to establish that the medics are having a meeting to discuss her amanha. Hopefully, they will be in touch Thursday or Friday with news about tratamento. Dr Santos also responded and started dishing out prescriptions by email like they were going out of fashion. Did some home printing and lodged them at the farmacia in Cebola fir collection tomorrow. Went Castelo and picked up mower. Got some bits from Auchan and mats and curtain pole from Brico.

Had a drive out to Malpica and the chapel in the middle of nowhere.

Gave the mower a try out when we got back. A good feeling. LB entertained Sirius and Wiry.

Set up new Samsung ear buds. Straightforward. Good job I read the instructions! Stir fry for tea. I was allowed to stir twice. Crisps for sobremesa.

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Another day. Rained in night, but sunny early doors. Fired up the mower and set about well field. Made a bit of an impression?

Lemons starting to go lemony too! LB a bit fragile today, but we went off to Cebola and collected her medication. On to CB. Got chimney sweep stuff and some shelving things from Brico. Lunch supplies etc from the new Continente and then back to MF. LB had a siesta and I erected some more shelves in office.

Tilly went upward this evening. Sopa for tea. LB more fragile and then icky later on. Oof.

Centro de SaΓΊde de Vila Velha de RΓ³dΓ£o

Crappy Friday. Bloody shelf fell down. LB got up felt better then relapsed. Still icky. I went to VVDR to get some heavy duty plugs for the shelves. LB got through to IPO and has appointment for next Wednesday. Thought it best to go doctors to get her checked. Tried Perais first. Failed the door test. Initial pre-lunch check by Nurse at VVDR then back in afternoon to see doctor.

Had a sandwich down by the river. Tuna wrap third day running for MW! LB then thoroughly seen by Dr Santos. More prescriptions given! No undue concerns. Phew. LB looked better almost straight away! Things are looking upr. But wait. Tilly got a bloody manky arse and gone into hiding! Feck. Did some mowing as therapy and erected curtains in cabin. Had more tuna on noodles for tea!

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Tilly seemed a bit better. Out of hiding and jumping on and off wardrobes. Arse still grim, so off to vets in Castelo. LB not sick in night, but still eating like a tortoise on Prozac. Tilly given various meds by vet boy who seems quite keen to squeeze her arse again next Friday!

Back to MF and lunch. Put LB and Tilly to bed, then I mowed for the day. Oh, thought there might be some re-growth on LB’s bonce, so thought best to pictorially record it!

Both feeling fairly grotty tonight. Tilly seemed better. Jacket potatoes for tea. Justin self-isolating due to Covid symptoms!

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Strange nights sleep. Trapped behind a wardrobe, then some weird throwing competition on a boat in a storm. Hope Dr Santos can help. LB sent me to VVDR to get pate for Tilly the cat who went rogue about her arse medication. Justin passed his Covid test and is out of isolation. LB complained about the state of my shorts. Unbelievable really. Just one or two stains. Her standards are too high. More mowing in the afternoon, whilst LB washed everything in sight (apart from the cleanest shorts in Monte Fidalgo).

Went for bike ride whilst satellite communication took place with East Northamptonshire. Bit more mowing. Nice omelette for tea.

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Fun start to the day. Bottom’s up! Rick called as planned at ten. Well 11:20. Due to a tsunami in Penamacor, they won’t be on site until January! Shock news. LB got dressed at lunchtime. Progress for a tortoise on Prozac!

Eventually completed IKEA order. Stuff should be available for collection at Castelo on Friday. Good work. Gas bottle changed. Well done LB. Excellent plan. Need to top up paraffin tomorrow. Justin messaged to say Iori and Mia have tested positive for Covid now! Doing ok; just got cold symptoms. And he is back in isolation!!

Oh. Also managed to do our registration for Portugese biometric residency cards under the withdrawal agreement. Reasonably straightforward, although LB stripped of all her qualifications and left with a GCE in pencil sharpening. Nice slow cooker concoction this evening, which we managed to devour and completed an episode of the Crown. Progress? Little steps!

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Bugger me, we slept til nearly nine. If you know what I mean. LB decided today was the day to change the sheets etc. What is wrong with the girl? Much strimming today. Two tanks worth, then set about cleaning the chimney. No euphemism!

After three hours, we had trimmed the brush down to the right size. Much soot was swept, although we didn’t make it to the very top. CTT delivered the cupboard lights and I popped to VVDR to get some garlic bread and petrol. It’s the future! Pasta and the Crown plus Mousse de Chocolate for tea. Busy day tomorrow.

IPO Coimbra

Some silly arsenal set her alarm for stupid o’clock. What a loon. I suggested ‘snooze’ and she went back to sleep! Only a drive to Coimbra in a typhoon to worry about!!

After some tea and toast etc, we hit the road Jack and landed on time. Luckily, LB had 17 macs, 13 warm coats and an intermediate jacket in the van. We were well prepared. Blood was taken at analise, and twelve security guards escorted us to various parts of the hospital for the next part of the process.

The guards told LB to eat. So we did. Humongous tosta mista. Nice, but we adapted to the speed of a chipmunk on dyalisis. Eventually, after the cafe had closed for the day, we returned to Oncology. We were inserted into a lift; placed in a room full of people called Marie/Maria and left to wait whilst people wailed after consultations or allegedly made strange noises with their tracheotomy machines! After three days, a man in green came to weigh LB. I think for the local circus? Then a man who said he was a doctor, but who had less hair than LB!! took us to his room. After 20 minutes on the phone to PC World, he got his Computer working and engaged with LB. We were cooking. Where did you have your operation? He asked? On my bloody tit, you loon. LB replied. I could have died. Antonio the doc tried to clarify. I meant, was it in the UK! Oh my Christ! I suppose things got slightly better after that. Everything is relative. Agreed we would come back next week, hopefully when LB’s oncologist had recovered and felt able to prescribe appropriate treatment.

At least the sun shone on the way back! Stopped at Serta for Lasagne and Valium. More Crown tonight. Both the Queen and LB displayed emotion. Amazing.

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Dreams are strange things. Thought I was at Justin’s retirement do, which turned out to be an Ironman event. Don’t ask. Then I was Dyfed Powys ‘most wanted’ for a heinous ‘underwater’ crime. I cannot provide any further details in case they might incriminate me! It was good to wake up and consult a solicitor!!! And, my crash barriers collapsed in the night. Got accused of flailing again.

Nice day in the real world. Wherever that is. Lots of mowing and strimming today.

Much ingenuity involved devising a safety net for the well. Bit of team work deployed too.

Postie dropped new security lights off as arranged. Just need some batteries and we will be super lit all around. Sirius came to join us for afternoon tea. Bless his little wonky teeth. Justin’s bought a soft top BMW as a retirement present to himself! Lovely sunset this evening. See LB for pictures.

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

A fruitful day. Big clean of the cabin to start. LB hoovered everything to within an inch of its life and I was allowed (under supervision) to use the new mop. Floor looked a lot better. Crowbar deployed to access caravan to get colourful blanket fir cabin chair. Looks good.

Various bits of admin completed, then twenty minutes chasing Tilly round the cabin with the sweeping brush! She was eventually captured and secured fir the trip to the vet. €2 later and a few lacerations to LB and vet boy, job was done. IKEA order collected and fitted ok in van. Popped Auchan and China shop. Back to MF where we erected a side table and low unit before tea. Good work team. Scrummy lemon chicken and mayonnaise for tea. Last episode of Taskmaster. Enjoyed this series.

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Much chuva in the night. Not sure if the dogs stayed over and hid under the cart or the deck? Silly buggers. Lots of IKEA assembly today. All kitchen chairs erected. Units completed for barn and thing to tidy cables away.

Looking good. Cabinet for bathroom sing handedly erected by LB. Tidy job indeed.

Weather improved in afternoon and decision made to take Tilly outside for first time. Lead and hiviz harness attached and away we went. Lead separated from LB in seconds. Dogs came to see what all the fuss was about and were soon sent away. After a few minutes under the deck, Tilly emerged. The lead was grabbed and she was swang around between us for what seemed like an eternity until it was severed with LB’s hunting knife. After emergency first aid was applied to the puncture wounds inflicted on my hands and arms, Tilly calmly strolled off round the barn to explore. Bizarrely, she decided to then crawl up into the engine of the T5 and came out the exhaust end. If that trauma wasn’t bad enough, Tilly thought it would be sensible to go into the field next door and headed for the small hole in the barn where the feral cats live. LB tried her best authoritative voice, to little effect. Unfortunately, small rocks were thrown at the barn wall in a pre-emptive strike and Tilly returned to home territory! We both agreed that was enough freedom for one day and Tilly was ushered back to the cabin! And relax.

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

‘Twas the Sunday before Christmas. No rush this morning. UK falling apart. A new strain of Covid ! Bollocks Boris. Scrambled eggs for breakfast. Lush. Cleared shelves on kitchen cabinet thing. Looks a better. More work done in barn. Cupboards and shelves inserted. Bit tricky but step in right direction.

Weekly video call mid afternoon, so bike right at the same time. Bit cold. Rescued kitten cat from Wiry and Sirius on the way back. Bad dogs.

Various other jobs completed, then luscious fish pie prepared for tea. Bloody delightful.

Christmas tree erected in barn. Only had one big row for not carrying it right! Not bad I suppose.

EM1365, 6030, Portugal

Longest/shortest day? Who knows? Might have got that all wrong. Must be soon. Green gadget deployed early doors. Did the job! Times three. Took the IKEA cardboard to the bins. And the cat litter! Oof

Off to CB. First stop. Benetton. Got LB a dressing gown. Woman in shop used to live in Chelmsford! Small world. Although I’ve never been to Chelmsford. Then on to the Forum for lunch. I had a cheese sandwich and LB had a McDonald’s Happy Meal! Chicken Nuggets etc. Weirdo.

Did big shop at Lidl and little shop at Auchan. Got some logs at Agriloja and a new gas bottle from Cebola on the way back. A productive day. Fish pie day two for tea.

R. Gen. Humberto Delgado 279, 3000 Coimbra, Portugal

Coimbra today. Didn’t do a lot early doors. Pottered. Tried to take Sirius and Wiry home. They soon followed me back. First stop VVDR. LB paid the agua. Then we battled with the complexities of the Portugese Multibanco system and completed our Worten order. Seemed to do it reasonably well. Then collected the outstanding tablets from the farmacia and headed for Coimbra. Oh and someone from IPO called. We think to say that treatment will take place tomorrow afternoon?? Stopped at Alma shopping in Coimbra where LB went large at McDonald’s. More nuggets!!

I had sopa. It was all I could manage after having a big row for not reversing straight in the car park!! Had a nice walk round the shopping centre and got a few bits from Auchan before parking up at our usual park up. Disturbed to discover that typhoid and botulism was developing in the sink because we had failed to wash up after our last trip out! Bad.

LB had a nap and I washed my bits. Then out for tea. Obviously after a big lunch, LB only wanted something light.

Unusual to see someone order an extra order of fries with their steak and chips, but I guess she knows what’s she’s doing. Luckily enough room was kept for sobremesa. Always thinking that girl.

R. Pedro Monteiro 74, 3000-329 Coimbra, Portugal

It’s that fine rain this morning. Bloody warm walking up the hill to the hospital. Both overheated on arrival. LB kept pooping, then had morning sickness just before Dr Prego dragged us in for a consultation.

LB to stay on same treatment for the time being with some extra jungle juice to strengthen her bones. Eventually established that tratamento is this afternoon. Wrong info Dr P, so we adjourned to the cafe for lunch of pumpkin soup. No nuggets today.

Back to Oncology where some weird man kept talking gibberish to me and LB totally kaiboshed a Portugese granny’s new mobile phone she had just got for Christmas. LB eventually called into tratamento just before three. I had a walk round in the rain. Bought some more plugs in China shop and had a drive out to Aldi to get some beans. Treatment went well. All very helpful and informative. I did some amazing parallel parking up by the hospital, collected LB and we were on our way. Well after ten minutes scrabbling in the dark looking for the Portugese mobile. I had a big row and was accused of leaving it in the Banco at VVDR and LB kept saying how important the phone was because she had told Nurse Helena it was the main way of contacting me. We found it when we got back to MF. It was in LB’s bag!

Jacket potato for tea. Two tired people.

Serviços Médicos Ernesto Rocha, Unipessoal Lda.

Woke up. Started well. Then got some palpitations! Checked on watch. Not good. LB was the voice of reason and advised a trip to VVDR. Got booked in straight away. Boy on reception reminded me and my husband Leann to bring our SEF documents in ASAP. Then I chatted with Nursey and showed her my watch readouts. And as if by magic, Dr S appeared. Cool. Wrote me a letter and we were off to Urgencia at Castelo. Within minutes I was triaged and sat in front of the doctor. The first of several ECG’s were carried out, as well as blood tests and an X-ray. Then I was given some chemical cardioversion followed by a Jiffy bag full of magnesium. Unfortunately, the magic potion didn’t reset the dodgy rhythm, but I was reassured that X-ray and blood tests didn’t reveal any other issues. Pumpkin soup issued (standard Portugese hospital practice) and then I had to ask to go to the loo. Bugger. Given a bloody piss bottle which I nearly filled and almost dropped!

Another ECG and I was eventually allowed to leave. Picked up a shivering LB at reception and collected some medication from the farmacia. Topped up with diesel and then back to MF. What a couple of days.

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Feliz Natal. War is over. Still alive.? Stlill feeling poopey. Bloody body. Pottered. And pottered some more. Nice and sunny but bloody cold..

Sorted some more shelves in the barn after breakfast and then settled and watched a couple of films on Disney Plus in the barn. Coolio.

Went for a walk with Sirius after tv time. Sunny but cold. Contact made with East Northamptonshire which is under water. What do they expect? Sandwich’s for tea. We know how to live. Christmas is overrated.

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Boxing Day. Fun start. LB did her jockey impression then forgot where the spoons were when having her cereal. You can take the girl out of Raunds, but .....

Tried to make sense of lock down rules. Probably failed. Popped CB and got some magnesium and super nuts in the Boxing Day sales. Tried to get some bananas, but fell foul of of the the ‘weigh and scan’ system introduced after Brexit. Bloody Boris.

Tried to get some logs at Agriloja, but lockdown had kicked in, so we looked a bit daft. Back to MF to look at the nuts before we got them insured and locked in the safe. Absolute bargain. Watched another Pixar film which reduced LB to jelly at the end. Had a nice walk with Sirius before it got too cold. Salmoa for tea, then the first disco at Monte Fidalgo. Shame we have health issues.

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

What disco? Silly buggers. Then it got sordid (not morbid) in the bedroom! What the hell is happening. Didn’t I say I wasn’t well! Healthy stuff for breakfast mind.

Did some mowing with the wonkiest mower in Portugal. Spent as much time trying to sort the bloody vibrations out as actually cutting the grass. Rubbish. Frigging frio hoje. LB turned barn into a lavandaria! Then we found some of her artefacts and she started reminiscing about the ‘old days’! Slow cooker was set to work, log burner ignited and Tilly falked out.

Another IKEA order started, but LB lost the plot with the internet and then decided to finish tomorrow. More Crown and stew surprise for tea.

R. da Capela 6, 6030, Portugal

Not a great nights sleep. Much wind about. Then stupid dream about panic on a golf course! Popped to CB to try and find a blade for the wonky mower. Failed. More research required. Went mad with the chainsaw on return and sorted a fair few logs out.

Justin messaged to say he’s had another Covid test. Been feeling rubbish since Christmas Day. Bloody hell. One Worten order seems to have disappeared but the other turned up a day early, and was so easy to connect!! Tidy sound once we had worked out what we were doing. Emailed Dr Santos re: an appointment and got a text from Worten with a link to DPD, so hopefully can progress tomorrow. Leftover slow cooker and couscous for tea. All very tired.

Avenida del Rio Tajo, 2, 10513 Cedillo, CΓ‘ceres, Spain

Slightly better sleep. I think. Got up. Good start. Then cleaned cabin floor. Hoovered log burner and started mopping, but had to stop, to get Tilly to check on LB’s pulse. Thought she had come to a complete stop. Tilly and Sirius administered CPR and we were good to go again. Telly man and his boy arrived and set about installing the second satellite on the barn and 809 channels! Crazy package.

LB stirred herself and deployed the new juicer. Tidy machine. Quite rewarding having your own orange juice from your own oranges.

Then the fun on the phone started. Two hours holding to DPD (no stress); then Bedford Borough Council (medium stress); and finally Argos/Tesco Pet Insurance (minimal stress).

Oh, and Justin has tested positive Covid! Silly arse. Went for a walk with Sirius and lost him. He was back before us!

Tea in the barn tonight! Omelette. LB won the presentation competition although taste was excellent. Really like how we have set the barn up. Cool place.

Avenida del Rio Tajo, 2, 10513 Cedillo, CΓ‘ceres, Spain

LB on snooze time, so had a walk down the lane early doors with Sirius. Cold morning, so log burner deployed before breakfast. Made contact with Justin. Suffering with the Covid! Pottered about and had some sawdust and monkey nuts for breakfast. Not too bad actually. Liberated Tilly for the second time. Very relaxing. First ten minutes, she stayed in the cabin, then smushed under the office, before heading up the road towards Perais!! After that she decided to enter an old barn just as DPD arrived. Then I had a big row for trying to control to excitable dogs and a disoriented cat!!

After Tilly safely secured in the barn, LB was placed on charge of Mesh installation. Seemed to go quite well. Only Sonos buggered about and will be revisited tomorrow. LB adjourned to the barn for some reading and a siesta, whilst I went out on the bike. Bit cold, but invigorating.

Found the residue from my treatment at CB last week on my arm. Bloody cannula!

Another barn tea, and a late night toilet unblocking. Don’t ask!

R. de SΓ£o Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Last day of 2020. Last entry of this short blog. Had lie in! How weird. Tried to persuade Justin to get himself checked out properly. Think I failed! LB christened Tilly’s throne the Chair of Despair! I thought that was really good.

LB also tried her punky funky trousers for the first time. Excellent choice. This picture doesn’t do them justice.

Did a shopping run to VVDR then back for onion soup for lunch. Bit of a manly day, so afternoon spent doing nails (LB) and watching the Great Escape. First time for LB remarkably!! Jackets and last episode of the Crown for tea. Bom Ano Novo world!!