R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

New day; new year; new blog. The escape has been effected and ironically and without any thought or planning, we actually watched the film of the same name yesterday. So. Fresh start. No washing allowed today. Remember what Gran said!! Justin eventually responded late morning and said he slept ok. Phew! No panic! Went for a a walk with Sirius and got some sticks for the fire. LB did some slow cooker preparation and I did some chain saw work. Quite knackering actually! Tilly had a quiet day, although did gesture to go out occasionally, but then thought better of it.

I ordered some contact lenses and LB ordered some hats. Strange combination I grant you. Needs must. Video call with East Northamptonshire, so the bike was deployed mid afternoon. New audiobook (Barack Obama) and set off across the trails towards Alfrivida. Forgot to mention that Monte Fidalgo celebrated NYD this afternoon by launching several (no more than six) fireworks. This caused Sirius to sprint from his main home to his ‘foster’ home and take refuge under the cabin! Anyway, back to the bike ride. Half way round I spotted a hooge hoppitty mongoose type thing and quickly pedalled in the other direction. LB identified it as a muntjac deer. We also established that we heard one of them the other day near the land!!

Nice walk into the scary wilderness with Sirius as protection! Veggie slow cooker and The Stranger tonight. Justin reports slight improvement.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Well misty first thing. Couldn’t believe it was seven when the bells bonged, it was so dark. Fed Tilly, went loo. Tilly yakked her breakfast! Good start. I offered to sort it, but LB said only she was qualified?? So I let her carry on and made the tea instead. I popped VVDR to get some bits, whilst LB researched hand held hoovers. I kid you not! I was allowed eggs and toast for brunch, then we decided to liberate Tilly again. Not to stressy?? She did actually head down the land this time; circled the pond; and climbed a tree! Then started wandering off towards the Tagus, but luckily reversed just as the vultures started circling above!!

Did some pottering in the afternoon. LB did some washing and soup consumption. Watched Swansea beat Watford on the telly package thing, then went for our normal walk. Thought Sirius had been eaten by an mongoose as we heard a squeal, but it must have been a local child as he soon rejoined us.

More slow cooker stuff and couscous and part two of The Stranger. Did watch some bullfighting on the telly. Strangely addictive!!

R. da Fontinha 2, 6030, Portugal

Bloody cold this morning. Well frosty. Don’t remember much frost last year? Went for a walk with Sirius down the lane early doors. Fresh!!

Took a load of crap including injured mower to the bins before lunch. Too cold to do a lot today. Bit of strimming; bit of tidying in the office. Tilly had another play out and was much better. Went up some trees and on the roof of the barn; on the rooves of the old buildings. Cool for cats.

The dogs went crazy late afternoon and chased after something in the fields. I thought it was a deer, but LB was convinced it was a chicken!!! She then changed her witness statement to a small to medium orange dog! Called Petunia. Whatever it was, Wiry and Sirius took off after it deep into the trees. We went for a walk past their house and were sure we saw Hercules in the garden. What’s all that about?? \240

I was given more catering lessons tonight. Timing is everything. Don’t smush, just stir carefully. Nice curry.

Dogs returned with new friend. Bloody horrible looking thing. Possibly a Pharaoh Hound. Cameras and big stick deployed. Sirius got the message and was good boy. Wiry had lots of rows!

Piscina Municipal de Cedillo

Philip the bloody Pharaoh been a right nuisance in the night, pinging the cameras a fair bit and causing LB to toss and turn!! Then he had a bloody ruckus with Wiry under the cabin at seven am. Meant I had to reassess my toilet schedule! Looked a right loon on camera Um walking for my ablutions with a ruddy great javelin in my hand. Safety first. Anyway, no sign of PtP and I gave Wiry evils all morning.

Went CB late morning. First stop Maxmat, where a new mower was purchased.

On to the Forum, where we upgraded the Portugese mobile to something resembling a smartphone! LB lapsed and went route one at McDonald’s and plumped for nuggets and fries. I was allowed cabbage soup. Comfy bra’s were purchased before a trip to Lidl and Auchan. Oh and we saw some deer just as we headed back into Monte Fidalgo!

Tasty Salmoa for tea. UK back in to lockdown. Shambles.

R. do Palheirão, 6030, Portugal

Barry Baltic this morning. LB refused to leave her pit until the log burner was deployed! Went for a walk with Sirius whilst the cabin reached an ambient temperature. Very misty down the lane.

Tilly and LB eventually stirred themselves when the mercury rose sufficiently.

Tilly keen to go out to play, but had to wait for LB to get dressed, so managed to get out just before dark. Had a good time though, particularly doing slidy slidy on the barn roof! Eventually captured and returned to the barn, only for MW to let her escape her again!! Fool. New mower assembled and trialled. No initial damage sustained. Outdoor mirror erected.

Bike ride undertaken whilst LB did some yoga. Some Christmas cards arrived! And scan appointment for Saturday! Rest of Salmoa for tea. More carnage in The Stranger! Well confusing. Dogs disappeared tonight!!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Another cold morning in Central Portugal! \240No dogs about this morning. Solo walk. Frio!!!

LB got up for lunch and I escorted Tilly on a walk to Retaxo. Got Tilly back in, then she got out again when LB was getting ready for bed at ten past one. Tilly thought it would be good fun to go in the barn next door! \240Tracker confirmed her location and eventually she found her way to the exit door and remembered how to get out again! LB confirmed her scan with IPO Coimbra and did another Yoga workout. Lying down obviously. I did a small bike ride in the tundra. Nibbling. Justin messaged to say he has been out and hopefully on the road to recovery (near Redberth). More wood cut, then joint effort in tea preparation. I was allowed to cut broccoli and cauliflower but leeks were deemed too technical. Tea good mind.

Unnamed Road, 6000, Portugal

Slightly milder this morning. No frost, but still bloody cold. LB’s mum decided to invoke a fatwa on all cats in Raunds and unfortunately fell on her Christmas baubles whilst chasing a ginger Tom down the high street first thing. Luckily, there was only minor redness on the left hand side (past the duchie) and minimal swelling. Ginger T is currently recovering in Thrapston Small Animal Trauma Centre. Poor thing.

Erected Tenby picture in cabin today. Been meaning to do it for ages. Looks ok. The old boy who helped me clear the barn when I first got here messaged to see how things were! Nice touch. Also, reminded me how much progress has been made.

LB did a call to East Northamptonshire to check on the state of the pussy chaser’s baubles, so I did an extra long bike ride to VVDR! 30 plus kilometros and a bloody cold wind on the way back.

LB made a clever cake out of cocoa powder, orange zest and marbles and I juiced a load of oranges and kept my station neat and tidy.

Wiry started coming for walks with Sirius now!!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

LB’s mum has moved on from ‘pussy chasing’ and caused new and significant consternation and controversy by appearing to have converted to the Islamic faith overnight. A new Facebook profile picture depicts a ‘Shamima Begum’ lookie likie, hajib wearing post office worker. Scary stuff!

After LB stirred herself, we popped to Castelo to get some bits. First stop at Cebola for a new gas bottle. Not impressed with LB kindly running me an ice bath last night! Got some stuff at Homa. Starting to worry about LB’s sharp knife and scissors fetish!! Peixe sopa for lunch in the cafe near Auchan, a quick visit to Agriloja then home.

I stupidly volunteered to escort Tilly on a trip out in the Arctic. Luckily she didn’t stay out too long. Scrummy cake late afternoon. Amazing skies again.

Salmoa and veg mix for tea. Last Stranger. Phew. Coimbra Amanha.

Largo Cruz de Celas 4, 3000-132 Coimbra, Portugal

Ok. So it’s now 5pm. And I really don’t know where to start. Didn’t want to get up this morning. Ironically as I had to. Bloody cold again. LB had breakfast at some ridiculous hour before we departed for Coimbra to be scanned. LB that is. Diesel stop at VVDR then got to IPO in good time. Only LB allowed in today, so I had a walk round for a bit.

Scan seemed to go reasonably ok, although LB decided to remove her bra for some reason?? Weird if you ask me. I kept my pants on when I had my X-ray in Castelo the other week. Anyway, each to their own. Got back to MF an hour after curfew and without being stopped by the GNR, although we did have to drive through a blizzard on the way back! \240Bloody freezing on return, and LB much fatigued after being scanned and removing her undergarments. I tried to help by turning the log burner on to full whack and suggesting LB have a nap. Unfortunately, some smoke seepage from an unduly hot burner let LB to wake up thinking she had developed glaucoma! I went into Fireman Sam mode and semi extinguished the inferno, before deploying the chimney brushes to clear a load of crap from the tubes outside. That was the good news. The bad news was that the brush bit managed to detach itself from the main handle and got lodged in the bloody tube. Fear not, it was spotted and Inspector Gadget was utilised to fish the offending article from deep inside the vowels of the chimney.

Phew! What an exciting afternoon. Let’s sit down and have a relaxing cup of tea and a nice slice of cake. Only, Tilly decided that would be a good time to wrap herself in fly paper. You know, the really sticky stuff you hang up to catch the pesky flies. Carnage. Bloody stuff stuck all over her. She had to be restrained and held down with gardening gloves while the gloopy tape was eventually removed! Unbelievable. Might have to be totally shaved tomorrow apparently! Interesting day.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Mini lie in. Then I got up. Caught up. Whatever else up. No energy today. Emailed silly Teresa the will woman. She responded with some drivel. She can wait again. Tried to administer some olive oil elixir to Tilly to remove the fly shit. Medium success.

Went for a mini bike ride in the afternoon across some tracks because of the curfew etc. Bloody cold still. Then did a bit of sorting in the scrapyard by the old ruined barns. I feel another tip trip coming in!

Veggie chilli for tea (and the next fortnight). Who needs meat? Nice.

Decathlon Castelo Branco

Bloody Monday again. Surprise. Shaun not coming today. Maybe Thursday. Fecking nuisance. Went Castelo instead. LB bought some hiking boots to get to the fridge in the frost and a new hat. Tempted to get a special bag for dragging your newly slain wild boar back to the cabin, but LB thought that was in bad taste.

On to Auchan where we had some scrummy chicken soup, before buying a shed load of cake making ingredients in the big shop. Some weird Ingles bloke ran up to the van as we were leaving the car park. Once we realised it wasn’t a terrorist attack, we opened the window and realised he just wanted to ‘say hello’ because he saw the GB plates. How nice? How sad? How weird?

Quick run round the Forum where LB bought some joggers (not for jogging) and on to LIdl to stock up on more cake making supplies ahead of this year’s Portugese ‘Bake Off’!.

Back to MF to unload. Veggie chilli again for tea. Algorithm predicted that it could see us through until the end of the pandemic?? Oh and Pembrokeshire Murders on tonight!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Hard frost again. Heavy on the admin this morning. Applied for new passport. LB arsed first picture up. Told me to keep my mouth open. Passport police didn’t like that!! Then made an appointment to get Portugese licence renewed. Amanha morning! Then contacted customs in Covilha. Yes. An appointment is possible. Just need Homologacao number. I will enquire at IMT tomorrow.

Log burner going much better since LB put her arm up the chimney.

Afternoon spent trying to connect Sonos to the network. Numerous threats to deposit the sodding thing in the Tagus, but eventually managed to get two speakers connected, although LB appeared to be severed from the system. Bloody orange dog appeared late afternoon, then two hooge hounds popped round. Luckily their owner arrived shortly after and spent the next hour driving round the village in hot pursuit!

Update: hooge dogs causing mayhem late on. Owner still driving round in even hotter pursuit!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Early ish start in case Shaun turns up, and I need to be at IMT for ten. Luckily we were both fortified by a substantial breakfast. Good enough for the Borrowers; good enough for us. Actually, joking aside, I thought they were bloody tasty.

Passed Shaun on the Mountain and left LB to sort out the pond arrangements. Bloody good job. Shaun was under the impression that he was here to dig another hole! Got licence extended for another month. One day, I will get a proper licence. Did ask about the homologacao, but had a row from the Portugese chick who told me to bloody wait for the certificate in the post! Went to Correios in CB and got passport sent back to UK. Woman muito helpful. Back to MF. Shaun doing a decent job, although did get slightly distracted by looking for herbal broccoli in the eastern corner of the land!

LB decided to go on hunger strike in support of starving children in Eritrea. Such a noble gesture. I was moved to tears. Unfortunately, the campaign only lasted eight minutes and emergency sustenance was provided in the form of a jumbo hot dog!

Cleared a load more scrap from the ‘ruins’ and took it to the bins. Found one and a half shoes with nails in them??? Weird. LB had some sopa in the bath as usual, then we had sopa for tea! Nice change for her! Sirius has a limpy leg. Wiry has attachment issues.

R. Antero de Quental 118, 3000-031 Coimbra, Portugal

Fed up of saying it’s cold, but.... Think dogs stayed under cabin last night. Shaun’s promise to get to us by 8 slipped a bit!! Anyway he did turn up after getting lost in the fog somewhere! Loon. And we are off to Coimbra again. Stopped off at VVDR where LB popped in to see the boy in the health centre and gave him the SEF provisional forms. She then kindly volunteered to pay the agua at the Camara, whilst I drove head first into a bloody funeral cortège!! Embarrassing.

Gave LB spending money for the hospital. Good job as namorada’s not allowed in. Soup all round today. LB went spinach in the hospital and I had Peixe in downtown Coimbra. Nice day, but still bloody cold.

Bought cookbook by chick of telly and some bits from ‘BioSupermarket’ before returning to the van for some admin. Emailed Dr Santos, who responded with a prescription and an appointment. Then spent an hour on the phone to EE trying to change my watch tariff. Didn’t go well. Had a bit of a row. Man told me of for being impatient after being on the phone for 47 minutes. Then when the contract they had recommended to me in a letter wasn’t available, he said ‘it’s only £2!!’. Eventually I backed down when he said that he had a bereavement today. Even felt a bit sorry for him.

Back to MF. Jacket potato for tea.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Up and sorted paperwork for another trip to IMT at some point. Forgot to mention that they sent another letter yesterday. Oh my Christ. Words fail me. And they sent my UK licence back. The one I had returned to them!!

Cold start. Warmer day. Did some pond landscaping. Shaun has done a good job. Fair play. Much improved.

Bit of mowing and ‘ruin’ tidying too.

Stroganoff for tea.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Tilly has now been deployed by the Portugese insomnia police to make sure that sleep does not happen in Monte Fidalgo. Any time after 6am, she will routinely walk on your head or smush any part of your body that is not in the caravan or lying prostrate in Perais. Fair play. LB got herself up this morning and fed Tilly. With bloody food that she refused to eat. Tilly not LB. Up I got. Donated the cat pate to Sirius and Wiry and got Tilly her favourite Wiskas or some other silly sachet! \240I consoled myself with scrambled eggs on toast. Popped to VVDR where everyone was adhering to the strict new lockdown restrictions. Well, sort of.

After a three hour sleep, Tilly was refreshed and wanted to go out to play in the January sunshine. Bless her little cotton socks. Did a fair bit of wood cutting, then had to stop because a screw fell out of the chainsaw. Managed to find the receipt and everything and didn’t overreact or panic. There was no screw. Never was. My bad. LB helped put the chain back. Sorry everyone. Stand down.

LB made some scrummy orange shortbread. Nice! Tried and failed to watch the Pembrokeshire Murders! Bloody frustrating. Technical department will work on it again tomorrow.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

It’s 7pm and I’m bolloxed. Not even been out on my bike today because of lockdown. Ceasar just been and dropped the wood for the caravan project off. Half a bloody forest. Nearly feckin killed me. Just got back from a dog walk to find the bloody cabin smouldering because some idiot put hot ashes in it! Then the dogs barked to let me know Ceasar was on site. Christ.

Ok. What else happened hope? As we speak, LB is putting the finishing touches to a scrummy pie. Another cake has been created. Tilly has been out a fair bit. Contact has been made with East Northamptonshire and several attempts have been made to make sense of the internet and virtual private networks! The pond bench was spruced and re-erected. The ruin was cleared (a bit) and a lot of wood moved. The chainsaw does need some love and attention.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Nice start to the day!! And some updates from yesterday! Should have mentioned the moniker on the pie for instance and the pictorial evidence of the ‘bin fire’!!.

Also, daylight pic of the caravan wood and Wee Willy Winkie popping home for supper!

Did a ‘lockdown’ run to Castelo. Big, big shop at Lidl. Got some diesel and got chainsaw refurbished at Stihl.

Collected prescription from farmacia near Auchan and a few bits from Auchan. Got a new bin, but not allowed to get pillows! Quirky rules of lockdown! Popped in to Agriloja and got some grass seed; a recyybin and cupboard for the garage. Doddle to put together! We will discuss further tomorrow! Last of the chicken pie tonight. Started watching drama about the Orthodox Jews! Good stuff.

Tilly relaxing after spending several hours staring at a clump of grass earlier!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Welcome to the Killing Fields. Slept like a drain. Bloody going over finances because Dean (Blevin Franks) is going to call later. Then a sodding muntjac started barking. Then the dogs started barking. Then Tilly started licking my head. Yes! I kid you not. That sweet, innocent cat, who during the course of the day slaughtered two innocent mices and thought it would be cool to bring one back to the cabin!! No. I say again. No.

After my disturbed sleep, I got up to resume cupboard construction. Medium success, although my watch strap disentegrated mid build! Weird. Garage and scary cupboard were refurbished, before the chainsaw was deployed on the wood again. Oh and Caesar’s pile of logs were duly covered as chuva is forecast.

Had a big row at lunchtime for smushing beetroot everywhere. My bad. God excited. Thought row was excessive though. LB went off to the barn to calm down and made a lively fish pie. Psycho Tilly spent the evening in the wardrobe digesting her mices. Crazy times.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Early start. Off to Coimbra. Yay! LB ready to go first thing!

Bloody dogs ran after the van out of the village. Total loons. Like a scene out of Chariots of Fire! Full turbo had to be deployed near the cemetery to try and give Sirius the slip! Crappy weather. Blew a hoolie in the night and a monsoon for good measure. Continued all day! Got LB to IPO just about on time. Well busy. Dropped her and had to park in the car park near the library whilst she was scanned yet again.

Went and collected some IKEA bits from the edge of Coimbra, then headed back. Got some lunch from the new Continente in Serta. Still raining when we got back. Watched Joe Biden’s inauguration. Both very tired tonight.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Still stormy. Pottered around this morning. LB did a load of research into the Jewish Orthodox faith. Maybe not for us? Looked at cars again. Emailed IMT again, then off to VVDR after lunch to see Dr Santos. Boy on reception reminded me (and my husband; Lean) to bring out ‘Brexit’ cards in. Told him that the Camara hadn’t summoned us yet, but we would produce them as soon as. He then escorted me in to see Nurse Rachel. And I said ‘hello, Nurse Rachel!’. She took by blood pressure etc, then totally confused me by asking me if I wanting a ketamine injection!! I know I’m in a bad way, but horse tranquillisers?? Then realised there was a language issue and she was on about tetanus! Easy mistake to make I suppose??

Anyway, eventually got to see Dr P and some apprentice doctor chick and spent over an hour being ‘consulta’d’. Bit different to UK. Got appointment for blood test and echocardiogram In Castelo and another appointment with Dr P in a month. Back to MF (still raining). Finished sorting IKEA stuff on office. Sopa for tea. Last Unorthodox. Good series.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Medium sleep. Maybe should have had the ketamine? Mind you, not sure what LB needs in the morning!

Ordered a new watch strap from Amazon ES. Helpfully fetched two tape measures for LB to check the pillow sizes. Left her in charge of ordering memory pillows from Espanha. Off to CB solo. First stop Affidea on the outskirts. Helpful security man found an Ingles speaking woman who booked me in for an echocardiogram next Tuesday. She also advised to go to VVDR Monday or Wednesday morning for blood test. On to IMT (again). Security man not happy with my UK photo driving licence as ID for his notebook. Only a photo on my phone of my residency certificate would suffice! Woman at IMT fairly helpful. Took my licence back and said I should get my Portugese licence within a month. All UK checks back ok. Took all van paperwork and said engineer checked it and all ok? I will get something in the post. Oh yeah??

Back to MF and lunch. Then orange smushing as loads had fallen in recent storm. Managed to get several litres extracted.

Couldn’t work out that it was easier to move the bin to the oranges instead of the oranges to the bin! Doh. Three weeks of pasta constructed later. Cocked up the tuna by putting the lid in the bin too early, then some of the tuna jumped out everywhere! Tried to atone for my sins by cleaning the bathroom. Also did some sorting in the caravan where Tilly went bonkers. Watched ‘Young Wallander’ on Netflix. Dramatic start.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Losing it. Spent some time in the night caressing a phantom LB! Thought she had grown a spare head further up the pillow! Christ. Then Tilly started washing my head early doors. I need help! \240Still bloody raining too. Wellies were deployed to do a pond inspection. Looking good.

LB made a Victoria Sponge in the afternoon and I watched Swansea beat Notts Forest in the FA Cup. Helped (sort of) LB to put new quilt together (as did Tilly!).

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

LB created her own muntjac bark this morning. A thing of beauty! As a treat I was allowed scrambled eggs. Living the dream, or what!

Downloaded the Readly app yesterday. Good value. Loads of stuff on it. You can even do puzzles. It’s the future!

Set about the ‘ruin’ again after my eggs. Bit of an effort, but pleased with the result. Much better. Kept finding loads of old shoes. Must have been the Monte Fidalgo branch of Brantano at some point!

Said some prayers this evening. Last night of the pasta bake. So excited I scorched my tongue on some hot pasta! When will I learn!!

EM553, 6030, Portugal

Up early for analisis. No tea for me! At VVDR bright and early. Found Affidea. Closed. Feck. Checked in Farmacia. Aberto Wednesday. Popped Auchan then back to MF.

Tried to catch up with orders etc. Apparently my contact lenses have been impounded by Portugese customs. Probably the same fate has befallen LB’s hats. CTT turned up with my watch strap and a letter re: lenses. Feckin Brexit. Several hours on the web sending copies of receipts etc. Will probably end up having to pay some customs fee! Crap.

Popped out on bike for short ride in rain. LB made amazing mushroom tart concoction for tea. Got stroppy with Jamie.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Woke early. Stupid. LB got bank today. That’s no excuse mind. Rick messaged with a load of bullshit excuses, whilst LB composed a nuclear response which we put in the ‘holding bay’ for now. Every parcel in the universe is due to arrive today and we have to go to Castelo to the bank and scanland. Luckily we had the excellent idea of leaving a note for postie, asking him to leave packages behind the wall near letterbox. Even luckier, we delegated this task to LB who produced an amazing poster for postie. In English!

Quick translation and we were good to go. Had a look in Agriloja and Brico at garden shredders, then popped into Auchan for some bits and lunch. Parked next to a van/hearse. Which was nice! Into Castelo centre and LB went to Santander to open an account. Mission accomplished. On to Affidea for my scan. Managed to remove the right bits of clothing. Dr man said there is an issue with rhythm. I knew that, but that otherwise heart ok?? Bloody hope so.

Unnamed Road, 6030, Portugal

Portugese buearacracy 2, MW 0. Ok. Started well. Affidea in VVDR open early doors. Me and another chick there before the vampire woman. Going well. She called me in. Looked at my form. Not good. Past it’s sell by date! What??? You cannot be serious. It’s true. Popped doctors. Had a row from cleaner. Gave up. Went Auchan instead.

Later that same day! Postie brought letter from IMT. They want a certificate, signed by the Pope and Nelson Mandela to say that that the gas in the van was fitted by Barack Obama! I kid you not! And then. CTT emailed to ask for €49 to release my contact lenses!! Feckin Brexit.

Loads more oranges dropped off the trees. Must be their time! More juicing done in the afternoon.

Silvia from Santander contacted me re: credit card. Appointment made for Friday. Then Tito contacted me. He’s taken over the appointment now! Under Pressure! Last Wallander tonight and second instalment of frango. Gas ran out too!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Oranges are not the only fruit! But they continue to drop off the trees! Juiced another thousand and had a row for losing the juicer bung, which bloody Sherlock found in a jug of juice! Recovered my composure and made some snake potion out of oranges and microwave cleaner out of oranges. Was also allowed to help (under strict supervision) with the preparation of tonight’s tea. Changed gas bottle, sanded barn door and did some mowing in the afternoon. Remarkably, LB’s hats got through customs unscathed and arrived this afternoon.

Found some incredible termite structures near the pond! Apparently, citrus peel could be a solution!!

Lovely tea. Watched funny American comedy set in a superstore. Called ‘Superstore’. Good.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Dr P emailed with prescription etc early doors. Then had email to say passport on its way back. Then had text to say it would be delivered Tuesday! Yay. Quick breakfast then off to Castelo. Did make some anti termite potion first!

Collected new gas bottle at Cebola, then popped in to see Tito about new credit card. Three hours trying to get Cinderella some bloody wellies! Painful. Got there in the end. Auchan small shop; Lidl big shop and back to MF. Big row in Lidl at the checkout for not putting the useless paper tissue bags in the right place. Humiliation!

Watched ‘Delhi Crime’ on Netflix. Tense. Dislocated head on sofa.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Good Sabbath. Nice start! Then my first bowl of cornflakes in ages! Printed prescription from Dr P and new analysis form. Managed to watch the first episode of ‘Pembrokeshire’! Don’t know how! Good mind. Swept chimney (as per calendar). Groovy lunch.

Did some strimming. Attached new strimmer head. Line disappeared after two minutes. Nearly threw it in the Tagus, but LB calmed the situation down and normal service was sort of restored. More wood chopped. Pile getting tidier.

LB made a stack of muffins in the afternoon and a scrummy quiche for tea. Good work indeed.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Sunday! And after a head wash from Tilly, I actually slept in for a bit! Weird. Scrambled eggs today. Shared with Tilly, then on to bean making. Team effort. And, they actually tasted like baked beans!

Weather bloody miserable most of the day. Watched a bit more ‘Pembrokeshire Murders’ at lunchtime. Went for a walk (with dogs) in rain when LB was connecting with Radio Raunds etc. Bottled my beans and LB iced her muffins. Watched ‘Military Wives’ on Rakuten. Not bad.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Pinch, punch!. Rick’s on his way. First instalment of the home made beans. Tidy job. Rick landed at ten. Mein Fuhrer LB deployed to go through ‘Schindler’s List’ with the boy from MK. After she had extracted his fingernails he agreed to pretty much everything! Mistakes have been made, he agreed. Mainly by Ricardo!! I focused on technical things like moving wood and realised after a couple of hours that a new invention called a wheelbarrow had been created. Most useful, I found.

Busy afternoon on the delivery front. Our fourth hoover arrived, along with the new pillows and some more paint for the nail salon. LB’s bank card and pin turned up, as did my ECG results. Very detailed and seemed generally positive??

Mid afternoon, LB noticed I was slacking and on the basis of a half positive ECG report deployed me on stone fence erection!! I managed four before exhaustion overcame me. Work will reconvene tomorrow.

Somehow, the telly in the barn is now playing UK stuff, so we were able to watch the last episode of ‘Pembrokeshire Murders’ on the big screeen. Nice pasta tea, using the left over bean sauce. Be good to test new pillows.

Health update!!! LB sustained serious anal injury during the day whilst standing!! Seems as if she managed to rupture a buttock or something whilst discussing architrave with Rick! The mind boggles.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

LB’s buttocks needed intensive treatment first thing. Umm. Contact made with the gas inspection people. Camperking didn’t sound too helpful. Hospital confirmed for tomorrow. Analysis at 8:30!! Deep joy. LB swooped on the DHL man in the afternoon and seized my passport. Bloody blue/black!

New juicer also arrived and the most expensive contact lenses in Europe. Completed the ‘wall’. Bit more clay needs shifting from the pond surrounds, but not too bad?

Managed to get all the metal sorted and shifted to the bins.

Sopa for tea and episode 2 of ‘Delhi Crime’. Tilly locked in wardrobe this evening. Presumably as punishment for hiding in the neighbouring vegetable patch for several hours earlier today!!

Partido Social Democrata Coimbra

Early start. Off to Coimbra again. Good news with LB’s scans. Thank goodness. Interspersed time in the van, with some clandestine strolls round Coimbra. Got quite warm in the afternoon.

Stopped at Serta for some bits on the way back. Bloody Orange dog on site when we got back!! Bad dog. Jackets for tea. Watched ‘Superstore’. Tired.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Monte Fidalgo monsoon overnight. Slept rubbish. Went to Castelo and ordered shredder thing from Stijl. Should be here on the 17th, but your man will call. Back and did some more juicing. Never ending!

Tito rang to make sure I have activated my credit card!! On the case. Oh and hopefully the gas inspector cometh tomorrow to check the van!!

Cemitério de Perais

Gas. A game of two halves! It’s a long story. First thing off to VVDR to try again for a blood test. Well busy at the Affidea. Luckily I was in second place, just ahead of a man who went to the loo twice, then kept ‘holding himself’ if you know what I mean! This time I managed to persuade the woman that my plethora of forms were valid and she agreed to extract some blood. Tidy. Popped to the farmacia and sorted some prescriptions. And oh Lord did it rain today. I must have emptied the ‘bucket’ collecting the water from the office guttering at least a dozen times. No exaggeration!

Oh. Apparently, Tilly did a somersault from the ‘mezzanine’ and injured a fetlock. Loon. Stayed in the cupboard of shame all day. Silly Orville.

Bloody cold as well as wet. Log burner deployed early and attempts made to dry oranges to reinvent as firefighters! It does make sense. Honest.

Gas inspector due at eleven, and we got a bit excited when the agua man turned up with the monthly bill! Our bad. Inspector then called to rearrange for this afternoon in Perais. Cool. Yes. Of course we know where that is!! Eventually, we located gas boy at the ‘grandparents centre’ where LB is convinced he was visiting one of his relatives!! Who cares. After a tense 20 minutes in a monsoon, and an unfortunate view of his bum crack, he gave us a pass!!! Good old boy. €60 were handed over, and an extremely valuable certificate was given in exchange! Allah be praised.

Then the gas god kicked us back into place when LB went to run a bath. Bloody boiler nao funcaimento! Bastard thing. Forty minutes crying (still in the monsoon) changing batteries, gas bottles and underpants had no effect. Agreed to look again tomorrow!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Home made beans to start the day. Had a go at sorting the boiler out. Failed. First attempt. Went VVDR to do a bit of weekend shopping. LB tried her card out in Amencher (not contactless!!) and then again in Auchan (contactless). Back to the boiler on return. LB deployed the screwdriver and I was supervised using the hairdryer. Initial success. Then we had a setback and had to do it all over again!! Bloody chuva!!

Small steps. Then we narrowed it down to a plumbing fault in the barn. Mistakes have been made! Hot dogs for tea boys!

EM355, 6030, Portugal

Nice start to Sunday. Then we had to re-charge if you know what I mean!!

Cabin given a bit of a clean this morning. LB put the finishing touches to her choccie cake which we tried in the afternoon. Well nice.

Continuing the food theme, we had some super strong sheep’s cheese from Alfrivida for lunch. Powerful stuff!

Did some mowing and watched Wales scrape a scrawny win against Ireland. Fried some stir for tea. Bit more ‘Superstore’.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Rick adjourned cos of the chuva. Fair play. Can’t say I blame him. Bit of admin and finance early doors. LB nearly lost the plot with Santander after spending a fair bit of time trying to activate a Walnut Whip or something! Can’t rush a lady of leisure!!

Then the weather improved and I got a fair amount of mowing done. LB borrowed the strimmer and tidied her chuff. Then sorted her nails.

Stroganoff for tea. IMT amanha.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Oof it rained again in the night. And blew a hoolie. Early start. Off to IMT. Appointment number 34? LB came along with her cornflakes and in her jimjams! Handed my gas certificate in. Man scribbled on it and put it in a tray. Who knows what will happen to it now? Also got my temporary licence extended again. Security man helpfully said that ‘real’ licence will be sent out after my funeral!! Did big shop at Lidl. Little shop at Auchan and mini shops at Agriloja and Maxmat. Weather improved slightly, but only enough to allow bathroom mould cleaning! Decided to watch ‘The Dig’ on Netflix in the afternoon. Tidy enough.

And then it was bathtime and teatime. Last ‘Delhi Crime’. Good series. Recommend it.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

That has to be the last of the storms! Surely. Despite traumatic weather conditions, had \240a big row in the night for putting my ‘en suite’ in the wrong location. No need. Did some pension research before the Zoom conference with Conor. Managed to survive. Bit intense at times. Mind you, he did say we were both ‘balanced’!

Weather slightly better after an early lunch. LB wanted to sunbathe, but I thought it was better to check the septic tank. Interesting experience. Aroma not too strong surprisingly on my side of the tank! David Attenborough found a little Kermit! I planted some relva semente round the poop tank.

Watched a bit of Swansea against Man City in the cup. Not great. Never mind. Concentrate on the league now!

Oh, and in other news, we rashly put a deposit down on a razzy Portugese Corsa! Yay.

Watched first episode of new series of Marcella. No bloody idea what is going on!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Thursday. LB spotted the Swallows/Swifts/Housemartins return to the land late (not early) morning. How cool. Unfortunately, they were a bit miffed because there is now a door on the cupboard where they had previously built their nest! Oops.

Did some strimming. Saw a bloody mouse hiding behind the black box. Tilly, where are you? Went to the bins (on foot) several times. Did an intense yoga session and was then sent to bed early as LB wen out to tea virtually with Hannah and Sophie!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Could have slept. But, Rick might be here soon after eight. Or nearly eleven?? Never mind. Set about pruning and tidying number one orange tree, ably assisted by Charlie Dimmock. LB then set about deforesting an old dead tree. Joyful to watch. Poetry in motion. An artist at work!

Oh and Rick turned up with a new book of excuses. Even more mistakes have been made. And apparently the Wuhan virus has been traced back to Ricardo’s waste pipes. Just put things right Rick!!!! And then the frogs started jumping into the pond by the dozen!!

Actually, Rick did get some bits done. Padlock on shed cupboard. Shelf for cupboard under sink in barn. Guttering allegedly changed. Half kitchen worktop sorted. Then he drifted back into serious excuse mood just before leaving. Painful!!

Popped VVDR to the shops, then got caught in a hooge traffic jam for 43 seconds in Monte Fidalgo high street on way back. Unheard of.

Chicken and veg concoction for tea. More Marcella.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

What a wonderful Spring Day. Gorgeous. Clear blue skies. Nice and warm. Such a shame LB missed most of it! Bless the little sleepy squirrel! When she eventually rose, we spent some time looking at insurance for the Corsa. Some progress was made! Poor Sirius seems to have dislocated his fetlock and is operating on three wheels! Silly boy.

Read on Facebook that there had been a small earthquake near Lisboa. Clearly there had been some aftershocks in Monte Fidalgo as my Lego bus suffered overnight!

After lunch, INEM popped round and managed to get LB out of her Jim Jams. Fortunately, she was able to enjoy some of the Vitamin C (is that right Conor D?).

Tilly and Sirius bonded on the viewing deck (sort of). Well, Tilly made repeated Darth Vader type noises! Weirdo. Wales scraped past Scotland who handily had a player sent out.

Oh, managed to empty the water coffin of wood today. Plan is to fill it with old roof tiles and make safe!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Early start all round! Bed checked for residue, but all clear!! Who needs flowers and chocolates on Valentines Day when miracles still happen! Big washing day and much mopping in bathroom. Lovely day again. 21 degrees in the afternoon! Washing drying outside!! Sheep back in the field next door. Bamboozled Tilly a bit first thing!

In other animal news, Sirius seems to be back on four wheel drive. A little hoppity early doors, then back to almost normal!!

Fair bit of mowing done. Lots of kilometres. Brownies made and work started on filling in the coffin!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Monday! Pool survey done first thing using scientific methods. Leg stretches and bits of old roof tiles!! Looks good on paper (grass). We know what we want. I even practiced swimming a length!

Spent some time trying to sort out the Corsa insurance online. Progress and mistakes were made! Gave up. Contacted Tito. Going to pop into banco on Wednesday! Had a row because one of LB’s string vests jumped off the line on to the floor! Banned from laundry duty for seven days.

Tilly gave Sirius the Darth Vader treatment at caketime, then started sniffing her arsenal! So weird.

Nice to have the sunshine again. Already got stupid white ankle disease starting! Won’t be long before LB has a little toushy, woushy! Both did some rock breaking in the hot sun (as the song goes). Good therapy! Bit of pond work and grass seed planted.

Wedges with a strange shaped potato for tea.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Slightly less scorchio today, so LB got entangled in the eiderdown until tennish. Well deserved. Got up and gave Tilly her breakfast. Waste of time. Clearly not good enough. Tallulah the mouse killer went out and got extras! Savage!

Did some tidying round the pergola and the bloody dogs thought it was a new smushing playground!

Did move some muck to the new tent site. No animals disrupted this venture yet! Assembled pizza oven after lunch. Looks tidy.

Tilly gave Sirius a big row in the afternoon. Pretended to do a bonding session, then went all Darth Vader!! Weird creature.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Off to see Tito early ish. Quite cool having a friendly contact at the banco. Fair play, he sorted the insurance muito rapido and got some discount. Tidy job. LB did the liaison with Joao the garage man and we seem good to go for Friday!

Called in Stihl shop, but shredder been kidnapped and hopefully due in early March?? Also missed DPD dropping off printer ink. Bugger. Did shopping at Lidl etc. Got the drone out for first time in ages on return. Must get some more practice in!

Bloody Tilly been diagnosed with attachment/jealousy issues this afternoon. Started following LB to the toilet and setting up booby traps for Sirius!

Nice veggie chilli for tea. Watched the last Marcella. WTF? More holes in the plot than a Swiss Cheese!! Please God no Series 4! Oh, and then the real drama started. LB noticed Wiry had been barking for a bit. Not to worry. She deployed full tactical search and rescue Code Red and undertook a thorough sweep of the tree that Wiry was focussing his attention at. ‘Clear’ came the call over the walkie talkie from Agent LB. What a relief. Unfortunately, the tactical search had only focussed on the Borrowers level and had neglected the upper branches (96%) of the tree. Funnily enough, it was there that a cat, disguised as a dinner plate was hiding!! Several attempts were made to entice the moglet down, but it had taken root. Luckily, Lidl had clearly mislabelled their cat food, so I was able to move the dogs away from the tree with the attraction of some doggie dinner. Hopefully, daylight will reveal a cat free tree!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Allah be blessed. The cat formally known as ‘dinner plate’ has departed the tree, and the land. Alleluia. Mixing my religious metaphors, I know. Tea and toast, then hot pee in bed for LB and off to VVDR for MW. Popped into the Farmacia and sorted some tablets out and got my analysis resultados. Gasolina purchased from BP for mowing etc then back to MF. Doctor Desculpe translated the blood test results. 8 out of 10? Felt brave enough to do blood pressure test. Not too bad.

LB connected to Portugese tax authorities for most of the day. I think we are now in a civil partnership after she inputted something or other! \240DPD dropped the printer ink off a day early, then postie dropped the homologacao certificate at long last!! More frustration with Rick the appendage, but we agreed to go nuclear later tomorrow. Watched first episode of ‘Its a Sin’ and then had an eighties sing a long competition at bedtime. Oh, has anyone seen the frango pie?????

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Rubi, Rubi, Rubi. The boys from Serta turned up a bit early with the Corsa. Tidy car. Lovely colour. Nice and shiny. Handover fairly straightforward. Had to have some cheesy photos done for social media and fair play, LB looked like a stunning ninja warrior!

Took the Corsa for a spin after lunch. Only had a few rows for driving in the hedge! Popped into Glassdrive where the girl took a zillion pics for the insurance inspection. Bought a new mop in Auchan, then razzed out to Malpica where LB had a go. First drive in ages. Don’t tell the GNR!! Slight panic when tyre pressure bleep came on. LB reckons it could be a sensitive sensor? More concern when another light came on, but muito relief when we realised it was LB’s failure to put her bloody seat belt on!

Several unhelpful messages with Jamie during the evening!! Useless.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Jamie is an arse. Rick is a bellend of biblical proportions! Several hours ‘rowing’ and negotiating with the pair of total gonads. Progress might have been made? We are in last chance saloon! Took the Corsa to VVDR for emergency firelighters. Tried sport mode. Nice sound. Weather shite. Storm Karim. Watched ‘Uncle Frank’ in the afternoon. Good.

Oh, forgot to mention that Lady Tallulah savaged another bloody mouse this morning, then yakked it up outside for Wiry. Such a kind gesture.

Swansea imploded away at Huddersfield. Idiots. More ‘It’s a Sin’. Excellent telly.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Admin and scrambled eggs this morning. Odd combination granted. Needs must. The Gonad List was updated (minus the cleaning materials!). My bad. Pension form completed, but not sent because I was a bit previous with the date. Lemon tree given a close shave this afternoon. Lots of dead wood.

Battery changed in barn clock. And LB made some biscuits. Good work. Trees are starting to blossom!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Several hours playing hunt the keys. What a fun game on a cold spring morning. Have you set fire to them? Have you buried them by the lemon tree? Did you feed them to the sheep? No! Then Sherlock found them. Hurrah. And shortly afterwards confessed to an extensive history of chave hiding as a child! No need.

Blip thing from Via Verde arrived, so we popped to to VVDR to register the gadget at the Multibanco. Hopefully, all set to go for Coimbra on Wednesday. Jamie eventually messaged and said that Rick should be here tomorrow.

Found a bit of energy to do some light ‘gardening’. LB did some laundry. Think my ban is nearly up. Much fun after tea and biscuits watching Tilly with a mouse. Luckily our very own Crocodile Dundee was on site to get a grip of the situation!

Last ‘It’s a Sin’. Best series I’ve seen in ages. Much emotion. So overcome I drank some fermented vinho and nearly died. Vile ratshit!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Message from Jamie early doors. Rick sorting out world peace at the United Nations, so won’t be here today. Maybe Friday!

I distracted myself by rearranging the office. Going more casual long term.

LB donned her wellies and did a top job on the patio with the power washer. Remarkable transformation. The patio, not LB.

Did some work on a few old pallets too. Hopefully we can get the painting finished for the 2023 growing season if Leanardo gets a spurt on!

Popped VVDR in afternoon to see Dr S. Tests reasonably ok. Suggested contacting Dr Bruno at Affidea in Castelo to get proper check.

Chilly evening in MF. Lovely sky though. Good to look out over the pond at the solar lights glistening under the stars!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

What a beautiful morning in Monte Fidalgo. Then i was labelled ‘Clammy the Damp’!!, on account of minor perspiration during the night. Very harsh.

Despite my condition I was allowed to drive to Coimbra for tratamento. In the Corsa!! Nice day in Central Portugal. Popped to Leroy Merlin and got a staple gun and some nails!! LB had some sopa and Kadcyla and we headed back. Good load of post. List of tratamento appointments; Corsa insurance stuff and (at last), my Portugese driving licence!!

Spent some time on the Portugese tax portal before tea. Oh My Christ! LB was persistent mind. Think we made some progress??

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Another drive. This time in the van, in the chuva to Covilha. Made some progress with the import man. Think we will get there. More info needed! Appointment made with British Embassy in Lisbon. Got back and did my blood pressure for some reason. Not too bad!

Back to Castelo for Lidl big shop etc. Got some garden bits too in anticipation of a nicer weekend!

Tilly caught her hundredth mouse tonight. Hooge frango and salada for tea.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Stupidly decided to widen the entrance this morning. This meant shifting a piece of stone that wouldn’t have looked out of place at Stonehenge! Hooge gert bloody thing. LB finally rammed the bugger out. Fair play.

Tilly brought a feckin mouse into the cabin today. This was after farting about on the roof next door!

Work continued at pace on the pallets. Picasso painted another two slats and I trialled the staple gun. Unfortunately, LB was extremely unclear in her instructions and an hour was wasted as I was told to staple the sheeting on the wrong side. She had one job!

Did some mowing to calm myself, then a bloody birdie deposited its doings on my second shirt of the day!! Little bugger.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

For half the day, I thought it was Sunday. Officially it was Saturday. Admin first thing. Looked at finance/piscina etc. Had time to check Sinead’s hair growth. Coming along nicely!

LB moved to the kitchen and wasn’t seen again until sunset. Welshcakes, a hooge chocolate cake and a pizza that had to be put on to three wooden pallets to get in to the oven.

Mixed sporting day. Swansea arsed things up against Bristol, but Wales defeated England to keep them on course for an unlikely Grand Slam!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Last day of February. Beautiful day in Monte Fidalgo. Gave the van a good clean (after LB had fixed the hoover!). Jet washed me and the patio tubs and (shock news), did some mowing.

Found some samples in the van fridge from 2020. I take no responsibility for these, as refrigerators are above my pay grade. LB hang your head in shame!

Chipped away at the stack of crap and tiles in the ‘ruin’ which are being transplanted to the ‘coffin’. Good to see the plum tree starting to blossom.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

St David’s Day. Sam messaged to ask if I ever had heart issues! Apparently he’s feeling icky at times! Bloody hell.

Jamie and Rick on site on time! Second bloody hell of the day. Jamie brought his dog, Sol, so Tilly kept a low profile for most of the morning. When she eventually appeared, Tilly had a row with Sol and they fell out big time! Bit later Sol chased Tilly up a tree. Such drama. Tilly grew the size of a hufflepuff, then was stuck in the bloody tree for ages. Eventually persuaded her to come down behind enemy lines! Like a scene from the Great Escape!! She eventually tunnelled free late afternoon. LB celebrated with a dozen cakes.

The gonads did get a fair bit done and a agreed to return in September to do the caravan etc. Also managed to agree that (desperate) Dan will do the fan in the shower room for half a million euro’s. Good days work.

Watched the last ‘Capitani’. Had tasty risotto and some home made garlic bread. Nice!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Wiry got a hooge gert pimple on his ear. LB the vet diagnosed a tic! How does she know these bloody things? Sonos the move arrived early afternoon. Tidy bit of kit to be fair. Connected easily and decent sound. Think it will get a fair bit of usage this spring and summer.

LB lost the plot with the Portugese lottery people who wanted a retina scan of her fu-fu before she can buy a scratch card for some reason! Then we got all cafuffled with the staple gun and I thought it was going to get launched into the river!! Chocolate cake came to the rescue and sanity prevailed!

Further work on the ‘ruin’. Soil transferred to the coffin of tiles. Hopefully, we can start planting stuff soon.

Went for a walk at teatime. Lots of flowers starting to bloom.

Sopa for tea. Started watching the ‘Valhalla Murders’. Toenail surgery at bedtime!

Unnamed Road, 6000-459 Castelo Branco, Portugal

Budget Day. Off to Castelo today. First stop; Cebola to get new gas bottle. Price gone down a couple of Euros. The old boy in the shop said it’s because of the pandemic!

On to Stihl shop to collect the hooge shredder machine. Had to wait a bit whilst some German loon ordered two hundred chainsaws.

Forward to Pingo Doce and a couple of super sandes for lunch. Tidy jobs indeed.

Lidl big shop (including compost box), Agriloja and Maxmat before heading back. Wiry had lost one tick, but gained another one. I was too hasty in assembling the compost box and had to rely on LB to get me out of the shitzu again!

Burger for tea. More Valhalla. Bought half a pram for Sam and Samantha. LB noticed that Swansea beat Stoke 2–1 away in the 96th minute! I’d switched off! Good work.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Shite sleep. Sam still grotty too. Ordered some stuff from Portugese version of Boots. Then they phoned. Loons. Did IKEA order too and pizza oven table arrived. LB rightly in charge of erection. Only one mishap. Put some screws in reverse fashion. Oh, and dropped an Allen key in my shoe. This was after nearly breaking my leg at the bins when I dropped some tiles off. Long story. Should have been supervised!! Cold sock deployed!!

Compost bin started with grass clippings. Think I did that right? Stihl shredder set up late afternoon. Powerful machine. Will take a while to get through the crap that has been accumulated, but think it will be worth it.

Tofu curry for tea. Remarkable stuff. Quite good. Justin might be applying for a job with the police again! Something to do with ANPR cameras.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Eight rows before daybreak. Something about wearing the same pants nine days in a row and using my knife and fork to clean the toilet. Slight overreaction if you ask me, but I promised to try harder. Atoned for my sins by scrubbing the cabin and giving the windows a thorough clean. Hooge difference.

LB made some positive progress with the piscina man and offered to accommodate his entire workforce? Off to Castelo in the afternoon for Maxmat run and cardiologist appointment. Sirius wanted to come too!

Several kilograms of chicken purchased at Auchan then saw Bea and Theo from the Indie Projects in Maxmat.

Much agonising over a new laptop, so bought a kettle and two of the world’s biggest doughnuts instead. Went and saw cardio man. Heart not too bad. Electrics a bit faulty. Suggested a change of meds for a bit and possible cardioversion again in a month or two! Deep joy. \240Discovered the Corsa has automatic headlight things on journey back. Well cool!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Sabado and the sun shineth. Much shredding done in the corner of the ruins. Slow but steady progress. Only lost one finger. Wiry is turning into the creature from the Black Lagoon. No sooner than one tick drops off than another eight appear! Poor bugger! Sirius nicked the cheese spread at lunchtime that was dropped by LB. You ain’t getting that back!

LB went all Charlie Dimmock and started potting her petunias all over the shop! Did a good job from where I’m standing!

Tilly went and sat by a tree in a field at sunset for eight hours in protest and refused to come home! Stubborn arsenal. Eventually returned at supper time! Bad Tilly.

Combustíveis Rodense Lda

Scrambled eggs for brecwast. Thought I would be thoughtful and donate some to the Monte Fidalgo cat welfare fund. Was she interested? Was she bollocks! Only in the eggs on my bloody plate! Weirdo.

More mowing, shredding and a small bike ride round some tracks in the village for the first time in ages. Need to get out on bike more. Last frango tonight. Helped the old boy next door move a bag of cones. Bless him.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

VVDR early doors. New tablets from farmacia then popped into Auchan. Got some gasolina from BP and back to MF in good time for the arrival of Rick and Dan (before ten). Eleven and no sightings. Message arrived to say Rick had been detained by the GNR! Only a matter of time. Eventually arrived. Fined, warned and new hi-viz and warning triangle purchased!

Work started on caravan construction. Did look a bit like a cemetery to start with, but showed signs of progress by the end of the day.

LB did some stirling work on the shredding but nearly got caught out by Bitcoin Dan when she went for a widdle in the cabin! As knowledgeable as Bitcoin Dan might be about the financial world, sadly he doesn’t know which way up Maxmat is!!

Wood store moved to ruin corner. Nice pair of trousers found in the bramble pile and LB took a cool pic of a helicopter swooping over the viewing deck!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Rick and Joao back on site after a long absence. With Mocha too! Poor old thing. Getting on a bit now. Rick in better spirits and apologised to LB for being a gonad recently. Good progress on caravan shelter.

Late morning. Toot, toot. Council van turned up with flowers for ‘the woman’! Lovely gesture for International Women’s Day.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Appointment made with Olimpia to sort out Testamento’s. Can’t be any more turgid than our experience with Teresa! Rick and Joao on site in good time. More progress made with the caravan deck. Rick liked to talk today!

Made a start on finishing the painting in the office. Sacked after an hour by LB who has a much steadier hand! Deployed on window cleaning duties instead. Tilly disappeared for ages and was eventually located in neighbouring barn having clearly had a siesta!

Popped to CB after Rick eventually stopped talking about various Dan’s. Lidl big shop etc and some art supplies from Brico. Watched ‘Banana’ on Netflix. Good. Chilli tea. Gooder.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

One small pension apparently sorted today! Officially a pensioner now!! Yay! Rick very quiet today. I lie. OMG. The man is ill. LB carried on painting in the office. Got bored and started painting her own clothes as part of some anti-vax protest? I retaliated by cleaning things. Windows; cars; etc. Corsa does come nice and shiny if truth be told.

Shifted the last of the wood from the cart to the ‘wood store’. Good job. Although it creates more work in that the cart needs a bit of TLC now!

Eventually spoke to Rui the tax guru on zoom. Duncan was there too, but there were issues with his life support machine, \240he didn’t contribute a great deal!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Strange day. Started ok. Didn’t end so good. Lots of shredding done today. Ordered some more Ooni bits for the pizza oven and some stuff from Amazon. Rick and Joao made some more progress with the caravan. Helped Rick sort out his insurance for his new jeep. Then R and J went Castelo to pick up the jeep. They came back late afternoon without the jeep. Silly Rick then started going on about money amongst other bullshite! Long story short. Had a bit of a row! Probably needed saying.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Jamie is a knob. Official. No insight. No ability to reflect. No customer awareness. Rick displayed some humility this morning and then told us he had a social worker as a child! Shock news. Hopefully, made some progress with Rick. Given up with Jamie. Sad. Popped to VVDR to get some petrol and a few bits from Auchan.

Trialled the Ooni after lunch. Bad start when the chimney top went missing. Oh my Christ. LB blew a bloody hooge gasket. After a thorough search of the box in the tent she stomped off at warp factor twelve. I was dead until the lid was located in the garage. Never seen a strop like it in all my born days!!

Magnet attached to LB’s flap and start made on painting the cabin.

Decent sporting day. Swansea won away at Luton and Wales beat Italy. Pizza for tea tonight. Me and Wiry on fire duty. LB in charge of dough and pepperoni. Fascinating. LB got involved in some strange martial arts. Dough judo? Poetry in motion! Beautiful to watch. Never seen her move so gracefully. A woman and her pizza dough in tune with each other! We got there in the end. Brute force and a rolling pin! Pizza was tidy and remarkably easy. We shall be back!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

So. Two hours were spent on an Amazon order for hazmat suits and anti-warfare chemicals after a Romanian Ridgeback hard shelled venomous tick was found in LB’s armpit hair. Oh my Christ. Tilly was nearly put in the washing machine to be de-ticked!

Whilst LB contacted NASA and the European Anti-Tick Organisation in Geneva, I consoled myself by making a years supply of baked beans. The perfect anti tick tock antidote.

Then we moved to the barn to do some paperwork. Some loon left the bloody door open and Stanley the sodding Swallow moved in. Another feckin drama. Bloody thing tried to peck the telly and wanted to shit everywhere. Only my calmness meant we got Stanley out without any damage to him or our goods or chattels.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Animals were the theme of the morning. Tilly looked as if she had brought a mouse to the step in front of the cabin. Bloody thing. I was trying to investigate when Tilly came round the other side of the cabin. Yes. I shrieked like a girl! Then we spent a delightful half hour removing ticks from Sirius. Horrible bloody things. Wiry not so keen.

Rick and Joao continued on the caravan. Roof beams attached. Step erected and safety ropes inserted.

Sam not great again. Checked out at A&E apparently. ECG and bloods ok. To be referred to neurologist!!

Marvellous slice of cake for afternoon snack. Relieved the stress of having a second pizza table being delivered from Ooni!!

Tick and flea treatment administered to dogs late afternoon. Veggie burger for tea.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Off to Castelo this morning to see Olimpia to discuss wills. Should have been nerve racking, but remarkably relaxed. O and the boy seemed to get what we wanted and made the initial part of the process at least relatively easy.

Did Lidl big shop. Aki small shop and got some cool sandes from Pingo Doce. Bought laptop from Worten 2 despite woman having hysterical meltdown in the middle of the store. No idea why. Stanley the bloody swallow sneaked in the barn again and plopped up the wall this time. Dirty hugger. He’s banned. Managed to get a bit more primer on the east side of the cabin. Slow but steady.

Praça de Táxis da República

Up at a ridiculous hour after a weird dream involving tattoos, chainsaws and bodily fluids that I cannot detail here! Off to Coimbra while it was still dark. Bloody roadworks sent us out past Abrantes and Tomar. Corsa kept telling me to ‘take care’ and have a coffee! LB a smidge late for bloods, ECG, Echocardiogram and tratamento, but she did get some sopa. I had a walk round Coimbra then a drive out to Leroy Merlin and Continente. Tratamento finished at 2ish. Warm drive back.

Couldn’t be arsenal’d to do much. More ‘Summer Rocket’ or whatever it’s called.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

R and J back today. Roof panels changed from green to red. Looked ok actually, although still a few short, so Rick will have to come back on Segundo to finish off. French drain virtually done. Joao did a tidy job of digging out and reminded me to take some pictures of where the utility pipes are laid. Good thinking that man!

LB sorted the new laptop out today. Seems to have got the boy firing ok.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Bit of a toilet theme to start the day. So, LB wanted to use the en-suite at 4am, but had left her facilities in the piggery! Doh. Then some loon left the cabin door open and Stanley popped in and left a present on the duvet. Little shit!

LB then spent three hours impersonating me chatting to your man from Microsoft. Apparently I have been paying £8 since I was 6 for an office suite I can’t use! Hopefully, we might get something sorting, but unbelievable I might have to speak to them myself!!

After LB had a three hour lunch, we popped to VVDR to pay the agua bill. Also treated ourselves to a €2 plunger! Braved the drive up to the tower on the outskirts of VVDR. Not as scary in the Corsa, but still a bit shitty on the last bit. Why no crash barriers? Amazing views mind.

Watched the last ‘Summer of Rockets’. Good series. Not sure about the ending.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

The boy from IKEA here early! Tidy job. Everything there too. Although, amazingly we managed to order a parasol base and cover, but no, you guessed it. Bloody parasol!!

LB spotted a wonky shelf in the cabin and that was it. The whole bloody building was scrubbed. Then the bathroom had it. Bleached to within an inch of its life. LB thought it was necessary to wash the mats twice? Strange girl. Picasso then started on the office woodwork - nice colour and I alternated between shredding and painting the cabin. Bloody cold wind today.

Pumped some agua from well to pond. Got to keep the frogs happy. Went for a walk down the lane. LB found a hole and correctly identified it as a hole.

Bad sports day. Cardiff beat Swansea and France snuck past Wales in overtime. Much drama.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Bad tooth in the night, or as Gran would have said ‘ramping toothache’!. Luckily, LB was there to comfort me. She told me of her aspirations as a child to be a dentist. Doris the dental nurse suggested an emergency approach might be to utilise the toolbox. In absolute dire straits I might have considered the pliers. Oh no. Doris was going route one. She suggested the hammer! WTF. It might have removed the offending tooth, but half my bloody head as well. Christ on a cream cracker. I took a second opinion and settled for the two paracetamol that were also available!!

More shredding. Jet washed the caravan and buffed up the Corsa. Also managed to squish a bloody dead mouse that Tilly had left in the ‘Killing Fields’.

Pizza for tea. Dogs drooling as we cooked!!

Mr Toad came to visit at bedtime!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Funny sort of day. So Joao messaged early doors to say he’d quit his job with Jamie and had a few ‘words’ over the weekend. Christ! He also asked if he could pop round on Tuesday afternoon! Christ! Then there was no water. Then there was. But no hot water. Christ. Then we fixed it. Bloody hell.

I went to get two. (yes two) new gas bottles from Cebola. Your man thought it was quite funny that I was in shorts and t shirt! On to Castelo to the Husqvarna shop. Girl very helpful and I got a decent strimmer with €200 off.

Meanwhile, back at MF, Rick had arrived and was having counselling from LB. The whole Joao saga was retold, as was most of his childhood and adulthood! I got a repeat later in the day!! Why do people tell us these things??

LB bumped her head and declared summer in Central Portugal!

Later on we had a wrestling match with a garden chair. So much fun! Another episode of ‘Call of Duty’ . Oof.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Rick’s last day. Quite emotional! And he kept on talking. Told us loads more. My joke with Joao about the ‘tip’ being from C Brown went badly wrong apparently. J believed it actually was an ‘act of God’. Bugger.

After Rick eventually left, LB spotted that Tilly had lost her dangle again! Tracked it down a couple of fields away in the middle of a load of fur. Tilly been fighting? She was very delicate later on, bless her. Also found the remnants of some old ear defenders that Hercules nicked several months ago!

More shredding and no glove mowing. No more ridiculous white hands for me. Another trip to the bins, cleaned some windows on the caravan and then we tackled another Ikea chair. Easy, peasy. After 45 minutes of cursing and turning everything upside down. LB declared that the instructions were for a different chair and we were would erect it ‘our way’. It was then that I noticed the ‘missing part’ and said ‘what’s that’?. It only took another half an hour to get chair number one assembled. Surprisingly comfy!

Biblioteca Municipal de Castelo Branco

Woke a few times to pee and check on Tilly who slept downstairs. Front paw a bit swollen, but had some breakfast and seemed to be moving ok. Even wanted to go out. Loon!

Off to Castelo. Will day.

Met ‘the boy’ at the office and he took us over to the Notary’s office where the will’s were sorted and witnessed. Money exchanged hands and the job was done. We strolled back to Olimpia’s office and chatted to Molly the munchkin who translated and who wants to be a social worker!! Silly girl. Another 40 minutes in the office and the Power of Attorney was sorted!! Simple as. LB did some research into Portugese iPhones and we had a late lunch by Turtle Lake.

Lots of shopping. Ladder; chisel; storage box; petrol; etc. Then Lidl big shop and Chicken run at Auchan. Busy day!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

LB had well deserved lie in. Tilly back out on patrol, but didn’t stray too far. Sensible girl. Tried the Husqvarna strimmer out for the first time. Needed a bit of help with the harness, but otherwise all good. Erected a couple of solar lights on the caravan deck and then constructed a box for the pizza oven and bits. The box said it would take a grown man five minutes to build. Clearly, I am not a grown man. It took a bit longer than that, but we got there in the end!

Several hours then spent playing Meccano with the dodgy scaffold type thing that Rick left us. Not sure how safe the thing is, particularly parked on a slope! Anyway, cracked on with painting the side of the cabin with primer. One quarter completed!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Christmas and Easter - off to Urgencia. Thought it was an odd symptom when I found a tube of toothpaste that had been squeezed to within an inch of its life in the bathroom. Weird or what!

A bit of shredding, then a woman in a red van turned up. Eventually deduced she wanted to know who did the building work. Passed on Jam’s details and got a cinnamon type thing the size of a satellite dish for our troubles.

Much of the day spent pontificating about LB’s head. What can I say. Eventually made contact with IPO Coimbra who advised going to Urgencia in Castelo to get checked.

LB scanned and bloods taken. Nothing sinister on the Polaroid and paracetamol prescribed. I settled for whisky and chocolate. Interesting day. Saw a badger on drive back.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Off to VVDR early to get new tablets for LB from Farmacia. Popped into Auchan and got some mower petrol from BP. More shredding. LB sent another email to bloody Microsoft and we somehow erected the world’s most complicated mirror!

Found a magic compost heap under a load of trees and leaves. Clever thing nature.

Tidy steak tea, cooked in the Ooni. LB wanted another one!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Clocks changed. Lost an hour? Then slept in til nine!! WTF? Morning spent cleaning and tidying. Garage and shed had a seeing too. Found a big beetle (blap!) in the shed. Cleaned car (weekly job) and tackled some cobwebs in the barn. Also gave bike a good wash and polish. Shit levels checked in the septic tank. All good for another six months weeks as long as LB doesn’t drop hooge gert logs!

Cabin painting after lunch. LB made pizza dough; two thirds of a cake and connected with East Northamptonshire. And her head seems better!

Pizza for tea. Much fun. A lesser spotted arachnid locust dropped on LB’s bosom mid pizza cook. Oh my Christ. What a palaver. Fahrenheit order given. I stayed calm and carried out a controlled kill. Sirius was ecstatic and examined the crime scene for ages. LB clearly was afflicted by PTSD. Did well to finish the pizza, but then had a major meltdown and threw the pizza up the wall in the barn! Crazy chick.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Back to work again. GNR patrolling round the village in the morning. Fairly regular occurrence and quite reassuring. LB impersonated me again and sorted a refund from Amazon ES for some missing sharpeners. Oh, and we also ordered some sun hats. And then it was cloudy all day..

In other news, LB was found wandering about looking at trees. Standard Raunds behaviour? Actually, she did point out that the fig trees are looking good and starting to bud already!

After lunch the GLS man turned up and (eventually) took the second Ooni table and gave us some eucalyptus oil in exchange. Seems like a fair swap. LB planted some seeds. I did a tip run and some more cabin painting. Delicious coffee cake late afternoon.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Steady start. Called the Embassy in Lisbon to sort appointment our. Hoped to speak to Sandra. Ended up speaking to Gladys in London! Crazy system. Sandra eventually rang back and rearranged appointment. Hopefully, we can go on train!! Popped VVDR to get some bits. Saw Amorim in Auchan. Oh, bloody Sahara rain pissed all over the newly buffed Corsa. Bastard thing.

The rest of LB’s Ooni’s stuff arrived after lunch. Bit like a drugs drop. Had to meet your man in his hooge Mercedes by the church! LB started the mini garden. I mowed and painted and collected stones until my shorts fell down. Hooge burgers and sausages for tea. Plus homemade coleslaw! Yummy.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Last day of March. Got my first pension payment! Hurrah. Operation Parasol today. We need to covertly outrun the GNR and PSP to get to the IKEA shack in Castelo to collect our goodies. After a morning of shredding and planting, we made it. One scary moment when ‘the man’ made me reverse into the bay, but otherwise ok. We then planned a relaxing afternoon in the sun, tanning LB’s touche and my silly feet. Then Conor phoned. Then Rick messaged. Then Rick turned up to collect the dodgy scaffold with a ‘woman’ (Suzie) plus obligatory dog on rope.

Then discovered the swallow’s had broken into the shed and gone back to the nest!

Had a shock when I put the paint away. Bloody bird fluttered or did some other bird type thing. This made the lock fallout of the door. Luckily, I knew how to fix it and whacked it. Unfortunately, I didn’t check with Guru LB and whacked the wrong bit in the wrong hole. My bad

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Rainy day. And lots of it. Decided to wash the work shorts. Big moment! LB had to do a pre pre wash, but it did the job. Original colour almost restored!

Ironically, our sun hats arrived from Amazon today. Cool mind.

LB sorted tax stuff for Rui and Duncan (the corpse) and also went through the wills. I had a good sort out of the caravan; painted some of the office and erected a couple of deer and a clock!

Early ish tea and Shtisel as LB on videocall to Sophie and Hannah.

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Good Friday. Bad head day. Didn’t follow the instructions on the calendar. Went off message and decided to ‘turn’ the mattress and clean the bed instead! Good idea at the time?

Couple of hours sweat and tears and we got it cleaned, flipped and back in place. Had a silly email from Microsoft asking me to sort my payment out. Oh, the irony. Come on Bill Gates, get a grip.

Shop run to VVDR then few more jobs. Assembled the parasol base. Not as straightforward as we thought. Especially when Sirius ran off with a stray Cebola!!

Excellent Salmoa for tea. Small chunk of chocolate at bedtime.

R. da Roseira 15, 6030, Portugal

Sabado. Nice day. I’m on toilet cleaning duty. My reward? Baked beans for brecwast. Late morning we had a trek to the old customs house. Would have have been (could be) an amazing building, in an incredible location.

Mixture of sunbathing and jobs on return. More cabin painting for me. Pizza dough construction and cake making for LB. Oh, not forgetting the all important ‘ mouse de chocolate’!!. Had home made pizza inside due to threat of tempestade! Weather might have affected TV tonight??

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Feliz Pascao. Happy Easter. LB like a little Easter Bunny first thing!

Beautiful day in Central Portugal. Some gardening/shredding. Found a key. More painting. Lots of sunning. LB found a lizard on the top deck.

Ooni pizza again. Meat feast including sausage penis! Had to watch the end of the latest ‘Call of Duty’ in stop start fashion, because LB hasn’t paid the licence!! Then she hogged the bloody toilet in protest!!

R. de São Miguel 29, 6030, Portugal

Bom Dia!

Easter Monday. No Bank Holiday here! Tip run and trip to VVDR for a few bits. Popped in the ‘allsorts’ shop and bought some mesh to protect the potatoes from cats and dogs for not very much money!

The temperature has definitely gone up in Central Portugal in the last day or so. Luckily, we have a parasol to erect. As usual, LB was a stickler for following the instructions. Forty minutes later, we had a sunshade fit for the seven dwarves. It did seem as if we were missing something? No. Go and find the other instructions. Ok boss. On the way, I popped into the office and found a hooge centre section!! And, as if by magic, we had a full size parasol!!

After this interesting interlude, LB cleaned the Kunft! I jetwashed everything else.

Call of Duty was better tonight. LB must have paid the licence! Tilly developed fur balls/ whooping cough / asthma?? Who knows?