The Portugal Diaries #8

The second weekend of June saw me jet off to London to meet two of my three sisters for the weekend. We had booked tickets for the Take That concert last year, long before Portugal was ever a possible move for us. It felt really weird but thrilling to be landing in London from Portugal knowing they were coming from Ireland. It was to be a proper girlie weekend and the first time in quite a long time I’ve had 3 nights away from my boys.

I arrived Friday afternoon and after checking into our AirBnB near the O2, I ventured into London and Oxford Street for a bit of shopping. It had been so long since I’d gone shopping on my own that I almost didn’t know where to start.

Well, it was Pandora I popped into first. And I came away with my first Pandora bracelet with charms, and a beautiful necklace too. Despite there being a Pandora in Abergavenny, I’d never been in a store before and I could have gone madder than I did in terms of spending. But as I said to BattleDad and my sister later, they won’t be stuck for ideas for my birthday or Christmas presents in the future!

After a bit more shopping I headed back to our apartment, conscious of not being in London longer than I needed a week after the latest terrorist attacks.

My sisters arrived Saturday morning and we had a fun filled day in London before having a lovely meal in the Ice Bar.

portugal diaries 8
3 sisters on tour

portugal diaries 8 I’ll be writing about that separately but suffice to say we had a blast, a cold one! Sunday saw us doing some more sightseeing before an early dinner before the Take That concert. The concert was amazing and All Saints, the supporting act, brought me back to the 90’s and early 00’s!

portugal diaries 8
All Saints bring us back to the 90’s

We had VIP tickets and they were worth every penny! What does VIP get you? This……..

portugal diaries 8
Howard starting the show 5 feet from us
portugal diaries 8
Gary came up towards the end of the show to sing beside us. We all got to shake his hand!

On Monday we all headed to Gatwick to go our separate ways and we all agreed it had been a fantastic weekend and was something we should do on an annual basis but with our other sister along too. The 4 McKenna girls together!

It felt strange knowing I was leaving the cooler air of London for the hot air of Portugal. I chuckled to myself when the air hostess welcomed everyone to Portugal and wished them a good holiday. I thought “I’m not on holiday”!

And something exciting happened while I was away. A certain little boy had the stabilisers taken off his bike and lo and behold he was peddling independently when I arrived back. That week we also got word that the Landy was finally fixed (at a cost) and we collected it before it was BattleDad’s turn to head to London himself, for a Guns and Roses concert. It took him back to his year spent in Paris as part of the opening crew of Euro Disney, blasting G’n’R in his earphones of his Walkman. Showing his age now haha!

portugal diaries 8
Riding with no stablisers

And the evening he arrived we had a fun thing planned!

To be continued…

Cath x

To catch more of my Portugal Diaries, click here.

   

Be In The Picture 7

I’m falling behind with getting this post done at the beginning of each month but it’s been a busy one and we are getting ready for our forthcoming USA road-trip, which I mentioned in my Holiday Diaries for this year. But, as the saying goes, better late than never. I am glad I am managing to keep up with this series as it ensures I try to get in front of the camera during the month. And BattleKid will have lots of pictures of his mum to look back on in years to come.

We started off the month by exploring a nearby castle at Castro Marim. I was put in the stocks for taking too many pictures and not doing enough dragon hunting. I got a kiss though!

be in the picture
Getting a kiss while in the stocks at Castro Marim Castle
be in the picture
Holding tight to the Castro Marim dragon

The same week we met friends of ours from Wales in a town called Beja in Central Portugal and as it had a castle, we did a bit of dragon hunting there. While we waited for them, I sneaked a picture of the boy and I.

be in the picture

This month also saw my nephew pop over for a visit and we did a few silly snaps after getting some promo pictures for our collaborative YouTube Videos on both mine and Nico’s channels. BattleKid wanted to get in on the action so we let him.

be in the picture
BattleKid getting in on the action!

We also went to Ayamonte with Nico, and BattleKid didn’t want to play ball on the selfie front so I thought bugger it and pulled a silly face, as you do!

be in the picture

Other than that we’ve just been crafting, going for dinner, enjoying some early morning cuddles and time on the decking while it’s still cool enough.

be in the picture be in the picture be in the picture be in the picture

If you didn’t catch June’s Be in the Picture post, why not check it out. Next month’s post will definitely be late as we will be in North West America on our road trip but I am hoping both August’s and September’s posts will have some good pictures to share.

Initiated by Kerry of Kerry Louise Norris and Alana of Baby Holiday, Be in the Picture encourages us to get in front of the camera instead of always being behind it. I’m guilty of this and by joining in with Be in the Picture, it ensures BattleKid will have pictures of me as well of himself when he grows up.

Living Arrows 33/52

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth

Kahlil Gibran

We’ve had another quiet week as I’ve been beavering away at getting posts scheduled for when we’re on holiday. Meanwhile, BattleKid has played in the garden, which I’m hoping will be transformed while we’re away. He’s flown his plane in the shopping centre. And enjoyed cake, kindly made for us by our new neighbours. How has your week been?

living arrows living arrows living arrows

Linking up with Donna of What The Redhead Said. If you’d like to take part or see some other Living Arrows posts, please click the badge below.

Living Arrows

33/52 My Sunday Photo: 13/08/2017

Last weekend we visited the market in Tavira for some spices, meat and fish. I love visiting this market as it is full of fresh produce and plenty of fish of the day. We picked up spices for my Dad to make me a curry sauce mix. We also got fish and meat for the barbecue, our first of the summer. The hustle and bustle of the market is wonderful and the variety of things on offer is just brilliant. I think we will be visiting this market a lot more!
my sunday photo
my sunday photo my sunday photo
To see what everyone else is linking up this weekend to My Sunday Photo, please click on the badge below. Why not join in yourself!
Photalife

The Portugal Diaries #7

The day after cleaning our new place, my parents and I ventured as far as Ayamonte, Spain. You can either drive across the border or go the route we did, by ferry. On the Portuguese side of the river is a town called Vila Real de Santo Antonio, which I mentioned in my previous Portugal Diaries post. This town is gorgeous. From the harbour you can take a ferry across the river to Ayamonte in Spain. It costs just €1.50 each way and you don’t need your passport.

portugal diaries 7
Tasting the air between Portugal and Spain
portugal diaries 7
Ayamonte, Spain

Ayamonte is a town, quite different to Vila Real with smaller coddles pedestrian streets filled with various shops, cafes and restaurants. We visited as my mum wanted extra wool from the Chinese shop there. Afterwards we had lunch in Vila Real, which really is fast becoming one of my favourite places to visit in Portugal.

portugal diaries 7
Vila Real de Santo Antonio

With BattleDad back from Paris later that Thursday, we met our movers at the place where we would be storing the bulk of our belongings for the next few years early the next morning. An articulated lorry and smaller van pulled in a few minutes after we did at 8am and we were met by the man who owns the place, Peter. He moved to Portugal in the 2000’s and was very friendly and welcoming. The two drivers were Aaron (lorry) and Darren (van) and both were really nice.

portugal diaries 7
Movers have arrived in Portugal!

They started off-loading our stuff and separating it into home stuff, coming to our new place, and storage stuff. We helped where they would allow, and also fished out one or two things that were marked for storage that we wanted with us. When the lorry first arrived I thought “I’m sure we didn’t pack a lorry full of stuff” but Aaron informed us we were his last load and our stuff only took up one third of his truck.

BattleKid spent most of the time in the car watching YouTube videos on BattleDad’s phone which was just as well as we saw our first bit of rain. By 11am the lads were finished, so they followed us from Sao Bras to our new place. The lorry didn’t come up to our park but that didn’t matter as everything we needed had been transferred into the van. The lads off-loaded our stuff and took a look around and were quite impressed with our new pad.

They were willing to put boxes into various rooms but we said to just stick everything in the living area as we’d sort it out ourselves later. We then went for lunch in the restaurant before thanking them and returning back to my parents. We didn’t unpack anything that day. We did also get a recommendation from Aaron for a good place for a meal and he was spot on. Thanks a million to him (if he ever reads this) for the recommendation of Xicken Piri-Piri!

We did start unpacking over the weekend and got through a good bit of stuff. In the process we discovered some boxes hadn’t quite made it to the home and three had to be returned to storage. But our new home was taking shape.

The next week BattleDad was back in Paris so I went up to our new place with my Dad a few times to unpack in between relaxing, blogging and walking the dog. On one particular evening, BattleKid and I made the mistake of crossing a sand path that had some water in it on our walk with BattleDog. The result was two pairs of very mucky feet. As we approached my parents decking I shouted for them to help and get water and towels. My mum panicked thinking something had happened to BattleKid but she and my Dad laughed their heads off when they saw our feet. Of course BattleDog was ok as he had avoided the path we took!

portugal diaries 7
Mucky feet…

Thursday of that week, the last of June, saw BattleDad return from Paris, so we decided to move into our new place on the Friday. We packed up in the afternoon and after dinner, set off to spend our first night in our new place. It felt a bit strange leaving my parents place after nearly a month with them but it also felt good to finally get into our new place as a family.

That weekend we visited Vila Real again for a bit of shopping and the same evening we installed BattleKid’s Fairy Door. We also decorated his room for him with various stickers we’d brought with us and his room started to feel more like his old one. We also worked out how to get the sprinklers in our garden working. The grass was looking dry and quite sad, if I’m honest. We fiddled with the hose and hey presto, on came the sprinklers. We still haven’t worked out how they can be set for specific times but BattleKid had a whale of a time running through them and getting soaked in the process.

portugal diaries 7
Finishing touches being put to our Fairy Door
portugal diaries 7
Sprinkler fun!

To be continued…

Cath x