Living Arrows 21/52

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

Kahlil Gibran

We’ve been slowly finding our feet in the last week since we arrived in Portugal. We’ve been out and about with Nanna and Lolo while BattleDad has been working. We did sneak tea and cake during one visit into Tavira itself, which a certain little someone thoroughly enjoyed.

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On Saturday we had a family day out, visiting Vila Real de Santo Antonio, which lies next to the Spanish border. It’s a lovely town, bustling with market stalls on a Saturday, and has lots of different types of shops. After a wander around during which time we saw a brilliant jazz-type band playing music, we stopped beside the marina to check out the boats and fish before having an ice-cream.living arrows 21

After some drama with my car, which is currently in Land Rover in Faro for a red engine warning light, we headed into Tavira on Saturday evening for our first outdoors dinner in a highly recommended restaurant. The food was amazing and there was lots of it. Afterwards, on our walk back to our hire car, we came across a live statue. BattleKid wasn’t too sure at first but he soon made friends and found it hilarious when he tried to shake the statue’s hand and the statue kept pulling his hand away.living arrows 21

We are flying solo this week with BattleDad back in Paris for work so we’ll see what the week has in store for us before he returns. Hope you’ve all had a lovely week.

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

Living Arrows 20/52

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

Kahlil Gibran

What a difference a week makes. This week’s Living Arrows pictures come from our ferry trip from Portsmouth to Santander and an evenings ride around on his bike and play in the playground. The 3-day trek from South Wales to Southern Portugal was not without it’s hiccups and surprises but we made it and are settling into life in the warmth and sunshine. BattleKid is still a bit all over the place, naturally, sometimes asking to “go to my house” but once we settle into our new place, I think he’ll adapt quickly. It’s all new and fresh and I think he thinks we are on holiday with his grandparents, who we are staying with, but once his bed, toys and other bike arrives, I think he’ll get the idea soon enough that this is where home is for the foreseeable future.

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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.

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The Portugal Diaries #1

The Battle Family have a big announcement to make….

No, BattleKid isn’t going to be a big brother. No we haven’t won the lottery. But I have left my job, just over 6 weeks ago and for good reason. We are moving! And not just house. We are packing up lock, stock and barrel and emigrating. I still cannot believe we are doing it. It seems unreal and yet as you read this post we’ll be on our way to a completely new life, in another country we have only visited twice.The Portugal Diaries

We made this monumental decision while on holiday in Tenerife at Christmas. But first a little bit of a back story.

When we moved into our current house we were fortunate enough to be in a position to keep our first house and rent it out. And for three years we had a lovely, quiet couple renting it. We never heard from them apart from once during their time there. The issue was sorted quickly and we carried on as normal.

Then unfortunately, last October, the couple separated and had to give up their tenancy. This in itself wasn’t a problem as we knew we would quickly get more tenants as the rental market in that town is quite buoyant. Rental properties are snapped up quite quickly. And within a week, our letting agency had new tenants for us.

All sorted we thought. That was until a few days later, the night BattleDad arrived back home after 2 weeks in India with work, during which time he’d had some family problems to contend with. We got a call from the letting agent to say the tenants had some problems with the property that we’d have to sort. What problems? The property was in great condition, having had the internal plasterwork redone two years previously, as well as the external render redone to address a damp/condensation problem.

The builder who did the work, via the letting agent, told BattleDad he’d deal with the tenant and let us know what exactly needed to be done and costs too. He soon came back saying the niggles they had were utterly ridiculous and the guy was simply trying to be awkward. He’d had quite an attitude with the builder and he said to us “don’t worry, I’ve seen his type before, leave him to me. I’ll sort this out”. Fair enough we said.

However, it got us thinking. We had been very lucky with our previous tenants who were as good as gold, and we really didn’t want to start dealing with problem, awkward tenants. Fair enough if the house wasn’t up to scratch, but it was. I told BattleDad that he didn’t need the stress with the work and travelling he was doing. We thought then that it might be best to sell the property and think about buying a holiday home.

Now my parents had not long bought their retirement home in Portugal and we thought it might be nice to have something close to them that we and family could use, as well as maybe renting it out during part of the summer to cover costs. Although the area is within the Algarve, it is the East Algarve so a bit quieter and more cultural than your Albufeira or Portimao.

So we made the decision to tell the letting agents to make plans for putting the property on the market. And the decision to buy a holiday home in Portugal had been made.

However, while we were on holidays in Tenerife over Christmas, it went a bit further. We loved seeing BattleKid enjoying himself in the sun, free to play, not being cooped up indoors. Because, let’s face it, our UK kids spend more time indoors than they do outdoors, simply because our weather is so crap and unpredictable. We realised that if we moved to Portugal on a permanent basis, he would have a much better quality of life, spend more time outdoors, with the added bonus of seeing his grandparents on a much more regular basis. He doesn’t get to see them as often as his cousins and it would be nicer to be close to family without having to return to Ireland to do that.

Plus we and my parents would have a support network in each other, particularly me when BattleDad is travelling with work. It gets lonely on my own when he is away, even if it’s only for the week, and despite having BattleKid in the evenings and work during the day, it’s still quite isolating. Don’t get me wrong, I love our house and where we live but I’m too far from Cardiff for colleagues to pop by and I don’t have any friends close by to call on if I need or want company. Plus it’s difficult when you have a young child with a regular bedtime routine.

The more we talked about it on holiday, the more it made sense. BattleDad is lucky in that as long as he has access to an airport with links to London and Europe, he can be based anywhere. And we’re also fortunate enough that I don’t have to work. Whether we are based in the UK or in Portugal, BattleDad being away during the week for work doesn’t depend on us being located anywhere in particular. I could get to spend more time with BattleKid and my folks and still see BattleDad at the weekends as usual, albeit in the sunshine.

BattleDad has been hounding me for years that he wanted to live in a warmer country with guaranteed sunshine in the summer, even if the winter was colder and damp. And now he’s getting his wish. Had my parents not retired to Portugal we wouldn’t be going. Them being based there was what made the decision very easy for me.

I’ve been sort of keeping a diary about our decision and things that have been cropping up along the way, things we’ve had to sort etc. so I’ve decided to share our journey with you guys. I figure it might inspire others to be brave to make big decisions about their own family’s future that they are unsure of. Whether it’s moving house or not, I want to show you all the things we’ve had to consider and the things we’ve had to sort out. It has been stressful and we’re not there yet but soon it’ll be all over and we’ll be settling into a completely new way of life.

I do hope you’ll join us on this journey. I’ve been sharing snippets of our decision on Instagram, so if you follow me there you’ll know about this big change coming our way, but I’ll be going into much more detail here on the blog. Stick with us and see if we’ve made the right decision or if we’ll live to regret giving up our life in the UK. And I’ll have to shave my legs more! Only disadvantage I’ve found so far!

Cath x

Be In The Picture 4

I cannot believe April has come and gone already. I don’t know where that month has gone and it’s been a busy one indeed. Already it is time for another Be in the Picture post. If you missed last months you can catch it again, Be in the Picture 3.

The month started with BattleDad being away on the bike with friends. i took the opportunity to visit a friend in Swansea. While we were that way I decided to do a spot of dragon hunting with BattleKid at Weobly Castle, which my friend referred to as Wobbly castle! BattleKid and I had a lovely hour or two exploring this ruined castle, which sits on the side of a working farm. The views across to Pembrey and Burry Port were amazing. It’s easy to see why someone would build a castle there.be in the picture 4

The following weekend we had a photo shoot with Donna of Sweet Whimsy Photography and the results are amazing yet again. I’ll be sharing them across Instagram and via a blog post once we receive the digital prints. If I get a chance I will edit this post to include one of my favourites from that day.

Next on our busy agenda was our trip to Portugal to visit my mum and dad and finalise our moving plans. We enjoyed our time there, convinced more than ever we are making the right decision. We had fun in the pool, even if it was a little cold, and even made time to visit the beach. That’s me making fun of my nephew who loves iced tea!be in the picture 4 be in the picture 4

Last weekend saw us visit Caerphilly Castle to see the two dragons, which were amazing. That’s me and my photographer’s assistant! Of course we had to get one with the dragons themselves although BattleKid wasn’t too keen.be in the picture 4 be in the picture 4

And last but by no means least, we finally visited Wenallt Woods to capture some bluebell photographs. While I had my DSLR out, BattleDad kindly took charge of my G7X and caught this very special one of BattleKid and myself.be in the picture 4

And here are a few other crazy moments of fun from April featuring yours truly.

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Pulling tongues at Weobley Castle
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Sunday morning selfie before swimming (the car is parked FYI)
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Fun before dinner the night before flying to Portugal
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A tender moment with my boy

Joining in with Kerry of All About A Mini Norris and Alana of Baby Holiday in their Be in the Picture community in which they encourage 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. Why not join in yourself.

Be in the Picture