The Portugal Diaries #15

Our two-week America road trip was a resounding success and turned out to be the trip-of-a-lifetime. It couldn’t have gone any better and has given us a bug for road trips. We got back to Portugal late on Sunday 10th September after a delayed flight from London. 

be in the picture 8 - mum and son watching a herd of bison in Yellowstone
Checking out a small herd of bison in Yellowstone

The plane had come from Athens and there was a man with a broken leg stuck in his seat. It took them an hour and a half, with medical assistance, to get him off the plane and get us off the ground. Not the best way to end an epic holiday. But we got home safe and sound.

When we arrived home, we discovered the workmen of our park had finally started sorting out our garden for us. We wanted paths put in and grass to cover the gravel and dust which had started to annoy us. It was great to know the end was in sight where our little patch of Portugal was concerned. And it was completed before the end of the month. It has made the garden look much cleaner and complete now. No more dust coming into our home.

As soon as we were back from our holidays, we went to the school to see the secretary. They had BattleKid on their register and so, on the Tuesday we started him off with four hours, going to up seven hours (until 4pm) by the end of the week. He had no problem at all going in and the language difference didn’t seem to bother him at all. With BattleKid starting school, it made me spend more time on the language app, Memrise, to continue my learning of the language too. And I was soon surprising BattleDad with some of the things I understand and can say. I’ve a long way to go but I’m making the effort.

All the teachers in kindergarten understand English to some extent, but only one speaks it with some confidence. They’re all lovely and very accommodating of both us and BattleKid. There is also another child in his class from an English-speaking family which is great to know. And he seemed to be settling in well.

The weekend after we arrived back from America we attended our first proper motorbike racing meet with BattleKid at Portimao. World Superbikes have a date on their racing calendar at the Algarve Circuit and BattleDad had gotten us paddock access for €35 each. That’s a lot less than the same type of tickets for the Isle of Man TT, I can tell you!

We set off by 10am on the Saturday and just less than an hour and twenty minutes later we arrived to the noise of Superbikes doing practice laps. BattleKid wasn’t too sure of the noise at first, but once the race started he was extremely excited. We also spotted a few racers we know like Stefan Bradl and Eugene Laverty, both ex-MotoGP riders. And BattleKid got to meet the Yamaha pit girls too.

living arrows - An excited BattleKid at WSB at Portimao
One excited boy at the racing!
living arrows - BattleKid with the Yamaha pit girls at Portimao
I don’t think he was too sure about the pit girls!

It had been five years since BattleDad and I had been to a race meet and we agreed it had been too long. I think between WSB at Portimao and MotoGP at Jerez, we are going to be spoiled rotten. We missed Jerez this year but will be eagerly awaiting next year’s date to see if we can get tickets!

Shortly after our racing weekend, we had our friends, W and S, arriving for a week with their two children. It was lovely to see them in Portugal and spend time with them, and I know BattleKid was thrilled to see L!

And the Landy also completed her change from UK to Portuguese number plates. It’s strange looking at them and I was not used to them even a month after they were changed.

We also had some lovely days at the beach during September with the cooler weather, both with W and S, and also with BattleKid’s grandparents. We hadn’t visited the beach too much during July and August due to the heat but with the slightly cooler weather, it was much more inviting.

living arrows - BattleKid enjoying himself on the beach
Enjoying the beach at the end of September!

The month of September ended on a relaxed note as we continue to find our feet in a country we have fallen in love with.

To be continued….

Cath x

Catch the full tale of our big move in our Portugal Diaries here on the blog.

Snapshot #2

I used to do monthly updates for BattleKid but stopped last year. I thought I’d do quarterly ones but never got around to it. In March I read Kellie of My Little Babog’s Snapshot post and loved it. When I found out it was a linky I thought I’d join in. It was created by of Awfully Chipper and is an opportunity to share a snapshot of your life at this very moment. You can read my first Snapshot post again if you missed it.

Listening to:
As I write this post I am listening to the chirping of birds, the panting of BattleDog and the wheels of BattleKid’s bike going along my parents decking. I haven’t heard this many birds chirping in so long and they go from dawn until dusk. It’s beautiful.

Watching:
Believe it or not we haven’t watched any TV of any sort for two weeks now. We are waiting for our stuff including our TV to arrive from the UK and to be honest I haven’t missed it. Before we left the UK, we managed to finish Grimm, 24: Legacy, The Walking Dead, Broadchurch and Line of Duty. We’re only a few episodes from finishing Fear the Walking Dead Series 2 and won’t have long to wait until House of Cards is back. Oh, we did get to finish the new series of Bosch, which didn’t disappoint again!

Playing:
We have been playing with BattleKid’s Lego Duplo which we managed to bring with us in the car. We’ve also been playing with his Disney Cars models to keep him occupied. We’ve been having great fun playing in the pool most afternoons too!snapshot 2

Reading:
I’ve recently finished a book called Daughter of the Dragon by William Andrews. It’s was quite a hard read but I was glad to complete it. At the moment I am reading a Penny Vincenzi book called The Decision. It’s the firs time I’ve read a book by her and so far I’m enjoying it. I am eagerly awaiting the new Michael Connelly book due for release in July.

Eating:
Lots of fish and great food cooked by my Dad. The one thing I’ve most been looking forward to in our move to Portugal was the fish and seafood and so far so good! Lots of fruit and salads too. The oranges here are amazing! We’ve also managed our first dinner outdoors in Tavira and it was just fab. The restaurant came highly recommended and we were glad we booked as it was packed as you can see!snapshot 2

Wearing:
It’s shorts, t-shirts and summer dresses all the way, a far cry and big change to a few weeks ago. I’m loving the warm weather and even BattleDad is commenting on my new found love for dresses!

Enjoying:
The sun, the food and the slower pace of life we’ve come to Portugal for. The weather has made a huge difference to our demeanour’s and outlook, we can enjoy the pool in the afternoons and are thoroughly enjoying my Dad’s cooking in the evenings. We really are loving the outdoor living we were hoping for!snapshot 2Not enjoying:
So far only the fact our stuff is taking it’s time getting to us from the UK but it seems things will come together this week as our new place should be ready this week and our stuff is due for arrival Friday. Mosquitoes are the only real thing we’re not enjoying at the moment but we’ve got plans to reduce our exposure to them in our new place.

Looking forward to:
Finally getting into our new place and really getting to finding our feet. We are enjoying staying with my parents who have been absolute stars and hopefully in the next week or two we’ll be out of their hair and they’ll have some breathing space again. We’ve got lots of places to explore in Portugal (and Spain) and we’ve got all the time in the world to do that. Expect plenty more updates to come on the blog!

Cath x

Snapshot #1

I used to do monthly updates for BattleKid but stopped last year. I thought I’d do quarterly ones but never got around to it. I read Kellie of My Little Babog’s recent Snapshot post and loved it and when I found out it was a linky I thought I’d join in. It was created by Awfully Chipper blog and is an opportunity to share a snapshot of your life at this very moment.
Listening to:
Right now, as I write this post, I am listening to the whine and whirring of the pumps on our instruments in the lab in work. I am on my own today so taking this opportunity to write this post. In life I’ve been listening to BattleKid screaming NO all the time and those of you who follow me on Instagram know all about it. Music wise I listen to the Capital Breakfast show in the mornings on my way to work and on the way home it’s my Spotify listen which has anything from Boney M (yes you read that correctly) to Armin van Buuren. Eclectic taste, hey!
Watching:
Before BattleKid goes to bed it’s usually Thomas the Tank Engine, the Lion Guard or a new one we’ve discovered, Digby the Dragon. That’s if he doesn’t insist on Disney Cars, The Good Dinosaur or How to Train your Dragon. After bedtime is when BattleDad and I finally get to sit down and watch some of our own programmes. We’re watching 24: Legacy as we were huge Jack Bauer fans and we’ve not been disappointed with this yet. We’re also coming to the end of Grimm and watching The Walking Dead, which we are very interested to see how it ends this season. We’ve also started the new series of Broadchurch and love it. We’ve not long finished The Last Ship and a series called Six and are awaiting their return.
Playing:
We only really play with BattleKid so it’s usually something car or bike related. Only yesterday he and I were playing with his Vtech Toot-Toot cars and roads. They have the most annoying sounds and voices though so it’s never for very long before they drive me insane.
Reading:
I’ve recently gotten back to reading my Kindle in bed before I fall asleep and I have to say it’s rather nice. I’ve just finished the most recently Harry Bosch book (another TV series we are eagerly awaiting) by Michael Connelly and started one called Daughter of the Dragon by William Andrews. It’s a hard read at the moment but I’ll stick it out I think.
Eating:
Bread. Bread, bread and more bread. BattleDad has gotten into making bread lately and is on an eternal quest to create the perfect French-inspired bread with tasty crust and big holes inside. However, he keeps changing the recipe and alongside that flour and crumbs are going EVERYWHERE in my kitchen. A pet-hate of mine is bread crumbs on my kitchen counters. It drives me insane so you can imagine the patience I have to have when he’s in baking mode. I seriously despise flour at the moment!
Wearing:
At the moment it’s just the usual of t-shirt, jeans and a jumper. I’m sorting through a lot of my clothes at the moment and doing a good clear out so I’m sticking to my tried and tested favourites. That said I have been making a few purchases of summer wear which will be needed in the very near future. More about that coming soon on the blog!
Enjoying:
BattleKid and I enjoyed a weekend at home seeing family recently and although it was hectic we enjoyed it. We’ve also been enjoying cramming in as many Welsh castles as we can at the weekends and also a visit to Bristol Zoo before our annual passes run out. I’m also enjoying the fact that this week is my last week in work before I finish up for the foreseeable future.living arrowsliving arrows
Not enjoying:
Oh there’s plenty at the moment for various reasons. The flour and breadcrumbs as already mentioned. I’m really not enjoying the battles with BattleKid at the moment. I just can’t hack them anymore. The constant NO’s, the swiping and trying to hit and kick, and the downright stubbornness has our patience wearing wafer thin at the moment. I’m grateful to everyone on Instagram who has lent me their support in saying we are not alone and that they are going through it too. It’s hard, really hard and you do think you’re the only parents having to deal with this on a daily basis but I sincerely thank you all for your support. I am also not enjoying sorting through and packing up our large house for an imminent move (to be included in the forthcoming blog post about life changes coming our way). While it’s good to do a clear-out this is something on a whole new level. You’ll hear more about it soon, I promise.
Looking forward to:
I’m specifically looking forward to three things. First and foremost, our holiday in Portugal over Easter to visit my folks. I cannot wait for some sun. The rain and grey, miserable Welsh weather has eventually gotten me down. It seems like it’s been an eternal winter and I’m done with it. I am also really, really looking forward to our USA holiday in September. I’ve written out it in our Holiday Diaries 2017 post and it’s going to be awesome. The first three days are going to be travelling hell but once we hit Yellowstone and slowly make our way back to Portland I think it will be great. Fingers crossed! And finally our move. Once it happens and we are settled I think it’ll be good.

As already mentioned I am looking forward to finishing work. I’m hoping it will give me more time to spend on the blog, time I currently don’t have. I have plenty of ideas for blog posts but never motivation at the end of the day to sit and write them down. Having time in the day may change that if I can fit it in between packing up. I’ve quite enjoyed this little Snapshot post and might just make it a regular feature on the blog, hence the #1 after the title. I could do with getting back to regular updates as I’ve felt a bit lost where the blog is concerned lately. Someone please come and give me a kick up the bum from next Monday!
Cath x