Time Flies BY

Over a month has gone by & a lot has happened - I apologise now, this edition is more of an essay than a blog.

I need to fill in the blanks otherwise I will forget forever. The purpose of writing this is for my failing memory, Louise Murray-Morris expecting Old Timers Disease any time in the future. Hopefully those who do take the time to read this will find some entertainment in my meanderings.

Sunday 10th September– Phil left on his mercy mission; unfortunately the doctors were right and although we were desperate to start our new life together he did the right thing as his dad has now died.

Phil stayed in the UK for a week & during that time his dad's condition stayed about the same. We decided that it would be ok for Phil to return to Melrica in order for me to fulfil my work obligation of a week on site in the UK. Hence the beginning of the last blog.

Sunday – full of resolve, a brand-new country (sort of) holidays aren’t the same as living some where were you don’t speakkaa the lingo!

First – let the village know that I am here, I wasn’t worried about the fires but I knew I had to be aware, the solution = I wrote postcards with the aid of good old Google Translate (currently my favourite app).

“Olá, meu nome é Louise Morris, meu marido, Phillip e agora nos mudamos da Inglaterra para viver em Melrica permanentemente.

Nós também temos um cachorro chamado Chester.

Eu não falo muito português ainda, mas vou aprender.

Se alguém está à procura dos ingleses, vivemos na casa após a casa alemã.”

“Meu merido en Inglaterra, seu papa morte!” God knows what I actually said but it was something like that. After the fun & games that we had had trying to communicate with the delivery driver who was looking for us a couple of days before; I thought that the village might help if people were looking for “the English” in the future. I got that right as it turns out – I will tell you later. Chester & I had them posted by lunchtime & unbelievably I must have spoken half a dozen of the locals on that short walk, I think I succeeded in getting my message across.

The house felt very empty that afternoon so I stuck to my resolve, I had said I would go to "The Lake" to see Vanessa at work & I did. What now seems like a short drive felt like it was going on forever getting to Fernandaires – I even know different routes there now. What a difference a month can make. Chester was happy, he got to swim & Sofia one of Vanessa’s friends fell in love with him; I also met some new people which I needed that day.

Because we didn’t know at that point how long Phil would be away for, I had decided to take the bull by the horns & find a Portuguese teacher even if I had to start lessons on my own.

Monday 11th September - Cleaning the annex, more cleaning the annex & cleaning the annex some more. Well I had wanted to get it sorted for nearly 4 years, now it is fit for guests – it isn't perfect but it was as good as it going to be ready for Mike & Cynthia who arrive a day after I get back from the UK.

Walking the dog & swimming keep me sane(ish)

Wednesday 13 September – Invented the superblock holder Possibly too much time on my own?

Friday 15th September – Vanessa’d – it is a new word. We went out to get Chester registered at the camera (the local coucil house) & I came back a Portuguese resident! Didn’t expect that one. We had the worst lunch at the hotel in VDR as well; I won’t be going back any time soon.

Saturday 16th September - Macieria - a little adventure by myself looking for new swimming places

Monday 18th September – Baking – Almond & Hazelnut Macaroons just because!

Tuesday 19th September – Phil Home, Yeah :) :) :)

Wednesday 20th– meet Carla for coffee in VDR, Serta shopping. Anita brought her girls round for playtime we went back Macieria

Thursday 21th September – Took Phil to the camera he is now a Portuguese resident too! 1st Portuguese Lesson with Carla - our brains hurt.

Friday 22th September – leave for UK on bus from Abrantes

Saturday 23th September – don’t want to be in the UK

Sunday 24th September – meet Caro

Wednesday 27th September – Mave got the come to the hospital phone call -Ron (Phil's dad) passed away

Thursday 28th September - Compassionate leave on the grounds of working with dead bodies would not be good for my mental health,– so I managed to get my hair cut 😊 silver linings . Definitely drank to much blame the lodgers & the Moats as usual but it was the Beiroa that finished me off, road to Kates on my bike – it wouldn’t have hurt if I had fallen off.

If you do come to visit; beware of the Beiroa, it is a sweet liquor that is very easy to drink but kicks like a mule.

Friday 29th September – more time at the Vodafone shop! Slept it off at Kates. Girly night with the gang but took it easy as I knew I had to drive in the morning.

Saturday 30th September – Kenilworth with Mum to see Mave, left my car there for Phil. Kate came & collected us. Back to Kates for leftovers & an early night.

Monday 2nd October – back to Portugal

Wednesday 4th October – Mike & Cynthia arrive our first guests to stay in the annex.

Thursday 5th October – Phil leaves for UK, Mike & Chester hike on the mountain, school lesson number 2- it’s no easier

Friday 6th October – boat trip on the lake at Dornes just as peaceful the second time around, tried the café there & with hind sight we decided we should have had lunch it smelt so good but we went Georges in Serta for a farewell dinner that evening

Saturday 7th October – Mike & Cynthia left for Spain

Sunday 8th October- evening swim at the lake

Monday 9th October – sewing just because. It is a door stop in case you are wondering.

Tuesday 10th October- an hour with Vanessa then an evening swim at the lake

Wednesday 11th October –the possibility that the post cards to Melrica worked deliver all English people to Quinta Do Centro.

I now have a little routine for solo living.

Get up when Chester wakes up, go for an hour long walk while it is still cool, breakfast, shower, log into work, chores, lunch, sunbath/siesta.

Any small interruption to the routine can be classed as interesting. – well it is the quiet life here.

I had got to the time of day when I was on my lounger with nothing other than suntan lotion on when I think I hear a car coming down the drive.

I wasn’t expecting any one other than possibly the postie (who still hasn’t brought my sewing machine needles that Caro posted well over a week ago); the next thing is I’m wrapping my towel round me as a horn is peeping. There is a battered Taxi & the driver has got out.

“Nao fala Portuguese Signor. Fala Ingles?” (I’m getting good at this.)

“Villa Melrica?” says he

“Noa” says I, pointing up the valley “Melrica!, esta Quinta Do Centro” –(still going well.)

More pointing, he says “Senhora, Ingles” only now do I see the passenger in the back. I walk towards her, I definitely didn’t recognise her. Going through my head is what hasn’t Phil told me?

Then it’s her turn. “Villa Melrica?” she is definitely Inglese, I am a good Brit at heart so I tried to help she held out an email, looking pretty desperate.

Bonnie is her name she is trying to find the villa she has rented for 2 months to use as a base to house hunt from, but she hadn’t got an address, she couldn’t get hold of her husband or son who have arrived already by car, she had flown into Faro & done the Lisbon/Abrantes trip which explained the exhausted look. Having experienced the stress that the lack of mobile phone can cause I tried all her numbers to no avail but she gave me one clue without realising it.

All of a sudden, I am a native. Words come out in Portuguese, lots of gestures & the taxi driver knows where to take her – I hope. I will go & look her up as I have tried her mobile a couple of times & I would like to know how the taxi driver did find the only English woman in the village.

Thursday 12th October - school cancelled, so in desperation I went to Aquarobics just to get out of the house

Friday 13th October – Ron's Funeral, lunch in Abrantes with Vanessa met a lovely couple called Philomena & Eurico (Eric) who have a beautiful Collie Tobias

Saturday 14th October - waged war on the Orange blossom, Oleander, Roses & Grapevines. I was supposed to go tonight but I am just too exhausted.

Sunday 15 October – Phil due home – Yeah maybe a few days of normality before mum arrives on Halloween, she is flying in on Ryan Air not Broomstick!

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