Starting over

Did you notice the John Lennon title link to my last post?  I’m thinking it’s probably easier to write here than to try to keep up with each of you individually, lovely as you all are.  Yes, I wanted to come back with a brand new blog, full of the pure exuberance of life and the beauty of the Algarve, but it’s not practical at the moment, for a variety of reasons.  So, simply an update.

You know those Indian Summers we sometimes talk about in the UK?  We’ve definitely been experiencing one here in the Algarve.  Temperatures have just started to dip a little, which is good news for my walking friends.  The first Striders walk of the season, on 2nd October, was kept to a miserly 10km in the Algarvian hills, but nobody was sorry when the walk was over.  A long table was set up beneath an awning but, by the time we’d finished eating, the sun was avidly gobbling up the shade.  It was time to down the wine and move on.  But not before coffee and cake, of course.

The Strollers walk on the following Friday fared a little better.  We were near the salt marshes, with a hint of a breeze now and again.  A different mix of people, some of whom we hadn’t seen in a long while, and another wonderful accompaniment of hugs, smiles and traded stories.  Does it feel different now that we’re to become a permanent part of the community?  Not yet, but I have noticed subtle differences.  At one time I couldn’t bear to be out of the sun, and would feel myself twitching if I was in the shade a fraction longer than was absolutely necessary.  Now that sunshine has more or less become a constant, I can seek shade with equanimity.  Maybe Winter will change that, but for now we find ourselves adopting the Portuguese custom of pulling down the blinds in our house to keep out excessive heat.

Our third walk included a train ride with a ticket collector who was greatly amused by 27 Brits, smiling and brandishing passports at him at 8.30 in the morning.  Our discounted fare was 80 cents for the 10km, two stops, ride.  We then walked back, a loop of town, pine forest, beach and countryside totalling 14km, all on the flat.  More reunions and friendships renewed, and lots more hugs and smiles.  We are all so appreciative of what we have here.  Not just the wonderful climate, but the lasting warmth of companionship.  Few of us have been unscathed by anxiety or illness, but a sympathetic shoulder is never hard to find.

Since coming here, I’ve cast a fresh look around our home.  Aside from outstanding DIY (phew, Mick’s department!) there are a few issues about storage and how we use the space we have.  Cupboards and wardrobes have been given a stern looking at.  We’ve joined the local library and a small army of English language books will be making their way to a new and worthwhile home.  An antique television set, weighing a ton but producing not a single programme, in any language, has made it’s way to the refuse collection, located down an exceedingly pretty back lane.

The negatives?  Knee deep in photo albums prior to departure, I forgot a couple of things I normally regard as essential to my Algarve life.  The cable to download photos from my camera and my memory stick, so I’ve had to improvise for photos.  And my diary!  Unheard of, this last, so I’ve taken to recording events online on the notepad.  Not entirely satisfactory.  🙂  Still to do?  Partly due to a wretched cough I’ve not yet joined an exercise class, nor a language class, but I will!

You’d laugh!  As I finish writing this, rain is bouncing off the table on the patio.  But I’m smiling indulgently and enjoying the sound.  Good thing we finished that painting!  And tomorrow is set to be dry for another walk.  Have a great weekend, and I’ll catch up with you when I can.  Our Internet is feeble, but we’ll fix that too.

130 comments

  1. Hello Jo, I’ve seen you in the Algarve mostly on Instagram. It is a delight to read your post and know the background of your days over there. It sounds like a wonderful time, despite the Indian summer and I wish for you even more companionship, nice hikes and stories with photos, to share with us. Hugs. L

  2. Hi, Jo. So, it looks like you’re going ahead with your plan to move to the Algarve! What a great adventure. I love that you have your walking group established there already. I hope your transition is as smooth as possible. We have completed our move this week and it’s always hectic and nerve-wracking, but we’ve done it! I’m hoping that everything is settled for you as well! 🙂

    1. Thanks a lot Patti. We’re half on holiday and half settling in and doing a bit of decorating. We’re very lucky to have such a lovely community here. Family will be joining us soon 😃😃

  3. Lovely with the update and beautiful photos … exciting time for you both! I hope your cough has gone now and the temperatures are more humane! Wishing you lots of fun settling into your new home! Hugs xx

    1. Hi Annika 🙂 🙂 So nice to have you here. Yes, temperatures are much more normal and I’m fit again, thanks. Becoming a little tired of the paintbrush, but we have lots of nice outings between chores.

  4. Glad to hear you’re settling back into Algarve life nicely Jo. It’ll be interesting to see what things you miss from the UK as time goes on and what you really don’t miss at all. Enjoy every minute x

  5. I like the idea of catching a train and walking back – what a wonderful idea. As for rain we had our first ‘real’ rain on Saturday night.. the first in months. Today I woke up to a mizzle – becoming heavier by the minute. I can’t believe i cheered on behalf of the plants. Me? i will do some long overdue dusting.

  6. Now I have John Lennon’s song firmly ensconced in my head…;-) Great to see that you are settling in Jo, can’t wait to read about your new life in Portugal and curious as to whether you notice any differences that you didn’t notice when you were visiting. Have fun xxx

    1. Thanks darlin 😃 It’s an easy place to settle into, though there are a couple of uncertainties still. Not easy to find time or intent for my blogging world but things will settle, I expect xx

  7. I think we all might be trying to play catch-up… all in good time, I say! Still posting a previous trip, having just returned from a more recent one! Makes me unsure if I’m coming or going. 😉

  8. So good to hear from you Jo and to hear how you are very quickly settling into your new life. It sounds idyllic. Big bonus that you had already formed such a lovely group of friends. Yes I know what you mean about searching out the shade, sun is beautiful but can be overwhelming. We are having day after day of torrential rain, almost unheard of over here. The garden has gone from dry and having to water every day to soggy and sodden…. I’m just starting to get my blogging mojo back after nearly 4 weeks absence. The present weather means I can’t do any gardening… It took me ages to sort out the Broken Hill photos…Take it easy my friend and enjoy the transition.

    1. I thought I hadn’t seen you on my trips to the Reader, Pauline, but they’re a bit spasmodic. I gathered it was a good trip. 😃 The weather sounds horrible. We whiled away the loveliest day here yesterday with a combination of walking and time with friends. A threatened storm missed us and we felt incredibly lucky ☺☺ xx

      1. I still haven’t blogged about our trip yet, it was a major job sorting the photos as I didn’t download every day and was using 3 cameras, big mistake….but have them sorted now so post coming soon. I’m a bit spasmodic with WP at the moment too.

  9. Catching up at last as I’m in Sicily and I have been unable to connect with anyone. Little walking now for 3 days due to torrential rain, but tomorrow promises to be better so I’m planning on heading for Noto. Glad you are settling in and divvying up the essential jobs, making sure to allow yourself plenty of time to explore the area. Your photos are as good as always if fewer in number and I look forward to when you have all your technical gadgets around you and back to your usual brilliant photography.

    1. World weather as bizarre as ever! Glorious here today. Walking this morning and then time with friends and beach this afternoon. I could get used to this life 😃😃

  10. I am still catching up on my favorite blogs which I neglected due to our busy summer travels and family time. So you are there!! I can certainly relate to big moves and the changes involved with new countries. You obviously have more than a head start by being involved with the expat community via shared passions. Best of luck in your new environment ~ no rush, big life changes like this take time to adjust and ease into. Congrats!

    Peta

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