A little bit nippy


I’m just back from our fourth summer-kick-start break in Portugal. The weather this year was significantly windier than in previous years – to the point where, having not “anchored” the ever-present inflatables in the evening, I ended up getting up in the middle of the night to make sure they hadn’t blown away. I was pretty sure, at the time, that they would be far afield, but they were only just the other side of the pool.


joel at Silves castle

A rain storm was threatening as we went around Silves castle and enjoyed the brooding skies over the surrounding countryside. We ducked into Rui’s for a fish-based lunch and by the time we emerged it was raining like it was the end of the world.


I must have not been a gardener last time we went to Caldas do Monchique, because I don’t remember the carpet of nasturtiums that was all over the place. I narrowly avoided having a full-in Granny moment, as one of my favourite pictures of my mum with Lily was taken here when we came to Portugal when Lily was a year old. Mum would have appreciated the nasturtiums as well. She used to put the flowers in salads. Bless.

We managed a couple of visits to one of my favourite restaurants as well. The boys like it because of the artwork, but I like the food (quite key) and the service – they always look after the children very well, and it’s definitely appreciated.  The place is Onze – well worth a visit if you’re in the area.

The high winds made for a lot of good wave-watching. I find being by the sea very restful, even when the waves are crashing into the rocks, so long as I’m a good distance away… In the picture below there is a 10-foot drop immediately behind Lily, caused by the choppy sea of the past few days. The sea that night was calmer than it had been for a while. And, I appreciate the colours are probably thanks to rampant pollution, but I really like. A lot.

We had a couple of awesomely warm days before I came back, so the front of my legs is nicely toasted. Fingers crossed the guys make it back OK – there are French air traffic controllers grumbling which caused switch-over problems last week.

So, I’m back in the UK and planning a plant-a-thon for this afternoon. It’s fair to say it’s a little bit nippy compared to Portugal. And not as sunny…