Many thanks to our great friend (and high-minded painter) Andy Baird, who both conceived and jump started this attempt to contemporaneously record at least some of the eventings of one move abroad. Regarding content, the narrower column on the left is the supposedly more timeless and reference stuff; ongoing entries are in the larger-width column on the right of the script below - following the (red)


by-line below. The plan is for these at least to be augmented over time.

It should also follow, therefore, that the most recently added post will always be at the top of this right-hand column; so if you want to get a flavour from earlier times, scroll and start NEARER TO or EVEN AT THE BOTTOM (only, please, please if you chose this option, allow yourself a series of snack-breaks; it can be repetitive, and boredom is guaranteed to increase with intensity of effort!)- but ANY comments are not only also welcomed ->but positively encouraged

Remember this folks ......

Remember this folks ......

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Christmas 2009

LOURICAL, Central Portugal
Last time …..

· “We have moved house here (by about 20 miles) to a bungalow nearer (the beach and) a considerably bigger town. Really a social/mobility investment move for our later years.
· Thus, since this Spring, the whole process of Bankhead-ising another homestead had begun, and taken priority.”

December 11th now, approaching Christmas 2009, and that means a couple of possibly significant milestones. We have now seen our first complete year here; a sabbatical (In Portuguese,
a “letstakestockofwhatwe`vegot - ical”), during which we've had time to consider what we'd like to do by way of improvements. This happily coincides with the eagerly awaited arrival next year (2010) of various tranches of pensions lump sums, permitting such indulgences.

Thus, and still without selling CSJ, we have begun (at our local Camera) the procedure of trying to identify parameters as to what is possible and acceptable. The Planning process is notoriously difficult here, but we believe we have significant factors on our side, and hopefully won’t be delayed or thwarted unduly. Then will come the district authority in Coimbra.
Footnote: or, as since discovered, before we approach the Council for Planning Permission – apparently we have to firstly to secure District approval by way of certification of an absence of `Zoning` restrictions !

Not that we’ve been standing still on other matters. After the debacle -no doubt due in part to my bad initial timing- of not having ANY heating in the place at all until this time last year, and then only a kitchen log-burning stove to augment the `lectric, we have since added both a roof Solar Panel and a lounge glass-fronted fire. Now, before another Christmas, I’m almost tempted to challenge the cold. It was 19 degrees outside yesterday lunchtime.

Our guest cottage, 100 yards from bungalow Bill, is already up and running, and completely independent. It has two bedrooms (think Scottish croft for size), one with a double bed and one mit futon. Since spells indoors should be limited essentially to chilling & sleeping, overall space should never be a problem. Hot water is via a bottled-gas geyser. The kitchen has a sink, fridge, microwave, dining table and ample crockery for breakfast or snack meals. There is a toilet with integrated shower cubicle. Running off the main living area is a further sizable common space –incl. washing machine- that could alternatively be used as an additional sleeping area. Outside is an enclosed courtyard.

Geraldine returned recently from her latest visit to Newcastle to see the rapidly growing Gran`chilter, and even after nothing more that a Terminal change in Heathrow, she confirms my own conviction that my ever going back should probably be avoided. Apparently I’m a tad inflexible. Oh well, best you came out here then……..

Maurice & Geraldine

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