First Week or so Back – posted 24th Dec 2015
Having landed in sunshine it was great to be back in The Algarve. Neil was waiting for me when I arrived. Three weeks is a long time, although it seemed to pass in a flash. Also waiting for me was a pretty rose plant covered in glitter (Neil was already regretting the glitter; it having stuck to everything that went near it). He had also done a lot of work in our berth. Ripping out useless insulation replacing it with cork, painting and creating some air flow under the mattress. The busy chap had also painted both companionway steps so they look much better. I was surprised that he had also put up the Christmas lights without me having to ask. There was also a new doormat. Our home just gets more homely.
Neil had also been busy finishing his first book, ‘A Foolish Voyage’, the story of how he started sailing and his attempt to cross Biscay. By the time I returned (having read the book on the plane on the way back) it was already available to pre-order on Kindle and Neil was working on creating a physical paperback. This is now done and I’m pleased, proud and delighted to say that as of today, Christmas Eve, Neil’s book is available from Amazon as both a Kindle book and as a physical paperback. It is certainly available on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.
I know how much effort Neil put into writing the book and formatting it for both Kindle and for the physical book. Not as easy as you’d think. Neil, I’m so proud that you’ve achieved your goal to publish before the end of the year. Love ya.
My first few days back, the weather was great. Twenty one degrees outside (shade temperature). Like other parts of Europe, Portugal is experiencing higher than average temperatures for the time of year. However, I’m not complaining. We have had some rain but that’s not so bad when you know within a few hours, day at most, the sun will be back.
Tuesday was the usual Coffee Klatch. June had already returned to the UK and it was the last one for Jackie for this year as she is going back to the UK for Christmas. Carolyn is new to the group and is going to be here for Christmas too. I really enjoy our weekly catch up and chat.
Saturday evening we had carol singers and musicians come around the pontoons to serenade those of us who are left for Christmas. A great job by the music group.
This week Neil and I went to Portimao to go to the big DIY store and have a mooch about the shops. Well mooching for me obviously. Had a mad moment in Kiko Cosmetics and bought 6 lipsticks. Haven’t bought makeup since I was made redundant, when I bought a being made redundant lipstick from Urban Decay. Kiko is better priced and has fabulous products. I had to steer away from the nail colours – maybe in the New Year! We also had a McBifana meal from McDonalds, obviously a regional dish. Not available in the UK, neither is the beer.
I have decorated the galley/dining side of the boat with a few strings of tinsel, my Christmas cushion cover and our Christmas cards and the glittery rose on the table, I think it looks very festive.
I have started crocheting my Attic24 Coastal Blanket. It took me a good few attempts to start but now I’m on a roll and have completed 6 rows of the required 183! I’m managing to get at least 2 done a day and now I have the technique (and stitch markers to help) I’ll be able to crochet in front of Christmas movies so that may speed up my production level. Also Mum and Bry bought us folding chairs for Christmas which have just arrived so I have a comfy seat on deck (when we are not sailing, don’t want to fall off!) so I can sit and hook (no not that kind!!) outside in the warm sun. It is wider than the picture shows – single bed size.
We were lucky to be given a passarell or, as I call it, a boarding ramp, from our friends Pam and Roger on Deja Vu. Apparently particularly when in the Mediterranean many ports require boats to moor ‘stern to’ (backwards) against harbour walls so it is necessary to be able to get on and off the boat from the rear. Neil was going to make something from scratch but this is great. He has made a pin to secure it using the bracket for the self-steering and also it can be raised and lowered using a spare halyard – I might not be right on that point, but it can be raised and lowered. Just a coat of paint to tart it up – perfect. Thanks Roger and Pam.
And finally, great news from back home. My cousin Katie has had her first baby. A girl. Nieve Violet born on her due date of 23rd December. Big congratulations to Katie and Gaz. What a fantastic Christmas present (not that I want one) but big hugs to you all. Brilliant.
Hoping you all have a very Merry Christmas/Holiday Season.