I had no idea when we moved here that I would love it quite so much. It was a gamble, and an adventure. We chose to live in a place that was remote. It couldn’t have been more of a change from living in the heart of London. You can’t nip out to buy something you forgot. You can nip out to see what bird is calling, though. Serins are now filling the air with their glass-beads-breaking songs. Husband, who seems to have distance hearing – while not always hearing what I have said when standing next to him – says he has heard both cuckoos and orioles in the valley this week. Frogs have started up their rattling noises. The pervasive Bermuda Buttercup is starting to share its realm with more, and more interesting, flowers.
We went to Lisbon for the weekend. Lisbon was a small place to my London eyes, but now it has grown. We arrived by train, travelling over the Twenty-fifth of April bridge across the river Tejo. Beyond the industrial riverside, you see the coloured frontages of the old buildings stacked one on top of the other. The big city!
I slot back into city life very easily. City modes make sense to me. I have city clothes, which need an outing. I have a city outlook. I put on my city goggles and wonder if it made sense to leave city life. Then after four days we came back home late in the evening to a black sky glittering with stars. I gulped lungfuls of clean air and remembered all over again why we live here.
No blog next week because I shall be in England, and I’m keeping this one short because last week I wrote way over my self-imposed limit. I was, and remain, very exercised about the possibility of fossil-fuel zombies moving into the Algarve. Living close to nature forces you to cherish it; you cannot put on city goggles here among the trees and the birds. The zombies haven’t gone away. An oil-rig spotted off the coast of Tavira caused a lot of anxiety but it seems to have been a rig being transported to another area – not that that makes it better, but it does make it a zombie out of reach of our own wooden stakes. We can’t kill them all; I’m not sure if we can kill any. One political party, part of the governing coalition, has come out saying that it is in favour of cancelling the existing oil contracts; will it happen? Please god let it happen. The ENMC (the fossil-fuel authority) still don’t ask the question why they exist, only how they can keep doing what they do. Cars are a problem. My own beloved Rolie will be redundant one day, and that day shouldn’t be too far away. Car-ownership is expensive in Portugal because of high duties – a golden opportunity to bring in electrical cars at lower duties and enhance their take-up? Who knows.