Week 16: Taking a break

Something of a detour: from East London to the Eastern Algarve via the East Midlands. The sale completed successfully last Wednesday. Rather than a cause of joy, it was simply the end of torment. I arrived at my mum’s in a fully laden car – everything we need for the next two to three months – with my niece at the wheel. I don’t like driving, so I was very grateful to her. The next day was the first anniversary of my father’s death. We drank the Krug we’d kept to toast him with, but we preferred the mead Dad had made from his own honey twenty-four years earlier.

When I started this blog, I expected to muse about the prospect of changing countries and trying out a different life; I expected many challenges, but for them to come from the Portuguese side. No doubt difficulties are yet to come, but so far buying a house in Portugal has been a story of pleasant cooperation and charming efficiency, while selling a flat in London has been a story of inexplicable legal inefficiency and pointless, long-drawn-out nervous tension. And then there was a motorcycle accident thrown into the mix.

Now we are spending a few weeks in rural England, with my mum. We are in an old-fashioned village beloved of 1940s re-enactors and commemorators of the second world war. The Dambusters Squadron operated from here in 1944 and 1945. Lancaster bombers occasionally fly overhead. We are near the RAF station where they are housed (one permanently, one is on a visit); they are apparently the only two airworthy Lancasters left. Their flight path is directly over my mother’s house and they come low enough to appear to skim the treetops. You can either hear them or see them. Hearing them is wonderful. Their beautiful sound enters and fills the house. Or you run out and watch them overhead, almost close enough to touch. My husband, who is German, observes the British obsession with the war with mild detachment.

My promise at the beginning of this blog was to write once a week, unless a fox takes me out. A fox has not taken me out, but has done severe damage to Husband’s knee. So I’m taking a few weeks out, while he recovers, and while I do too. We visited London on Monday for an appointment at the fracture clinic. It gave me a pang to be in London so briefly and as a non-resident. London still has a small hold over me. The news was positive: two weeks have been taken off the time in which he cannot put weight on his knee, reducing it from eight weeks to six. That means, from now, just three and a half weeks to go. He got to see, via x-ray, the extraordinarily clever scaffolding put in to hold the knee together. It was a good day.

Please see the subscription widget, which I have managed to reinstate, and do sign up for the next post (if you are not already signed up). I shall take up our story again in October when Husband is back on two legs and we are finally on our way to our house in the Algarve.

Our house in the Algarve: front terrace

Our house in the Algarve: front terrace

Our house in the Algarve: the garden

Our house in the Algarve: the garden


  1. Sue

    Hi Mari

    Very glad that the prognosis is good for your husband. Hope you can rest a little now. Look forward to the next post and maybe see you before you go.


    1. Edith (Post author)

      Thanks, Sue. Should see you in October before we go. xx

  2. Marlene

    Awww… I’m going to miss my Wednesday fix. 🙂 But glad you and the hubby can relax a bit in rural England before the this-is-really-it,-the-Algarve- here-we-come” next chapter. xoxox

  3. Penny Johnstone

    Really looking forward to October, but so glad you are having a rest now. It’s been a tough ride over the last few weeks but that will make your new life even more special. Good luck with everything and well done keeping this going throughout. Penny xx

  4. Jenny

    Always wonderful to hear all your news. I look forward to Wednesdays ! But I think it’s good for you to take a break, you have been so busy. Glad to hear husband is doing well ! Hope he,s still keeping you in the dough !
    Enjoy the fresh air of the country ! Hugs J.

  5. fatma

    All so close now Miss Rabbit. Very good news re Husband. And buying/selling is up there in the ranks of high stress factor so well done! Where you are with your Mum sounds delightful – what an interesting and varied journey you are having even prior to departure! You deserve a break. Take one with all our blessings and eat bread. Look forward to October renewal!

  6. Kate Kelly-Tanguay

    Dear Mari,
    Thank you for reinstating the widget as I wasn’t receiving any notifications..now I will know (at least from October) when it is Wednesday!
    So pleased your husband is progressing so well. You must really need a time of recuperation after all that packing on your own. Congratulations..you did it.
    I love to hear about your dad..and now we know he made mead..and kept bees….
    I trust you can enjoy some Indian summer with the Lancasters overhead..sounds delightful in that very English way.
    This seems to be your ‘bridge’ time to a Portuguese country rhythm? crossing over from London’s busyness…
    To me London will always be here and it always pulls because it is a showy off little beast full of exciting stimuli crying out ‘look at me’…
    Happy days, until October


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