Portugal 2014 has come to a close

What a year it has been. Mum and Dad are now back in England for the Winter but not a day goes by where they’re not thinking about Portugal and all their friends over there.

They packed up the car and left for England on the same day that the roof job came to a finish so we won’t have any finished photos until they go back in the Spring. Things have been going a hundred miles an hour since they got back. They’ve been catching up with their family and friends here and getting the house all ready for Christmas (the tree only went up last weekend!). I’ve been jumping between working up at the University, studying for a City & Guilds Diploma near London and finally getting my handy(wo)man business up and running. Oh, and I’m taking Portuguese classes. It’s no wonder that I’m spending my Sunday afternoon full of a cold in front of my laptop and catching up with stuff on Netflix.

This year has been pretty eventful and there’s so much that I haven’t written about. My parents really wanted to engage with the local Portuguese community this year, so they arrived just before Easter to join in the celebrations and share with the neighbours: photo (82)One of the neighbours has been teaching them Portuguese and they’ve really embraced it. They’ve learnt so, so much and made so many new friends this year. In fact, they’ve got a blackboard up in the kitchen with their ‘words of the week’ that they have to learn before their next Portuguese lesson.

The Portuguese love their festivals during the Summer months and they joined in on a few of them where people dine outside on long tables and after dinner they will get up and dance between the tables. Only in Portugal!

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Perhaps the most obvious change around the house was to Mum’s garden, which went from very plain last year to bursting with plants and flowers this year:

10557011_281113392091899_3835609300983066245_oThis has made the outside living space a real pleasure to be in and a great place to entertain guests.

During the Summer I took some time out do some WWOOFing around the Açores archipelago and had the most amazing trip.

IMG_5493I also did a bit of travelling with Jon and saw Porto and Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal.

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Next year I’m definitely going back over to Portugal for a short while to put my new found language skills to use but beyond that I haven’t yet got a plan set in stone.

So what’s in store for next year? Well, we have HUGE plans for 2015! We’re looking at the idea of converting the older part of the house into a self-contained apartment. It’ll be great for when friends and family come over they can have a whole place to themselves. We’ll be putting in a new kitchen and bathroom suite and we’ll keep all of the older features of the house but create new doorways and set up the level of insulation in that part of the house (it’s pretty draughty over there even during the summer). It’ll be quite a job to get it finished by Summer for visitors, but that’s the plan!

I hope you’ve all had a great year and have many plans and dreams for 2015. I look forward to sharing mine with you all :)

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