I never would have expected it but the blog exceeded 1000 hits last night, so thanks for all you people out there who don’t have enough to do! I’ve been doing this for about two months now and I intended it to be a mix of three things: (1) the journey from getting an agent to the bookshelf at W H Smiths, (2) retiring and (3) moving to a new country. I suppose it’s inevitable that one of those would tend to dominate at different times and I’d hoped it would be the writing. However, the main concentration right now is simply unpacking boxes so I won’t bore you with the details except to say that the Portuguese heavygang did arrive yesterday, 25 hours late, and really got down to it.
The removal man was Herr Ilies, half Romanian and half German and it’s his company. He is a capitalist but, like anyone who has escaped a communist sysem, he knows all about hard work and philosophy which he mixes in equal measure and distributes with an even hand and a twinkle in his eye. He’s 65 and made me feel like an old man. His wife is Japanese and is as modest as a geisha and absolutely charming; she comes with him on long trips and they combine them with a few days as tourists wherever they end up. For both of them, this was a first visit to Portugal and I hope they left with a good impression. We had the chance to take them to a local restaurant in Portimao last night and, as they are both fish-eaters, they loved it. Who would have thought that the stomach of a tuna would taste good? It does, believe me.
Ok, it’s about seven in the evening now; Luis is stressed out because his mother, Celeste, 82, is in hospital waiting for a serious operation, plus he has the business to run. I will do a piece on Celeste later as she deserves a story for herself and I need some time to put it together. In the meantime, I’ve learnt all about what dehydration is and should have bought shares in Fanta. Or maybe Sagres, the beer company. Now that sounds like a really good idea. Not the shares, I mean a beer.