The north wind shall blow ….

We were woken at 5.30am this morning by a really loud bang.  Mark jumped out out bed, reached for the poker, and Wanda jumped on the bed frightened half to death and trembling. It was still pitch black outside but we could hear the wind howling against the door.  The bang, wasn’t one of our nightime visitors as Mark had first thought, it was the metal shutters banging against the wall.  

It seems that Storm Bella has found us.  We had an early start, as usual these days as the Ecositana team arrive bright and early.  We did our morning walk, but found the wind bitterly cold.  We walked around the terraces a lot quicker than usual huddled, up in our winter coats and wishing that we had put gloves and hats on as well.

Although the six members of the Ecositana team were hard at work, all with masks and wrapped up warm, we decided that today was not a day for working outside and instead settled down with some mugs of hot coffee.

We needed to sort out some Portuguese and English legal stuff that we have been meaning to do for ages.  First up was to register for the new residency card.  We logged in, entered our details and within a couple of minutes had a temporary residency certificate.  We will be sent an appointment to go and take our identification documents and get our new card – but in the meantime we emailed Linda and Andy and asked them if they could print them out for us.  Next we tried exchanging our European driving licences for Portuguese ones.  This was a little more tricky as we need to have a medical certificate to support the application.  We did know this, but initially we were trying to notify them about us living and driving in Portugal.  We had another form to fill in, which must be a paper copy, so this was emailed to the Hipwell’s again for a printed version.

I renewed my English driving licence last month, but didn’t manage to update my V5 form, so we looked for this online and managed to get that all sorted as well.  All in all, quite a successful morning.  Mark had a facetime call with Hollie, she was busy getting stuck into some diy and just wanted to run a few things by her dad before getting on with it.  Mark managed to give a virtual diy lesson and for Hollies’ part, she did a fab job of redecorating her bedroom and putting up a shelving unit.  Definitely her father’s daughter!


We had arranged to go off with Linda and Andy to Castelo Branco and register Wanda at the vets so after a late lunch of stew, we headed off to Lourical for a coffee and a chat before our appointment. 

Beans and Mitzi were really happy to see us, dashing around and racing up the stairs. Linda and Andy had found it really cold as well so they too had spent their days doing things indoors. 

I had a surprise facetime call from Amy which was lovely – she only has a few weeks left before the baby is due and we were given a guided tour of the new nursery which Adam is busy decorating.  We were really impressed with the results so far and really looking forward to seeing it completed and meeting our grandson.

We were a bit late setting off so made a bit of a dash to the vets.  Linda, Beans and Mitzy went in first while I stayed outside with Wanda.  We handed over Wanda’s Haven vets records and her pets passport which were used to enter her details on to their system.  I was really impressed how thorough they were and they way that everything was.  When it was Wanda’s turn to see the vet, we were introduced to Sandra, a lovely lady with very kindly eyes peeping at us over her mask.  We went through Wanda’s history and the way things are a little bit different here in Portugal.  We also talked about what we would need to do if we decided to take her back to the UK for a visit.  All seems straight forward, but not something we are considering doing.  We also changed the microchip address details from the UK to Portuguese ones.  Wanda was giving her worming tablets followed by a treat which she loved and then we were done.  I’m not great at remembering when things are due so we’ve arranged for reminders to call and book appointments.


Published by vinhadasalmas

a couple of fifty somethings who want to start a new life in rural Portugal

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