Monday, July 20, 2009


I’m back with a slightly darker sheen, a newfound appreciation for tiles and have come great strides in being able to urinate in the sea. Portugal was great fun and I’m sad to be back. I hate how holidays always feel like a distant memory as soon as you return home.

But, shall we recap?

Have a cup of tea, I’ll be mum.

Porto was our first stop. Home of Port (the drinking kind not the harbour), we managed to have a taste of the local specialty when we stumbled across a one man run restaurant. This sort of madly run restaurant seems to be our thing when we travel. This time, the dude was neither obese or lazy eyed, but he was a little odd with his communal menu that he shared around the four tables and the brisk pulling up and down of the dumbwaiter that delivered the food and cleared the plates. We also found this beautiful bookstore with an amazing red stepped and wooden carved spiral staircase that followed floor to ceiling bookcases filled with years old books. Another highlight of Porto was the shower at the place we stayed at. It had three nozzles in one shower. One standard, another with six jets and then a rather large over the head one. It was truly amazing and the coverage would put sponge baths to shame (not that I’ve ever had one but I imagine they’d get in there). Finally, Porto is where I discovered my love for tiles. All the facades of the houses and churches in the old town are covered with the most exquisite tiles. I want my house to have beautiful Portuguese tiles on the outside, wooden shutters on the windows, wrought iron balconies and maybe leafless vines subtley growing and creeping up the walls from the front door. Oh, that would be lovely.

After Porto we headed to Lisbon where I completely fell in love with the city. It just had a great feel to it with the hilly cobbled paths and tram lines weaving webs throughout the city. It was here I ate my top five meal of all time. We found this little Argentinean café in the Bairro Alto district, sitting in between a break of white chunky steps and the second to last in line of little eateries with outside tables set underneath hanging fairy lights and roaming street musicians with playing guitars in the background. Luke had a steak and I had the fish and both were delicious. Oh the sauce, oh the baby potatoes rubbed happily in butter and sea salt. Oh the animals that were sacrificed so we could gorge happily and then want to vomit with fullness after.

Then, for the last part of our trip we headed further south to Lagos which again, was stunning, with its sparkling green and blue waters and craggy rocks sheltering the beaches. Luke discovered soft sand and I in turn discovered the joy of being able to wee in the sea. I’ve recounted this story a few times and have been met with a few looks of disapproval at my joy, so I won’t go into too much detail because not everyone likes wee, poo and midget stories as much as me. Now, up until a week ago, I was unable to wee in the sea. This was a problem for numerous reasons and something I really wanted to conquer. Now, although technically I haven’t weed in the sea while ‘swimming’, my ‘aim’ has been close to full water contact and as Luke said, baby steps. This may actually be on of those stories that results me getting an email saying it didn’t make sense. Please let me know if you want me to elaborate further.

Lagos also enabled me to practice my French. Ah, how the lessons of 1994-1998 have totally come in handy all these years later. We stayed with this slightly crazy French lady called Angela. I think she thought I could speak French better than I could. I understood most of what she was saying, but when it came to constructing sentences other than just saying ‘oui, oui’ over and over again, my mind failed me. Mum, you would have been somewhat proud of my comprehension but not so proud of my construction.

This post is long for your eyes but for me, I feel like I’ve missed large chunks from a never ending trail of fun and interesting things we saw, ate and experienced.

It was great and I hope you enjoyed my rather long postcard.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I need to go on holiday because

I just had a meeting and used the following bullshit buzz phrases:

- 'We need to inject some more unique elements into this'
- 'We really need to dial up the be better aspect of that'
- 'That will be the hero headline, this is more just a creative wrapping'

Oh god.

Seriously, I need to go away to remember who I am.

I think Portugal is the place to do it. This time tomorrow, I'll be in Porto, injecting some custard tarts into my mouth.