Monday, 5 March 2012

Best laid plans and all that...

It's been a strange couple of weeks - I set off to darkest Derby to visit a man who said he could fix my hands (my old doctor in Paris who I last visited has now retired), travelling first class on British rail (advance ticket £40, bargain!). I booked a hotel, return journey and 10 days off work to recover, only for said Doctor to tell me he couldn't do anything, and that I needed surgery, and he could recommend a place 10 miles from home. So I got the next train home, didn't fancy the delights of Derby on a wet Wednesday.

So while I was trying to decide whether to go back to work or take advantage of a little holiday, LF turned up on the thing lead to another and a couple of days later found the two of us flying to Portugal for a short break. Now I probably should have thought this through beforehand, but to embark on a 10 day holiday with a women you've broken-up with twice in the last 6 months isn't the best of ideas. This truth dawned on me on the first day while walking around Lisbon. Old town with narrow cobbled streets full of smells and sounds - is this romantic (European idea) or just another old town that needs pulling down and replacing with new skyscrapers (South American mind-set)? It went downhill from there. We hired a car and went to Sintra - lovely old castle or pile of rocks? Drove down to the Algarve - quaint fishermans villages with sandy beaches or ....? I'm sure you've got the picture. We did find a lovely hotel up in the mountains with a Spa where they gave a fantastic room, breakfast included and free massage for the princely sum of 40 Euros, but even this wasn't enough to stop the moaning. So I booked another flight and came home early, back to work to the suprise of all my work colleagues. Ah well, another experience to add to the filing cabinet of life. Portugal was nice though, I'll probably go back there (alone), hopefully on the Triumph if Sandy ever finishes it.

Lisbon view

Moorish castle

Trams move so slow the graffiti artists are in heaven

Police vehicles

Problem with pigeons?

Sintra castle

Transport options


Not bad for 40 Euros


  1. Great pictures. Portugal looks like it could be fun.....with the right person.

    Even though your days off weren't as planned at least you found a place to ride to when you get your bike back. Price seems reasonable.

  2. El D:

    what a tease you are !!! You purposely aimed your camera too far right on your last snap. We need a better GF photo.

    I have bad memory, I can't remember what the problem was with your hands, which require surgery.

    your GF was probably lonely and wanted . . .

    take care
    Riding the Wet Coast

  3. All women are mad - only the degree varies. That is the secret of life!!!

  4. Have you thought of taking up welding? It is very therapeutic. When I am struggling with my degree, or had a disagreement with a friend, I go off and weld some EN8 - it is quite challenging but good fun.

  5. Affer - you are right of course, but sometimes when I'm in close proximity to one, my memory fails me.

    Alice - I did try welding once, but the stick kept getting stuck on the workpiece. I suspect you are referring to advanced welding of exotic materials, which I'd love to try. I am however, the type of engineer that has a big hammer in the toolchest, and a bigger one on the workbench!

    Bobskoot - Dupuytrens contracture; I actually tried to get the bitch out of the picture but she moved!

    Trobairitz - Portugal - cheap, good wine and food, friendly people. I will go back.

    Regards, El Diente