Today I am waiting for the email with the news that will change our lives. That will make us jump around the room with glee. Hurrah, open the beers, put up the bunting! Our plan will finally go into action. But wait….we’ve not had that email yet.
It has been nearly a year since we accepted the offer on our house in England and moved away from our pretty English country cottage with genuine roses round the door, piled into the car and pointed it towards Portugal. We miss our old home, mainly because we are living in a house we are renovating at the same time and brick dust is everywhere, plumbing is random and the electricity has only recently been updated. Yet we have found two delightful houses near Lisbon, we have offered on both, we should have been given the decision on Tuesday but life is stretching itself out, until maybe I will go mad with anxiety. The click of an answer phone when we call to chase an answer makes us boil over. Time for a cup of tea. Or ‘cha’ in Portuguese. Not ‘char’ but ‘sha’ as the lady in the village shop corrected me when I went to purchase a packet.
In the background my husband is removing another jarful of ticks from the dog, despite the collar. I can hear the shouts of mock delight as he pulls off another one. She had muscle spasms the other night and I thought she was going to die. She was leaping around the next morning. Was it caused by ticks? Had she eaten something strange? The dog will eat anything vegetable or mineral. Or that is tiny and runs. Or flies. Let’s put it this way, I didn’t need to bother with fly spray last summer. I am pinging back and forth to my emails while writing this. Still no news. The list of what we are waiting for is endless. Houses, tax codes, schools.
I’ll take the dog for a walk and maybe when I come back…. The Portuguese countryside is incredibly beautiful at the moment. I thought I would miss English spring flowers, the daffodils that adorn the verges as you approach the village, the blossom in the orchard, bluebells, dandelions, daisies. Here though, in Castelo Branco, every field is a wildflower meadow. Wild lavender, gorse, fennel, grow wild by the tracks and line the vineyards and olive groves, taking my breath away. Bright pink flowers with yellow centres dip among the pines, delicate blue petals flutter in the light wind, and bushes spawning huge white leaves hang lazily over hedges as though bored by all the sunshine.
On my walks I have seen frogspawn in puddles, toads in water holes, crickets with their babies, butterflies, trails of caterpillars nose to tail. On the last walk we stopped in our tracks. A badger stared at us from up ahead then darted into the scrub. Sheep are herded past my son’s school and donkey and carts amble through the village.
But still no email.