5pm? Visiting time at the cocktail bar, I believe. Ah, you just can’t beat watching the sun set over the River Tagus in Lisbon. Warm temperatures, Tourists milling about in the Praça do Comércio, your best girl by your side…
Unfortunately that was visiting time three years ago this week 🙁 Sadly, we’re still in drizzly Yorkshire as we settle in to our new home. I won’t lie, I think we left a little of our hearts behind in Lisbon. There was something so special about seeing all the Christmas lights and street performers doing their thing in the soft evening sunshine. You’re very welcome to read all about our two visits to Portugal’s capital here and here.
Last time we said we’d see you on the other side of our move south – and here we are! It’s still a bit cardboard city in the apartment but we’ll need to manage until February next year. Our fitted wardrobes can’t be installed until then. We managed to generate quite a list of snagging issues, but on the whole the builders have been very responsive. As we speak there’s a burly joiner drilling holes in our beautiful oak floor to stop a particularly annoying creak – eek! We’re assured that by applying a matching wax, the repairs will be rendered invisible to the eye. We’ll see… or more hopefully we won’t.
That said, regular readers will know that our lives are never without a major disaster or two, and we hate to let you down. We have to have the builders back in January to rip out the floors in both bedrooms and the hall. When we hung our pictures and mirrors on the walls, they all looked a bit skew-whiff, despite the spirit level saying they were perfectly straight. Then we realised that it was the furniture below which was all cockeyed.
When the mill we live in was being converted, the builders retained the sturdy 200 year-old floors but didn’t compensate for the gentle sag on our level. It’s structurally sound and ridiculously thick, with acoustic and fire-proof layers above and below. It just sags. A lot! So – we’re having a false floor fitted in the new year; hopefully a flat one so that Gill’s lipstick will actually stay put on the dressing table rather than making a bid for freedom every morning.
Despite these few teething problems we’re still glad to be here. Our nearest town, Skipton, is a fabulous place to wander round with its Castle, the weekly markets in the historic High Street, and all the speciality food and drink shops*. The Leeds-Liverpool Canal runs through the heart of the town so we can’t wait for summer sunset boat trips. There’s lots to look forward to, when and if the promised normality returns post-Covid.
The only metaphorical grey cloud on our horizon (there are plenty of real ones) is poor Vince. As we said in our last post, we have to store him some distance away because there’s no space here. Our storage spot is right beside the A1(M) where there’s a lot of building work going on. It’s so filthy that even the rain falls as mud.
The pouring rain didn’t help when we brought him down from Scotland so he was pretty manky even back then. Now we can add a healthy growth of green algae into the mix as well. He’s looking really sorry for himself. We arranged a visiting time at the storage site yesterday to check he’s ok and to take him for a run to charge up his batteries. That added another layer of gloopy Yorkshire mud to his paintwork. So much so that we were embarrassed to park him anywhere where he could frighten the horses and small children. We had to settle for a lunch stop at a deserted Eggleston Abbey, not far from Barnard Castle (no time for an eye test), before returning him to his storage spot.
Back at the storage site, I patted his steering wheel and promised I’d be back next week with buckets, brushes, shampoo and polish so I can give him a right old seeing to. After all these weeks he started up first time, so he really deserves a bit of TLC poor fella.
We’ve had so much to do around the new place that we haven’t really thought too much about nights away. Now that we’re getting a little more ship-shape I’ve checked out our favourite app – searchforsites. It seems that there are many pubs in the Dales which offer stopovers for weary (or dirty!) travellers if they eat and drink there. So who knows? Keep your eyes open during the next series of All Creatures Great and Small, and you might see a baldy white satellite dome attached to a pig-sty of a motorhome drifting along above a hedge in the background
Take care until then!