Hubby and I came to Portugal in September 2009, with Guinness, an animal shelter canine, the most spoilt thing on four legs north of the Antarctic, and Idi, an African grey parrot named after “His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular, and the uncrowned last King of Scotland. Although I have fed Idi for over 40 years, he still bites me.
My formative years were typically Portuguese and I speak the language, albeit with an archaic vocabulary. The modern vernacular never made it down south to Mozambique. Although I have been exposed to Portuguese norms, culture and history all my life, I was quite unprepared for the shock of swapping a South Africa way of life for one in Portugal – rigid bureaucracy and all the formality. Thank goodness for the divine food and wine, the beautiful landscapes and the rich traditions that abound. And, of course, the friendly people.
We live in Cascais where I carve ostrich eggs and, for fun, host a local English language pub quiz with hubby. We do a bit of travelling and I am a computer games addict!