Its taken a long time to get going again

It’s took me a long time, a whole week to get going again after a short holiday. Here’s why.

The house we stayed in  while in Portugal

The house we stayed in while in Portugal

First excuse is Portugal

Barby and I went to stay with University friends of mine. They have a house in the mountains near Monchique, Portugal behind the Algarve coast. Here are some of the memories:

  • Freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast made from oranges picked that morning. Orange juice out of a carton just isn’t the same.
  • A very disabled-friendly walk. A wooden boardwalk along the coastline at Lagos. This is a fantastic way to see the dunes, a marshland nature reserve and masses of birds.
  • We saw people kite surfing, just like wind surfing but instead of a sail you use a kite
  • sStunning food in the local restaurants

It was a genuine break, 5 days without my computer; the longest time without it since I took medical retirement.

The boardwalks near Lagos

The boardwalks near Lagos

Late May is an ideal time of the year to go. Its not too hot, the days are long and the air is crisp with good visibility

Second excuse, I was given a day’s sailing

Sailing in a tall ship for my sixtieth birthday. The sailing is organised through the Jubilee Sailing Trust. These trips are designed for people of all abilities, this includes people in wheelchairs and those with learning difficulties. As a child and teenager I did a lot of sailing and I have done none since then.

Jubilee Sailing Trust, Lord Nelson

Jubilee Sailing Trust, Lord Nelson

Booked on a day trip out of Poole

The boat was the Lord Nelson and we  had to be ready to board at 8.30 in the morning. We decided to drive down from home so had to leave at 5.30 in the morning – eeek. We arrived with time to spare.

Seeing a tall ship moored against the quay that we were going to board was romantic as well as impressive. At 8.45 we were on board, being briefed and eating bacon butties. We took my wheelchair but in truth I could have survived quite happily without it.

Everyone had a chance to climb the rigging up to the crow’s nest. Not for me, I knew my left foot lacked the coordination and my legs would not be strong enough. Instead I had a long stint on the wheel. It was sailing by compass.  At one point the rudder was 10 degrees off straight ahead but I was keeping to the compass setting. When I used to sail it was not so organised and dependent upon the tide and wind.

Patrick at the wheel of the Lord Nelson

Patrick at the wheel of the Lord Nelson

The Lord Nelson has a hydraulic rudder so there is no sensation of the pull on the rudder from the wind and tide. I have definitely got the bug and I’m going to try to organize a longer trip next year.

That was our holiday

Very relaxing and totally different from anything that I have done for the last few years. When the holiday was over then any excuse and I would be out in the garden talking to the flowers or rearranging my CD collection. Do I order them by artist name, where I bought them or when I bought them (thank you Nick Hornby).

Eventually I had to bite the bullet, e-mails were backing up and they had to be answered. I had to check if my web site is now mobile phone friendly, is it? I think it is but please let me know if you spot a glitch. It was a lovely week’s holiday, no computer and no e-mails. The abiding memory has got to be very fresh orange juice for breakfast. I wonder what it’s like with gin or vodka as a pre-prandial. I will tell you next year.

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