Thursday, 29 January 2009

Military Man

Simões is unwell. And I don´t know what to do. He's seriously cheesed off and in persistant pain. I want to help him - but find myself reduced to nervous onlooking and ineffectual nursing.

Who is Simões? He's my partner. Other half. Man. And he's broken ...

Apparently the problem is related to some old military injury (Simões is military to the chromosones) and it's coming back to haunt him. It's related to the pattella and ball and socket joint in his right knee. He's now at the stage where he can barely walk.

We've been to the hospital. He's had x-rays etc etc. Unfortunately - the military here is a slow turning machine. And ... I suspect ... not overly concerned with the knee of one staff sargent. However - I disagree. Simões has given years of his life to the military - not to mention literally hundreds of top quality men during the time he marched them up hill and down dale ... whilst turning them into soldiers.

And so today we are sat ... him in pain. Me in worry. I'm hoping that either something can be done about it or at the least ... it starts to heal itself.

Other than that ... it remains bloody freezing. I continue to wrap myself up like an egyptian mummy. Oh and some news ... one of my sons is coming to live in Lisbon. Sometime in or around April. I can't wait! Some part of my family ... here with me.

How absolutely fabulous!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Being Female.

Yesterday, as the day was on the wane, I decided to remain in bed and continue to rest. I like to rest. So I did.
Consequently, as I wasn't rushing round trying to put fires out*, I watched some TV. A rare luxury. Resting and watching the box. Woohoo. Something I or my female counterparts won't have done since ohhhh…childhood *snorts* Anyway, it was interesting. Having never had the luxury to do it, I decided to treat myself by watching a soap opera. I expected to feel 'involved' with the characters because that's...well...what soap operas do for ya right?

It didn't actually work but that was possibly due to the fact that it was a Portuguese soap.

However, that said, I concur that the ‘standard’ is the same as say, Corrie or Eastenders. Lots of infighting, emotion, long stares and drama. Oh, and the sex of course. Not that you actually see any, its indirect sex. Must happen off camera then? Nevertheless, it did turn my mind back to the good old days, back in the UK. Hardly a day went by when a friend or acquaintance didn’t start trilling on about Kevin or Nick, Peggy or I don’t know, some other stock in trade character and oh my God…can you believe what he/she/they/the dog got up to? *yawns*

Ahhhh…now that’s when I started to realise that maybe…just maybe…my brain doesn’t fire quite the same as in other women. Because the answer is no, I don’t believe that so and so’s long-lost daughter finally turned up after 20 years with five kids to different men and oh my gosh she’s thinking of gender re-alignment and she’s already slept with half the square. And that is because I know something.

It’s not real. Honest. Its not. It’s make-believe. Like, ‘let’s pretend’ for grown-ups. Think Mickey Mouse, the Tooth Fairy. Santa Claus. IT'S. NOT. REAL.

And, while I'm on the soap agenda, why the hell are they called soap operas anyway? No-one ever washes their hands or uses the bathroom. And there's certainly no mezzo sopranos that order a G & T down the pub then suddenly burst into a rendition of 'L’amour est un oiseau rebelle'. I wish there was...
Call me a cynic but it's my belief that if S.O.s really did mirror reality, then half the population would be hedonistic, a quarter, crazy and the rest alcoholics, shopaholics and/or drug dependant.

Soap Opera conclusion: read a book. At least you'll know for sure that it's fiction and you won't start boring telling your friends/colleagues/me all about it.

*I’m not a firewoman, that was just an idiom. A practical way of saying “FFS, I haven’t got ten pairs of hands and eyes in the back of my bloody head. Oh, sorry…I have. I’m a WOMAN”

Monday, 12 January 2009

IBS, pineapple and cigarettes

I'm at home, lying in bed after a really shitty week that's been completely controlled by a nasty IBS attack. Desperation drove me off the chemical cures -didn't work - and headlong into an experimental few days with honey, ginger, pineapple, various vegetable organisms and a good dose of hope. All I can say is: all power to broccoli et al!

I have no idea what kicked it off - other than a trip to the UK. Maybe the fact that I eat differently when over there ... I don't know. All I know is I've had nothing but aggro since getting back.

Anyway. I'm learning Portuguese. Slowly. and thought I'd give my newly acquired crappy language skills a shot. Picture this: 40 something woman in a chemist, murdering Portuguese, trying to indicate to said pharmacist that she's under attack from IBS and all she can manage is to verb hop, point and gesticulate whilst providing a free show for other customers who all leave convinced that she's got something seriously wrong with her arse...

So - in case you're about to 'expatriate' yourself, seriously consider the pros and cons of what language the country you're considering can speak ... otherwise you'll fast ascend to the lofty heights of being the local village english idiot.

For those that do suffer IBS, a few links. Useful ones too.

Disclaimer: I don't endorse (or whatever) any of the sites. I just read through them. Then employed common sense. So should you.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Winter Whinging

Well January is kinda sneakin' on. Not to mention bloody cold. I'm sat here in wearing enough layers to call myself puff pastry. We have no indoor heating - a really bad idea in my opinion. I would rather have less money to spend in return for one of anyones basic human needs being covered - heat.
I intensely dislike being cold - and it's constant. Unless I remain in bed all day/all night - I'm cold to the marrow. The winters here are actually very mild, to what I'm used to. But - all the marble and tiling you find inside the average Lisbon apartment keeps them cool in summer ... and as the inside of a fridge in winter.

It's actually warmer outdoors ...

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year. Etc.

Ha - tis here again. The dawn of a bright New Year. Or maybe it's a dull one? It's definitely a cold one ...

I spent mine down the Praça do Comércio, along with ohhhhh ... a whole bunch of other people. There was a free concert plus mobile bars. Cool. Mobile toilets too. Not cool.

It would seem that the portuguese celebrate with family - if they have one. As in ... their little people, younglings - their children. I was almost lost in a sea of small folk - some hanging on tight to mummys hand, some a little older and the really young. The kind that laze around in chairs with wheels and expect the parents to do all the hard work ...

Are you amazed? I was. New Years Eve gets kinda rowdy in my neck of the woods. I never even considered taken my children with me on previous NYE's. Last night - I wished I was portuguese. Despite the alcohol, despite the merrymaking - I had a fabulous evening. And it was all the better for the fact that I was in great company ... and surrounded by little folk.

Portugal? Somethings you got absolutely spot on!