Madeleine – M-Day 1 – restricted service

We are entering a couple of months when my normal focus on interesting-things-Madeleine is going to have to be restricted.

There are little annoying things buzzing around. Agora, estamos constipados. In Brazilian Portuguese, this would mean what it looks like, but being that we are in Portugal, it means that at the moment both of us have a cold, which is slowing us down a bit.

Today, Friday 31 Mar 2017 is M-Day 1. The kids (4 adults, 2 children, plus 1 dog) have to move out of Luz to Portelas. That means hiring a large van (not cheap!) and getting some friends to provide a lot of muscle power. We need to relocate most of their goods and chattel, and we need to move a heck of a lot of large items from our home to Portelas, to avoid another day of van hire and muscle power. Our ‘smaller’ items will then fit into our people carrier and our car trailer, and we can shift them bit by bit, as and when.

The builders are beavering away in Portelas, working on the middle and top layer, where the kids will reside. That is going to take another 2-3 weeks, so when they move today, their family is going to reside in the bottom layer temporarily, before the builders work on that part, and finally us oldies move into it. So the kids have another relocation, M-Day 2, from bottom layer to the top two in the offing. Oh joy!

The bottom layer is more than a bit cramped for 4 adults and two young children, plus a dog. So we have agreed to squeeze in our eldest grandchild to where we live in Luz now, until the builders are finished in the top two layers.

Now this grandson is a vegetarian. And since he is the only vegetarian in our family, he has had to learn to cook his own meals, and seemingly has become quite proficient at doing so. I have already challenged him to come up with a 3-course vegetarian meal consisting of his signature stater, main, and dessert, I intend to reciprocate while he is here, so I need to think about my 3-course signature veggie meal. It’s going to come in handy later, when all 8 of us are in the same house, because I would like to invite him to join us for the occasional meal together, and our new kitchen is ‘bijou’, so those particular dining occasions will be veggie only.

The other family event on the horizon is our ‘farewell’ party. At the moment, to allow the builders to change our lower level, we need to remain in our current location until end-May. That will be M-day 3. Apart from the cost of more rent, it means we can move across to Portelas at a more leisurely rate. More importantly, we have a swimming pool and a ‘posh’ garden here, whereas when we move we can’t have a pool and we will have a giant meadow, not a garden. So our farewell bash looks like being a pool and BBQ do in the garden.

The other non-Madeleine event I want to have a look at, given I will still be in Luz, is the 4th annual Luz triathlon, which should be around 25th April. I have been to the last two and for some reason my amateur photographs of this event attract (modest) world-wide attention. Whatever, I have an enjoyable day whilst topping up my vitamin D.

On the Madeleine front, two occasions spring to mind. In April, Martin Grime is scheduled to talk at an international conference on the use of dogs in specialised police work. This is to take place in a part of Spain that I happen to be fond of, and were it not for the fact that our family has to relocate in this period, I would cough up the money to have a holiday there and attend the conference.

And the other one is obviously the 10th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance. The schedule of building refurb in Portelas means that I will be in Luz on 3 May 2017. I am simply not sure how much time I will be able to devote to this anniversary. I don’t think this is important, because I treckon the media coverage will tell its own tale.

Due to the other priorities in our family life, the amount of time I can spend Madeleine-ing is likely to get severely restricted over April and May. Normal service should resume sometime in June 2017.

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