Posted in blogging, expatriate, hassle, re-blog, re-blogging, reblog, reblogging, repatriate, travel

COVID in Portugal: Dark Days

New year, same s—, apparently. Still waiting to travel. In the meantime, here’s how things are going in another country.

Piglet in Portugal

If last week was one of those weeks I would like to file in a box, firmly shut the lid, lock then hide the key on the top shelf of my bookcase, this week I have wanted to throw the key away.

At the beginning of January I made the conscious decision (NYR): not to listen to the news, read newspapers or Facebook to follow COVID deaths and new infection rate etc. I was also fed up of people still promoting COVID as a hoax, refusing to wear masks or respect the social distancing rules.

But as with most New Year resolutions, by the third week of January I succumbed to curiosity after a chance conversation on WhatsApp with the family who reported COVID figures here were rocketing.

I had a quick peep at the FB Groups: SafeCommunitiesPortugal and CORONA VIRUS UPDATES – PORTUGAL and was horrified by the number…

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Posted in blogging, expatriate, repatriate, travel

Once upon a time…

I used to write in this one blog. I pretty much abandoned it after I moved overseas, and especially abandoned it once I became a repatriate. Most of my writing has been done on this blog, so I mostly forgot about my first blog.

But lately, my travel nostalgia has increased because we can’t really go anywhere. (Gee, I wonder why.) I long for the days when I can travel again (but won’t hold my breath either). So a few days ago, I remembered my long-forgotten first blog and started reading through my first entries, and decided to share the blog here with you.

The writing on there (similar to this blog’s earlier years) is more reflective of a younger Spinster – more explanatory, long-winded and somewhat unnecessary; while also descriptive and younger, like a younger Spinster (maybe) should be.

If you decide to look at it, may it help quench your own wanderlust unless/until things return to “normal”.

And She’s Off! – Spinster’s Travels


Posted in blogging, expatriate, hassle, moving, repatriate, travel

7 year itch.

7 years ago today, I returned to the United States. It wasn’t something I wanted to do.

It’d been a lifelong dream of mine to live overseas. Unfortunately, that dream was dashed when I received notification from the Home Office that I overstayed my work visa (it was an accident on my part, but nonetheless). My now-former employer hadn’t provided me with proper guidance around renewing my work visa, along with numerous other shady things and, as a result, I was placed on unpaid leave, forced to attend the Home Office every week like a criminal, evicted from my beautiful apartment, and (voluntarily) involuntarily left my second home on this day 7 years ago. I had all intentions of returning overseas, but that didn’t work out and I gave up. And coming home, not everything was the same.

Time sometimes heals all wounds. After 7 years, many things have happened – good, bad, and everything in between – that gave me perspective and made me glad that I was forced to return home. But every once in a while, I’ll hear or see something or someone related to the United Kingdom that provokes negative emotions inside of me – anger, defeat, disappointment, jealousy, longing, great sadness. And I’ve come to realize that this god-forsaken pandemic has only exacerbated these feelings this October, which tends to be a difficult month because of the forced repatriation and other things.

But on the other hand, I want to go (to my second) home and visit my loved ones. Most of my time living there was alright, and I try to remember the good times.

But I can’t travel. And I won’t. I don’t want them to be at risk, and I don’t want to put myself at risk. But as annoyed as I am about these travel restrictions, I want to ensure that things are somewhat okay before I get back to globetrotting.

I want to travel more than I ever have because of this f***ing pandemic. Being unable to do so, not having any real control over that, the uncertainty, this invisible thing causing so much chaos and death and sickness all over the world… I’m over it.

Call all of this s***, the 7 year itch.

You sure about that lately?
Posted in blogging, expatriate, hassle, repatriate, travel

Grandparents Live in the Mobile Phone

Yep, understood. Wishing all of us/you the best.

Piglet in Portugal

I am convinced our youngest grandson thinks we live in his Dad’s phone. Thanks to the Coronavirus, we haven’t seen him since November 2019 when he was just nine months old. I doubt, given his age, he can relate to us in terms of flesh and blood – we are just characters like people on TV. We live in Dad’s phone. There but not there; people who disappear when he has the pleasure of pressing the ‘end call’ button.

It’s been tough witnessing his development via video calls through a screen 50 x 160mm. At his end, we are probably even smaller. His progression from crawling to taking his first steps, clapping hands, playing with his toys, reading books, bath time activities, and even his first words. 

I still remember the time our little granddaughter in France first saw us on the computer screen after a recent visit. Our daughter…

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Posted in blogging, expatriate, repatriate, travel

Ask Lonely Planet: how do I cope with little to no travel?

This came to my inbox right on time.

For the past couple weeks, I’ve been extremely nostalgic about my travels, especially my trip to South America a little over 3 years ago (which I still need to blog). I’ll admit while I can accept having to stay home because of this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I’m frustrated and saddened about being unable to move about – leave the country, travel solo, quench my thirst for history, relax somewhere else other than home. And yes, exploring locally is an option… but for me, it isn’t the same, especially when so many places are still closed.

So it’s a coincidence that this came to me a few days ago. It hasn’t completely gotten rid of my frustration and sadness about having to stay put, but it can help put things into perspective. If you feel the same way, maybe it can help you too.

Click here >>> Ask Lonely Planet: how do I cope with little to no travel?

Posted in blogging, expatriate, hassle, repatriate

Weekly Smile: An Act of Kindness

Good idea. Cheers.

Piglet in Portugal

Christmas is a-coming and the delivery men are in overdrive trying to deliver Christmas gifts. Finding our house is challenging enough, but when people do not provide our correct address, we are nigh on impossible to find. Needle and haystack springs to mind.

Our son ordered my Christmas present and told me it was on its way. It’s only a small lightweight parcel yet the delivery charge was almost half the value of the gift. I scratched my head as to why until I tracked the parcel online.
2 stops in the UK
1 in France
2 in Spain
1 in Lisbon
and then onto us.

I am not smiling at its carbon footprint, but I digress.

So what made me smile?

Now given vital details of the address were missing I am going to give the driver 10/10 for initiative!

When addressing packages we always ask people to include…

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Posted in blogging, expatriate, photography, repatriate, travel

This Sign Made Me Laugh!

Pure comedy.

Piglet in Portugal

We are plagued by wild campers who have no respect for the countryside. This sign near Praia da Amoreira made me laugh, and inspired me to write a poem which is also about crap!

Please Scoop Your Poop

Wild campers, (PLEASE) scoop your poop or dig a hole
we don’t want your faeces on our soles
nor your toilet paper strewn far and wide
PLEASE, I beg, respect our countryside.

Your pitch is priceless but we like to share
just leave no trace of your existence there.
And why take six parking lots when two would do?
Others also want to enjoy the view.

Indie Campers - Please Scoop Your Poop!

Check out Weekly Signs Meme at and/or why not join me and create your own fun A-Z of Pet Peeves.

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