Saturday, 25 May 2013

Sorting, packing....Portugal

Since I last updated two months ago, we've been busy making arrangements to move to Portugal.  The list was long, over 300 items, I am an inveterate list maker and it does give one a sense of accomplishment when things start to get crossed off.

We found a house in Portugal and have rented it for a year beginning in July of this year, with an option to buy in a year's time.  It's a lovely old stone house, which has been covered with cement render, the custom in southern Portugal.  It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a lovely large kitchen, a small office, a cosy living room and a flat rooftop with built-in seating.  My favourite part of the house is the interior atrium, open to the sky, with a cobbled floor, a lovely sunny spot to enjoy year round.

During the same week that we found the house, we found a small restaurant for sale.  No pictures of that just now, we will wait until we've taken possession before posting any information about that.

For the past 10 weeks we have been sorting, selling, packing and chasing paperwork, lots and lots of paperwork.  Because we are non-EU immigrants we will need to have Residents Visas, which require police checks, health certificates, medical insurance for six months, and a lot more.  Once all the papers are put together, they must be translated into Portuguese and then notarised.
While of of this paperwork is being attended to, there's the other paperwork, the Canadian stuff: closing Internet accounts, and the oil company, the phone company, the electric company, and so on.

Then there is the endless yard sale that's been going on for six weeks, books, furniture, household goods, hobby items, gardening tools, and anything with a motor.  The different electrical system in Europe means it isn't worthwhile shipping these things over.  So what are we taking?  Clothing, a few books, my knitting machines, hand tools for my carpenter husband, and a few family heirlooms. 

We are all quite fed up with sorting, packing and taking endless trips to the thrift shop and the dump.  And we have embraced a new philosophy that less is more.  With fewer possessions it seems there's more time for just living, enjoying one another's company, reading, tending to the garden and doing more of the things we enjoy.