The Importance of Staying Positive and Upbeat

This week I decided to participate in Natalie’s Weekend Coffee share. A first. So What’s been going on in my life?

It’s been a strange week. A couple of weeks ago I injured my right hand. Namely my mouse finger, or as it was once referred to, the index finger. After several days the pain became so intense I finally plucked up the courage to make an appointment to see my doctor. I had several aches and pain, worries and anxieties I’d put on hold, thanks to COVID, so when I walked into her surgery and she asked how I was feeling, let’s just say she got a laundry list.

My problems aside the first thing that struck me was how tired she looked. Exhausted. Her hair like mine normally cut and coloured, now bedraggled and in desperate need of attention. And her eyes once bright sunken and world-weary. I stress about going to the hospital but imagine working there every day – hands-on- examining a constant stream of patients and not only diagnosing their physical problems but assessing their mental health as well. Like cars people also have batteries and if they are not recharged they will gradually go flat.

My finger aside, we had a very long chat about dealing with COVID depression and forcing ourselves to break the cycle, see friends (socially distanced of course), get out of the house and break the monotony. Go to the beach, walk (in my case not far), treat ourselves to a meal out, take coffee. There are no tourists at the moment so a lot of restaurants and cafes are empty. The message was clear: get out and do SOMETHING every day. Even if it’s only for 30 minutes. Don’t become a prisoner of fear. I’d had a similar conversation re learning to deal with the NEW Normal a while back… but it’s easy to regress into lethargy each of us in danger of morphing into a new breed of hermit while we wait to be called for the vaccine our ticket to freedom and release life’s ‘pause’ button.

The doctor nearly fell off her chair when I aksed her how she was coping. It is easy to forget, doctores are people too.

A new beginning. We moved up three gears.

Our first meal out

A meal at our favourite pizza restaurant. We chose a table outside on the terrace and the owner came out to greet us. We had not eaten there since last November.

A pizza never tasted SO good. At 50cm long, it is a pizza to share.

and while on a roll a banoffee dessert was a must.

followed by Lemoncello

We decided to return and bring friends with us on Friday.

Time for coffee we moved onto the Marina. Empty. Normally, the place is heaving with people.

Maybe I’d just skip the coffee and order a cocktail and spoil myself while I enjoyed the rare tranquility.


We walked further along the marina and found a bar/restaurant serving a full English breakfast. When was the last time we had a full English? I’m not a big fan but a taste of home is comforting. A date in the diary for another day!

A walk on the wild side

The following day a gentle stroll along the clifftop road taking photos of wildflowers

and marvelling at the fisherman

fishing from the clifftops
fishing from the clifftops

The views up the estuary from above Amorieara beach with the promise to walk to the bottom of these steps next week and take a flask of coffee and hopefully some tea bread. Smiles sweetly at Mr Piglet.

Maybe it was fate but as we turned to walk back to the car and cafe restaurant with stunning views over the beach and up the estuary removed the chain across the entrance and opened for business. Yes, we’d come back another day.

a date with an… English Breakfast

The following day we decided to make the most of the lack of tourists and semi-reasonable weather and returned to the Marina for a cooked breakfast. Neither of us could remember the last time we’d eaten a full English breakfast!

HP sauce is a must …

Then a little retail therapy … haha

A trip to two DIY shops to find a timer for the irrigation system, ant powder and slug pellets.

Before the journey home, we drove into the car park of our favourite restaurant on the off-chance of a parking space – normally you have to park a mile away and walk. Yep,. our lucky day. Not only did we manage to park, and the parking was free, we also found a table in the shade. A nice G and T while we enjoyed the view.

A plus!

We also discovered what a QR code is and how it works. Most impressed we got the menu on my phone. Tep, I am a dinosaur and proud of it!

then a lesiurely drive home before an hour of three gardening,

Tosta Mista

True to our challenge and our word we returned to the restaurant overlooking the beach and estuary and enjoyed a coffee and tosta mista com cebola. In its heyday David Cameron (ex British Prime Minister) and other Portuguese dignitaries ate here. Covid is a great leveller and the restaurant is now deserted

the next day

A surprise telephone call!

Friday dawned and feeling lazy I took a leisurely breakfast and a late shower. We were not due to meet our friends at the Pizza restaurant until 12.30.

Mr P started nagging me about my injection … so feeling upbeat and the need to take positive action and at least take some control of my life, I called the number I’d been given to check on /book COVID vaccinations. Everyone I knew in my age group had received notification for an appointment and I’d heard nothing. The website where I tried to book had put me on a waiting list… but how long is a piece of string and I am not getting any younger!

I’d tried the number on numerous times over the past few weeks and had never got through so imagine my surprise when someone picked up the phone! Albeit they did not speak English. I panicked. Despite studying Portuguese for many years I still speak very little and without body and sign language, telephone calls are a non-starter. I managed my name and health card number. Yes, I was on the system but no matter how hard we tried the poor woman could not make me understand. I started to cry with despair, thanked her apologised and ended the call.

Two hours later I was just drying myself aafter my shower when the call came in.

Mrs xx,

yes… I answered suspiciously. The only unsolicited calls I usually receive on my mobile are from Meo the mobile phone provider trying to sell me something.

Can you come for your COVID injection between twelve and two today at xxx? What time can you come?

… twelve.

I was so excited and time short I almost run out to the car naked!

I arrived, booked in and discovered I was to have the Pfzer injection. YaY! This meant I got my top up jab in 4 weeks.

What a perfect end to the week

And to top it off the friends we were due to meet for pizza and had to cancel at the last minute brought us round some English cheddar and stayed for a mini celebration… I drunk water.


23 thoughts on “The Importance of Staying Positive and Upbeat

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  1. I found my way here via Notes from the Hinterland and it was a thoroughly enjoyable read seeing some of Portugal. How nice for you that the cafes and restaurants are still open and you can enjoy the peace and quiet. I imagine the proprieters would be glad for the business and most attentive.
    It was thoughtful of you to ask how the Doctor was faring. I was thinking the other day that they must be under quite a lot of strain, and for those in the front line: constant risk. So glad I discovered your blog 🙂


  2. What beautiful photos. I agree that Covid depression is a real thing. It’s not healthy. My family and I have worked this entire time so we have not really “quarantined” because it’s not possible, so I think that helped us, but there have definitely been frustrations and emotional tolls when all you see is such negativity and people against people. That has been what has drained me, is all the strife.

    That pizza looks amazing.

    I love what you said that doctors are people too, it’s easy to forget all that others are going through.

    Have a good rest of your week.


  3. Welcome to Weekend Coffee Share!

    Congratulations on getting your vaccinations sorted out despite a rocky start!

    That pizza! And the fry up! Lovely outings!

    So good that you managed to have a chat with the Doc – clearly she was very glad to speak with you too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Pip.
    I’m sorry for being so late to drop by for a visit.
    I got tied up last weekend with writing and have learned that when the muse is on the move, I best just go with it, so I did. As a result I have a 7-8000 word story pretty close to being ready to share.
    Your tour looks wonderful and I’m still trying to figure out those guys fishing from the cliff. . . Why -?
    I was drooling over your photo of the full English breakfast. I love it too.
    Okay, I’ll let you get back to life. I just did not want to miss your first coffee share with us. I’ve been doing it for about 3 years now.
    Hope you guys are well and loving life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Gary. Yes, once the muse is on the move you must follow its lead. Good news on the story. Do you self-publish or submit? Did you ever belong to . Three of us took over the site a couple of years ago and he has just had a total revamp

      The fishermen are crazy! Many lose their lives . I am not a huge fan of English breakfast but it was on my list of all the things I’d like to do when we came out of lockdown. Strange what you miss!


  5. Sounds so nice and peaceful, the perfect way to ease back into life and accept (not like, necessarily, but accept) this new normal.


  6. Yay is right! Lovely to see a picture of you and lovely to see all the meals you had and the places you went. I think many of us have fallen into a pandemic funk. I know I have. And how burned out health care workers must feel! At any rate, a wonderful timely post. May I share this post on my Friday favorites this week?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funk is a good word and the doctor had it spot on. Our mental state impacts on our physical well being. I felt so sorry for her.. she used to be really glam. How she keeps going with so much empathy and kindess is beyond me.

      Yes, of course you can share.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats on getting your first dose of the vaccine! The weather and scenery in your area look fabulous. I’d go out every day and enjoy it, especially without crowds. Welcome to Weekend Coffee Share! I replied to your comment on my blog and mentioned the InlInkz link in case you didn’t notice it. It’s optional to enter. Have a wonderful week!

    Liked by 1 person

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