In these days of economic crisis and general doom and gloom it’s easy at my wildly advanced age to become ever more Colonel Blimpish and whinge and moan constantly about how hard everything is, how nothing seems to work, how expensive Life is becoming, how, “it wasn’t like that when I was a kid” etc etc, and I do my fair share.
Recently, for example, I’ve been beating my gong about the ridiculous bureaucracy we have to fight our way through here in general – and principally the outrageous price that Turismo de Portugal has seen fit to burden all of us Birding Guides with by making it obligatory to have a license if we’re to take anyone birdwatching. 950 euros plus extra insurance; totally obscene in my opinion.
Y’see what i mean? There I go again; whinge whinge, moan moan, grumble grumble, and all the time my eyebrows become bushier, my nose redder, my hearing more selective and my blood pressure rises to dangerous levels, so it’s nice to balance this constant gripe with a tale of success, a tale to lighten your mood, a tale to bring a ray of sunshine into your life.
I don’t suppose this’ll help the great majority of the readers of this blog, but here y’go anyway …

To start with you must remember that the Quinta’s in the middle of nowhere, with the nearest town a good 45 minutes drive away; this has its advantages in that we live in gorgeous countryside with a view to die for and, apart from the bureaucracy, (careful Frank, keep your eye on the ball), very little stress, but it also has its disadvantages in that it’s a long way to go if an emergency takes one by surprise … like this morning when one of my teeth decided it didn’t want to be part of me anymore and took a hike. Saturday morning, oh blimey, now what do I do?
Well, more in hope than anything else, I rang our “local” dentist, a great practice in Odemira running under the name of Juvenal Patriarca, (for you local bods, 283 322678,, and was surprised when I was answered politely straight away. Explaining the situation I was told to come in, and an hour later was in the chair, with the job done within 45 minutes, at a very reasonable rate too, just 60 euros.
Brilliant! What an antidote to an irascible Colonel! Long may their practice thrive and I take my hat off to ’em and thank them sincerely. 10 o’clock tooth goes awol; 11.45 new one in place at dentist 45 minutes away. Stunning, efficient, friendly, well-priced service; I’m not used to it here at all. Perhaps they could have a word with Turismo de Portugal?
And what does that have to do with the picture of the Great Spotted Cuckoo above? Nothing at all, but I hope that the picture makes you feel as happy as I do today! Have a nice one!