So, after six weeks away in sunny Portugal – well, sunny most of the time – we had to make our way back to wet and cold British shores. We managed to wedge everything into the lorry and trailer and had a very smooth and uneventful four-day journey home.
It was lovely, although I didn’t have the most entertaining of companions. Jade – my groom out in Vilamoura who usually works for John and Laura Renwick – decided to stay out there for the final week so Laura’s other groom Jack travelled home with me. And I must say, he can sleep on the proverbial washing line!
He helped with the horses when we arrived at the travel stops and loading again when back on our way, but as soon as his head hit the pillow, he was asleep! In fact, he didn’t even need a pillow, I’m seriously impressed! We set off and were literally 10 min off the motorway and he was out cold and in the land of nod.
Admittedly, we didn’t have a great deal of sleep before we set off but he made up for it in the four days on the road. As a driver it is nice to have a bit of company to while away the hours, but Jack was probably awake a total of four hours tops when we were actually on the move. I’m not one who falls asleep easily and I’d love to know his secret. He sure didn’t need a day off when we got home!
We made great time travelling across Europe and although we were booked on the 11.20pm train we got on the 10.20pm train.
Lockdown is much stricter in Portugal and France – I was told in Portugal it is a 500 euro fine if caught not wearing a mask – and there was hardly any traffic, we flew through. Lockdown is definitely different in England, it doesn’t seem any different to normal.
Back home and it was back to unloading all the paraphernalia we’d packed to go. It is all unloaded but doesn’t appear to have a home to go to. And I have to catch up on the washing! Yes, I did do the washing as I went along in Vilamoura, but there is still load after load after load.
My life at the moment is pretty much self-isolating. Though I must admit, staying in the house and not having to go to the supermarket suits me. Isolation is for 14 days but I have done a swab test and waiting to get the results. A quicker result is from blood and my sister Beth offered to draw blood from my arm. Absolutely NOT!
The horses can take a bit of a back seat. Pete (NPS Andre) is going to have a little holiday while I will keep Miss Tangelo ticking over. She’s for sale and looking for a new postcode. The four-year-olds are back in and having shoes on to do a bit of work but mainly we are having a chilled-out couple of weeks. And with the cold wind and rain outside, I’m rather liking the warm fire indoors!
Photos © Jumping Around/courtesy Laura Mantel