You may have noticed that I have been absent a while — there are two reasons for this. The first was losing my internet lifeline — the first storm of the season rendered our already stressed internet connection null and void. 13 kilometers of line had to be replaced along with some of the electricity lines.

There is no rush here in Portugal to undertake such work — SAPO who own all the lines and infrastructure are next on the privatization list and do not want to invest in capital at present — the internet providers who have to use the infrastructure, and pay to do so, quite understandably have no desire to fix a problem that is not theirs.

For economic reasons, I decided I was not going to ship my once state of the art gaming computer to Portugal when I moved.  “The Beast,” as she was known, would have almost doubled my shipping costs by the time all the relevant insurances had been applied.  It was simply not worth it.

She was sold to friend with whom I hear she is very happy.

This meant that when I got here I shared a computer with Mr P.  As anyone knows, sharing a computer is a delicate affair at the best of times and although we did not come to blows or even utter a cross word it soon became apparent that we needed another computer.