Strictly speaking, yes I am an expatriate, but I cringe when I am referred to as an “expat” — the colloquial shortened form of the word.  I am not quite sure why this is.  It could be that I do not like to be associated with some of the negative connotations that have come to be associated with several “ex-pat” communities; or if I know consider myself to be a proper European who can live anywhere in Europe — or something else entirely.

Yes, I was born in the UK, raised in the UK, and still have a UK passport.  My coloring and skin type is most definitely English, as is my language.  However, now I have moved here and have little or no intentions of returning to the UK to live I think I am evolving into something else — something more than an expat!

On February 17, 2012 I wrote an article — When Doctors Fire Patients — that dealt with, among other things, the anti-vaccination efforts of some people — led by debunked semi-celebrity Jenny McCarthy — who believe childhood immunizations cause Autism even though there is, and has never been, any empirical medical proof for that claim.  When pressed for scientific evidence, the anti-vaccine believers simply talk about “mother’s intuition” and other nonsense that not only puts their non-immunized children at risk for disease, but the rest of society at risk as well as these unprotected children become certain carriers of diseases that should have been eradicated from the face of the earth.

I am not celebrating the death of Baroness Margaret Thatcher.  The passing of the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 was announced this morning.  It has been said that she is one of the most vilified and controversial of leaders of our time as well as one of the most socially divisive.

She was responsible for the privatisation of several state owned industries and was in Power when the UK went to war with Argentina over the invasion of the Falkland Islands.

I spent Monday morning sitting outside our local council tribunal in Odemira waiting for a civil case to be heard.

I came face to face with one of the few things in this life that makes me physically and mentally uncomfortable.  Unusually for a tribunal on the civil circuit as opposed to the criminal circuit — the local GNR (Guarda Nacional Republicana, the Polícia de Portugal) were “tooled up” — yep I was in the same room as a gun — in fact not just one gun — but four.

I wonder if Justin Bieber’s marketing and production team ever read the news beyond the current chatter about their teenage star.  I would love to know what they made of this morning’s juxtaposition of articles on the BBC about young Mr Bieber keeping his very young audience waiting for nearly two hours at London’s O2 Arena last night and a rather interesting piece about Insight Marketing which explore some of the techniques used by some advertisers and companies to deliver added value about their products and services.