Today we returned to the house in Alcácer do Sal, time to photograph and measure up rooms ready for advertising the house for sale. I have to say it looks and feels much better in the sunlight.

This must be my fifth or sixth visit to the house, we went up and back in a day today but we have spent one night there in the past. I was reminded of that today as I lay down for a ten minute rest in the heat of the afternoon.

I am like most people I know, the first night spent in a different bed is not as good as sleeping in your own bed, the mattress is wrong, the lumps and bumps in it are not your lumps bumps and this unfamiliarity often leads to a restless night.

When you have a restless night you are increasingly aware of strange and unfamiliar noises. The night we spent there was no exception.

There were clunks and gurgles worthy of Victorian plumbing — except the plumbing that night was turned off because of a water leak. As it was the middle of the night I was not about to get up and go exploring.

I had just laid down this afternoon and there it was again — “Clunk — gurgle — gurgle — Clunk.” This time I was in a position to get up and hunt down the source. I followed the noises to the kitchen — perhaps it was the plumbing after all.

I turned into the doorway and there it was again — the guilty culprit standing there in front of my eyes:  Caught it !

Yes the culprit is the fridge — standing there chattering away like a huge aged R2D2.

This however is not any old fridge — it is an original Kelvinator that is over 60 years old and it is still working — albeit noisily.

It still has all its original parts; it has never had to be repaired. It even has most of its “instruction badge” remaining on the inside door.

Customer and curiosity satisfied!


  1. Oh, we are so blastedly the same, Nicola! Any little sound that I don’t recognize, I cannot rest until I have defined it and memorized in the brain bank. You can imagine how bonkers that makes Janna Marie. I do spend a lot of time wandering the house in the night… SMILE!

    Love the photos! Rich and keen! Will you keep the fridge? Beware! Jack Malmstrom may steal it from you. I think his refrigerator is even older! He prefers using antiques in real life!

    That’s some day trip you took. Google Maps says either 3.5 or 4 hours one way! Did you drive the coast side, the middle or the longer center route?

    Is that a Christmas Cake crown atop the appliance? Or am I wishful thinking?

  2. Oh poor Janna ! I am so bad I will only buy one make of car with a diesel engine – because I recognise the noises, I know when a bearing has gone, or if the hub cap is loose.

    I hope to keep the fridge – a lot will depend on where I wind up and if we have room for it – I would be rather sorry to lose it.

    Hummmmmmmmmmmmmm maybe need to check your reference points on google maps – it takes us about an hour and a half – we stop en route. Our route is Vila Nova to Sines. Then take the IP8 , then the IC 33 around Santiago do Carcem, Back onto the IP8 around Grandola then on to the N120 IC1 into Alcacer.

    Sadly it is a “folar da pascoa” – Portuguese Easter Cake.

    1. I so enjoy the “one make of car” story! Janna will love it as well as she runs screaming down the hallway! Ha! Every noise the neighbors make I must know the why of it, and once I figure it out, the sound no longer bothers me. I never bother the neighbors about it… I only bother Janna…

      I love that fridge. What character it has!

      Hmph! Here’s what the Google says based on my quick check:

      Let us know who and what went wrong where and when and why!

      Oh. At least it’s a cake! SMILE!

  3. Love the fridge and the pics! I sleep easily under most circumstances but weird sounds bother me as well! I eventually just accept the sound as part of the background.

  4. Neighboour noise is one of the reasons I think I prefer to live without them !

    try putting Vila Nova de Milfontes, Odemira, Portugal in the other box – I think there must be a village called Alentejo near where the pin is on your map.

    it was a cake – but one full of nuts!

      1. I cannot imagine living in apartment – not only would I have to know my noises but all theirs too !

        Glad the map qorked the second time ! Why the first time it sent you there is beyond me,

        1. It’s pretty awful living in a four storey wooden box. The key is to live in an elevator building — five storeys or more. An elevator should mean the floors and walls are made of concrete and not wood. That helps a lot with noise.

  5. Now that is some appliance there. they surely don’t make them like that anymore – it really is amazing – I can just imagine the noises that must come out of it…

    1. It should have a walk on part in the Aadams Family movies ….would fit in there with all the creepy noises and dodgy lighting and sound affects.

  6. @ David – 4 storey wooden box now has me curious – in the middle of a city ? That must be deafening – without the intersection being mechanically dug up!

    1. Yes, and my office is in the basement of the building, so I can feel them slamming stuff into the ground right next to me. Luckily, Jersey City is built on bedrock, so I’m not worried about anything topping over, but stones do, indeed, conduct sound quite well!

      The building codes in USA Eastern cities are usually this from the 1930’s to the 1990s: 1-4 storeys, you can be an all-wood structure and have just stairs — anything above that and you have to be concrete and steel and stairs and elevator.

      We’ve usually lived in big buildings, but this one is our first “wood” apartment house. Yes, you can hear every little creak and crinkle from everyone. There are 8 shotgun apartments in this building, so any little noise carries. We’re fortunate that people seem to realize that and stay pretty quiet, but smells of cooking and cigarettes waft through the walls and ducting at all hours of every day.

      I read somewhere that undefined sounds are what make apartment dwellers insane. Once you know the sound being made, then you’re mind can let it go. The trick is finding out a way to know what is making the noise… I swear the woman who just moved out above us would roll a bowling ball on her wooden floor/our ceiling for hours on end every night. Drop. Roll. Drop. Roll.

      Here’s a small rant on the topic:

  7. I can understand the going insane bit ……………….. now I am wondering just what the woman above you is doing – any children or pets she is playing fetch with – or is it some exercise routine !

    love the rant !

    1. She’s gone now. No children. We have two buildings owned by the same landlord. One building is noisy and for families and kids, the other has turned out to be quiet for singles and people without kids. Works great!

      The woman above us was tiny, but a heel walker. BANG! BANG! BANG! every step she took. She was from the UK. The new person appears to be a man, quiet, and walking in his work boots is quieter than when she would walk barefoot.

    1. Oh, I would have loved to call her a “pounder” to her face — maybe she would have purchased a clue. Many complaints against her from those who live opposite of her and opposite of us, too. Her cousin, who would visit from the UK for weeks at a time, was even MORE of a POUNDER! Gaaaah!

  8. Great pictures, they seem very surreal in their age. I have such a love/hate relationship with creepy things that go bump in the night– I often end up having sleepless nights after spending way too long reading creepy, “unexplained” accounts. Good thing this one ended up easily explained!

  9. I can see this one oozing frozen ice in a horror movie …….

    I am very relieved to know just what was causing the noises – hopefully I will sleep better next time I am there.

Comments are closed.