More practical outputs this week. The NIF application has been completed. Initially, there was a need for a video call to verify my identification. However, my photographic images and three signatures are such a close match, they are content to proceed without this call.
Just need to wait for the final letter detailing my NIF. Hopefully preceded by an email in the next week or so. The next step will be to open a Portuguese bank account. Fingers crossed, that will be as smooth as the NIF.
Over the last week, I’ve also done my self-assessment. While I don’t begrudge paying my taxes, and I only need to pay them because I’ve earned the income, there is still a hesitancy to submit the return. Then, with flashing lights and sirens, HMRC kindly advises that I now need to pay a few quid. Well, maybe without the fanfare.
Also this week, I’ve booked a research visit to Portugal for September. Very exciting.
Flights booked, accommodation booked, car hire booked and travel to the airport sorted. Checked and double-checked that, should Covid decide to cause more problems, refunds and change of dates are possible.
Ten days in Portugal. I’ll be flying in, and out, of Porto. I’ve organised the key logistics of the trip. Everything else can now work around this. Whilst most of my days are ‘to be decided’, the final day will be spent in Porto.
I’m basing myself to the west of the Serra da Estrela. Hopefully reasonably strategically located to cover some key areas of Central Portugal. The list of towns to visit is quite lengthy. I’ll start prioritising those places I want to visit and then begin to sketch out a plan.
Mind you, I need to keep reminding myself to get a balance between rest, relaxation and research. I aim to have a couple of days walking around the Serra da Estrela as well as visiting a friend.
So the next three months will be planning where to go and what to do. There will need to be a balance between seeing the towns and properties for sale in that area. I’m thinking I’ll focus on towns and then look at properties for sale thereafter. But I’ve been pinning properties for sale on to a map and there are a few ‘hotspots’ so that will also help with locations.
Admittedly, giving myself three months is probably a little excessive. But, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I am trying to have a measured approach rather than jump in both feet. Reading social media posts, which isn’t always the best approach, there are a huge number of people who are trying to do everything yesterday.
I am a gold medalist at procrastinating or talking myself out of doing something. But the planning for Portugal is about doing it right. The other gold medal I have is doing things wrong. Well. Not necessarily wrong, but certainly not in the best way. So I’m tackling this in a steady and disciplined way.
Reminder to self. This isn’t a Place in the Sun and I need to find and make an offer on a property all within an hour. Yes, I know. It’s filmed over a whole week, but you know what I mean.
But not racing ahead and doing a proper job is tough as I just want to get on and do it. If I could, I’d go tomorrow.
The fact is that I now have a timeline to work towards for the next stage. And it’s a big stage.
All of this is though, dependant on the continued progress to beat the pandemic. I’m keeping an eye on the impact of the green list. Portugal is on the green list and has already begun welcoming holidaymakers from England. Without being a nerd, I’m glancing at the Covid stats. Not that I can influence them.
I am though, playing my part. I had my second vaccine yesterday. First jab I just had a slight bruise on the arm. No other side effects. No fever, no aches, no headaches. Nothing. If I didn’t have the tender area on my arm, I wouldn’t have known I’d had it.
No such luck this time. Within six hours of having the jab, I was feeling it. Almost twelve hours after the injection, I woke up sweating and aching. I have a temperature. I feel feverish. Checking the list of symptoms, I’ve pretty much all of them.
Maybe I’m just getting payback for having no symptoms the first time around. Either that or I just fancy feeling sorry for myself.
Despite being wrapped up in a blanket and flaked out on the sofa, I think a few hours back in bed won’t do me any harm.
But I won’t be able to sleep for long as it’s the final day of the Premiership. West Ham need a point from the final game. If we do, we’ll be playing European football next year. How serendipitous would that be if we ended up playing a Portuguese team in the UEFA Europa League next season?
It’s possible as the winner of the Taça de Portugal will be one of the teams in the Europa League. Will it be Braga or Benfica? The Taça de Portugal final is, by coincidence being played today, 23 May, in Coimbra.
When I move to Portugal, I will need to revert to an armchair supporter of West Ham. Over recent seasons I’ve increased my visits to the London Stadium and, previously, Upton Park, but just popping over from Portugal to watch a game of football isn’t going to happen. I’ll find a local team to support, but I’ll really only have one team – the Hammers. It’s on the list of things to consider where to live.
The last couple of weeks have enabled great progress. To many, it might seem like small steps. But every step is a step forward.
I believe this is my year to go a step further to my destiny, to accomplish dreams to break free, start new beginnings to get going in the right direction.
Porto image by kind permission of Daniel Seßler
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