David Johnson

Freedom Day Celebrations

Today, 25th April, is Freedom Day here in Portugal. Last night Alcácer do Sal held a concert with Marisa Liz, a fireworks display at midnight, and then a DJ after that.

We showed up for Marisa’s concert, but her music wasn’t to our taste and so we walked back home and got into bed (the concert had started about 10:30pm).

Marisa Liz night time outdoor concert in Alcácer do Sal

Just before midnight, I went back out and waited by the river for the fireworks. I didn’t have to wait long, they started early, and were really quite beautiful.

Fireworks over Alcácer do Sal

Initially just coming from one side of the river, as the display progressed, they also were launched from the pedestrian bridge and up by the castle (now hotel) that overlooks the town.

Fireworks display in Alcácer do Sal

Fireworks display in Alcácer do Sal

It was a lovely evening. I enjoyed seeing families out, young people laughing and running round, and restaurants staying open late, with people sitting out laughing and chatting into the night.

I’ve been giving Apple Maps the benefit of the doubt, despite warnings to the contrary - thank you @maique. I prefer its layout to Google Maps and Waze, and it’s working in CarPlay. However, after being directed kilometers in the wrong direction yesterday, and not being able to find a place today, Google Maps has now earned a place on my phone.

When I first opened my Mastodon account, I enabled cross posting from Micro.blog. Within a week, I had disabled it. Lack of familiarity with Mastodon was the reason. A few months have passed, and I have decided to re-enable cross posting…for now. My Mastodon posts still disappear after a month.

☕ Oh dear, coffee number 4 this morning. I very rarely get this far…

🤫 I’m appreciating some quiet time this morning. Recharging and reflecting.

😮‍💨 I’m tired after a day of driving and exploring the coast and inland countryside, south of Alcácer do Sal down to Vila Nova de Milfontes. Some beautiful scenery, and lovely weather for it…I can feel it on my face.

I’m playing around with a new, for me, photo editing app. RNI Films: Photo & RAW Editor offers filters mimicking real film. I like the results so far.

House in Comporta, Portugal

Oh what a morning. People clearing the land next to us broke a water pipe. The view from our front door.

Current mood.

Alcácer fire place

🌧️ Now it's raining. The first true rain that we have had since arriving just under three weeks ago.

Out for a walk yesterday evening at sunset, we saw a stage being set up in the square outside of the Municipal Building. Maybe preparing for celebrations in and around Liberation Day, on 25th April? It looks as though events are planned.

Outside stage set up outside the Municipal Building in Alcácer do Sal. View from the pedestrian bridge.

Outside stage set up outside the Municipal Building in Alcácer do Sal

😶‍🌫️ It’s a misty morning.

🗣️ Keeping with the Portuguese practice. Three days now. My head is still close to exploding.

Hiding under foot on the streets of Lisbon.

Stencil of a “spy.” A black image of hat, black glasses and the top of a coat. Or is it a man in a hat reading a book?

📱 I activated the haptic feedback for the keyboard on my phone, and am really enjoying the experience. I’d tried it once before, but it didn’t work for me then. However, after using a friend’s Android with the same feature, I revisited it, and am now appreciating the feel.

Yesterday evening I went into a small café here in Alcácer to order two beers. I almost got two coffees 😂 Keep practicing. 🗣️

I just took my first lesson in European Portuguese using the Pimsleur Method. @jean recommended this method to me, with the first lesson free on Apple Books. I decided to try that before diving in any deeper. Thirty minutes later and I feel exhausted, as though my head has been used as a punch bag!

The “I can’t do this” side of me wants to throw the towel in and run for the hills. The “I want to do this” side of me is saying to buy the next few lessons.

I am not a language person, I tell myself, but deep down I want to crack this one. It’s a daily commitment. Come on, David. You can do this…🫣

A day of unexpected twists and turns. We set off to explore the hills, beaches and restaurants west of Setúbal. However, the hot weather brought people out in droves, parking was in short supply and roads were closed.

So a change of plans saw us at the market in Setúbal.

Setúbal market

We needed to do some grocery shopping and so used the opportunity.

Man at meat counter in Setúbal market

People at vegetable counter in Setúbal market

This rather foreboding butcher watched over the proceedings.

Big model of a butcher, with a bloodied clever and apron, at Setúbal market

From there we took the ferry across to Tróia and drove back to Alcácer via Comporta.

On the ferry from Setúbal to Tróia

This evening after a walk, we sat and cooled down with a drink as the sun set.

Black & white photo of a table with beer bottle, sunglasses and ordinary glasses on

French Kiwi Juice by FKJ - Songlink

I was happy today to find the Tibetan Buddhist Retreat Center, Thubten Phuntsog Gephel Ling, about 20 minutes drive from Alcácer do Sal.

On its grounds is the 16 meter high Tashi Gomang Stupa.

Tashi Gomang Stupa at a Tibetan Buddhist Retreat Center in Portugal

Small Buddha statue next to a Mani stone (a piece of stone, with the mantra Om Mani Padme Hung carved on it)

Hat on hooks. Baseball hat hanging on wooden hooks attached to a plaster wall

🛌 I needed that sleep.

Back in Alcácer after a couple of packed days in Lisbon. I find the city stimulates me in much the same way that this small town winds me down. I value both in different ways, and appreciate them being so close.

Off to bed soon. Tomorrow, get two new house purchases working.

🌅 The morning after the day before, and what a lovely day yesterday was. Thank you all who were there for a great Micro Meetup 🙏🏻

I’m sure that there will be more of these, but a couple of photos of the Lisbon, Micro.blog Meetup with @jean, @maique, @Portufraise & @helgeg (& friends from the conference Jean was attending). A wonderful afternoon, and lovely to meet more of the Micro.blog family.

Jean, Maique, Ana & Helgeg on the Lisbon waterfront

Grabbing a drink in Príncipe Real after the Micro.blog Meetup walk