Weekly Update: A Week in Portugal

Last week, from the end of July to the start of August, I went to Vilamoura in Portugal for a week’s holiday.

With temperatures of around 37 degrees on most days, I was satisfied that we picked the right time to go after our friends back in the UK told us it had been raining constantly!

On a separate note, whilst waiting for our flight to Portugal, I had to have a browse of the books in W H Smith, of course! At first, there was nothing which took my fancy. But then, I stumbled across So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson. I gave the first few pages a read and really enjoyed it! So much so, that inspired last week’s post about the future of non-fiction. I made a mental note of the book and decided to buy it at a Waterstones (which I think is better than W H Smith, sorry) or Amazon when I get the chance.

So, after arriving in Portugal, we got the taxi to our hotel, The Crowne Plaza. The rooms were huge, the beds were comfortable and there was quite a nice view of the sea (see above). Throughout the holiday, we stayed there but often made visits to the marina which was nearby.
The main reason why we went down to the marina itself was for food. On the first day, I had a delicious prawn omelette for lunch and then an Americano pizza for dinner. It was great because I’ve always wanted to try more seafood dishes – particularly prawns!

  

This then continued the next day at dinnertime, where I had prawns again, but this time in a delicious sauce with lime for starters. Then, I went on to share a chateau briand – which I’ve never tried before – and I absolutely loved it! I’m not a food blogger so I shall just leave the pictures I took to do the talking!

Next up food wise was black spaghetti with prawns. Whilst I’ve loved prawns for a while now, I’d never tried black spaghetti. I then found out that the colour comes from squid ink. It sounded unusual, but I thought I’d give it a try!

The prawns, of course, were delicious and soaked in a garlic sauce along with the black spaghetti. To my surprise, I quite liked it too. However, the garlic sauce did feel ‘a bit much’ halfway through eating and sadly I had to leave the rest. Nevertheless it was interesting to try something new!

Albufeira

Also on the trip, we went to Albufeira for the afternoon. It was on an extremely hot day and we chose to get the 40 minute bus there – which was a bad idea! Nevertheless, it was a nice little market town which was fun to explore.
On a separate note, I also had time this holiday to read and write! Throughout my time in Portugal I was reading The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith. So far, it’s interesting and I’d say that it’s better than the first. As soon as I finish it, I’ll be sure to review it on the blog, of course!

As for writing, the holiday became a sort of writing retreat at times! When I first started planning my book, I feared that it wouldn’t reach my target word count of around 90,000 -100,000 words. However, whilst on holiday I was able to write a few more ‘scenes’ as well as develop my plot with more sub-plots! Because of that, I now think I have a much more developed plot, which should last longer in terms of story length and word count.

I also decided that it would be good to have a provisional – but not definite – deadline set. I’d hate to take the fun out of writing, but at the same time, I need to finish this thing! So, with that in mind, I’ve agreed that I’ll try to finish a first draft before I start university in September, if possible. Otherwise, I’d like to get it done before the year is over so I have another New Year’s Resolution completed!

Also, that would mean that I have a six-month gap (or longer) before I can return to my novel with fresh eyes and start editing! But for now, I’ve still got to complete it! Here’s the word count at the moment:

Current Word Count: 6,612 words

So my holiday in Portugal was both relaxing and productive! I had a lovely time and the weather was beautiful!

How was your week? Comment below!

Liam

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