It´s nearly November, the last week has been wet and cold, we have not been able to get out in the garden and prune the plants and shrubs, or sort out the weeds. It´s not a time of year we particularly enjoy, but we look forward to next Spring and the return of warm weather.I have recently opened a new bank account with a different bank, it´s not been a great experience. The chap who is in charge of my account has been extremely helpful, however it was not until the third visit that he was able to give me a debit card. He had promised that the transfer of Direct Debits would be an easy operation, and that he would help me do it. So we went to an ATM machine and attempted to transfer the ViaVerde accounts (toll payments) one went O.K. the other said contact ViaVerde. After an age on the phone it turns out that because one of the cars has not been through a toll station for some time the account has been cancelled! Then we attempted to change the two direct debits that I have. He said this was easy and could be done through the ATM, no joy! There has apparently been a change, and now all direct debits have to be changed via the Company concerned! This took some time to find out. The account manager wrote two letters detailing the changes, for me to take to the companies, which I did. In both cases they entered the details on their computers and said all was O.K. I checked the account this morning, and nothing is showing! So far it has taken three trips down to Viseu, and wasted about a day and a half, and it would appear to still be unfinished! This is fairly typical of the bureaucracy in Portugal, and has a lot to do with the country´s poor economic performance.

Winter Approaches

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