The reasons I ended up living in Lisbon are numerous. Most of which are my business. But for sure I started out as an accidental tourist. I never meant to stay or expatriate myself from the UK. Lisbon became my choice between a rock and a hard place.
At one point, I'd decided it was the lesser of two evils. Currently I've ebbed back towards a 50/50 status. Not because Portugal fails to hold my interest - the country itself is like an all day breakfast: hot, enjoyable and easily accessible.
It also has (for me) additional extras - a sweeping history, an appealing culture and most importantly, fabulous cafés.
But ... as time goes by, I find myself pulled more and more to my home country. A land that suffers alarmingly swift changes in the weather, a culture that insists on 'doing the right thing' and that can't exist without mountains of useless paperwork and most of all ... pillows that are filled to capacity and intended to be used by adults, not midgets.
Still, I've so far clocked up 18 months in Lisbon and I suspect I'll last at least the same again. Probably longer. And I recently discovered a supermarket that stocks Heinz Beans. Not that I like them, I don't. It's just that they're so horribly British.
And if me and Heinz Beans have anything in common, it's the fact that we're both horribly British.