Readers Letters – May ’23

We are always really pleased to get letters from our readers. If you would like to send us your views on anything that’s going on in the western Algarve or if you have any suggestions to make about the magazine please email:


I wish to add to the information printed in a couple of articles in the latest edition of your magazine.

The first article is by James Plaskitt. According to my knowledge, the carnations were initially a result of the following. At the time, there was a very top upmarket restaurant in Chiado and each day they received a supply of carnations to decorate the interior. On the morning of the revolution, the manager obviously decided not to open, so he gave the carnations to his staff to take home. Apparently, one of these employees decided to take hers and join the crowds that were assembling nearby. It was she that started distributing her carnations among the rebel soldiers.

The second article is by Lena Strang. From a reliable source, I was informed that the initial reason that the young officers in the colonies first rebelled was because of a lack of promotion – and, therefore income. Unless the officer was from a recognised family or had a special influence, promotion was usually only given to the members of top families. Their movement fell under the strong influence of the left-wing and the rest is history.

Michael Tannock

A Cautionary Tale

I wished to draw the attention of your readers to a recent and highly sophisticated scam of my accounts which could have cost me heavily. I was called on my mobile phone at 9.30 pm by someone claiming to be from the fraud department of my UK bank. Having confirmed my name (which he gave), he said they were concerned that an attempted payment of nearly £700 on my debit card to AirBNB might be fraudulent. 

Sure enough, when I checked my texts, there was a message claiming to be from my bank, giving the usual one-time payment code. He said my card had evidently been compromised and asked me to confirm that it was still in my possession. 

He suggested that I destroy the card and said a replacement would be sent. 

He asked me to check my bank account to ensure that no other unauthorised payments had been made. I, therefore, opened my online account and confirmed none had been made. Speaking about recent transactions, he asked me to confirm that a deposit from a neighbour the day before and a payment a few days earlier, both of which he named with the amounts, were genuine. As I was looking at the account on screen, a payment of over £7,000 to “Kings Queens Closet” appeared which I drew to his attention. He said I should not worry about this as it was clearly fraudulent and they would cancel it.

He then said it might be worth checking to see if my UK credit card, which he identified, had been compromised and, after going through several steps, he said this seemed to be okay.

He then went on to give the last four numbers of the credit card for my Portuguese bank and after several steps he claimed this, too, had been compromised. He said he saw from my bank account that I used a UK currency company to transfer euros and suggested I transfer the contents of my Portuguese account to the UK company whose account they would take steps to freeze. I proceeded to do this. He suggested I cancel this Portuguese credit card.

He then summarised that I should receive the substitute UK credit card within a week or so.

After ending the conversation, I pondered. I had an uneasy feeling but could not put my finger on it. I therefore rang my Portuguese bank on their emergency number and cancelled my card. I asked how the process of transferring the contents of my account to the currency company was proceeding. They informed me that only 1.000€ had been transferred and the rest was pending. I cancelled the latter.

I then sent an email to the fraud department of my bank asking if they had called me. If they had not, could they please cancel my card forthwith and cancel the payment to “Kings Queens Closet”. (The bank confirmed the following morning that they had not called and cancelled my accounts.)

I then received a text from my UK credit card company asking me if an attempted payment of £14,000 to “Goldsmiths” was genuine or not. I quickly confirmed “not” and they said not to worry: the payment would not be authorised and they would contact me the following day.

I then checked my online account with the currency company and promptly changed my password. I also found an attempted payment of 1.000€, which had been transferred to a company called “KCS Ltd” (how familiar!), which I promptly cancelled.

My last-minute efforts meant that the scam cost me nothing apart from hours spent both on the phone and at my bank here trying to reopen my various accounts. Did I subsequently feel a chump – yes. But I was completely taken in when the caller gave me details of the attempted scam, not to mention detailed transactions from my UK bank account. Beware!

Concerned Reader

Comments on Portimão Hospital

I discovered I had a small lump in my left breast. My reaction at the time was panic, disbelief and “O my God”. I cried and cried. Knowing I might not recover.

So on pulling myself together, I decided, first of all, to get into the local health centre. I had never used it in the 20 years I have been here in Lagos. Although my Portuguese was limited, my thoughts were that I had to start somewhere. On arrival at the local health centre, I was told I had a family doctor. And she would see me straight away.

Why did I worry? Dr Carla Cordoso was fantastic. She examined me with very good English and I was put at ease straight away. She assured me I would be sent to the Oncology Department in Portimão Hospital, where, apparently, she was one of the training team. Within days I was in the department being interviewed by three very professional lady doctors. Filling forms and being told what would happen in the months ahead.

I got to know the team as I went through my weekly visits, particularly Dr Elsa, who guided me all the way. Once on the chemo, yes I lost my hair and this was soul-destroying. And losing weight. During chemo, I had good and bad days. My visits to the department were welcoming, restful and caring. The nursing staff were excellent; there were no language barriers and we were on first name terms. I looked forward to my weekly visits – even though I was there for a cure that I wasn’t sure about at the time.

Chemo lasted about six months to a year. Then I had a setback: my whole system broke down, all to do with the chemo I was receiving. So I was taken into Portimão Hospital for three days. I was very well looked after during this time. Then I was allowed home and had nursing care at home for three to five days. This was a wonderful service from the hospital. I had two nursing staff come to my home every morning to check blood, temperature, etc. I really missed them when they stopped calling. I have to say without these wonderful nurses, I know I would never have gotten through.

Then I was sent for an MRI scan and to my delight, my results were all clear. I don’t have cancer. That was the best news I could have taken in a long time.

I started radiology, which involved a month of travelling to Faro every day. But I was also put at ease … the hospital provides an ambulance bus. I was picked up every morning and dropped home every afternoon by the wonderful lady driver. The radiology centre was also very well organised and friendly. My time there was also very enjoyable.

I have to say, 18 months later, I’m well and my hair is growing. But without my time at the Oncology Department here in Portimão and the hospital support, I’m sure I would not be here today.

If there is anybody out there who is going through the same experience and needs help, advice or just to chat, please contact me. I’m a good listener.

Doreen Lloyd


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