Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bom Novo Ano

Happy New Year to all

Hope all had a great Christmas time. And now onto the New Year, what will everyone be doing? Where will you be? For me, Im not too much of a new year celebrator, what I will be celebrating is the end of a terrible year and hopefully the welcome of a far better year.

What are your new year's resolutions?
Mine are to work and try harder. To be a better person and take every opportunity.

Would love to hear your's?

Dont forget if you are a rental homeowner and concerned about next season, which you probably should with the proposals of the portuguese government, then please look at for some great INCOME BOOSTING tips from letting expert Wendy Shand. If you want some further advice please contact me and I can help.

Bom Ano a todos x

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Winter daze!


Well winter has well and truly arrived in Portugal, no snow but alot of rain recently and very cold, especially as the houses are not made for winter (which after 2 winters I still dont understand, its not like it is 20+ degrees ALL year round). Anyway I am furiously trying to finish an english teaching course by monday, something I have been doing for 2 years, inbetween moving and having a baby etc.

Also looking to find my homeowners who are looking to extend their rental seasons, if this applies to you please have a look at, which gives great advice and a FREE BOOK from lettings expert Wendy Shand, founder of Award winning If you require further info, look at the site or contact me for more details at

Right now back to the books......

Stay warm

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Algarve Autumn

This october and november so far, the weather has been so lovely. Perfect blue skies and warm sunshine. Only a few cloudy days sporadically but otherwise beautiful. Once the sun goes down it gets a little chilly but all you need is a cardigan or fleece. This is the perfect time to bring young children to here, it is warm but not hot so you dont need to worry about sunburn and sunstroke, prices are lower and there are no crowds.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Holiday rentals

So how was everyone's summer? Mine was ok, got some beach time with family, got some sun, didnt really relax cos life with young children is never relaxing but at least we had a bit of a change of scenery. So now I want to ask how everyone's holiday rentals went, did you find it quiet, busy or as expected? Are you still having bookings, cos my view was as September came everyone disappeared, august was super busy but then everyone seems to disappear overnight. There are a few people around but otherwise it looks like the algarve is going to sleep for the winter. But times are tough, umemployment never stops rising month on month, algarve being one of the hardest hit places as many workers are seasonal. Now the budget is just about to be announced, looking like more austerity measures are coming, times are going to get tougher. But in these tough times, who suffers most, everyone suffers, of course but to my mind those who suffer most are those on low incomes and already struggling cos they cannot afford to lose anymore. Those on higher, more comfy incomes will feel a squeeze but nothing like what the others feel.

Stay well, be wise and strong


Friday, October 8, 2010

Tots to Travel

I have just started working with Tots to Travel, they are an award winning family friendly holiday company who specialise in offering self-catering accommodation to young families. All properties on their site have been vetted and inspected by a mum for its family-friendliness so ensure it is safe and has all the equipment you need,thus giving you a relaxing holiday.

They are currently looking for properties in the Algarve, if you know of anyone who may be looking to enter this niche market or just want some advice on how to market their property more effectively have a look at or

Thanks,and good luck

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Autumn is here

Hi All,

It's been a while but Im back -not sure where I was but time has just flown by. But now summer is over once again. What was surprising was how suddenly it seemed the season changed. August was super busy but come September the streets were quiet again, where did everyone go. It seemed overnight everyone disappeared but september is considered as high season, so I dont know people did this summer in terms of rentals?

The days are still warm but the nights are chilly, time to put the duvet back on the bed, put your socks and pyjamas back on and get cosy.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


So after two years of living here in portugal, I have come to the conclusion that there are three ways that the majority of ex-pats survive here. Either you speak portuguese and work for a portuguese company, you start your own company which makes enough to live on or you make ends meet by doing things here and there. Or for some you are lucky enough to find work for an english speaking company. It is not so easy to come here and start a new life as some may think, things are not easier here, especially in these troubled times of recession, there is much less support from the government, especially for families.

Now some come here and are happy to do this and that and get by. My situation is a bit different, my husband is portuguese and came here after being offered a management job which paid more than his job in England and my plan was to learn portuguese and start working, but not immediately as his job could support us and we had our young daughter to look after. Now things have not worked out according to plan and we are not on the path we expected or ever imagined but one thing remains, I can not be happy just to do anything and get by. My kids are still young but I am at the point where I need more than to be a mother, I want to work again but not just anything, something that challenges me and makes me think.

Sunday, August 1, 2010



So today was my baby's first birthday, I cannot believe how fast it has gone, so much faster than my oldest daughter Sophie. A year ago I was pushing her out and she was a tiny baby.

And also I got some good news, the job I really wanted with to be a marketing agent in the algarve, Im really happy. JUst need everything else to work out.

I have my in-laws and sisters in law here on holidays, which is nice.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010



I am writing this as I sit here sweating, it is so hot at the moment and unfortunately we do not have air conditioning and live in a 3 storey house, so our bedroom is like a sauna. Think I will sleep outside if I wouldnt get eaten by the mosquitos.

So hopefully life is turning the corner, things have been unbelievably difficult and I know that at some point we will turn the corner, it just depends how far we have to fall and how much we have to lose before we get to that point. I feel a little hopeful.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tough times

Hello All,

So here we are half way through 2010, and we didnt think it could be any worse that 2009 but we were wrong. Now I dont want to be miserable, but things are not good!

Times is running, money is running out and so are options. Why is life so hard? There must be other people in the algarve suffering. I just dont know where to go.

And to add to the sadness, I have been let down by someone who I thought no matter what would always be there for me, a true betrayal from someone close to me.

Where do we go next?

Friday, July 2, 2010


I am currently looking for work and it is not easy. Not easy because the rate of umemployment is rising and unfortunately I live in an area of particularly high unemployment due to the seasonal work in the area. This is then impacted because I have young children and also I dont speak fluent portuguese. So what to do? What do others do? Many are retired, some start there own small businesses, mainly dealing with british customers or else they speak portuguese and work in portuguese companies, but jobs seem to be hard to find.

So if anyone knows of anything, let me know.

Friday, June 25, 2010

My body is a temple,
Holding this precious gift safe and sound
Like a priceless treasure
Never to be lost, never to be found


Saturday, June 19, 2010


Family is a wonderful thing. If it wasnt for them, I dont know where I would be, they are my strength and support. Im very lucky for the one I have, including my extended family. They're not perfect, but no-one is, but compared to some people's they are golden.

But lately I have been thinking how some people can link a family together and when they are gone, some ties fade. It's sad that these things happen but it seems to be a fact of life. I have lost several members of my family over the years and with them went the links to some family members. Some which I made efforts to keep in contact, but without receipt, it went by the way. Sad as it is, there is only so much you can do, until it becomes a waste of your time and energy.

This week was the 14th anniversary of my mother's death and the news of a loss of another as well. Neither will ever be forgotten, my angels

Sunday, May 30, 2010


The algarve is a great place for fresh fish and seafood, and we normally eat it several times a week. But lately I have gone off it and become especially sensitive to the smell. So we had a few fish things in the freezer and every time I opened it all I could smell was the offensive items. So I asked my husband to eat them or I would throw them away, so he cooked some but left some of it in the fridge, so now the fridge is the offensive one. I cant get away from it, nose pegs at the ready.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010



I wont go into detail but we have had some surprising, unexpected and disappointing news recently which lead us to several things, one is lots of trips to the doctor and the other is a longer stay in the Algarve, neither is completely unwanted but the circumstances could be much better. Oh well, life goes on and we keep trying.

At least the weather seems to have settled down.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Yesterday we went out for lunch to a place called Fabrica, a tiny little village right on the beach, well the Ria Formosa. But it is such a beautiful place, with golden sands, blue water, it looks so exotic, you could imagine you were in the pacific or east coast of Australia. And I think to myself, why did I never find this place before (its only 10mins from my house) and think how lucky I am to live in this beauty. Beautiful

Thursday, April 29, 2010

No move!

So due to some problems, we are not moving yet. We lost the house we were going to but luckily can stay where we are, so no moving yet and more time waiting for life to start. But at least that gives us some more time to enjoy the algarve pre-summer before it gets too hot. It also gives me more time to enjoy the 'uniqueness' that is the algarve.

Yesterday we went into our pool for the first time this year, sorry, Sophie went into the pool by herself, it was too cold for me and I never imagined she would go in. Last year she loved to go to the pool but then would tell to go in and she wouldnt, what a change of events, I dont believe it will last.

Friday, April 23, 2010

New Roads 2


Well we have one week to go to the big move and our new, new start!! How do I feel, a little sad, that we are leaving and that things went so wrong on our 1st new start. I was taking a drive today and felt a little sad, but also hopeful. We do need change in our life sometimes, hopefully positive ones but that is not always the case. If we dont have some change, we become afraid of it and life becomes stagnant and predictable. We are not all the way out of the woods but we are getting closer.

When we first saw we were going to have move, I was not keen, I knew it was very probable we would have to move but hoped we could at least stay in the Algarve. But unfortunately this was not the case, I am most sad that I will have to move our daughter away from her school and friends, but she will make new friends soon and she is fairly adaptable. For me, it took a long time to settle and it will be hard to do that again, but I know what to expect this time.

Monday, April 19, 2010


So we turn the page and start again. Last year was a year to forget, one of the hardest of my life, that will take a long time to get over and move on from. It is hard to let go of the past, but that is normal in times of stress but we have to, to be able to move forward.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Orange blossom

What a beautiful day it was. We went into Tavira and had a walk with my daughters. I love Tavira, it is so pretty, the first time I came to the algarve I wasnt staying there but we visited and it stayed in my head, the one place that I really remembered. I never imagined I would live here and have loved living here, its just such a pretty place. And something which I never noticed last year,the orange blossom, seems heavenly, so good and seems to be everywhere I go.

I will miss this place.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


It makes me smile!!

I know I have been here long enough now and am officially acclimatised when I see all the foreign holidaymakers in their summer clothes and Im cold in my jeans and 2 long sleeve layers. But I remember when I was a child going on holidays at this time of year and being in my shorts and T-shirts and in the pool, that is probably why it makes me chuckle now being in a new position :-D

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Best of both worlds

I have some friends, and im sure there are more of them out there which 'commute' between london and the algarve. They work there in London, monday to thursday or friday and then come here for the weekends. I found this quite strange at first, I mean I have heard of people moving to norfolk or such and commuting to london but to a different country, hmm. But they have the best of both worlds, they carry of doing what they do with their salary levels and have the good 'foreign life'. I would find it very tiring to do this and you must start to feel like you speand all your time in airports, no matter how quick you can travel (without hand baggage etc). But good luck to them, I hope it works in the long run.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Why we come here


So if anyone out there is reading this and thinking about coming out here and if it is the right things to do. These are the reasons we come, firstly climate, closely followed by a better lifestyle and friendlier people, and the last major reason less crime. Now going back to better lifestyle, do not expect to come here and make money, it rarely happens, wages are very low and things are not that much cheaper than england, in fact some things are more expensive, such as electricity, but you can live with that for the other factors. Work is not too easy to find and unless you speak good portuguese, you may have to take a much lesser role that you had in england. I have to say, i find it very frustrating that people think they can arrive here and because there is a big english community, they dont need to speak the language and a job will be relatively easy to find. Maybe in the past that may have been the case but not in these days.

Monday, March 22, 2010

New roads


So after a long and hard time, my husband has a new job and so we are on the move, north to Lisbon and surroundings. A new place to adjust to, a new life to create.....and so much packing, urgh. But time to move on.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Why do children have to follow you and be with you all the time! As I sit on the worlds smallest chair, my 4 yr old has to sit with me, so Im holding on by one bum cheek. Luckily she decides watching tv is more attractive than watching mummy typing ;-P

Monday, March 15, 2010

Where I live


We live in the Algarve, on the east side about 25 miles from the Spanish border in a village outside Tavira. We are about a mile from the sea, except we have the Ria Formosa, which is a natural reserve of small islands and sandbars before the open ocean. It is quite a small, quiet place, although there is quite a lot of holiday accommodation and new builds. Although it is a village, it is very near one of the main roads so not too isolated. Very few people speak english, although there are a few expats in the area.

If you drive just a few minutes inland, you are into the hills, which is the hidden beauty of the algarve, which I never realised were there before I lived here. You turn a corner and you are in another world, where the tourism and seasonal life of the algarve has no effect. It's like going back in time, where people dress conservative and do things 'the old way', things are done by hand, not by machine. The ladies dress in long sleeves and dark colours, even in the heat of the summer. The views are amazing, and everywhere you find these houses dotted around, on the top of every peak almost, some new. mostly old. Ruins lay victim to the hands of time, but you can imagine, the life these people used to live, some probably still do! Sometimes its seems such a shame to see these beautiful old farmhouses (or quintas as they call them here) going to ruin. I really must take some pics one day. Xau for now!

Mothers Day


Happy Belated Mothers Day - to all of you whose day was yesterday. Hope you were treated well and given a break x

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Never enough time


Why is there never enough time in the day. HAving two children makes time disappear, I just dont know where my day goes, especially the days when my daughter goes to pre-school or jardim de infancia as they call it here, by the time I get home, have breakfast, give my baby daughter some breakfast, have a bath and do some tidying, it is noon. I can never really beleive it but it happens like that almost everyday. Then the day just continues to fly by, until its time to pick up my daughter again at 4.30 and then we are pretty much into the evening routine of dinner, bath, story, bed. I choose to put my children to bed separately as my youngest, only being 7 months old gets tired much earlier than my 4 year old and I find it easier but it means I have 2 bedtime routines to do but it also gives me time to have dinner without a tired baby and with my husband and daughter. Giving my older some quality time, as there never seems to be time for her. I can say, probably like most mums I do find it very hard to have enough time for both children and the vast majority of my time goes to my youngest, which I do feel guilty about, parenting is full of guilt!! I am not working at the moment but have my hands full looking after the house, the children, my husband etc and always seem to be chasing myself. Its very frustrating, and as hard as I can try I can not keep up. Unfortuantely for me, I am not the most organised person which really doesnt help my cause, but I have days where I ust feel like I did nothing. But of course, the most important thing is to look after the kids and everything else falls in behind, far, far behind in my case! I think my ironing is going to take a life of its own and grow legs it is getting so tall. Now some days I can let this frustration pass, other days not so much. If Im feeling really determined, sometimes I make a list, but after 3 days of trying to achieve even half of it, it goes in the bin and Im left feeling even more frustrated as I can clearly see where I have failed. But life goes on, one day it will all get done and until then I try not to worry too much, life is full of much more worrying things than ironing! Xau

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I've arrived


I have been thinking about doing this for a while, creating a blog. Why? So I can share my insight of this new life with others. I have been here almost two years, my husband is portuguese, but I still struggle to understand this new country and its people. Dont get me wrong, I like living here most of the time, but I am always looking for other people's experiences and views of this life and advice. I would have been grateful for a blog, such as this to give some guidance and I hope it my help other expat into this new life. But I couldnt find one. So here I am, I've arrived. And I hope others may find some help in my words.