Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Being an expat.....

Being a British expat is not easy in these times, at least not for me and many people I know.  Many people who have had successful businesses for several years have seen their life turn upside down in the financial crisis.  People who have made their lives in another country which has become their home for decades are now having to give that life up and go back to their home country in the hope that 'home' will provide the shelter and support they need.  These are sad times in this case, for both the people who are losing their 'lives' and those who are then affected by that in a secondary way.  Something which keeps coming to my mind is all the restaurants and bars that are closing and how that affects these holiday resorts for now and the future.  Also all the expat services which are a great support to the expat community are disappearing, again making the expat's life more difficult.

For me, all I seem to hear are stories of problems and distress, not to mention the tough time we ourselves are having,  the job market is very small with no support.  Some of our good friends have decided to go back to England in the next month and it has put me into conflication.  What should we do, what can we do? Should we stay or go? It makes me remember and examine the reasons we came here, it's a big mess in my mind.  All the things to consider, quality of life vs cost of living. education, future prospects to name a few. How do you weigh all these different things up?

Then on the other hand I have read a couple of articles, posts lately about people talking about emigrating out of the UK, because of the lack of jobs, cost of living - the complete opposite of what I am thinking.  At the moment there seems to be very few people doing well and the people who are surviving here are generally people who have online businesses or can work remotely, such as designers, writers etc, the people who do not rely on the geographical location for work opportunities.  I know no where is having it easy at the moment in terms of lack of work, rising costs, austerity measures, the list goes on, but how do you make that decision of what's best without having just a 'grass is greener' mentality.  It is a normal reaction when times are hard to want to run home, isnt it?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Woo hoo! Im an Expert!

Hey look Im an expert!  Expert of what I hear you ask, well I am an expert of local knowledge of the Algarve and things to do (amongst other things!).  

Expert Blogger

Take a look: 

Top 10 Family Things to Do in The Algarve

Dolphins at Zoomarine. Credit: Christine Agate-Amorim
Both beautiful and interesting, the Algarve in southern Portugal is both well known and widely unexplored.
Many of her treasures have yet to be found by the masses – while most might think of this area as being full of beaches and hotels, there is so much more to discover, from flamingos to castles.
These are my top 10 things to do with the whole family ona holiday to the Algarve:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Gallery: Eyes

This week's theme on The Gallery is Eyes.  So there was only one choice, my gorgeous Grace who has the biggest eyes.  People are always commenting on her big eyes, and when she was a baby they were very blue but now they have gone more green but have this strong blue line on the edge, which you cannot really see in this photo.  

Come over and see the other entries in The Gallery

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hard to find the good!

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to list your strengths or what you are good at, but a list of things we are not good at, seems to be so easy!  At least for most people that is the case, we are always ready to put ourselves down, thinking others are better are certain things.  

The other day I sat down to make a list of 'what Im good at' in order to try and get my life back on track and immediately my head goes blank, and then starts to fill with all my self-doubt and things Im not good at.  Sure there are a lot of things Im not good at like anyone and things I could do better if I tried harder, but it seemed such hard work to find even six things I am good at.  It made me a little sad of myself, as I do have many skills, albeit some of which have not been used in a long time, after having my children and leaving my career path, but I sure could be resurrected if in the right situation.  This also links into my new year resolutions of which one was to be more positive, this is not a good start!  Must try harder to find the good in myself and situations around me.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Orange time

Everywhere I look at the moment, all I see are Orange trees full of fruit and if you get close enough the scent of ripe oranges.  It must be picking time very soon, because there so many of them.  I always knew there were a lot of orange groves around where I live, but I cannot go fifty metres without seeing an orange tree!  And then in March / early April it all starts again with the lovely scented orange blossom.  

This is such a beautiful time here in the Algarve, with the Almond trees about to bloom, giving this white haze, almost like snow and all the other flowers starting to bloom.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Back in the blogsphere!

Im back, I wish I could say I have been somewhere good, but its not essentially true! For the last few weeks I have mostly been away from the blogsphere, due to some changes at home and in my situation I found I had less access to my laptop and to honest just wasnt 'feeling it', struggling to find inspiration to write.  So rather than force it and do it half-heartedly, I let it go for a while.  I didnt want the pressure of 'having to' and then the worry of dropping stats if I didnt, it just wasnt worth it.  I didnt even read any blogs, except a couple that pop up in my FB feed or on email.

But I think the break was good, and now I feel Im back in the blogsphere and more interested again, in reading blogs and writing my own, although for the moment I wont have too much time to do it, so probably will post less at least for the time being.  But it's good to be back and see what is going on in the blogsphere!

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, New Start

Source: Grant Cochrane
So as another year finishes, I find myself as many are taking stock of the past 12 months and planning for the next, of course, what I want to plan is a 'new year, new start' but I have a strange feeling I have already written this post at another point!  Anyway, so 2011 was a better year than 2010 by far, yet by this time I find ironically we have gone full circle and ended up exactly where we started, if not worse!  Leaving me and others feeling disappointed and disallusioned when a whole year has passed but it seems nothing has changed. We are another year older, but wiser, not sure?!

So we enter 2012 with a positive outlook, hopeful for a better year and hope not to be disappointed.  

So my 2012 resolutions if you want are:

  • To have a more positive attitude, I by nature am a bit of a pessimist! 
  • To be a better person, my behaviour at times in 2011 did not leave me feeling very proud.
  • To take more photographs and improve my technique
  • To have better direction, work harder, more efficiently and make more money.
  • To be more tidy and organised
  • Make more effort to learn Portuguese
Sending happy and positive wishes to all my family, friends and readers, here's to a great 2012! Hope yours has started well already