Hello and welcome to my blog. I moved to Portugal in December 2012 with my husband, eight year old son and thirteen year old daughter. We brought the dog along too. Why Portugal?
After several years as a picture researcher I cut my career short by having two gorgeous children and moved out from London to Cambridgeshire. Life was fairly idyllic if thrifty, with an orchard, a homemade tree house, lots of pet ducks, guinea pigs, an attempt at gardening which mainly fed the snails and a dog from the animal shelter.
Fitting around the kids when they were little I temped, researched, crafted jewellery, did evening wear alterations, wrote and made short films, ran craft fairs, film festivals and a business promoting local food. Life was never dull. Finally, once they were older, I settled down to a nine to five job as a Publishing Assistant with Cambridge University Press. When we sold our home to get a desperately needed extra bedroom, it seemed like the right time to head out for some sunshine, buy a farm, a pony, some goats, lose the mortgage.
We’d already spent six months in Spain when my daughter was seven and we all loved the experience. I’d spent a year in Sydney in my twenties and had gone back and forth before meeting my husband had grounded me in London. I was ready for another adventure and the family were all in favour.
We decided France was the perfect place for us. I love the language, France is stylish, the Charente is sunny. We had a half hearted house hunt in Somerset then booked a place to stay for a few months near La Rochelle in the Charente Maritime in the autumn. Meanwhile we spent the summer in Portugal while my husband worked in the UK. The children loved it. We already had a leaky, tumbledown house there. They didn’t want to go to France. We went anyway, had a great time, but we couldn’t give up Portugal and so we returned.
Why Portugal? I love gardening but only when it’s sunny. The scenery is beautiful, the people are friendly and generous. I like trying new things, meeting new people. It’s the only having one life thing.
I want to record stuff and I know I’ll never keep up a diary. I’ve tried it. I never get past January. I want to share information I find useful and interesting or just for fun. Good reads, music, cafes, shows, films, restaurants, photos. Locally produced food. Reflect the journey I’m on. It may even be insightful or thought provoking from time to time. Because we need to put food on the table I may even shamelessly promote a business one day. Or someone else’s businesses if I truly believe in it. More importantly I love writing. Since moving here I’ve published a children’s book. I’ve a few more up my sleeve, they’re such fun to write and hopefully to read!
Finally, Portugal’s a fabulous country, there’s so much to share. It is worth my time and investment and so I hope you will think it is worth yours and if you are not already here or have never been, come and see it for yourself.
Update: Since writing the above, in 2015 we decided that, while continuing to renovate both houses in Portugal the children needed to be educated in England so I am currently based in Cambridge during term time.
More about that in a blog…here. This will lead you to Scentvintage Cambridge.