Thursday, 31 December 2009

Endings and new beginnings

Its new years eve and we have decided to stay in side tonight watching tv..not very exciting but the alternatives just did not appeal to us.We have had a very quite Christmas ,ate some good food ,treated out livers in a slightly disrespectful way and finally tomorrow its all over .But really our hearts and minds are elsewhere .
We are trying to get everything (solicitors /vendors/paperwork etc)all sorted so we can fly out and do all the necessary deeds but its slow going trying to get the solicitor to pull her finger out..she is good but sometimes I get a bit frustrated and have to remind myself that things do just go a bit slower in Portugal.Its our aim to have fully left the UK by end of Jan at the latest  but we are completely disorganised in this regard.

When we arrive we are facing a lot of work and its a little daunting.It already looks better than in the above picture..honest..We are  aiming  to have the building developed enough so that there are at least 2 small secure bedrooms within 3 months and a kitchen /family room.basic but secure.From early spring we need to do some very serious labour on the land so that its producing food for us by early summer.Cash flow will be a major headache so creating a healthy veg field is essential in order to eat!

It will be good to  leave this country once and for all even if it looks pretty in the snow!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

things to do...

So we do not yet have a leaving date but it will be January sometime..not sure how we are getting over ,2 kids ,2 digs ,1 cat and 2 parents plus about a van load of stuff.We only have a car....hmmmm

My first priority is the trampoline...must try to keep younger daughter in a position to get any aggression out in a fun way!She is not happy about this move....

Second priority is to catch up with people who have become good friends and gently get back in the swing of living in rural Portugal...
Thirdly is to go "WOW" ..our place ! and "WOW" on my god where do we start!

Fourthly ,I need to speed up with my Portuguese language which has not been progressing very fast ...

Fifthly I need to RELAX and get on with LIFE!!!!

Sunday, 13 December 2009


So we now have sorted out our finances and we are beginning to make plans for the move back to beautiful  Central Portugal and to the Mondego valley.We have got the opportunity to house sit a farm which just happens to be up the lane from our quinta which is ideal.I have sorted out my work so I am now generating an income through my online work and Paul can finally stop his nursing shifts on nights which is a big relief to one and all.The girls are not excited but hopefully they will be ok..they have friends over there to catch up with and they will be busy working along side us planting and building..and they can visit here and friends will come to see us.I know its not the same but I think its very important to show them another way of living and also show them how we are not living sustainably ...they need to be able to fend for themselves at some point in the future so this is something they can now learn.People can scoff but they may need the skills of growing food and building shelters in their knows what's to come in their lifetime.

So we have everything to do on the quinta!!Composting toliets,solar showers,renovate building,grow our food,learn to tend vines ,plant more trees ,learn more Portuguese,home school ,meet new people......the list is endless.How exciting .At last.

Monday, 7 December 2009

making tentative plans

well its now December and we still have not secured the elusive funds that we need to continue with our plans but all  is not lost just the pace is slow... so we are making tentative plans to leave..
we have the opportunity to house sit a small farm which happens to pretty much boarder our land.This is excellent as the place we have is not yet habitable and the weather in our part of Portugal will not be to hospitable until late March.So that's somewhere to stay hot water , electricity and broadband!Yipee..
we just need to get there now.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

a wet cold Sunday in Yorkshire.

Its mid day almost and we have our lights on...outside its cold ,dark and damp.Snow is forecast ,there was a little last night.Normal for this time of year in the Pennines which is part of the reason also for moving elsewhere.We spent last winter in Central Portugal and although it rained ,snowed and frosted we also had plenty of blue sky ......not here ,we shall be lucky to see a blue sky now before March!
The cat visited the vet and it appears he most likely got into trouble with a rat ,very expensive antibiotics mean he is now on the mend.Rubys leg is better which is great but she has now come down with some sort of skin infection which stinks..we are trying to treat it at home.
I think its the lack of air and the use of central heating that is causing all these problems with health in the family so the sooner we get to Portugal the better.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

time passing me by



a lot has happened in our lives since my last post.All our animals seem to have taken it in turns to injure themselves -the cat has just come in with a swollen cheek.Both dogs injured their legs and Ruby has taken almost a month to heal.
Health wise, we have all had colds and viruses ,our diet has been very poor as we are so short of time and the energy to produce good food is just not there.
Our push to finance our project is very slowly moving forward (HURRY UP I keep shouting in my head)-just not as fast as we would like.
We have been to Scotland to stay with friends who met through .Good to see them BUT is was not a entirely happy visit.Our little friend Aonghas age 14  had not recovered from an operation that was intended to make his life easier.We joined his family and friends ,ate food ,sang ,laughed ,survived floods ,shed a few tears and remembered him with so much love.It was a very beautiful celebration for a awesome little guy.His family are continuing with the plan to get back to Portugal as soon as they can.

dogs swimming in the floods
England has almost drowned under the sheer volume of water that has fallen this week.Our local river burst its banks and school was closed but this was nothing compared to up in the lakes and Scotland where so many people suffered devastation.Our friends in Scotland were very lucky when the river Tweed decided to stop at their front door!

Friday, 23 October 2009

positive thoughts

So we are still in the uk ,still trying to get finances organised.Its hard work being somewhere in body but all other parts are in a different country.My heart is now in Portugal.
I have so many plans for when we finally make the permanent move....just need a bit more cash.
Trying to develop an income stream from online work and this is a slow and laborious process but I shall persevere.Plus I have limited money making skills in regard to online stuff but loads of people do it so its possible..
The children are quite pleased to be here in the UK.Older daughter was pleading her case for us staying here for 5 MORE YEARS last night!Younger daughter says she is just not going.I am not sure how we can get them to view the whole experience more positively really ,bit baffled by it.And I have a lot of sympathy for them having moved around on a regular basis during my own childhood.They resist the idea of learning Portuguese as they say they are quite happy learning French and Spanish at school........

Sunday, 18 October 2009


My lovely older daughter turned 13 today.

In her eyes a major milestone and also in our eyes.She feels like she is on the verge of a very exciting do we, but its just possible that the excitement is different for us all.She wants to stay in England and be with her friends.I understand that.We are fortunate to live in a good place in Yorkshire and the children have got some lovely friends but they are getting older and I think its imperative to show them a different way to live before they leave home .Already they are aiming to become corporate workers at some time in their future....they are becoming disdainful about the idea of growing food ,tending the land ,building a beautiful home and being concious of their own footprints on the planet.They NEED nintendos ,ipods ,computers etc...(I do want us to be able to power computers actually) can't live without all the gadgets of modern times blah, blah, blah
BUT last night my daughters friends organised a surprise birthday disco and after half an hour the stereo stopped working .The thirty kids in this big hall just entertained themselves ,(no music ,screen to do it ).They sang and played games and really had a good night.My daughter describes it as the best night of her life!This time 13 years ago I spent the night awake just watching her and wanting a wonderful life for her.So far its been ok ,nothing too bad has happened but I know that to give her the wonderful life I need to share the experience of Portugal with her and give her the opportunity to learn who she is without all the distraction that our very western lifestyle throws up.Fingers crossed we will be there by spring..

Monday, 12 October 2009

Power ?

We we get sorted and move over for good the big issue will be power.I work on-line now and need to have about 5 hours of power everyday for the laptop in order to continue to work this way.At the moment and for the foreseeable future we will not be able to invest in a full solar system and so have more or less concluded that we will be trying to manage with a few panels and a 12v set up plus a generator for heavy power jobs.But we have no experience of this and have 2 children who like their gadgets and who are also not too impressed with the idea of living in Portugal.At their age (almost teens )friends are more important than family from their perspective.So these are a couple of our immediate challenges.We will be home schooling and we want the children to be involved in our renovation work and planting work.We have a whole hillside which needs replanting with native trees .....a lot of work.

a cold winters day

the view

Sunday, 11 October 2009

New blog!

OK so I'm new to this but I will give it a go...
We have almost purchased a small quinta in the Mondego valley in Central Portugal.It has no power ,no mains drains ,no mains water etc...BUT it has got lovely land with very neglected vines ,some fruit trees and plenty of potential.We want to change how we have been living so far and move towards a sustainable lifestyle .We hope to sustain our power needs by using the sun and being more conscious of our usage.We hope to produce enough food to sustain the family and this means learning about growing food and preserving it so we have no waste.Speaking of waste , we intend to produce and reuse our own waste with the help of composting toilets which we will build using materials found on the quinta.