A New Life in the Algarve
So what was I doing in Aljezur last weekend, apart from not losing a flip-flop? I was collecting my copy of a book. A book in which I have a very humble part to play. When I was asked by Alyson if I would like to write a chapter for the anthology she was considering, I had no idea who my companion authors might be. I only knew that they were people who had chosen to live here, in the Algarve. I composed my chapter, revised it a time or three, and off it went. Months later, here I am, avidly turning the pages.
The stories are many and various, and I find myself in awe of the achievements of some. Debby Burton is the formidable organiser of the charity Alerta. Almost every summer wildfires break out in our tinder dry hills, and are fought by brave teams of poorly funded men and women. Fear and dread almost paralyse me at the thought, but Debby has coordinated the most amazing network of volunteers. They do everything from raising funds for essentials to manning a production line to ensure that the firefighters are fed and hydrated for their mammoth task. Ten percent of the revenue from sales of this book will go to Alerta, which make it a worthwhile read in itself, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Another charity that Alyson, and photographer husband Dave, have supported throughout their years in the Algarve is Madrugada. Life-threatening health issues were the basis for John Hough and his partner to seek help from, and then become involved in the running of, Madrugada. It provides care and support for people affected by life limiting illness and bereavement. But this is no sob story and the popping of champagne corks and extravagant wedding plans are all part of the saga. 22 chapters, including one from Alyson herself, tell tales of artists and sculptors, wine makers, cooks and caterers, a couple who run a yurt, an ayurvedic therapist, publishers of a high profile magazine… the list goes on. Our common bond is our love for this land which has adopted us, and given us all A New Life. I think you’ll find it an entertaining read.
Huge thanks to Aly for her sterling work on our behalf. This link will take you to the photos to accompany the book.