Six word Saturday

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.

Now that I’ve pushed my six words to the limit, I’d like to add that this Monday will be my last Jo’s Monday walk for a while. Cheers, Debbie! Wishing everyone a great Bank Holiday!



  1. How delightful. I wonder what your chapter is about? I know, you are going to say buy the book! Given how lovely and chatty your blog is I am sure it must be full of charm and wit. Suggestions for walks? We have just arrived back home after a hot journey – we skipped the M5 which was pretty grid-locked and went the long way down on the Atlantic Highway – which is more of a back road than a highway. Popped into Asda for milk and bacon along with 200,000 of the 400,000 visitors expected this week! I have never in my life seen the car park and supermarket so busy! You are probably a lot safer than we are as all your visitors have to have had a covid test! I think I shall be staying close to home this week and hope that we have enough to eat in the freezer.


    1. You can do the preview from the Amazon link above and get a good idea, Jude. It’s just me, and pretty similar to the blog. A good first break away then? It was a lovely warm night here and we were out with friends at a jazz venue we’ve been to with Marie, so a bit of a gut wrencher really. So sad! 😦 😦


  2. What a lovely project to be involved in and I do hope the books sells well. It will look very nice on your coffee table, I’m sure and of course, you will be sending copies to all family members! I’m sure your chapter is outstanding as well, although you are too modest to hint at this.


  3. How exciting to be a part of this community in so many ways, Jo! Contributing your share to an anthology, with your witty words and active lifestyle, should be satisfying reading to anyone who wants to read more about the Algarve. Huge congrats and I will continue my walks without you πŸ˜‰


    1. Thanks a lot, Terri πŸ€—πŸ’• We walked this morning and will continue to do so while it’s practicable but it’s starting to get hot. Beach time and evenings, but even then, it doesn’t cool till late. I might show up with a midnight walk πŸ€£πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing to hear about the wide variety of people who have found a new life in the Algarve – although it’s such a beautiful region I have no idea why I should be so surprised!

    I’ll miss my Monday Walks but I’m guessing you have other priorities for your time right now. Hope we’ll still see you around online though?


    1. Thanks a lot, Sarah! There have been a few personal traumas in recent weeks. I need time to deal with these. Additionally friends are returning to the Algarve from the UK and it’s great to spend time with them. We all met here but have much in common. This morning we walked, then had lunch and we have a jazz concert this evening. Our first in a long time. πŸ€—πŸ’•


  5. Congratulations on the publication of your chapter, Jo. It sure sounds like you are in good company. Based on these stories, a big chunk of expats in the Algarve is creative, supportive, involved, and make a difference. What an inspiring place to be. A wonderful introduction to the book – the perfect six words for this Saturday. πŸ™‚ Have a nice weekend! Here, it’s Memorial Day weekend and it will rain and storm the entire three days, with temperatures of 10-12 degrees Celsius. Just crazy New England weather… 😦


    1. I always wanted to see New England, Liesbet, but preferably in the Fall when I wouldn’t rely on nice weather – though it always helps πŸ€£πŸ’• Yes, they are a good bunch here, and very grateful for the life we lead. If we can help, we do! πŸ€—πŸ’•


  6. What a wonderful bunch of people you all are! Thank you so much for the link. Clearly you are doing your lives right and in perfect location. I love all the photos, especially those on Alyson’s page.


  7. No wonder you were invited to contribute to what looks like an interesting anthology, even to those of us who don’t know Portugal well. Great charities too! Enjoy your walk-free summer (well, I guess you might walk just a little bit. Just not tell us about it). Happy Saturday!


    1. We were walking this morning, which is why I’m late here. A few UK friends have arrived back in the Algarve and it’s lovely to see them again. I needed cheering up because my lovely friend and neighbour has come to the end of her road. πŸ€—πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure if I want to. Brian and Alison are going this afternoon – distant relatives and the only ones here. I’ll see how they feel.


    1. I think you’ll be made very welcome, Alison, and I think you’ll find a lot of similarities in some of the coastline. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Thanks a lot!


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