Europe

Being addicted to unfamiliarity

September 10, 2020 Jack 0

A year ago to the day Andy and I sat on the terrace of a shepherd’s hut on a plateau in Slovenia whilst I tucked into a bowl of gruel otherwise known as buckwheat mush and sour milk. Why? Because it was there… […]

Alentejo

Camel Spit & Cork Trees, a Year of Slow Travel Through Portugal

September 1, 2020 Jack 0

Our quest to find the ideal place to live, combined with missions to create Slow Travel holidays, took us from the honey-coloured coastline of the wilder side of the Algarve to the verdant valleys of the Minho in the north, and from living beside a smugglers’ trail in Alentejo’s ‘beyond the back of beyond’ border country to a small farm next to a cork forest in the Setúbal Peninsula… […]

Europe

The view from abroad, winter woes

January 8, 2020 Jack 0

The depths of winter (i.e. now) in central Portugal is a yin and yang affair. Warm enough to eat lunch al fresco in the midday sunshine, as cold as my home island of Bute in Scotland at night. […]

Europe

Winter in Central Portugal

November 26, 2018 Jack 0

After 14 years in the Canary Islands we already knew about the important difference between Britain’s centrally heated houses and ones in (mostly) warmer climes with little or no heating. But we still weren’t prepared for the temperature drop between the Canaries and central Portugal. […]

Europe

An average day in the life at our Portuguese quinta

August 22, 2018 Jack 0

Coffee and a bowl of fruit (bananas from Madeira, mango and pineapple from former Portuguese colonies, local cherries which are just at the end of their season) are eaten on the back terrace in the company of two black cats who look as sleepy as we do… […]

Europe

Turning Left, A Walk In Palmela, Portugal

June 11, 2018 Andy 0

For months we’ve lived at the end of a dirt track, in this lovely quinta with its enormous iron gates, always turning right beyond them, back along the dusty, rutted track to reach the road. Today we turn left, and I think of Jean Ainslie… […]

Alentejo

Town or countryside? I want both

January 18, 2018 Jack 0

Urban or rural? Beach or mountain? Large luxury resort hotel or family run pension? Michelin cuisine or simple street food? Quiet tasca or bouncing nightclub? Bustling city or tranquil village? […]