The Simple Life – Lou’s Update

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It’s a time of change for us at the moment. With summer behind us and a baby on the way, life is looking rather different than it did three months ago.

Autumn is the time for perfect sunsets
Autumn is the time for perfect sunsets

The change in the weather has meant we are enjoying long walks now that the sun has lost the ferocity of its mid-summer heat. We have been stretching our legs around our local villages, towns and beaches, relishing the peace that the Algarve offers now that the tourists have gone home for another season. Our walks have treated us to beautiful sunsets, desolate beachscapes and the reward of coffee and cake in near-deserted cafés.

Walking around the Algarve at this time of year has reminded us of the simple life that we came here for in the first place. We swapped a London commute for strolls in the sand and, while we do sometimes miss the convenience of life in the big city, the Algarve is now our home through and through. I can’t imagine any circumstances that would cause us to swap back.

Deserted beaches abound at this time of year
Deserted beaches abound at this time of year

This week also afforded us the chance to test out our blossoming language skills, when we were invited to a friend’s birthday dinner. The guests were half English and half Portuguese and it’s fair to say that we held our own in terms of conversation during the meal. It was a real triumph compared to how we would have managed even six months ago. It finally feels as though we are really getting somewhere with the language, which has given us a lovely confidence boost. Of course I’m also hard at work learning all sorts of pregnancy and birth-related words in Portuguese at the moment!

Perfect walking weather
Perfect walking weather

Our friend’s birthday dinner was a chance to enjoy life in Portugal at its finest. A huge table of us sat outside in the (extremely chilly) evening, feasting on prawns, grilled meat, bacalhau com natas and other savoury treats. The food was simple and delicious and followed by some fabulous Portuguese desserts. I confess I used the ‘eating for two’ excuse to consume a giant slice of tarte de natas. The meal was lengthy and packed with entertaining conversation and laughter – a truly wonderful experience and exactly the kind of thing we moved here for in the first place.

Enjoying the solitude
Enjoying the solitude

The next few months are going to bring even more changes for us as ‘the bump’ gets bigger and we prepare for the arrival of the newest member of our family. The pregnancy has refocused us and, despite the hateful hours spent on medical administration matters, made us realise that we are precisely where we want to be to bring up a child. The year ahead is going to be a rollercoaster, but I can’t think of anywhere else that I would rather be.

If you would like to know more about our move to Portugal to enjoy the simple life, why not check out our book?

Moving to Portugal: How a young couple started a new life in the sun – and how you could do the same

US readers can find it here: Moving to Portugal – the book.

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8 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. This was a lovely post … keep it simple 🙂

  2. Thanks Etch. I think sometimes we have to remind ourselves of how perfect the simple things are 🙂

    Best wishes, Lou

  3. Hi
    I enjoy reading your posts.
    Have just bought your book.
    I’ve just returned to England after six years in beautiful Cape Town. Thought a lot about moving to Portugal while I was in CT and visited a few times, but chose to go back to Blighty. I am finding it a cold grey bind and am yearning for a place with more sunshine. I know everyone despairs over the parlous state of the Portuguese economy, but I think Britain is about to go the same way – the level of national debt is beyond comprehension and when interest rates go up the place is going to go the way of the PIGS. So would I prefer to live in Britain or Portugal? That is the question.
    The idea of living a simple life in a benign climate has great appeal – good for you for actually doing what other people only think about.
    Congratulations on your bump BTW.

  4. I know its going to sound silly we cant see you, but you sound like you are blooming 🙂 Lovely post, thanks Lou. Saz

  5. After reading your lovely post I can’t wait to get back to the Ria Formosa on the 27th. Please keep the sun shining, it’s been damp and dreary here for the last few days. This will be our first Christmas in Olhao and we are really looking forward to it.
    So pleased all is well with ‘the bump’ and a good excuse Lou for you to put your feet up at Christmas !
    Best wishes to you both,
    Lynda and Martin.

  6. Hi John,

    I’m glad you enjoy the blog and I hope you like the book as well. The simple life in the sunshine is certainly one that we prefer over the hectic life that we had in England. At this time of year we are particularly grateful to be here – it’s cold, but the sun is still shining every day 🙂

    Good luck with deciding where you would rather be – I know which country I prefer 😉

    Best wishes,


  7. Thank you Saz 🙂 I think I am going from blooming through to enormous already, though that may be because I have started on the Christmas chocolate stash already!

    Best wishes, Lou

  8. Hi Lynda and Martin,

    I am excited for you to be spending your first Christmas in Olhao – I am sure you will have a magical time 🙂

    We will do our best to keep the sun shining here for you. There’s no sign of a break in the weather yet, so fingers crossed you will have a lovely sunny Christmas break.

    Best wishes, Lou

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