Austerity In Portugal – What Does It Mean To You?

Since Portugal accepted the bailout package from the EU harsh austerity measures have been implemented to reduce the national debt to pay off the loan. There have been drastic cuts to healthcare, education and some public sector workers even will lose their holiday pay and annual bonus. IVA Tax hikes were introduced on services and … Read more

Eavesdropping – Tourists And Tolls

I know it’s impolite to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations; however, on a recent flight to the UK I was prompted to tune in to a discussion between a couple of golfing tourists and local residents. The conversation turned from the intricacies of the “ifs” and “buts” of golf to the recent introduction of tolls … Read more

Could You Survive Abroad Without the Internet?

As more people either work or retire abroad I often wonder how expats managed to survive in a pre-internet world. How did they communicate with family and friends back home, or research different aspects of life in their new country? I can’t even begin to imagine life abroad without the internet. Can you imagine being … Read more

What Does the Christmas Season Mean to You?

For me Christmas means many things; the birth of Christ and Christmas carols, quality time with family and friends, Christmassy food & decorations and of course snow on Christmas day. But as I pause to review preparations for this year’s Christmas festivities and the joy of two baby grandchildren, memories are rekindled of Christmases past … Read more

Lost in Translation!

I have a memory like a sieve and the patience of a gnat so my attempts to learn the Portuguese language, as you can imagine, are an uphill struggle to say the least. If I’m brutally honest with myself I’d probably stand more chance of swimming the Atlantic than ever holding a meaningful conversation in … Read more

Holidays and House Guests

I was recently asked by a friend living in the UK: “Do expats still take holidays and if so where?” What a strange question and one I’d never considered! So what’s the deal with expats and holidays? Do you return to your homeland to visit family and friends, explore your new country or are you … Read more

Driving in Portugal – My Top 5 Tips

Observing the standard of driving in Portugal as a passenger was stressful enough, but once behind the steering wheel the word stress took on a whole new meaning. My first driving experience was almost my last as I gripped the steering wheel in sheer terror. Cars drove at me from all directions, and as I … Read more

Missing Food From Back Home – Is It Just Me?

Is it just the British who yearn for their favorite foods and familiar products or do other nationalities suffer from similar cravings? Before you leap from your chair in denial I realize this may be a generalization and food-from-home cravings do not apply to everyone. However, there are now so many shops specializing in British … Read more