Alyson was interviewed by the BBC about her views on Brexit, on the historic day when the UK ended its transition period and entered the new post-Brexit era. Obviously only a small section of Alyson’s answers made it into the final piece – you can read the published article via the link here to the BBC website:
We thought you might like to read Alyson’s full interview, so we have included it here for you:
Alyson Sheldrake is 52 and a former Director of Education for the Church of England. Her husband, Dave, aged 64, is a retired police officer. They purchased a house in the Algarve, Portugal, in 2006, whilst still living and working in the UK. Once Dave retired in 2011, they moved out to live there permanently. They set up their own businesses, Alyson working as a professional artist, and Dave as a photographer. In 2020, Alyson wrote two books about their life abroad. They have worked hard to integrate with the local community and have been impressed with how friendly and welcoming the Portuguese have been to them. They now live a less stressful, relaxed, and quieter way of life, and have never regretted their move to live abroad.
What were your main concerns following the Brexit vote in 2016?
I think initially we were just stunned that the vote had actually gone against us. We are proudly European and love the fact that we didn’t even have to think about whether it was possible for us to move here to the Algarve to live. It was a simple process involving a few forms at the local town hall, and then we were registered and settled. No-one seemed to know what the implications of the Brexit vote would be, or what the benefits might be in the future.
Well, it has certainly been a strange year, and I am sure for many people, they will be glad when 2020 is over. I have been at best bemused, and at worst, completely confused by all the different Covid measures that have been put in place – especially for the Christmas and New Year Period. My best advice is to check out the Safer Communities Potugal website and Facebook Page as they always give out reliable and sensible information.
Luckily not everything has been cancelled and we can still enjoy some Christmas events safely.
The Living Statues in Lagoa
One of our favourite events of the year is still going ahead and we are delighted. The Estátuas Vivas no Natal – the Living Statues – will be in Lagoa on Friday 18th December from 1430 – 1730 hrs and again on Saturday 19th December from 0900 – 1200 hrs.
They will be laid out differently this year respecting all safety standards and health requirements in relation to COVID-19.
Ever wanted to escape the crowds, walk on deserted beaches, and experience all that a different country has to offer?
Alyson and Dave Sheldrake moved to the western Algarve, far away from the tourists, to live in a rural market town. Surrounded by chickens, rabbits, beautiful beaches, and crazy locals, they settled down to enjoy a more peaceful existence.
Their plans didn’t include battling with Portuguese bureaucracy, a life-altering diagnosis, and Kat the dog being rushed to the vets. Brexit, a pandemic, and a house that needed updating ensured that life was anything but tranquil for this creative couple.
In this part guidebook, mostly memoir, find out why the Algarve is a favourite destination for so many, and why this couple have made it their home.
This honest and often hilarious story is the continuation of their Algarve Adventures. It can stand alone as a book for you to enjoy, and is also the follow-up to Living the Dream – in the Algarve, Portugal.
This year’s Better Living in Portugal Exhibition (BLiP Expo 2020) will be online between 24th October and 1st November, bringing all that is best in Portugal and the Algarve directly to you, in the comfort of your own home.
In order to support the businesses that so many of us depend on, afpop, the organisers of the annual BLiP Expo, have taken the exhibition to the internet this year.
Will I ever get the hang of the Portuguese language? I had been having some success with one-to-one tuition with a native speaker visiting me at home each week, but thanks to a winter break and then Covid, the classes ended and I was back to square one again.
Online Classes via Zoom
Someone recommended a tutor online for me, and I decided to find out more. I checked out the Facebook page and website for Portuguese Language Lessons and liked what I saw. I contacted the tutor, Emma, and she impressed me. She teaches European Portuguese and has a friendly, relaxed style. Her prices were also very reasonable, a course costs just 25€ per month (4 weeks) or 65€ for the 3-month (12 week) course.
Today, the 21st August 2020, is the day that Ferragudo celebrates its 500th birthday. This is a remarkable anniversary of the day that the village was founded in 1520, instituted by Queen Dona Leonor. “500 years is a remarkable longevity, an ephemeris worth celebrating with the pomp and circumstance inherent in the centenary memory of the place,” says the municipality.
Lagoa City Council and the Ferragudo Parish Council are celebrating under the motto ‘Ferragudo: 500 years of Living the Sea’.
The name Ferragudo has always been surrounded by some mystery. Many believe that there was an iron machine (engenho de ferro) with a sharp point (agudo) on Praia da Angrinha for landing fish. The merger of ‘ferro’ and ‘agudo’ became Ferragudo. I do prefer the more far-fetched legend though which reaches back to Moorish times. In the battle to claim the town of Silves, the Moorish giant ‘Ferragut’ was alleged to have been killed here and therefore Ferragudo was named after the giant.
The Arade river and Ferragudo were known for their fishing activity, and to this day, you can still enjoy watching fishermen unload their catch on the waterfront.
The beaches are almost empty, the sand is soft underfoot and the sky is a brilliant blue. A gentle breeze stirs the air as we walk along, enjoying the long stretch of sandy beach ahead of us, as the waves crash gently on the shoreline. It could be February in the Algarve, except for the temperature gauge which is nudging 35 degrees.
So many people on social media are saying that they feel safer here than in the UK. Cafés and restaurants are all complying with social distancing rules, tables are spread apart, and the wearing of a mask is compulsory unless you are sat down eating. All tables and chairs are disinfected after each customer. Hand sanitisers are everywhere, and you cannot enter a supermarket or shop without a mask. We have seen people turned away by the security guard at the door for not having a mask on. The beaches have signs displayed and a traffic light system to show occupancy numbers. The council even disinfect the streets.
In our local town, one case of Covid infected a total of seven people. They were all instantly quarantined at home or taken to hospital. One of the family members worked for the local council. Within a week, all 230 council workers were tested for Covid, and all were negative.
And yet still the British Government has declared that Portugal is not a safe enough destination to travel to. They have changed the list of travel corridors but have kept Portugal out. British holidaymakers who go to Portugal will have to self-isolate for two weeks on their return back home.
It’s always nice for us here at Algarve Blog when we can recommend new links and sites for you to enjoy. Today we are happy to introduce you to two links that we personally think are great.
The first is the daily radio broadcast from the fabulous and funny Carl Munson at Good Morning Portugal.
Good Morning Portugal! is a YouTube channel, podcast, blog and occasional radio show that airs at 9 a.m. each weekday morning. The site is a relative newcomer to the Portuguese expat landscape and began as a podcast documenting the journey of the Munson family, originally from the UK. More recently, it has become a daily Facebook-based livestream, a recent focal point for Portuguese Covid pandemic information, in English.
Carl’s witty take on life, complete with a daily briefing on all things Portugal, including the weather, euro rates, and national news, and is usually followed by an interview with someone live. Carl is always worth a listen as you eat your breakfast.