Living the Dream – The Book

LtD poster - Out Now

Out Now!

Something to help you pass the time away in isolation … my new book is now available to purchase on Amazon.

‘Living the Dream – in the Algarve, Portugal’

The story of one couple’s move from the UK to live in the sun.

From propositioning a builder, to battling bureaucracy, and adapting to a slower pace of life in the sunshine; this is the refreshingly honest and often hilarious account of one couple’s move from the rainy UK to the sunny Algarve in Portugal.

Alyson and Dave Sheldrake were determined to realise their dream of living abroad; so they ended their jobs, packed up everything they owned and moved to the Algarve to start a new life. Follow them as they battle with the Portuguese language, set up their own businesses, adopt a rescue dog and navigate the ‘expat’ world.

Part guidebook, mostly memoir; this book is for anyone who has ever wondered what moving abroad is really like; and is essential reading for anyone considering moving to Portugal.

The book is available in paperback, Large Print Edition, and eBook version.

Available now on Amazon.

This link should work wherever you are in the world:

Amazon Link:

Or if you have an Amazon account in the UK then this link should work for you:

Amazon UK Link:

If you have Kindle Unlimited membership you can even read it free! And if you want a Large Print paperback there is one hiding in there somewhere on Amazon (or message me and I’ll send you the link!)

LtD-6x9-Front-Back-Paperback-PNG file

I have been wanting to write this book for so long; we have lived in this beautiful place for nine years now and love it here. I am delighted that I can finally share this with you all and I hope that you enjoy reading the book and finding out more about our adventures here in the Algarve.

Free Photo Album

You can also click here to visit the special page on our blog set up for Living the Dream. Here you will find Reviews and comments .. and a link to a Free Photo Album to accompany the book.

Happy reading everyone. xx

Posted in About us, Algarve, Book, News and information | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

The Algarve, Covid and the Air-Corridor

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.

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Posted in Algarve, Coronavirus, News and information | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Good Morning Expats Portugal

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.

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Living the Dream – Top 100 Covers!

If you have a minute I’d love it if you could vote for my book!

It has made it to the Top 100 book covers in the Allauthor Cover of the Month Competition … and with your vote, it could go even further!

It only takes a couple of seconds to vote (there is nothing to register or log into) – just click the link here and then click the orange ‘Vote’ button.

And if you voted in the last round – thank you! You can vote again in this round too.

Just click on the link below – and thank you 🙂

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Living the Dream – vote now!

Cover of the Month

Living the Dream: in the Algarve, Portugal

Hey Everyone,
I’m excited to tell you that my book has been nominated for the “Cover of the Month” contest on I would be so thrilled if you could take a moment to vote for my book. You don’t have to be a member to vote.
Vote Now »
Thank you so much,
Alyson Sheldrake
Posted in About us | 2 Comments

Martin’s Culinary School Carvoeiro

We are delighted at Algarve Blog to be partnering with the Real Estate Agents Togofor-Homes Lda and we will be sharing and promoting some of their blog posts in the coming months.


Togofor-Homes have been in the Algarve region since 2005. They have an extensive portfolio which covers all types, locations and prices of properties available for sale, and they have offices in Lagos, Vilamoura (Head Office), and Tavira, and a partner office in Quinta do Lago.  They have sales consultants based all across the Algarve. You can find out more about them via their website – just click the link here: Togofor-Homes Lda

We will be sharing an excerpt from a selected blog post, followed by a link which will take you over to their site, where you can continue reading the article. We hope that you enjoy this extension to our blog posts and material provided here at Algarve Blog.

Here’s the first article for you:

Martin’s Culinary School, February 2020, Carvoeiro

Peter and Susanna from Togofor-Homes real estate agency, recently ‘dared’ to take part in a cookery course from Martin’s Culinary Art School & Restaurant. Here Susanna tells how it all began in the market halls of the ‘Mercado Municipal’ in Portimão.

Here is a photo of Martin‘s culinary restaurant in Carvoeiro Martins Kulinarium which he runs with his family:

cookery course

“The menu included various fish delicacies, vegetables, roasted lamb shoulder and dips. After a successful shop we went to the cooking school in Carvoeiro. Our classmates were: Gabi from Lagos, Dieter – the undisputed truffle and mushroom master from Germany currently in Portimão, Uli from Carvoeiro/Sesmarias, Sven a German tourist, Jens from Messines and Frans from Holland – currently in Carvoeiro.

One of the participants came with her beautiful, young ‘Boerboel’ dog called Bärbel (see photo below) Her owner always takes her everywhere, but in this case, sadly for her – she had to wait outside in the courtyard!

cookery course 2

We unpacked all of our ingredients and before we began, we enjoyed a wonderful energiser with delicious sausage, cheese, bread and drinks – then we were ready for the programme!

We commenced with various dips and garlic oil which consisted of olive oil and a lot of peeled cloves of garlic (depending on your taste), which were crushed and mashed.

Dip No. 1 Humus
Into a bowl we added: chickpeas, mild chillis, a handful of plucked rosemary and 3 cloves of garlic, 5 teaspoons of sugar or 2 tablespoons of honey (depending on taste), two pinches of fine salt, a handful of freshly picked parsley or spring onions. Filled with olive oil until all the ingredients were covered. Then we used a hand blender so that a homogeneous paste was obtained and left to rest for half an hour. Very simple to make and tastes incredibly good with bread, vegetables, meat and fish.”

… to find out more .. including how they cooked a lamb shoulder, Smoked Catshark (Pata-roxa), a fish cataplana .. and more (including whether they saved any scraps for Bärbel!) click the link below …


We’re off to try out that hummus recipe – I’ve never tried it with honey before, it sounds great!

Posted in Algarve, Food | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Coronavirus Covid – 19 in the Algarve

We have had lots of people contact us (thank you!) asking if we are ok … we are fine, we have chosen to self-isolate and look after each other (and Kat the dog) for the next couple of weeks and see whether things escalate.

We thought we would create a quick post and share with you some useful links that have good sensible information available for these unprecedented times.


Safe Communities Portugal – this is an independent crime prevention association providing dedicated information and support services to the community. They have daily and sometimes hourly updates on their website and Facebook Page


Good Morning Portugal – this is a daily radio show and podcast. The host Carl Munson has decided to focus his daily podcasts on updates on the current situation. He is relevant, sensible and entertaining – and recommended viewing!

Catch him via his website, YouTube channel and Facebook Page

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Posted in About us, Coronavirus | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Taking a Break

Well we have been busy! Moving house is not for the faint-hearted out here – but we are delighted with our move to the beautiful, unspoilt and peaceful west coast … and with beaches like this on our doorstep .. can you blame us?!

Monte Clerigo Beach - Dave Sheldrake Photography

We have been writing this blog for eight years now .. and we have decided to take a break for a while and then decide what to do next …

Fear not .. we will keep the blog ‘live’ and all of the content is still here for you to read and research through – why not use the search button or the categories on the right if you need to find out something specific?

Praia Amoreira - Dave Sheldrake Photography

Thank you to all of you that have supported us over the last eight years.

And we will be back in touch soon … hopefully with new plans, new ideas – and some exciting news!


Posted in About us, Algarve | 5 Comments

Moving House

Moving House

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Kat the Dog at the vets

For those of you that know us well – you will know that we adopted a little rescue dog over three years ago now. Kat is a Spanish Water Dog; she is a beautiful sweet girl, and she is a very important part of our family, and much loved.

We are sharing this post to give you some important links and recommendations, as well as letting you know what has happened as it may help someone else and their dog too.

Kat the Dog - Algarve Blog

We had used the same vets here in the Algarve since we adopted Kat. Almost a year ago we noticed a fatty lump appear on her back and mentioned it to the vet. “Oh, that’s ok, it’s just a fatty lump, just keep an eye on it” we were told. Fast forward to last November when her annual jabs were due, and a different vet at the practice glanced at it again but didn’t seem at all bothered by it, joking that as she was a ‘little bit’ overweight, that was where the fat had come from in the lump.

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Posted in About us, Businesses, Healthcare | Tagged , , | 14 Comments