A Covid-safe Carnaval

Usually today we would be heading for Loulé to enjoy the fabulous sights and sounds of Carnaval. Sadly this year, thanks to Covid-19, that will not be possible, so we thought we would put together a Virtual Carnaval for you. We have collated some of our favourite Carnaval shots from previous years for you to enjoy.

You’ll have to play some samba music in the background as you scroll down to the images, and imagine yourself stood on the pavement watching all the floats go by.

Traditionally, you should also enjoy a bit of a feast today, the last time to eat well before the start of 40 days of Lent. Legend says that the word ‘Carnaval’ comes from the Latin, carnem levare, which means ‘to take away (or remove) meat’. If you are in the UK, do have a plate of pancakes with sugar and lemon on for us!

“Of all the holidays celebrated across the modern world, Carnival might be the most boisterous, and possibly the most fun.”

Daniel Shafto   

All Images © Dave Sheldrake Photography

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Top 20 Blogs Award

Algarve Blog has won another award!

We were delighted to open our emails today and discover that we had won an award.

We are featured in the ‘Top 20 Blogs from UK Expats’ on the MoneyTransfers.com website.

You can click the link here or the image below to visit their website and find out more about the chosen blogs:

We’ve added a snazzy Award Badge to the sidebar of our blog, and we are in good company too, as our friend Julie Dawn Fox also won the award for Portugal.

That’s a pretty nice start to the weekend for us!
Thank you to MoneyTransfers.com for the award.

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Our February Newsletter

It is also a real thrill for me to press the little button that sends our monthly newsletter out into the world!

This month’s edition is our biggest yet with 22 pages packed full of art, photography, books and news for our subscribers to enjoy.

Read it now:

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What Brexit Means For Us

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:

BBC Article Brexit; ‘We welcomed the trade deal like a Christmas present’

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.

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The Living Statues – Christmas 2020

The Estátuas Vivas no Natal – the Living Statues – came to the streets of Lagoa again this year, much to our delight, and Dave was there to capture them with his camera for you.

Our favourites this year were John Lennon and the Minotauro

Covid meant that the statues were set apart slightly from the crowds, which resulted in the event feeling a little less intimate that usual, but the costumes and poses were as wonderful as ever.

We hope you enjoy the tour:

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A Covid Christmas in the Algarve

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.

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Living the Quieter Algarve Dream

Living the Quieter Algarve Dream

The eBook and Paperback are Now Available to Purchase

And scroll down to find out more about your invitation to the VIP Online Live Book Launch on Monday 23rd November

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Pre-Order your eBook Today

Living the Quieter Algarve Dream

eBook Available Now to Pre-Order

Have you ever longed for a quieter life?

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.

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BLiP Expo Online

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.


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Learning Portuguese Online

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.

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