What have I been up to this past 3 months?
Let me tell you… It has been – much like the past several years – interesting. Some highs, some lows, but loads to be excited about.
In August last year I started working for a data management company in Manchester, England. Just before I started the job, my Dad had a stroke and was very lucky to survive. I found it difficult to focus on my work. So I decided to move home after four months in my job. Luckily for me my parents live in Portugal, so Winter was warm!
At home in Portugal
It can be upsetting to see a parent in such a vulnerable state. But we have become a lot closer as a family and I’m still learning a lot from both of my parents. My Dad’s determination to recover – smashing the expectations of doctors – has been amazing. As ever, he won’t be deterred from creating the life he wants, which motivates me to continue on this path toward community. My Mum’s role in all of this has been the most challenging. But in a great show of character, she took the reigns after 30+ years of following my Dad’s lead. You are both inspirations to me!
Hot out of the data management industry, my logical mind was revved up. My younger, less patient self was frustrated with coding. But since growing up a bit, I now enjoy the problem solving involved. I’ve been focusing on web design which engages both the creative and logical parts of the brain. Codecademy is excellent for anyone looking to learn some basic coding skills.
I’ve also (since I’m living in Portugal) been learning Portuguese, using Duolingo and following Tim Ferris advice on “meta-learning“. An example of this in languages is to learn cognates. Congnates are words borrowed from English by other languages. We learn these words by changing the ending. For example most words that end with “ty” in English, will end with “dade” in Portuguese, like “communidade”, “cidade” and “ajustabilidade”. Can you guess their meaning?
Moving to Alentejo
Eco Living Alentejo
At the beginning of April I moved to a farm and animal sanctuary in Alentejo, Portgual. I was contacted by someone through Help X who wanted to set up an eco-village, so I visited and a couple of months later I’m living there. A day in the life of me:
I get up at 6:45am, feed my dog, then head down to the farm house for breakfast. On the way, I pick some fresh mint for tea. We eat and chat until 8am when I start work in the garden. I cut grass to feed the pony, muck him out, spread the much on the garden then get on with various other gardening and labouring tasks – tea and animal breaks throughout. At 12ish we eat lunch composed of produce from the garden, then back to work on my own projects – like this one. I’m responsible for recruiting volunteers and new settlers, which I’m active at most of the day. In the evening we eat then gather and tell stories.
Everything is relaxed – as long as you manage 4-6 hours per day you are left to your own devices except for when being given guidance on tasks. Here’s my photo diary since starting at the farm
Starting a Music Festival
I’ve been organising parties and events since I was 15. I love them, but haven’t had the guts (until now) to organise something really big. So my latest project is a music festival in line with the values of this website – community, sustainable living and personal development. I am banding together with Kevin Latham and a growing team to create the to-be-named event for the weekend of 11th-12th July. Tickets will be on sale soon. You can sign up for updates here – Sanctuary Festival (name to be changed soon!)
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