As a 'serial' ex-pat, I have always been curious about different cultures and the way people live and adapt to situations. I was born in Finland as part of a Swedish-speaking minority but grew up bilingual. However, it was the English language that caught my imagination, and I always knew it would determine my life. I ended up spending all of my professional career teaching English language and literature to British children in the UK!
When early retirement beckoned, it was the Algarve that became the natural choice. The warm climate, interesting history and fascinating language seduced me. I urgently wanted to practise my Portuguese acquired at night school in England and learn about life in the region. What better than talk to local people? Armed with a video camera, I did an interview with a 90-year-old fisherman in Burgau which I duly translated and wrote up. This is when Tom Henshaw and Tomorrow entered my life.
At a chance meeting, Tom suggested that I submit the article to the magazine. In March 2012 my first article appeared. I never wrote the novel I had planned but ended up writing countless articles over the years. Talking to so many people from different walks of life helped me to get a more thorough understanding of life here and of course, did wonders for my Portuguese! I also enjoy doing the research that each new topic requires. Two books (also available in Portuguese) have been published, based on the articles.
My life has taken yet another turn. Although retaining my base in Lagos, I now live on a quinta in the countryside near Silves, relishing fully what rural life has to offer. The vegetable plot and the growing succulent collection need attention and so do the chickens!
Having practised judo for over 30 years in the UK, with five world titles under my belt, I tend to settle for yoga these days and the gentler art of pulling up weeds.
After nine years, I still enjoy writing for the magazine and look forward to being sent on assignments that usually require knowledge of Portuguese. Working for Tomorrow has opened so many doors for me and has made my life here so much richer.