Hi, we are Tom and Diane Brennan. I started this blog when we were living in Abu Dhabi where we tried to live as sustainably as possible ( not always easy), while we planned and saved towards our dream of living off-grid and as self sufficiently as possible in Central Portugal.
We’ve lived in many places, mostly Hong Kong, with a stint in India and more recently, a couple of years back in the UK where we had a farm on the Carmarthenshire/Ceredigion border in Wales.
We love Wales, and we loved our smallholding, but for many reasons it was not the right place for us. The opportunity to work in Abu Dhabi came up, so here we took it and that allowed us to save up enough (with our existing savings) to buy a small quinta in Central Portugal.
We bought Quinta da Bem Paz (roughly translates to the Farm of Wellness and Peace) in August 2014 and Tom moved there in December of the same year to begin work on the property. I will follow later in 2015.
The farm buildings are very old and we plan to keep them more or less the same as they have been for centuries, with a few modern conveniences, and to renovate in natural, local materials where possible.
The farm had been in the same family for generations and the people we bought from still live in the village, but like most families in Central Portugal, the younger generation have no interest in farming, hence them selling to us. They are a lovely family, and often pop up to make sure we are ok.
Everyone we’ve met in the village are lovely, even though they are not well-off financially, they are kind and generous and ever-helpful. It’s a beautiful place and I’m sure we are going to be extremely happy there.