I'm a 35-year old Englishman living in the hills of central Portugal with my partner Patricia and our dog and cat.
I have a degree in Ancient and Mediaeval History (II:I) and a Masters (with distinction) in Teaching English as a foreign language. After spending several years living and teaching in different parts of Portugal we moved to the countryside last year. I have also worked in the UK, Turkey and Qatar.
We live in a small house which was completely renovated ten years ago in a rustic style with wooden floors, exposed chestnut beams, vaulted ceilings and woodburning stoves for heating.
The garden backs on to national forest and our nearest neighbour is half a mile away so noise is not a problem!
Portugal has a fascinating history and a long relationship with England - legend says that it was the Portuguese who introduced tea to us!
We can show you castles, Roman ruins, and deserted beaches, and take you to the best restaurants, cafes and museums.
I love surfing and the ocean - Portugal has great waves but far fewer surfers than France or Spain, and I know exactly where to go! We spend a lot of time walking in the forests near our house and swimming wild in the river nearby. I also like mountain biking and yoga. We watch a lot of films and have a good library of English books and dvds. Patricia loves playing on the Wii and you're welcome to try to beat her at bowling!
Since qualifying from International House, London I have taught for more than ten years and have extensive experience with learners of all ages, levels and linguistic backgrounds.
I have prepared students for PET, FCE, CAE, CPE and IELTS and have also designed one-to-one courses for students and business people with specific needs.
We aren’t vegetarians but try not to eat too much meat or fish, so we eat a lot of vegetables in the form of soups, curries, lasagne and chilli.
We buy organic chicken nearby to make casseroles or souffles and Patricia makes a delicious mushroom and spinach quiche.
Portugal has some incredible cheeses and very good bread and olives as well as world class wine. If you like meat then the chorizo and presunto (parma ham) will not disappoint.
We are a five minute drive from the town of Serpins which has several cafes/patisseries, a small supermarket, bank, post office and small shops. The train line which ran to Coimbra is currently being renovated but there is a replacement bus.
Coimbra is 30 minutes away and has everything you would expect from a city - cinemas, reastaurants, shopping centres, bars, museums and rail links to Porto, Lisbon, and Spain.
We have two cars which are both insured for anyone with a valid licence and which you are welcome to borrow if you want to go on a solo adventure.
THE SOCIAL PROGRAMME
Those looking for peace, tranquility and fresh air will certainly find them here - it really is the perfect place to study.
However the area has lots to offer visitors. We can show you around the historic university city of Coimbra ("The Oxford of Portugal") with its ancient buildings and narrow cobbled streets, take you to Porto for a tour of one of the Port lodges or a cruise up the Douro river, or even to Lisbon.
Nearby is the templar castle of Tomar, the Roman city of Conimbriga, and the religous shrine of Fatima.
Patricia has a degree in history and there is nobody better to give you a tour.
We also know the best places to eat and drink in the area and will be very happy to share that information with you!