That town name really is “St John of the Little Blacks” although there’s a rumour that in the Beja version of Portuguese that really means “Elm Trees”.
We faced a couple of interrelated problems. We wanted a garden. But a house in town with a garden isn’t really a Portuguese thing. Townhouses are like Bath – they’re townhouses. And everyone, historically and still to a large extent, has access to the countryside in Granny’s country cottage etc. But we didn’t want to be out in the country, we wanted walking distance to fresh milk, bread, and that quick and common snack meal, the bitoque (minute steak, fried egg, chips, rice, small salad, costs €7/€8 anywhere in the country). We’d, previously, been in the country with 4 bedrooms and a garden, but country without the walking distance. We’d also more recently been in town in a flat, big one, no garden.
We wanted what this country does really do, the suburban desres that is.
Interrelated, we didn’t have as much money as we thought, expected or wanted. The flat didn’t sell well – but then another way of looking at this is that a flat you cannot actually bear to live in has a near zero value, so anything above that is a bonus.
To gain our compromise – all is tradeoffs, as we know – we had to accept living out in the boonies of the Alentejo. So we’re on the last line before the country of a 2k people town, a house with a garden, outbuildings etc. A 5k people town is 10km away, the regional capital (25k people) 40km. But we’re “in town” in that milk, bread and bitoque sense.
Which is the best we could do – looking forward to completion (and the writing of a large cheque) next week…..
#Now the game is to find some €15k of work from somewhere so that I can extend that pool to proper swimming length…..