I came here from Portugal in 1989, after my marriage broke up. Lisbon felt like a very dark place for me then. A friend suggested that London would be a good place to start a new life, so I brought my son and daughter.

London was a magical place when I arrived, and I feel very happy here despite all the changes that have taken place. I’m worried about Brexit - after the referendum I felt like persona non grata. I have no regrets about coming here though. I love my country, but this feels like a second home. One of the things I can do is to bring the best of both countries.

I recently retired, but before that I worked all my life, as a housekeeper, nanny and babysitter, among other jobs. I’ve worked for some very interesting people from all around the world, including a few celebrities!

I have my faith, but it doesn’t belong to any single church. My philosophy in life is to respect other people and their experiences. I live in a building near Oval station which is full of a diverse range of people, and I feel comfortable there.

I’m a very energetic and positive person. I try and see the bright side of life, even in dark times.

Everybody says there has been a rise in crime in this area, but I feel safe here. I like the parks and the green space. I spend some time in the Lusitana cafe with friends. My daughter and grandchildren live nearby so I feel very connected to this area.

When I was a schoolgirl in Portugal I did a lot of theatre and drama. I really wanted to be an actress but in the area I grew up there wasn’t much opportunity for that. My granddaughter became an actress here in the UK, and she teaches drama. She has fulfilled my dream.

Pencil illustration of a plate of freshly baked Portuguese custard tarts.

I’m a very energetic and positive person. I’ve had my ups and downs, but I always wake up with a feeling of “wow, it’s going to be a beautiful day!”. I have a poster in my bathroom with that message on it, and it’s the first thing I look at every day. I try and see the bright side of life, even in dark times.

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