Hi fellow writers. I am going to give a shoutout for Flashes. Flashes is a literary website where we publish short stories, non-fiction, flash fiction, poetry and author interviews. Our goal is to give talented writers a platform to showcase their creativity, with an emphasis on original voice, innovative style and challenging plots. If you... Continue Reading →
This time last week I was preparing my Six on Saturday when we lost our telephone line. We had a wildfire start quite close to us but thank God the wind sent the smoke, fire and ash in the other direction and across into the next valley. Thanks to the swift response of the Bombeiros... Continue Reading →
Although we've had some spits and spots of rain this week it was not enough to water the garden which is becoming crisper day-by-day. Our water is metered so it's always a good reminder to be frugal and use sparingly, or at least try and reuse shower and washing-up water. This week we set ourselves... Continue Reading →
My six for this Saturday focuses on unusual garden ideas such as alternative planters, pebble art I discovered in local gardens. I feel inspired to try some of these ideas! 1. Pebble Art Ladybirds 2. Pebble Art Animals 3. Rock Village ** 4. Boots Upcycled to Plant Containers What a great idea! Rummages through cupboards... Continue Reading →
I had planned a different six for this week, but as I wandered around the garden looking for suitable plants to feature I realised my Queen of the Night Orchid Cactus was about to flower. For anyone who is unfamiliar with this plant, they only flower at night and have the most magnificent flowers and... Continue Reading →
YaY! We had some rain this week. Only a couple of heavy showers for about an hour but better than nothing. Here is my Six on Saturday (SoS) for this week. 1. New Hibiscus I ONLY popped into the garden centre to buy some strawberry plants (see post 3 below) but I could not resist... Continue Reading →
Since trying to maintain a gluten AND lactose free diet, plus attempting to lose weight, I've struggled with snack lunch ideas beyond fruit and lactose-free yoghurts. In the past, I've either eaten Ryvita style crispbreads or sandwiches with various fillings, so as you can see my imagination has struggled to find alternatives that do not... Continue Reading →
I wrote this poem when I was in intense pain. In fact, so much pain it took my breath away. For those who have suffered/or who are suffering, I hope you can connect with this poem.
by Carole Hill
through icebergs of pain.
your smile numb in response
forced to bridge frozen wastelands
where laughter once played
and humour skied in your eyes
warms their polite concern.
white-hot iron leaves its mark.
About the author:
Carole Hill paints with words. Her artist’s palette coloured by the simple beauty of nature, environmental challenges and observations of her fellow man. When Carole is not writing, gardening or painting she can be found daydreaming on the beach as her thoughts are lost in the ocean waves, the distant horizon and beyond.
Carole’s poetry has been published in the Algarve’s travel magazine and Passages anthology.
Unlike the UK we've not had any rain other than the odd shower to quench the thirst of the scorched countryside. Unfortunately, this means we are on high alert for fires. Consequently, we try to conserve and reuse every drop of water when feasible. So far my plants in pots are holding up well as... Continue Reading →
Every week Trent encourages us to share a smile via his 'Weekly Smile' meme. In a world where we are surrounded by so much chaos, it's important to press pause for just one moment and focus on the little things in life that make us smile. This week my smile comes courtesy of our local... Continue Reading →
For my six this Saturday, I decided to focus on hibiscus growing in containers. For some reason, they thrive in our humid climate and reward us with beautiful flowers throughout the year. I do prune hard to contain growth and feed regularly which probably helps. Very occasionally (if the plant is distressed) I water with... Continue Reading →
Why oh why are fruit and vegetables sold prepacked in plastic packaging? This is just a small selection of produce on display at a well-known supermarket. While I needed these items I refused to buy on principle. If more consumers boycotted overpackaged produce maybe the message would eventually get through. This week. I asked the... Continue Reading →
My garden is plagued by pests and diseases. The latest victim is my beautiful Agave which is over twelve years old so I am hopping from foot-to-foot wondering what to do. When we are sick we go to the doctor, when animals are sick we take them to the vet... but where to go for... Continue Reading →
After watching several TV and Youtube documentaries on marine plastic pollution and the devastating impact on marine life, I decided to seriously review our plastic usage and recycling efforts, especially single-use plastics. https://www.facebook.com/lessplasticpt/videos/463573210817100/ One of the most alarming facts to emerge from these documentaries is that plastic breaks down into tiny pieces (microplastics) which then... Continue Reading →
There's a lot happening in the garden at the moment so it is demanding a lot of care and attention. This week I did not know where to start for the Six on Saturday garden update, so I decided to show how some areas of the garden are evolving as we head from spring towards... Continue Reading →
We first discovered the terracotta tippy pot display at the Oasis Restaurant near Milfontes in the Alentejo. How unusual, we thought, so I took a photograph. A couple of months later we decided to make our own version. The height of our display was governed by the length of the rebar we already had, a... Continue Reading →
On Sunday we went to our local beach for coffee. As we enjoyed the views across the yet unspoilt beach and rugged coastline of the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina while chatting to friends, we paused as the sound of haunting music caught our attention. At first, we thought the music was... Continue Reading →
This week I've been planting up pots to bring some much needed vibrant summer colour to the garden. Shrubs, cacti and succulents make a great low-maintenance backdrop, but the displays of annuals really make the garden pop with colour. I usually go to the garden centre and select a range of annuals but this year,... Continue Reading →
It's been a busy week in the garden with everything demanding my attention at once to the point I've been spinning on the spot. We managed to cut the olive hedge which had grown to around 12ft as it was casting a shadow over the pool sitting area as the sun dipped lower after 18.30.... Continue Reading →
I have a few pet peeves regarding tobacco smoke. The first is when smokers, in the company of non-smoking friends 'light up' which means their friends are forced to inhale tobacco smoke. Second-hand smoke is dangerous and there is no safe level of exposure I understand some people can't live without their cancer sticks and... Continue Reading →
... okay, a thousand seedlings may be a slight exaggeration but as I survey all the seeds that have germinated so far: petunias, basil, nasturtium and curly parsley to name a few, I don't have enough pots to prick out. Another week and another Six on Saturday (SoS). It is difficult to select my six... Continue Reading →
WoW!! Well, not quite this big! Photograph taken during a recent visit to Quinta da Ataboeira garden centre in Guia. Considering the Pony Tail palm is slow growing, I wonder how old these specimens are?
Thankfully, the water butts are full to the brim as are all the plastic water bottles. It truly is April showers with brilliant sunshine one minute and heavy rain the next. I seriously would not recommend a holiday in Portugal in April if you want a tan as the weather is too unreliable and it... Continue Reading →
This little pig went to the local market and bought a piggy sweet. yum yum! Doces do Algarve are traditional handmade marzipan sweets. They are super-sweet so if you want a shot of sugar they are perfect! They are normally shaped and carefully painted as fruit, vegetables or fish, (or at least the ones... Continue Reading →
Mother's Day came with a monetary 'allowance' to spend on plants. Needless to say, I was like a kid in a sweetie shop when the OH drove for over an hour on Wednesday to visit my favourite garden centre, Qta Ataboeira. If you want succulents and cacti, for me, they are the 'go-to' place. They also... Continue Reading →
Where do the weeks go? We desperately need rain but despite the forecast showing a shower or two, we have only been gifted 1cm since last Sunday. If it does not rain soon, we have already been warned there will be a shortage of water in the Western Algarve. Sitting in the garden eating breakfast... Continue Reading →
My gardening six this week focuses on a new project to extend one of our succulent gardens and identify ALL the succulents. Research seems more labour intensive than the physical aspect of digging, moving rocks and planting. Is anyone else confused by all the different names? 1. Succulent Garden - Work in Progress I originally... Continue Reading →
A busy week of seed planting and pricking out seedlings means I've already filled our two cold frames. I've discovered, there's something quite satisfying about growing seeds... I think. So far so good. I've now gone crazy and ordered 5 packets of seeds from a friend who is putting in an order with a UK... Continue Reading →
My weekly smile this week comes courtesy of a dear poetry friend at writingforums.com. My Christmas Pippy Pig never arrived so my tenacious friend sent another! It now sits pride of place on my desk. Parcel delivery to our house can be a little unreliable at times and seems to depend on the tenacity of... Continue Reading →
Another great week in the garden! We've had plenty of rain as well as warm sunny spells so seeds and vegetables are off to a good start. As I posted in 'My Garden in Bloom - February' I am amazed by the number of cacti and succulents in bloom and it looks as if this... Continue Reading →
Looking through my february photographs I am amazed at the number of different flowering plants. The weather in February was a mixed bag of sun and rain, and our in-house weather station recorded temperatures as low as 4C at night while rising to over 22C plus on several occasions during the day. Spring Bulbs -... Continue Reading →
We've had glorious weather again this week and the night time temperature has not fallen below 10C in our micro-climate. Unfortunately, we've had no rain so once again we rely on our temperamental irrigation system. 1. Upcycling Plastic in the Garden As I've been struggling to find plastic plant markers in the shops, I decided... Continue Reading →
My smile this week came courtesy of an unexpected source: public toilets. Eew... yes. Seriously. The journey to Coimbra, in northern Portugal, for my post op visit with the knee surgeon is long and tedious so we punctuate our journey with various coffee and toilet breaks (pit stops) to relieve the monotony. Our first pit... Continue Reading →
Where has this week gone? It seems like only yesterday I was taking photographs for last week's Six on Saturday and then touring fellow gardeners blogs to check out their progress. Despite the strong winds this week we did manage to cross one job of the gardening 'To Do' list. Or should I say, the... Continue Reading →
This poem is dedicated to the wonderful selection of insects we have in our garden.
The Ugly Bug Spring Jive
With the Herald of Spring the bugs start to arrive
in my Garden of Eden for the “Ugly Bug Jive”.
The weird and the ugly they give me the jitters
who may I ask created these critters?
There are black bugs and green bugs and stripey ones too
perhaps they’ve escaped from the Ugly Bug zoo?.
Grasshoppers and spiders arrive at my door
the Jive’s in full swing so they take to the floor.
The Ugly Bug Jive is now the “In” thing
and a great way to cheer, the arrival of Spring.
The birds, snakes and lizards come looking for lunch
The “Ugly Bug” guests look an appetising bunch…
Reading Trent's Weekly Smile I am reminded it is often the little things in life that brings us the greatest happiness. On Sunday we went to one of our favourite restaurants in Lagos Marina for Sunday Roast. For those not in the know, Sunday roast is typically British: Roast pork, beef or lamb served with... Continue Reading →