SOS: Garden Warfare and a Nice Surprise

Yes, I'm now convinced my garden is a war zone: Me against nature. There is not a week goes by without some new bug or disease attacking my plants. I also woke up to rain this morning the first proper rain since November. My gardening activities this week are once again directed from my garden... Continue Reading →

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One Size Does Not Fit All

After my experience in a Portuguese hospital this week for an operation on my meniscus, I am back on my crusade to lose weight. Before I was wheeled down to the operating theatre I was given a gown and a pair of paper modesty pants (knickers). Now, before I continue this story, I'm not huge... Continue Reading →

Bolo Rei – A symbol of the Christmas season in Portugal!

A taste of Portuguese Christmas. Secretly, I still prefer mince pies, Christmas pudding and good old fashioned Christmas cake.

Piglet in Portugal

Fascinated by this cake I decided not only to buy one but also research its origins.

Bolo Rei - a true symbol of the Christmas season

Bolo Rei is not simply a cake but a true symbol of the Christmas season!

The Bolo Rei (King Cake) originated in France and only arrived in Portugal during the mid nineteenthcentury. It is traditionally eaten on the 25th December (Nativity) and the 6th of January (Epithany). However, the cake is so popular that it is on sale from the end of November through to the Epithany. The bread-like cake is round with a hole in the centre like a crown and decorated with candied fruits and nuts to symbolize the gifts offered by the Magi. The Magi were the wise men who followed the star from the east to worship baby Jesus in Bethlehem. They were later referred to by the Church, as Kings. Hence Bolo Rei.

Inside the Bolo Rei are nuts…

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Weekly Smile: Christmas Lights and Roses

This week we have had glorious sunshine so I've chillaxed by pottering/working in the garden, mosaicing and writing poetry. On Friday evening we ventured into Lagos to see the Christmas lights, which was great as for several years austerity measures meant there was no money for street decorations. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera so the... Continue Reading →

Learning the Lingo!

Learning Portuguese
Learning Portuguese

Piglet in Portugal

Learn the “Lingo” or live life in an “Expat Bubble”!

I am a great advocate of the fact that when you move to a new country you ‘attempt’ to gain, at the very least, a basic understanding of both language and culture. Without this ‘basic’ knowledge so much of everyday life and cultural opportunities are lost, and you effectively live a parallel existence in your new environment; there in body but not quite in mind. You still watch English TV, read English Newspapers and mainly interact with your fellow compatriots or those who speak English.

I accept, everyone is not a natural linguist and I certainly do not fall into that category – far from it! Despite years of studying Portuguese very little has permeated the grey matter and words just float aimlessly in my memory in disjointed sentences. However, on a positive note, I now often read a Portuguese…

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#PetPeeve: Do You Have Feet Like Pig’s Trotters?

One of my personal pet peeves are my square stumpy feet. They resemble pig's trotters and make me feel like one of Cinderella's ugly sisters. It's official: I hate shopping for boots. Why? Most standard shoe retailers, such as Guimaraes, only seem to focus on women with Cinderella feet, so if you  are blessed with... Continue Reading →

Stunning Azulejos at São Bento Railway Station, Porto

One of the highlights of our trip to Porto was not the port, but the magnificent vestibule and azulejos tiled images at São Bento railway station - Estação Ferroviária de São Bento. Further research revealed that approximately twenty thousand tiles were used to decorate the station's vestibule which I think you will agree is spectacular!... Continue Reading →

Pet Peeve: Able-Bodied People Parking in Disabled Bays

There is a new addition to the disabled and mother and baby parking bays. Or maybe it's always been there and I've never noticed. There  is now designated parking close to the entrance of the store for people with walking disabilities. (At least that is what I think the sign means). Fourteen months after injuring... Continue Reading →

‘Assisted’  Travel from Faro to Lyon–Saint Exupéry Airport

Last September I injured my knee, so after months of pain I finally consulted with an orthopedic specialist who organised an MRI scan and X-ray.  The diagnosis: I had a ruptured meniscus, tendonitis, arthritis and a crack in my knee bone. Ouch! I consoled myself with the fact there are people far worse than myself... Continue Reading →

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