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 →
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 →
I was sorting through some old photographs on my computer when I was reminded of the day we spent in the Alps with our French family. We don't get snow in the Algarve, so I was just as excited as my four year old granddaughter by the prospect of building a snowman. Before we left,... Continue Reading →
A taste of Portuguese Christmas. Secretly, I still prefer mince pies, Christmas pudding and good old fashioned Christmas cake.
Fascinated by this cake I decided not only to buy one but also research its origins.
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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Today I went to the hairdressers for a colour makeover. Zoya, my hairdresser, showed me the various colour options and in a moment of absolute madness I was tempted to have my hair dyed purple. Not because I like purple, but more a statement of rebellion that while my body is decrepit and aging, inside... Continue Reading →
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 →
... but there are no courtesy seats in shops. I never noticed until I injured my knee (I'm unable to stand or walk for long) that shops no longer have a courtesy chair or two, for those waiting while their companions browse. This week, we went to the new designer outlet at Mar shopping centre... Continue Reading →
Christmas is a-coming and the delivery men are in overdrive trying to deliver Christmas gifts. Finding our house is challenging enough, but when people do not provide our correct address, we are nigh on impossible to find. Needle and haystack springs to mind. Our son ordered my Christmas present and told me it was on... Continue Reading →
I've had many smiley moments over the last week so to keep this short I'll only share three. Onions - A Lost in Translation Moment How can onions make you smile when they are renowned for making you cry? I always grow red onions as they are quite expensive to buy in the shops. So... Continue Reading →
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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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 →
There is a campaign to create a "carpet of poppies" in different countries across the world to mark 100 years since the end of the World War I. Can we create a campaign across the net, a link of poppies across the blogosphere? Centenary Commemorations for The First World War started on 28 July 2014... Continue Reading →
Are you on, or contemplating going on a diet and need moral support? Do you have a sense of humour and the ability to laugh at yourself? If so, I have started a fun FaceBook support group called Piglet's Porkers for like-minded people. This is not a formal group selling a particular diet. Which each... Continue Reading →
As the autumn evenings draw in, my thoughts turn to log fires and battening down the hatches in readiness for the long winter nights ahead. Summer clothes are now packed away and replaced by winter woolies, thermal PJs and of course my faithful 'onesie' which was a present from a friend. Not the most flattering... Continue Reading →
When I was young it was called graffiti now it's moved upmarket and is called Street Art or Murals. At least it has given some artists an outlet to display their work. A few years ago I was walking down a side street in Lagos on the Western Algarve and happened upon this larger than... Continue Reading →
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 →
I am usually not too squeamish when it comes to insects, but snakes... ewww... Natrix_natrix_(Marek_Szczepanek).jpg Last week, I was walking in the garden at the side of the house when a snake, about 1.5m long, slithered onto the path in front of me. I froze in terror as it reared up and then zig-zagged towards... Continue Reading →
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 →
Hibiscus are my favourite plants (shrubs) because they are SO easy to grow and reward me with an abundance of beautiful flowers throughout the year. I began experimenting as to the best method of propagating hibiscus from cuttings a couple of years ago when the cost of buying plants in Portugal rose significantly. I’m talking... Continue Reading →