Due to health issues and the fact we are approaching our winter years, we decided to go into self-isolation on Friday 13th March several days before the Portuguese government declared a state of emergency and 'official' lockdown. We prepared well in advance thanks to our daughter who lives in France. She warned us what was... Continue Reading →
In between writing this post, I am dodging the showers to take photographs. Yes, hopefully, the much-needed rain has finally arrived. March is one of my favourite months as most of my resident plants, cacti and shrubs flower before the heat of summer when colour and interest is mainly provided by the usual suspects such... Continue Reading →
While we've been enjoying beautiful weather we have followed storm Denis, which is ravaging parts of the UK, with horror. It certainly helps to put life into perspective when you see the devastation it has left in its wake. My thoughts are with you. This week's SOS focusses on the progress of my little horta... Continue Reading →
The day finally dawned when Hubby accepted my disability and the fact that despite nearly one hundred sessions of physio over the past two years to help with reoccurring bouts of tendonitis, numerous sessions of acupuncture to help control the pain, and a meniscus op, he agreed to let me buy a wheelchair so I... Continue Reading →
It's been quite a few weeks since I've shared a Six on Saturday update but problems with my knee persist so not much enthusiasm for gardening. That said, I've been plotting and planning from the armchair and with the autumn only a few weeks away we need to think ahead re winter vegetables and revamping... 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 →
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 →
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.
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.
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
In years to come I wonder if Britain will regret its decision to leave the EU and if future generations will shake their heads in despair? I am not a political animal but with the uncertainty of Brexit looming over our heads like a black cloud in a blue sky, I fear for our future.... Continue Reading →
If Piglet can't waddle on her crutches to her garden workbench at the back of the house, then think outside the box and create a mini work area which she CAN access! And that is precisely what my OH did. So... sensing my frustration at my lack of contact with the garden, he brought buckets... Continue Reading →
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 →