How Can WE the Consumer Help to Reduce Single-use Plastics?

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 →

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SoS: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in April

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 →

The Ugly Bug Spring Jive

This poem is dedicated to the wonderful selection of insects we have in our garden.

Piglet in Portugal

The Ugly Bug Spring Jive
by PiP

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…

hmmmmm

Gobble gobble!

What's on the menu today? What’s on the menu today?

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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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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 →

How to Propagate Hibiscus in 10 Easy Steps

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 →

Do you care about the environment?

National Geographic will be streaming Leonardo DiCaprio's environmental documentary 'Before the Flood ' entirely free from October 30th till November 6th. Before the Flood will also be available on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, iTunes and Google Play, in over 170 countries and 45 languages. https://youtu.be/8dxAgt9XXPU National Geographic says it’s distributing the movie for free as part of... Continue Reading →

7 Restaurants With Good Food And Great Views In The Western Algarve

Are you stuck for somewhere to eat and looking for inspiration such as a nice restaurant with good food as well as great views? Here are my suggestions (listed in no particular order) for the wild West of Portugal. . LAGOS Lazy Jacks Lagos Marina Tel: (+351) 911568143 Wheelchair access: Yes Parking: Yes Accessible by... Continue Reading →

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