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 →
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 →
My SoS (Six on Saturday) for this week is a bit of a mixed bag. I've been more active in the garden and we are more or less back on track planting vegetables, clearing weeds etc. I've yet to scratch the itch of walking around a garden centre so perhaps we can add that to... Continue Reading →
Karen over at BlueSkyDays365 is also on a creative journey with watercolours and prompted this post. Having decided I'd like to paint I had hoped to join the local English art group, but like most things in life it's not what you know it's who you know. Apparently, according to a group member, it was... Continue Reading →
My biggest smile over the last week is due the birth of my fifth grandchild. A little boy who looks absolutely adorable! I continue to receive photos and updates via WhatsApp, but nothing can replace a real life cuddle. I am working hard on physio exercises to strengthen my knee, after my recent meniscus operation,... Continue Reading →
Where has this week gone already? It seems like only yesterday I was writing last week's SoS (Six on Saturday). My Six on Saturday this week focuses on vegetables. Temperatures at night still hover between 4C and 12C and daytime temperatures usually above 14C to as high as 20C. Probably higher if I measured the temp... Continue Reading →
Looking back through some of my garden photographs for January, I am amazed just how many plants were in bloom. With this in mind, I thought it would make a good point of reference to keep a month-by-month pictorial journal.Hibiscus Flowering in January Cacti and Succulents and in Flower - January **** January Perennials BromeliadBougainvillea, Lavender and Rosemary Orchids The Bird... Continue Reading →
This senryu is for Colleen’s Poetry challenge. Each week we are given two prompt words but we can only use synonyms not the words themselves. This week the prompt words are ‘slow” and “work”. This challenge is for syllabic poetry forms: Tanka, Haiku, Senryu, Haibun, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, and Cinquain poetry. Given the prompt words,... Continue Reading →
WoW! My fellow gardeners in the UK are really suffering with the snow. I hope your gardens are okay and there are not too many plant casualties. My Six on Saturday this week is once again restricted... Determined not to miss a week this roving reporter did manage to hobble round on her crutches (not... Continue Reading →
Fellow writers, I am pleased to announce that Flashes, in collaboration with WritingForums.com , challenges you to write a Valentine's micropoem, Loving, laughable, sweet or sour... Although this is a fun challenge, the winner, decided by a People's poll, will receive a $/€/£10 gift voucher. So what are you waiting for? Register, get writing and post your... Continue Reading →
This Tanka is for Colleen’s Poetry challenge. Each week we are given two prompt words but we can only use synonyms not the words themselves. This week the prompt words are ‘Cold” and “Storm”. This challenge is only for Tanka, Haiku, Senryu, Haibun, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, and Cinquain poetry forms.
This week's Six on Saturday will be brief. Photos are limited as balancing on crutches and standing on one leg is not conducive for taking the best shots. My OH gives me a daily update re what's happening in the areas of garden I can't access at the moment. Apparently, he's been busy weeding! 1.... 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 →
I am curious. Why are the women's toilet signs at Faro Airport reduced to graphics depicting legs and boobs? When and why did we lose our skirt? For the visually impaired this sign is confusing and ridiculous. I feel sorry for men, who, taking a half-glance at the sign, could be forgiven for thinking they... 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 →
This Haiku is for Colleen’s Poetry challenge. Each week we are given two prompt words but we can only use synonyms not the words themselves. This week the prompt words are 'MYSTERY" and "ATTRACT". This challenge is only for Tanka, Haiku, Senryu, Haibun, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, and Cinquain poetry forms.
Over the last week I've had many reasons to smile. #1 the dreaded knee operation on my meniscus is now behind me. The pain leading up to the operation had become unbearable at times and kept me awake most nights. I am pleased to report the operation went well and so far so good. Only... Continue Reading →
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 →
I had planned to make some tealight candle holders as extra Christmas gifts for friends and family, but I failed miserably. How hard can it be to make glass mosaic tealight candle holders? Well, a lot harder than I originally thought. Perhaps if I'd conducted a little research on YouTube for some general tips, I... Continue Reading →
Last Monday the overnight temperature dropped to 3.5C and we had our first light frost on the roof of the car. However, while we were away at the hospital in Coimbra neighbours reported on Facebook that temperatures plummeted to -4C. This is the lowest (in our area) in over a decade so hopefully my plants... 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 →
Gardening in Portugal may seem like a gardener's paradise but my plants are plagued by far more pests and diseases then they ever were in the UK. Or maybe it's just my garden and the bugs arrive to dine on my plants as they would at a Michelin star restaurant. My six on Saturday for this... Continue Reading →
Blubber Meets Buddha Blubber sits beached in Buddha pose cartoon belly wobbles like blancmange Face creased to smile - contemplates whales scans ocean seeking peace Grounded body disowned mind’s eye persuades Blubber it is a nymph among goblins spirit soars. Satisfied, blubber readily agrees and greedily gobbles more chocolate stands..............looks down who stole her feet?... Continue Reading →
I know the OH will run and hide when he reads this but a gal has to have a plan, and my restricted mobility has meant I have had plenty of thinking scheming time to formulate ideas into a concrete gardening 'plan of action' for 2019. So my #SixOnSaturday for this week are six gardening projects... Continue Reading →
I have been quiet on the blogging front over the last week as we spent a family Christmas in France. It was great to have our family with our UK and French grandkids (four in total) all in the same place at the same time. This alone gave me enough smiles to last the whole... Continue Reading →
My six for this Saturday will focus on succulents in flower this week. I have several more in bud but not in time to share on this post. Maybe they will hang on until January. 1. Cotyledon orbiculata Pig’s ears or Elk’s horn This is one of the few succulents I have planted directly in... Continue Reading →
I made this mosaic sunflower pebble art especially for a special friend for Christmas. I was pleased with the finished result - I hope she is too. If not, she can hide it in a discreet corner of the garden and I won't be offended. *smiley face* These are perfect to bring sunshine to shady... 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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Shopping in Intermarche this week we (actually the OH) noticed this Bacalhau Christmas tree. What a creative way to display and promote Bacalhau! This certainly made me smile. Related Posts: Bacalhau anyone? It’s as stiff as a board, smells disgusting and looks about as appetizing as the prospect of munching on chipboard. In fact,... Continue Reading →
So what what does my garden offer this week? With high humidity and salt winds a coastal garden in the Western Algarve presents its own challenges and this week has proved no exception. Strong winds, sun, heavy rain and temperature from 7C to 20C. Fortunately no snow or frost. On the plus side some amazing... Continue Reading →
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 →
Fellow gardeners I need your help, please. The leaves on my hibiscus are not only turning yellow but have brown patches and the veins in the leaves are exposed. I've checked the moisture level and it's fine so I doubt it's overwatering. I must also mention that another hibiscus is also showing similar signs of... Continue Reading →
My #sixonsaturday this week is to suggest six effective ways to upcycle plastic in your garden rather than disposing in the recycling bin, or trash. Come on fellow gardeners, get creative with plastic! 1. Recycling Water Water is a precious resource. When practical I recycle grey water from the house (washing machine, bath, showers etc)... Continue Reading →