A Smile or Two …

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 →

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Flashes: Call for Submissions

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 →

Blubber Meets Buddha – Dieting Blues

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 →

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 →

Why Are My Hibiscus Leaves Turning Yellow with Brown Patches?

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 →

6 Ideas to Upcycle Plastic in Your Garden

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 →

Delicious Cumin-spiced Carrot and Butternut Squash Soup

I haven’t cooked this delicious low calorie soup for a while so as I have some butternut squash in the freezer that needs eating what a great excuse. I have cooked many recipes from this book and they’ve ALL been delicious!

Piglet in Portugal

This recipe is courtesy of Greedy Girl’s Diet: Eat yourself slim with gorgeous, guilt-free food with permission of the author, Nadia Sawalha

I am always keen to try new recipes especially those which are filling and with not too many calories. My biggest problem with losing weight is that I only have to look at food and I pile on the pounds! I tried this recipe from the “Greedy Girl’s Diet” book and it was absolutely delicious!

Despite Mr. Piglet’s moaning and “tutting” the whole time I was cooking the soup that he did not like ginger or cumin, even he, despite his earlier reservations, agreed it was absolutely scrumptious!

Cumin-spiced carrot and butternut squash soup Cumin-spiced carrot and butternut squash soup

199 CALORIES PER SERVING

SERVES 4
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped or crushed
1 red chilli (optional) deseeded if preferred and…

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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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Street Art Depicting Fadista, Amália Rodrigues, Brejão (Alentejo)

While driving through the sleepy village of Brejão in the Alentejo, we happened upon the most amazing street art painted on the side elevation of several houses. Curious to discover more I took several photographs and sent them to my Portuguese blogging buddy, Sami, in Oz. Sami quickly identified the lady in the series of paintings... Continue Reading →

A Great Way to Display Cacti and Succulents in Pots

What came first the chicken or the egg? My passion for mosaics developed way beyond the initial Introduction to Mosaics course after my general interest in growing succulents and cacti became a full-blown passion and I expanded my collection. Or maybe I always had the mosaic bug, but lacked motivation and/or opportunity. Living way out of... Continue Reading →

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