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 →
... 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 →
My most ambitious project to date is this mosaic table which is 19" (48cm) diameter. I'd observed other members of the mosaic class create some fantastic designs so decided to give it a try. I knew my biggest challenge would be cutting the stained glass to specific shapes which then all linked together, so accuracy... Continue Reading →
A new week, another Six on Saturday and a great opportunity to connect with fellow gardeners. The temperatures have dropped significantly over the last week with a low of 6c at night. Daytime temperatures range from 13C to 19C but at least the rain has stopped for now which means my cacti and succulents have... Continue Reading →
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!
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!
199 CALORIES PER SERVING
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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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 →
We are plagued by wild campers who have no respect for the countryside. This sign near Praia da Amoreira made me laugh, and inspired me to write a poem which is also about crap! Please Scoop Your Poop Wild campers, (PLEASE) scoop your poop or dig a hole we don't want your faeces on our soles nor your toilet... Continue Reading →
Planting Daffodils and Narcissus brings back memories of gardening in the UK and the arrival of Spring. William Wordsworth's poem captures the moment perfectly. I wandered lonely as a Cloud That floats on high o’er Vales and Hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host of golden Daffodils; Beside the Lake, beneath... Continue Reading →
'A Tour of My Garden (part 1)' included photographs of our main outside living areas and garden which is south facing and as I said in my previous post: When I think of the various areas of our garden I try to plan them as different rooms, or a transition from one room to the... Continue Reading →
A hidden me, and a hidden word buried within poem. If you are familiar with the acrostic form you will find the hidden word immediately, so don't spill the beans. Poetry, its meaning Often opaque in delivery Elusive metaphors and cryptic clues Testing – teasing – tormenting its Readers Yet, sublimely addictive. ******** This week's prompt... Continue Reading →
I was sorting through some old photographs this week when I came across this picture of a sign posted outside an Italian restaurant. It reminds me or the daily conversation we have in our house before I've barely opened my eyes, and I'm still considering breakfast: 'What's for dinner today?' 'I don't know'. 'Will it... Continue Reading →
I am always keen to try new recipes, experiment and adapt, so I was encouraged to discover the culinary delights of pea soup. For some reason, in all my xx years, I've never eaten pea soup, yet alone attempted to make it. After I made a sample batch I tripled the quantity and made... Continue Reading →
Gardening is one of my passions so I am delighted to discover #sixonsaturday as a way to link up with fellow gardeners across the world. When I think of the various areas of our garden I try to plan them as different rooms or a transition from one room to the next. Each room has a... Continue Reading →
I am always exploring different ways to brighten shady areas of my garden so with this in mind I decided to create colourful mosaics on stones. This was my first project which I positioned under a small palm. Once I'd mapped out the design, I used stained glass to create the sunflower. However, you could... 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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
I have been on blogging hiatus for the last few years because I became involved in a writing forum and ended up running the place. I've now stepped away and returned to blogging only to discover 97% of my old blogging buddies have disappeared. When I started my blog back in May 2010 most of... Continue Reading →