Six on Saturday: Western Algarve – December Gardening

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 →

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Growing Old…

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 →

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 →

Poem: Thursday Photo Prompt #writephoto

  Rebirth Mind’s landscape, a mirage of memories displaced between earth and sky Reality’s horizon bears witness as naked limbs shiver in winter’s chill. Leaves tremble memories decay reborn as spirits they rise from steaming earth thoughts gain clarity uncertainty dispelled they bathe in the warmth of winter sun This is my entry and first... Continue Reading →

Stunning Azulejos at São Bento Railway Station, Porto

One of the highlights of our trip to Porto was not the port, but the magnificent vestibule and azulejos tiled images at São Bento railway station - Estação Ferroviária de São Bento. Further research revealed that approximately twenty thousand tiles were used to decorate the station's vestibule which I think you will agree is spectacular!... Continue Reading →

Growing Cacti and Succulents in Portugal

Just over a year ago some new friends inspired me to start collecting cacti and succulents. I'd always admired the different species but only as a passing interest.  However, once they showed me their incredible collection, I was hooked. Have you ever studied these plants? Structure, leaves and flowers? They are beautiful! Okay, I concede... Continue Reading →

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 →

Crested Eve’s Needle – Fungal or Scale?

Growing succulents and cacti has become my passion.  Unfortunately  for the plants in my care,  I am still relatively new to the sport so have much to learn with watering being the biggest challenge,  until now! Imagine my despair when I discovered my prize Crested Eve's Needle (Austrocylindropuntia subulata f. cristata) was covered in a scaly... Continue Reading →

Fancy a snack? Take part in the Algarve Rota Do Petisco – 2018

The Rota Petisco (Tapas/snack route) starts on the 4th October through to the 4th of November. There are 277 participating establishments along the Algarve. So wherever you are located (from Odeceixe in the west to Odeleite in the east) you have no excuse not to participate. Each establishment will have a set snack + drink... Continue Reading →

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