Tag Archives: humour

Poetry Challenge – Day 2 (Gossip Goblins) Alliteration

Alliteration - Gossip Goblins

Alliteration – Gossip Goblins

Day two in the WP Ten Day Poetry Challenge and we are tasked to write a poem using alliteration.

Alliteration in italics

Gossip Goblins

The gossip goblins with
their prying eyes
wigging ears
wagging tongues
swoop then screech to share
with sharks
who share with shells
who bathe in shallow waters
then whisper with passing whales:
What chance the minnow?

Weary wave changes channel with the tide
Seagulls go fishing

Alliteration – according to Wikipedia

Alliteration is a stylistic literary device identified by the repeated sound of the first letter in a series of multiple words, or the repetition of the same letter sounds in stressed syllables of a phrase.[1]“Alliteration” is from the Latin word littera, meaning “letter of the alphabet”…

Alliteration narrowly refers to the repetition of a letter in any syllables that, according to the poem’s meter, are stressed,[3][4][5] as in James Thomson‘s verse “Come…dragging the lazy languid Line along”.[6] Another example is “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”.


Alliteration can also add to the mood of a poem. If a poet repeats soft, melodious sounds, a calm or dignified mood can result. If harsh, hard sound are repeated, on the other hand, the mood can become tense or excited.



FitBit and Senior Moments

I accept I’m not the sharpest tool in the drawer when it comes to mastering technology and digital gizmos, but even I had to groan at this particular ‘senior blond’ moment.

Wanting to lose weight I invested in a FitBit Charge HR. So far so good.

Much to everyone’s surprised snickers I managed to ‘set it up’ and more importantly, and much to my surprise, I even synced it with my iPad which enabled me to monitor daily steps, distance walked, pulse, stairs and all sorts of other useful data. This is turn enabled me to take part in Challenges with family and friends. Hey, I was on a roll… or so I thought.

The FitBit became part of my daily routine and I became obsessed with steps walked and distance covered. Even to the point I would run round the house ten times to increase my daily steps if I was not on target. Yes, I actually did that on several occasions especially when my daughter and I were participating in a challenge.

Then disaster struck. It stopped syncing with my iPad and it could not collect the data.

I contacted FitBit customer service via Twitter and after twenty emails offering support and directions they cut their losses and sent me a new FitBit (It was probably costing them more in man-hours than the value of a replacement)

My new FitBit arrived, I charged it and then tried to set it up.

The FitBit arrived pulse set at 135

The FitBit arrived pulse set at 135

I kept pressing the button on the side of the Fitbit, but the data on the screen remained on 135. It was stuck. The back of the watch was flashing green but the screen data remained static.

FitBitCharge HR - I pressed the button and the screen lit up but numbers remained static

FitBitCharge HR – I pressed the button and the screen lit up but numbers remained static

I contacted customer services again and you could almost sense it was a case of ‘oh no, not that woman again’ Emails bounced back and forth offering various suggestion until I finally admitted defeat and passed it to Mr. Piglet.

He looked at the FitBit and then asked why I had left the Surface Protection film over the screen.

‘What…what film?’ I asked.

He peeled back the printed film to expose the screen and then laughed.

FitBit Charge HR - Beware it arrives with printed surface protection film

FitBit Charge HR – Beware it arrives with printed surface protection film

I was not amused.

Please, Mr. FitBit. Can you send an Idiot’s guide with your product or at least a note reminding people to remove the SPF.


If anyone wants to link up for a Weekly or Daily Challenge please let me know!

Toilet Horrors… one for the ladies

Knowing I’m a bit of a toilet inspector a good friend shared this ‘toilet humour’. When I read it I nearly peed my pants with laughter!

Toilet humour

Toilet humour

When you have to visit a public toilet, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it’s your turn, you check for feet under the cubicle doors. Every cubicle is occupied.

Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the cubicle. You get in to find the door won’t latch. It doesn’t matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants! The dispenser for the modern ‘seat covers’ (invented by someone’s Mum, no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your bag on the door hook, if there was one, so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mum would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!) down with your pants and assume ‘ The Stance.

In this position, your aging, toneless, thigh muscles begin to shake. You’d love to sit down, but having not taken time to wipe the seat or to lay toilet paper on it, you hold ‘The Stance.’ To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser.

In your mind, you can hear your mother’s voice saying,
Dear, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!‘Your thighs shake more.

You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday – the one that’s still in your bag (the bag around your neck, that now you have to hold up trying not to strangle yourself at the same time). That would have to do, so you crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It’s still smaller than your thumbnail.

Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn’t work.

The door hits your bag, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest and you and your bag topple backward against the tank of the toilet…

‘Occupied!’ you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, while losing your footing altogether and sliding down directly onto the TOILET SEAT. It is wet of course. You bolt up, knowing all too well that it’s too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper – not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try.

You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because you’re certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, ‘You just don’t KNOW what kind of diseases you could get’.

By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose against the inside of the bowl and spraying a fine mist of water that covers your bum and runs down your legs and into your shoes.

The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force and you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too.

At this point, you give up. You’re soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You’re exhausted. You try to wipe with a sweet wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.

You can’t figure out how to operate the taps with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women still waiting. You are no longer able to smile politely to them. A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe.
(Where was that when you NEEDED it?) You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it in the woman’s hand and tell her warmly, ‘Here, you just might need this.’

As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used and left the men’s toilet. Annoyed, he asks, ‘What took you so long and why is your bag hanging around your neck?’

This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with any public rest rooms/toilets (rest??? you’ve GOT to be kidding!!). It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long.. It also answers that other commonly asked question about why women go to the toilets in pairs. It’s so the other gal can hold the door, hang onto your bag and hand you Kleenex under the door.

A Friend Is Like A Good Bra…
Hard to Find, Supportive, Comfortable, Always Lifts You Up, Never Lets You Down or Leaves You Hanging And Is Always Close To Your Heart!!!

Related Posts:
A Turkish “experience” in France
Sexy Toilet Paper – They MUST be Joking!

Eat Less and Move More…

As I’m in “D” crisis after piling on the pounds, a good friend recommended: I Eat Less and Move More…

However, in my case it has proved to be: Move More and Eat More.

I understand the principle: the more you move the more calories you burn, but you try explaining that to my growling stomach after I’ve dragged it round four miles at a brisk walk. It demands food!

The problem I have is that all the weight I lost last year and all the effort involved to remodel my body shape through dieting, Pilates, swimming, walking and Zumba has all been in vain. After my Mum passed away in January, I had an eating orgy for six months and I became a couch potato. During the winter months the wheels fell off and I hid under tracksuits and baggy clothes; I was in ‘dieting denial’. Now summer has arrived my attire of clingy tops and swimwear emphasize my bulging proportions as I flatly refuse to buy a larger size. I don’t want to wear tops the size of a Marquee but neither do I want to wear tops that are so tight they resemble a condom.

Sigh…I know I need to do something and it’s only something I can do. But what? Wire my jaw or undergo liposuction? No way! So it’s the dreaded “D” word…sigh.

At least I’ve started Pilates again and once I’ve found a new Zumba class with a teacher who does not dance like a gorilla on speed, I should will be cooking on gas.

Anyone else having problems with the dreaded “D” word?

Still, on a positive note:

Fat people are harder to kidnap

Fat people are harder to kidnap

Tipping in Portugal – How Much is Too Much?

Today we were invited to a popular seafood restaurant in the Alentejo to celebrate a friend’s birthday. It was not a set price lunch so we went with a ‘kay sa ra’ attitude. What will be will be… I was not organising the lunch so splitting the bill was not my problem for once.

When we go out in a large group I usually take my lead from everyone else. If most people are ordering fresh fish by the kilo then so will I. Equally, if they are ordering simple Portuguese fare at knockdown prices, I do the same. All in all it’s swings and roundabouts: Some you lose and some you win.

Mr. Piglet and I shared a dressed crab and a meio kilo of garlic prawns washed down with copious amounts or red and white wine. Hey, we were dining in a fish/seafood restaurant in the Alentejo so the food was not expensive. Good wine was cheap and it flowed freely… too freely! Hey, and at one point, after I’d lost my inhibitions I could even speak Portuguese.

A jolly time was had by all until the bill came. Even from my end of the table I could hear the sharp intake of breath.

“How much?”

The bill was scrutinized

My God, what a cheek! The restaurant tried to charge us for ten bottles of wine instead of eight, and goodness knows what else.

Of course it was far too complicated to break down and split as to who ate and drank what, so the bill was divided equally between the six couples. Kay sar ra… you win some you lose some…

I’d had enough wine to sink a battleship so to be honest I was way beyond caring until the person sorting out the bill demanded €2 per person for the tip. Woah…Even in my drunken stupor I could still work out this was €24 euros.
“Oh, it’s 10% of the bill,” came the casual reply.
I don’t care you’re having a laugh, I thought!
Fortunately others vocalised their objections and we settled on a few euros.

Some people tip 5% of the total bill and I’m told the Portuguese don’t tip at all. But 10% is way over the top.

Unlike the USA and maybe Canada service charge is not the waiter’s salary. It is a tip for good service. While the food was excellent the service was basic and certainly did not warrant a €24 euro tip.


hApPy BiRtHdAy, flower we had a great time!

Tales from France – Tete de Veau – bone out!

Reminiscing on the highlights of our recent French trip, to celebrate our Granddaughter’s second Birthday, the funniest moment (from my point-of-view) was a meal enjoyed at a local restaurant. Son-in-law kindly translated the menu and Mr Piglet chose the veal option. When his meal arrived, it looked the strangest cut of veal I’d ever seen. Served in slices it resembled a patchwork of greasy meat textures surrounded by a layer of gooey fat.

Tete de Veau picture courtesy of http://www.cheztse.com

Tete de Veau picture courtesy of http://www.cheztse.com/

Mr P poked and prodded the offering; tasted it, pulled a face then pushed his plate away.

“This is not veal,” he sulked.

“Yes, it’s veal’s head,” announced our son-in-law as he inspected then tasted said offering. “Look this part here’s the brain…”

He would have continued, but at this point I shook my head in warning. Mr P was turning various shades of puce green, and about to bolt for the door.

I’m curious, has anyone else eaten veal’s head without realizing?

If you’re curious here’s a link to a picture: http://www.goodfoodrevolution.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/tete-de-veau.jpeg

Better still if any of my French followers have a picture I could post, I will give you full photo credit and a link back to your blog.
Because boy in this case, a picture saves a 1000 words.

If you were an animal what would you be?

A little bit of fun…

My owners love mice -  because they always shrieked with delight when I surprised them!

My owners love mice – because they always shrieked with delight when I surprised them!

If you were an animal what would you be?
What would you look like – what would we see?

Perhaps a spoilt house dog who’s pampered all day.
Walkies and treats “it’s a dog’s life” they say!

But “Puddy” cats rule as they strut round the house.
Owners left screaming at the sight of a mouse

A horse bred for riding or would that be meat?
A burro for working left out in the heat.

Maybe a chicken free range on the farm.
A goose in a gaggle to raise the alarm.

Then there are piglets as cute as can be.
But there’s only one piglet and that has to be me!


Okay, here’s a bit of a challenge!

Which animal would you be and why?

For example. I’d be a pampered Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pig because they are unique, fun, and affectionate.

Or if you really want a challenge write your answer in rhyming verse – I dare you!

Come on folks don’t be shy…

Health warning – if you’re squeamish look away now!

Waiting to be served at our local butchers for “home-made” beef, and hopefully horse-free, burgers gave us the opportunity to study the array of “unmentionable” delicacies on sale.

The dubious identity of which even made Mr. Piglet’s toes curl in horror. However, our debate is quickly forgotten when I whip out my camera and start taking photographs. Mr. Piglet looked like he was about to evaporate with embarrassment while the surprised butcher and bemused customers looked on. Yes, I know I’m strange it runs in the genes.

Rabo Porco

Rabo Porco

My heart missed a beat and my stomach turned when I saw these…

I mean, what are they? I wonder if I’ve ever eaten any inadvertently since living in Portugal – my trotters are already twitching in horror. People ate horseburgers in the UK without knowing so why not rabo porco in Portugal? Can you imagine the uproar in the UK if burgers were found to contain these little beauties? Eating horsemeat would be the least of their worries!

…and this, I was about to bolt for the door…

Pigs Head

Pigs Head

Yum yum, pig’s ear griddled or braised

Pigs' Ears

Pigs’ Ears

And finally in my rouges gallery of food horrors I present chicken’s feet and chicken’s whotsits. Not sure which part of the chicken whotsits belong to, and to be honest I’m not sure I want to.

I wonder if you manicure chickens’ toenails before you cook the feet? Perish the thought – otherwise I suppose it must be similar to finding a fish bone in your mouth.

Chickens feet and ?

Chickens feet and ?

Is it me or am I the only one who’s squeamish?

Yes, I am seriously considering the idea of cutting meat from my diet.

Related articles
Could you eat horse meat?

Take your snout out of the trough Piglet!

Take your snout out of the trough Piglet you're on a diet!

Take your snout out of the trough Piglet you’re on a diet!

If you’re a porker like myself, you may be in denial by genuinely believing as you take a cursory glance in the mirror that you’re really not that fat. Like me, you probably hold your breath as you turn sideways and “suck in” your bulges. But the camera does not lie –  Oh no! Caught off guard we suddenly see ourselves as others see us. In my case, round and blobby and no longer sylph-like and sexy.

If I’m brutally honest with myself the family Christmas photographs and videos are a stark reality check. A serious wake-up call as I stare at them in horror. Who is this stranger staring back at me? I ask myself. No longer a cute piglet I now resemble a prize porker fattened and ready for market. How did this happen? – you’ve got it in one – overindulging; too much food and wine and not enough exercise.

But why do I always have these guilty weight issue obsessive reality checks in January? Is it just me?

Living in semi-rural Portugal I can hardly pop down to my local Weight Watchers or Slimming World groups for moral support as they do not seem to exist here. Shame, because there are so many overweight or if I’m politically correct and say “bodily challenged” expats that these groups could probably make a fortune. Perhaps I should start one! In the meantime, I will create with the help and encouragement of my friends and followers, my own healthy eating and exercise plan.

I need a plan!

Reading Jake’s Sunday post this week, it’s all about goals.

My friend, who lost a mammoth amount of weight earlier in the year, kindly volunteered to be my “personal trainer” and encourage me. I’m not sure what this will entail as yet but it’s good to have moral support.

My Goal

I want to be a size 14. Is this achievable? Hell, in my mind’s eye I’m still a size 10 so it’s only mind over matter. Well in my case there’s one hell of lot of “matter” to lose – three stones worth! My personal trainer reckons I could easily lose 2lb a week. I tentatively agree. Sounds easy in theory. By her reckoning that’s only 42lb in 21 weeks which should take me to a size 14.

Lose an average 2lb per week for 21 weeks


#Exercise every day!

I  already walk twice a week with friends as a form of exercise, however it’s a combination of walking and excercising our jaws – talking; our husbands have aptly renamed it “Twalking” or in my case “Twaddling”.

Mr Piglet has kindly dusted off my exercise bike and moved it from the garage into the house.

#Change my eating habits – Oh food glorious food – and oh yes, drink less wine

I hate the thought of using powders, pills or potions as a dieting aid so it has to be food based.

#No Bread, cakes, pastries, chocolate or Potatoes (except sweet potatoes)
#Restrict intake of red meat to preferably once a week.
#No Dairy products such as cows milk, cheese or butter.

My first New Year’s resolution to abstain from wine for a month lasted just three days because I felt miserable. Drinking wine in a country where it is cheaper than a cup coffee is very much part of the lifestyle. Portuguese wine is also Very good! Hmmm so I can do without chocolate but not the occasional glass of vinho! My Personal Trainer pointed out that my previous month’s abstention last January resulted in zero weight loss, so the occasional glass of wine when I go out for a meal, is not going to make any difference so why make myself more miserable by total denial? She has a point.

#Glass or two of red wine allowed when I go out for a meal.

Another tip was to wear tight trousers (ones that once fitted me and are now a tadge to tight) Why? Well in my case I wore them when we went out for a meal yesterday so I could not eat as much. This resulted in me bringing half my meal home in a doggy bag! So tighter fitting waistbands are excellent incentive for portion control.

Alternatively, I could always have my jaws wired!

#Wear tight trousers when going out for a meal so I don’t physically have much room to expand. The tighter waistband as it cuts in serves as a reminder.

#Portion control – stop being a pig and eat less.

Another friend who lost over 2 stone also made a couple of suggestions.

#Cut out my morning cereal and eat fruit instead.
#Fill up on fruit and vegetables and not carbs.

Which brings me to the The Piglets Healthier Eating Blog which  I created in October 2011 with my daughter Piglet in France. The blog was originally a place to share our Gluten and dairy free recipes as part of an Anti inflammatory diet. At the time I did lose weight and felt better, but the diet was too restrictive and complicated living where we do as there is a very limited choice of gluten-free ingredients. Maybe it’s better in the city or big towns but we live in the country.  And when I did manage to source ingredients or products from German Health shops they were prohibitively expensive. OK enough excuses Piglet!

I mentally need to review this and instead of thinking of my new regime in terms of losing weight I’m going to change my focus and redefine the dreaded diet as an opportunity to research and then experiment with new foods and recipes (OK, I know it’s still a diet and I’m just kidding myself but please humour me).

If you have posted a healthy low-fat recipe to your blog which I can reblog or you have any useful tips, please share below.

Who else is on the “D” word and how are you progressing?

Diet books worth a mention!

Greedy Girl's Diet by Nadia Sawalha

Greedy Girl’s Diet by Nadia Sawalha

I like the thought of eating myself slim!

Greedy Girl’s Diet: Eat yourself slim with gorgeous, guilt-free food
PS my son’s wedding is in July and I’d rather not be mistaken for one of the marquees!

Piglet put the kettle on…

Piglet put the kettle on Piglet put the kettle on,
Piglet put the kettle on we all want some tea…

Except we won’t have some tea because the pigging thing won’t work.

Mr. Piglet has perfected the Portuguese shrug

Mr. Piglet has perfected the Portuguese shrug

A couple of months ago we had a problem with our kettle. Now in the grander scheme of things a dodgy kettle is not the end of the world. However, to me it’s very much a matter of principle when I buy a kettle or indeed any appliance and it breaks six months later. Yes, I know we live in a throwaway society but if something has a two-year guarantee I expect it to work for two years, not six months. Are you with me on this?

I did consider recycling the kettle as a plant pot to grow some herbs in. However,Mr. Piglet looked at me and laughed and was about to throw it away when I suddenly remembered we now file all receipts for occasions such as these. (This is not the first time this has happened).

Clutching the receipt and broken kettle we returned to the shop and Mr. Piglet presented it to the customer service assistant while I went off shopping. Mr Piglet returned with a wad of A4 size paperwork in return. Have they not heard of save a tree?

“Where’s the replacement kettle?” I asked as I stared with disbelief at the paperwork.

“They are going to send it off to be repaired,” he shrugged.

“What, it’s only worth nine euros; it will cost them more in effort, postage and admin.”

“How long is it going to take?”

Another shrug. Mr. Piglet has now acquired the perfect Portuguese shrug when he does not want to answer a question.

For people who’ve never witnessed the “shrug” the shoulders hunch towards the ears while the palms of the hands turn heavenward, no doubt hoping for divine intervention. The shrug is accompanied by a blank expression, a smile or a sigh depending on the nature of your complaint.

I grab the wad of paperwork and return to the customer service assistant. I know the girl can speak English so I did not even attempt Portuguese on this occasion.

“My husband’s just returned a broken kettle.” I said tapping my foot slightly with frustration. Not directed at her, but more with not having an immediate replacement.


“Please can you tell me how long before we get a replacement?”

“A month.”

“A MONTH!” I said incredulously. Sometimes I can be quite scary. Probably hormones.

“Yes, a month.” She said tentatively.

“Why so long?” I asked, feeling more than slightly puzzled.

“Because we have to send it back to the technicians to be repaired.”

“But it’s going to cost you more than the kettles worth, that can’t be good business practice. You can plug the kettle in here if you don’t believe the kettle is broken”

My words fell on deaf ears and were met with the “shrug”.

At this point I’m wondering if it’s a ploy to get me to buy another kettle, I am losing the will to live and life’s too short. However, it’s a matter of principle. I stand my ground.

Another shrug “I’m sorry.” She says smiling apologetically which immediately calms me down and alleviates my frustration. Have you noticed a smile goes a long way?

“If you bring the kettle back within two weeks, we can replace it straight away; otherwise we have to send it away to be mended.” She explained patiently.

Six weeks later (that’s a Portuguese month) Mr. Piglet returns to collect the kettle. They can’t find the paperwork or our kettle.

Come back next week.

Two weeks later we return. The paperwork and kettle have gone AWOL so they give us a new kettle.

The moral of this story is: if you share the same ideals on a “throwaway” society don’t buy small electrical appliances miles from where you live in Portugal and keep the receipts for two years.

Does this sound familiar or is it just me?

Related posts
Livro de Reclamações
I Only Want My Oven Mended…please
Pigging Oven!