Tag Archives: weekly photo challenge

Portuguese Heritage – Fado

The theme for this week’s WordPress photo challenge is Heritage. Thinking of the words ‘heritage’ and ‘Portugal’ in the same sentence the first thing that comes to mind is Fado.

We were fortunate to see the highly acclaimed Fado singer Mariza in concert in 2010. It is one of those treasured memories that will always stay with me.

Mariza in concert - Lagos 2010

Mariza in concert – Lagos 2010

Dating back to the early 1900’s Fado (destiny/fate) is traditional Portuguese music with its roots in Lisbon. From my experience of listening to Fado I can only describe it as the voice of a soul in torment. The fadista (singer) usually sings about the harsh realities of daily life and is extremely melancholy. Expression also plays an important part of the performance with anguish not only portrayed in the voice but also in the facial expressions.

Mariza in concert 2010

Mariza in concert 2010

The fadista can be male or female and is often accompanied by guitars including a Portuguese guitar

The Challenge

This week, share a photo of something that says “heritage” to you. It can be from your own family or culture — a library, a work of public art, a place of worship, an object passed down to you from previous generations. Or, like me, you can choose to focus on a tradition to which you don’t belong, but to which you’ve been exposed whether through travel, moving, or the people in your life.

Related posts: Fado is like Marmite (or should that be Veggiemite?)
Useful websites:


Opposites: Remain or Leave?

The theme for this week’s WordPress challenge is ‘Opposites’. Contemplating the differences in opinion for Brexit: ‘Remain’ or ‘Leave’, how could I express the extremes behind the vote and the wisdom of the ‘Leave’ result in terms of a photograph?

In the end it will boil down to money. Some think the UK will be better off leaving the EU while others disagree. Some people will benefit financially while others won’t. There are always winners and losers so let’s just hope the UK ‘leavers’ with their ‘island’ mentality eat their words and count the money (or not).

So for my ‘Opposites’ contribution I present a photograph of money: coins and notes. Both of value yet represented by different properties.

Counting the cost of Brexit

Counting the cost of Brexit


Azulejos are hand-painted tiles used to decorate properties in Portugal both internally and externally since the middle ages. They were introduced to by the Moors and originally decorated with geometric patterns in a single colour.



This post was inspired by the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge this week’s theme is Geometry.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreaming

Last week, on a grandparents day out, we took our little granddaughter to a huge lake with a beach and supervised swimming area. Once we’d found a suitable shady area to set up camp, laid out her blanket so she had a place to crawl, she sat motionless – almost mesmerised as she surveyed all before her. Watching her so lost in her own thoughts I wondered what she could be dreaming about.

Is she looking at the breathtaking scenery or dreaming about playing in the lake?

Is she looking at the breathtaking scenery or dreaming about playing in the lake?

Could it be the breathtaking scenery or the children swimming and playing on inflatable toys on the lake, squealing with delight as they splashed each other. Or perhaps she felt sorry for the little boy who stood at the water’s edge crying because he was too scared to go in the water. Maybe she wanted to join them, but the look on her face was that of far deeper concentration. How I wished I could ask her to share her thoughts and dreams.

This post was inspired by the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge this week’s theme is “Dreaming”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Arranged

Can you spot the carefully arranged pebble amongst the many thousands of pebbles at Praia da Canal, in the Western Algarve? Did we stumble across a Geocaching clue? I wonder…

Can you spot the carefully "Arranged" pebble?

Can you spot the carefully "Arranged" pebble?

Arranged. Sometimes you chance across things which were arranged on purpose, or on a whim – find something in your environment which was arranged by a human hand for others to enjoy!


A carefully "Arranged" pebble at Praia da Canal

A carefully "Arranged" pebble at Praia da Canal


Today’s post is inspired by the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. This week’s theme is “Arranged”.

I’m intrigued, what do you think it represents?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast…

The theme for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Contrast

After my previous post about the white mold attacking my cabbages and the long-term consequences I wanted to post something a little more upbeat to cheer me up. They say inspiration usually comes from the most unexpected sources and when you least expect it. This week I am inspired by Klout who reckon I’m more influential about toilet paper than gardening! Well they are spot on there…

So as a self-appointed toilet inspector with a secret fetish for photographing toilets I did not have to search too long through my photo archives for the following:

This colourful toilet in the Algarve shopping centre in Portugal even has a shelf for your handbag! It is in stark contrast to…

Colourful toilet in Algarve Shopping - Guia, Portugal

Colourful toilet in Algarve Shopping - Guia, Portugal

…this toilet in a swish café in Lyon, where the coffees are almost the price of a meal and the only place for your handbag is round your neck!

Turkish Loo in a swish café in Lyon, France

Turkish Loo in a swish café in Lyon, France

You probably remember the posts:
Sexy Toilet Paper – They MUST be Joking!
A Turkish “experience” in France

Contrast photos from some fellow bloggers
Enjoy Creating
Twigs for Pigs
Mirth and Motivation
Spirit Lights The Way


This post is inspired by the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. The theme is Hope

My Tin of Hope

My Tin of Hope

I considered naming the tin which contains all my packets of seeds, “My Tin of DOOM”. Why? Because many most of the seeds fail to germinate. I’m not sure if this is due to the quality of seed or if I’m using the wrong kind of seed compost. Whatever the reason, I either end up with fifty seedlings of the same variety or zilch.

Just in case seeds respond to feelings of negativity and in an attempt to view my failures in a more positive light, I have renamed the tin “My Tin of Hope

Zucchini Seedlings

Zucchini Seedlings

However, most of these seeds will now stay in the tin as I’ve decided to buy seedling plugs from our local market. This not only liberates me from weeks of frustration waiting for the seeds to germinate (or not), but this way I only buy what I need!

Positive thought also encourages us to take a more positive course of action!

Is your glass half empty or half full?

Peaceful – Why do Children’s Toys Make so Much Noise?

This post is inspired by the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. The theme is Peaceful.

My baby grandson sleeps peacefully

My baby grandson sleeps peacefully

My little grandson sleeps peacefully with not a care in the world. His only needs are love, food, warmth, clean nappies, “winding” and sleep – how simple life is when you are a baby! As I watch over him, his basic needs fulfilled, he is so happy and content. He is adorable.

As adults are we driven by materialistic ideals as we strive for more – and once we have more, are we truly happy?

As a new grandparent I am adapting to modern-day parenting. I wander aimlessly around the toy shops and baby stores trying to get-to-grips with all the expensive toys, designer baby clothes and equipment such as: push chairs, cots and high chairs plus other “must have” accessories such as baby bouncers, walkers and even baby gyms. Yes, baby gyms! (They are cute though)

I pause, look at the exorbitant prices – I am stunned…

HOW MUCH?” I exclaim in absolute horror! (I can see some of you nodding in agreement)

And why does nearly every toy these days need a battery? Batteries are SO expensive to buy! Is it necessary to surround babies with so much electronic noise? I sigh as I remember all the simple toys such as building blocks, jack in a box, and plastic cups my children grew up with; it did not take much to make them happy then, so why is it so different now? A battery operated toy was a luxury not the norm.

This crazy cacophony of electronic noise is enough to drive me to distraction and I can reach for the off switch! Poor baby. If there are several of these toys shouting for attention all at once, is this healthy? Maybe I am old-fashioned, but aren’t babies entitled to peace too?

So as I reflect on the word “peaceful” and in the name of sanity I am tempted to start a “PEACEFUL TOY” revolution!

If you are a parent, baby or grandparent, aunt, great cousin (three times removed) or even a demented observer – am I just grumpy, or are children’s toys today destroying the “sound” ozone layer of our daily lives?

Winter Surprises!

This weeks theme for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is “Winter”

The theme “Winter” conjured up so many different images in my mind’s eye that I pondered on my choice of photograph for several days. Should I post a picture depicting typical winter weather such as frost or snow, or should I remove all preconceived boundaries, “look outside the box”, so to speak, and think of something completely different?

Different in what way?

Finally, unable to decide which photo to use I cheated and selected two subjects; both winter related, but in different ways.

Bees are everywhere this winter!

Bees are everywhere this winter!

I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen so many bees in January before; they are everywhere. Maybe the bees are more active this winter because the weather is warmer and drier. Maybe the farmers are not spraying their crops with pesticides at the moment – or maybe I’m now more “tuned” into nature and bee “activity”. Who knows? but they are buzzing around everywhere – maybe it’s spring and I’ve slept through winter!

Bees are attracted to this winter flowering succulent

Bees are attracted to this winter flowering succulent

Curiosity got the better of me so I searched the web “Where do bees go in winter?” for the answer…

My strawberry plants are still producing an abundance of enormous sweet strawberries in January. This is a first! Strawberries have never grown in my garden at this time of the year. This ripe strawberry is just one of many. They are not even undercover.

Guess what I had for dessert tonight?

Strawberries in Winter

Strawberries in Winter


This post is inspired by the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. This week’s theme is Waiting

Fishermen spend hours fishing from the rocks or shoreline “waiting” to catch a fish.

Waiting patiently for the fish to bite!

Waiting patiently for the fish to bite!

They cast their line into the sea and then wait patiently for the tell-tale signs which signify a fish has taken the bait. As I watch the fishermen I feel although this is a solitary hobby it is one I would really enjoy. If only I could master the basics such as attaching the hooks to the line and casting I would be right there and the solitary figure in the photograph above would be me!

Our son-in-law, who is passionate about fishing, encouraged me to go beach fishing one summer and I loved it.  He tried to persuade me that fishing from the rocks would produce better results, but I’m a real wimp and I quickly declined.  Alone at the water’s edge I cast my line and immediately felt the rhythmic motion of the rod in harmony with the sea.  The sunlight glistening on the water and the constant sound of the waves was almost hypnotic.  As a feeling of peace washed over me I felt at one with nature – what more could one want?

I did catch a small fish that day which I threw back into the ocean.