Rain in Portugal

It’s not just the British who love complaining about the weather, the Portuguese do their fair share of grumbling at this time of year. No one really minds a day or two of rain. After all, we all know how necessary it is in the scheme of things, especially thoseRead More →

Cushion, bobbins, pins, pattern and thread. Lace in the making.

Well, actually, the word for lace in Portuguese is renda so it may be more accurate to say that R is for Renda in Vila do Conde. Anyway, although lace isn’t necessarily a fabric I jump at the chance of wearing, there’s no escaping the fact that it takes great skillRead More →

Rusted window grille, Midões palace, central Portugal

I’ve never been too keen on being in front of the camera, but since moving to Portugal, and particularly since I started blogging about Portugal, I’ve found myself getting drawn deeper and deeper into photography. I quickly realised that I needed great images to illustrate my stories and since I’mRead More →

carved, painted wooden ox yoke from Portugal

Portuguese farmers replaced their ox-drawn carts and ploughs with tractors a long time ago but much of the traditional farming equipment, including ox yokes, can still be found in their sheds or decorating restaurant walls up and down the country. Some of the farmhouses which have been converted into ruralRead More →

Curved red thigh tiles on a roof in Elvas castle

You might be wondering what on earth thigh tiles are. If you come to Portugal and look at the roofs of older buildings, chances are you’ll see some. They’re the long, curved terracotta or clay tiles that were once made by hand. And leg. If you look closely at anRead More →

notebooks, pen and writing reference books

Some of you know that as well as writing about Portugal on this blog and elsewhere, I’ve been teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) for many years. Long enough that my automatic response to forms which ask for an occupation has been to write ‘teacher’. Things have changed. Recently,Read More →

brambles on a hill

‘Get rid of brambles’ has been on our To Do List ever since I moved to rural central Portugal. That was almost five years ago. After a long, prickly process, I can finally tick this as done. Well, almost. Here’s how not to deal with brambles, followed by the easyRead More →

Moura Morta, Portugal

What does it take to feel comfortable if you live abroad? I was recently interviewed for a television documentary about my experience as an expat. The producers were exploring the concept of home comforts; how certain objects might affect the way that people living away from their home countries feel aboutRead More →