Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year 2013

This is the last Sunday post of 2012 and I have to add that I have thoroughly enjoyed blogging with Jake.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Lights

Those Christmas lights light up the street
Down where the sea and city meet  
May all your troubles soon be gone  
Oh, Christmas lights, keep shinin' on

These lines from Coldplay's song "Christmas Lights" are perfect for this post.

My photos today are of the Christmas lights in the town of Espinho (a seaside town, packed in summer with beach-goers, year-round thriving commercial centre, where many shops have closed or are struggling under the effects of the crippling recession in Portugal. 

Espinho Xmas lights 2012

Espinho Casino
Lighting up the Casino

Espinho Xmas lights 2012
23rd Street
Espinho Xmas lights 2012
Also on 23rd Street

Espinho Xmas lights 2012

Espinho Xmas lights 2012
19th Street - main shopping area (bad photo)

Espinho Xmas lights 2012
My favourite

Those Christmas lights light up the streets
Down where the sea and small town meet  
May all our troubles soon be gone  
Oh, Christmas lights, keep shinin' on

Sunday, December 23, 2012


I wish one and all a Very Happy Christmas!


In my family we have a tradition - every year we buy something Christmassy to add to our collection, whether it be another flower for the flower arrangement, another Santa, another snowman or some more baubles for the tree (you get the drift). As a result I have ornaments that are over 40 years old and some that hardy ever see the light of Christmas day!

Nativity scene

This is a nativity scene I got for my first Christmas in the Algarve. I bought it at the "Feira da Serra" in Loulé, at an arts and crafts stall.

Nativity scene - Ferreiras

And here is a nativity scene set up this year in the middle of an Algarve roundabout.

These Santas drove past my house yesterday. They gave the reindeer a rest before the big day and tried some modern transportation instead! (None of these are part of my collection :-)

Biker Santas

Quad Santa

Biker Santa

This post is for Jake's  Sunday post challenge.

Grab a lift with one of those Santas and check out Jake's blog for Christmas posts from all over the world.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - December 2012

Christmas is just around the corner!
A student gave me this beautiful poinsettia ('Estrela de Natal' in Portuguese).
In the Algarve we've had a lot of rain over the past month and the temperatures are still allowing things to grow, so the garden got out of control. I usually cut the grass myself but when I had free time it was raining and when I didn't, which has been most of the time, grass and weeds just kept on growing!

So I had to make a choice - either I called in a professional gardener or the overgrowth would make me miserable. The gardener came and did a lot of cutting, pruning and clearing. This is the result - looking a bit bare now!
Aloe arborescens nearly in flower.
But the aloe arborescens flower is about to open.
There are lots of oranges and tangerines (my lemon bush hasn't been very productive, though).

Small lemon bush
Only three small lemons on my lemon bush at the back (the grasshoppers had a go at it before I terminated their stay).

Algarve orange tree
My orange tree dominates the front garden.       
Tangerines and geranium
At the back there's a tangerine bush and some bright red geranium blooms.
A pink geranium.

This is really the last of the bougainvillea blooms.

Here is the path to the back patio:

Creeper, strawberry plants and other potted plants.
Flowers of the creeper above.
I love this creeper (anyone know what it's called?) because it doesn't lose its leaves in winter and it flowers all year round.

  The lavenders are still flowering.

I've taken some cuttings and hope to have some reasonably sized plants to give to friends in the spring.

If the snails don't get them first, I hope to have some yellow and red orchids next month. This is what I love about gardening - there is always something to look forward to!

Cuphea, santolina, lantana (leaves turned purple) in a planter and some orchids in pots.

Thank you to Carol for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day at May Dream Gardens.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The concept of time

Here I am in a very untidy room, piles of unwelcome paperwork everywhere (yes, my profile does mention I hate paperwork) because it's end of term time and I have almost a hundred tests to finish correcting and grades to decide. Everything must be sorted and fed into the data base (something new we didn't have last year) before the end of the week!

There are simply not enough hours in the day and lately I have had to neglect anything that isn't urgent in favour of school work. I hate when that happens and swallows up my weekends! My poor dogs have not had a decent walk for ages and cannot count on mealtimes at the normal time anymore.

All this has made me consider, however fleetingly, our concept of time and whether dogs understand this concept the way we humans do.

Clerigos Tower clock

I found this interesting piece by Colline Cancio - Do dogs understand the concept of time?

This is my entry in response to Jake's theme for the Sunday post. I'm sure there are lots more interesting concepts in his comments' section.

That's all folks! 
Gotta get back to the job in hand (Grrrh)

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Armaçao de Pera Beach

Peaceful scenes...
Expanses of sand,
Aquamarine skies,
Calm cerulean seas
Embracing the sunshine.
Friends smiling,
Unhurried, carefree,
Lingering in quiet gardens

Small Armaçao de Pera garden

This is my Sunday Post. Hop over to Jake's blog, where the inspiration begins.

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