Hubby and I  came to Portugal in September 2009, with Guinness, an animal shelter canine, the most spoilt thing on four legs north of the Antarctic, and Idi, an African grey parrot named after “His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular, and the  uncrowned last King of Scotland. Although I have fed Idi for over 40 years, he still bites me.

My formative years were typically Portuguese and I speak the language, albeit with an archaic vocabulary. The modern vernacular never made it down south to Mozambique. Although I have been exposed to Portuguese norms, culture and history all my life, I was quite unprepared for the shock of swapping a South Africa way of life for one in Portugal – rigid bureaucracy and all the formality. Thank goodness for the divine food and wine, the beautiful landscapes and the rich traditions that abound. And, of course, the friendly people.

We live in Cascais where I carve ostrich eggs and, for fun, host a local English language pub quiz with hubby. We do a bit of travelling and I am a computer games addict!

Recent Posts

The King’s Rhinoceros

While researching calçada portuguesa (Portuguese paving), I came across a source that claimed it to have started because of an Indian white rhino named “Ganga”. The story goes […]

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An unlikely survivor of the great Lisbon earthquake

Summer is slowly returning to Cascais, bringing with it bright clear, almost cloudless days and stunningly intense dark turquoise night skies. Walking my dog Guinness along the “paredão”, […]

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Creepy crawly hairy things

Recently, eighteen Alvalade, Lisbon, schoolchildren were hospitalised with skin rashes following contact with processionary caterpillar hairs. Fortunately none of the cases were serious. The reports lauded the city’s […]

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The ceaseless roar on silent film

The other day I came across the Câmara (Municipality) publication ‘650Years: The History of Cascais’. An interesting read. The story of King D. Carlos choosing Cascais as the […]

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Christmas with a difference

Where I come from, Christmas is a summer thing. Although we sing “Dreaming of a White Christmas”, in South Africa there is no need to dream of sun, […]

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A confectionary in honour of the Three Wise Men

Between Christmas (probably well before, for many) and January 6th, Epiphany or Kings’ Day (the Three Wise Men), the Portuguese go meshuggah over “Bolo Rei”. During this period, […]

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Roaming Bus Stop Shelter

This blog explores things (usually Portuguese) that tickle my fancy. As a female, I have been reminded of the possible double entendre of having your fancy tickled. Research […]

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English as she is spoken

If you happen to be a he person and, on bumping into you on Guincho Beach, I commented on your “splendiferous moobs”, would it mean anything to you? […]

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When the earth moves in Cascais

It is estimated that 500.000 seismic events occur every year. We tend to refer to minor ones as ‘earth tremors’ and call the catastrophic ones ‘earthquake.’ Rest assured, […]

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Driver’s licences – perhaps from a supermarket shelf.

A few days ago, hubby and I were having lunch outside a restaurant in the old part of Cascais, the part with all those narrow cobblestone one- ways. […]

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