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A Creative Spirit in Portugal

Welcome to my ramblings...

  1. A Letter Home

    by , November 18th, 2020 at 11:49 PM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)
    In February, I joined a local writing group which we managed to keep alive via Zoom once the Coronavirus struck. One of our assignments was to write a letter.

    Hi Mum,

    We have finally arrived in the Moorish town of Aljezur on the West Coast of Portugal. Despite Dad’s reservations, Jason’s decrepit, converted bus served us well as both a means of transport and accommodation. However, Dad was right about one thing: I do miss my creature comforts such as regular showers and ...
  2. Lest We Forget - Remembrance Sunday

    by , November 8th, 2020 at 12:38 PM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)
    poppy field.jpg

    Two minutes silence marks your death
    as we the nation remember
    your sacrifice, with respect.
    The silence echoes our private grief
    while we the nation mourn our heroes.

    Heroes, born to die in far away places
    in battles old and new.
    Haunting bugles lament your loss
    while the Big Guns, salute you.
    And we the nation remember
    as we find solace in our thoughts.

    Red poppies ...
  3. Struggling with Senryu

    by , October 30th, 2020 at 11:19 PM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)
    Does anyone else find senryu addictive? I have been working on this one for weeks and it still does not feel right

    tequila sunrise
    autumn colours in a glass -
    nature served with ice

    tequila sunrise
    sunset colours in a glass -
    nature served with ice

    tequila sunrise
    sunset flavours in a glass -
    nature served with ice


    tequila sunrise
    happiness served in a glass
    Poetry , Poetry
  4. What it means to be British ...

    by , October 15th, 2019 at 09:45 AM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)
    or does it?

    State opening of Parliament Oct 2019

    Until yesterday my feelings towards the Monarchy remained neutral.

    As I watched the pomp and ceremony at the state opening of Parliament and listened to the speech the Queen had to deliver (whether she believed it or not) I felt compassion for the frail old lady who gives our country the stability that so many others lack.

    Maybe we should ...

    Updated October 15th, 2019 at 10:13 AM by PiP

    Hobbies and Interests
  5. Handpan... My New Creative Challenge

    by , May 31st, 2019 at 11:03 PM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)
    A few weeks ago we went to our local beach for coffee and as we enjoyed the breathtaking views across the beach and rugged coastline beyond the sound of haunting music caught our attention. I turned to locate the source of this mystical sound I noticed a man playing what can only be loosely be described as an instrument shaped like a cataplana.

    Updated May 31st, 2019 at 11:13 PM by PiP

  6. Frozen Condoms in France (Mature Content)

    by , December 15th, 2017 at 07:56 PM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)
    OK, OK this is not my normal type of post and please don’t panic; PiPs is not branching out into pornography, but just sharing one of my French “adventures”.After the birth of our first grandchild one of our shopping forays for our daughter Piglet in France was to buy a whole list of obscure items which included: gel to kill ants, bra extensions, baby wipes and condoms. It was like being sent on a “mission”. The shopping list, although not particularly long, was just not the run of the mill items ...
  7. I don't want your germs!

    by , March 24th, 2017 at 01:41 AM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)
    I can't/don't want to rant or moan at my friend so I am going to tether my goat here.

    My friend has been ill with a stomach bug for nearly two weeks. However, instead of staying at home she continues to socialise thereby sharing her germs. It's a nasty bug. Although the sickness and diarrhoea have since passed, she is left with stomach cramps and a general feeling of malaise.

    You may well ask why am I so neurotic towards germy people?

    My husband takes medication ...

    Updated June 1st, 2019 at 01:29 PM by PiP

  8. Living With Life Threatening Allergies - Please DON'T Offer Children Sweets and Food

    by , February 28th, 2017 at 10:10 PM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)
    My baby grandson is highly allergic to mustard, lupin, lentils, cashew nuts and a whole host of other deadly foods. When I say highly allergic, I mean life-threatening.

    I've already witnessed an episode during a family holiday in Portugal last summer; one minute we are sitting at a beach cafe enjoying an early afternoon aperitif and the next we are waiting for the ambulance to arrive while he fights for his next breath. The allergic reaction was the result of a previously undetected ...

    Updated March 1st, 2017 at 10:54 PM by PiP

  9. One of those days...

    by , November 12th, 2016 at 12:41 AM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)
    Today I went shopping with Mr. PiP to buy boring stuff like paint, screws and drill bits. As the checkout was taking forever and judging by the length of the queue, I decided I'd have time to nip to the restroom and be back before he noticed my absence. Or so I thought.

    I found the ladies restroom, locked the door, waved at the light so it remained on after I sat down, and proceeded... as you do.

    On a side note: When I say waved at the light - the lights in Portuguese ...
  10. Piggin' Sat Nav

    by , August 29th, 2016 at 10:11 PM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)
    Trying to find our hotel in Northern Portugal presented quite a challenge. Not only did our SatNav divert us from our route 25km early,
    It directed us to an unknown location in the middle of nowhere via a single lane dirt track, and as it turned out in completely the wrong direction.

    Has your SatNav ever led you astray? Please share your horror stories below...

    Updated August 29th, 2016 at 10:22 PM by PiP

  11. Friends and Politics

    by , June 30th, 2016 at 09:01 PM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)

    Living in an expat bubble is difficult enough as you try to rise above people's petty grievances, perceived hurts and playground fallouts (aka bitchfests) , but add politics to the mix, namely Brexit, and friendships become toxic.

    Today we went to lunch with some previously dear friends. I say previously because thanks to Brexit and our life-changing difference of opinion, it seems to have created an invisible wall between us and our once ...
  12. When in Rome

    by , March 20th, 2016 at 09:04 AM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)
    Portugal is a poor country.

    Wages low and some people struggle to survive. The old country folk and farmers in the Alentajo live simply as they have for generations. It's tough for some but they get by ... just.

    Every month we go to a farmers' market in the Alentajo where you can buy everything and anything from chicks, roosters and ducks, to tractors, plants, honey, cheese, ...
    That's Life! , Journal
  13. Travelling By Plane - Rant Warning

    by , March 1st, 2016 at 11:32 PM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)
    I don't mind travelling by plane and I am quite happy to queue and be subjected to strict security checks but what I do object to is being made to arrive at the airport for a two hour check-in only to discover there is no where to sit while you wait. Yes, that's right: nowhere to sit.

    That, and of course queue jumping...

    On Sunday, we arrived at Lyon airport only to discover the already meager seating arrangements of metal chairs bolted in rows had been replaced by a few ...

    Updated March 2nd, 2016 at 12:59 AM by PiP

    That's Life!
  14. Reason to be Proud...

    by , February 25th, 2016 at 12:00 AM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)
    There are moments when we feel truly proud of our children - this is one of them.

    Last November my daughter was watching the news on TV and the heartbreaking images of the plight of families fleeing Syria. Families with little more than the clothes on their back who risked life and limb to escape moved her beyond tears to take action.

    My daughter, together with some close friends, took all their outgrown clothes to a distribution centre in Lyon to some ...
  15. Have we really evolved?

    by , February 11th, 2016 at 12:43 AM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)
  16. African Dancing

    by , December 6th, 2015 at 12:33 AM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)
    After weeks of searching for a new Zumba class I settled for African dancing as a way to keep fit.

    My kids will probably be horrified that I've turned into a New Age hippy as I connect with Mother Earth. They tend to forget; I was a child of the 60's and grew up with 'Flower Power'.

    The girl in in this video is my teacher... she thinks I am game... that's game in trying new ideas... not 'On the Game'. tut... tut..

    This is what I'm attempting to do.
    That's Life! , Journal
  17. The Dreaded 'D' Word (week one)

    by , June 22nd, 2015 at 10:35 PM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)

    Following on from my post, Diet What Diet, I've finally quit wallowing in self pity and taken some action. Thanks to everyone for your encouraging comments and suggestions.

    Despite having a hectic social weekend I started the dreaded 'D' word last Friday. Yep, I've finally removed my face from the trough and I'm on a semi-strict diet.

    I'm trying a variation on the five-two diet. Basically, you eat sensibly for five days ...

    Updated June 23rd, 2015 at 12:24 AM by PiP

    Tags: diets, lifestyle
  18. Toxic Bitches and Bullying

    by , April 26th, 2015 at 10:35 AM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)
    I needed a place to have a rant and seek the opinions of others in case my field of vision is too narrow.

    Deep breath...

    I can't abide bullying in any shape or form. From the husband who physically and mentally abuses his wife to the office bully who is more subtle - I was a victim of office bullying. Cyber bullies and trolls are another peeve.

    Then there are the so called friends/acquaintances who turn out to be bullies (toxic bitches) If you've ever been ...

    Updated April 26th, 2015 at 09:14 PM by PiP

  19. I'm getting too old for this...

    by , February 10th, 2015 at 03:37 PM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)
    Yesterday we travelled to France to spend the next two weeks looking after our two baby grandkids while Mum and Dad are at work. Their regular child-minder is on holiday so we were bribed to ‘help out’.

    Neither my husband, nor myself are good travellers and always seem to arrive at our destination stressed, ill and generally out of sorts. We are hardly the ‘Lonely Planet’ type of people, and while travel used to appeal these days our own back yard, with its amazing beaches and great ...

    Updated February 10th, 2015 at 04:24 PM by PiP

  20. I’m getting too old for this…

    by , February 9th, 2015 at 06:38 PM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)
    More to follow...

    I've since figured how to edit my blog title

    Updated February 10th, 2015 at 03:50 PM by PiP

  21. The Ugly Bug Spring Jive

    by , March 28th, 2013 at 12:28 AM (A Creative Spirit in Portugal)
    I wrote this poem for my grandchildren

    With the herald of spring the bugs start to arrive
    in my Garden of Eden for the “Ugly Bug Jive”.

    The weird and the ugly they give me the jitters
    who may I ask created these critters?

    There are black bugs and green bugs and stripy ones too
    perhaps they’ve escaped from the Ugly Bug zoo?

    Grass hoppers and spiders arrive at my door
    the Jive’s in full swing so they take to the floor. ...

    Updated March 28th, 2013 at 09:03 PM by PiP

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